Sunday, September 20, 2020
Thursday, September 17, 2020
A hole was torn in the fabric of the Magpies' nest when Celia Brown passed away on Friday, September 11. In August she had surgery and developed unexpected and severe complications.
|Fort Worth, 2016: stockyards tour on a rainy day |
We met on in the mid-1990's on RCTQ, the rec.crafts.textiles.quilting newsgroup. Along with two dozen other RCTQ regulars we created the Magpies in order to chatter to our hearts' content. We've become a close-knit group with regular biennial in-person meetups -- this year in February. We were right on time to celebrate Celia's 81st birthday.
|At the premiere Chicago Quilt Festival, 2003. Judy, Celia, Anna, Julie, Nann|
Celia Rose Malkin Brown lived her entire life in Malden, Massachusetts (except for college years at RISD in Providence). She and her late husband Ben raised their three children in a wonderful 1890's house in Malden, and she still lived there. When I had library conferences in Boston I would plan an extra day to visit her. Each time she planned an interesting excursion to a museum or a shop or a restaurant (or all three). I partially returned the favor when she came to Chicago for the premiere Quilt Festival at Rosemont in 2003.
|The Hawaiian applique quilt was a long-term project. Las Cruces, 2008.|
In addition to being an accomplished needlewoman—quilting, knitting, needlepoint—Celia was widely-read and well-traveled, knowledgeable about everything (art, literature, history, music, gardening). She was a wonderful hostess and an excellent cook. She was gracious, generous, and loving. She was a Woman Who Knew Her Mind (and let people know).
One feature of our current times is the prevalence of Zooming for all manner of gatherings. The graveside service on Monday was on Zoom. The shiva on Wednesday evening was on Zoom. We could join from wherever in the world we were to share our memories and celebrate our beloved Celia.
|PieFest East, August, 1999: Tami, Verdi, Celia, me|
|Kansas City, 2001: Verdi, Chris, Tami, Celia, Me|
Celia, Carolyn, and I when Prairie Home Companion came to Las Cruces when the Magpies were there, 2008.
Sunday, September 13, 2020
The AAUW Waukegan Area Branch had the first meeting of the program year by Zoom on Saturday morning. I was in the comfort of my studio. I turned off the video so I could sew while listening to Phil Passen's very interesting and entertaining March of the Women: folksongs celebrating the suffrage movement. (More information here.)
The sun shone Sunday afternoon when P.E.O. Chapter HV-MY had a social meeting -- outdoors, masked, and distanced (except for the photo). We have been Zooming since March. This was the first time this many of us have been together in person since then. It was lovely to catch up.
Catching up in the studio: I moved Monkey Wrench Batik from flimsy to finished. I made the quilt top in 2018.
A while ago Lynn/Klein Meisje Quilts wrote about "serendipity snakes" (here) . I realized that the snakes are a 1.5" version of a jelly roll race. Lynn is always able to make ordinary blocks and piecing look so terrific. I dug into the 1.5" strip hamper and pieced and pieced and pieced and pieced until I had about 85 yards. I cut them into 72" lengths and them in 6's. Here's the flimsy. I will finish basting it this evening.
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I read two good books this week.
Sara Seager is an astrophysicist, a MacArthur genius grant recipient, mom to two boys, and widowed at age 40. She interweaves discovery of other worlds (her specialty is expolanets) and her own world (with a cohort of other young widows in their Boston suburb). It's a lovely, hopeful memoir.
Friday, September 11, 2020
I sold two quilts to VH, our wonderful housecleaner, and said I'd take payment in trade. On Wednesday she and I spent five hours in my studio cleaning and dusting from the light fixtures to the baseboards. She straightened all the stacks of fabric on the shelves.
I took photos that evening. Two days later I haven't messed it up very much, but I don't predict that will last very long.
(I bought the house because the finished basement family room was ideal for my studio. The previous owner had a model train setup under the track lighting -- just the place for my cutting table. We have one television. My husband sits in the armchair and I sew while we watch PBS and (mostly) British mystery series. We are binge-watching Hetty Wainthropp now.)
Sunday, September 6, 2020
xx In the ravine on Sunday afternoon: lobelia.
xx I went to two estate sales on Friday. It turned out that I know the families of both from church. I remember Judy talking at coffee hour about cleaning out her mother's house which had been the family home for more than 60 years. Mom didn't throw anything out and bought (and bought) from the TV shopping sites.
There were many, many sheet sets. I limited my purchase to the pillowcases for the novelty of two-cotton blend. [Also: a never-used commercial-weight press cloth (or PresKloth) that I may actually use.]
In the studio: the second of my two-part goals for the September One Monthly Goal. I made the scrappy slab blocks last year. The blocks are 6.5" x 9.5" unfinished. The quilt is 54 x 63. 3-1/2 yards for the back and binding.
I read two really good books this week.
It's a little disconcerting (but not in a bad way) to read a "historical" family story and realize that the "history" is all within my own lifetime. Ellie and Brick McGinty are people we know (maybe they are people we are related to). It's their story but it's also their daughter Sam's story. She learns early that parents are not perfect but they are doing their best. Love. Forgiveness. And keeping on.
Two nuggets: Ellie says, "Grief is that monster that bangs at your door until you let it in and sit with it for a while. When you get bored with each other, the monster leaves." Sam: "How long does the monster stay?" Ellie: "That's not the question. It's how long does it take you to answer the door and let it in. That's where the pain is. You hae to open the door....The longer [you] wait, the longer the monster stands [the] way, blocking all the good trying to find [you]."
and: Paull-with-two-els says, "Resentment will eat you alive while the people who hurt you do just fine."
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P.S. I recently learned that two of my college sorority chapter sisters passed away this summer -- 68 and 67. I'd lost touch with them but reconnected in recent years through Facebook. That news prompted many memories among our FB group.
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
My OMG for September is to quilt two flimsies. I took 'em all out of the box (see yesterday's post). Since Bulleye Stars was underway I began with that. I made the flimsy over a year ago . It uses the South African shweshwe indigos that I'd been collecting one quilt show at a time. I basted it and began quilting. I didn't like the way the quilting was turning out but by the time I realized that I'd quilted far too much to rip anything out. Rather than torture myself I rolled up the quilt sandwich and stuffed it in the box.
It turned out that I was a lot farther along that I remembered. I was able to finish the quilting and the binding! After a good pressing it doesn't look that bad.
Now, on to flimsy #2!
Linking up with Midweek Makers
Monday, August 31, 2020
I can't believe it either. I made the blocks on Friday and Saturday and here is a finished quilt. Another no-deadline, no-destination project that went together slick as a whistle. The back shows the curlicue quilting in the center and my go-to "almost feathers" in the border.
August fabric IN 7 yards, $6.50 -- a cotton bedsheet and a turquoise plaid XXL shirt at Salvation Army
August fabric OUT 101-1/2 -- all my quilting projects plus 6 yards flung with the Teal Swap and 50 yards flung to The Joyful Quilter for her Lutheran World Relief project.
Year-to-date IN 693-1/4, $872, average $1.26 per yard. (Remember, I got free fabric from TWO destashings.)
Year-to-date OUT 723-5/8 / Net REDUCTION 30-3/8
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It's time to declare my One Monthly Goal for September. I don't have pressing must-dos right now. I've decided that I will quilt at least two of the flimsies that have been languishing, in some cases for years. I don't know WHICH flimsies. You'll just have to stay tuned!
In the photo: quilt on the left is partially quilted. The stack on the right were created as far back as 2007 and as recently as mid-August.
Linking up with other OMGers at Elm Street Quilts (when Patty opens the sign up tomorrow).