Monday, August 26, 2019

August OMG link up

I am joining other One Monthly Goal participants in the link up HERE -- with thanks again to Patty for hosting OMG. 

I can only show part of my August completion. It is the guild challenge quilt and the reveal is on September 4. IHere's what I can show you:  part of the back and part of the border.  

Weekly update: 39 years!, a rummage sale, and catching up

Our 39th wedding anniversary was Friday.

Our church has big rummage sales in May and in August. I helped set up on Monday afternoon and staffed the bake sale table on Friday morning.  After those short stints I have tremendous appreciation for Lou and Laura, the sale organizers who work nearly year-round to rough-sort donations and then nearly 24/7 for two weeks to set up each sale. And they both were in church on Sunday! 

I contributed many of my garage-sale leftovers to the sale.  All I can say is that I hope they found new homes.   Most of the fabric on offer was knit or polyester.  I bought all the quilt cotton --   twelve yards -- for $2.50.

The Potawatomi PowWow is held the last weekend of August at Shiloh Park in Zion.  All tribes are invited and it's open to the public.  The Zion Woman's Club serves the dinner -- this year venison stew over noodles.  There was enough left over for me to take home for our supper.  [I got a photo of the ZWC group but not of the people in their beautiful Native American garb! The man on the right was the dinner coordinator.]

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In the studio:

Nine State Fair blocks for the August Block Lotto.

The final wonky house for the guild BOM.

Here are all twelve.

To qualify for the prize drawing we have to set the blocks (quilting optional) by November.  I'm taking inspiration from Freddy Moran though I have yet to start.  (If you're not familiar with her work you can Google to see what I mean.)

I finished the Teal Mini Swap quilt.  I will mail it today.  Here's a corner view.  When my swap partner says she's received it I can post the full photo.

I wrote earlier that my friend Margaret asked if I could make tote bags for students at a school in Nepal that Margaret supports.  I said yes which meant I am committed.  I do NOT like production sewing.  I've decided to make 10 bags a month for four months.  Here are seven completed with 8, 9, and 10 in process.

The red fabric is "sandcastle," a kind of needle-punched denim that I've had for, oh, a decade or so.

I intended to mow the lawn today but it is pouring as I write.  Guess I'll just have to sew for a good part of the day!

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

P.S. I was just a foot away from these monarch butterflies on Sunday afternoon.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Weekly update: friends, a festival, and a finish!

There was a Magpie meetup on Tuesday.   Phebe (Spokane) went to visit Stacey (Kansas City) on Amtrak.  That required traveling to Chicago and changing trains.  Anna (southwest of Chicago) and I (north of Chicago) met Phebe at Union Station on the return trip.  Phebe had a two-hour layover and conveniently arrived at lunchtime.  We hadn't seen Phebe in person since the  first PieFest in 1999.   What a great visit!

A TV show filming was being set up in the Union Station Great Hall.

My husband and I took our friend Pat out to lunch on Friday. She's recovering well from her broken hip (when she and I were at the ALA Annual Conference in June).  She's living in a west-side suburb 60 miles away from where we live.  It took an hour and a half to get there (mid-day) and two hours to get home (Friday rush hour + summer + Chicago with a dollop of road construction). While we were at lunch her nephew called with the good news that he'd caught the cat who had holed up in Pat's condo, refusing to come out.. Apparently Mavourneen's need for human contact after two months got the best of her.

I helped set up the Rotary booth at Beach Park Fest on Saturday and stayed for the morning shift.   MAST therapy dogs Dandy and Buddy  were a big hit with festival-goers!  They belong to Rotarians Bill and Debbie.

(A definite design flaw: the Rotary logo points to the sky.)

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I am delighted and relieved to say that I finished the guild challenge quilt -- quilted, bound, labeled!
I can't show you until the reveal (September 4).  Here is a hint.

I'm now working on the Teal Mini Swap.  Beth Helfter hosts this annual fundraiser for ovarian cancer research in memory of her mother.  It's the fourth year I've participated.  The swap fabric is the teal print.  My partner is Lisa in Pennsylvania.  I'm nearly finished with the applique.  (It took longer to decide what pattern to make than to pull the fabrics and prepare the fusible appliques.)

Linking up with other quiltmakers this mid-August weekend:
 Oh Scrap!
 Design Wall Monday
 Monday Making
 Moving It Forward

Monday, August 12, 2019

Weekly update: garage sale -- success! and challenge -- success!

"I've got to hold a garage sale," I began telling myself earlier this year.   May was rainy and chilly.  Two June weekends were convention/conference.  July got away from me.  Our church has a big rummage sale at the end of August. I surveyed what I could contribute and decided I could have a sale of my own and give the leftovers to that sale -- and that the ideal weekend was NOW.  (August 9/10).

Artifacts that I'm not selling
It took a good part of the week to prepare.  I borrowed tables from two friends.  Some of the card tables were pretty rickety but they held up.  I had signs left over from the 2016 sale -- Friday/Saturday 8-3 -- so I held this sale on the same schedule.

  The big storage tubs with giveaway stuff, stored under basement stairs, were hauled up.  I had leftovers from another organization's sale ("I'll pay $20 and make it all disappear," I told that chairman). Then I went through cupboards and drawers in the rest of the house. 

I'm pretty aware of the household inventory, but there were surprises.   These buttons from long-ago library conferences went back into the archives cupboard in the basement bathroom.

Most of what I had on offer I bought at other people's sales.   I know how to buy on Etsy and Ebay but I haven't undertaken selling.

I put the box of flimsies out -- $35 per unquilted top.  I put price tags on finished quilts just in case someone was in the market. (No one was, but I got a lot of compliments.)

I don't wear aprons. I don't display aprons. I just own them. But now I don't!  I'm sorry I didn't take a picture of the clothesline I rigged up between two ladders. The aprons on the line were very eye-catching.

The weather was beautiful.  Traffic was slow but steady.  Customers included friends and acquaintances.   (I still get "You used to work at the library, didn't you?") 

Two women (sisters-in-law and housemates) live a couple of blocks away. We hadn't met them but after a half-hour's lively conversation they are new friends.   One of them spent over $200 (including 36 aprons and three flimsies).

Friday's proceeds:  $95.   Saturday's proceeds:  $328. 

 I returned the borrowed tables.   I'm still re-sorting:  putting things back (like the unsold quilts), putting things aside for a future sale (too good to give away), and packing the rest to take to the church (most of it).

 Author Susan Allen Toth referred to "a spasm of dispossession" when she cleared out her house.  I think that's why I am now finding things that I could have put into this sale. They can be seeds for the next time!

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I got the challenge quilt all put together! There is one section with applique.  I didn't like the way the appliques looked so I unstitched them, repositioned them, and then sewed them with a zigzag.  BIG MISTAKE.  When I sewed the applique panel onto the rest of the piece the misalignment was obvious.  To me, at least. I had **just enough** background fabric to make a new panel.  Whew!

Now it is under the needle. I can't show you any more than this.  The challenge reveal is at the guild's September 4 meeting.

Monday link ups:
 Design Wall Monday
Oh Scrap!
Moving It Forwad

Monday, August 5, 2019

Weekly update: Seventy-six trombones, a beach walk, and a finish, and progress

 Since we successfully traveled downtown to see Hamilton last month we tried the trip again on Thursday -- this time to see The Music Man.   We had fifth-row seats at the Goodman Theater.   The memorable songs, from 76 Trombones to Pick a Little, Talk a Little, to Till There Was You, have been earworms all weekend.

The previous time I saw the show was in 1959.  (I looked it up: at the Shubert Theater.  Did Robert Preston and Shirley Jones play the roles on tour?  Though the website Broadway in Chicago has digitized Playbills, the archive doesn't go back that far.)   What I remember is that we had balcony seats and that I had trouble seeing the stage.  A couple of months later I got my first pair of glasses.

Note the "AStevens" on the theater curtain--a replica map of River City and environs.  (Does this count as having his name in lights?)

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The weather has been drop-dead perfect in recent weeks:  not too hot, not too humid, and sunny.
We went to the beach (Camp Logan Unit of Illinois Beach State Park) Sunday afternoon.

 Midsummer wildflowers and a black-tanked husband.

(Monarda, yellow coneflower, Canada thistle, puccoon, and the two white flowers....)

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It's nice to start the month with a finish.  In this case, I quilted and bound  Purple Peaks.
Moreover, I have completed the design for the guild challenge quilt!   I am using Lynne Tyler's pieced letters (here is her blog). 

I'm the designer for Block Lotto this month.    Writing instructions can be tricky -- what makes sense to the writer may make no sense to the reader.  Here are samples for State Fair with fussy-cut floral centers.  The blocks are 6.5" unf. It takes longer to select the fabrics than to make the blocks.

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More wildlife sightings:  a red-spotted purple butterfly in the back yard and a juvenile jay seen from my home office window.

(It's the same butterfly-- the upper side and the lower side of the wings are so different!)

Monday link ups:
Monday Making
Oh Scrap!
Design Wall Monday
Moving It Forward
Have a great week, everyone!

Friday, August 2, 2019

Hooray! Quilt show entries accepted

Curves Around My Modern Cabin
Homespun Sampler 
I entered three quilts into the Wisconsin Quilt Expo   I got notice today that all three have been accepted!  

The show is September 5-7 in Madison. The local quilt shop is coordinating a bus trip for September 6 and I'm going then.  (That means I have to pay to have my quilts shipped back after the the show ends Saturday.)

Initial Colors 

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Oh, sheet: the backings stash, July report, and August goals

"Can I use sheets for backing?"  Someone posts such a question to online groups every couple of months.  Responses (especially on Facebook) are swift and range from "Never!" "Disaster!" to "All the time!" "Why not?"

I'm in the "why not?" camp.  In fact, I actively seek all-cotton sheets at thrift shops and rummage sales.  (Some cotton/poly blends are cottony enough, but you have to be careful: the blends from the 1970's (Kodel brand poly) are too thin and, well, polyester-y.)  

A queen-sized flat sheet, hems removed, yields about 70 x 80 in usable fabric. That's nearly 4-1/4 yards.  For $5.00 or less.  What's not to like? 

 I look for thread counts that approximate quilt fabric, rather than the ultra-high-count of so many newly-manufactured sheets.  I have the best results with Ralph Lauren or Laura Ashley brands.  

Yesterday I pulled out the three big tubs where I store backings -- no only sheets but also pieces 3 yards+.  (I swiffered the floor while I was at it. :))  [You can see the same boxes on the old flooring in this post from 2013 .  The contents of the boxes have changed somewhat but you can see that the quantity hasn't.]

The photo on the left shows the sheets.   I refolded them, added tags with the dimensions, and put them back in the tub.  Now that I am reacquainted with the entirety of  the backings stash I plan to use them!

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Now it's time for True Confessions, aka the monthly stash report.
Fabric IN, July:  114-3/4 yds, $372.00.  Average $3.24/yd.  (44 yards was a gift.)
Fabric OUT, July:  49-1/4
Fabric IN, YTD:  375 yards, $1454.00   Average $3.87/yd.
Fabric OUT, YTD: 299-1/8 

I need to spend less time acquiring and more time sewing, as I've said how many times before?

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And it's time to declare my OMG for August.   That's an easy one:  

Here's the link to the OMG home page.  Thanks again to Patty for hosting OMG!