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July 1, 2022
Friday check in: the stash report and a new flimsy from With Strings Attached

 Rabbit, rabbit!   Welcome, July!

The ALA Annual Conference was GREAT.  I will post the account this weekend.   Suffice it to say it was wonderful to see friends and colleagues in person again.  

I got home early Tuesday afternoon.  My husband did all right in my absence and I appreciate the neighbors who kept an eye out and friends who came to visit him.

The stash report for July:   some planned, some unplanned growth but all very satisfying.  

Fabric IN:  1272 yards, $595.  Average $2.13 per yard.  (That includes 1200 for $233 for my birthday stash bash, a garage sale ...

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June 30, 2022
Midweek: solstice, finishes, and birthday stash bash! from With Strings Attached

 I was up very early Tuesday and took pictures of the sunrise on the lake for the summer solstice.    (5:15 a.m.) 

I have yet to find a really good not-wooded place to get a sunset photo. This was taken off a side road about 8:20 p.m. (Sunset officially 8:32.)

# # # # # 

In the studio: I finished the 22 mug rugs and mailed them to the woman who commissioned them. They will be favors at the Georgia state P.E.O. convention next spring. (I joked it's up to her to remember where she put them!)   2-3 ...

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October 5, 2021
Weekly update: class reunion, quilt show, a finish, and reading from With Strings Attached

 The Glenbrook North High School Class of 1970 had not-quite a reunion on Saturday evening.  Early in 2020 we began planning.    Committee members (of which I'm one) tracked down classmates to get phone numbers and email addresses.  We created a Facebook group and used an online class reunion site to try to reach everyone we could.   In July, 2020, we realized that the pandemic wasn't going to be over by October so we cancelled the event. We began 2021 with the hope we could pull off a "Fifty Plus One" reunion for October, 2021.   Evites went out and ...

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August 23, 2021
Weekly update: challenge completed! and something new from With Strings Attached

I realize I am jumping the gun with this, but I am so chuffed at my progress that I can't wait.  If you're reading this and you're in my quilt guild, don't look any further.  If you do, don't let on. 

"Birth Month" is the theme for our guild's 2021 challenge:  use the flower and the gem for your birth month.  Maximum size 20 x 21 for the year.    The reveal was scheduled for scheduled for August -- I knew I wouldn't make it because I was preoccupied by the wedding quilt.  But when ...

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June 22, 2021
Weekly update: estate sale, a finish, and reading from With Strings Attached

 But first, a few wildflowers at Camp Logan/Illinois Beach (June 15).  The wild flag iris is still in bloom (but about over now). Also: hedge bindweed aka "bell bind"; flowering spurge; rudbeckia aka Blackeyed Susan; green bulrush; bird's-foot trefoil; spiderwort aka Bluejacket or Widow's Tears; oxeye daisy.

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 ...

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May 10, 2021
Weekly update: workshop WIP, a goal met, a surprise project, and books from With Strings Attached


I hope everyone had a pleasant Mother's Day! 

When we began exploring the forest preserves the walks seemed longer because I wasn't familiar with the trails.  The path around Lake Carina, a reclaimed gravel pit, is just a mile.  

Upper right: strawberries. Middle right: black mustard (an nasty invader). Lower left: puccoon. I haven't identified the other two. 

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Eleanor (Ellie) Levie was the quilt guild speaker Wednesday evening by Zoom (she lives in Philadelphia).  Her lively presentation  "American Quiltmaking 1970-2000" is a version of the book she wrote (see photo).  I have owned Great Little Quilts, her ...

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April 30, 2021
Friday check in: success on the third try, snaps, and the stash report from With Strings Attached

I made twenty batik crumb blocks. I planned to sash them shadowbox style and auditioned some fabrics.   In addition to this purple/turquoise combo I tried a white batik but that contrast was too stark.  [Of course I am using only what I have on hand.]

Then I found a lovely soft brown/tan Indian batik (part of this gift).  I was so sure it would be ideal that I cut all the sashing. 

I wanted low-volume but it was TOO low-volume and the colorful mix of the crumbs got lost.  

I tried a third time, and here's how ...

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March 29, 2021
Weekly update: something new from With Strings Attached

I've had Patchwork with Pizzazz for more than a decade. (Author Lisa Bergene is Norwegian.  The original title is Kreative Lappe Ideer Vesker og Bager.)  I pulled  the book off the shelf a couple of days ago and one of the designs began to jump up and down and holler, "Try me!"  I couldn't resist.  

The blocks use split rectangle units. I have probably made them sometime along the way but I know I haven't used them as a significant component of an entire quilt.  I remember being put off by the fussy tedium of the bias ...

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March 19, 2021
Friday check in: elephant parade from With Strings Attached

 I was going to make simple slab borders for the elephant-block placemats. 

Then I thought I'd use a skinny strip and scrappy neutral borders.  That required piecing more scrappy neutrals. 

I didn't like the "fenced-in" effect.


If I took the fence out the elephants would be swimming in a pool of neutrals.

What to do, what to do?  

I happened to have some scrappy-batik slabs on hand.  I cut them into three-inch strips. 

I have quilted the elephants and the neutral backgrounds on all four.  I hope to finish quilting the borders today. 

(And now I have 16 ...

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March 17, 2021
Midweek: soda bread and elephants from With Strings Attached

 As far as we are aware, we are not one speck Irish.  (We may be surprised when we receive the results of the Ancestry DNA tests. We spat in the vials and mailed them in about a month ago.)   I baked a loaf of soda bread this morning and have corned beef in the crock pot for tonight's supper.

 That's cultural appreciation, not cultural appropriation.  I have never been to a St. Patrick's Day parade nor gone downtown to see the Chicago River dyed green.


A colleague posted her mother's soda bread recipe on Facebook last ...

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March 12, 2021
Friday check in: thread source and batik stars from With Strings Attached

I am not buying fabric during Lent.  But thread is not fabric!  Someone on an online group recommended  Wawak.   A few clicks later I had an online shopping cart filled with Aurifil thread.  ** $7.95 ** per 1440-yard spool.  That's the everyday price!  The order came within a week.  I am sold!

The batik variable stars are now a flimsy. I made 36 blocks and used 32 of them. It may not look like it, but there is a color arrangement -- warm backgrounds in the center and cooler backgrounds around the perimeter.   (The four blocks I did not use were ...

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March 11, 2021
Weekly update: hints of spring, multiple projects, and reading from With Strings Attached

March began with a flurry of activities.  On Wednesday we got our first Covid vaccine shots at CTCA, the hospital in Zion. It was quick and we had no side effects. The second shot is scheduled for March 31.  

On Saturday evening we went to the first indoor concert in exactly a year. (The last time was March 7, 2020.)  Only 50 people were in attendance with ample social distancing. The Lake County Symphony Orchestra featured a percussionist (marimba and vibraphone) and a brass quintet.   

Spring is in the air with lots of sunshine and mild temperatures. . It was great ...

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January 18, 2021
Weekly Update: a flimsy and three-quarters, more scraps, and two books from With Strings Attached


We revisited Pine Dunes Forest Preserve on Sunday afternoon.  A hiking stick with a carbide tip was a welcome accessory on the packed-snow (sort of melting) trail. 

The framed four-patch batik project is now a flimsy.  In retrospect the borders (made from 2.5" squares) are a little heavy. I'm not sure whether I'll change them (smaller squares? piano keys?) rush.

Grassy Creek is three-quarters of a flimsy. All the blocks and the sashing are assembled.  To come:  a different sashing around the perimeter, an inner border, and an outer border. 

I fussed around with color placement--specifically ...

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January 15, 2021
Friday check in: MQG swap reveal! from With Strings Attached

It's time to reveal the results of the Mini Swap hosted by the Modern Quilt Guild -- at least, of my part in it.  Kathy C. was my swap partner.  Here's the 24" mini quilt that she sent me.   Gray and coral are two of my current favorite colors and I love batiks.  


I used batiks for "Toward the Morning," the mini I sent to Kathy. 

This was the first time I've made a flange binding. 

The triangles-in-formation design is from a stenciled frieze at Crab Tree Farm which I toured in July, 2019 .   

The colorway was inspired ...

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January 4, 2021
Bali Batiks by Sparkle Jane from Wedding Dress Blue

Sparkle Jane completed this beautiful quilt using batik scraps (thanks to Jennifer to held the giveaway).

She, too, enjoys quilts with a lot of different fabrics because of the interest and texture it creates.

And she made matching pillows using the cutoffs.

It is based on a pattern by Kim Brackett from one of her Scrap Basket books.

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October 1, 2020
Midweek: a final finish, OMG achieved, and stash report from With Strings Attached

Another finish!  I made the flimsy in July.  

I rarely use batiks for quilt backs but I did this time.
It's the last day to post September OMG accomplishments.  My OMG was to finish two flimsies. I did that times two-and-a-half (including the quilt shown above).  Here are the other four.
And with that, the stash report.

September  fabric IN:  99 yards, $177.   (That includes a guild giveaway and three estate sales.)  September fabric OUT:  71-1/4.  (That includes a donation to the Joyful Quilter for her charity project.)

YTD fabric IN:  792-1/4 yards, $949 (average $1.20 ...

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August 16, 2020
Midweek: two finishes and a start from With Strings Attached

Tuesday afternoon:   This dragonfly stayed in place on the ornamental plum tree long enough for me to take a photo.  I love the way the leaves look bronze when the sunlight filters through them.   (I also got two feet from a hummingbird that was feasting on phlox nectar, but I didn't have my phone at hand.)   

 In the studio:  I finished the wall hangings which means that two-thirds of my August OMG are completed.   They used three yards in all. 

The new project:   when I reorganized the file of Quiltville patterns I came across Bonnie's ...

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August 11, 2020
Weekly update: wildflowers, wall hangings, and reading from With Strings Attached

I was up early Sunday morning and caught the sunrise over Lake Michigan at 5:52 a.m.  That's 38 minutes later than the solstice on June 22.

On the way home I stopped at Spring Bluff Forest Preserve and took photos of some of the wildflowers.

Left:  mullein, blue vervain, and prairie coneflower. Top right: primrose. Middle right: tall coreopsis ("tall" is part of the name).
Bottom left: a pretty array. Center: bergamot aka monarda aka bee balm. Right:  Queen Anne's lace.

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In the studio:   after I finished Triangle Endeavour (see the previous post) I began working ...

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July 31, 2020
Friday report: blue berries and scrappy geese from With Strings Attached

 Here's the work in progress. I abandoned the monotone batik background in favor of a lively print and changed the red berries to blue.

Yes, one of the flowers floats higher than the others. I am trying to let that NOT bother me.
(I used a tiny zigzag stitch and I don't want to have to rip that out.)

The narrow border is actually a flange. (That's a tip o' the hat to both Libby and Joy whose current projects have flanges.)

I'm still auditioning borders, but this turquoise-with-blue (from the batiks I bought from Libby ...

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July 27, 2020
Weekly update: inches to spare from With Strings Attached

Our church has begun in-person worship again.  Every other pew is blocked off and people must wear masks and sit only with their spouses/families.  It's a good thing we have a large sanctuary and a small congregation.  They are also continuing to  tape a version of the service that is on YouTube at the same time as the in-person service.  I went to church and set up the computer at home for my husband.  (His allergies make mask-wearing a challenge.  Now that I've seen what in-person is like I think he can try it next week.)

I ...

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  • batik quilt
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