Reading 1820 Blogs Daily!

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April 19, 2021
Weekly update: out and about, finishes and a flimsy, and more reading from With Strings Attached

 On Tuesday Zion Woman's Club members planted pinwheels to recognize Child Abuse Prevention Month. (CAP is a General Federation of Women's Clubs initiative.)  I've driven past the corner a couple of times and the pinwheels sparkle as they spin.     We took our masks off for the photo and then put 'em on again, though all of us are vaccinated.

Our beach visit on Friday was to the main unit of Illinois Beach State Park. That's one building in three photos -- the long-abandoned bathhouse. This story  tells about the innovative architecture.  

And this story tells about the ...

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April 15, 2021
Weekly update: wildflowers, new projects, and reading from With Strings Attached

Spring wildflowers on my walks this week:
(clockwise):  skunk cabbage leafed out (the flower is the purply-brown "horn"), violets, swamp buttercup, white trout lily (aka dogtooth violet -- "trout" because the leaves are mottled brown/green like a trout); bloodroot. 

Saturday morning:   six of us from Illinois Beach Sunrise Rotary joined other District 6440 Rotarians at a warehouse in Northbrook. We sorted the shoes our clubs purchased through Operation Warm -- new sneakers for kids in our communities.  IBSR's share was 92 pairs that will be distributed through two local agencies.  

Operation Warm also provides new winter coats for kids.  Our ...

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April 5, 2021
Weekly update: Easter, stash report, a finish, RSC, OMG, and reading from With Strings Attached


Happy Easter! 

It's been a busy week! 

We are fully Pfizerized.  Our second vaccinations were at 8:00 a.m. Wednesday.  We were fortunate that our appointments were convenient -- just three miles down Sheridan Road in Zion at CTCA.  

Beautiful spring weather was a great opportunity for  visiting two forest preserves -- Rollins Savanna on Friday and Lyons Woods on Saturday. 

The arch in this fallen oak (Rollins Savanna) looked like a portal. I didn't want to take any chances of what might happen if I went through it.


We saw a pair of cranes at Illinois Beach State ...

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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 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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Weekly update: Rainbow Geese, stash report, OMG, and reading from With Strings Attached

Each day brings about two more minutes of daylight. Sunrise was at 6:30 Saturday. I turned around to start for home and got a photograph of the just-beyond full moon in the western sky.The temperature got to 50!  The bulbs are beginning to poke above the soil.  (Granted, these particular bulbs were on the sunny south side.)

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Thanks again for your guesses and suggestions for the Rainbow Geese. I chose to set them in rows to emphasize each color.  

I liked these vintage prints so much that I didn't want to use them!  I told myself firmly ...

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February 24, 2021
Weekly update: OMG February, two finishes, a whole lot of potential, and reading from With Strings Attached

 My One Monthly Goal for February was to put labels on finished quilts.  One evening I went to work and got them done.  

I print multiple labels on printer-fabric sheets. Some include my name and others are just Hilyard Studio. I write the name, date, and occasion when those are relevant. When a quilt doesn't have a destination I don't include that information. (If I donate a quilt that I made in 2017 to an event in 2021 I don't want it to appear that I dusted off an old project, even if that's pretty much ...

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February 15, 2021
Weekly update: red envelopes, yellow blocks, pinwheels!, and reading from With Strings Attached

My lucky envelope had $2
Kathy, Regina, and me
 The Zion Woman's Club had a Lunar New Year dinner fundraiser on Friday.  We sold tickets in advance for pickup at a local Thai/American restaurant.  We had a Wall of  Fortune with red envelopes numbered from 1 to 85 -- pay a dollar amount equivalent to the number to win cash prizes -- at least a $2 bill but there were some $10s and $20s and one with $100.  Regina and I thought we'd be out in the parking lot selling red envelopes but, hooray!, restaurants have reopened (25% capacity ...

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February 9, 2021
Weekly Update: scrappy, trippy pinwheels from With Strings Attached

(c) Jen Kingwell

In 2019 I made 360 pinwheels for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. They've been in a box waiting for the right opportunity to become a quilt.  

That opportunity came when I read Jen Kingwell's book Quilt Lovely, I bought a copy after attending the virtual program she gave for NSQG last month,    The strong vertical columns on neutral really appealed to me. Note that hers has three different kinds of pinwheels. 

Each column of 6" pinwheels turned out to be about 80 x 18 inches.  I had enough neutral (subtle plaid) homespun for the setting triangles ...

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February 1, 2021
Weekly update: an unexpected gift, stash report, OMG finished and planned -- and reading from With Strings Attached

The 2021 ALA Midwinter Meeting was held virtually from January 22-26.  FLOTUS Dr. Jill Biden was the closing speaker on the 25th.  She was so vibrant!   The remarkable young poet Amanda Gorman appeared in a clip just prior to Dr. Biden's talk. 


Just a year ago I'd heard of Zoom but I'd only attended one meeting.  It does it much easier to convene groups of people who live both nearby and far away.  A perfect example:  on Saturday morning AAUW-Michigan convened a regional meeting with participants from 18 states. There was lots of good information and idea-sharing ...

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January 26, 2021
Weekly Update: making history (with mittens), pink and more pink, Grassy Creek!, and reading from With Strings Attached

It was beautiful at the beach when I snapped the photo but at 19 degrees I didn't linger!  The clouds have returned and there's snow in the forecast. 

Years ago I read a time management book that likened the results of procrastination to an obstacle that gets bigger around as the procrastination continues - so big that it takes more effort to go around it than it would be to just go over it.  That's how I've been with a non-quilting project this week that involved report-writing and statistics-compiling. I have to check to see that all ...

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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 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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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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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.  

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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 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 10, 2020
Weekly update: more sunshine, OMG finished, and CW birds from With Strings Attached


Four forest preserves in four days -- because the weather has been absolutely stunning (70-degree temps, lots of sunshine).  

Raven Glen was a gem.  It's made up of a former campground around a glacial lake plus a former dairy farm.  In 1962 and 1963 I went to summer camp on land that is now Rollins Savanna. I've known that for years but this was the first time we've been to the preserve. (I wasn't able to walk far enough to get to where the campgrounds were. I'll need to do more research.)  We discovered Lyons Woods ...

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November 2, 2020
Weekly update: #hikelakecounty, stash report, CWRSRP Ohio Stars, OMG, and reading from With Strings Attached

 This week we checked three forest preserves off the Hike Lake County List.  (One more wild card -- a forest preserve of our choice -- and we will complete this season.)   Cuba Marsh and Buffalo Creek are in the southwestern part of the county, diagonally opposite where we live.   Van Patten Woods is close to home. (We've been to VPW often.) 

We are very fortunate to have a robust and extensive forest preserve district in our county.  (And the six-mile Lake Michigan shoreline  a mile east of us is nearly all a state park.) 

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And now it's time for the ...

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  • weekly update
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