Sunday, June 12, 2022

Weekly update: more flowers, more churn dashes, and one you've got to read

 On Saturday afternoon we combined a trip to Half Price Books with a forest preserve walk -- saving time and gas.  I didn't get much for the books but they are out of my house. (I know all about library and AAUW book sales, which I've managed, set up, purchased from, and cleaned up after. I chose HPB this time.)  

Upper left: a tangle of garter snakes (two here; a third slithered away (perhaps establishing dominance before mating?).   Downy pagoda plant (blephilia ciliata -- a new one). Cow parsnip.  Middle: common cinquefoil. Columbine/aquilegia (there are blue ones in our flower bed).  Cleaver (galium aparine), also catchweed bedstraw.  Bottom: cranesbill (end of its season). Birdsfoot trefoil. Virginia waterleaf or Shawnee salad (hydrophyllum virginiamun).  

There's a paracourse along the trail. The various exercises are pretty challenging -- I'll stick to walking, which is getting easier for me the more I do it.

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It's been a week of deaccessioning.  Not only did I sell books to HPB but I also took a box of books to the AAUW luncheon on Tuesday.   I bought a map at an estate sale a few weeks ago and sold it (for more than I paid but a lot less than a comparable listing on eBay).  

AND I sent a half dozen flimsies to a quilting friend.  As I explained, I enjoyed making them but I don't feel compelled to quilt them.  And now they won't be grumbling at me from the still-pretty-full Box o' Flimsies. 

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Christmas Churn Dash is quilted and bound.  

I used three near-vintage Cranston prints for the back. (Those Cranston reds and greens are the epitome of Christmas fabric in my opinion.)

The next churn dash project involves a few batiks.  :)   These are the FQ-and-pieces bins. There's a lot more yardage.

The blocks are 9-1/2" unfinished.  I'm aiming for 56 blocks for 63 x 72. 

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Put this book on your TBR list RIGHT NOW.  It is wonderful.   

Elizabeth Zott aspires to be a research chemist. She's doing the work at a lab in southern California but she's not getting the credit. It's the 1950's and misogyny is rife. She and Calvin Evans, the lab's brilliant Nobel-nominated senior fellow, fall in love and defy social norms by moving in together. Both had unconventional upbringings (her parents were crooks, he was an orphan in a boys' home) that they constantly work to overcome through their passion for scientific discovery. Elizabeth endures tragedy, office politics, and an unplanned pregnancy that results in a daughter as bright as her parents (and a lot more perspicacious). Fired from the lab, Elizabeth becomes the host of a television cooking show that she approaches as a chemistry experiment. The show becomes a national hit.

"Chemistry is change," she tells her audience of stuck-at-home wives and mothers. "Whenever you start doubting yourself, whenever you feel afraid, you remember., Courage is the root of change--and change is what we're chemically designed to do. So when you wake up tomorrow, make the pledge....No more allowing anyone to pigeonhole you into useless categories of sex, race, economic status, and religion...Design your own future...Ask yourself what *you* will change. and then get started." (p.360).

Serious but very funny. Funny but very serious. It's as though Carl Hiassen meets the proto-women's movement.  

P.S. The red rambler rose is in bloom. (It took last year off.)  


  1. Thank you for your regular book recommendations! I have read a few that you have recommended, and have just placed a hold on this one at my library.

  2. ok...on my library list now! ooh love the columbines...i agree about the cranston prints...i do believe there are some scraps still in my stash...back in the day they were the epitome of vintage...i do love the christmas quilt...can't remember but i hope you are keeping it...

  3. batik makes pretty churndashes. I hope I never find medicinal uses for cleavers

  4. Love both Churn Dash quilts, traditional but always a winner IMHO. Loving your book recommendations, and have ordered this latest one.

  5. I am sure you will be shocked to read that I love your Churn Dash quilts!
    I am very curious about the book. Thanks for the recommendation.


  6. I'm enjoying following along with your churn dash projects - the Christmas Churn Dash is beautiful! I just saw Lessons in Chemistry recommended on another blog, so put it on my library holds list. Glad to know you recommend it, too!

  7. Oh Nann, I saw the picture of that romantically involved snake couple on FB :-O I have added the book to my list. I wish I could see the Christmas Churn Dash quilt up close. it looks fantastic. Have a great week!

  8. I like the picture of piled batik bits. And I made a note of that book you recommended.

  9. Okay, okay. You've convinced me to get my lapsed library card renewed, if only for this book! That's how DH has been viewing his cooking these past 4 years or so--when he changed his diet so he could control his diabetes without daily shots--so your synopsis sounds quite compelling.

    Back home, and am looking forward to entering the sewing studio to accomplish some actual sewing, and not to fill an ebay order (centrifuge parts--my studio had some spare room for storing them).

    Bird 'Pie

  10. Churn Dash mania! Batik Mania!
    And don't allow pigeonholing!
    I've tried starting that trefoil in my wildflower garden this year. So far all I see are a lot of little wild locust tree sprouts where I planted the trefoil. You do go on some nice walks.

  11. I like the way you can take your scrap bins and sit on side so you can view them better.

  12. Christmas Churn Dash looks terrific. I probably have pieces of one of those VIP fabrics in my Christmas box. I’ve already put a hold on your book suggestion. Unfortunately it,s going to be months before I get it. It will still be a good read. I enjoy your book reviews.

  13. I enjoy the piecing most as well. And I’ve donated some flimsies for someone else to quilt. We cleaned out books a couple of years ago but it’s time to do it again.

  14. I'm also reading that book right now. It had a long wait time from the library.
    Good for you for deaccessioning. I did but am collecting some more.

  15. Great book recommendation! Thank you! And I learned a new word…..perspicacious. I love words. Your churn dash quilt/blocks are very inspiring. In my attempt to use up fabrics I have accumulated, I’m thinking I might borrow a page from your book, and start making some, too. XO, Kaholly


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