Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Month-end: Accomplishments + stash report

 My One Monthly Goal for November was to quilt three flimsies.  I exceeded that goal and quilted five. I've written about each one in previous posts.

Three have pieced backs.  That process can be a design challenge--choosing fabrics that contrast but somehow go with the front. 
I created two more flimsies.  Neither has a destination or a deadline so into the box they go.

The stash report:

Fabric IN, November: 75 yards, $76.00 -- $1.01 and a fraction per yard.

Fabric OUT, November:  73-7/8 yards.  (That includes a box I sent to a friend in Kansas who makes tote bags and other accessories (here is her site.)

Fabric IN, year to date:  355-1/2 yards, $1482; $4.17 average

Fabric OUT, year to date:  483-7/8

Net 128-2/3 reduction.  Yay!

Linking up with OMG November finish  

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Weekly update: Thanksgiving, fall hiking, a flimsy and a start-and-finish....plus a great book

We enjoyed a quiet, two-of-us Thanksgiving.  I got a 21-lb. turkey for .29/lb. It was easy to spend the additional $30 the supermarket required.    I made pot pie this evening (Sunday) and froze the rest of the turkey. 

We love the tang/sweet/onion taste of Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish .  

I cooked down the Halloween pumpkins to provide the chief ingredient for dessert (and several desserts to come).  

I always make a loaf of cranberry bread using the recipe from Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende and Harry Devlin. The well-used photocopy dates from the 1970's when I read the book to the story hour kids at the library.   [This year rather than using orange juice and a teaspoon of orange peel I ground up an entire orange, rind and all.  That added moistness and good orange flavor.]

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It was so good to have lunch with my friend and ALA roommate Pat on Tuesday!  She lives in a retirement community in a western suburb, about 60 miles away.  We chat often but we hadn't visited in person since 2019. 

Closer to home Stevens and I enjoyed an outing to Illinois Beach State Park and to Lyons Woods Forest Preserve.  

Top right:  motherwort (a last burst of growth before winter?); center: mullein; bottom left:  multiflora (Japanese) rose hips.

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In the studio:  I discovered a piecing error in one of the columns of the CW repro nine-patch I wrote about last week.  I didn't have enough of the neutral setting fabric to remedy the error so I just eliminated the entire column. 

I took four nine-patches out of that column and used them in the corners.  

One of American Patchwork and Quilting's emails this week announced a giveaway + sew along.  Entries post on their FB page go into a giveaway. The fine print says, "Your quilt and the content of your entry post will not be judged."  I read that AFTER I'd pulled fabric and begun sewing

BUT  I have finished the quilt!  The pattern is Positive Effect by Amanda Niederhauser.  The original had a lot of light fabrics with cream linen sashing.  I entered the giveaway and who knows? Maybe I'll win. 
My version is bright!  

I dipped into the bin of brights that were so popular 15+  years ago.  The sashing has yellow, hot pink, orange, olive, and dark teal butterflies on dark orange. I found out that  cross-cutting that print meant resulted in couple of rows of   mostly dark teal--really jarring. To avoid that I fussy-cut the sashing to distribute the colors better.  

The back incorporates the leftover blocks with almost all (but, darn it, not completely all) of a few other prints.  

It's quilted and bound -- 6-1/2 yards in all

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If you'd like a feel-good, cheerer-upper of a book I recommend this one!

The Calder sisters were never close. Not only were they five years apart in age, but they also had very different ambitions. Edith married Stanley Magnusson right after high school. They raised two children in their hometown where she worked in the nursing home kitchen and gained renown for her pie-baking.  Helen went off to Macalester, majored in chemistry, and married Orval Blotz, the scion of a regional beer brewing family. When Helen inherited the family farm (and sold it to finance the revived beer business), Edith quit speaking to her. They were estranged for decades. Ironically Edith's granddaughter Diana discovered a talent for craft beer-brewing. Once again Edith and Helen's paths cross, with Diana as a bridge. It's a Midwestern family story with humor and heart.  

Linking up with  Monday MakingOh Scrap, and  Design Wall Monday.   Tune in tomorrow for my One Monthly Goal summary and the Stash Report. 

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Weekly update: projects small and large + reading


Lake Michigan at Illinois Beach State Park this weekend:   if you look closely you can see a freighter on the horizon.  

The beach is back after strong autumn storms with over-wash -- the waves went over the low dunes along the shoreline.   

I paced the length of this trunk. It's nearly fifty feet.  A year and a half or two years ago it was growing some feet from the beach. The erosion is so severe that it undercut the dune and the tree toppled.

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In the studio:

Our guild has an ornament exchange at the holiday party. Ornaments don't have to hang on the tree! I made this mug rug as an ornament for someone's table.  (Pattern in the latest issue of Quilts & More.)  

After I finished quilting the CW Repro strippy (see last Wednesday's post) I leafed through the file of patterns-that-would-look-good-in-reproductions.  This was in Quiltmaker S/O 2001. I made a few 9-patches and decided I didn't want to fuss with the applique per the pattern.  I made more nine-patches.  Here's the work in progress.  

As patterned:  43 x 54.  My version will be 73 x 77.

Can you spot the mis-piecing? Fourth column. 

I had this much of the setting fabric left. 

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 Danny and Maeve Conroy, brother and sister, are seven years apart in age but bound tightly together by their childhood experiences. First, their mother Elna leaves them inexplicably to do charity work in India.  Then their father marries Andrea, an avaricious woman who personifies the wicked stepmother.   To cap that when their father dies (Danny is 15, Maeve 22)  they learn that Andrea has schemed to get all their father's assets with the exception of a trust fund set up for their education.  For the rest of their lives the Conroy siblings compensate, and compensate even more, for their losses.   The story is unsentimental and unpredictable -- and really, really good.

 Unfortunately the copy of The Dutch House that I read had lost its dust jacket -- the evocative portrait (shown here; it's Maeve) is a key element.

I have not followed the ups and downs of the Miss America Pageant. After reading Mifflin's history -- current as of 2020 -- I am better-informed, and I don't need to know any more.  (The book was well-written and well-researched. It's just not a topic that interests me.)

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Linking up with:  Oh Scrap!  Monday Making   Design Wall Monday

P.S.   Tree roots along the beach.   

Friday, November 19, 2021

Friday check in: field trip!

Yesterday we headed north to see the Victoria Findlay Wolfe retrospective exhibit at the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts .   

Wow!  My husband was impressed, too.  

Her grandfather and grandmother.

Her grandmother made the quilt on the lower right with polyester pieces appliqued onto a red and white sheet.  She had severe arthritis and sewing was difficult.  

A series called Red Dot. 

Left:  Is That You? 2020.  Top center: Everything But the Kitchen Sink, 2000-2009. Top right: You Are Here.  Center: Star Storm Explosion, 2021. Center right: Ignition, 2021.  Lower center: Color Study H1, 2017.  Lower right: Garden Delights, 2021.

Left:  her first quilt, 1983.  She says, "A poster arrived of the Quilts of Lancaster with our Reader's Digest subscription and I was intrigued!" 

Right:  Stitched Together, 2018.


Top left: Texture, Travel, and Happiness, 2018.  Top center: Red Crosses, 2009-2017. Top right: Star Splitter, 2010.   Center: Night Light, 2019-2020.  Center right: The Space Between Heartbeats, 2020. Lower left: Enough, 2016.  Lower center: Color Play, 2015. Lower right: Cascade, 2016.

"Garden Delights."  2021  Her grandparents are depicted. She says the blocks and the photos were going to be separate quilts but "I woke up one morning, thinking about these, and my first thought was they need to be one quilt!" 


The River, 2021.  (A tribute to the Mississippi.)  This was my husband's favorite.

I Am Not Perfect and That is OK, 2009-2018. 

A Year of Moments, 2018. 

We left shortly after 10 a.m. and were home by 2 p.m..

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Midweek: a finish!


Finish #4 for November, quilted and bound.  54" x 61".

I made the flimsy earlier this year to use up some of the scraps I created during the CWRSRP (Civil War Repro Scrap Reduction Project).   I'm sure you understand that I still have yards of CW Repros and many scraps. 

The back uses up nearly all of these two prints.

Linking up with Susan and other quiltmakers at Midweek Makers 

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Weekly update: it's a flimsy + next project + reading

Earlier in the week we enjoyed lunch with longtime friends Ann and John.  How longtime?  Ann and Stevens were kindergarten classmates in 1945.  We reconnected via Rotary and P.E.O. a couple of years ago

We came out of the eye doctor's office on Friday afternoon to find that this happened to my car.  No, there were no security cameras on that block and, no, the other guy did not leave a note.  Fortunately the car is driveable.  The claim has been filed and the local body shop (three blocks away) will do the work. 

Saturday evening we drove his car to Waukegan High School for the first Lake County Community Concert Assn. performance since early 2020.  Alternate rows in the school auditoriium were taped off and social distancing was no problem.    Yang and Olivia were outstanding!  And it was nice to see friends who are fellow LCCCA patrons. 

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In the studio:  it's a flimsy!  Incense and Peppermints?? . 



I've pieced seven more daisy-print mug rugs for an ongoing P.E.O. project. 

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I finished just one book this week. It was excellent.

Home economics as an academic discipline began in the late 19th century.  It was a way for women interested in science, math, and statistics to conduct rigorous and meaningful research at a time that they were largely forbidden to pursue those fields alongside men.

 Among the founders of the American Home Economics Assn. were Ellen Swallow Richards, MIT graduate and co-founder of the Association of Collegiate Alumnae which later became AAUW, and Annie Dewey, wife of Melvil Dewey (of library science renown).  

Home economics expanded beyond academe to government (dietetics; USDA Extension; national standards for clothing and household goods and activities; child development) and industry (food processing, utility companies, and appliance manufacturers) and to education. In recent decades the profession has floundered, not because its expertise is any less relevant or valuable but because women's horizons in science and business have expanded. Schools have been pressured to eliminate electives considered vocational rather than academic though all students can benefit from "life skills" courses.

Danielle Dreilinger's history is informative, readable, and entertaining. I regret that I have not valued home economics more throughout the years.  

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Linking up with Oh Scrap!    Monday Making    Design Wall Monday

P.S.  I do not recall ever seeing a praying mantis (except in pictures). This week I saw two!

This was on the wall at church. (How a propos.)

This was on the dining room window.


Friday, November 12, 2021

Friday check in: goal accomplished and a new project


I first read "In Flanders Fields" in junior high. The powerful image has stayed with me all these years.  Take a couple of minutes to read about the inspiration  in this story

Our Rotary program (Zoom) on Thursdas was about Quilts of Valor. The presenter is a quilting friend who is an active QOV volunteer (and a veteran herself).  Rotary members were impressed.  I learned a lot more, too. 

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My OMG for November is to quilt three flimsies.  I've done that!  I showed  photo of the first on Monday.  Here are the other two.  The backings for both are all-the-same fabric, no interesting piecing. 

My version of Bitcoin.  

HeartStrings blocks pieced and set earlier this year.  Of the dozens of HS quilts I've made this is the first with an "exploding" setting.

Here's the new project.  I should be able to get it to the flimsy stage this weekend. 

Linking up today: Finished or Not Friday

Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?