Friday, April 19, 2024

Friday check in: estate sale, WIP, convention bound, + reading


Tuesday was month #8 of Barb M's estate sale.  Not as much yardage this time -- stacks of books and many, many, many WIPs in ziploc bags.  

Here's what I purchased.   Average $1.62 per yard by weight.

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Slab block construction continues. I've pretty much decided to make 90 blocks for a 54 x 60 quilt.   10 to go.

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No sewing this evening. I'll be at the AAUW-IL state convention at Elgin Community College.   My sister invited me to spend the night at her house (about 10 miles from the convention).   Our housekeeper V will be here this afternoon until after supper and all day tomorrow.

I'm turning over a box and a bag of files.  The black bag holds the stand for the raffle quilt.

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Our Rotary Club and many in our community are devastated by Jake's tragic death on Monday in a freak accident.  He was 34 and is survived by his wife and four children, his beloved grandmother, and a large extended family.  Jake's grandfather, Jack, started our annual Rotary golf outing and Jake stepped up as club president and outing chairman in Jack's honor. 

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The Girlfriend Book Club (AARP) had a FB live interview with Ariel Lawhon on Tuesday evening.  She talked about how she discovered Martha Ballard, the subject of The Frozen River, and the research she did. The moderator posed general questions.  My questions about some of the details in the book were not answered.  (Though I did get a FB message from a woman saying she is a quilter and she knows for sure that there are 18th century Double Wedding Ring quilts in a Vermont museum.   I am not going to press the point (pun?) any further.)

However, the undisputed part about The Frozen River is the rape and murder trial that Martha Ballard testified to.  
 By coincidence I had checked out The Sewing Girl's Tale  by John Wood Sweet  It is about the first documented rape trial in 1793 in New York (four years after The Frozen River).    

Lanah Sawyer was a 17-year-old seamstress who was enticed by Harry Bledsoe, a dissolute young 'gentleman,' and brutally raped.  Rather than hiding her shame, she pressed charges against Bledsoe.   Sweet meticulously documents everything:  the milieu of early Federal period Manhattan, her stepfather's profession as a pilot (guiding large ships into harbor),  the sexual underworld of the time and not the least the judicial system. (Alexander Hamilton was among the lawyers involved.)    The jury found Bledsoe not guilty for rape but guilty of seduction.   Lanah Sawyer married (1800 census) and then disappeared from the historical record.   

Our AAUW Reflections on Reading group will discuss Cultish in May.  Montell writes about the way that language is used by cults to cultivate insiderness.  Cults, she maintains, are not only religions (Scientology, Branch Davidian, etc.) but also many multi-level marketing companies.   I'm sure our discussion will be interesting.

"The June book is a long one," the Reflections chair reminded us, so I checked it out this month.......and I stayed up far too late three nights in row to read it!  

Demon Copperhead is as good as everyone has said.  It's a retelling of David Copperfield, set in Appalachian Virginia.  

Now it's time to read something lighter (and shorter).  I have a TBR (to-be-read) stack waiting for me.

Linking up with Finished or Not Friday     Have a good weekend, everyone!


  1. Another nice that a christmas print i spy? And do show the 2 hunks of that black turq pink print...

  2. We are visiting our kids in your part of the world and your wild flowers pictures really paid off on a walk in a bluebell woods today. Cheers, Ceci

  3. Another avid reader here. No matter how much I read my list of future books to be read gets longer. Seems to work like fabric. I see your stash has increased. :) Love the scrappy look of your slab blocks.

  4. Your slab blocks are really coming along. Very interesting books, a bit heavy for me at the moment, I'm looking for just fluffy reads while recovering from surgery. Have a great week.

  5. I think a lot of us would love a tour through your sewing room storage system! Looks like some more great additions to your stash.
    So sorry about the sudden death of your friend - so sad for his family.
    As for books - I just finished reading 'The Book of Lost Names' by Kristin Harmel and am now reading 'Dead Even' by Brad Meltzer (a new-to-me-author that I'm enjoying very much).

  6. I like your slab blocks so much, Nann! And the background triangles in opposites darker and lighter shades are a great idea, too. Hope you enjoyed your weekend at the convention. Thanks, as always, for the interesting book recommendations!

  7. I'm so sorry for your friend Jake's death. He was so young.
    It looks like you found some great fabrics at Barb M.'s estate sale. You'll put it to good use!
    Your slab blocks look great. I have a love/hate relationship with these kinds of blocks: such tiny pieces, many seams, and lots of weight but oh-so-fun.
    I loved Lawhon's The Frozen River. I discovered Martha Ballard years ago when I read A Midwife's Tale by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich and have the greatest admiration for her (and the women who lived during that time period). I was glad Lawhon included notes at the end of her book. It helped clarify (mostly) which parts were based on fact and which were fiction. I, too, wondered about a wedding ring quilt in the late 1700s. I thought it was a late-1800s/early-1900s pattern but I haven't done any research.


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