Monday, April 29, 2019

Weekly update: Louella, snow, and under the needle and on the wall

The Waukegan Woman's Club spring luncheon was Saturday. Louella Parsons told us about the Golden Age of Hollywood.  (Actor Martina Mathisen portrayed Sacajawea at our AAUW meeting in November. She is versatile!)  It was nice to see friends from GFWC, AAUW, and P.E.O. among the 90+ attendees.

Marilyn and I are wearing two of the many hats that Louella/Martina brought for the audience to wear.

We woke up to snow on Sunday!

Our Sunday church service was bittersweet:  the last service in the Winthrop Harbor UMC church building.  The congregation is merging with Living Faith UMC in Waukegan.  It's a matter of membership and money. We share a 3/4 time pastor. The 90-year-old WH church building and its 65-year-old parsonage are boxes of deferred maintenance. Living Faith has a much newer building (with an elevator! in contrast to WH's crotchety stair lift chair).

Rev. Sally Dyck, bishop of the Northern Illinois Conference, formally deconsecrated the building. (It's been sold to the people who own the other half of the block (former elementary school).)

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In the studio:

I'm 3/4 finished quilting Crown of Thorns. The photo shows it just after I completed basting it.
[Why do we call it basting? That's something to investigate.]

On the design wall:  scrappy batik blocks. Each has a common strip (black with bright polka dots). They're 9-1/2" because that's the size of the ruler I've used to square them up.

I don't have an immediate use for them -- it's just fun to put the scraps together.

Monday link ups:
Oh Scrap!
Monday Making
Moving It Forward

Saturday, April 27, 2019

OMG: it's time to link up

OMG -- I nearly forgot to write a post for the month-end link up!

There were five parts to my OMG for April.  I'm pleased to report that I completed all of them.

#1    Finish the ALA Churn Dash quilt.
Blocks were made by the ALA Biblioquilters.

Top left and top right: 
#2   A tote bag for AAUW Gender Equity Fund.     
#3 Another tote bag for the AAUW Gender Equity Fund.   
Bottom left and bottom right: 
#4  A tote bag for the Rotary golf outing.   (bottom left
#5  Another tote bag for the Rotary golf outing.   

You can see what other OMG'ers made this month  here !

Monday, April 22, 2019

Weekly update: Easter greetings, OMG, and something new

Easter in black and white:  the four Hilyard children in 1955 (Betsy, Steve, Barbara, Dave) and the Blaine girls in 1956.  (Mangel's Florist in Skokie had photos with Santa and the Easter Bunny.)

60 + years later, 2019:  it was sunny and warm today (in contrast to the record-setting snow on Palm Sunday).    I got the peonies staked.
There are two patches of bloodroot (a wildflower) in the garden. The daffodils are in full bloom.

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In the studio:   I finished the fourth tote bag.
That means I've completed all five parts of my stated One Monthly Goal for April.

I was thinking about what to sew after the tote bags.   I was also mindful of the tragic fire at Notre Dame Cathedral.  One of the relics rescued was the crown of thorns. (Yes, I know it is probably not THE crown of thorns but it's been regarded as such for centuries.)  Then I flipped to the April 17 page of Nancy Martin's perpetual calendar.

The block is also known as Single Wedding Ring (with a variation called  Handy Andy) but Crown of Thorns was appropriate this week.  I dipped into the box of 3.5" batik HSTs and started sewing.

The blocks are 15.5" unfinished. I figured out a pieced sashing.  You'll need to tune in later this week to see how that turns out.

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

Friday, April 19, 2019

While I'm here: tote bag #3

Since I'm logged on:  here is tote bag #3 out of the four I've pledged to make for the April OMG.

I made the Seminole bands a long time ago.  I bought Simply Seminole by Dorothy Hanisko when it came out (1997!).  I went through a brief spell of practical patchwork during which trimmed a couple of sets of bath towels and a couple of sets of bed sheets.  These particular bands were part of 10+ feet, most of which I gave away in last month's Orphan Adoption   I saved enough to use on the front and back of this tote bag.

I've gotten more confident about fabric choices and thus my style is scrappier.  It may be time to revisit Simply Seminole and use some of the patterns in a full-sized quilt. 

Linking up with other quilt makers this Friday at Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? 

Remembering Gwen Marston

 A light in the quilting world went out this week when Gwen Marston passed away at her home on Beaver Island, Michigan.

Though I never got to take a workshop with Gwen -- let alone attend one of the legendary retreats at her home and studio on Beaver Island -- I did see her in person when she gave the program  for the Village Quilters in 2014

Her liberated quilt designs are rooted in tradition, not always abstract, not yet modern -- and always an inspiration.

Gwen will be missed but not forgotten as hundreds of quilt makers incorporate her ideas into their work for years to come. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Midweek: tote bag #2

Here's the second of four tote bags I need to make.   (Two for the AAUW-IL convention, two for the Rotary golf outing.)

I made a similar bag in 2013 . Both use a pattern by  Heather Willm in her book Hopscotch Quilts. (That's the only pattern in the book that interests me.  I ought to copy it and then pass the book along.)  [Funny that I cannot think of tearing out pages from this or any book though I don't mind tearing out pages from a magazine.]

On to tote bag #3!

Monday, April 15, 2019

Weekly update: lighting the way, onion snow, and catching up in the studio

Travelers in unfamiliar territory need a good lantern to dispel shadows and illuminate the path.
At Tuesday's AAUW meeting  Helena Abushamaa told us about her temporal and spiritual journeys. She grew up in Sweden in a non-religious, culturally Protestant family, and came to the U.S. for graduate school. After intense self-reflection she made the ultimate decision to become a Muslim.  She and her husband moved to the Chicago area and have raised their family here. She is now a religious educator at a local mosque. She shared the tenets of the faith with us and answered our many questions.  [Since the sun set during her program she incorporated her evening prayer into the presentation. She explained what she said (it was Arabic, of course).]

           The 13th annual AAUW Fellows Luncheon was Saturday.  Dr. Jelena Radovic-Fanta told us about her journey and extended stay in Chile.  Jelena is a cultural anthropologist on the faculty at Governors State University. She received an AAUW American Fellowship to support her research on the temporeras, women seasonal workers in Chilean vineyards.  They harvest grapes for export to the U.S. and Canada.  (“Economic growth is one thing,” Jelena said. “Economic development is another.”)  Though health and safety regulations are on the books they are largely unenforced.  There are few other jobs available in the small agricultural towns in central Chile.  An influx of Haitian immigrants brings workers to fill vacancies that the temporeras’  high school- (and often college-) educated children leave in the workforce.

              The names Helena and Jelena have their root in the Greek “ele,” meaning light, bright, torch.  Their lanterns shed light on cultures and economies unfamiliar to us.   Our journeys are all the more satisfying because we are better-informed.

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It started snowing during church service on Palm Sunday!    Stevens was the reader. He and the pastor were at the pulpit for an unplanned duet. :)
The children's play was great fun.

Monday morning 
"Onion snow" is a Pennsylvania Dutch term meaning a snowfall after the onions have sprouted.   Instead of onions here are iris. (The snow covered up the crocuses.)    The temperatures will be above freezing today so we'll back to spring green soon.

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It was so good to get the Churn Dash quilt completed! (See the previous post.) I mailed it and the other two group quilts (Ripples  and  Jeweled Windows) to ALA.  I also sent On Ringo Lake as my own contribution.

Other accomplishments this week:

(a)  Round #4 of the guild round robin.  I added the umbrellas and HSTs.   (I received The Cat in the Hat for my fifth birthday. It was probably a first edition, but I wasn't into the finer points of bibliophily back then.  The story always bothered me. Decades later I realized why:  the Cat and Things One and Two violated Sally and Me's personal space without so much as a by-your-leave. I sided with the apoplectic goldfish.)

(b)  RSC April -- 30 turquoise pinwheels (though I miscounted and made 32 :))  I put all the blocks for January-April up on the design wall just to see the array.

(c)  Twin Sisters blocks (6-1/2" unfin) for the April Block Lotto. I promptly sewed the cutaway triangles into HSTs.

(d)  The April wonky house for the guild BOM.

This is the rough layout (per the project designer). Four months to go.

(e)  One of four tote bags that are part of my April OMG.

I used leftovers for the inner pocket.

I'm auditioning fabric for the next tote bag.

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

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Let's call it a design element

I finished the churn dash quilt yesterday.  The blocks were made by fellow members of the ALA Biblioquilters.   I posted the photos to the ALABQ section of the ALA Connect website and looked again..

OMG.  There is a block turned around.  Mind you, this quilt is FINISHED -- quilted, bound, labeled.

You can call it an error or go along with me and call it a design element.  :)

The backing is a thrift-shop sheet. The quilt is 72 x 72. The churn dashes are 9", 6", and 3". The design is by Amy Ellis and is the cover quilt on  this book .

Monday, April 8, 2019

Weekly update: a nice gift

 On Monday I gave "Every Quilt Tells a Story" for the Waukegan Woman's Club. I knew a couple of the members from AAUW and P.E.O. and had met others on other occasions.  My presentation includes vintage/antique quilts from my collection and a selection of my own work. I ask club members to bring quilts of their own (received as gifts, inherited, or those they've made) and talk about them.  I charge $50 (clubs don't have big program budgets -- I know!) and mileage (if it's more than 10 miles from home). WWC had a plated lunch which was very good.
       Several people have expressed interest in the quilts that I show.  There are some photos in this post

At quilt guild on Wednesday we learned tips for sewing machine maintenance.  Sharon, the speaker, reminded us to clip thread from the spool and draw the tail out through the needle, rather than pulling the thread up (backwards) through the tension discs.

Benartex had a blog hop in February. Each participating blogger offered a giveaway. I won this 10-piece FQ bundle from my entry at  Carol's  Just Let Me Quilt .

I've begun turquoise/teal pinwheels for this month's RSC .  My plan in 2019 is to make a pinwheel for each day of the month in that month's color plus gray/white/taupe.

Under the needle now:  the churn dash quilt. I hope to finish it tomorrow because I need to send it to the ALA conference office.  I'll post a full-on photo when it's all done.  (The backing is a thrift-shop sheet.)

Today's link ups:
So Scrappy
Design Wall Monday
Monday Making
Moving It Forward
Oh, Scrap!