Posts Tagged ‘Grad school’

Basket of Fun

June 12, 2019

Here in central Maryland, we’re experiencing a couple of beautiful days in between rain storms. I went out for my second walk this week yesterday. Boy, am I out of shape. I really need to do something about that.

May 30 was sweatshop for Ladies of the Sea with Polly at Spring Water Designs. Polly is ahead of me, as usual. I pressed and trimmed the blocks that have the inking completed, decided on the sashing and the sawtooth border accent color. Still had two blocks to wash before inking and trimming.  I eventually did that but both have bleeding so I need to soak them again to see if some of it will come out like the other one did.

May 31 I embroidered on one of the carrot seed packet pieces for the June Snowman. I really don’t enjoy embroidery but it has to be done sometimes.

June 1 Patty and I went to the Quilters Unlimited show in Chantilly, VA. Quilters Unlimited is a coalition of quilt guilds in northern Virginia around DC. This show is as large as a regional show. They had 500+ quilts and 71 vendors this year. Pretty much an all day affair.

6/2 I finished the borders on the Jacob’s Ladder quilt and made the backing so it’s ready for the quilter. Those cats on the back are huge – 6″. The little kids are doing various things on the cats – eating, playing, napping.

I also decided the border sizes for the Kaffe leaves quilt and cut and stitched the inner border strips.

6/3 was Mimi’s Grad School. That evening was my guild’s summer potluck. No sewing happened.

6/4 I traced the remaining seed packet pieces to be embroidered for the June snowman. I chose the “broach” (it’s a button) for the May snowman.

 

She’s fused but not stitched. I’ll do that as the quilting, someday.

I finished the assembly of the February snowman. Again not stitched.

 

I see they’re missing the “coal” pieces. They’ll get them when I do the stitching.

I cut the background pieces for the June Snowman.

I cut the inner borders to size and attached them to the leaf quilt.

Worked on the embroidery for the June snowman.

6/5 Calculated the best way to cut the directional border fabric for the leaf quilt so that all the borders were going the correct direction. Pressed the fabric and cut the side borders. Don’t you just hate dealing with large swaths of fabric? I find them so hard to manage.

I got one side sewn on and pinned the other. Cut the borders for the top and bottom – they have to be pieced to get the necessary width. I decided not to bother matching the print. Don’t think I have enough fabric for that anyway.

6/6 was the daytime guild potluck. Went to JoAnn for batting for a donation quilt and the pillow form for the Schnauzer pillow. No air conditioning at JoAnn that day. Might have wandered around longer if there had been.

Got home and finished the borders on the Kaffe leaf quilt.

 

6/7 was supposed to be sweatshop with Polly again but she was sick so I had a reprieve. Linda came over. I paid lip service to the ships by studying the border and sashing fabric requirements. I chose fabric for the mariner’s compass blocks for the border corners.

I started to clear out the leaf bin since the top was finished. Found a bag of 35 more fused leaves. After Linda left I rummaged around in the background fabric yardage bins and found something suitable. Got the backgrounds cut and fused the leaves. I’ll wait until these are stitched to choose the fabric for the 36th block. Stitched three leaves – hand buttonhole stitch with #12 pearl cotton.

6/8 Chose the thread for the rest of the leaves. Here’s where the basket of fun comes in.

 

To hell with the embroidery for the June showman. I dropped that sucker in a hot New York minute to work on the leaves. If you remember, I said above I don’t enjoy embroidery. Except, I do like to do hand buttonhole stitch. Go figure. Anyway, I’ve been sewing leaves ever since last Friday when I got them fused.

6/8 was Jinny Beyer club. We drive an hour each way for a one-hour meeting. Crazy, isn’t it? When Linda comes we leave earlier and have lunch in the village center where the shop is. I sewed 3 leaves that evening.

Only sewing thing I’ve done since club was stitch leaves. I’ll probably get that out of my system soon. Then, I’ll have to buckle down and work on getting sashing on the ships. After the cleaners leave today, I’ll put one of the ships in to soak and hope the bleed comes out.

Yesterday, after my walk I grabbed my book and sat downstairs in my recliner, enjoying the open windows that are so rare in the Maryland summer.

 

I’m Delusional!

December 9, 2018

Every year in Mimi Dietrich’s Grad School class, a project is chosen for the group to do. Most of the folks participate but not all. It’s fun to see 20-30 versions of the same project. Some years Mimi makes an executive decision and sometimes we get to vote. For 2019 Mimi wanted to do some design by Lori Holt but when she put it to a vote, she was soundly defeated. Only a few people wanted to do such a simple applique design. More on 2019 later.

One year we couldn’t agree on a single project and ended up with 4 or 5 different groups. No one liked that. Instead of having show and tell with the entire group, it was only within the project group. We agreed never to do that again. We ran into a similar situation when trying to choose a project for 2017. Everyone wanted to do something different so Mimi came up with the idea of a bucket list album quilt. Album quilt covers a lot of territory from a simple quilt with a bunch of different blocks to a Baltimore Album style quilt. Polly and I chose to do Sue Garman’s Ladies of the Sea.

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Image borrowed from Sue Garman website

Yes, we’re insane. What made you ask? We started block one in January 2017. Polly has been waiting for me to finish my ship blocks and catch up with her. The last one should have been finished in April 2018. My excuse is that I moved last year and couldn’t work on it for a few months. How much longer can I milk that excuse? The shipyard had a lengthy work stoppage this year. I just finished a block on Friday at sweatshop day. That’s what Polly and I call it when we meet at Spring Water Designs open studio day. I have two more blocks to finish. One just needs the embroidery and one has half the wreath applique finished so needs the rest of the applique and the embroidery. It would be really nice if I could finish these by the January meeting. Of course, then we’d have to make final decisions about setting and borders. We’ve been dithering a lot about that.

2018 was Jo’s Floral Album, formerly Anna’s Blue Baskets. I didn’t intend to do this because I was still working on the ships but found myself buying a background fabric. I’ve managed almost 3 of the 9 blocks using the Anna’s Blue Baskets pattern.

So, on to 2019. It’s another bucket list year. I’ve got so many designs I want to make. I checked my pattern inventory and found 200 applique designs I want to make. Ai-yi-yi! That doesn’t even include the pieced quilts. How to decide?

One of the grad school gals assigns quilts to TV shows and works on them while that show is on. So, she has a Dr. Phil quilt, a Wheel of Fortune quilt, etc. I was thinking maybe having multiple projects would work if I assigned them to days of the week. Not sure I’m that disciplined, though.

A couple of months ago I bought background fabric for this project so, apparently, it’s going to be one of the projects. It’s a large wall hanging and I already know where to hang it in the house. Hopefully, it won’t take long to make.

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Clown School by Carol Morrissey

Finding Nemo is one of my favorite movies so when I saw this pattern at a show I had to have it. My co-worker, Phil, and I watched the movie in spurts on the way to and from lunch when our co-worker Bill drove. One day Vadim joined us and sat in the front with Bill, while Phil and I, in the back, were mesmerized by the movie. Bill looked at Vadim and said, “The DVD player keeps the children very quiet.”

Another project I’ve wanted to do for years (The pattern came out circa 1997, I believe) is Snowmen Will Melt Your Heart by Curtis Boehringer. You can view an image of a quilt someone made. I will be doing each month’s block as a wall hanging rather than a quilt with all twelve blocks. For the wall hanging version, each block has a border design specific to the month. So, this will be new project #2.

Because two new applique projects in addition to the two already in progress aren’t enough, I’ll be taking a year long class for this quilt, assuming the class hasn’t filled up in the last few days.

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I did say I’m insane. This is Baltimore Garden by Barbara Burnham. Barbara showed the original quilt and her blocks years ago at a Baltimore Applique Society meeting. I started urging her to publish a pattern for the quilt. Every month I would bug her about it until she finally showed up with a completed book. The book was published in 2012 so it’s about time I started working on it since I was one of the people begging her to publish it. When I talked to her at guild last week, she said this is the last time she will be teaching the class. Barbara’s version was made using only 3 fabrics and a background. I will NOT be doing that. My background will also not be a light neutral. I bought a darkish green fabric for an applique quilt background years ago. While trying to decide whether to buy it, the store employee, Robbyn suggested using fall colors with it. That sold me! It should be perfect for this quilt. I hope I have enough of that fabric. I need to find the book and see how much it calls for. Choosing the applique fabrics will be a challenge to get the values right so everything shows up.

We always say that the quilt will tell you what it wants. These tell me they want to be made now. Guess I have to listen to them.

Wanna know how many Grad School projects I’ve finished since I joined in 1999? Two. I didn’t participate in the project every year but still, a pitiful showing. We won’t talk about how many total UFOs I have. Let’s just say I’ve got a lot of work to do. I’d better live a very long life with all my faculties.

I’m delusional but it keeps me off the streets and out of the bars.

Good Fortune: Clue 2

December 4, 2018

I used the Stripology ruler for Clue 1. This time I used the Accuquilt die cutter to cut my triangles for Clue 2. Much more accurate than I can do with a rotary cutter, even using Bonnie’s ruler technique.

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Each stack of triangles is a set of unique fabrics. In other words, each of the purple stacks is the same but the fabrics in the stack are not repeated in that stack. Same for the neutral triangle stacks. I hope that makes sense. There number of purple fabrics and neutral fabrics are not the same, so I should be able to stack up all the purples into a single stack and stack the neutral stacks into a single stack. This should result in no two half-square triangle squares being the same. Maximum scrappiness makes quilter happiness!

 

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In the second clue of mystery, Bonnie Hunter gave to us a boatload of HSTs.

There were a couple of anomalies along the way:

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Wong side to right side and a three triangle HST.

Mimi’s Grad School class met yesterday. One of our members is turning 90 in February so Mimi thought we should make her a quilt. This block, designed by Mimi, was the logo on the tote bags made for the bus trip to the Quilter’s Hall of Fame when Mimi was inducted. We were called “Mimi’s Flock” so she chose to use this block for the quilt. My bird ended up a little cockeyed. Speaking of eyes, the fabric I used for the bird is a cat eyes print from Tula Pink’s Tabby Road collection. I told Polly (who loves all things dark and/or creepy) that she had corrupted me to the dark side.

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I forgot to take pictures of grad school show and tell except for Kim’s Village (Kim McLean design) blocks. There are too many of those to post. I cut background pieces for the Village quilt a couple of years ago.

Because it’s December, yesterday was our holiday potluck lunch at grad school. My guild usually meets every week except in December when we only meet the first week of the month. You guessed it. Last night was my guild’s night group holiday potluck. Every year two potlucks on the same day. One member said “at least you don’t have to cook”. I replied “What do you mean? I had to cook twice!”

Other mystery makers have shared their work on Bonnie’s site.

Mimi’s Grad School: December 2017

December 5, 2017

This is the first grad school class update I’ve done in quite a while. One of these days I’ll have to post the pictures from the months I missed posting.

December is always a holiday potluck lunch. Everyone was satisfactorily stuffed.

In January of this year, Mimi passed out cards and instructed us to write down what we hope to accomplish this year. At the December meeting she handed them out for us to review and discuss with our neighbors. They say confession is good for the soul. I knew I was going to move so my goals were quite modest. I only had one and that was to keep up with the Ladies of the Sea blocks. I didn’t quite succeed but if I hadn’t been working with a friend, I wouldn’t have accomplished as much as I did on the project. I highly recommend having a workday with a friend to keep you on track for a project even if the two of you aren’t working on the same project. I can’t stress enough how helpful it is.

Here are the blocks folks finished for the bucket list projects. There weren’t as many finished blocks this month as there have been in past months.

Polly had some challenges with her husband’s health and other family issues the last several months so she didn’t quite finish some blocks at the time or had to miss meetings so didn’t show them. She made up for it this time. Here are her finished ship blocks:

 

The Mayflower was this months block. The rigging on this one nearly killed us. Every time I thought I was done, I found another line missing. Sigh. Here’s my block. I haven’t done any inking on any of the blocks yet.

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One of the benefits of a deep stash is having the perfect fabric right at hand when needed. I have an extensive collection of food fabrics. I was thrilled to find a pumpkin print that was exactly the size of the pumpkin in the block. Then I discovered a mini apple print that was exactly the size of the red apples. The orange and green came from other fruit prints that were the right color but not the size. They still worked.

Peggy is working on a Karen Kay Buckley pattern:

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Patty is using the Accuquilt Rose of Sharon die for her blocks.

 

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Clara is working on Barbara Brackman’s Prairie Flowers.

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In the It’s a Small World arena, I worked for Clara’s brother before I ever met Clara. We were in a class together when I found out who she was. Some of the students were talking about names and relatives. One asked Clara if there were a lot of Murphys around. That triggered something and I asked her if she was related to the Murphy boys who worked at Social Security headquarters. “Oh, yeah, all of them. Doug was my husband.” Doug and his brother, Richard, were already legends when I started working at headquarters. Then, she said, “Tony P________ is my brother.” You could have knocked her over with a feather when I told her I used to work for Tony. Later, I remembered him saying when Doug died that Doug was his brother-in-law.

Dot finished her snowman top:

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Nechama’s finished quilt:

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Doesn’t that sashing set off the blocks nicely?

Mimi finished the quilt with the blocks given to her for her initiation into the Quilters Hall of Fame. Some of the birds have special characteristics. Notice the one in the center with a crown. Kay made it because she considers Mimi the queen of applique. But, Kay is known to her grandchildren as Queenie. Two birds with one crown, so to speak. There’s a bird representing the Ravens. Mimi’s a big sports fan. She pointed out some others but I can’t remember what she said about them.

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If you’ve made it this far, here’s your reward. One of the goals Clara wrote was “move my granddaughter’s Tshirt quilt to the next level.” She claims she accomplished that goal because she moved it from the basement to the second floor. We all got a big kick out of that one. So, if you want to succeed at your goals, you just have to be careful with your wording.

 

Mimi’s Grad School: March 2017

March 15, 2017

Lots of show and tell again this month. Last year we started having drawings for prizes. You had to show something to qualify to be in the drawing. We think this is providing incentive for everyone to show something.

Polly and I worked on the same ship from Ladies of the Sea this month. Hers is the completed one on the left. As with last month I didn’t finish. Hang around for the next post to find out why I haven’t been getting much done. The points on those maple leaves were a pain in the ass. Polly thinks Sue Garman went a little overboard with the rigging on the ships. The backgrounds have more color than shows in these pictures.

 

Genie managed to finish 3 more Jacobean blocks this month. That makes 6 she’s done this year.

Clara is working on her Prairie Flowers (Barbara Brackman) blocks (the bottom). I can’t remember if the top piece is show and tell or a sample for the shop. Snow fell yesterday but I don’t think many people were saying “Yoo Hoo”. Shoudn’t it be “Ya hoo?”

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Peggy H is doing Karen Kay Buckley’s Magical Medallions (or something like that).

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I don’t remember who did this one. One year we swapped green and red squares. This block was made from the swapped fabrics.

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Joan is making these lovely blocks from Little Brown Bird. She enjoys embellishing with embroidery.

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Vera is also making Little Brown Bird blocks. Look how she used her fabrics in this block.

Patty is doing Rose of Sharon with her Accuquilt dies.

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Ruth is doing quilt as you go on blocks from Affairs of the Heart by Aie Rossman. I think I’ve got the title right. These blocks are from a few years ago when we broke into several groups for our afternoon group project. This group was dubbed the Strumpets. We didn’t like that year so much because we didn’t get to see what the other groups were doing. But, you try something and if it doesn’t work, you don’t do that again.

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Nechama did this block. I don’t remember the designer.

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This is a portion of Kim’s center for her medallion quilt.

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Kay, our southern belle, is a master of making the fabric work for her. She used one of her monogrammed linens for the tablecloth under the vase.

I don’t remember who did these. I really should do the grad school posts before I have time to forget.

Annette showed her Backyard Birds quilt that Kim quilted.

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Annette is making a diary quilt based on Mimi’s book from several years ago. She plan to add family names to the tree block but hasn’t decided how to do that yet.

I hope you find the show and tell as inspiring as we do.

Mimi’s Grad School: February 2017

February 9, 2017

February saw us meeting at the beginning of the month as usual. This time Polly and I were the presenters and it was my birthday. Polly and I are doing Sue Garman’s Ladies of the Sea. I wanted to give the link to her website where the pattern is sold but the website has disappeared. Strange, because her daughters said they would continue to make her patterns available. Sue Garman died 1/8/2017 so maybe things are in flux right now.

Polly did the pirate ship, of course, as her first block. I chose the Dutch Hooker because my great-grandfather emigrated from the Netherlands to the US and the block looked fairly simple. Polly finished her block early where I was struggling the night before class. Mine doesn’t have any rigging yet and needs a sail transplant before that happens. The problem only shows upon close examination but it won’t hold up to any used so the part needs to be replaced. Then, I left my block on the wall so Polly took it home with her. First block of the year and already I’m behind. Sigh.

Polly does freezer paper on top needle turn so I decided to use that technique for this block. It’s been years since I’ve done needle turn. I hated the freezer paper on top. In January Mimi showed us a tip using a Roxanne’s white chalk pencil and an iron to make a thick hard line around the freezer paper. Heat the piece, then run the chalk pencil along the edge of the freezer paper while the piece is still hot. The heat melts the chalk to make a thick line. It uses up the pencil pretty fast. Then, the freezer paper can be removed and the chalk line turns under. That helped but it was still a pain in the butt with small pieces. Shift happened, thus the need for the sail transplant after attempting to fix the shift. I’m trying freezer paper on bottom and prepared edges with starch for the next block.

Polly read a couple of sea-faring poems and talked about pirates. I was a little nervous and zoned out so that’s about all I remember. We both talked about why we chose to do this quilt as our bucket list album and gave information about the ships represented in our blocks. Polly gave her pirate some attitude with a slightly cockeyed jaw.

I first came to Maryland in the fall of 1981. One weekend I went to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and discovered the Pride of Baltimore.

The ship was in the harbor and open to the public. That was a long time ago so I don’t remember much about the ship except walking around on it and talking to the crew members who were on duty. That was one of the things that caused me to be attracted to the Ladies of the Sea quilt. Sadly, the Pride was lost at sea in 1986.

Construction began on the Pride of Baltimore II in 1987. I’ve never seen this ship.

Everyone put up the blocks they worked on for this month. Some were catching up on the birds from last year.

Genie is doing Jacobean blocks.

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Kay is taking elements from various patterns in her collection for her quilt.

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Patty is making Rose of Sharon blocks using the Accuquilt dies.

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Sue is making blocks that combine wool and cotton. I don’t remember the name of the pattern.

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I think Peggy is making Karen Kay Buckley’s Magical Medallions.

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I don’t remember who is doing these blocks but the one on the left is a different person than the ones on the right.

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Debra is making these. I don’t remember the name. Eventually it will spell Merry Christmas.

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Clara is catching up on Barbara Brackman’s Prairie Flowers, a grad school project from some years ago.

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Joan is making these gorgeous blocks from Margaret Docherty’s Little Brown Bird.

Mimi is making lots of little baskets.

Annette made these diary quilt blocks. Mimi’s book A Quilter’s Diary is about making a quilt like this.

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I’m afraid I don’t remember who made the red block on the left. The bee blocks are from Elaine. Joan H. made the gingerbread men block.

Nechama made this block. I don’t remember the pattern name.

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Whew! What a lot of show and tell. Will we be able to keep it up throughout the year? Last year we started having a drawing every month for a prize. We’re continuing that this month. Polly and I will be giving the prizes next month.

The store extended their Super Bowl sale into Monday so we could take advantage of it. Polly and I are planning to design our own borders for Ladies of the Sea instead of making Sue’s borders. My fantasy is that I will make Sue’s borders into a strippy quilt so the fabric on the left is for in between the fancy border strips.

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I’m not much of a heart person but the fabric on the right attracted me. I resisted it’s siren call the first several times I passed it but finally succumbed on my way to pack up my stuff to leave. I think this will be a back or border. I already have an idea for the front. It will have to go on the list of things I want to make along with hundreds of others as I contemplate the ordeal of moving all my crap wonderful belongings to my new house. Closing is set for 2/28.

Mimi’s Grad School: December

December 17, 2016

Grad school met the first Monday in December with our usual potluck lunch. This year we decided to go ahead and meet at the regular time to have a meeting before lunch.

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We came in to find a colorful bucket at each seat. Some of us swapped buckets to get a color we liked better. I ended up with yellow, although I kept eyeing the orange.

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Why a bucket? Because next year the project is Bucket list album quilt.

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That’s all I’m going to say about that until next year.

We showed off our Mama Bird blocks.

Nechama is making her blocks smaller, half-size maybe.

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Several members are doing trees. Sue showed hers this month.

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Every month Kathy adds something new to her tree.

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She’s got a hummingbird at the feeder with a squirrel below; a kite stuck in the tree; the fire department rescuing a cat; a monkey that must have escaped from the zoo; the robin is building a nest; a deer is peeking out from behind the tree; a birdbath; a bear cub.

Our last bird for this BOM is the cardinal. The presenters showed their blocks.

 

Mimi’s Grad School: November

November 3, 2016

Yay, Cubs! They finally did it.

Growing up in central Illinois, we were Cardinal fans because we were closer to St. Louis than Chicago and could run down to St. Louis for a game. I lived in Chicago for five years, part of it just a mile or so from Wrigley Field, before I moved out to Maryland and my brother lives there so I had a vested interest in last night’s World Series final. I wasn’t watching the game but was texting with my brother. The score then was 4-1 in the 5th inning. When the 11:00 news said the score was tied in the 9th inning, I quickly switched over to the game to watch the last 2 innings. At one point it looked like the Cubbies were going to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Our November Grad School meeting was held on October 31. The store moved it up a week because of Quilters’ Quest. Mimi was wearing her Halloween pointing finger.

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Our bird this month in the pattern was a purple martin. Kay designed a woodpecker block for us instead. Some folks worked ahead making the blocks except for the bird so they went ahead and did the bird in the original pattern. Kay made a block with quilts hanging on the line and a rooster that reminds her of childhood visits to her grandparent’s farm. I remembered to bring my project box this time so displayed my painted bunting and woodpecker (the third picture from the left in the top row). They aren’t sewn down yet.

Next month’s bird is called Mama Bird in the pattern. Genie and Ruth decided that the yellow bird was either a goldfinch or a chickadee.

Genie worked ahead and got her top with blocks assembled. She chose not to follow the pattern for all the block foliage.

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She also made a tree with all the birds. She saved room for the rest of the birds. Since the last time I showed her tree she added a bird feeder to the empty space.

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Every bird feeder needs a squirrel.

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All but one of my grad school projects have ended up as a box of blocks because we do a block each month then move on to the next project without allowing time for assembly and borders. Now that I don’t have a job taking up all my time, I’m determined not to let this project languish. I added the frames to the blocks that are sewn. After I took the picture below, I cut and sewed the border backgrounds and chose and cut the strips for the inner border. I need to get as much done as I can before the Bonnie Hunter mystery starts. We have one more bird that will be presented in December and made for January display. I have a lot of beaks, feet and eyes to do yet.

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Mimi’s Grad School: October

October 23, 2016

The painted bunting was this month’s bird. He’s very colorful. I managed to leave my project box at home so couldn’t display my block. He’ll show up next month.

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A cartoon-ish purple martin was the next block. Kay substituted a woodpecker and totally changed the rest of the block to support him.

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With this post, I’m caught up on the grad school blocks. I’ll try not to let the next one’s slide.

This month we also decided what next year’s project will be. I’m really excited about it. That’s all I’m going to say about it until January.

 

Mimi’s Grad School: September

October 22, 2016

The nuthatch was the block for this month. Mine’s on the top right of the first picture. He’s not stitched yet.

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The painted bunting is the next block.