Monday, April 22, 2024

Weekly update: convention and a trove of quilts

 The AAUW-Illinois convention was held at Elgin Community College on Friday evening and all day Saturday.  

Though the Illinois Division (as the state organizations were called) was organized in 1924, the Chicago, Inc., Branch was chartered in 1889 followed by Champaign-Urbana (1901), Springfield (1906), Rock Island-Moline (1909), Aurora (1919), Elgin (1920), Quincy (1923), and Monmouth (1924).   My branch, Waukegan, was chartered in 1928.  

The focus of the state convention is about learning and building skills to be better advocates for AAUW's mission of advancing gender equity.  Dr. Suzanne Chod, North Central College, talked about the how and why of political polarization and how to counter misinformation ("you think it's true but it's not") and disinformation ("you know it's not true but you say it anyway").   Meghan Kissell, head of the AAUW Public Policy Office, provided updates about the federal legislation AAUW is working on.  Jenni Perdue, AAUW-IL lobbyist, gave an update about Illinois legislation.  A professor (whose name I didn't write down) talked about the systemic barriers to eliminating poverty among women in the U.S., with a local branch chairman adding what they are doing to help women in poverty. 

The most interesting presentation was  The Dignity Index  It is "an eight-point scale that measures what we do when we disagree, from ONE -- which sees no dignity at all in the other side -- to EIGHT -- which sees the dignity in everyone."  We tried an exercise to determine where on the scale a series of statements fell.   It was very illuminating. I encourage you to look it up.

Left:  Waukegan Area Branch members Jeannie, me, Patricia, Jo-An.   

The spring raffle quilt raised $510 for the AAUW Greatest Needs Fund.   Since 2003 the quilts I've donated have raised over $7000 for AAUW.

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I spend Friday night at my sister's house. She lives about eight miles from Elgin Community College.  (And about 65 miles from where we live, so we don't get to visit in person very often.)   It was chilly and she pulled a quilt out of the linen closet to add to the blanket on the guest bed.  I saw a stack of quilts -- all of which I'd made for her and her family.  I took pictures. 

                                                   Northwoods Reflections, 1993.                                                              Fabric and pattern bought at a shop in South Burlington, Vermont, just after the New England Library Assn. conference in Burlington.  [We moved from Maine to North Dakota early in 1994.]    I was a newbie then and relied on the shop personnel to help with fabric selection.  I gave the pattern away years later but another one turned up in a destash gift last year and I've kept it.  (I wonder what it would look like in contemporary prints.)

Colin's Train.
Made in 1996 for my nephew's 4th birthday (see the CMD 4 embroidered on the locomotive.  Pattern from Quiltmaker.  (What I see now is the absence of couplings on the hopper cars, but I followed the instructions.)

Thousand Pyramids with 1000 +/- different prints for my niece's 10th birthday, 1997.
 She was into all things Ancient Egypt at the time. I recall that I cut  the triangles 4" which resulted in a HUGE quilt. So I recut ALL of them.  I was unaware of watercolor quilts so any resemblance to that technique is coincidental.   [Note how much fabric I accumulated between the Northwoods wall hanging and this totally scrappy quilt.]

Welcome Home.  A Terry Atkinson design made for the family in 1998 when they moved into their house (where my sister still lives).  

I thought this wall hanging had disappeared!  It was hanging on the back of the guest bedroom door.  Pattern by Nancy Breland in Quilters Newsletter, March, 2002.  I made it for our mother who was so ill that she didn't want to go out into her garden. (She died in April, 2002)

When my nephew was 11 or so (2003) he decided he wanted his bedroom to be brown. I happened to have a lot of brown charm squares.  I remember that I used all-the-same for the tan corners and was distressed when I ran short and had to use another tan. This is a lot more like my current style of scrappy quilt design. 

In 2011 my sister said, "You've made quilts for the kids. Could you make a quilt for me?"
This is the result:  The Geese Flew Around the Prairie Queen   My sister is a naturalist and environmental educator, a true prairie (and woodland) queen.

I gave this to my sister and brother-in-law when they got married in April, 2012. (Has it really been 12 years?!)  Pattern is by Bonnie Hunter. 

P.S.  I felt so thrifty when I made a coaster out of scraps from Northwoods Reflections. It's been on my nightstand for years. 

I plan to have a finished quilt and more estate sale fabric to show you on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, here are the linkups: Sew and Tell Design Wall Monday  Oh Scrap!     


  1. A fun trip down memory lane with your early quilts!

  2. always heartwarming to see our quilts being used and getting to revisit them....

  3. How fun to open a closet and see all those quilts you made!

  4. What fun to see the wonderful quilts you have given to family members!

  5. It's always a good feeling to see the quilts you've made being used. Sounds like you had a wonderful conference and a nice visit with your sister.

  6. What lovely quilts that you unfolded...It's such fun to recall the making of quilts. Nice memories...
    thanks for sharing--hugs, Julierose

  7. How fun to see some of your earlier quilts. Nice to know she actually uses some. (Hum, how come the kid didn't take his quilt with him?)

  8. I'm sure you not only enjoyed visiting with your sister but also revisiting so many of your quilts.


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