On Friday I picked up Erika and we drove to Nordstrom's at Woodfield Mall to have lunch with six other AAUW friends from the northern suburbs. It was SO wonderful to see everyone in person!! (We've met at Nordstrom's cafe a couple of times before. I don't ordinarily think of a department store as a luncheon venue, though of course in years past women who spent a day shopping would do that at Marshall Field's and other stores.)
I went to an estate sale Saturday afternoon. They were winding down and there wasn’t much left. I chose a couple of pieces of fabric. “Oh, we had much more earlier,” the woman said. (Keep me from temptation….) When I went to check out she added to my stack. “This is Thai silk,” she said, “and I think you will appreciate it.” The sticker said $10 and she charged me $1. She added the Easter egg print for free. (30 years ago I made eight napkins from that Cranston print. I still have them. A friend made Easter outfits for her five children from that print. Another friend made a table topper that she still uses....did YOU buy that print? What did you make out of it?)
The red-and-bronze Thai silk is 4 metres. The blue is hemmed as a scarf. Here is the backstory about the silk company.
I'm sure both the yardage and the scarf were souvenirs. I have no plans to make anything out of either one, but I will give them a good home in my Exotic Fabrics Stash. (That sounds much nicer than "why in the world did I buy this and why do I still have it?")
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In the studio: I am stuck on the Positivity Plaids. I ran out of the two subtle homespun backgrounds. The less subtle backgrounds don't go with them. I went to both Joann's and Hobby Lobby but neither had very light tan-on-neutral check. I'll put the blocks aside and hope that an alternative presents itself.
Meanwhile, I quilted the batik Snaps that I made several weeks ago. The back is a wonderful Marimekko print (thrift shop purchase, 3 yards for $3.99 in 2018). It's 58" wide so I didn't have to piece it.
I hope to finish sewing the binding during Sunday PBS-time.
The Sunflower Sisters
Martha Hall Kelly blends historical personages with fictional characters in her third novel about the women of the Ferriday/Woolsey family.
When the Civil War breaks out Georganna "Georgy" Woolsey is among the first women to sign up for nurses' training. She was posted to a hospital ship and later served in New York City. Her family--widowed mother, six sisters, and a brother--were staunch abolitionists.In sharp contrast, Louisiana-born Anne-May Watson is living miserably on the Maryland tobacco plantation she inherited from her aunt. She is spoiled and petulant and can't stand her husband (a mild-mannered amateur scientist who enlists in the Union Army). Anne-May regularly abuses her house slave Jemma.
I very much wanted to "really like" this book. I enjoyed its predecessors (Lilac Girls--WWII and Lost Roses--WWI/Russian Revolution) and the Ferriday/Woolsey family story. But I got the impression that the author had so much to say (interesting and true) but only so much space in which to say it, so that there seems to be a lot of coincidence. Helpful details are missing. [Example: how could a slaveowner reclaim a slave in New York City in 1864? Why would Yankee Pinkerton agents side with the slaveowner? That may be true but why make the reader go look it up?]
In 1899 Peter Winceworth is one of dozens of lexicographers at Swansby's. He is bullied by the others but he persists. His contribution is a rebellion: he creates dozens of "mountweazels," words that don't actually exist --each with its own handwritten index card.
Mallory finds one mountweazel, then another, then another. These singular neologisms (=new words) are intriguing. Intriguing but more scary are the phone calls she fields daily from an unknown person threatening to blow up Swansby House to end the digitization project.
"Discovery" is the key: not only lexicographical but also personal, as Mallory and Peter come to terms with their identities.