Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Midweek: the geese are in formation

The Christmas geese are in formation but not ready for takeoff. 

 I like the cheerful green check but there's not enough of it for the borders.  I'm not wild about this red or any of the other reds that I have on hand. Come back Friday to see what I figure out. 

Linking up with Wednesday Wait Loss    Midweek Makers

At the Zion Woman's Club board meeting yesterday I said I'd donate a quilt to the silent auction at the October 28 Bunco Party.  I think this may be that quilt.  

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Weekly update: cemetery walk, a little progress, and flying geese

Saturday afternoon was sunny, breezy, and a bit cool -- a fine day for the Zion Historical Society's Lake Mound Cemetery Walk.   I was  among the ten people who portrayed historical personages who are buried in Lake Mound.  (Well, technically, nine. The tenth was a soldier who died in Italy in 1944.  The cemetery has his cenotaph, which is what is placed when there is no body.) I played Josephine Landon Kellogg whose grandfather was the first non-native settler in Benton Township.  Josephine lived at Hollyhock Hill, the successor to the family farm, all her very long life -- born in 1875, died in 1974.  She and her sister and brother-in-law operated a tourist camp which exists as a mobile home park today. 
The costumes were up to us.  Josephine was an avid gardener so I tried to look as though I'd just put myself together after coming in from the garden. (And I needed the sweater to stay warm!) 
                                                                                    About 45 people came through.  It was great fun!

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I've made a few more little batik variable stars.  
I perused some of the magazines in Dorothy's recent destash gift. This antique quilt caught my eye.   The inspiration quilt is 87" x 90" and uses 175 3" x 6" flying geese.  I'm using the Studio 180 Wing Clipper ruler to make them four-at-a-time and I'm up to 128.  
Linking up with Oh Scrap!  Monday Making  Design Wall Monday  

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Friday check in: welcome autumn! vintage finds, OMG all set, and something new

 It's gotten so that if I don't take a good walk at least every other day I really feel it! This week we went to Sedge Meadow/Des Plaines River Trail and Illinois Beach / Camp Logan.  

Top: compass flower, snakeroot, false Solomon's Seal (b.erries). Center: goldenrod, fungi, riverbank grapes. Bottom: white heath aster and skyblue aster, New England aster, butterfly weed (can you see how the spent stems make a whorl?).

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Isn't this the coolest souvenir tablecloth ever??? I got it for $3 at a church rummage sale.  The midcentury graphics are terrific! 

It has some stains and I thought I might cut it up and use elements in a project. But I probably wouldn't.  So I mailed it off to a librarian friend who lives in New Jersey and collects vintage textiles.  

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The Magpies are collaborating to make quilts for the twin sons of our dear friend Sarah Curry.  Her favorite block was variable star and she liked bright colors.  I volunteered to make the flimsies. Here they are -- very similar but somewhat different, just like the twins.  

I've mailed them to Carolyn who will quilt them and make a collage with the signature squares to piece into the back.

Creating the flimsies is my September One Monthly Goal. Here's the link up.

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Here is the new project.  I've had a box of 1.5" batik HSTs for a long time. A while ago I made a bunch of very scrappy cake stand blocks (4.5" unfinished) and some variable star blocks. 


I'm not sure how I'll combine these, or if I'll combine them.  It's just fun to do some no-destination piecing.

Linking up with  Finished or Not Friday   (Busy weekend ahead!)  

P.S.  More vintage purchases from that rummage sale and another.  The Christmas candelabra tablecloth is the third one that I have. It must have been very popular.  (Did I need a third? For $3, how could I resist?)  The two dishtowels are linen.  

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Weekly update: a meetup, variable stars, and scrap sorting

Lizzy accompanied her husband to a conference in Chicago last week. She had a free day Thursday and came up for a visit.   We met on the Usenet newsgroup Rec.Crafts.Textiles.Quilting in the late 1990's. It was such fun to meet her in person!   We enjoyed lunch, a tour of Zion, and a nice walk at Illinois Beach State Park.

The weather on Friday was ideal for the 22nd Annual Jack McElmurry Golf Outing -- our Rotary Club's big fundraiser.  

I bought $20 worth of tickets for the 50/25/25 raffle (50% to the club and with two winners at 25%) -- and I won $200!  (Just about what I spent on fabric at the Expo last week....)  I was the sole bidder on a coffee gift basket, too.   We were major sponsors of the event so we gave a lot more than we got, but it's a good cause.

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I have the first set of variable stars blocks sashed.   I tried assorted brights for the cornerstones but they competed with the variety of colors in the star blocks.  I fussy-cut elements from a red bandanna print.  Now I'm auditioning borders -- aiming for bright (and of course for using what's on hand).  

I have sorted ALL of Dorothy's scraps.   They were packed higgledy-piggledy into bags and boxes.  I pitched a lot, ironed a lot,  and sent some to a new home.  Here's what I'm keeping for now.

Upper left:  a miscellany of blocks, mostly miniatures.  Center:  60 yards (by weight) of a variety of prints.  Right:  20 yards (by weight) of batik pieces.  

There were many prints that I have had, or still have -- as though Dorothy's and my fabric shopping was in tandem.  I'll have fun as I further refine the sorting of this grand gift.  

Linking up with Oh Scrap!   Monday Making   Design Wall Monday   

BOTW: two beloved villages

A while back I decided it was time to revisit Port William, Kentucky, by reading or rereading the several volumes of Wendell Berry's stories I acquired many years ago.*  It was part of a resolve to read what was already on my shelves rather than adding more.

Almost three years after that grand declaration I've finally finished A Place On Earth, Berry's 1993 revision of the 1967 edition.  

 A Place on Earth is set in the spring of 1945, a pivotal time for the larger world and for the small Kentucky community.  Virgil Feltner is missing in action in Europe and that not-knowing affects every moment of Mat Feltner's days. But life goes on for Mat and the Port William Fellowship -- Uncle Jack Beechum, Burley Coulter, Jayber Crow, and a host of others.    Tragedy, comedy, hard decisions, new life, and hope -- all told with Wendell Berry's characteristic grace and style.  

P.S. I went to Alibris and ordered all of the Port William books I didn't have. So the bookshelves get even fuller.

*I read Hannah Coulter in 2019 and The Wild Birds in April of this year .  A Place on Earth precedes both of these.  Episodes in A Place on Earth are more fully developed in the later books. 

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 I came upon this well-used ex-library copy of Tyler's Row at the church rummage sale. Just twenty-five cents. How could I resist? It was as charming as when I first read it years and years ago.  

Peter and Diana Hale are looking for a country retreat and see great potential in the eighteenth-century Tyler's Row, a three-dwelling row house in the village of Fairacre.  The elderly tenants in the two end units have been at odds for years and Peter and Diana must put up with their feuding while they remodel the center unit for themselves.   Meanwhile Miss Read, the omniscient narrator, deals with small and large events at her school and in the village. 

You can read more about Dora Jessie Saint (1913-2012), aka Miss Read, here.   Her books depict a gentler time (even 1972, when Tyler's Row was published), filtered through a lens of nostalgia.  

(How did a book from Punta Gorda get to Zion?)


Left:  Miss Read and her housekeeper have a discussion.

Even before I opened Tyler's Row I recalled  J. S. Goodall illustrations.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Weekly update: scrap infusion and first draft

 Saturday was gorgeous!  I walked the 2.2 mile Dunes Trail   at Illinois Beach State Park.  The monarch migration is underway as this story explains. (In sharp contrast it's been raining all day today--Sunday. No walks! I'm catching up on homework at the computer.)

Saturday evening we enjoyed Sultans of String, the first performance of the season for the Lake County Community Concert Assn. in the auditorium at Waukegan High School.  

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"Would you like some scraps?" Barb emailed me.  She is helping our mutual friend  Dorothy downsize as Dorothy and her husband prepare to move to assisted living.  Of course I could not resist. At the guild meeting Wednesday Barb handed over several bags and several boxes. 

There are a lot of small pieces.   Dorothy does a lot of intricate applique (she's been to many Elly Sienkiewicz Baltimore Album retreats) and miniature paper piecing.  I've sorted out some for me, some to give away, and a lot for textile recycling.   A box was filled with patterns acquired on many quilt shop visits. There's a stack of magazines including QuiltMania.   I still have a big tub to go through.

Under the needle:  I'm about 3/4 through quilting the churn dashes (see Wednesday's post).  

On the design wall:  first look at the blocks for one of the Magpie quilts, my OMG for this month.

Another busy week ahead with online and in-person meetings.

Linking up with Oh Scrap!  Monday Making Design Wall Monday

P.S.  One of Dorothy's applique blocks from among the scraps.  

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Wisconsin Quilt Expo 2022

 The Wisconsin Quilt Expo was back in person this weekend at the Alliant Center on the south edge of Madison.  PBS Wisconsin and Nancy Zieman Productions have hosted the show for many years.    I joined a bus trip organized by a local quilt shop -- in fact, we filled two coach buses.  It's so much easier to let someone else drive but it does make for a long day.  I picked up Irene at 6:15 and we were at the Kenosha County Center by 6:45. Departure 7 a.m., return 7 p.m., and then a half hour back home.

Here are a few of the quilts on exhibit. 

(Lower left is Best in Show.) 

My quilt, Crown of Thorns, was entry #33. 

Special exhibits included Cherrywood's tribute to Princess Diana; a botanical challenge; modern mini quilts, the Ken Burns collection, and the Elm Creek collection. 

 Stevens and I saw the Ken Burns exhibit in Peoria last spring. More here

Jennifer Chiaverini lives in Madison. She was scheduled for several programs.  I was able to get ticket for the afternoon presentation. She talked about her quilting and her books -- the quilt novels, the quilt patterns, and her acclaimed historical fiction.

Her first-ever library program was at my library back in 1999 when Quilter's Apprentice was first published. 

Her husband and older son helped show the quilts. I'm sorry I didn't get a picture.  Her son was "in production," as Jennifer said, at that library visit. 

Magpie friend Anna joined Irene and me at lunch.

Karen is active with Quilts of Valor-Wisconsin. We participated in the Block Swappers group for many years. 

I really did give some thought to fabric I actually need but my mind was blown by the overload of all the vendors' wares.  I got  batiks (6 one-yard pieces for $50, so I got 12), a Free Spirit assortment for $7/yard (a loss leader for a vendor who was there to sell a super-duper fusible web--I just bought the fabric), and 6 half-yard pieces of Australian prints.  

(The pattern designer had them $12 each or 3 for $30. Irene got two and I got this daisy.)

It was a great day!

Her Majesty

Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor
21 April 1926 - 8 September 2022

Well done, thou good and faithful servant. (Matt. 25:21)

My first real awareness of Queen Elizabeth was when she and Prince Philip came to Chicago in 1959 for the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway.  

My mother looked like the Queen (if the angle of the photo was just right).  They were nearly the same age and Mother was also Scots and English. 

Elizabeth and Margaret and their first corgi in 1933.

I took this picture at the Reagan Presidential Library in 2015. I commented that I had never seen the Queen's handwriting.  (And a gracious letter. Of course.)

"Thank you, m'am."

Here is the link to the YouTube video of the afternoon the Queen had tea with Paddington. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Midweek: end of leisure

 The Buffalo Creek Forest Preserve is the farthest Hike Lake County site from our house (diagonally southwest).  I thought we could avoid heavy traffic by going on Labor Day but I was surprised at how many cars were on the road.   When a trail is unfamiliar it seems to take a lot longer!   I was glad the temperature was a cool 73 for the 2.7-mile loop.  

Obedient plant, boneset / eupatorium ("eupatorium" is fun to say), tickseed, a field of goldenrod.   Buffalo Creek  was a farm for several generations.

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The Zion Woman's Club's opening meeting was Tuesday.  The speaker, Cheri Neal, walked the entire Camino de Santiago in Spain earlier this year.   Her travelog was inspirational. (Cheri is Zion Twp Supervisor and a long time friend to so many.)  

The ZWC education/libraries chair asked us to show our library cards for Library Card Sign Up Month. I did not put her up to this but I'm pleased that nearly everyone did! (ZWC led the effort to create the Zion Memorial Library in 1937, now the Zion-Benton PL)

"End of leisure" = AAUW book group this afternoon, quilt guild tonight, Rotary tomorrow, church stewardship tomorrow, and Wisconsin Quilt Expo all day Friday! 

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In the studio:   the churn dashes are all set and under the needle.  The border/sashing looks pink in the photo but it is red-and-white check. 

There was absolutely no rush to (a) make these blocks, (b) set them, (c) baste and quilt them.  And because of that of course the project is proceeding swiftly.  LOL!  

Linking up with Midweek Makers  #348.   That's 6.69 years of posts -- thank you, Susan! 

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Weekly update: garage sale bargains and a new project

Sunny on Saturday when revisited Van Patten Woods.  
Cloudy on Sunday at the lakefront.  A northeast wind kicked up the waves!    

Bumblebee on liatris (blazing star), New England aster, a big mushroom.

Riverbank grapes, hawthorn, bottle grass.

Monarch on butterfly weed, lobelia, gray dogwood. 

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The first Corningware I got was in the late 1970's, a Christmas gift. Back then it was new and pricey relative to my budget.  I have used the 10" casserole a lot!  The stains won't come out and the glass lid is very dishwasher-etched.  When I found the same size, same pattern, never-used for $5 at a garage sale I knew it was time to replace the veteran.   
The garage sale was one of several that Paula G. holds every year.  She frequently has fabric and vintage linens.   I got these kits (early 90's) for the fabric -- 10 yards.  

This was a kit from a long-closed shop (Cotton Pickers in Morton Grove).  The dusty blue and rose are so dated, aren't they? I was surprised to see Hoffman on the selvage. We associate Hoffman with bright prints and batiks.
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On the design wall:  a new batch of churn dashes.  I used all of the bold polka dot background, so much that I had to piece squares for some of the large HSTs and  long sashes.   I'm trying to make quilt that would appeal to a teen boy.  No flowers!
Linking up with Oh Scrap!      Design Wall Monday