Thursday, November 29, 2018

A finish!

Some flimsies stay in the box for a long, long time.  This was not one of those!  (See my posts for the previous two weeks.) 

The pieced back used up some prints that had been in the stash for years and kept four blocks from orphanhood.  Back and binding: 4 yards.

Linking up with  Needle and Thread Thursday

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Weekly update: gratitude, mug rugs, and Good Fortune

I'm composing this post Sunday night as a blizzard howls.  My sympathy goes to all the travelers whose flights were canceled or postponed, and to everyone who faced driving back home or back to college this afternoon -- but I'm glad we don't have to go anywhere until a dentist appointment at noon tomorrow.

Pepto-Bismol pink!
We enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner at a friend's house here in town.  I contributed Susan Stamberg's mother-in-law's cranberry relish.  (Here is this year's presentation of the recipe.)   Our hostess and the other guests liked it.   I bought a turkey for us and roasted it on Thursday so our house smelled wonderful and we will have lots of turkey to enjoy.

 Our favorite produce stand closed for the season this weekend. We bought more apples and some of the last from their gardens: beets and turnips.

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I made 20 mug rugs. These will be thank you gifts for those who donate to our AAUW local scholarship fund.  The $500 scholarships are for girls graduating from area high schools who plan to major in STEM fields.

They're all Christmas-themed because they'll be given at the December 8 holiday luncheon. 20 should be sufficient, but I'd be happy if I had to make more!

There are four trees, four stars, and two of each of the others. IMPORTANT NOTE:  I did not use binding! Instead I sewed them pillow-style (right sides together, sew around the edge, turn them right side out). Much, much quicker than applying binding.

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Here is Clue 1 of Good Fortune, the Quiltville mystery.  I made half the number of units because I'm going to shoot for half the blocks. I don't want to knock myself out this season.

I watched a recorded episode of Love of Quilting just in time to learn a good technique to cut strip sets accurately.  Here is a quick tutorial.

Four strip sets.

Stagger them as you stack them. That way the seams nest and the stack is the same height.

Square off the end. Cut the appropriate width.

Try it! It works.

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Our guild is making pillowcases as a holiday charity project.  I took six kits (already cut to size). Sewing them was a snap. I'll turn them in at the December holiday party.

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I made eight black/white 16-patches before I went improv to make the scrappy blocks I showed last week.  I made a few more and I'm contemplating what they'll become.   (2" strips so blocks are 6-1/2" unf.)

That scrappy b/w is now under the needle. The pieced backing took longer to audition than the block arrangement did!

Monday link ups:
Quiltville Mystery Monday
 Oh Scrap!
Monday Making
 Design Wall Monday
 Moving It Forward

Monday, November 19, 2018

Weekly update: a new flimsy

 Sacajawea came to our AAUW meeting on Tuesday evening.  Dolley Madison visited the library on Saturday afternoon.  Both presentations were very interesting.  (My first encounter with both women was reading their biographies in the Childhood of Famous Americans series.)

Left: Martina Mathisen. Right: Debra Anne Miller . Check their websites for other historical portrayals.

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Last week I posted a photo of 30 blocks and said that I would make 42 for a 6 x 7 setting.   I made 33 and contemplating setting them. I realized that the busy blocks would blend too much unless they were sashed, but sashing a 6 x 7 setting would make a pretty big quilt. So I chose 30 of the 33 blocks and  contemplated sashing. Plain strips would be dull.  I remembered a design from long ago and found the book (copyright 2000). This cover quilt has 12" blocks  and 3" x 12" sashes (3" cornerstones). My blocks are 10" so I drafted my own curvy pattern.  I adapted the scrappy cornerstones from the cover quilt.   
         The flimsy is 70 x 80 and used 7 yards (by weight).

Here's how I made the pattern.
 Overlap two strips slightly.

Cut a gentle curve through both layers. The bits on the right are the cutaway.

Make a cardboard template the same as the sample pieces.

Sample pieces sewn together.   I trimmed the units to 10.5 x 3".

Here are the blocks for the Temecula Secret Santa

A local quilter posted that she had to destash to help pay the household bills. I paid $2.50/yard for all of this. (Kona Bay and other designer prints, and enough white-on-white to last me for a long, long time.)

Though it's an "off" week (only one meeting!) and we will have Thanksgiving dinner with friends here in town, there's lots to do. Hope your holiday preparations are coming along well.

Monday link ups:
Design Wall Monday
Oh Scrap
Monday Making
Moving It Forward

Monday, November 12, 2018

Weekly update: two finishes and a swap (and lots more)

We voted on Tuesday.  I hope you did, too.

I enjoyed lunch on Wednesday with several Alpha Gam sisters. We are from different collegiate chapters. I'm not able to attend many of the alumnae club meetings because they're farther away than I'm comfortable driving at night.  It was nice to have a daytime gathering.

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BOM MSQC sampler 
The 2017-2018 guild BOM wrapped up with show-and-tell at
Wednesday's meeting.  We made a different Missouri Star block each month. To qualify for prizes we had to set the blocks (quilting optional).  Four of us brought our projects. One person made each block into a placemat. Another made an entire quilt out of each block. Two of us made samplers.   My name was the first pulled out of the hat -- I won a $100 Missouri Star gift card!  (The others won smaller amounts.)

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Ready to sort 
BUPs ready to mail
The Baseball Swap began 20 years ago on the Rec.Crafts.Textiles.Quilting newsgroup. We swap 6.5" charm squares based on Major League Baseball games.  I backed the Cubs and the Red Sox, both of whom had great seasons, so I got a lot of squares.

 On the right: this year's squares. On the left: thank you gifts for being the BUP Chucker (that's Big Ungainly Package).  In the back: the accumulatio of squares from previous years.

Every year I'm amazed by the variety of prints.

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Caliente Plenty, the batik scrap quilt, is finished.  The pieced back used up a lot of bright prints. (I don't use batiks for quilt backs, even when the top is batik.)   I tried a free-motion fan design that turned out pretty well.

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My November OMG is done!  This table runner is a birthday gift for a friend. The pattern is from a back issue of Fons and Porter.

I'm linking up to the November OMG Finish here .

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There's a new project on the design wall.  I thought I'd make a few blocks and empty a shoebox of black/white/gray strips and scraps.  Instead I cut more strips!  These blockx are 10.5" unfinished.  I think I'll make 42 (6 x 7 setting).

Monday link ups:
Oh, Scrap!
Design Wall Monday
Monday Making
Moving It Forward

P.S. The frost is on the pumpkin here in northeasternmost Illinois. 

Monday, November 5, 2018

Weekly update: quilt show, fabric bargain, and new flimsy

The Chicago Botanic Garden was the beautiful backdrop for the annual Fine Art of Fiber show. It is a cooperative effort of Illinois Quilters Inc., North Suburban NeedleArts Guild, Weavers Guild of the North Shore, and Women's Journeys in Fiber.   My guild friend Nancy joined me.  We enjoyed lunch at the CBG restaurant before taking in the exhibits.  (There was no admission for the show. CBG charges $25 per car to enter the garden. I checked out a Museum Pass from the library so parking was just $10.   There is a big boutique at the show and CBG gets a percentage of all sales.) 

There were some stunning art quilts and some "I could make that!" quilts.

This was my favorite.

On the way home Nancy and I saw a sign pointing to an estate sale in Wadsworth. "Let's go!" we both agreed.  We'd never been down that particular street.  Nothing on the main level caught our eye, but in the basement we found a vintage Singer (which we didn't need), rolls of upholstery fabric, a couple of chairs in the midst of reupholstery -- and a table piled with fabric. "Fill a bag for $10," said the sign.  So I did.

The bag held 32 yards and linen tablecloth.

The two bright prints are 58" wide.  I had the red/tan print years ago and I still like it.  Blue homespun and lots of madras plaid.

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Back in the studio:  the scrappy squares blocks I showed last week are now assembled and bordered.  I solved the too-little-contrast problem by using dark sashing.  Compare my version -- 75 x 75 -- to the original: Homestead by Jo Kramer that used 2.5" squares/strips.   I used all but a 1-1/2" strip of the medium sashing and all of the dark brown. (In fact, I lacked 5" for the outer border.)

                     You can barely tell the difference.

Linking up with:
Oh Scrap!
Moving It Forward
Monday Making
Design Wall Monday

P.S. This is my second favorite from the quilt show. It's woven, not quilted.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Stash report for October, OMG, and a design solution

Rabbit, rabbit!   I remembered to say this good luck charm this morning.  Here's why.
October was a month of happy acquisition.  (If you missed it, here is the post with photos!)  
Fabric IN, October:    208-1/4 yds, $1.32.  [I bought 3-1/2 yds for $1.32 at an estate sale.]
Fabric OUT, October: 41-5/8 yds.  [That doesn't count the two boxes of wool yardage I gave to the rug hooking group.]

Fabric IN, YTD:  452-3/8 yds , $876 (avg. $1.93/yd)
Fabric OUT, YTD:  480 yds
Net decrease: 27-5/8 yds

My One Monthly Goal for November is to make a table runner.  My friend Marilyn has a Boston terrier named Molly.  I bought a yard of Boston terrier fabric at Fabricate , the wonderful quilt shop in Bar Harbor.  For her birthday I gave Marilyn the fabric with a coupon for "a quilted item of your choice."  She chose a table runner.         I haven't settled on a pattern but I've begun to pull coordinating fabrics.  (Note the paw prints on the selvedge!) 
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I was inspired by a pattern by Jo and Kelli Kramer published in McCall's Quilting earlier this year. Their design used 2.5" squares and strips. Mine uses 2".  (I have a shoebox of 2" squares.)  I made the light-strip blocks first. The dark-strip blocks used all but a sliver of that particular print.  Oh, no.  There's not enough contrast between the strips and everything mooshes together.   A solution is in the works! Stay tuned.                                         Linking up with OMG at Elm Street Quilts  and Needle and Thread Thursday