Sunday, April 19, 2009

Really Big Quilt Show report

Julie and I spent yesterday at the RBQS at the Rosemont convention center. This was the 7th year of the show. I went in 2003 and 2004, but have not been able to attend since. The quilts on exhibit were stunning . (Photos of them are posted elsewhere -- check as well as other people's reports . Surely there are a few Flickr photo sets by now.)
We met our Baseball Swap friend Alice, the proprietor of Della Jane Hand Dyes ( and closed up the show with her. By 7 p.m. the place had about one customer to every three vendors. We enjoyed dinner at Harry Caray's, and had our photo taken with his likeness.
I was Very Good and didn't buy very much, though the vendors certainly had wonderful wares. My purchases:
* 6-1/2 yards of fabric: some reproduction shirtings, double pinks, and cheddars (plus an irresistable bronze); 3 fqs of black-on-black; and--the splurge--DaGama cottons from South Africa in red and chocolate. (I love, love, love those DaGama prints! (
* Two full-price garment patterns. (One of which is a master pattern for multiple designs.)
* 10 patterns for $20--the vendor (wholesaler of Schmetz needles) had bought the inventory of a pattern distributor (I figure that it's better to spend $2 than full price for a pattern I may not make ).
* Kai scissors, which cut slippery fabric with ease. (Thanks for the recommendation, Dawn.)
Now, Sunday: a rainy afternoon, perfect for sewing!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Judith Krug

The library world lost one of its champions last Saturday when Judith Krug passed away. Judy was the founding, and only, director of the Office of Intellectual Freedom at the American Library Association. Since 1968 she worked tirelessly for our First Amendment rights. She helped libraries large and small deal with censorship challenges. For most in our profession she was not only the voice of intellectual freedom, she was its persona.
I was honored to know Judy personally. She enriched the world by her presence. She will be missed.

Recent reading

I've been here all along. I just haven't been blogging. Truthfully, not posting hasn't been problematic. I get a great deal of e-mail via the online groups to which I belong. I'm on Facebook and Linked In, though I don't often post to them, either.

In March I presented the program for the Clara Cummings Book Club, a Waukegan-based group. Preparing for that consumed my reading time for a good six weeks. I can't devote an entire book review to just one book. (I tried that once, long ago, and it was a disaster.) Instead I talk about a half dozen or more. The "spring selections" were:
* Bold Spirit: Helga Estby's Walk Across Victorian America, by Linda Lawrence Hunt
* The Women, by T. C. Boyle
* American Wife, by Curtis Sittenfeld
* Emily Post, by Laura Claridge
* The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shafer and Annie Barrows
* I Feel Bad About My Neck, by Nora Ephron (no website)
* Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog, by Kitty Burns Florey
* Script and Scribble, by Kitty Burns Florey

Also in March I was the speaker at meetings for two different P.E.O. chapters. I planned to show the film Let's Face It ( and lead a discussion of this thought-provoking film. On three previous occasions the DVD has not played properly, and I suspected that might happen again so I took the CCBC books and bibliography with me. I was glad I did -- at one house the DVD would not play. At the other it did. Go figure!

More mileage yet: I gave the book talk for the Prime Timers, a lunch group at Grace Missionary Church. And, a finale for the season: I'm on the program for the AAUW-Illinois state convention in Decatur next week.

Meanwhile, I've added two more books to the stack, courtesy of reader's advisor extraordinaire Nancy Pearl. The author is Stephanie Kallos. Nancy recommended her second novel, Sing Them Home. I listened to it and loved it, so I got the audio edition of her first novel, Broken for You. Wonderful! I compare her to Anne Tyler.

.....Now I'm reading Driftless, by David Rhodes. It is set in rural southwestern Wisconsin (the driftless region, which was not scoured by the glaciers). He writes like Wendell Berry or the best of Jon Hassler: such exquisite prose that it hurts to read it.