Friday, June 9, 2023

Friday check in: ins and outs

 Car update:  the right front control arm had failed.  I had never heard of that part and looked it up.  The control arms are one of the core components of a suspension system and serve as the direct connection points between the front wheel assemblies and the vehicle's frame. The control arms allow a driver to steer a car while also guiding the wheels up and down with the road surface. Although they are simplistic in appearance, control arms have a vital role in a vehicle's overall stability and drivability.    $943.95.  

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Our dear Magpie friend 
Ellie loved ethnic fabrics and bright colors.  She passed away in March.  The estate sale was at the end of May at her house in Maine.  $5.00 per pound -- what a deal!   

Ellie's and my mutual friend Bonnie (whom I know because she's a librarian) planned to attend and I asked if she could go shopping for me.  I authorized her to spend $100 (plus postage) and asked for any shweshwe indigo and African wax resist.  "I trust your judgment," I told her.   The box arrived last Friday, just before I left for the convention.  I've washed and ironed it all.   Thank you Ellie, and daughter Jennifer, and friend Bonnie!

The descriptors on the selvages are interesting.

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The AAUW summer luncheon was Tuesday. Betsy was the high bidder for the quilt that I donated. (This is the third quilt she's won.  I am flattered.)  

We have the luncheon at Lambs Farm , a vocational agency for developmentally disable adults. The thrift shop next door to the restaurant is always worth a visit.  

My $14 purchase:  never-used souvenirs.  Two batik runners, a batik tablecloth and twelve napkins [card table size so why twelve?], all with the Balinese product labels still affixed.   A set of Scandinavian table linens (real linen) --placemats and three runners.  

I have acquired a number of batik tablecloths, placemats, and napkins. I've used precisely one as a quilt back.  

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This month's guild meeting was the annual Raffle Mania fundraiser.   Members bring no-longer-loved quilting items including fabric, notions, and patterns. We get free tickets for the number of meetings we attended this year (11 for me) and could buy more (I spent $20 for 30).  It's a bucket or put-and-take raffle -- put tickets in the bags next to each item for those you want.  

I contributed 200 yards of fabric from my stash, culled without anxiety (really!) and bagged by color (plus Christmas).   I also bagged 80 patterns from Dorothy's destash.  


At the guild rummage sale a few months ago there was a books-for-sale table. More people brought books than bought them.  Three or four of those leftover books were placed under each raffle mania item had to take the books as well as the item.

Here's what I brought home.  

The fabric weighed 27-1/2 lbs, so 110 yards (remember, I contributed 200 yards).   There were five packages of ink-jet printer fabric sheets.  Some of the take-these-home-or-else books are new to me.  

And, SQUEE!  I got the fabric I really, really wanted.  Australian aboriginal prints -- 27 FQs and 32 F8ths!   

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Last evening (Thursday) I began playing with the African prints.  Here's the work-in-progress.  

Linking up with Finished or Not Friday

Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?     Peacock Party

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Reflect and Celebrate: P.E.O. convention 2023

 I left home on Friday with plenty of time to arrive at the convention hotel in west suburban Lombard.  I planned to check into my room and then attend a committee meeting at 3 p.m.  When I got on I-94 and accelerated to merge with traffic the front end of the car started shuddering.   Badly.   [It had done that, but not as badly, when I went to Peoria in early May but I made it there and home okay.  It's been fine all month -- but I haven't driven at interstate speed, either.]   Shuddering both personally and vehicularly, I took the next exit (2 miles), drove (fast) on non-interstate roads back home.  I rushed into the house, hollered to Stevens and VH (our housecleaner/caregiver) that I needed his car, transferred my suitcase, and rushed out again.   Mind you, Stevens had offered me his car and I said no, I was already packed.  Had I not taken my car out I wouldn't have known that the problem was not resolved.  Had we not had a second car I'd have been stuck.  Had I been any farther from an exit I might have had a breakdown in heavy traffic.........I sent a text the committee coordinator to say I'd be late and I did not miss much from meeting.

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 I have attended 11 of the 120 Illinois state conventions.  

The theme, Reflect and Celebrate: We ARE P.E.O. was carried out in all the activities.

The schedule was packed.   

I was on a convention committee (credentials) and I continue on a special committee (Ten-Year History).  

P.E.O. was begun in 1869 by seven young women at Iowa Wesleyan College.   

My good friend Fran presented a program about P.E.O. heritage and helped dispel many misunderstandings (="It's always been this way!" but, no, it hasn't.)   

As a Philanthropic Educational Organization we support women's education and welfare.  (Statistics are cumulative.) 

* Educational Loan Fund (ELF) -- 51,110 recipients, $242,589,000     (Low-interest loans for post high school education/training.)

* Program for Continuing Education:  53,282 recipients, $70,468,000    (For women whose higher education has been interrupted.)  

* International Peace Scholarship: 6,991 recipients, $47,637,000   (For women from other countries doing graduate work at U.S. universities.) 

*Scholar Awards:  2,836 recipients, $34,282,000
(For doctoral-level support.)

* Star Scholarship:  7,906 recipients, $19.686,000  (Merit-based award for high school graduating seniors)

*Since 1927 P.E.O. has owned Cottey College, a liberal arts college for women in Nevada, Missouri.    In the 2022-23 academic year Illinois Cottey Scholarship Fund awarded $52,500 to five Cottey students from Illinois.

* I've served on the committees for the two Illinois projects.  
The Lulu Corkhill Williams Friendship Fund  provides grants to Illinois women and men with immediate financial emergencies.   This year Lulu awarded 41 grants totaling $91,200. 
 The Home Fund provides grants to Illinois women over age 65 who need assistance with housing expenses.   This year the Home Fund awarded 34 grants totaling $198,729.

So that's Philanthropy and Education.    The Organization part?  Sisterhood and friendship!  It was so easy to strike up conversations.   Friday evening Dede (from my chapter) and I had dinner with two women from a downstate chapter.  It turned out that one is a quilter and the other is on their town library board. (And I have been invited to the dedication of restored historic murals at that library.)

Dede and me in the photo booth.  (My t-shirt lists the seven founders.)

My roommate Sharon was delightful.  


At the Projects Dinner on Saturday Courtney spoke about her journey.  Our chapter sponsored her for a PCE grant.  She used it for her MSW studies and is now a counselor at a domestic violence agency in Chicago. 

 My chapter sisters at the Honors Luncheon. Diane (left) was honored as a Golden Girl -- 50 years.   

The list of honor members included two for 80 years -- which means they're at least 98 -- one for 85 years -- at least 103!  (None of them attended.) 

And there were P.E.O.s whom I've known in other areas of my life.  

Sue, Carolyn, and I are Alpha Gamma Delta sisters.  (And Sue and Carolyn learned this spring that they are collegiate chapter sisters -- ten years apart.)

Marlene is an AAUW friend.

Jane is an AAUW friend and a Rotarian.

I met Sharon through United Methodist Women.  She, Becky, and I are in the online P.E.O. book group.

Peggy is a longtime ALA friend.

Jeannine is a GFWC and quilting buddy.

The 2023-24 theme is right up my alley!  

Friday, June 2, 2023

Friday check in: bookshelf OMG q/b/l

When I was at the library earlier this week I had a chat with Peggy who said she's retiring.  Her last day is June 10.  She's been a mainstay of the youth services department for many years.   Time for me to make a bookshelf quilt! 

  I've lost count of the bookshelves I've 'constructed" -- 40-plus,  I think.  I've given them to coworkers who earned their MLS degrees, to trustees who completed their terms, and to coworkers (now former coworkers (I retired in 2014)) upon their retirements.  

  In 2004 I purchased the book pattern from Christine Thresh ( -- I don't know if the website is active.  I've certainly gotten my money's worth from it.

This was going to be my June OMG but I finished it last evening -- quilted, bound, and labeled. 

My novelty stash.  I don't add to it but it doesn't seem to diminish very much.

Come back on Monday for my OMG declaration.

Linking up with 
Peacock Party  Finished or Not Friday


Thursday, June 1, 2023

Twenty years at home


Twenty years ago this week I was getting ready for my first P.E.O. state convention.  I was the chapter president and thus a delegate. To add to that bustle of activity I had just moved into this house so most of my possessions were in boxes and I hadn't yet finalized where all the furniture would go.

Ten years ago I wrote a blog post about the ten-year anniversary of the move.  This week marks the 10th anniversary of my move to our house in Winthrop Harbor.*  It is the longest time I have lived in any one house/dwelling in my life.   The house in Northbrook was "home" from 1962-2002, but I actually lived there only from 1962 until I went away to college in 1970. I returned for breaks and for two summers, but from the fall of 1972 on I no longer lived there.  

Growing up I lived in an apartment (Chicago), our first Northbrook house, another apartment (Glenview), and then "home" again in Northbrook.   In college I lived in a dorm room, my sorority house, and two summer apartments. As an independent adult I've lived in two apartments (Brenham), a mobile home and a house (Pittsburg), two houses (Portland and Auburn), two houses (one rented, one owned) (Fargo), and finally two houses in Illinois including the one that inspired this post.

(*MY move to OUR house because we had a commuter marriage for two decades. When Stevens retired at the end of 2008 he moved in with me.)   This is the longest he's ever lived in the same house, too.  (Two growing-up houses in Summit, NJ, and then Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, Kansas, Maine, North Dakota, Illinois, Wisconsin -- and back to Illinois.)

And now I'm preparing for another P.E.O. convention!  It's just an hour away so I don't have to leave until noon tomorrow.  

Front and back, now and then.

More has changed inside than out but I don't have comparison photos.   

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Midweek: wrapping up May with OMG and the stash report


Mid-Monday morning we set up our chairs on Sheridan Road to watch the Winthrop Harbor Memorial Day parade.    Hometown parades are best! 

There's a spot at Illinois Beach where lupine blooms every year.  

Cue Miss Rumphius!  (I have gone back and harvested some of the seeds but they haven't germinated in my garden.) 

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OMG for May:  something orange -- in two quilt backs and one quilt top 

and the wall hanging for the ALA silent auction 

I shipped the wall hanging and five of my quilts to the ALA conference exhibits manager.   That made a slight reduction in stack of quilts-waiting-for-the-right-occasion.  (Though I added two to that stack with Chunky Bars and GeoChic.) 

I sold this quilt !  The buyer is tickled.  "I am so happy to have a Nann original," she wrote.

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Stash report for May: 

Fabric IN:  85 yards, $62 = .73 per yard.  Thrift-store sheets, church rummage sale, and guild giveaway.

Fabric OUT:  71-1/4   Scraps and yardage sent to R.R. and C.B.  I toss slivers into a bag and when it's full I weigh it--24 yards of those trimmings this month!

Fabric IN January-May:  331-1/2, $840, avg. $2.53 per yard.

Fabric OUT January-May:  349-1/2.   Net reduction:  18.  

Linking up with Midweek Makers  Wednesday Wait Loss  Elm Street Quilts

P.S.  At the parade.  Finally some warm weather!

Monday, May 29, 2023

Weekly update: Wildflowers, rhubarb, and Chunky Bar squeaker

 It's way too dry but the abundant sunshine is wonderful!  Saturday afternoon we went to Pine Dunes.  Until I began purposeful hiking I didn't know this existed.  The wildflowers are glorious.   A pair of cranes walked right in front of me, bugling all the while. I suspect their nest was nearby.

Pond-lily, shooting star, mayapple flower.   Wild flag iris, blue wild indigo, Virginia waterleaf.  longbract or false wild indigo, purple vetch, blue-eyed grass.

Sunday afternoon's walk was along the lakefront.  Puccoons grow in sandy soil.  Upper right:  narrowleaf puccoon.  Lower right: hoary puccoon.   Upper left: a cluster of hoary puccoon.  Also called stoneseed, species of gromwell.  

Lower left:  bastard umbellate toadflax.

These names sound like Shakespearean curses!

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When the landscapers tilled our vegetable garden they dug up the rhubarb.   (The boss apologized and I will deduct the cost of the four crowns I bought as replacements.)   Meanwhile our friend Mary Lou said we could harvest as much as we wanted.   I'd been emptying the freezer in anticipation of this year's crop -- but I still have one bag left from last summer.

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In the studio:  an unexpected and satisfying start and finish.   Remember the striped sashing that I ripped out of GeoChic? 

Another magazine pattern provided a way to use some of them.   

The pattern uses 5-1/2" and3-1/2" strips cut 21" and the quilt is 84 x 84. 

I adapted it using 3-1/2 and 2-1/2 x 8-1/2 strips.   It took me a bit to realize there are four blocks.  

The squeaker:  I had this much of the black/gray left.

Here's the finish!  51 x 64. 

The back uses a multi- dot print that I've had trouble incorporating into blocks (too black, too fussy, too something) and a jolly orange to finish up this month's RSC.  

Oh, and I still have a heap of gray striped pieces......

Linking up with Oh Scrap!  Design Wall Monday  

P.S.  First poppy in our garden, just in time for Memorial Day.