Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Beautiful Days

Lots of "stuff" going on, not much sewing.

Last week Alex and I flew to Kansas City for his aunt's funeral.  Many of his generation had assembled for the occasion and we had several opportunities to get together and reminisce about our last time together (circa 1984) when I organized a family reunion at Cumberland Mountain State Park (quite coincidentally, near where we now live).  It was a quick trip, and exhausting. 

Last Friday I went with several of the Devo gals to Stitcher's Garden quilt shop in Brentwood near Nashville.  The owner had died recently and they are frantically trying to reduce their inventory with weekly sales.  I only bought 3 yards in the "secret garden" back room, got about 20 $1 fat quarters, and a couple of half-price FQ "flower packs."  I did pay full price for a couple of new acquisitions that I hope to show you soon.  We had a delicious salad sampler at Puffy Muffin nearby.  I took my carload past my previous homes while the others stopped at SMArt for additional sale fabric donated by Stitcher's Garden.

Yesterday a small group of Devo gals gathered at my house for a 5th Tuesday sew-day (we normally meet at the church on the first and third Tuesdays).

Two gals brought machines and the rest of us were doing hand work.  We had a delicious salad lunch and lots of fun.  

All-in-all, several beautiful days!

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Dead - a PSA

No, I'm not dead, but my car's 5-year-old key fob was! 

Did you know that the battery in your key fob can die?  

I didn't until my car wouldn't start and when I did get it started I couldn't lock it when I got out.  

Yours may be different, but mine took a CR2032 lithium button battery.

Be aware and be prepared!
Also, read your manual on how to use the fob in that situation.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Chasing Another Squirrel

A couple of weeks ago I saw this quilt on The Colorful Fabriholic's blog and asked if I could use the design for our guild's comfort quilt program. (She approved!)

I did a test run, using her 4" finished strip dimensions.  My B/W fabric choices were less than stellar and the 4Ps I had on hand were not bright enough, so I set it aside. (Sorry, no photo)

Then I learned that the guild I recently rejoined has an ongoing black/white/bright challenge that has to start with a square-in-a-square.  What if I substituted the SIAS for the 4P?  YES!

I discovered a stash of better black/white and white/black fabric in another project box and started cutting (without reference to the above photo).  In my memory, the 4Ps had been at the end of a pair of strips (unlike Jan's that were at the end of a single strip) and since I didn't want a huge SIAS, I reduced the strip dimension to 3" x 6" finished.  I proceeded to cut virtually all of my fabric before I remembered that Jan's quilt also had longer strips without the 4P.  Oh, well, I'll try to make my plan work.

Since I was using a pair of strips, the SIAS would need to finish at 6" but that was too clunky.

How about an economy block?

A bit better ... but then, I had the great idea to make the center square black with bright figures and the other two fabrics plain (or almost plain) bright fabrics to stand out better next to the B/W strips.  I proceeded to cut a huge stack of center squares and made a few test blocks.

Better, but I wore out my brain trying to figure out the sizes of squares I would need to finish at 6".  I checked several websites for how to calculate, tested a few.  In the end, not thrilled with the results.  

At one point I even considered just mixing up my pairs of black and white strips and ditching the challenge ...

Then I had the bright idea to refer to the photo of Jan's quilt. Duh! That's when I realized the bright blocks were at the end of a single strip, not a pair.

Much better!  At Devo yesterday I cut sets of squares to use in the simpler square-in-a-square.  I'm hoping to get back to this soon because the challenge deadline is June 16.  The finished quilt will go to one of the comfort quilt programs I support.

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Everything Old Is New Again

Back in 2006 I did a lecture on strippy quilts and I have been asked to reprise that talk at two study group meetings in October.  The strippy style of quilt has seen off-and-on popularity in the US over the last two centuries and it's one of my go-to solutions when I have fabric too pretty to cut, or when I need to stretch a few blocks into a bigger quilt as I did with this Christmas strippy.  I just couldn't separate Santa from his reindeer!

Well, it's time to review what I said almost 20 years ago and see if there is any new research to add.  So yesterday I went to my studio to find a particular book that might address a specific question about strippy quilts in the UK.  I spied a file folder on the same shelf and I hoped it contained my script and slides from that lecture.  But NO. it was my lecture on stenciled quilts from 2015-16.

The above unquilted stenciled spread was possibly made in New York, about 1825 and was privately owned in 1974.  Picture and description in America's Quilts and Coverlets by Carleton L. Safford and Robert Bishop.

You've heard the expression "Everything old is new again."  Think about it -- first, wallpaper was developed to copy more expensive textiles, then people who couldn't afford imported wallpaper stenciled their walls to look like wallpaper, and then we developed wallpaper that looked like stencils, and in 2016 stencils were all the rage again on HGTV!  Go figure!!

Sunday, May 7, 2023

Making Do

There is a lovely Facebook group out there -- QuiltHistorySouth -- that discusses antique quilts, primarily from the South.  It's a private group, but worth joining if you are interested in older quilts.  They discuss specific topics for a period of time before moving on to another.  Lots of knowledgeable folks are in the group.  It's both educational and entertaining.  Their current topic is Making Do.  (I'd include a photo at this time but I'm away from home without my mouse and don't know how to copy the photo -- which might not be legal, anyway.)

I bring this up because the Main Man and I have stopped at a state park on our way home from grandson's college graduation and the lodge only serves brunch on Sunday.  So what's a couple to do?  We're Making Do ...

..fruit salad for supper.  I had brought along all the fruit in the house when we left -- an apple, an orange, and a baggie of blueberries -- rather than leave them at home to go bad.  (I also packed a knife!)  So I cut them up, squeezed a little of the orange juice over it all, and served it up with a package of crackers.