Sunday, December 29, 2019

Weekly update: Frolic 5, a bargain, and the triangle boxes

Christmas week has had extraordinarily mild temperatures.  This was the sunrise on December 25.

We went to my sister's house for Christmas dinner.  No photos, just a good visit.

I enjoyed a beach walk on December 26.

# # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #

Frolic, Part 5.  Easy-peasy.  I predict the next part will involve some assembly.

The stacking Snapware boxes come in handy for the mystery quilt clues.

I dropped a box off at Salvation Army and went in the store to see if there was anything interesting.  This delicious Free Spirit print  had been made into four "curtains"--the rod pocket and bottom/side hems had been fastened down with fusible web.  Ten yards in all for $8.50 with sales tax. I think I've found the backing for Frolic.

When I have leftover right-angle triangles I toss them into a shoebox. Every so often I sew a bunch of them into triangle-squares (HSTs). Both boxes were getting pretty full so I thought I'd take stock of those I'd sewn.

Here's how they sorted out: from 1-1/2" to 4-1/2".   There were more 3-1/2" (upper center) than any other.

I have boxes for 2" and 2-1/2" so I added these to those.  I put the larger and smaller sizes into ziploc bags.

 I kept the 2" box out and began piecing. Look what happened!  The blocks are 4.5" finished.   The setting fabric is a recent acquisition -- a circa 1980's Peter Pan ditsy print that I got at a rummage sale (3-3/8 yds for fifty cents).   84 x 68.

I'll post my Annual Reckoning in a couple of days.  Meanwhile, I'm joining other bloggers in the weekly link ups.
Oh Scrap!
Monday Making
 Design Wall Monday 

December OMG achieved

My One Monthly Goal for December dealt with the ALA Biblioquilters.  (ALABQers are people who work in or with libraries. We collaborate to make quilts for the scholarship auction at the ALA Annual Conference.)

Part one -- make four book blocks.  Once I got into it I ended up with a dozen! (I created the block design for Block Lotto.  Another Biblioquilter is coordinating the quilt that will use these.)

Part two -- create and post instructions for two quilts that I will coordinate.   
     (a) Wanda Hanson (Exuberant Color) showed this shadow box  a while ago.  Her blocks were 16". I rescaled the block to 8".  
     (b) Okay, so I didn't create the instructions for this one. It's a free download from the American Patchwork and Quilting site.  I've asked the ALABQ to use red and soft white for their twin stars blocks.

I am linking up with other OMGers at the December Finish page at Elm Street Quilts .   I add a **big** thanks to Patty for hosting OMG.  I have won the  monthly drawing twice in 2019 -- a six-month subscription to the online  Make Modern quilt magazine AND a 2020  Quilter's Planner .

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Weekly update: our Christmas gift, the kitchen, Frolic 4 -- and LOG CABINS!

Our Christmas gift to one another was a pair of tickets to today's matinee performance of The Light in the Piazza at the Lyric Opera in Chicago.   Soprano Renee Fleming was magnificent in the starring role. The rest of the cast was great, too.  (Signor Naccarelli was played by Alex Jennings who was the Duke of Windsor in The Crown.)

 The opera house is on the Chicago River (the white stone building on the right). We had not been downtown on a Sunday for many years. The train down and back was pretty full.

Now I'm going to borrow the original novel and try to find the 1962 movie version.
# # # # # # # # # # # # #

 Here's the kitchen on Sunday morning.  I put post-its on the cupboard doors so we'll both know what's inside.   I haven't unpacked all the boxes partly because I want to make decisions about keeping things before squirreling rarely-used items into hard-to-access corners. And how much Fiesta do I need to have on display all the time?

The other reason is shelf pegs....You may recall that shelf pegs were the seed for this entire project. (Well, shelf pegs and being tired of the acres and acres of floral wallpaper.)  I read an article by a woman who was waked up in the middle of the night when a kitchen shelf collapsed because the shelf pegs had given way.  I checked the pegs on our shelves and discovered that not only were the shelves hanging on by sheer geometry, but also the cupboard walls were bowing badly due to the heavy weight of dishes on the top shelves. I removed the contents of the top shelves (stored in boxes in the basement).   The carpenter replaced the pegs with metal ones though he had to drill larger holes. Pegs held but wall still bowed. 
The deep hidden corner
The new shelves have plastic pegs that appear to be flimsy.  I went to Lowe's and got metal pegs.  I tried to insert them. Same diameter, fine. But the *length* of the peg is longer.  I asked the carpenter about that. He said that drilling the holes deeper might poke through the cupboard walls. They'd need to look into that and perhaps they'd have to plane the edges of the shelves.  The contractor is coming Monday morning to go over the punch list and I will ask.

 The drawer pulls look assertive, but my husband's arthritic fingers can grab them easily.
There is a pull-out cabinet for the wastebasket but it is in the exact corner where I do most cooking.  I can't stand in front of it when it's pulled out. I will buy a  lidded stainless steel wastebasket to park at the end of the counter (where the white wastebasket is now).  The trash can cabinet will be refitted with pull-out shelves.

# # # # # # # # # # #

 Here is part 4 of Frolic, the Quiltville mystery. The units are sets of four sewn HSTs and four unsewn QSTs, each set from one blue and one aqua fabric.  I put each set in a sandwich bag to keep them sorted.

I have NO idea how the blocks will be put together!

A few weeks ago I found a pattern for paper-pieced 5" log cabin blocks in AmP&Q.    I didn't want to tear out all that paper so I sewed the blocks conventionally.  The strips were cut 1" and finished at 1/2". That size was not hard to work with. I trimmed each round as I went. I sewed the blocks in fours with a skinny inner sashing and a contrasting outer sashing. (By that time my design had totally deviated from the magazine pattern.) I knew I wanted a busy background. This citrusy print was not the one I originally chose but it provides just the effect I sought:  log cabins floating on a cheerful background.   The flimsy is approx. 68 x 80 and used 9-1/2 yards by weight.

I'm linking up with other bloggers at
 Oh Scrap
Monday Making
Design Wall Monday

P.S.  I culled a few food items as I put things away.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Weekly update: now we're cooking!

"Now you're cooking!" was a phrase my mother often used. She'd sometimes add, "with gas."  Since both the houses we lived in when I grew up had mid-century "All Electric!" kitchens, electric stoves were all I knew.   The first gas range I cooked on was in my apartment in Texas -- a post-war 24" Roper. I had to use a kitchen match to light the burners and the oven. (The heat came from a Dearborn gas space heater that also required matchlight ....but I digress.)     HERE is more about the origin of "now you're cooking with gas." 

And now I really am cooking with gas.  The appliances were installed on Friday.  The stove and microwave came in from the garage.  The new refrigerator and dishwasher were hooked up.  That evening I cooked dinner and dessert IN THE OVEN for the first time in six weeks.

The new faucet is cool, though.
The day before that the plumber installed the faucet and disposer.  Uh-oh.  The disposer is on the right.  I wanted it on the left.   Then I tried to *use* the sink.  Oh, no!  The sink is MUCH smaller than I anticipated. (Yes, I chose it. Yes, I thought it was "about" the same size as the old one. I was wrong.)  The left basin is 14" and the right basin is 10," not enough for many pots and certainly not for a dish drainer.   When the contractor came to check things out I asked what can be done, considering that it's an undermount sink in a quartz counter that is firmly in place.  I showed him the size I wanted (the pre-1985 sink reinstalled in the basement: two 14.5" basins).   He called the counter top guy.  They can enlarge the sink cutout in place and install the larger style, but it will have to be overmount.  All they will charge is the cost of the sink. (And the plumber will switch the disposer.)  WHEW!  (And a couple of friends have said that with undermounts the counter edge gets chipped after a while.)

The cabinet hardware will be installed tomorrow.   Glass goes into the cabinet doors above the sink.  Some shelves are yet to be put in and I want to tweak the configuration of a couple.

THEN I can figure out where to put all the dishes and the food.

# # # # # # # # # #

I made a couple of new potholders for the new kitchen.

My friend Erika invited me to her P.E.O. chapter's holiday party on Thursday night.  The gift exchange was items beginning with the letter O.  (Last year was E and the year before was P. Get it?)  I thought there'd be olives and olive oil, oregano, and oranges so I made an Original Ohio Star runner to Ornament the recipient's table.
However, I didn't go to the party after all. I suffered from the flu all week long -- just a slight fever last Sunday, but much coughing and even more sniffling every day. I did not feel up to going anywhere, especially when I was using a dozen tissues an hour.  The Original Ohio Star will wait for another Occasion.    [Runner is 15 x 45.]

Part 3 of Frolic, the Quiltville mystery, was easy!  I like making half-square triangles.  Here they are in their Snapware box.

I did muster enough strength to go fabric shopping.  (I'd have to be at death's door to NOT do that.)  A Joann's in the area is closing. The manager told me that the lease is up in January and corporate wants to relocate to a newer building with fewer structural problems.  Everything in the store was 30% off. They didn't honor coupons so a lot of things weren't very much of a bargain. However, the 30% applied to the lowest price on the clearance section meaning that a gray tag (50% off) was 30% off that.  I shopped judiciously.

My goal was to find setting fabric for the  log cabin blocks from late November.  I succeeded, but you'll need to tune in to the next post for a picture.

Linking up with
Oh Scrap!
Monday Making
  Design Wall Monday

P.S. I would really like to make something on the stovetop, like an omelet or pancakes, but the frying pans are buried in a box somewhere.  I do have access to two Corning Ware pots, though.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Weekly updates: tote bags, counter tops and frolics (holiday and quilting)

The tote bags I made for the school children in Nepal have been delivered.  My friend Margaret, who supports the school and asked if I could help out, sent this photo of the kids.  It was taken by the school's U.S. coordinator. (The sign says, "Thank you dear Nann Hilyard.")

[For those who are interested in the school and the parent organization: Impact Schools ]

The counter tops were installed Friday.   I had no idea there were so many choices for faucets until I had to choose one.  (The first one I sort of liked was $1400.  The second one I sort of liked was for a bar sink.  I finally found one that I can live with and that fit the budget.)   My next decision is knobs and pulls.  (The place with the faucets had a big selection. I asked the price of one. $13.00. Each.  Our new cabinets require 52 in all.  I will shop further.)

The first week of each month is meeting-filled and this week that meant holiday gatherings.  Monday: P.E.O. with a potluck and the annual Christmas sock exchange.  We also collected socks and underwear for a local agency.

The Zion Woman's Club holiday party was at noon on Tuesday.  We had a white elephant swap. (I gave a half dozen linen dishtowels from my stash. I got a small autumn dried flower arrangement.)

The Northern Lake County Quilters Guild party was a catered dinner on Wednesday  The guild has several holiday traditions -- a fat quarter bundle exchange (sets of four packaged however you'd like), an ornament exchange (handmade or not), and a white elephant swap. (I gave more dishtowels and I got....hmmm, I can't recall!)
Siebert Chapel at Carthage

Stevens and I joined fellow Rotarians for dinner on Friday evening prior to the  Carthage College Christmas Festival .  The fellowship was great. The music was magnificent!

AAUW's holiday luncheon was Saturday.  The silent auction benefits our STEM scholarship.   This is when we draw the winner of the holiday quilt that I contribute. The raffle raised $430 for AAUW Funds.   Janet S. is the delighted winner of Stars of the Season.

The Lake County Symphony Orchestra concert was Saturday evening.  The program had a variety of  serious and popular works.

# # # # # # # # # #
I had a little time to sew during all of this holiday whirl.

Here is Frolic, part 2.  I'm grateful that Bonnie made this clue an easy one.

Half of my OMG for December was to make four book blocks for a group quilt for the 2020 ALA auction. I could not stop at four, as you can see.

I'm linking up with other quiltmakers at
  Oh, Scrap!
 Monday Making
Design Wall Monday

P.S.  Did you know that Shari Lewis, the puppeteer, was also a conductor?

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Weekly update: Frolic begins, two finishes, the stash report, and a new OMG

Edited to add this post to  Sarah's "Show Me Something" linkup here [Scroll down to see my triangle quilt.]

We had a very pleasant Thanksgiving dinner at our friends' house.  On the way home, about 6 p.m., we passed Wal-Mart and observed that the parking lot was full.   We stayed away from shopping malls and big box stores all weekend!

all the seams are spun open
No shopping gave me time for sewing.

The first clue for Frolic Frolic, the 2019 Quiltville mystery, was released early Friday morning.  I was ready!   [In deference to Bonnie's request, I am not stating the quantity or the size of the units.]

 Frolic is the 17th mystery.  I've made 13 of them. (It's easier to state the three I haven't made: Carolina Christmas, Christmas Lights, and Allietare.) 

 I went through the archive of Quiltville patterns. I "met" Bonnie on the Stashbusters group before she became a rock star. I have a notebook with printouts from her website -- the original Leaders and Enders post and her early designs (Starstruck, Scrappy Mountain Majesties, Pineapple Blossom,etc.). I've also saved the mystery quilt instructions. There's a binder with the Addicted to Scraps blocks from Quiltmaker (61 so far) and printouts of various projects she's blogged about.  I have all the books. 

I went from "it's a flimsy" on Wednesday to "it's a finish."   Once again I observed that a quilt with no deadline and no destination comes together with no fuss.

I pieced a rainbow strip into the binding on each side.

 The back is a nifty retro print that I got at a Joann's red tag sale. When I pulled it out my first thought was, "Oh, I can't cut this up!" My second thought was, "Go ahead and cut it! It's just right for this quilt." The second thought prevailed . . . and I have 2-1/2 yards left over.

From that easy finish to another one.  I knew just how I planned to quilt the black/bright HSTs that I pieced earlier in November -- with hanging diamonds. I used the walking foot to sew the vertical and diagonal lines.  I finished the quilting Saturday night (November) and the binding Sunday afternoon (December).

Hanging diamonds quilting

# # # # # # # # # #
Stash report, November:
Fabric in:  27-7/8, $128
Fabric out:  36-7//8

Year to date:
Fabric in:  528-1/2, $1541 (average $2.91/yd)
Fabric out: 488-1/2
Net gain:  40 yards
Maybe, if I sew a lot and buy very little, I can come out even for the year.

# # # # # # # # # # # #
My One Monthly Goal for December deals with the ALA Biblioquilters' projects for the auction at the 2020 Annual Conference.  (a) I will make four book blocks for a quilt that J.J. is coordinating. (b) I will write instructions for blocks for two quilts that I will coordinate.

Linking up with
 One Monthly Goal
Monday Making
 Oh Scrap!
Design Wall Monday

P.S.   Rabbit, rabbit -- holiday style!