Monday, April 27, 2020

Weekly update: sewing ahead

We attended church via YouTube yesterday. They've been recording the service for a couple of weeks but this was the first time we've tuned in. We sang along with the hymns.

It was sunny and warm for my afternoon walk. I saw a radio-tagged Blanding's turtle. (Here is information about the recovery program.)

# # # # # # # # # #

I'm up to 49 Shelter in Place house blocks -- one per day of the stay-at-home order, so this takes me to May 2.

 I want to sew ahead so that I can clean off the cutting table.  The sew-ahead includes making HSTs for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I've made seven months' worth and now I'm laying out yellow and neutral 5" squares.

But I got requests for three masks and while I was at it I made 25 more. (I gave 20 to the coordinator for a local agency.) 
I am generating more scraps than I'm using so I started units for a new scrappy project.

Linking up with Monday Making
Oh Scrap!
Design Wall Monday

Friday, April 24, 2020

Friday update: OMG and SIP

It's time to post One Monthly Goal achievements.  I completed my OMG: to begin the house-themed mug rugs for the  Illinois P.E.O. Home Fund .  The mug rugs will be given to each chapter who sponsored a Home Fund recipient this year -- about 20 in all.  One of the other two committee members will make a few.

The OMG Finish Link Up is here

I've made 37 blocks for Shelter in Place, my pandemic "souvenir" quilt.   My idea is to make one block for each day. Yesterday the Illinois governor extended the shelter-in-place order through May 31. That will result in 78 blocks.

The blocks are 8.5" unfinished. This design wall arrangement is by orientation of the border strips.

I'm having fun using 2.5" motifs for the windows. 

I made three masks in response to friends' requests this week. I will make more to have on hand now that they're required when people go to stores.

Linking up today at Finished or Not Friday 

Thursday, April 23, 2020

#thedailybrooch part 1

Several friends have taken to posting photos of the earrings they're wearing each day -- a bit of dressing up during this time of sheltering at home.  I have some interesting earrings but I have a larger collection of brooches.  I began posting photos of #thedailybrooch on Facebook.  I'm going to attempt to collect the photos and the stories about the brooches in a series of blog posts.

April 13: This turquoise/sterling brooch belonged to my grandmother Blaine. (I got a lot of turquoise jewelry from her, via my aunt.)

 April 14: Purchased at the gift shop at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in 1991 (or 1992?). Still one of my favorites. Artist initials on the back are "GZ," but no other info.   

April 15: A mini stack of fabric made by my friend Sheila -- — a gift from 2003 when we met up at the first Chicago Quilt Festival at Rosemont.

 April 16: A replica of the 1982 commemorative postage stamp. I bought it at Council III at the ALA Annual conference in 1987 or 88 -- that's a business meeting (and how, back in those days!), not a souvenir venue -- but Bernie Margolis, then director of the Monroe Co. (MI) library was selling them as a fundraiser. My librarian friends, especially those involved in ALA governance, knew Bernie well. (After Monroe County he went to Pikes Peak (CO) library, Boston PL, and then New York state librarian -- and the highest vote-getter for ALA Council elections. He was also a trustee of the Hancock Shaker Village. We miss him!)
 April 17: Purchased at the Historic New Orleans Collection gift shop many years ago. (Librarian friends know automatically that it was during an ALA conference.) The brooch depicts the smokestacks from the steamboat Robert E. Lee.
 April 18: A mussel shell, polished and embellished. A souvenir from our wonderful 2010 Road Scholar trip to Les Isles de la Madeleine (Magdalen Islands). They are an archipelago in the gulf of the St. Lawrence between Prince Edward Island and Quebec.
 April 19: When I was about 6 we had access to a copper enamel kiln (a home hobby model)— a family friend lent it? I don’t remember. I carefully put enamel powder on the little copper butterfly form and Dad fired it in the kiln. (He soldered the copper clasp to the back--upside down --but it is still firmly attached.)

April 20:  in 1967 our family vacation was to Montreal for Expo 67. I got this rhodium-plated circle pin that's the Expo 67 logo. 

April 21: Book pins! You may have received one of Lucinda Yates' fundraising pins or given them to other people. In the 1980's she began making house pins to support homeless shelters. That led to creating pins to support other causes -- libraries and literacy; music, education, and more. The enterprise was enormously successful and her company still makes pins! ( Here's a HuffPo profile:

April 22: a pewter daisy with seven stars, a fundraiser for the P.E.O. Ohio State Chapter to recognize Sue Baker when she was elected to the international board in 2011. When I was a delegate to the 2011 international convention one of the Ohio delegates was wearing the pin. I admired it and she gave me ordering information.

April 23: an Italian mosaic pin that I think came from my mother....The red and yellow roses and a little daisy cover my fraternal bases (Alpha Gamma Delta and P.E.O.).

Monday, April 20, 2020

Weekly update: progress and something new

I finished the RSC rail fence blocks -- 46 in each of the ten colors.  They are 3-1/2".

These house-block mug rugs are my April OMG.
They are 8 x 10, somewhat larger than usual for mug rugs. The block is 6" finished and I didn't want to fiddle around with scaling it down.  The 2" window provides for fussy-cut "pictures."  As you can see, two are quilted and bound.

The house block was just what I needed for a quilted document of the Covid-19 pandemic.  I plan to make a block for each day of the shut down. Because I began five weeks into it, I have catching up to do.
This quilt already has a name:  Shelter in Place.

My weekly reading:  I've nearly finished listening to The Carer, by Deborah Moggach.  I took my time (several weeks) reading History from the Heart: Quilt Paths Across Illinois . It was published in 1993 is the summary of the 1989-91 state quilt documentation project. I got it in a box of books from a quilter's estate.  Now I'm reading The House in the Cerulean Sea by T. J. Klune. My copy is an ARC from ALA but it came out in March.

At noon on Sunday Stevens and I were part of a drive-by parade for our friend Sally's 92nd birthday.  She was surprised and delighted.

Linking up with other home-bound quilt bloggers:
Monday Making
Oh Scrap!
Design Wall Monday

Friday, April 17, 2020

Coming up from the mask factory

200 masks, 39 yards of fabric. (You know me:  I keep track of what I use!)

The most recent request was, "Could I have 10 masks?  But, please, no flowers. These are for guys."  So I found some tone-on-tone. 


I've tossed the mask scraps into a shoebox which now overflows.  I've thought about making blocks from the scraps as a souvenir.

I'm going to take a break from masks and get started on this month's OMG.  I hope to have photos of some accomplishment for the Weekly Update post on Monday.

Yesterday I walked over to Liz and Bob's house to deliver some new books and retrieve those she had read.  On the way back I stopped at Steffi's house.  We had a great chat,  properly masked and socially distanced.  (Yes, I made her mask.)  Steffi was happy to exchange the books I'd gotten back from Liz for books she'd finished.

Linking up at Finished or Not Friday

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Weekly update: Happy Easter! and a week of masks

This was certainly the most unusual Holy Week, wasn't it?  Seders by Zoom (a new meaning for "Why is this night different from other nights?").  No Maundy Thursday communion, Good Friday commemoration, or Easter Sunday service.

We did have Easter dinner: lamb and asparagus and new potatoes; spinach/orange/red onion salad. Citrus ricotta cheesecake for dessert.

The vintage Simtex tablecloth escaped the tote bag frenzy of January.  The tulips were a gift from a friend who got one of the masks. The daffodils are from our garden.

Did I say masks?

Mask-making has been my preoccupation this week. I set out to make 100 and I'm up to 135 with a commitment for another 10.  I offered them to friends in AAUW, Zion Woman's Club, P.E.O., and Rotary, blithely saying that any left over would be offered to local agencies. But there aren't any left over.  A Rotarian asked for three for her family and ten for one of her friends who works with the disabled. An AAUW who supervises a ward at the VA hospital asked for 25 for her frontline (non medical) staff.  Fifteen to our housecleaner (who isn't cleaning our house) to distribute to the elderly in her neighborhood. The high school superintendent said that their bus drivers are going to deliver meals and could I provide 40?   Another Rotarian gave me enough elastic for a dozen--now I'm making them with ties.  (The pink slips in the bags say, "Nose piece contains metal. Do not put in microwave oven.   Use a coffee filter in the filter pocket." ) 

Along the way I've streamlined the process.  A #16 needle punches through the bulky pleats.  I use a zigzag stitch to anchor the pipe cleaner (nose piece).  I cut the ties 2" wide because that's easier than the 1-3/4" in the instructions -- 2" assures coverage of both sides. I try to make five masks before changing thread/bobbin color.  But I still can't help making design decisions:  "Does this fabric work as the lining for this other fabric?" "Are these prints TOO girly?"....and "Can I bear to cut this up?  Maybe I should save it."

I'm glad to contribute to the well-being of society . . . but I really, really want to sew something else.

Linking up with Oh Scrap!
Monday Making
Design Wall Monday

P.S.  Easter, 1986:  Auburn, Maine.  (The earrings and the necklace still fit!)

Monday, April 6, 2020

Weekly update: keeping busy

Here are 3.5" rail fences and 3.5" HSTs in light blue, the RSC color for April.

I have squares and strips cut for other RSC colors but right now I'm busy making masks.

So far I've made 27.   The first batch used up the small amount of 1/4" elastic I had on hand.  There wasn't any elastic left at Wal-Mart and I just don't want to deal with online ordering.

Instead I found a pattern

 for mask with ties and a filter pocket . A coffee filter will work.  I bought "chenille craft sticks," aka pipe cleaners, for the wire nose bridge.  I had accumulated several packages of bias tape (poly/cotton -- as the labels say, Kodel Polyester -- so I wouldn't use it for quilting) that works just find for the ties.  I'm also using regular quilting cotton for the ties. Though those aren't cut on the bias I'm pulling the 2"xWOF strips through a bias tape maker which folds them nicely (easy to press).

This old label (6 yards for 15 cents) and project card were in the box with the 1980's poly/cotton packages.

I've sent masks to family in New Hampshire and will sent some to a friend in New York.  Others will be donated locally.   My goal is to use up all the pipe cleaners.

# # # # # # # # #

On Sunday afternoon we went to Van Patten Woods, one of the Lake County Forest Preserves. There were a lot of people out. Everyone was socially-distanced.  Stevens waited in the car while I walked around Sterling Lake.

Horsetails -- new growth amid the old

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

P.S.  This encouraging message was on a sidewalk in our neighborhood.

Hello friend

Stay Safe

Be Kind

Stay active

Stay healthy

Read every day

It will be over soon!

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

A new month! Stash report and OMG

Rabbit, rabbit!  I remembered to say the magic words this morning.

(The photo shows my sister (right) and me in 1956.)

Stash report for March:
Fabric in:  NONE
Fabric out: 138-3/4 yards
YTD fabric in:  210-1/2 yards, $455
YTD fabric out: 307-5/8 yards
Net:  97-1/8 OUT  (hooray!)

That 138-3/4 includes *102* yards given
away to online friends.  I made a tote bag.  I also got a head start on my RSC rail fence units (in addition to teal I made red, yellow, and dark blue).  I finished the two ALA Biblioquilters quilts and made a scrappy rail fence quilt.  AND I made a garment -- actually two garments, pajama top and bottoms for me. (That entailed 5/8" seams, seam finishes, and buttonholes.)

I decided it's time to organize all the patterns I've torn from quilt magazines.  The categories are not all-encompassing -- there will still be a stack of "because I like them."  But the "This Old Quilts" series by Gerald Roy will go ino a notebook and the Popser tales by A. B. Silver will go into another. There's a stack of tote bag patterns, a stack for Christmas, and a stack for floral applique (centers for medallions, or for wallhangings).

It's time to declare my One Monthly Goal for April:   get started on house-theme mug rugs.  These will be sent to the P.E.O. chapters who sponsored candidates for grants from the P.E.O. Home Fund for 2019-2020.   (The grants go to women over age 65 who need financial assistance to stay in their homes. The money goes to repair projects like a replacement furnace or a new roof.)   Ordinarily we'd have them at the state convention, but that's been cancelled so we'll mail them.   I have to select a pattern and make a prototype, then send the pattern to the two people on the committee.  We have 20 grants for this year.

Linking up with Elm Street Quilts OMG