Sunday, September 29, 2019

Weekly update: design epiphany!

I make a holiday-themed quilt each year that is raffled to benefit AAUW.   Some years the designs come to me more easily than other years.  I thought I had beaten the rush way back in June when I made many red/green/white sawtooth stars.

I was going for the look of the churn dash quilt I coordinated for the ALA Biblioquilters, but with 4", 8", and 12" stars.

I tried red sashing -- too red.   I tried green sashing -- too green.   I tried light sashing -- a huge mish-mash.  Nothing worked. (But I sewed all the 4" stars into nine-patch units before I realized that.)   I know better than to try to design and sew when I'm frustrated. I put the blocks away and worked on other projects.

No, I don't HAVE to make a holiday quilt for AAUW. But I've done so for nearly 20 years.  I took out the box and put the 12" stars on the design wall.  What if?

WHAT IF, indeed.   Look what happened. I had just the right light green print for the sashing and just the right red-on-red print for the border.

Next problem:  the October 19 AAUW fall conference is a good time to sell tickets.  We leave for our fall trip October 10. Other people can display the quilt and sell the tickets but I have to get the quilt to them before we leave --which means the quilt has to be finished.  I called Barb who has quilted many of  my quilts.  I explained the urgency.  She is involved in a guild show the first weekend of October but she said she can quilt it the day after the show.  (She said that it was a group of AAUWs who taught her to quilt 20+ years ago.) 

I pieced the backing, keeping it simple (no blocks on the back to slow things down) and delivered top, back, and batting on Saturday.  WHEW.

8" stars

4" stars 
I now have two sets of orphan stars for a future project -- but I don't have to rush!

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

A walk in the park

It was overcast but dry overhead on Saturday afternoon  when a group from church had a guided hike at the south unit of Illinois Beach State Park.  Don, a church member and volunteer steward at IBSP, provided the interpretation as we went over sand ridges and across swales.   (I most often walk at the north unit because it is closer to home and it's less crowded.)

top left: The Dead River is so named because it disappears into sand at the south end. Biologically it is very much alive.

top right: yucca is prevalent at the south unit (so is prickly pear cactus, but I didn't get a photo)

bottom left:  juniperis horizontalis waukeganensis
-- a very localized subspecies of creeping juniper

bottom right: that's one meter square, used to measure plant density

Several movies were made here years before the park was officially created.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Weekly update: in the studio -- a flimsy, OMG achieved, and a start-and-finish

I listened to The Help while driving to and from Iowa.  (I don't know why I didn't read it when it was published a decade ago.)   The story and the narration were so good that "I have to finish this!" was my excuse to spend a lot of time in my studio this week.

I made 42 slab blocks and assembled them.
The scrap slabs are 6-1/2 x 9-1/2 and the gray strips are 2-1/2 x 9-1/2.

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I achieved both parts of my September One Monthly Goal and will add this post to the link up.

(a)  Play Your Song, my donation to the Lake County Symphony Orchestra gala in October

(b)  Ten book bags for the Nepal school project. The photo shows the ten I made in August as well as the ten I made this month.  Twenty bags to go!

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This pumpkin wall hanging is for the Zion Woman's Club bunco party at the end of October.  I used a pattern from Quiltmaker (Sept/Oct 2005).

I'm linking up with
 OMG at Elm Street Quilts
Monday Making
Moving It Forward
Design Wall Monday

Weekly update: out and about (quilts included)

The library hosted a quilt program Wednesday evening. The speaker, Deb Lindahl, created a one-of-a-kind story quilt. She was inspired by her grandmother's stories, all documented -- life on a farm in west-central Kansas (Swedish immigrants).  She has written her own family stories.

The quilt design was inspired by The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes.  (Deb was a children's librarian.)  She adapted a paper-pieced dress block and used fabrics that illustrated each of the family stories she has compiled. She also displayed quilts that her grandmother made.

On Thursday we met friends Ann and John for dinner and a show. (Ann and Stevens were classmates in kindergarten -- 74 years ago!)   The show was the Capitol Steps at the Genesee Theater in Waukegan.   We've seen the group a half-dozen times and enjoy their satirical parodies.

I went to Waukegan again on Friday afternoon for  Lunafest .
AAUW hosted the event as a scholarship fundraiser.  The Luna Bar company creates an anthology of eight short films directed by women. They make the anthology available to nonprofit groups who can design their own programs -- a showing, a discussion, a fundraiser.  This year's films were 3 minutes to 15 minutes on a range of subjects.  Most interesting!  (And the refreshments included Luna Bars, of course.)

On Saturday morning thunderstorms cut short the annual fall beach cleanup hosted by the Zion Woman's Club.  We did collect a good amount of detritus -- cigarette butts, foam pieces, bits of plastic -- and I found an artificial flower.  The collection will be tallied and the information sent to the Alliance for the Great Lakes.

I spent productive of time in the studio, too. See the next post!

Linking up with
Monday Making
Design Wall Monday

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Iowa, part 2: P.E.O. Sesquicentennial CIC

The biennial Convention of International Chapter, P.E.O. Sisterhood, is always special but it was even more so this year because this is P.E.O.'s sesquicentennial.

In January, 1869, seven young women, all students at Iowa Wesleyan College, formed the P.E.O. Sisterhood.   I wrote about that momentous event in this post.   If you'd like to know even more read my friend Fran Becque's blog .

It's hard to distill into one post four intense days of meetings, workshops, meals, sight-seeing, greeting long-time friends and making new ones.    This video captures the enthusiasm: 

I stayed in an AirBnB, a condo in a renovated historic downtown hotel.  My roommates were P.E.O.s (biological sisters) from Kansas and Texas -- we were introduced by a Facebook friend.

There was a display of the building history in the lobby.

At the bottom corner of a 1940 newspaper page in that display was this notice, which was most a propos.

The Kirkwood is on the skyway that connects dozens of downtown buildings and parking garages.  Most of the time I walked outside -- six blocks -- but there were light sprinkles a couple of times and the skyway meant I didn't need to carry an umbrella.

Most attendees arrived on Wednesday.  The Descendants' Tea that afternoon feted today's P.E.O. members who are related to the seven founders -- there were great-great granddaughters, great-great (and more) nieces.   That evening the Illinois attendees -- the delegates and others (members like me and a few husbands) met for dinner.

Thursday was workshop day -- required sessions for delegates in the morning (I sat in on the membership session) and general-interest sessions in the afternoon.  I went to an update about Cottey College, a women's liberal arts college that P.E.O. owns. I  also went to "You CAN Teach a Pig to Sing," a funny--and helpful--seminar about dealing with difficult people. Mary Jane Mapes is a consultant (and a P.E.O.). She reminded us that it is hard to change other people but you can change your attitude toward them.

I left the building for the third seminar -- the Des Moines Art Route .  I walked to the botanic garden, paid the entry fee, and did a lightning round of the gardens -- all in 45 minutes!

The opening ceremonies were Thursday evening.  It was Projects Night to celebrate P.E.O.'s six philanthropies. Here's my FB post summary:

Each project had a booth in the Projects Room -- statistics and photo ops abounded.

The convention got down to business on Friday. The delegates were seated on the floor of the arena. We visitors sat in the stands.

Friday evening was dinner-on-you-own. My roommates invited me to join them and a group of friends from a chapter in Washington, DC. Great food and great conversation!

Back to business on Saturday.  More discussion. More voting. Would it all end on time?  Yes!

The outgoing president gave her remarks.  The incoming officers were installed.  The new international president introduced her theme.  The logo certainly caught my quilt-making attention.

I immediately began to think about a commemorative quilt that incorporates the log cabin design.
My roommates and me at the banquet 

The final banquet was the birthday bash.  (All the convention food was good. That evening we were impressed that the filet mignon was so tender -- after all, they served 2500+.)

The closing entertainment was a magic show.  How'd she do it?  I couldn't figure it out.

I was on the road early Sunday morning. I drove straight through and got home at 1:30.  580 miles round trip, new friends, and great memories!

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Souvenirs!  I wasn't going to buy anything but the Marketplace had such neat stuff.  That's a commemorative ceramic dish in the center; a P.E.O.-themed pouch at the bottom (all the dish towels and memo pads with that artwork sold out); a t-shirt; and a scarf commissioned for the convention.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Iowa, part 1 (with quilts)

I left home at noon on Tuesday and arrived in Coralville, just west of Iowa City, about 5:00 p.m.
Kathy and I met when we were in library school.  We kept contact over the decades, mostly at Christmas time.  When her husband had a conference in Portland she and her then-young children came to visit me in Auburn.  We also met at a couple of library conferences, including PLA in the other Portland (2010).   Since then Facebook has made updates and contacts easy and plentiful.   It was so nice to visit her at home and to (finally) meet her husband.   And I appreciated their hospitality: dinner, bed, and breakfast!

Just west of Coralville I saw signs for Kalona.  I didn't have to be in Des Moines until mid afternoon so I pulled off the Interstate. It turned out that that was the long, rather than the direct, route to Kalona but I got to see the lush farmland and enjoy the rolling hills (better in daytime on dry pavement!).

Kalona is a Mennonite/Amish settlement. (See this post from our 2014 Lancaster trip.) I saw several horse-drawn buggies.

The historical village has an assortment of old buildings -- a church, the depot, a house, etc. -- and a (modern) brick museum/archives building.

There are two quilt galleries with permanent exhibits, one for Amish  and the other for "English," the term for non-Amish, regardless of actual origin.    There was no explanation why the English exhibit was only crazy quilts and no other style.
(I chose nine of each type for the collage photos. There are more than these.)

The gallery also featured a collection of spool cabinets. I had no idea they came in so many styles!

I got back on the highway and pushed on to my destination:  Des Moines and the P.E.O. convention. 

[Even though these quilts aren't on my design wall, I'll share them with other bloggers.    Design Wall Monday
Monday Making ]

Monday, September 9, 2019

Weekly update: a finish and playing with scraps

It's apple season!  The produce/flower market just up the road from us gets several dozen varieties of apples from Twin Maples Orchard in southwestern Michigan.

I get three or four of each kind and put a slip of paper with the variety in each bag -- but usually the slips, bags, and apples get separated.

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Play Your Song is finished!   I used a six-piece panel and Bonnie Hunter's Random Ohio Stars  design.   60 x 72, 6-1/4 yards used.  It will be donated to the Lake County Symphony Orchestra for their fall gala.

I thought I had kept count of the small stars but there were two left over.

I've made many scrap slab blocks that turn out 9-1/2" because I use that size ruler to trim them.  I've set them with wide strips (here and here).   I saved a Pinterest photo with another setting idea.  The slabs are 6-1/2" x 9-1/2" and the gray strips are 2" x 9-1/2.  I cut down a half dozen square slab blocks and found I had enough slabs-in-process to make a dozen more. [In the photo: the two blocks at the top show the horizontal/vertical setting. The finished blocks are at the left, the cut strips in the center, the 6-1/2" x 9-1/2" slabs at the right.]

I won't have much sewing time this week.  I leave tomorrow at noon for Iowa.  Destination:  Des Moines and the P.E.O. Sesquicentennial Convention .  Home on Sunday afternoon!

Linking up with
Love Laugh Quilt
Oh Scrap!
  Moving It Forward
Design Wall Monday

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Wisconsin Quilt Expo!

This weekend was the fifteenth Wisconsin Quilt Expo at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison. It's put on by Wisconsin Public Television and Nancy Zieman Productions and has become a significant regional show.

This was the third time I've attended.  The venue on the south side of Madison is easy to get to but I chose to take the coach bus trip on Friday coordinated by Buttons and Bolts, a local quilt shop.   Boarding began at 6:30 a.m. and we left promptly at 7 a.m.

I had three quilts in the show.

Here are photo collages of some of the other 500+ quilts.

Anna is one of my Magpie friends

I voted for one of these for Viewer's Choice (but I can't remember which one!).

This quilt made me look again -- and laugh!

The vendor mall was extensive.  I bought what I needed and I bought more that I wanted!  
It was a long day!  We were all pretty weary when we boarded the bus at 4:45.  There was a dinner stop en route. We pulled into the quilt shop parking lot at 7:30 and I was home by 8:00.