Sunday, June 16, 2024

Weekly update: red stars and OMG + reading


We've had a string of sunny days. (We could use some rain, for sure.)  We went to Rollins Savanna on Friday and Lyons Woods on Sunday. 

Nodding thistle, thistle bud, raspberries, beardtongue, wild white indigo, purple angelica, coneflower.

It was sunny Saturday, too.  I helped staff the Rotary booth at the annual Juneteenth celebration, held this year at Illinois Beach State Park.  Our Rotary club president was the chair of the entire event -- a huge job, and she carried it off so well!  (Didn't get a photo of her....she was too busy elsewhere on the grounds.)  Stevens stayed at home which was better for him and for me.

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In the studio:  

There were enough cutaway triangles from the scrappy lozenges to make 32 blocks.  It was easy to make more HSTs for four more blocks.  
As I was attaching the striped border I had a brief thought of how Bonnie Hunter would have come up with a bright and busy pieced border . . . but I put that thought away and I'm sticking with the stripes.

Flimsy + flimsy disassembled
My stated One Monthly Goal for June was to make a new tote bag to take to the ALA conference at the end of the month.   I decided to make it out of parts from the flimsy that resulted from the guild's 2018 round robin. 


Here it is!   

The other side looks the same with the second band of flowers. 

I used the four tulip blocks for the pockets. 

I cut corrugated plastic campaign signs for tote bag bottoms.  (An x-acto knife works best.)  I make a fabric envelope to cover the plastic.  

One campaign sign is enough for six or seven bags. 

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Carolyn Wells is the most famous and prolific author we've never (or hardly) heard of.  She was born in 1862 and grew up in Rahway, New Jersey. Her family had means and social standing.  Though she was an avid reader and evidently did well in school she did not choose to go to college, nor did she marry.  At age 30 she accepted a job at the Rahway Public Library. During her twelve years as the town librarian she began writing.  

And did she ever write!    She wrote poetry--doggerel, satire, parody, and serious. She compiled anthologies.  She edited literary magazines.  Her skill and fame brought her into the orbit of Mark Twain, Gelett Burgess, Rudyard Kipling, and other early 20th-century literati.  

She wrote books for little kids and for early readers. She wrote YA series fiction (starting in 1899).  She wrote an operetta.  But mostly she wrote mysteries-- more than 180 of them, starting in 1905 all the way to her death in 1942.   At one point she delivered a full-length mystery every three months.   Many of the mysteries were adapted for silent movies.  

Later in life she married (he died a few years later). She turned her talents (and considerable financial assets) to book collecting, with a concentration on Wa lt Whitman.  All the while she was producing mystery novels. 

Rebecca Rago Barry came upon Wells almost by accident and was intrigued.  Why isn't Wells as well-known today as Agatha Christie or other Golden Age mystery writers?  (No, it wasn't sexism.)  Barry's research is thorough.  You'll need to read her interesting and often witty account. 

Linking up with Oh Scrap!  Sew and Tell  Design Wall Monday    


  1. Your bonus triangle quilt is just great! I think the striped border is perfect - no need for anything more elaborate, lol! I love how the tote bag turned out, too. Those parts from the other quilt top make a fun design, and isn't it wonderful that this will now get used instead of hanging out in the closet?! After I retired from teaching, I made a tote bag out of a favorite denim teacher jumper - that was fun to use! I've never thought to add a stiff piece in the bottom - great idea!

  2. Very clever repurposing for all aspects of your tote bag!

    The striped borders are enough, and let the stars take center stage. One of them looks like a shades-wearing happy face, smiling out at us. (Now that you see it, you can never unsee it!)

    Bird 'Pie

  3. Brilliant use of pieces from the 2018 round robin. I, too, use corrugated plastic for purse bottoms. I would use the stripe fabric too. Just sayin' sometimes a finish makes more sense.

  4. I think the striped border gives this quilt top way more ZIP! than it could ever have had with a pieced border.

  5. I love how you made that bag! It's so cute and what a clever way to stabilize it. The striped border works beautifully on that quilt.

  6. I like the striped border and anything 'busier' would have been too much (at least IMHO).


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