Monday, February 25, 2019

Weekly update: a finish

I quilted X Marks the Block last week, just in time to donate it to the UMW silent auction. The high bidder was delighted.

I used two vintage prints (one 36" and one 44") for the backing.

The subject of  "getting what it's worth" for
quilts donated to fundraisers came up on one of the online groups.  I like to get bargains at silent auctions, too, so why should I begrudge the person who gets one of my quilts for (a lot) less than the time and effort I may have put into it? The organization or agency is the beneficiary.  I am flattered by admiring comments on my workmanship.  And what do I gain from stockpiling quilts in my basement?  I'm going to keep making quilts because otherwise I will drown in fabric.

I'm nearly finished quilting Spare Parts IV.

I am auditioning Jeweled Windows blocks made by the ALA Biblioquilters.  I'm expecting a few more blocks to come in.

Monday link ups:
Oh, Scrap!
Monday Making
Design Wall Monday

Have a good week and stay warm!!

P.S.  Judy's comment prompted me to remember this example of unappreciation:
When I was active in the Maine Library Assn. I donated needlepoint pillows to the scholarship auction at the annual conference.  One year the guest speaker (a well-known, award-winning children's author) bought one of them.  I sat next to her at the banquet and commented that I was pleased she'd won it.  She dismissively said, "I had to bid on something."  I refrained from a snarky response. [It was so long ago that "snarky" hadn't been coined!]   Ever since when I've seen a copy of her best-known book I recall that encounter.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Weekly update: three finishes

I made two tote bags.  These and the two I showed last week comprise my One Monthly Goal for February.

The bag on the left uses the same pattern as one of last week's bags.  Both of them have fabric that I used for these tote bags .

The February OMG link up is HERE .

Ripples blocks were made by ALA Biblioquilters for the silent auction at the annual conference in June.  They are easy to make -- two 1.5" x WOF strips sewn together, cut into 2.5" sections, and pieced. However, those pieces are devilishly slippery and they twist the wrong direction.  After I'd assembled the blocks I found one mis-directed unit and corrected it.  While I was quilting I found two more, but it was too late to change them. Let's call it a design element!

These blocks also reminded me of Mary Ellen Hopkins' PPM, Personal Private Measurement -- that is, 1/4" isn't always the exact same from quilter/machine to quilter/machine.  Variances compound with as many seams as blocks like these. The unfinished sizes ranged from 8" to 8.5". I ended up trimming them all to 8". Thus the blocks finish at 7.5" and the quilt is 60 x 67.5.

Here's the back.  I need to attach the binding and create the label.

With both the cutting table and the design wall cleared off I am turning my thoughts to something new, just-for-fun.

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

Monday, February 11, 2019

Weekly update: OMG halfway and more

After I assembled Spare Parts IV (see previous post) I got started on the tote bags that are my One Monthly Goal for February.   By the time the end Sunday night PBS programs (Victoria followed by a documentary about Princess Margaret) I'd completed two of the four totes.

I got the Blazing Star block in a long-ago swap. I came across it when I pulled out spare parts -- high time to showcase this beauty. 

The guild did not meet on Wednesday because of bad weather.  The round robin coordinator is intrepid and delivered the February installment to me at home.   I added pinwheels to TB's starter with LM's Seminole border. I love this colorway!

Linking up with  Monday Making and Design Wall Monday .

Saturday, February 9, 2019

It's a flimsy: Spare Parts IV

Here it is!

The Chinese Puzzle blocks were my Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks for 2018. I made a ninth block in brown but it didn't work with the overall brighter colors.

Two Block Lotto blocks are here. The Dresden sunflowers are obvious. Can you find the California Poppies ?  I sliced the four leftover poppy blocks diagonally and made square-in-squares with the purple tree block (lower center right) and the basket block (lower center).

The polka dot bubbles were left over from this quilt.

As I've done with the other Spare Parts quilts there's a block that repeats in different places. This time it's the nine-patch variation.

The flimsy is 58 x 80 and used 6-1/4 yds (by weight).  Now my design wall is cleared off and I can get to work on the tote bags for One Monthly Goal.

Linking up with So Scrappy .and Oh Scrap! 

P.S. Look how long I've had the border fabric:  here -- and I still have 3/4 yd.

Friday, February 8, 2019

#alamw2019: Seattle

Two weeks ago 6,490 librarians and 2,721 vendors were getting down to business at #alamw2019.
I'd been to Seattle twice before (Midwinter 2013 and PLA 2004). It was nice to be back in the Pacific northwest.  The skies were blue all week and the temperatures were mild.

My roommate Pat and I flew out on Thursday, January 24.  We began the conference at dinner that evening with colleagues who served on the ALA Executive Board. (My EB term was 2004-07 and Pat's was 2014-17.) 

I am on several ALA committees which met during the conference.
  I am a representative on the Freedom to Read Foundation board which met all day Friday.  The Retired Members Round Table has a business meeting followed by a book discussion that I host. The prompts this time were "a book you recommend" and "a book you didn't like."  Several of us were in agreement on those we considered clunkers.

There were many book and author events.  Midwinter is when award-winners are announced -- not only the Newbery and Caldecott medalists but also Andrew Carnegie winners (adult fiction/nonfiction) and Notable Books. 

Publishers also promote their spring titles.

Note "Lost Roses" by Martha Hall Kelly. She is second from right on this panel. I reviewed the audio edition of her first novel, "Lilac Girls." The new book is a prequel.  She was in the next seat on the shuttle bus when we went back to our hotel so we got to chat.

Debbie Macomber signed the audio edition of her latest book.

It is always interesting to see how a hotel interprets "high tea." At this Gala Author Tea the food was the best yet -- real cucumber open-faced sandwiches, a variety of tea, and delicious sweets.

My Magpie friend Gina was my guest. It was great to meet her in person at last!   Author Juliet Grames based her first novel on her Italian grandmother's life story.  A nice connection to Gina's Italian heritage.

(I've since finished The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Foruna.  It is great!)

 I was in the second row for Rick Steves' presentation, "Travel as a Political Act."  It was like being in PBS special.

"When we travel history becomes real.  We humanize humanity. We need to carbonate outlook with different passions," he said.  His favorite country is India but his beat is Europe. "Europe is the wading pool for world exploration." He travels four months out of the year -- northern Europe in the hot months and southern Europe in the colder months. "Fear is for people who don't get outside very much. It has never been safer to travel than now."

"Travel with an open heart, open eyes, and a rolled-down window."

He asked us to circle around him -- "a mosh pit of librarians" -- for the book signing.

 Another special event was a screening of the forthcoming movie The Public . Emilo Estevez wrote, directed, and stars in the film which is about a librarian and dealing with the homeless people who come to the downtown library every day.  It has drama, humor, and suspense.

Pat and I had second-row seats for the screening. Estevez and co-star Jena Malone answered questions afterwards.  I asked a question . . . and the next evening when I got on the hotel elevator to go out to dinner, there was Estevez!  He said, "You asked a question last night, didn't you?  And I answered, 'It's only a movie.'"  He got off at the 7th floor and I went down to the lobby. My brush with celebrity!  (Though I was more htan happy just to see/hear Rick Steves.)

There was time time to be tourists, too!  I spent an afternoon at MOHAI, the Museum of History and Industry.  It was easy to get to by streetcar ($2.00 round trip).

The museum is all about Seattle from the Native Americans to the present day.

Pat and I went to the Space Needle and Chihuly Garden and Glass  (They are adjacent and there's a combo ticket package.)

This is as far as my toes would let me go on the glass floor.   MOHAI is at the center of the top left photo.

We had lunch at Collections Cafe which showcases Dale Chihuly's eclectic collections -- lead soldiers, toy irons, shaving brushes, cast iron vases.

The Chihuly museum is spectacular.  There are indoor and outdoor installations.  It turned out that I dressed to match one of them.

We were supposed to return to Chicago on Wednesday, January 30, but that was the day of the polar vortex -- the high temperature was -21. Our flight was cancelled!  We rebooked (no charge) for the same flight the next day. The hotel allowed us to stay at the conference rate.  We spent the bonus day at the Seattle Art Museum, lunch at the Public Market, and at the Seattle Aquarium.  We saw the sea otters and the giant Pacific octopuses being fed (separately, of course).

The flight back to Chicago was uneventful.  The limo was there to meet me and I was home at 9:30 p.m.

The boxes of books and swag that I shipped back arrived on Tuesday.  Here's the haul!  Lots of good reading ahead.

P.S. One last box arrived a week later. :)  

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Weekly update: stash report, RSC, Lotto, BOM, and OMG

I've been mentally composing my report on the ALA Midwinter Meeting but until then, here is the quilting news:
Stash report, January:
Fabric IN:   35 yards, $34.81
Fabric OUT: 35 yards
Net:  ZERO    
Yellow is the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color for February.  My project this year is MonthlyColor + gray/taupe pinwheels, one for each day of that month.  I made these 28 during TV-watching last evening.

This month's Block Lotto is "alternating nine-patch." The nine-patches are maker's choice with light squares and inky-dark squares.  These were a snap because I used nine-patches from my Block Swappers stash.

Our guild BOM this year is wonky paper-pieced houses.  I'm using all polka dots for mine. This is the February block. 

Here is the neighborhood.

It's time to declare the One Monthly Goal for February.  I need to make four tote bags. I will fill them with advance reader copies of forthcoming books and donate two to the Lake County Women's Coalition and two to the Zion Woman's Club/Zion Conservatory of Music for their March fundraisers.

I left for Seattle with the design wall like this.

Now it looks like this.  The upper left and upper center units are sewn. The Chinese Puzzle blocks are those I made for the 2018 RSC.

Linking up with
OMG 2019
RSC 2019
Oh Scrap!
 Design Wall Monday
Monday Making
Moving It Forward