Monday, May 10, 2021

Piano Tuner's Daughter: The Most Satisfying Project Ever

Piano Tuner's Daughter - 58" x 71"

Part 1:  When I was little, my parents lived at 64th and Stewart.  My dad tuned factory pianos for the Kimball Piano Factory at 26th and California.  But when they bought their house in Western Springs in 1956, my dad became an independent piano tuner working with my mom, who made his appointments and kept his books.  My dad was a musician, an accordionist/entertainer who knew he would always have to supplement his income with tuning.  As he build his tuning business, his regular gig was at the Edgewater Beach Hotel, a drive he made from Western Springs 6 days a week.  Eventually, with the help from agents, he was able to cut back from tuning and focus on gigs.  But the tunings were his financial ace.  Just as I would open his accordion case and sniff how horrible it smelled of smoke, I would look at his tuning case and sometimes play with his tuning fork.  

 Part 2: I love my Chicago Modern Quilt Guild and always want to be a team player for whatever activities suggested.  Although I am an independent sewist, the group activities I've been involved in have always been fun and taught me things.  With this spirit I joined a quilting bee, headed by Bill Keller @kiltedquilter67 .  There are 9 of us in this bee - Bill, Amy Struckmeyer, Debbie Pine, Natalie Holtz, Jenny Grover, Laura Hartrich, Adamandia Kapsalis, Jennifer Quick, and me.  We have taken turns asking bee mates to make blocks for one another.  Adamandia has finished hers, and its' wonderful.  Check out the hashtag #chimodbee for examples of blocks and completed projects.  

I asked bee mates for forks  5.5" or 10.5" wide, and any length, with dark forks and a low volume background.

I was very happy with what I received although a couple of mates tested me.  Amy gave me that big green fork (which I now love), and Laura gave me a couple of forks that were 2.5" wide.  I also love those.  The idea for this quilt came from Heather Pregger @heapregger who has a whole series of tuning fork quilts.  I understand why - its a great motif.  

I need a better picture, but the last thing I want to say is that I faced this quilt, rather than to bind it.  The front design just runs right off the edges without a binding to interfere with that line.  I do like this facing technique that I used - 

Such a fun and meaningful project!  Thanks, Bill and bee mates! 

Part IV:  I love this quilt because it makes me think of my dad and his work ethic.  I'm amazed that he and Mom were able to pay for half of my college.  I still borrowed a sizable amount and didn't pay it all back until I was 32.   After I had taught for a year, my dad helped me with my taxes.  I made more money my first year teaching than my dad did.  So this quilt reminds me of my parents' financial brilliance as well as their work ethic.  Such a good visual memory.  

Sunday, May 2, 2021

An odd week with very little studio sewing

 John was in the hospital for 4 days with internal bleeding,  Our trusty GI's were on the case, gave him blood, cleaned him out, and all is well.  Amazing place - LaGrange Hospital!  and of course this week was all about John rather than the studio.  I've been trying to get to some blocks for a really special baby quilt, and here are the blocks.  Tomorrow I'll play around with layout.  Each block is 14"x18"   I'm thinking I may put each block into an offset square.  But that's for tomorrow. 

During the week I was thankful that I have a to-go quilt kit packed.  I made 35 12" blocks of mostly selvege edges and have each one basted with wool batting and a backing.  So these five blocks are what I did in the hospital.