Monday, October 28, 2019

Weekly update: OMG and work in progress

Monarchs were fluttering around weigela bushes at the marina in Crisfield (see the previous posts for the account of our trip).

There is work in progress in the studio, which you'll see later in this post -- but here's the work in progress upstairs.   I spent two days this week packing up the contents of the kitchen cabinets.  Our housecleaner's regular day was Wednesday. I told her it was useless to clean the kitchen so she helped pack.  I was grateful that she was there.

The cabinets were removed Thursday. The electricians capped and drilled on Friday.

The refrigerator is in the dining room.  The coffee maker is in my bathroom. We're using paper plates but washing cutlery in the bathroom. (The original kitchen sink was moved to the basement in the 1985 remodeling but it's a bit of a hassle to go downstairs to rinse out coffee cups.)

I unearthed the crockpot.  I bought an Instant Pot, which I've considered doing for a long time. So far so good.  The hassle is not having water right at hand.

I compare the project to banging your head against the wall -- it  will feel so good to quit.


It's time for the One Monthly Goal link up hosted by Patty at Elm Street Quilts.  [I keep typing Elm Creek Quilts, thinking of Jennifer Chiaverini's long-running series. (Did you know there's a new ECQ book out this fall? I have the advance copy but haven't read it yet.)]

My OMG was once again two parts.  I accomplished both.

#1   Ten more tote bags for the Nepal school project.  (I promised to make forty -- twenty in September, these ten, and ten to go.)

#2  Set the wonky house blocks that were the guild BOM for 2019-20.

All the houses are made from polka-dot fabric. The setting was inspired by Freddy Moran who uses black/white/bright in all her designs.

All participants in the BOM who bring quilt tops (or finished quilts) to the November meeting will qualify to win prizes.

As for quilting WIPS:  I have made six more Nepal tote bags and have the fabric for the last four cut.  I plan to finish them this week and send them off.

And here's something new!  The HSTs are 3.5" unfinished.  Right now I'm considering making 25 rows of 22 (66" x 75"). That's 550 HSTs. That could be a nice leisurely project -- make a few, put them away, make a few more -- but I predict I'll charge ahead. 

P.S. I contributed Purple Mountain Peaks to raffle at the Zion Woman's Club annual bunco party on Friday.  The winner was delighted.

Linking up with
One Monthly Goal
Oh, Scrap!
Design Wall Monday
Monday Making
....with thanks to Em for hosting Moving It Forward at Em's Scrap Bag . I'm going to check out her new scrap quilt group on Facebook.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Quilts on the trip

 Of course I spot textiles wherever I go!

At the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio:  campaign quilts and bandannas.

 A dress made from fabric printed with James Garfield's portrait.   And the wearer couldn't cast a vote in that 1880 election.

 Autographed blocks from Garfield's era.

 Early sewing machines and a haberdashery at Harpers Ferry.
A contemporary quilt at the Applachian Trail Conservancy, Bolivar, WV, with ATC patches.

A quilt and a pillow at the museum on Smith Island.
Closeup of the pillow label.

This elegant quilt was on the bed at the Teackle Mansion in Princess Anne, MD.  There was no identification.

The quilting and trapunto are beautiful.

Vacation, 2019, part 3: on the way home

I wrote that I wanted to avoid the Baltimore/DC rush hour traffic.  Even at 11 a.m. the highways around the city were crowded!   In western Maryland I made the mistake of staying on I-70 rather than taking I-68 to I-79.  Both routes end in Washington, PA, but  I-70 goes north into Pennsylvania -- twisting mountainous roads mostly under construction.  My arms ached from gripping the steering wheel.

I turned at the first sign of a motel in Washington, PA -- a vintage 1970's Ramada Inn at the top of a hill.  This was the sunset view.

Saturday morning we headed west on I-70.  At the first rest stop in Ohio we saw this camper at the end of the parking lot.  The man on duty explained that their church men's group parks the camper one Saturday a month. They give out free coffee, soda, and snacks.

We pulled off the highway at Norwich, a few miles east of Zanesville.  This pottery outlet was next door to the gas station.  I checked it out.  A sign for Ransbottom pottery seemed familiar. I asked the man at the counter how long the outlet had been in business. "Since 1978," he said. That confirmed it:  when we moved from Kansas to Maine in 1982 I stopped here.  I still use the Ransbottom utensil crock I bought that day.  (I didn't buy anything this time.)

Conestoga freight wagon: construction truck of the day

The National Road / Zane Grey Museum is just a mile from the pottery outlet. We stopped in and are so glad we did. 

The museum has three features.  First, the National Road: authorized by Congress in 1806, construction left up to the states. An exquisitely-detailed diorama shows the building of the road from Cumberland, MD, to Vandalia, IL.

Parts of the National Road are still visible (if you know where to look).  US-40 and I-70 cover the route today.

The second part of the museum is about Zanesville, Ohio's famous son, Zane Grey.  His great-great-grandfather Ebenezer Zane founded the town.  He got a baseball scholarship to the University of Pennsylvania. After graduating with a degree in dentistry he opened a practice in New York, where he met and married his wife.  Dentistry was his profession but the outdoors and writing were his passions.  His first best-selling novel, Riders of the Purple Sage, was published in 1912.  He realized the potential of movies and his books were made into silent and then talking pictures.  He was the first millionaire American author. The Greys eventually settled in California.  He was an avid hunter and fisherman. He and Hemingway went on a hunting trip together. They did not get along.
Grey's California study 

Art pottery 
The third part of the museum was dedicated to Ohio's art pottery industry.  I learned about Roseville, Weller, Hull, McCoy, etc., in the 1970's from one of my library patrons who had an extensive collection.   I wasn't bitten by that particular bug but I do appreciate the art form.

Utilitarian pottery
The men made the clay slurry and molded the pieces. The women applied the glaze and decoration.

And with that our touring was over.   We got to Indianapolis on Saturday night (more road construction!).   We left early Sunday morning and were HOME at noon.

Ten days, nine nights, 2,284 miles -- a thoroughly good trip!

Vacation, 2019, part 2: "Maritime Heritage" Road Scholar

Heron over Cedar Island Marsh at daybreak
Crisfield is at the southern end of the Maryland portion of the Delmarva peninsula -- where Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia come together.   The town is 4 feet above sea level. The marsh is not far from anywhere.

 It was disconcerting to come into town Sunday afternoon to find half the streets closed!    The full moon, high tide, and a nor'eastern swamped the streets on Saturday night.   We drove very carefully.    The motel was on slightly higher ground and did  not flood. 

This banner provided a warmer welcome.

 Here is the official description of  the Road Scholar program. Charlie Petrocci (photo, right) created the program more than 20 years ago. He is the coordinator for the 10-12 sessions held each year.  (The rest of the time he is a fisheries consultant (former Peace Corps, National Park Service, National Fish & Wildlife service) and has many scholarly papers and research projects to his credit.)

There were 23 in our group., from as far away as Colorado to as close as Maryland and northern Virginia.  Four of us were P.E.O.s -- Grinnell, Iowa; Denver (two); and me.

The Tawes Museum (Crisfield Heritage Society) was our classroom base for the week.  Watermen's Inn restaurant down the block from the museum provided breakfasts and two of the dinners.

Monday morning:  classroom, history of the English settlement of the Chesapeake Bay region.

"downtown" Tangier
Tangier harbor and marsh
Monday afternoon:  ferry boat to Tangier Island, with lunch on the island.  That was the last day of the tourist season.

Tangier is over the state line so it's part of Virginia, but because Crisfield is the closest harbor that line is blurry -- except when it comes to state marine fisheries regulations!  The watermen and the DNR rangers know one another well.   Tangier has been losing land area and population for years.  There's still a K-12 school, though. The Class of 2020 has *one* student.
Tangier natives speak with a distinctive accent.  This YouTube video is one of many.  The young man who took us (by golf cart!) from the dock to the restaurant said, "We had a hoi toide this weekend." (That's "high tide.")
 We were back in Crisfield for dinner. The evening speaker was former mayor Kim Lawson. (That's a male Kimberly -- remember, it used to be a masculine surname (like Beverly and Evelyn).)  Mayor Kim is a great spokesman for his hometown and told us about the economic challenges in the region.   

Tuesday another local, Tim Howard, took us on a walking tour of Crisfield.  We went into the last crab processor in town, MeTompkin.

Female crabs have the Capitol Dome on their undersides. Males have the Washington Monument.

After learning about local seafood we had it for lunch -- prepared by a local chef and caterer. 

That afternoon Eddie Somers, who grew up on Smith Island and recently retired from the Coast Guard, to explain the array of crabbing and oystering equipment.

I can't remember what they do with the crab shells but here's a photo of oyster shells.  A lot of Crisfield's reclaimed land is on an oyster shell base.   
There was a little free time before supper. Stevens needed to get some supplies at the drugstore, so we did that -- and then stopped at the Crisfield Public Library  (I'd mentioned municipal finances after Mayor Kim's talk. He asked how I knew about such details and I explained I'm a librarian. He said we had to see the new library, which he helped secure funding for.)  It's a beautiful building! A deck right off the adult reading room (top photo of the collage) takes advantage of the waterfront location.

Wednesday was another boat ride -- this time to Smith Island. It's much like Tangier:  crabbing for 200 years, land eroding, children leaving.
The rain began as predicted but we intrepid Road Scholars were prepared with umbrellas and rain gear.  (Stevens waited at restaurant while we had our guided tour.)

The seas were a little rough for our ferry ride back, but Stevens was a happy camper.

That afternoon, back at the museum in town, Smith Islander Janice Marshall told us about the lives of the watermen's wives.  She also showed us (up close!) how to pick a crab -- her fingers flew!

Thursday morning: the rain had blown over and the sun shone.  In the morning Tim took us on a bus tour of Crisfield beyond the downtown waterfront.  We all enjoyed the Ward Brothers workshop.  Barbers by profession, the Wards had a gift for carving decoys -- some 25,000 of them! The workshop was two wings (one for carving, one for painting) with the barbershop in between as you can see from the gable.

The Ward Brothers 

Thursday afternoon was free time. Stevens and I drove 30 miles north to Salisbury where we toured the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art.  It showcases not only the brothers' artistry but also has a   displays of decoys showing their history and how they vary from region to region.  Other wildfowl artists' work is exhibited.

No rods, no wires -- just wood. The swans balance on one left foot. The hawk balances on a wingtip.

We also went to the Littleton Dennis Teackle house in Princess Anne.  Construction began in 1802 and with a center section and symmetrical wings. Teackle made and spent several fortunes in agriculture and industry. He lived in Washington, DC, most of the time while his wife supervised this house. Her extensive correspondence remains.  The house was subdivided into apartments in the 1950's. Renovation   (More information here.)

Thursday evening was a summary of the week with passport signing. Our Road Scholar passports go back to Elderhostel days.  This was #37.  (We've met several RS "centenarians"--one man had been to more than 150 programs!)

Though there was a final group activity on Friday (a tour of the Coast Guard station) we chose to leave after breakfast.  I wanted to avoid the Baltimore and Washington morning and afternoon rush hours.

The next post is about the last leg of our trip.