Sunday, August 28, 2016

Weekly update: a finish, flimsies, and flinging

I didn't want to start an entirely new quilt so I turned to the box o' flimsies and pulled out the rail fence that I made a couple of weeks ago.  I quilted meandering curlicues.

The back has an insert strip. I thought that if I tried to make a pieced insert I'd get stalled, and I was in the mood for a finish.

This will be donated to a charity event this fall.

"Purple Mountain Majesty," a split 9-patch, was the August Block Lotto block. Here are my entries (9 for the draw and one for the pot).

These were fun to make. I like the purple and gray color combination.

I made the twelve bubble (off-center log cabin) blocks for the 2015 Rainbow Scrap Challenge. The border idea came in a flash.. I think I'll call it Chasing Rainbows.  I'm working on the backing now -- I have a great tropical floral print but there's not enough of it.

And the flinging?  I advertised seven flimsies on the Facebook groups Quilter's Virtual Yard Sale and Quilters Classifieds. Within a few hours all seven were sold!  I probably charge too little for them, but I look at it this way:  they could hang around for years before I quilt them.  I could quilt them myself (some more sucessfully than others) or I could pay $$ to have them professionally quilted and then I'd donate them to charity.  This way I'm recouping some of my costs and clearing the way for more flimsies and more quilts.

I'm linking up with
 Rainbow Scrap Challenge
 Oh, Scrap!
  Main Crush Monday
 Design Wall Monday

The long road to equality

This is my column for the September 1 Zion-Benton News.  When I was at the library last week a woman I didn't know greeted me and said, "I really enjoy your column! When is the next one?" Here it is. 

In 1971 Congress designated August 26 to commemorate the 1920 certification of the 19th amendment to the Constitution.  The amendment  granted women the right to vote in political elections, also known as suffrage.  The 45th annual Women’s Equality Day was last Friday, August 26.  Did you celebrate?    
Lucretia Mott 
 The Lake County Women’s Coalition did!  LCWC members, including the Zion Woman’s Club and AAUW, hosted historical reenactor Annette Baldwin who portrayed five of the women who devoted their lives to the cause:  Lucretia Mott of Nantucket, Elizabeth Cady Stanton of New York, Susan B. Anthony of Massachusetts, Alice Paul of Pennsylvania, and Carrie Chapman Catt of Iowa.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton
It took 82 years to achieve the dream of women’s suffrage.  In July, 1848, in Seneca Falls, New York.  Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Martha Coffin Wright, Mary Ann M’Clintock, and Jane Hunt announced a “women’s rights convention.”  Not only could women not vote but also married women could not own property in their own names or enter into contracts. Stanton wrote a Declaration of Sentiments that enumerated the injustices that women endured.  She said, “Always ask for more than you expect to get. The result will seem reasonable.”  Sixty-eight women and thirty-two men signed the final resolutions of the convention.  
Susan B. Anthony

In the 1850’s the abolition of slavery took precedence over the issues of women’s rights.  After the Civil War the suffrage movement resumed.  Susan B. Anthony said, “We must work peaceably but persistently. We are always progressing. We will be heard. We shall some day be heeded.”

Alice Paul
New states in the great west – Kansas, Wyoming, Utah, Montana – allowed women to vote in local elections.   The National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) was formed in 1890 to coordinate state-level activities. Carrie Chapman Catt and Alice Paul were among the activists who traveled thousands of miles and spoke at numerous events.  Catt said, “Service to a just cause rewards the worker with more satisfaction than any other course in life.”  Paul was among the women who led a suffrage parade at Woodrow Wilson’s presidential inauguration in 1916. She was jailed, went on a hunger strike, and endured force feeding.  

Carrie Chapman Catt 
State by state, legislatures passed the proposed 19th Amendment. On August 19, 1920, Tennessee passed the amendment by a one-vote margin.  That one vote was by Harry Burn, a 24-year-old representative whose mother implored him to do the right thing.   Tennessee’s action cleared the way for the amendment’s official adoption eight days later.

We have come a long way since 1920.  Women hold elected office at all levels, from local commissions to city councils, township and county boards, and state legislatures and Congress.  Two women are candidates for President of the U.S. (the Democratic and the Green Parties). 

Yet, women’s median annual earnings are just 79% of men’s median annual earnings.  True, there are many reason for disparity in pay but gender should not be one of them.  

Though the 19th amendment is in full force, he Equal Rights Amendment has yet to be passed.   Illinois is one of the fifteen states that has not ratified the ERA, even though the state constitution has an equal rights clause.   How much longer will the Illinois General Assembly support equal rights for Illinois citizens while denying them for the rest of the nation?

Carrie Chapman Catt’s words are relevant today.  “Your vote is power, a weapon of offense and defense. Use it prayerfully,” she wrote. “We must make intelligent use of our citizenship. Let us all do our part to keep ours a true and triumphant democracy.” 

Honor the women who fought for the right to vote when you go to the polls this fall!

# # #
For more about LCWC:

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

OMG: August finish

 I took handwork along on our trip but I didn't sew a stitch.

It was nice to get back to my sewing machine.

Here is my August OMG, finished.  When we left (August 9) I had quilted about half the center.  I finished it yesterday afternoon and took it over to Julie last evening.  She had nearly finished mowing the lawn so she opened the package outside.

She likes it.  

Here's the back with signature squares and a lovely poem by e.e.cummings.

Check out other OMG finishes at Red Letter Quilts !

P.S.   Here is a hearts-and-flowers hug quilt for another Magpie friend. That design inspired this quilt.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

National Parks from Grand Teton to Banff

(Note: this a very long post with lots of photos.)

Our 35th Road Scholar trip was simply splendid!   It would be impossible to not be impressed by the scenery. The advantage to a group tour is that all the arrangements are made in advance -- lodging, meals, lectures.  We left the driving to the bus driver so we just sat back and enjoyed the sights.  Road Scholar programs are comprehensive.  (We had one free afternoon and one dinner on our own, both in Banff. Everything else was included.)

You can read the official program details here.  You have probably seen the Ken Burns National Parks series, so you know some of the background about the places we saw.  We stayed in six hotels so we got used to unpacking and packing.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Grand Teton National Park.  Geologist/tour guide Keith Watts (Earth Tours) provided interpretation for our tour of the park. In the afternoon we visited the National Museum of Wildlife Art which is a big place tucked into a hillside outside Jackson Hole.

Elk antler arches at the four corners of the Jackson Hole town square. They were a Rotary Club project in 1953 and have been rebuilt since. (Elk provide a renewable resource.)

Using a 2x4 to demonstrate geologic history.

The Moulton barn on Mormon Row. The barn is a well-known landmark. It's been photographed and painted many times.

Yellowstone National Park
The first national park (1872).
2.2 million acres, 2% developed.
4 million visitors in 2015.  Up 6.5% so far in 2016.
We saw bison and elk, but no bears or moose.

 Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.

We had a step-on guide (park employee) for a daylong tour of the park highlights.

Lots of bubbling and boiling -- beautiful colors!

I saw Old Faithful erupt twice -- once from the porch of the Old Faithful Cafeteria and then from the back while we had a hike on the other side.

Look at all the people who lined up to see Old Faithful!

 The lobby of Old Faithful Inn.
(We stayed at Canyon Village in a  brand-new lodge.)

Mammoth Hot Springs was my favorite at Yellowstone. The boiling water leaches through limestone to create travertine marble.

The gate is at the north entrance to the park. We were exiting.

We spent Saturday night in Helena, Montana.  That evening we had an introduction to Montana history.  Sunday: on to Glacier!  We enjoyed a box lunch on the grounds of the Glacier Park Lodge. There was a wedding on the lawn (unplanned entertainment for us).
 The Glacier Park Lodge was more impressive than the Old Faithful Inn. The pillars are real Douglas fir trunks.

We stayed at the Many Glacier Hotel.  It was built in 1915 and designed to look like an Alpine chalet.  Our room was on the other side (facing east). We had a balcony and found out that it was right under the eaves where bats roost -- four dead bats and a lot of bat poop! (Just before sunrise one morning I opened the curtains and saw the bats returning from their nocturnal hunting.)

 We took a boat ride on Swiftcurrent Lake (seen in the hotel photo) and Lake Josephine. This required a walk between one lake and the other -- "just a quarter-mile," said the 25-year-old guy on the boat. Well, that quarter-mile was hard going for Stevens and another woman in the group who both have peripheral neuropathy. We appreciated the help of our fellow RS who lent their arms to help them get back.

This photo was taken facing west at sunrise, capturing the reflection of the mountains on the lake. It looks like a fake backdrop, doesn't it?!

A dozen of us took a hike around Swiftcurrent Lake. (Stevens sat on the balcony and read. No bats in broad daylight. )We saw the signs but we did not see any bears. We did see a ruffed grouse and three chicks, right on the side of the trail.

We rode the Red Jammers along Going-to-the-Sun Road to the top of Logan Pass. The Jammers are 1930's buses that were retrofitted in 2001. They have the original bodies on modern chassis with flex-fuel engines.  We saw four bighorn sheep far up on the mountain. (They appeared as four white dots in the photo that I took.)

Saint Mary Lake and Wild Goose Island

Crossing the Canadian border was easy.  We had filled out customs declarations ahead of time and our passport numbers were all on a list.  We stopped at Waterton Lakes National Park and the historic Prince of Wales Hotel. (It was named for him in hopes that he would stay there. When he eventually visited he stayed in a private home.)

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is a Unesco World Heritage Site.  (In French: "Le Precipice a Bisons Head-Smashed-In.")  Each year the Blackfeet rounded up buffalo and drove them over the edge of the cliff. They then butchered the buffalo to provide food and hides for the coming year. There are  other buffalo jumps across the plains, but this one has the best archaeological record.

The village of Banff is enclosed by Banff National Park. The town is a lot like Jackson Hole (restaurants, galleries, winter sports, summer sports, tourists).  Our hotel was right downtown. It was great to stay in one place for three nights!  We began with a tour of the Whyte Museum founded by painters Peter and Catharine Whyte.  The "Gateway to the Rockies" permanent exhibit provides an excellent history of the town, sports, and tourism.

This is the Whytes' house on the museum grounds.

We took a gondola ride up Sulphur Mountain.

 Looking down from the gondola cab. Some people opt to take the gondola just one way and hike down (or up) the mountain.

Walking on a glacier was not on my bucket list, but now I've done it! We went to the Athabasca Glacier in Jasper National Park.

It's quite a tourist enterprise, with a large visitor center (and lodging). Actual time on the glacier is about 15 minutes. It's cold!

This is one of the special ice-field buses.

Glacial ice is a beautiful blue under the surface.

We stopped at Lake Louise in Jasper to see the historic hotel.

The lake is turquoise-blue because of "glacial flour," which is limestone suspended in the water.

Peyto Lake (pronounced p-toe) is another example of glacial flour. It really was this color.

We left Banff and headed to Calgary. We spent the day at Heritage Park. It is the largest living history museum in Canada and includes First Nations to the 1950's. There's a sod house, an "old west" town, and a carnival midway. A steam railroad train runs around the permeter of the park.  It was a great way to wind down the trip.

Our final dinner, on Friday, was a banquet. Several people had collaborated on a ballad to commemorate our experience (sung to "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean).  There were hugs and promises to stay in touch.

The trip home was blissfully uneventful. We landed on time at O'Hare, the limo came promptly, and we walked in our front door at 6 p.m.

It was grand!