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December 10, 2023
Sunday Stash December 10, 2023 from Quilt Paint Create

No change in the numbers.

For various reasons, I did not get my OMG/Short List posted this week before the linky closed. I’m posting a shortened version here.

Project 1 (stitching): Gather & Give Thanks, pattern by Diane Arthurs of Imaginating. It’s coming along.

Project 2 (Original): The nameless tree quilt. It’s time to get back to it.

Project 3 (charity): Traffic Jam quilt, pattern by Pat Sloan. I’m sewing a block here and there while working on other projects.

Project 4 (UFO): Remember Me, a member quilt from a group I belonged to many years ...

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December 3, 2023
Sunday Stash December 3, 2023 from Quilt Paint Create

No change in the numbers this week.

I have a couple things going in the sewing room. I started piecing more Traffic Jam blocks. This is block #11.

I also blocked an old needlepoint piece I made as a child. I’m sure it hung framed at my parent’s house, but I found it in a drawer with no frame. It was too distorted to try to frame it without blocking.

Both projects came from the piles on the bed of shame.

Fabric In: 35.875 yards

Fabric out: 9.125 yards

Net Fabric In: 26.75 yards

How ...

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December 1, 2023
November 2023 OMG Finish from Quilt Paint Create

My November OMG was to finish the challenge quilt, which I named Love Inspired. This was my inspiration for the quilt, just a small portion of the quilt passed to me.

And here is my finished quilt.

I had a lot of fun tucking fabric motifs in the letter collage.

I think the santa is my favorite.

To see all the other OMG projects, visit Stories From the Sewing Room.

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November 24, 2023
Friday check in: it's a flimsy from With Strings Attached


Moss on fungus at Lyons Woods on Wednesday. 

Queen Anne's lace is still lacy at Sun Lake on Thursday.

After all that walking (the Sun Lake trail is 2.5 miles) I allowed myself generous portions for Thanksgiving dinner.  

 Turkey was .59/lb with a $25 purchase at Jewel.  I bought a 17-pounder because we like the left overs. The sides were red cabbage with apples, wild rice pilaf with pecans, green beans (not the casserole!).  I always make Mama Stamberg's cranberry relish and this year I tried the chutney (click on the link to get the recipes ...

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November 22, 2023
Weekly update: a finish, the WIP, and a reading trio from With Strings Attached

 A string of sunny days called for afternoon walks!  

Right:  the heron was intent on the frog it was eating so I could get a close-up photo.  

On a clear day you can see the Chicago skyline from Illinois Beach State Park.  

 I cropped and enlarged the photo and it may be a little blurry.   The dredger is for the shoreline restoration project. Look to the left of it to see the skyscrapers.

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Sparkling Triangles is finished.  

I made a zipper insert for the back.  I learned the technique from Mary Ellen Hopkins and I use it often.  It's ...

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November 14, 2023
Weekly update: sunshine, music, scraps + reading from With Strings Attached

 Just two walks last week -- Sand Pond (close to home at Illinois Beach State Park) and Greenbelt (on the border of Waukegan and North Chicago).   

On many days Stevens will declare right after lunch that he's ready to go out.   A good habit for both of us.  

Yesterday's baby shower (for which I made the quilt I showed last Wednesday) was cancelled.  The mother-to-be was having false labor.  (No baby yet, though.)    It was a good thing I hadn't given away our tickets to the LCCCA performance.   The Suits were great!  

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In the studio:  the I Spy ...

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November 6, 2023
Weekly update, part 2: spelling bee, a memorable concert, and a finished quilt from With Strings Attached

 Be sure to read the preceding post about the Fine Art of Fiber show! 

On Thursday evening we learned a new word: cicerone. ("A guide who gives information about antiquities and places of interest to sightseers." Pronounced "sisseroney.") I will never forget it because it's the word our Zion Woman's Club team busted out on at annual the Corporate Community Spelling Bee. (We came in third.)

Upper left: ZWC's team was three librarians: Steffi was ZBPL's children's librarian and a trustee and Deb is the media specialist at ZBTHS. (The library had its own ...

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October 19, 2023
Some Scrappy Finishes from Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework

 I finished quilting these two Compassion Quilts months ago but I was having a hard time getting them bound.  A huge thanks to a local friend who stepped in and finished them up!

Joni sent in this lovely scrappy quilt top.

She also sent in this plaid backing fabric.  I think she intended for it to be used on another quilt top but it was a perfect fit for this large one.  It measures 66" x 76".

I had the perfect striped fabric for the binding.  I didn't have quite enough so I added in a turquoise print that ...

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October 11, 2023
Midweek: the corollary from With Strings Attached

 McDonald Woods on Tuesday afternoon.  Not much fall color yet. 

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You are well aware of the saying "measure twice, cut once."  The corollary is "design twice, sew once."  

I was reminded of the corollary as I ripped out a half-dozen blocks and replaced them. I did fuss with the block arrangement before I sewed the rows and I did look to see if the adjacencies worked once the rows were sewn -- but when it came to sewing the rows together I saw too-much-of this or too-much-of-that.   Now I feel better!   Blocks are 6" finished so this is 60 x 72 ...

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October 4, 2023
Midweek: go scrappy or go home! from With Strings Attached

 We've had a string of unusually warm days (80's) with full sunshine.  A cold front is coming through this afternoon and the temperatures will drop 20 degrees.  

Left:  the bumblebee was intent on the liatris (blazing star) as I snapped several photos.  

A 2' long eastern fox snake was crossing the path.  It curled up when I stomped.  The snake is not venomous.  It warns predators off by shaking its tail to mimic a rattlesnake.  I saw the behavior as it swished the gravel on the path.  Then it slithered into the undergrowth.  

I found another fringed gentian ...

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October 2, 2023
Weekly update: wrapping up September, part 2 from With Strings Attached

I had a productive month in my studio.  On the left: the Beacon and Autumn Nine-Patch are finished.  The back of the nine-patch is in the center.  The black/white Geese and Goslings and the blue Happy Endings are flimsies.
 All three bears (Papa, Mama, Baby) are quilted and bound.  
I used three different quilting patterns:  my default swirl, serpentine, and grid.    
Despite all this creativity I added more to my stash than I used.  
Fabric IN, September:   113-3/4 yards, $335.36.  Average: $2.93/yard.   (Quilt show in Madison + an estate sale.)
Fabric OUT, September:  55-3/4 yards ...

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September 25, 2023
Weekly update: welcome autumn, three brown bears,, and reading from With Strings Attached


The first weekend of autumn was great for walks at two sections of Illinois Beach State Park and Lyons Woods Forest Preserve.   

I found a big patch of fringed gentians just one dune over from the beach.  

I use the Picture This app to identify plants.  All it says about mushrooms is, "Do Not Eat!"  

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The grand opening of the library's remodeled adult services section was Saturday afternoon.  The building opened in 2000.  I was the director from 2003-2014.  

Though some rearranging and refurbishing had been done over the years, this was a full-scale reworking. New carpet! New furniture ...

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September 18, 2023
Weekly update: fundraising, two flings, a flimsy, a finish, and flowers from With Strings Attached

 The weather was perfect on  Friday for the 23rd annual Jack McElmurry Golf Tournament at Shepherd's Crook golf course in Zion.  That's our Rotary Club's big fundraiser.  With a nearly-full complement of 140 golfers and many Rotarians pitching in how could it not be a success?  Oh, and I did mention the weather?  (77 and full sunshine).


Registration was at 11, tee time at noon, dinner and raffles at 5, and it was over at 7:30.   It will be a while until the final results are calculated but the proceeds will be in the neighborhood of ...

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September 5, 2023
September 2023 Short List and OMG from Quilt Paint Create

August was a calmer month, but we attended a lot of weekend events that took advantage of the last of summer. I finished two projects, my sister’s quilt and Words of Joy Tree.

That created spots for new things on the list.

I started The Short List many years ago to create goals to work toward and a way to focus. I change things up as my goals and interests change.

Project 1 (stitching): Gather & Give Thanks, pattern by Diane Arthurs of Imaginating. I started it last night.

Project 2 (UFO): I’m quilting the next challenge, due this ...

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August 31, 2023
Midweek: a finish for OMG August + wildflowers + reading from With Strings Attached

I finished hike #9 for the annual Hike Lake County challenge.  Independence Grove  is more like a city park than a forest preserve. It is really crowded on the weekends (I know from previous visits) but this particular Monday afternoon it wasn’t very busy. The hiking “trail” is a blacktop bike path.

Mountain mint, evening primrose, joe pye week. American white waterlily, elderberry "lace," goldenrod. Dogwood.

The blue/yellow/green quilt is quilted and bound.  I used one fabric for the back.  

"Something yellow" was my stated One Monthly Goal for August.  I'm counting this quilt and Borderlands ...

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August 22, 2023
Weekly update, part 2: a finish and a flimsy from With Strings Attached


NOTE:  see previous post for wildflowers and forest preserves.

I went to the ophtamologist yesterday (hence this delayed post).  My corneas are reshaping gradually, which is good. My next appt. is in October.  

Zippers is quilted and bound.  

The back is a cheater cloth print from the 2022 birthday stash bash.   

The blue/yellow/green combination of the backing fabric was still in my mind when I paged through one of Joan Ford's Scrap Therapy books.  One of her designs featured this arrangement of those colors and I used them, too.  However, I didn't have enough of any ...

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July 24, 2023
Friday check in: a book review + nine patch finish from With Strings Attached

 I'm getting accustomed to wearing eyeglasses rather than contact lenses but I still don't like it!  I had an appointment with the retina specialist yesterday and will have an in-office procedure next week to repair a small hole.  (Unexpected exchange between the doctor and the  assistant:  "What's the best Nirvana song to start with?")  DH had a neuropsychiatric evaluation Wednesday; results to come. I was relieved that he was perfectly willing to go through the two-hour testing. 

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The title pulled me in: quilts! But the stories kept me turning the pages. Phyllis Elmore's memoir is compelling ...

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July 4, 2023
July 2023 Short List and OMG from Quilt Paint Create

June was a productive month. I finished two stitches, Floral Butterfly and the star ornament. The ornament wasn’t on my June list.

I started The Short List many years ago to create goals to work toward and a way to focus. I change things up as my goals and interests change.

Project 1 (stitching): Words of Joy Tree, pattern by Ursula Michael. I’m stitching this on red 14 count aida with DMC white, all from stash.

Project 2 (UFO): The membership quilt. The two sections are complete and ready to quilt.

Project 3 (original): The challenge due in ...

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June 30, 2023
In the gazebo with a book! from Crazy Quilter on a Bike!

It's so good to be home! Yes -- I'm now home for at least three weeks -- can you believe that? I can barely believe it, and the even better news is that my commitments are much fewer this month, so it'll positively feel like a vacation! I'm going to be totally lost! 

OK -- that's a lie since I have some long-arm quilting to do, blog posts to write, articles to put together, plans for the fall quilts, and a lot more paperwork, but I won't have so much happening on the weekends. Yeah!

We all ...

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June 12, 2023
Friday check in: ins and outs from With Strings Attached

 Car update:  the right control arm had failed.  I had never heard of that part and looked it up.  The control arms are one of the core components of a suspension system and serve as the direct connection points between the front wheel assemblies and the vehicle's frame. The control arms allow a driver to steer a car while also guiding the wheels up and down with the road surface. Although they are simplistic in appearance, control arms have a vital role in a vehicle's overall stability and drivability.    $943.95.  

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Our dear Magpie friend 
Ellie ...

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