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  • cwrsrp
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May 24, 2023
Weekly update: Bound to be orange + pinwheel rescue from With Strings Attached

I’m composing this post on my iPad and cannot cut-and-paste to edit.  Please bear with me!

I spilled a mug of coffee on my computer yesterday morning.  I got a Geek Squad appointment at Best Buy at 12:20 where I was told that with a 7-year-old laptop it was toast.  They only had a floor model of the new version but another store had one, so we drove another 15 miles to pick it up, then dropped it off at the first Best Buy.  “Estimate five days for the data transfer and set up,” the Geek Squad woman ...

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April 28, 2023
Friday check in: Mme. Curie, a flimsy + OMG April from With Strings Attached

 "Meet Madame Curie" was Lynn Rymarz portrayal at yesterday's Clara Cummings Book Club luncheon. The setting was 1920 when Marie Curie came to the U.S.   The Association of Collegiate Alumnae, as AAUW was then called, raised $100,000 to buy one gram of radium for her research.  Since many AAUW members come to Clara Cummings it was very fitting.   Dr. Curie sought medical applications to treat cancer but radium found commercial uses, too.  

The second character in Lynn's program was one of the   Radium Girls who painted watch faces and clock dials at the Radium Dial factory ...

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April 26, 2023
Midweek: courthouse steps from With Strings Attached


Happy National Library Week!   Zion Woman's Club members were at the Zion-Benton Public Library at 9 a.m. Monday to give donuts to the staff in honor of Library Workers' Day.  (LWD was actually Tuesday but the library was closed Tuesday for planned construction.)   ZWC led the effort the create the Zion Memorial Public Library in 1937.  

Last evening I attended a Zoom program with Will Shortz, the puzzle editor of the New York Times and the NPR Sunday puzzle guy.  It was interesting to learn about his life and career.    

He wrote the essay when he was in ...

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April 25, 2023
Weekly update: farewells and new beginnings (with music) from With Strings Attached


2020:  a drive-by birthday parade to honor Sally
Saturday morning I attended the memorial service for Sally Zeit who passed away in December at age 94.  I first met her in AAUW as our branch voter registration chair (coordinating training for voter registrars and then registration events).  She connected my husband to the Lake County chaplaincy agency where he served as a nursing home and hospice chaplain.  We attended many church services for which she was the organist.  But I'd only known her as a fierce and feisty senior citizen.   Her memorial service provided a life story of decades ...

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April 21, 2023
Friday check in: GIVEAWAY WINNER! and design considerations from With Strings Attached


I thank everyone who took time to comment on Monday's Hands2Help blog hop post.  It was inspiring to read all the stories about the ways that quilters use their passion to enrich people's lives.

 I used a random number generator to pick the giveaway winner:  KAWeed  (Though her post came as "anonymous" she included her email, per the giveaway qualifications.)   

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In the studio:  the pinwheels and square-in-squares are on the design wall.  The units are 4-1/2" unfinished.

The pattern (Gerri Robinson in McCall's Quilting) is a straight set. 

I tried on-point.  I cut setting triangles and ...

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May 27, 2022
Friday check in: rhubarb and a flimsy from With Strings Attached


Thursday:  it was great to join AAUW, P.E.O., and GFWC friends for the last Clara Cummings Book Club luncheon of the season.   Lynn Rymarz presented another one of her Tales in History, this time as Hedy Lamarr who was not only an actress but a patent-holding inventor.   It's always a delight to see Lynn, a friend and P.E.O. sister. 

Our friend Mary Lou said I could pick all the rhubarb I wanted from her garden.  I took her at her word!

Each bag has three cups. Because it loses so much volume when it's ...

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May 23, 2022
Weekly update: wildflowers, work in progress, and a lot of reading from With Strings Attached


Spring Bluff is just a mile from home so I walked there and back this afternoon. 

A bumble bee on wood betony (also called Canadian lousewort).  Wild geranium, Virginia creeper (with horsetail in the background), false Solomon's Seal, golden Alexander, horsetail, fleabane.

Blanding's Turtles are an endangered species that is closely monitored. From Wikipedia:  "Blanding's turtle is of interest in longevity research, as it shows little to no common signs of aging and is physically active and capable of reproduction into eight or nine decades of life."

This one is about a foot long. There are three ...

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April 16, 2022
Friday check in: a fine, a field trip, and a finish from With Strings Attached

Wednesday turned out to be an expensive day.  The first expense was to the electrician who came after lunch. He replaced the 8' fluorescent tubes in the laundry room with two 4' LED fixtures. It's bright enough to perform surgery in the laundry room now!  ($$ to pay him.)   

 Then I drove up to Joann's in Racine to buy batting.  I usually buy it by the bolt but I couldn't get the Joann's online system to take the five $25 gift cards I wanted to use.    I was nearly at the mall when I got nailed by ...

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April 8, 2022
Friday check in: a busy first week and a flimsy from With Strings Attached

 The first week of the month is always busy with regularly-scheduled meetings. 

It was wonderful to have dinner with P.E.O. sisters on Monday after months of Zooming.  We had great fun with our white elephant exchange (sidelined for two years due to Covid).  I'd had custody of one of the perennial white elephants -- a funny plaster pig--and successfully handed it off.    

 Deb got the bead-and-safety-pin basket.   Lenee got the owls--we think they are travel jewelry holders. One owl has been around for 20 years. I got the other owl and the basket at this estate sale way ...

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April 7, 2022
Weekly update: passages, a finish, hopscotch, and two great books from With Strings Attached

Signs of spring: the scilla have begun to bloom.  The aquilegia (columbine) have sprouted. Bring on the daffodils! 

In home improvement news, the 50-year-old windows were replaced this week.  (The exception is the five-pane bay window in the living room which has to be custom-ordered.)  My bathroom remodeling is finally done with the last wall patch plastered over and painted.  

We had to bundle up on Friday to plant blue pinwheels for Child Abuse Prevention Month.  It's one of the GFWC-Illinois signature projects.  

Sad news:  two Zion Women's Club members passed away last week at age 91 and ...

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April 1, 2022
Friday check in: birds have perched, OMG for April, and a new start from With Strings Attached


Rabbit, rabbit! Happy April to all! 


I appliqued three birds to the quilt. 

Look at the dates on the two fabrics in the pieced back.  Sometimes I remember where and when I got a particular piece. The daisy-print was a purchase when I spent a weekend in West Virginia in August, 2001.  There was enough left (after chipping away at it for years) for a 10" insert.  

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My OMG for April is to make a daisy-themed tote bag.  It's for the chair of the Illinois P.E.O. Home Fund committee.  

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I have a complete run of American Patchwork ...

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March 18, 2022
Weekly update: signs of spring, almost finished, and two good books from With Strings Attached


Though it was a chilly, windy 19 yesterday, today it got up to 52.   I snapped a photo of just-emerged skunk cabbage along the trail in the ravine at the end of our block.  Spring is in the air!

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I'm up to the binding on the Double X / Old Maid's Puzzle quilt.   (I did correct the mis-turned hourglass block....see Wednesday's post.)

This wooden binding bobbin was a favor at the Magpies' 2018 meetup.  It's very handy.   I fold the binding in half as I sew it, rather than pressing it ahead of time. 

UPDATE (Monday ...

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March 9, 2022
Midweek: it's a flimsy! from With Strings Attached


I adapted a pattern titled Texas Two Step published in Fons & Porter's Scrap Quilts, June 2012.  I used 6-1/2" blocks (pattern has 7-1/2").   Most of the HSTs in the border were made from scraps from cutting the hourglass blocks. (I felt so thrifty.)

The block is called Old Maid's Puzzle, Jacks on Six, Double X 1, Three and Six, and Kindergarten Block. (Brackman #1689a)

6 yards used.

Linking up with Midweek Makers

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December 15, 2021
Weekly update: the social whirl, bargains, a finish and a start from With Strings Attached

 There were more festive gatherings this week.  On Monday evening my P.E.O. chapter met for dinner at a restaurant. We exchanged holiday socks (a chapter tradition). Everyone brought gift cards that I will deliver to a local agency.  

On Tuesday the Zion Woman's Club had a holiday luncheon.  I didn't get a photo of my vintage Christmas tablecloths in use.  We had box lunches which made serving very easy.  A white elephant exchange meant each of us got something to take home.  We also collected food for the two local food pantries. That all went into ...

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November 23, 2021
Weekly update: projects small and large + reading from With Strings Attached


Lake Michigan at Illinois Beach State Park this weekend:   if you look closely you can see a freighter on the horizon.  

The beach is back after strong autumn storms with over-wash -- the waves went over the low dunes along the shoreline.   

I paced the length of this trunk. It's nearly fifty feet.  A year and a half or two years ago it was growing some feet from the beach. The erosion is so severe that it undercut the dune and the tree toppled.

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In the studio:

Our guild has an ornament exchange at the holiday party. Ornaments don't ...

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November 17, 2021
Midweek: a finish! from With Strings Attached


Finish #4 for November, quilted and bound.  54" x 61".

I made the flimsy earlier this year to use up some of the scraps I created during the CWRSRP (Civil War Repro Scrap Reduction Project).   I'm sure you understand that I still have yards of CW Repros and many scraps. 

The back uses up nearly all of these two prints.

Linking up with Susan and other quiltmakers at Midweek Makers 

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August 25, 2021
Midweek: it's a flimsy + basket blocks from With Strings Attached

On Monday we enjoyed revisiting Lyons Woods for the 2021 Hike Lake County Challenge.  Tuesday was too hot and humid to do more than run errands -- 95 temp and heat index of 105.  When I sat out on the shady patio later in the afternoon a front came through with clouds and wind gusts. Quite dramatic!  I came inside before it began to rain.  We got about an inch -- so badly needed.

Rose hips, gray dogwood, a burl. 

Joe Pye weed, sawtooth sunflower, evening primrose.   Hedge bindweed, rudbeckia (Black-eyed Susan), field thistle.  Woodland sunflower, whole-leaf rosinweed, another woodland sunflower.

Pine ...

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May 31, 2021
Weekly update, part 2: finishes, a start, OMG, and reading from With Strings Attached


See the previous post for this week's wildflower photos!

I finished the pomegranate mug rug for my friend who will become Bat Mitvah on May 31. ("Jewish tradition teaches that the pomegranate is a symbol of righteousness because it is said to have 613 seeds, which corresponds with the 613 mitzvot, or commandments, of the Torah. For this reason and others, it is customary to eat pomegranates on Rosh Hashanah. Moreover, the pomegranate represents fruitfulness, knowledge, learning and wisdom." Source: 

It arrived on Saturday, just in time.

  She sent a picture showing it in action. 

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Barb of ...

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January 6, 2021
Weekly update: project updates, OMG, and more from With Strings Attached


Our first forest preserve outings of the year -- Spring Bluff on Saturday and Van Patten Woods on Sunday.  

Enough people had walked along the trails to pack down the snow so I didn't flounder.

Left collage: red-wing blackbird nest, a gravity defying limb, horsetails.  

Right collage: gull tracks in the sand. 

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I've collected/accumulated household textiles for many years. In 2019 I sold nearly all of the aprons in a yard sale. In 2020 I cut up vintage tablecloths to make tote bags (see them here).   This year I'm assessing the dish towels.  I will keep those ...

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December 28, 2020
Weekly update: hiking, feasting, quilting, reading from With Strings Attached

 Thursday evening:   the first Christmas Eve service I've attended with my sewing machine.  That was so we could watch the Lessons and Carols on our church's YouTube channel.   We fervently hope that this was a one-and-only and that next year we can worship in person.  We dimmed the lights and lit candles for  Silent Night.  

Christmas dinner: roast beef, acorn squash, braised parsnips. Pear/spinach salad.  Cranberry-pumpkin upside down cake.  The vintage tablecloth just covered the table. (The table is mid-19th century and not a standard size.)   And when was the last time you used a pickle fork ...

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