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January 19, 2021
More Leaves and my Light Table from Fret Not Yourself

Whoever is careless with truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.
~Albert Einstein


String Tulip QAL will start the first Tuesday in February. Thanks for responding so enthusiastically. Like our usual prompts, I will post steps in successive months. 

February 2 - ESS string blocks
March 2 - Tulip petals
April 6 - Center details
May 4 - Putting it all together

The instructions are not a mystery; they will recreate the three quilts I made with this design. The mystery is what you make of them. Everyone is encouraged to alter the instructions to suit their own plans. I ...

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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 16, 2021
2021 Is Here! from Queen of the Unfinished Projects...

 Yes, I know. I'm behind. I'm always running behind these days, trying to play catch-up.  But the end of 2020 is something I feel like celebrating. So far, this year is off to a great start. 

My family grew a little this month (Welcome beautiful little one! We adore you and we all plan to smother you with hugs and kisses as soon as you're ready for it!). I've done all the boring year-in-review chores and made notes on the upcoming year. My kids and I have all decided to try and learn something new this ...

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January 15, 2021
Is that for me? from Crazy Quilter on a Bike!

 As I was reviewing the pictures this morning, I realized something. Murphy does NOT have a single blanket/quilt/mat that she can call her own. How did that happen? Lexi will have to write a story about poor Murphy, and then there's the poop incident. Yes - Lexi will need to get busy. 

I'm trying to keep up with my e-mail. I'm hovering around 700 in my inbox. I hope to get that even lower, but right now, I'm managing to keep it at 700 - it works for me at the moment. I have a TON ...

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January 11, 2021
Weekly update: some pink, OMG, and a squirrel from With Strings Attached

 Lynn and I have known one another since kindergarten. We reconnected last year on our high school class's 50th reunion FB group.  She joined me on Tuesday for a hike at Illinois Beach State Park. It was a pleasant 3-mile catching-up.  

Wednesday my husband and I went out to discover a new-to-us segment of the lakefront bike trail.  It was so calm -- in great contrast to the upheaval in Washington, D.C. which we watched on the news, horrified.  

(You can tell it's a different day by the color of my turtleneck. :) )

The sun was out on Saturday ...

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Saying Good-bye from Crazy Quilter on a Bike!

 I have two posts this morning. The second post, which you'll find right after this one, is the last call for class sign-ups for this year's ongoing classes. The clubs are full. Well, as full as I'm going to let them get. I believe I've been in touch with all the clubs except the machine embroidery and the EQ8. I've made the distribution lists - I just need to write the verbiage. 

When I was sorting through some of M's old school stuff, which is still hanging around in the office, I discovered a folder ...

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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. 

# # # # # # # # # #

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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January 5, 2021
2020 in Review from Fret Not Yourself

Don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened.
~Dr. Seuss

Not about the pandemic. We are all crying over our losses. But another quiet holiday at home with only video chats for company got me thinking. When our forebears moved, they left everyone and everything they knew behind. They didn't gather together again. At best they had letters. That's why album quilts became popular - a way to memorialize absent friends. Don't you know our foremothers took those quilts out on holidays and traced the names and verses on each block. How grateful they must ...

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December 29, 2020
2020 Round Up from From the Strawberry Patch...

Here's just a sampling of quilts done this year. My guiding word for the year was "VISION". Vision to see clearly: to look at what I had on hand and how I could utilize my stash to make and finish up more quilts. In addition to these (above) I have a sizable queue of  "to be quilteds" ready to go when the much anticipated roll of batting (finally) arrives. Early in January I rolled out the die

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2020 Round Up from From the Strawberry Patch...

Here's just a sampling of quilts done this year. My guiding word for the year was "VISION". Vision to see clearly: to look at what I had on hand and how I could utilize my stash to make and finish up more quilts. In addition to these (above) I have a sizable queue of  "to be quilteds" ready to go when the much anticipated roll of batting (finally) arrives. Early in January I rolled out the die

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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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December 21, 2020
Weekly update: the solstice, some sewing, some reading from With Strings Attached

The first day of winter!   The sun was behind the clouds at 7:13 a.m.   The sandy bluff where I usually take sunrise pictures, such as the one six months ago for the summer solstice, is closed to vehicles for the season.  Thus this photo overlooks the empty boat slips at North Point Marina

I took the photo on the right on my Sunday afternoon walk.  The ravine is at the end of our street. The creek flows to the park adjacent to the marina. 

In the studio:  

Grassy Creek, clue 4. 

I've made 17 out of the ...

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December 14, 2020
Weekly update: hikes, waves, some quilt making -- and this week's reading from With Strings Attached

 We still have a few forest preserves to visit!  On Thursday we went to Nippersink .  

The gravity-defying tree has another outstretched limb pointing straight ahead.

A front came through and it rained Friday afternoon and all day Saturday.  The weather forecast said waves would be high on the lake and I went to see for myself.  

In the upper photo: the seawall (on the left) used to be at the water's edge. The round thing in the middle is a concrete storm drain that used to be covered by sand and gravel and a good 10' from the water ...

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December 12, 2020
Who is that? from Crazy Quilter on a Bike!

 Today is the LAST day of craziness for this year! Oh - who am I kidding? But it should calm down quite a bit after today. I have two classes today, and I still have two presentations to assemble, and never mind that I had to do the homework for one of them yesterday (and this morning). The girls might have to wait until later for their walk. 

Last night, I had the good fortune to listen to an author speak. This was through my local library. Honestly, these author talks have become HUGE because of Zoom. So this is a ...

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December 10, 2020
Two steps forward and oops - a stumble from Crazy Quilter on a Bike!

 Yep - another great day! I'm doing well at plowing my way through the list of things to do. What else is new - it's the story of my life. But if I had a "real" day job - I'd be doing the same thing! It's just that I'm the boss, so to speak! However, I'm governed by deadlines. 

No, the magazine quilt did NOT get quilted yesterday. Sigh... But it's on the long arm, and that's the first thing that gets done this morning once the girls go for their walk. 

My little stumble ...

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December 7, 2020
Weekly update: a walk on the bluff, estate sale score, and more from With Strings Attached

 I remember going out to Sunday brunch in the 1960's at the Hotel Moraine on the Lake  in Highland Park. [Click on the highlighted link to learn about its glory years.]  Since we've been exploring parks and preserves in Lake County this fall I thought I'd try to find the site. It's a city park now.  The boardwalk to the beach is closed for repair so I could only go to the edge of the ravine. 

(The gold berries were on a tree. I don't know the species.)

Less than a mile to the north ...

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November 30, 2020
Weekly update: hikes, Grassy Creek and pinwheels, and cheese from With Strings Attached

 The parking lot was nearly full when we arrived at Ryerson Woods Conservation Area on Saturday afternoon.   It was another gorgeous day with abundant sunshine and mild temperatures.  

(Note: one more dandelion!)

Brushwood was the Ryersons' house, built in the aerly 1940's.  It's used for courses and exhibits. There's also a modern welcome center (adjacent to the parking lot). None of the buildings is open now because of Covid.  

# # # # 

Alford Park is at the far northern edge of Kenosha. We've driven past it many times but until today we'd never stopped.  The lake was placid ...

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November 26, 2020
Moving on up! from Crazy Quilter on a Bike!

 Yesterday was a good day! Sometimes all we need is a good sleep and the next day is much brighter! The SNAFUs from the previous day got fixed.  They weren't my issues, but I had to deal with the consequences. I'm happy to report that the giant quilt is on the long arm and ready to go later today. 

I don't mind doing some work for customers to help them get their quilts ready. I've done bindings, but I had to make the backing for the giant quilt, and there wasn't enough. So the customer ...

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November 23, 2020
Weekly update: forest preserves, nine patch stars, and the book review from With Strings Attached

 We visited Prairie Wolf Forest Preserve Friday afternoon.   It's bordered by a shopping center and suburban office buildings -- a century ago that was farmland but a century before that it was a slough, which is what the forest preserve is now.  

When we left Prairie Wolf we saw a sign for the  Heller Nature Center We're glad we took a detour to check it out!  It's part of the Highland Park Park District.  (Not shown: the good-sized education building. I can imagine that in normal years there would be field trips and after-school activities.)  The cabin was ...

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November 16, 2020
Weekly update: wildlife, RBG, kaleidoscopes, and JAB from With Strings Attached

 It was still unseasonably warm on Monday when we went to Middlefork Savanna on the far west side of Lake Forest.  The property was formerly J. Ogden Armour's farm. (I have yet to find out the location of the other tallgrass savanna in North America.)   

The front came through on Tuesday. It was 30 degrees colder when I walked at Illinois Beach State Park.  The frog blinked when I nudged it with my toe but it did not move. The buck watched me for a couple of minutes. His mind was more likely on the does -- I got a ...

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