Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Midweek: not finished yet -- but another start!

I'm about 3/4 through with quilting the bullseye stars   It is not going as well as I'd like. I didn't press the top flat enough.  I will wash and dry it on hot in hopes that it will  shrink up enough to make the bubbly quilting less obvious.

Rather than continue to frustrate myself I looked at my quilting to-do list. At the top:  AAUW Christmas Quilt.  (I made the list at random, not in alphabetical order, but AAUW came first.)  I make two raffle quilts to benefit my AAUW branch fundraising. One is at the spring convention (Good Fortune this year) and the other is at the holiday/Christmas party.  Usually I begin thinking about the Christmas quilt in July. Or August. Sometimes inspiration comes slowly.  But this year it came very early.

I saved a photo of a Christmas quilt -- Pinterest, probably -- I don't remember the source. I figured out that the star blocks were 12", 8", and 4".  I may use the layout in the photo, or I may use the layout for the Churn Dash quilt I coordinated for the ALA Biblioquilters*  or I may come up with something else.

Meanwhile, I'm having fun pulling fabrics from the Christmas stash as well as the red and the green shelves.

*  This is the Churn Dash quilt.  Units are 9", 6", 3".
The 4" star blocks for the Christmas quilt are a lot easier to make than the 3" churn dashes.

I'm linking up with Susan's Midweek Makers

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Weekly update: tote bag finished, slab blocks, helping a friend, and new acquisitions

I used some of the newly-harvested rhubarb (see last week's update) to make Bertha's Rhubarb Dessert when I hosted P.E.O. on Monday evening.  My Fargo AAUW/Alpha Gam friend Pat S. gave me this cookbook years ago. It's from Litchville, North Dakota.

Lynn Rymarz portrayed Mary Cassatt at Wednesday's luncheon for the Clara Cummings Book Club.  Lynn's programs are always entertaining. (You can see her roster here.)   I'm new to CCBC though I know many of the members from AAUW, P.E.O., and GFWC.  (And I look forward to seeing Lynn at the end of this coming week at the P.E.O. state convention. Her role will be one of P.E.O.'s founders.)

This morning (Sunday) we went to the annual Winthrop Harbor Fire Dept. pancake breakfast.  It seems that everyone in town turns out!

Right: the back of one of the fire trucks. Wouldn't it make an interesting quilt pattern?

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In the studio:

I finished the retirement tote bag.  I fussy-cut motifs from Australian prints for the centers of the flowers, the red/purple circles, and the bird's wing, eye, and belly.  I fussed with fabric/color placement of the flowers. I had an extra flower and used it on the inside pocket.

I made 40 scrappy slab blocks and set them with a turquoise tone-on-tone print. The blocks are 9" finished and the sashing is 5" finished.

One of the quilters on the Stashbusters list has announced an ambitious project. She will make 80 lap robes for the local hospice (southwestern Missouri) in honor of the 80th birthday of a man who helped her through some challenging times.
I used units and blocks from the orphans box to make these three tops. I'll add more blocks and some fabric and send them all off to her. 

(Sharp eyes--that's you, CB -- will note a mis-turned 16-patch block in the second row. I corrected it-- after I'd sewn it the wrong way and attached the border.)

Here's the indulgence.  I won the drawing for a $100 gift card from the quilt guild at the conclusion of the 2018 Block of the Month . It's been burning a hole in my wallet. I extinguished the flame by buying 11 yards of sale-price batiks (left side). The quilt shop in Chappell Hill, Texas, sent an email announcing that Art Gallery fabrics were half price with $10 shipping. Those delicious prints are on the right side.

This week I hope to finish quilting the indigo stars quilt. I'm about 1/3 of the way through.  There aren't many meetings -- it's the fifth week of the month.  I leave early Friday morning for the P.E.O. convention in PEOria.

Here's the weekly linky line up:
 Oh Scrap!
 Monday Making
Design Wall Monday
 Moving It Forward

Saturday, May 25, 2019

OMG link up and a tip

Here are the two mug rugs that were my OMG for May.

Here is the May OMG finish link-up. (Thanks for hosting OMG, Patty!)

This is the second time I've used the State Fair block for a mug rug.  The one here was part of a two-mug-rug-swap back in 2014. (The theme was "summertime," hence the flip flops and State Fair.)

I think it would be fun to use State Fair for a swap with fussy-cut centers.

And the tip:
I use my cutting table to baste quilts. I often had a hard time getting the backing and the batting centered. (It's easy to center the quilt top because you can see it!)   Another blogger wrote that she taped two toothpicks to the center in an X.  Rather than rooting around for toothpicks I chose a button.  I hold it down with masking tape. Both tape and button are easy to remove when the basting is done.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Twenty years ago: the first PieFest

Twenty years ago the Magpies met up in Ruidoso, NM, from May 20-22 for the first PieFest,  We became acquainted a couple of years earlier on the UseNet newsgroup Rec.Crafts.Textiles.Quilting and collaborated on a "hug" quilt for Sarah (second row, farthest right). We liked to talk on topic (quilting) and off topic (life and opinions). We spun off from RCTQ so we could chatter like, well, magpies.

We still chat on our YahooGroup. Many of us are Facebook friends.  We've had meetups in 2001 (Kansas City), 2004 (Vancouver, BC), 2006 (Lowell, MA),  2008 (Las Cruces, NM), 2010 (Chicago --here and here), 2012 -- Santa Clara, CA (no blog post), 2014 (Australia), 2016 (Fort Worth), 2018 (Maine).  [There have also been smaller meetups with fewer of us.]   We've shared births of children and grandchildren, deaths of spouses, parents (and two Magpies), illnesses (cancer that's reappeared, several surgeries), jobs obtained and lost and retired from.   Oh, yes, and we've made a few quilts along the way! 

Monday, May 20, 2019

Weekly update: bullseye stars and something new

 (You'll have to read about rhubarb, art, and golf before you get to the bullseye stars-and-more.)

There was a notice in the church bulletin that Mrs. C had rhubarb to give away.  I took her up on the offer.  I brought two kitchen garbage bags and filled them (had I brought another I'd have taken more).

The timing was perfect because I used the last bag of rhubarb from last year to make a pie this weekend.

On Wednesday Pat and I enjoyed a day at the Art Institute. We went to see an exhibit of Rembrandt's portraits.  We were surprised that there were only four, but we went from that gallery to another and another, enjoying other Dutch/Flemish and European artists.

We saw long-time favorites, too.  (Renoir, Van Gogh, and Seurat's Grand Jatte.)

 The arms and armor exhibit has been relocated and re-staged. There are interactive (iPad) stations that explain how the armor worked. (For example, the articulation of armor that covered the foot.) 

This uncut embroidered silk waistcoat caught my attention.

Did you know that panache originally referred the the plume on top of a jousting helmet?

And in the underarm of a chain mail "shirt" are little gold (brass) rings as a charm for protection.

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On Friday it was cool but there was no rain for the 19th annual  Rotary Memorial Golf Outing. (Yes, I made the fREADom banner on Friday morning. I helped set up for the banquet in the afternoon and the event began at 5 p.m.)

Our event sponsorship allows us to have a foursome.  Ben and Gabe work at the library. Tom used to work at the library. And Ben's dad likes to play golf!

 The quilt I donated to the silent auction went for $140. The two quilted tote bags were in the bucket raffle.  Our friend Liz won one of them.  (For my part: I spent $40 on 50/25/25 tickets and didn't win. I spent $40 on bucket raffle tickets and won a $25 gift card to a local restaurant.)

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Last week I said I had begun to cut into my hoard of  South African shweshwe indigo.  Here's what happened!

The blocks are 8" fin. I used three different blue-on-white prints and one blue-on-blue print for the backgrounds.  I fused the bullseyes and used my machine's blanket stitch.  There is no border.

Yes, I still have shweshwe in the box. But not as much!

 I've begun a tote bag to give to my sister who is retiring at the end of June.  The pattern is by Sue Spargo. She uses wool applique and lots of embroidery. I'm using cotton and fusible applique.  Australian prints (such as the red outer panel) seemed just right.

My sister likes crows. After after cutting the shape of a black bird [the white is the fusible, no fabric yet] I thought it was too much black.  I'm thinking about a blue bird instead.

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

P.S. The green fabric at the top and bottom of
the tote bag panel is a candidate for World's Ugliest Fabric:  chartreuse, turquoise, purple, and brown. It was a thrift shop purchase....But
it works so well here!

Friday, May 17, 2019

Friday start . . . and finish

I made a contribution to the Freedom to Read Foundation for its 50th anniversary celebration at ALA Annual this June.  This morning I got a reminder that I needed to submit the copy for a quarter-page ad.

I thought about clever sayings ("My library has something to offend everyone" is one of my favorites) but I turned to fabric.  I began this at 8:30 a.m. and finished it at 12:30 p.m. (Well, I have to stitch down the hanging sleeve and make the label.)

This was my first project using letters by Lynne Tyler (Patchery Menagerie). 
The background is light lime/off white. The letters are made from two Australian prints.
It's 42 x 12.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Weekly update: a movie, a musical, and quilting project progress

 I hope everyone had a pleasant Mother's Day! 

We began the week with an afternoon movie -- Red Joan. It didn't get great reviews but we really like Judi Dench, who starred as an elderly woman (which she is!) arrested in 1999 for espionage that she committed in the late 1940's.  It's based on a true story and I promptly put the book on reserve.

We ended the week with an afternoon musical -- Come From Away.  The touring production was in Milwaukee this weekend.  It's the story of the townspeople of Gander, Newfoundland, who welcomed 6,579 passengers from 38 planes when incoming air traffic was halted after 9/11.  We laughed and cried and thoroughly enjoyed the energetic performance.  (We went to Newfoundland in 2007 with Elderhostel and stopped briefly at Gander.) 

In the photo: with my P.E.O. chapter sister Pat. The four other P.E.O.s  sat in a different section because we couldn't get seats all together

On Sunday morning we were warmly welcomed as we joined Memorial United Methodist Church in Zion. 
(On Thursday the Memorial United Methodist Women had a welcome tea for those of us from Winthrop Harbor.)

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In the studio:

#1   These mug rugs -- my OMG for May -- will go into gift baskets for the AAUW Waukegan Branch officers who have completed their terms.   AAUW colors are green and blue and the gift baskets have appropriately-colored items.

#2   Guild Round Robin.  CB provided the black print and the yellow print that I used in the pinwheel border. The rest was from my stash.  CB said she plans to give the quilt to Project Linus.  This is the last round. We will get our starter blocks with five borders back next month.

#3  Guild Block of the Month. This is Block 9 of 12.

#4  These scrappy slab blocks (9-1/2" unf.)  were fun (and slightly addictive).

#5  A design in a back-issue quilt magazine (guild freebie table) inspired me to take out the box with my hoard of South African shweshwe indigo prints.   Stay tuned for pictures!

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

Monday, May 6, 2019

Weekly update: AAUW convention (with fabric) -- and RSC and Block Lotto

I picked up Erika shortly before 8:00 on Friday morning and we headed to Springfield for the AAUW convention.  We got through rush hour traffic without any delay and arrived in good time.  I'd last been at the Springfield Crowne Plaza for the P.E.O. state convention.  It was funny to be familiar with the layout but to be with a different group of people. 

AAUW CEO Kim Churches gave the keynote address on Friday evening.  Under her leadership there is an ambitious new strategic plan that focuses on economic security, education and training, and leadership.  (YOU can help ensure economic security for yourself and other women in your life: )

In 2018 Betsy Dirksen Lonergan ran for Congress in the 13th-IL. which stretches diagonally from Decatur/Champaign-Urbana through Springfield to Edwardsville/Glen Carbon.  She lost by *1%* -- and she's going to try again in 2020.

Dr. Zoe Spencer received support from AAUW's Legal Advocacy Fund in her case against Virginia State University.  She is a tenured professor but two administrators who had lesser credentials and experience than she did were reassigned to faculty positions with a lighter course load than hers -- and they got 25% higher pay. 

Dr. Natasha Casey teaches communications at Blackburn College in Carlinville, IL. Her presentation on Media and Information Literacy was very interesting.

The convention ended at 4 p.m. on Saturday with the raffle drawing for Good Fortune.    The fortunate winner is an AAUW from Deerfield.  The proceeds were  $510 for AAUW Funds!    (This was the 17th spring raffle quilt I've contributed.  I estimate the proceeds over all the years are over $6500.)

The two tote bags ( photo here ) I made for the Gender Equity Fund brought $40 and $65.

The drive home was uneventful. I pulled into our garage at 8:35 p.m.

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After the GEF committee meeting on Friday afternoon I had enough time to drive to Rochester -- just six miles from Springfield -- to check out  Peace and Applique.  WOW!  It occupies an 1848 building (four narrow and long rooms) with Bernina machines and 7000 bolts of fabric -- modern, reproduction, batik, and "regular."

 Yes, I indulged.  But not too much.

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Back home, in the studio:

Orange is the RSC color for May.  I made the HSTs last week and assembled them Sunday evening. The pinwheels are 6.5".  I'm making the equivalent of one per day, so 31 for May. (You can see January-April in this post .)  I don't have a project in mind but the units will be handy to have.

I made five pairs of T blocks for the May Block Lotto .

Monday linkups:
RSC So Scrappy
Design Wall Monday
Moving It Forward
Oh Scrap!
Monday Making

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Midweek: a new month, a finish, stash report, and a clean slate

Tra la, it's May, the lusty Month of May
That lovely month when everyone goes blissfully astray
Tra la, it's here, that shocking time of year
When tons of wicked little thoughts merrily appear

My sister put the LP of Camelot on the record player to usher in the month with her favorite singer.  (She may have done that only once, but I remember it 50 years later!)

Now that I remember to say "Rabbit, rabbit!" the first thing on the first day, I imagine bunnies hopping around the Arthurian court.

Tra la!   
 I finished Crown of Thorns yesterday.  It's 81 x 81.  The floral print on the back was one of the gifts or bargains from last year.  The piece was 4+ yards--my guess is that it was purchased to be used for a One Block Wonder or Stack 'n' Whack.  

I thought I would use 3.5" neutral squares for the sashing. Instead I cut many 2" strips and made many, many four-patches.  They add a subtle sparkle to the bright batiks.  

The column of HST pinwheels on the back was so that I didn't have to try to line up the print. (I think about "drop match" when hanging wallpaper.) 

There are now 190 batik/neutral HSTs in the box and a bunch of them ready to sew.  

Stash report for April
Fabric OUT:  36-3/4 yards
Fabric IN:  43-5/8 yards, $96 ($2.19/yd)

Year to date: 
Fabric OUT:  176 yards
Fabric IN:  139-1/8 yards, $470 ($3.38/yd)

Net decrease:  34-7/8

I can wipe the slate clean.  All the to-do projects are finished.

And now I can start a new list, starting with the May OMG.  
           Two mug rugs that will go into gift baskets for 
           the outgoing AAUW branch officers.   The 
           meeting is May 14. I can do it!

Linking up with OMG May at Elm Street Quilts
and Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication.  

Tra la!