Friday, October 30, 2020

Friday check in: the first CWRSRP flimsy and and forensic block dating

 * CWRSRP = Civil War Reproduction Stash Reduction Project

When I posted the photo of 50 red/white Ohio Stars earlier this week I warned you that I was thinking about settings.  

Here's the result!   The sashing is not a repro but it was the right tone.  Deb Tucker's Square Squared ruler made easy work of the cornerstones. (I tried the Square-in-a-Square ruler, and even went to a class for it, but it was awkward to use. I like Deb's ruler better.) 

I have 20 white-corner Ohio Stars ready for the next project. 

Yesterday I stopped at an estate sale in Zion. I didn't know the woman whose estate was being sold (she passed away last summer) nor did I recall having seen the house though I've driven along that street frequently.  I bought two elementary school yearbooks and the 50th reunion souvenir (Zion-Benton Township High School Class of 1953).  I'll give those to the library for the local history collection.

I also bought six of the homeliest quilt blocks I've ever seen. How could I resist?  [Yearbooks plus blocks = $6.00.]  

They're all hand-pieced with giant stitches. Maybe they were a child's project?  

There were no sewing supplies or fabric in the sale. Of course I don't know what the family may have kept or what might have sold earlier in the day.

The stars were pieced on pages from a Sears catalog and pages from the Memphis Commercial Appeal (newspaper).  

When I give my quilt history program I talk about the information that can be gleaned from the paper foundations left in quilt blocks. 

There are two clues to the date they were made.  I looked up Carroll G. Worley. He died in 1991 and his last surviving child died in 2017. I emailed the Bald Knob, AR, Rotary Club to ask when he served as president. (I also looked up his presidential predecessor, Sterling Green, but only learned his death date.)

I haven't heard from Bald Knob yet, but:  

I googled 123 E. Cherry Dr., Memphis.  It's still a "fine home," per the builder's ad -- 3,552 square feet, last sold for $480,000 and estimated current price of $613,000.  It was built in 1955,  so the blocks can't be older than that.

Linking up with Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?

P.S. Before I turn the Elmwood Echoes over to the library I will share them with my friend Liz who was an 8th grader there in 1948.   The Class Prophecy -- forecasting to 1965! -- says that "We were amazed to hear that Miss Elizabeth [S] is signed up with the circus as a trapeze artist."    (Spoiler alert: that didn't happen. She has four daughters (and many grand- and great-grandchildren).  She ran a successful daycare business for 20 years. She and her husband Bob hosted more than 40 exchange students through Rotary. They've traveled extensively -- every state and 50 or so countries.  I think that beats the trapeze!)  

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Midweek: OMG complete and CWRSRP stars

 Regular readers saw this quilt in progress. I'm reposting it now for the One Monthly Goal link up.  The stars and the Yankee/Dutchman's Puzzle blocks were in the Parts Department/Orphans box and demanded to play together.  

You will see the initialism* CWRSRP often in the coming months.   It stands for Civil War Reproduction Stash Reduction Project.  I weighed the CW stash this month and, at four yards to a pound, I have 239 yards.  Here are the first blocks:  50 red/neutral Ohio Stars, 9-1/2" unfinished.  I'm already playing with different settings.  

* An initialism is initials. An acronym is initials that can be pronounced, such as "radar."  

Linking up with OMG Finishes  (thanks, Patty!) and Midweek Makers (thanks, Susan!).

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Weekly update: enjoying autumn, a finish, and the CWRSRP


We added two forest preserves to our Hike Lake County list:  Greenbelt and Lake Carina .  There's a story trail at Greenbelt with pages/pictures from Waiting for Winter along the route.  More late-summer flowers still in bloom. 

In the photo: Sumac, Bouncing Bet (soapwort), ground cherry, dogwood berries, tansy, Queen Anne's lace, and a very persistent dandelion.  

It was overcast and foggy on Friday.  I stayed closer to home on my walk. I passed a man I knew. He was walking his dog. "How've you been, Miss Nann?" he asked. [That's how people address "their" librarian.] We had a nice chat....distanced, of course. At the train station there was a kid -- maybe 12? taking pictures with his iPad in such a desultory fashion that I could tell he was just killing time. "How are you?" I asked. "Okay," he said. Me: "I'll bet you're tired of remote learning." Boy lit up. "YES! I'M SICK OF IT! I WANT IT TO BE OVER!" Me: "You take care." Boy: "You, too! Be well!"

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In the studio: I finished the quilt I'm choosing to call Pinwheel Chain. I used most of the extra units on the back -- just one pinwheel left over for the Parts Department. 7-1/8 yards for top, back, binding.

I've begun the Civil War Repro Stash Reduction Project-- CWRSRP for short -- by making 9" Ohio Stars. I'm aiming for 50 (30 dark and 20 light) but I may change my mind.

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Florence Adler Swims Forever, by Rachel Beanland, is definitely one of my favorite books of 2020! It is a good story and it is SOOOOO well-written. Set in Atlantic City, 1934, it's about the secrets a family concocts to protect one of their own. Beanland tells the story from multiple viewpoints and the transitions are seamless. I highly recommend it!

The Guest List, by Lucy Foley, has appeared on several must-read lists. And Then There Were None meets Lord of the Flies on the longest-ever destination wedding weekend. I guessed the victim but the murderer was a surprise.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Midweek: flowers, foliage, flimsy


From my walk yesterday.  We haven't had a frost yet so late-summer  flowers are hanging on.


The foliage is beautiful every autumn. I think we're noticing it more this year.   

Speakng of noticing:  This article reports on a study of  the way the pandemic shutdown has affected songbirds.  They don't have to compete with as much noise. 

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In the studio:

Several readers have speculated about the design for these units.   Here's that photo again.

And here's the flimsy!   The design is by Bev Getschel, published in Quiltmaker May/June 2017.  It's called Tutti Frutti, but that doesn't seem very much like  "ice cream or other sweet food containing a mixture of chopped fruits, candied, dried, or fresh." 

I followed the designer's colorway.
The units are 4-1/2" unfinished. The blocks are 12-1/2" unfinished.  The flimsy is 60" x 72" and used 4 yards.

Linking up with Midweek Makers

.....Tune in Friday to see the beginning of my CW Repro Reduction Effort.  

Monday, October 19, 2020

Weekly update: hikes, something new (again), and 239 yards (!)

We added two forest preserves to our Hike Lake County list this week.  Ethel's Woods is named for Ethel Untermyer. In the 1950's she led the initiative to create the Lake County Forest Preserve District.  (In 2019 AAUW honored her (in memoriam) as a "visionary woman" for the Lake County Women's Coalition.) McDonald's Woods is named for the former landowner who created a private 295-acre preserve back in the 1940's. 

Left: pond at McDonald's Woods, a stubborn chicory blossom, ground cherries. (We tasted ground cherries on our Quebec Road Scholar trip. They are toxic (nightshade family) when unripe. These are ripe but I didn't take any chances.)

It is hard to take a selfie when the sun is in your eyes. 

In the studio:  all the units for a new project. Assembly in progress.  You'll need to tune in later in the week!

The19th century reproduction prints have lived quietly on shelves under the cutting table. I haven't used them recently (actually, for a few years).  Mind you, I have plenty of books and patterns featuring these repros.  Time to take stock of what I have. The contents of the shelves filled two bins to overflowing.  I weighed it all:  59-1/2 pounds -- 239 yards!  

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This week's reading:  

Lottie Dod was 15 in 1887 when she won Wimbledon for the first time. (Wearing mid-calf skirts, a corset and "leather shoes such as washerwomen wore.") She went on to win the title four more times.  She went on to be an Alpine mountain climber, a champion golfer, and an Olympic archer.  Her family was prosperous so the four children (two girls, two boys) could concentrate on sports. She never married and did not capitalize on her prowess.  She died in near-obscurity in 1980.

Fiona Davis writes novels set in landmark buildings in Manhattan -- this time, the New York Public Library.  In the early 20th century the building superintendent and his family lived in a seven-room apartment inside the library. Sounds like heaven, doesn't it? But in 1914 Laura Lyons feels trapped, dependent on her husband Jack's underpaid position (though housing comes with it) and his years-long novel-in-progress and their two young children. When she enrolls at Columbia's journalism school she discovers and uncovers more than she anticipated.   In 1993 Sadie Donovan, Laura's granddaughter, is a rare books librarian at NYPL.  A series of thefts threatens her credibility -- finding the culprit also solves the mystery from Laura's day. 

Linking up with  Monday Making     Oh Scrap!  Design Wall Monday

 P.S. Friday afternoon rainbow.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Friday check in: simple design = visual impact

 Earlier this week I came across a pattern called "Sweet Caroline" in a stack of torn-from-magazines quilt patterns (Easy Quilts, Fall, 2011).  I thought I'd give it a try.   Here's the finished quilt!

[The binding is dark blue. The cream-colored design wall looks like another border, but it's not.]

The designer used 5" squares for 4.5" blocks. I used 4.5" squares (and 2.5" strips for the four-patches).  It's 55 x 61.

I intended to make the quilt with fabric from the  guild giveaway last month but I couldn't achieve the color balance and visual texture that I had in mind. The four-patches and one column use the giveaway fabric. The rest is from my stash.

This is much less scrappy than my usual style. In fact, it was sort of uncomfortable to limit the fabric choices!  I'm already considering the design using different fabrics of the same color in each column [e.g. ten different greens, ten different oranges] with black/white for the four patches.  

The back is made from two fabrics.  They really blend, don't they?  (The 15" purple piece on the right is separate from the large blue/purple stripe.) 

Linking up with Finished or Not Friday   

Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Weekly update: taking a hike and a finished quilt

We took advantage of the beautiful fall weather this week to begin the Hike Lake County challenge. sponsored by the Lake County Forest Preserve District   Take a hike along the trails at the forest preserves on the list, fill out the log, and send it in to get a commemorative badge or a zipper pull.  The autumn 2020 challenge is August 15 to November 30 so we're pushing to get to the 12 listed locations (and a 13th wild card of our choice).  [Note: I do the hiking while Stevens sits in the car and enjoys the scenery. He's not able to walk long distances.]


This week we went to Ray Lake, Captain Daniel Wright Woods, Old School, Grant Woods, and Fort Sheridan. (Check the here to see the specific locations.)   

Signage gives historical information as well as highlight of the specific preserve. 


 The asters were in full flower but some of the summer wildflowers 

are still trying!  (Left:  Grant Woods, Saturday. Right: Fort Sheridan, Sunday.) 

The foliage is glorious!

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In the studio:  the Christmas quilt is quilted and bound!   2-5/8 yards for the back and binding.  I've offered it to my AAUW branch for a holiday raffle (online this year) if they'd like it. (My previous Christmas quilts were AAUW raffles.) 

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The Address Book by Deirdre Mask was excellent.
The subtitle, "What Street Addresses Reveal About Identity, Race, Wealth, and Power," explains her thesis. There is a global project to provide street names and numbers for every location--from rural Africa to rural West Virginia. What did the ancient Romans do to mark where they lied? How did addresses help pinpoint the cause of cholera in early 19th century London? Why do U.S. streets have numbers for names but other countries do not? What happens to streets named for historical figures when they fall out of favor (Russian revolutionaries or Confederate generals)?  I hadn't thought about all of this and I'll bet you haven't, either. 

Linking up with Oh Scrap!   Monday Making

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Weekly update: how about that?, wildflowers, and reading

 Autumn wildflowers at Lyons Woods on Sunday afternoon.   Left:  white snakeroot; a yellow that I can't identify (not swamp candle, not goldenrod), and a very late-blooming thistle.  On the right: four kinds of asters. 

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On Friday I posted a photo two sets of Christmas blocks and declared that setting them would be my October One Monthly Goal project.  The muse smiled graciously on me and look at the result!  It's 56 x 70 and used 4 yards by weight.

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I hear about books from many sources -- email from publishers, blogs, and FB posts. I miss being able to browse the shelves at the library. Instead when someone makes a recommendation that sounds interesting I put it on hold.  This week's reading was a mixed bag.   
How Lulu Lost Her Mind by Rachel Gibson is chick lit, a genre I'm not wild about. (The formula: a successful-but-supremely-unconfident woman leaves her comfortable surroundings and meets a man.  Mixups and confusion occur. They finally realize they are meant for each other.)  
 Filthy Beasts by Kirkland Hamill is a memoir about no-longer-rich people who weren't likeable when they had money and aren't likeable when they're poor. I guess the writing was cathartic for him.   
My Life as  a Villainess is a memoir-in-essays by crime fiction writer Laura Lippman.  There are some funny parts, some did-she-really-write-that? parts. She's self-assured and self-aware. I like her fiction better.
Missing Millie Benson by Julie Rubini was a gem! I learned about it from this FB post celebrating the 90th anniversary of Nancy Drew.  Here is a review from  A Mighty Girl : Growing up in Ladora, Iowa, Mildred "Millie" Benson had ample time to develop her imagination, sense of adventure, and independence. Millie left her small hometown to attend the University of Iowa, where she became the first person to earn a master's degree from the school of journalism. While still a graduate student, Millie began writing for the Stratemeyer Syndicate, which published the phenomenally popular Hardy Boys series, among many others. Soon, Edward Stratemeyer tapped Millie for a new series starring amateur sleuth Nancy Drew, a young, independent woman not unlike Millie herself. Under the pen name Carolyn Keene, Millie went on to write twenty-three of the first thirty books of the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories. In all, Millie wrote more than a hundred novels for young people under her own name and under pseudonyms. But there's more to the story: Millie was also a journalist for the Toledo (Ohio) Times and The Blade. At the age of sixty-two she obtained her pilot's license and combined her love of aviation with her passion for writing, sharing her travels and adventures with readers. 

Friday, October 2, 2020

Friday check in: OMG for October

 I'm not big on seasonal decor -- a pumpkin and mums on the front stoop in October and nutcrackers on the mantel at Christmas are about the extent of it. But I do have "summer" and "winter" dishes.  This week I swapped the Summer Chintz for Fair Winds

The dinnerware change over called for a new set of placemats.  In 2009 I coordinated a swap for apple blocks.  My share were consigned to the orphans box until last year when I offered most of them in the Orphan Adoption giveaway -- I kept four. They came to the top of the stack this week and, boom!  here's what happened. 
That takes care of what I thought would be my October OMG.  Now I need to choose another project.

I think that project has chosen me.  These two sets of blocks were waiting patiently in the orphans box.   I hadn't planned to make a Christmas quilt this year because AAUW isn't having an in-person holiday luncheon. (For nearly 20 years I've made a holiday quilt that's raffled for AAUW.)  The red stars are remainders from last year's AAUW quilt. The Yankee puzzles are from a birthday block exchange. I think there's a combination here . . .

Linking up with Elm Street Quilts     Finished or Not Friday     Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?

P.S. Our ballots came in today's mail.