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August 27, 2019
Batik Quilt Top Progress from Life in the Scrapatch

My Quilty Kitties and I are making good progress on piecing the top of my

Here are eight of the ten rows pinned up on my design wall 
with the early morning sunshine filling my east side of my home.

Here are the last two rows on my sewing table
 with the border fabric that my hubby picked out at our local quilt shop over the weekend
and the long sashing strips laid out between the rows.

We hope to have this top together by the end of today.

What are you sewing ...

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August 7, 2019
A Happy Quilty Day from Life in the Scrapatch

Today's quilty project was making more batik blocks for 

The quilt now has five different block layouts.

These are the unit pieces I am cutting from my 

I am ending up with a few less than 3.5" scrap pieces,
but after a few trial blocks I decided it was better to have usable scraps
than have to trim my blocks too small and throw away the trimmings.

I want my blocks to be 8.5" when sewn into the quilt
because that is the size of the ...

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July 29, 2019
A Quilt For My Guy from Life in the Scrapatch

A new quilt beginning!

These 10 inch squares have been in my stash since 2011 when I ran a

Here is the sort for the quilt.

Those are my hubby's hands sorting and selecting these squares.

He piled, sorted, grouped colors and picked his favorites.

They are on the top of the stack in the first photo.

The other squares that did not make the final cut are stacked beneath,
in case I need more squares.

I am making this quilt for my hubby to replace his favorite cuddle quilt ...

... which is ...

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July 25, 2019
Sparkle Jane Finish from Wedding Dress Blue

It is good that this quilt didn’t end up as an eternal UFO or in a scrap bag.


It was worth the finish.


Funny thing is that Daughter (Sparkle Jane) sort of planned on donating the quilt, but now that it is finished…


You know how that can happen.


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July 15, 2019
Weekly update: Hamilton, flowers, and a finish from With Strings Attached

We went downtown on Wednesday to see the matinee performance of Hamilton.  It was terrific!  (It was also a test to see if Stevens could get on/off the train and to the theater (we took a cab).  The logistics worked out fine and based on that success we have tickets for a matinee for The Music Man, also downtown, next month.)

The weather Saturday was perfect for the Illinois Dunesland Garden Club's annual tour.   It begins at the library where they hand out maps to the sites -- this year, four in Zion and two in Winthrop Harbor.

We ...

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July 8, 2019
Weekly update: a sale, a finish, a flimsy from With Strings Attached

My sister retired June 28, concluding a successful 25-year career as an environmental educator. She came up and we enjoyed a walk on the beach.   Will we get together more often?  Her retirement leisure will likely be as unleisurely as mine has turned out!

(In the photo:  cliff swallow nests in the sandbank; spiderwort; a few blue flag iris; and a leopard frog.)

The Lake County Symphony Orchestra had its July 4 concert indoors at 3 p.m. -- the air conditioning was welcome. 

We've flown this flag on holidays for 38 (almost 39) years. It was a wedding gift ...

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May 1, 2019
Midweek: a new month, a finish, stash report, and a clean slate from With Strings Attached

Tra la, it's May, the lusty Month of May
That lovely month when everyone goes blissfully astray
Tra la, it's here, that shocking time of year
When tons of wicked little thoughts merrily appear

My sister put the LP of Camelot on the record player to usher in the month with her favorite singer.  (She may have done that only once, but I remember it 50 years later!)

Now that I remember to say "Rabbit, rabbit!" the first thing on the first day, I imagine bunnies hopping around the Arthurian court.

Tra la!   
 I finished Crown of Thorns ...

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April 28, 2019
Weekly update: Easter greetings, OMG, and something new from With Strings Attached

Easter in black and white:  the four Hilyard children in 1955 (Betsy, Steve, Barbara, Dave) and the Blaine girls in 1956.  (Mangel's Florist in Skokie had photos with Santa and the Easter Bunny.)

60 + years later, 2019:  it was sunny and warm today (in contrast to the record-setting snow on Palm Sunday).    I got the peonies staked.
There are two patches of bloodroot (a wildflower) in the garden. The daffodils are in full bloom.

# # # # # # #

In the studio:   I finished the fourth tote bag.
That means I've completed all five parts of my stated One Monthly Goal for April ...

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March 25, 2019
Weekly update: orchids, two finishes, and more scrappy blocks from With Strings Attached

The week began with a visit to the orchid show at Chicago Botanic Garden .  It's become so popular that it now opens in mid-February and ends at the end of March. We know better than to try to visit on weekends -- far too crowded!  The library offers half-price admission passes and I made sure to get one. 

It is impossible to take a bad photo of an orchid.

We checked out a wheelchair at the guest services desk. It made navigation much easier. The exhibit hall and greenhouse are a considerable distance from the visitor center.

 # # # # # # # #

In the studio ...

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March 14, 2019
It's a finish! (and this week's bargain) from With Strings Attached

All but the label:  Jeweled Windows is quilted and bound! The blocks are 7 x 12 finished.   They were made by my fellow ALA Biblioquilters. This will be in the silent auction at the ALA Annual Conference in June.

The bright backing fabric was an estate-sale purchase.

I stopped at Salvation Army on Monday.  I could not resist these bargains -- 32 yards, $28 (including the all-cotton queen-sized sheet on the bottom right).

The African-style prints are regular cotton. I think they were used for a Black History Month display or program because the top (brighter) pieces were edged in store-bought ...

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November 12, 2018
Weekly update: two finishes and a swap (and lots more) from With Strings Attached

We voted on Tuesday.  I hope you did, too.

I enjoyed lunch on Wednesday with several Alpha Gam sisters. We are from different collegiate chapters. I'm not able to attend many of the alumnae club meetings because they're farther away than I'm comfortable driving at night.  It was nice to have a daytime gathering.

# # # # # # # # # # # # #
BOM MSQC sampler 
The 2017-2018 guild BOM wrapped up with show-and-tell at
Wednesday's meeting.  We made a different Missouri Star block each month. To qualify for prizes we had to set the blocks (quilting optional).  Four of us brought our projects. One ...

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October 22, 2018
Weekly update: a fling, a finish, and a flimsy from With Strings Attached

 The fling.  I still have a lot of fashion fabric left over from the days that I sewed my own clothing.  I learned that there's a rug hooking group in the area (Loopy Ladies).   I emailed asking if they could use wool yardage. Yes! And yesterday I took a box of yardage to their meeting.  It was gratefully received.  I told them I could not stay -- keep me from temptation! I admire rug hooking but I am not going to take it up. There's enough opportunity and variety in quilt making to keep me plenty busy.

The fashion ...

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September 21, 2018
On a roll from With Strings Attached

Another start-and-finish this week.  Believe me, this is highly unusual.  It's a combination of having free time and all the ingredients at hand -- along with great jolts of inspiration.

The reverse-applique batik block was part of a Magpies block exchange back in 2008.  (Thanks, Debs!) Ten years in the orphan blocks box is long enough.  Also, I acquired a yard of black-and-white batik earlier this year which was more than sufficient to make the tote bag.

The tote will be donated (like Wednesday's Maple Rails runner) to the silent auction at the Zion Woman's Club bunco night ...

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An unexpected project from With Strings Attached

Some years ago I sewed strips of two different batiks into 3.5" rail fence blocks. I assembled the blocks into a small panel. Other activities came up and the panel was consigned to the orphan blocks box.  I took it out last month and put it on the countertop.  A couple of batik maple leaf blocks came out of the orphan box, too.

Hmmm.   I made three more maple leaves and added two of them to the orphans.  (The third leaf is going back in that box.)

I still had some of the light batik in the rail fences ...

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August 13, 2018
Weekly update: batik week from With Strings Attached

We had free tickets for a concert at Ravinia on Tuesday, but free means lawn seating and it poured. The Zion Park District's weekly concert on Thursday was also free, also outside, and it poured.   That meant two evenings to sew!

I finished the maple leaf wall hanging. It's my OMG for August. I will donate it to the quilt guild for the silent auction at Sept. 29-30 quilt show.   24 x 36, 1-1/2 yards.

Though the maple leaves were finished I didn't put the batik FQ boxes back on the shelf.  Here's what happened ...

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May 7, 2018
Weekly update: round robin results and a tote bag from With Strings Attached

"It's All About the Habit" was Sharon Evans' presentation at Wednesday's NLCQG meeting.
 She wore a nun's habit as a costume and set out Ten Commandments for good quilting habits.  The delivery was light-hearted, the advice serious. Great fun!

(And, by the way, Sharon has made SIX Dear Janes, each in a different genre and colorway. Wow.  Karen McTavish quilted them. Wow again.)

The guild round robin came full circle. We got our own starter blocks back.    I had forgotten what I wrote in the design notes, but it turned out that I suggested a rectangular setting ...

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April 9, 2018
Weekly update: wedding shower and goal progress from With Strings Attached

On Saturday friends and family had a wedding shower for my niece at the groom's parents' house (just up the road west of Racine).  Though the bride and groom are registered at Target, I shopped in my vintage stash.

The suitcase is from Lillian's Legacy   The Fiesta c/s with figure eight tray was an estate sale find.

I was late getting to the shower because I took the wedding wheels quilt to Barb J., the longarmer.  We spent a long time selecting quilting patterns.

Preparing the backing and getting the quilt to Barb was #1 of my ...

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March 4, 2018
Forest Floor Longarm Quilting from One Designer Pursuing her Dreams

Quilting the Forest Floor My wonderful customer brought me a HUGE Forest Floor quilt to finish. The quilt measures 106″ x 106″. Have you seen this gorgeous batik design by Wing and a...

See more sewing and quilting adventures from Jen Eskridge of ReannaLily Designs

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November 2, 2017
Supernova Quilt from Curlicue Creations

 Today I'm showing the Supernova quilt.  This quilt features an explosion of color radiating from the center of the quilt.  The blocks all feature simple rotary cutting and straight pieced seaming.

Quilt Stats:
Quilt Size:  58" x 58"
Block Size:  12" x 12"
Fabric:  Scraps from my stash, mostly batiks
Batting:  The Warm Company
Thread:  King Tut, by Superior

 Block One:  These four blocks create the light eminating from the center of the quilt.

 Block Two:  These colorful blocks surround the center Block Ones.  Notice how all the pieces are triangles.  I adore triangles!

 Block Three:  These four blocks ...

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October 6, 2017
Quilting the Supernova Quilt from Curlicue Creations

 So, I quilted about half of the Supernova quilt last week.  I'm planning on finishing the quilting today.  I chose this Olde Golde King Tut thread from Superior Threads.  I really like the way it looks against all the bright colors of the Supernova quilt.

 Life has been a little crazy at my house for the past couple of weeks, so I'm just doing a stress-free all over loopy meander design.  Here's how it looks against the black in the border.

And here is how it looks over the pieced blocks.  I'm feeling a little guilty ...

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  • batik quilt
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