Saturday, July 28, 2007

purple string quilt, large

Here is my second string quilt made with the purple constant. I used a great Jane Sassaman print for the border.
This one will be donated to our block party fundraiser. Block Parties are a wonderful Chicago institution, where the street is free of cars and neighbors and friends spend the day together. Our block has one of the longest running in the city's history, since 1955. This year has a circus theme, so this purple quilt seemed appropriate. We have the local food pantry as our service project.
Eve and her friend Rachel agreed to hold the quilt on their way to the Wicker Park Art Fair. Eve has been helping me clean my sewing space--it is at the point where I can see what needs to be done, rather that where it was, in a state where I just closed the door in despair.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

bernina 830

While hitting the thrifts yesterday, I came upon this Bernina 830 from the mid 1970s for $25.00. It is missing the cord (about $30.00 to replace) , but does have a pedal (which retails for $179.00; I was glad that was there!) I tested it with the wheel, sewing my own shirt hem with two of the bobbins with thread and the stitch was perfect, so I figured I would gamble on the motor and buy it for Eve.
It cleaned up beautifully. The paint is chipped in a few places, but my 1530 is too after 15 years of use. There are 11 feet, which also fit my 1530; all in all a very good deal. And Eve likes it because it is retro looking!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

strings, purple constant

The Heartstring project asks for blocks made with a purple constant for children's quilts. I made up these blocks, then decided to use them for a quilt for a friend going through a difficult pregnancy. I love how it turned out, and will make more for the Heartstring project.


I love this shade of aqua, and it works well with the thirties repros. The pattern is a scaled down version of one in McCalls from several years ago. The small squares were cut 2", finish 1 1/2".

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

tile maker

This quilt may qualify as a variation of Finn's orphan block project.
Twelve years ago I hosted an exchange on Quiltnet called the Double Dutch. People exchanged either delft blue colored blocks or tulip blocks. My sister Janna has been patiently inquiring about these blocks and hoping for the resultant quilt ever since.
One member of the exchange put hers together and had it published in one of the last issues of Patchwork Quilting magazine. I miss that excellent publication.
Anyway, the blocks have aged a dozen years, and I decided they really did not belong in the same quilt. So, I pulled out the blue blocks, setting aside those just too far outside the size I wanted. There was still a bit of variation. I put them together, not worrying about cutting off points or matching things. I considered sashings, but Finn's orphan train quilts got me to realize Dutch tiles are set together without visible grout lines. Here is a photograph of my precious Makkum tiles set into a step in our house.
Janna will have her quilt at last!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

raffle quandry

Bonnie's beautiful raffle quilt has me thinking again about my problems with raffles. When I joined my guild in about 1986, we sold our tickets 1 for $1.00, 6 for $5.00. Here, over 20 years later, that is still the price and people still buy just one or 6. Costs of making the quilts have gone up, so our take is yielding less and less of a proportion to the effort and financial commitment.
These photos are of a quilt I made for a raffle at my church, and the raffle was handled by someone who was savy in the way of fundraising, and not from the quilting community. When I told her the traditional quilt raffle prices, she said, no way. This was to raise money for a good cause and the quilt was the bait. She set prices at $25.00 each and, and encouraged most buyers to buy in $100.00 lots. The take on this quilt, tickets sold only within the congregation, came to over $6000.00!
The beautiful quilt I assembled for my guild raffle in 2006 brought in less than $3000.00. Part of the problem is it is not for "a good cause" to non quilters (for the guild) but it also has a lot has to do with our pricing. People continue to buy just one ticket.
Any ideas on how we as quilters can structure it differently? Will people pay more for a ticket from a guild?

This quilt was commemorating the Rouse Simmons, one of the legendary Great Lakes Christmas tree ships, which went down on Lake Michigan in 1912.
Its title, Morgenrot, is German for red sky at morning, as in the phrase "Sailors take warning".