Sunday, March 29, 2020

Weekly update: not much to report, but there is a finish

Two weeks in:  Stevens and I are healthy. We've checked in with family and friends and they are fine.  Nearly every activity has come to a screeching halt.  The big cancellation in my world was the ALA Annual Conference at the end of June.  Both the Zion Woman's Club luncheon (May) and the AAUW luncheon (June) have been cancelled. The Rotary Golf Outing is rescheduled for September 25.  I've been to three meetings using Zoom with more to come. 

I've kept my outings to two supermarkets (Aldi and Jewel) and the post office.  I've taken long walks every day encountering other people doing the same (sometimes with their dogs). We keep our distance as we say hello.

Though the state park is closed to all traffic, pedestrian included, the forest preserves are still open. I took one path at Spring Bluff (about a mile east of home) that has recently been improved with interpretive signage and an outlook. As I was walking back a family -- parents, a kid in a stroller, and a kid on a scooter -- were entering. The scooter-rider assured his parents, "I'm staying on my side!" and I stayed on mine.

(Upper left in the collage: muskrat dens in the pond, as seen from the overlook. Upper right:
the marina is on the horizon with Lake Michigan beyond it.  Lower right: our lakefront is a Ramsar site which is a prestigious distinction.)

On the way back:  a friendly smile from the proprietor of a local shop -- from behind the window.

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Leftover blocks on the back
In the studio:   I coordinated this project with blocks contributed by the ALA Biblioquilters. The batik shadowboxes are 8" finished and the quilt is 56" x 64".  I quilted it with rectangles and squares.  It was going to be in the scholarship auction at the annual conference this year -- now there's a head start for 2021!  (I didn't have to push to finish it, obviously, but if I put it away it would be a UFO and didn't want that to nag at me for an entire year.)

There's so much contradictory information about masks that I have only made three. These are just plain fabric with elastic. I think I'll make enough to use up the 1/4" elastic I have on hand (that's about 22).

I only had blah-blah fabric for one mask for a very talkative friend who is tickled to have it.

It's time to post One Monthly Goal accomplishments.  I finished mine in early March -- setting Frolic, the Quiltville mystery, and getting it to the long-arm quilter.  (It's the raffle quilt for AAUW but that convention has been cancelled. Another head start! (The raffle is "in the family." I do not get a raffle permit. I do not want to go to all the work of an online raffle. Ticket sales are limited to my branch, our April luncheon, and the state convention.)

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This week's reading:  a novel (published March 3) and a memoir (coming in July). Both central characters were profoundly affected by the deaths of their mothers.

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

Bryan M. Likins (@BMLESQ) | Twitter

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Adoption winner and some humor

I thank everyone who commented on my Orphan Adoption post and shared what they are currently reading.  There were nine eligible entries.

The Random Number Generator chose #4 -- that's Cathy in Iowa.  Her blog is Sane, Crazy, Crumby Quilting .  She is the best scrap quilt designer!  I know she'll make the petal blocks in something terrific.

This meme was on FB yesterday.  I hope you, too, are enjoying being an artist-in-residence! 

On the bright side, I am no longer calling this shelter-in-place. I am now an artist-in-residence.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Weekly update: still sewing

Have you entered the Orphan Adoption yet? See this post -- drawing will be tomorrow, 3/24.

(c) WiseHearts
It's been surreal, hasn't it?  The first pandemic in the age of social media*  means that the true, useful news and advice are overwhelmed by rumor, federal ineptitude (though Dr. Anthony Fauci is a national treasure), and attempts at humor (sometimes funny, sometimes stupid).  I am grateful to Dr. Fauci and the unnamed doctors, scientists, and lab technicians who are working on test kits and a vaccine.  I am grateful for all the "essential" personnel who are running cash registers and keeping shelves stocked; working drive up windows at banks and restaurants, responding to public safety calls (911, police, fire), and keeping hospitals open.   Oh, yes -- and the people who are keeping the Internet going!

This info-graph says that media mentions (per Google hits) are 2.1 billion for Covid-19 compared to 69.5m for HIV, 66.3m for SARS, 33.1m for MERS, and 16.2m for Ebola.

My calendar, like yours, is suddenly, strangely swept clean both in the short term (church and clubs until early April, some to mid-April) and the longer term. The biggest cancellation (so far) is the P.E.O. state convention, scheduled for early June.  Each state chapter has a convention and the cycle begins in April so the International officers cancelled ALL of them.  The AAUW-IL convention in mid-June and the ALA Annual Conference at the end of June are still on.  (The Rotary International Convention -- est. attendance 25,000 -- in Honolulu in June has been cancelled, too, but I wasn't going to go to that anyway.)

I polished most of the silver.

I made soda bread on St. Patrick's Day. (We had corned beef and cabbage, too.)


The state park is closed.
(Why? This park is trails and beach, no gathering places.)

But the skunk cabbage is blooming in the ravine at the end of our block.

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Of course I spent time in the studio this week.  I used up many, many 1.5" strips to make these rail fence blocks. (5.5" unfinished. Quilt is 60 x 70.)

A spur-of-the-moment start and finish feels good!

Linking up with
 Monday Making
Design Wall Monday
Oh Scrap!

P.S. This is my favorite book of 2020 (so far).
I gave it ten stars our of five!  While you're waiting for its
April 14 publication date (or for your library to reopen) you can re-read or discover News of the World. (Simon makes an appearance in NOTW and Capt. Jefferson Kyle Kidd of NOTW makes an appearance in this one.)

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Spring cleaning -- it's adoption time!

For several years Cynthia at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework  has sponsored an orphan block adoption.  I'm delighted that she's doing it again this month.

 In preparation for the event I surveyed the contents of the Parts Department.  (Boy, do I have a LOT of half-square triangles.)  As usual when I look at these units and blocks I think, "But I could do something with this . . . and this . . . and, oh, these will be great for thus-and-such . . ." and back into the box they go.

But these blocks I happily offer to you.  The design is from  Playful Petals by Corey Yoder I made five blocks and prepared five additional pairs of petals before I went on to other things.

These blocks can be yours!

Between today and Monday, March 23, leave a comment.  I will choose the winner on Tuesday, March 24.

Anyone is welcome to comment but in order to qualify for the drawing you MUST meet these criteria:
(a)  Your comment must include the title and author of the book that you're reading or listening to now. (Fiction, nonfiction, adult, YA, juvenile. Surely you are reading something!)  If you only give the title it doesn't count. If you only give the author it doesn't count.
(b)  You must have an e-mail address so I can notify you if you are the winner.  If you don't provide an e-mail address it doesn't count.
(c)   You must have a U.S. mailing address.

Thanks for your interest -- and thanks again to Cynthia for hosting the link up.
See what other cool stuff is on offer HERE !

Monday, March 16, 2020

Weekly update: Covid-19 upsets nearly everything -- but we quilt on!

The Corona Virus, or Covid-19, is officially a global pandemic.  Universities are closed (many for the remainder of the term), schools are closed (two or three weeks as of now), libraries and museums are closed.

I had five events to juggle on Saturday (two with my husband).  Kiwanis pancake breakfast was postponed, AAUW was cancelled, LCCCA concert was cancelled. The Zion Woman's Club / Zion Conservatory of Music fundraising luncheon was cancelled. The caterer had already bought the food and she was able to package all the meals "to go." They tried to notify everyone who'd bought a ticket to pick up their meals at the caterer's storefront.  (I did, and the reuben sandwiches were very good.)

The one Saturday event that was still on was a celebration of life for a friend's husband. I did go, and I'm glad that I did. Since I only knew my friend and her stepson I didn't stay very long.

Our church held service Sunday morning (about 60 people who sat with spouse/partner/family but apart from everyone else; no coffee hour) and Lenten Bible study Sunday evening (about 10 people).

The week ahead, and into the week after that, have been pretty much swept clean of activities.  We have lots of food, lots of toilet paper and paper towels.  (If we get really, really desperate I have a drawer full of fancy paper napkins that I have refrained from using out of a conviction that the right occasion has not yet occurred.)  We have stacks of books.  And, of course, I have a studio full of fabric and a long list of quilting projects that I need to make and even more that I want to make.

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And with that:  here's the finish for this week!

It's 72 x 80. I managed to quilt it on my domestic sewing machine (Janome 8200) by doing one quarter at a time.  I used free-motion swoops and swirls in the blocks and free-motion parallel lines in the setting triangles.

The Little Windows blocks were made by members of the ALA Biblioquilters. The quilt will be in the silent auction at the ALA Annual conference in June.

 The left over blocks were pieced into the back. I had almost, but not quite, enough of one fabric for the backing.

Linking up with other confined-to-(fat)quarters quilters:
Oh Scrap!
Monday Making
Design Wall Monday

And wash your hands!

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Weekly update: Luncheon winnings and a concert, RSC teal, Frolic dispatched, and the next project

The Lake County Women's Coalition Women's History Month Celebration was Saturday. The theme was "Valiant Women of the Vote in Lake County."  The Zion Woman's Club honoree was my friend and former coworker Rosemary who spearheaded the voter registration program at the library. The AAUW honoree was Sally who has coordinated AAUW's voter registration program and moderated many candidate forums.

There is a silent auction and raffle to raise funds for LCWC scholarships for women over 30 studying at the College of Lake County. They awarded three this year.

I contributed Crystal Chain (which I made a couple of years ago) and a tote bag of advance reader copies (books from ALA) to the auction which brought in a respectable $250.00. I bought $30 in raffle tickets and won $100 in the split-the-pot drawing and a $50 Visa gift card!

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Saturday evening DH and I enjoyed Ladysmith Black Mambazo in concert. We'd seen them once before -- at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, back in 1996.  Wonderful a cappella singing and such energy!

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I made teal/aqua HSTs and rail fence units for the March Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

I made a quick tote bag for an upcoming event.
(I have got to remember to make the panels wide rather than tall!)

Here is Frolic as a flimsy. I added a 2-1/2" outer border to stabilize the edges.  I pieced the back (no photo) and took top/back/batting to Barb-the-quilter.   My March OMG is accomplished!
I sorted out and filed all the leftover units (there were a lot) and reshelved the yardage.

Now I am auditioning the Little Windows blocks contributed by the Biblioquilters. This is one of the 2020 auction quilts.

I came up with three settings and asked for opinions.  Can you guess which one the FB groups preferred? Can you guess which one I'll use?

Linking up with
RSC Scrap Happy Saturday
Oh Scrap!
 Monday Making
 Design Wall Monday

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Weekly update: February stash report, March plans, and something new

Rabbit, rabbit! Here's the March Hare to bring in the new month.

(The February 28 Google doodle commemorated Sir John Tenniel's 200th birthday)

The GFWC-IL Tenth District art show/luncheon was Wednesday.   I entered Crown of Thorns in
Category 5 (Embroidery, Quilting, Tatting) (a strange combination, considering that "wall hangings" is a separate category) and won second place.  P.E.O. friends Jeannine and Nancy, both members of the Antioch Woman's Club, won ribbons, as did Regina and Judy who are fellow members of the Zion Woman's Club (the one I belong to).

Stash report for February:
Fabric OUT: 73-1/8 yards
Fabric IN: 83-3/4 yards, $350, avg. $4.19/yd

YTD fabric OUT: 169 yards
YTD fabric IN: 201-1/2 yards, $405, average $1.92/yd

Frolic in the homestretch, March 1
More fabric came in than went out in February. I took advantage of the final days of a local Joann's store closing (they gave up their lease) -- 20% off 70% reductions was a good deal!  And, as I showed in the previous post, I couldn't resist the vendor mall at QuiltCon.   But I sent two boxes of random scraps to quilting friends that accounted for 40 yards out!

My OMG for February was to assemble the blocks for Frolic.  I managed to do that and also to set them.  My OMG for March is to add the borders, prepare the backing, and deliver it to Barb J., the long-armer. Frolic will be the 2020 AAUW spring raffle quilt and ticket sales will begin with the AAUW Fellows Luncheon on April 13.  HERE is the OMG March link up. 

Here is this week's spontaneous creation (confession: I was postponing Frolic).  I discovered that piecing slab blocks is an easy and somewhat addictive way to deal with scraps.   I've set them several ways:  here and here and here and here.  I opened a box with 6-1/2" x 9-1/2" batik slabs and put them on the design wall.  I tried this arrangement -- sort of a descending rail fence -- but it didn't appeal to me.  I tried another arrangement -- four slabs around a square -- and that worked!  (62 x 72; 3-3/4 yards, by weight.)

Linking up with other quilters:
Oh, Scrap!
 Design Wall Monday
 Monday Making