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March 23, 2020
Weekly update: still sewing from With Strings Attached

Have you entered the Orphan Adoption yet? See this post -- drawing will be tomorrow, 3/24.

(c) WiseHearts
It's been surreal, hasn't it?  The first pandemic in the age of social media*  means that the true, useful news and advice are overwhelmed by rumor, federal ineptitude (though Dr. Anthony Fauci is a national treasure), and attempts at humor (sometimes funny, sometimes stupid).  I am grateful to Dr. Fauci and the unnamed doctors, scientists, and lab technicians who are working on test kits and a vaccine.  I am grateful for all the "essential" personnel who are running cash registers ...

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March 16, 2020
Weekly update: Covid-19 upsets nearly everything -- but we quilt on! from With Strings Attached

The Corona Virus, or Covid-19, is officially a global pandemic.  Universities are closed (many for the remainder of the term), schools are closed (two or three weeks as of now), libraries and museums are closed.

I had five events to juggle on Saturday (two with my husband).  Kiwanis pancake breakfast was postponed, AAUW was cancelled, LCCCA concert was cancelled. The Zion Woman's Club / Zion Conservatory of Music fundraising luncheon was cancelled. The caterer had already bought the food and she was able to package all the meals "to go." They tried to notify everyone who'd bought a ticket ...

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March 9, 2020
Weekly update: Luncheon winnings and a concert, RSC teal, Frolic dispatched, and the next project from With Strings Attached


The Lake County Women's Coalition Women's History Month Celebration was Saturday. The theme was "Valiant Women of the Vote in Lake County."  The Zion Woman's Club honoree was my friend and former coworker Rosemary who spearheaded the voter registration program at the library. The AAUW honoree was Sally who has coordinated AAUW's voter registration program and moderated many candidate forums.

There is a silent auction and raffle to raise funds for LCWC scholarships for women over 30 studying at the College of Lake County. They awarded three this year.

I contributed Crystal Chain (which I made ...

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February 10, 2020
Weekly update: RSC, a finish, and a stumble from With Strings Attached


Here's one of my 2020 RSC projects, with bright green for January and orange for February.





Here's the other:  HSTs in the  monthly color plus neutral.


I quilted Star Crossed with free-motion swoops and swirls.  It's 54 x 66.































I made an 18th tablecloth tote bag (see  this post)  just to be sure I'll have enough for everyone at the Magpie meet up. [No photo.]


Stumble!  "Read the instructions through to the end. Read them again."  I did not follow that advice and mispieced ten sets of units for Frolic.  The HSTs in are supposed to ...

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February 3, 2020
Weekly update: January summary and February plans from With Strings Attached

 On Friday I wrote that I'd made 13 out of 16 tote bags. I am pleased to say that #14-#16 are finished! Now I can work on other projects.

But first, the January stash report:

Fabric OUT: 95-3/4 yards (which includes 61 yards to the quilt guild Raffle Mania)
Fabric IN: 126-3/4 yards (99 won at Raffle Mania, 11-3/4 from an estate sale, 15-1/2 from my Philadelphia trip), $105.  That's still a bargain at .83 per yard.
Net GAIN: 31 yards

Raffle Mania winnings

Philadelphia purchases 
My new favorite fabric genre is African ...

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January 20, 2020
Weekly update: a milestone birthday, but not much progress from With Strings Attached

Look who had a milestone birthday on Saturday!  I put out a call on Facebook and via email for in-the-mail birthday cards with the hope that there would be 80.  They've been coming for ten days, up to 130 as of this writing -- from as close as next door and across the street to Australia, Ireland (in Gaelic), and England.  There was a friend from his kindergarten days and colleagues from his library days. The youngest was three and the oldest was, well, decades older. Rotarians, Methodists, AAUWs, P.E.O.s, librarians, and a host of other friends ...

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January 13, 2020
Weekly update: Newton's Third Law applied to quilting from With Strings Attached

"For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction."  That's a brief version of Isaac Newton's third law.  I learned this week that it applies to quilting -- at least to my stash.

The guild had the annual Raffle Mania at this week's meeting. That's an opportunity for members to fling no-longer-loved quilt-related stuff and, perhaps, get some new-to-them stuff in return.  It's a bucket raffle where each item has a paper bag where you put tickets for what you'd like to win. If you really want it, put in many tickets.  Members get ...

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December 30, 2019
Weekly update: Frolic 5, a bargain, and the triangle boxes from With Strings Attached

Christmas week has had extraordinarily mild temperatures.  This was the sunrise on December 25.

We went to my sister's house for Christmas dinner.  No photos, just a good visit.











I enjoyed a beach walk on December 26.



# # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #

Frolic, Part 5.  Easy-peasy.  I predict the next part will involve some assembly.

The stacking Snapware boxes come in handy for the mystery quilt clues.

I dropped a box off at Salvation Army and went in the store to see if there was anything interesting.  This delicious Free Spirit print  had been made into four "curtains"--the rod pocket and bottom/side ...

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December 24, 2019
Weekly update: our Christmas gift, the kitchen, Frolic 4 -- and LOG CABINS! from With Strings Attached

Our Christmas gift to one another was a pair of tickets to today's matinee performance of The Light in the Piazza at the Lyric Opera in Chicago.   Soprano Renee Fleming was magnificent in the starring role. The rest of the cast was great, too.  (Signor Naccarelli was played by Alex Jennings who was the Duke of Windsor in The Crown.)


 The opera house is on the Chicago River (the white stone building on the right). We had not been downtown on a Sunday for many years. The train down and back was pretty full.

Now I'm going to ...

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December 20, 2019
Weekly update: now we're cooking! from With Strings Attached

"Now you're cooking!" was a phrase my mother often used. She'd sometimes add, "with gas."  Since both the houses we lived in when I grew up had mid-century "All Electric!" kitchens, electric stoves were all I knew.   The first gas range I cooked on was in my apartment in Texas -- a post-war 24" Roper. I had to use a kitchen match to light the burners and the oven. (The heat came from a Dearborn gas space heater that also required matchlight ....but I digress.)     HERE is more about the origin of "now you're cooking with gas." 

And ...

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December 9, 2019
Weekly updates: tote bags, counter tops and frolics (holiday and quilting) from With Strings Attached

The tote bags I made for the school children in Nepal have been delivered.  Margaret, my friend who supports the school and asked if I could help out, sent this photo of the kids.  It was taken by the school's U.S. coordiantor. (The sign says, "Thank you dear Nann Hilyard.")

[For those who are interested in the school and the parent organization: Impact Schools ]







The counter tops were installed Friday.   I had no idea there were so many choices for faucets until I had to choose one.  (The first one I sort of liked was $1400.  The second ...

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November 25, 2019
Weekly update: the kitchen (still) and log cabins from With Strings Attached


The cabinets are in.  Counter tops this week  Electrical work this week.

We need to buy a dishwasher to replace the 10-year-old model which wasn't cleaning so well. The refrigerator is newer than that but because of the new location I can consider a bottom-freezer model.  (Any opinions?)

My husband caught a bug last week but seems to be over it. I came down with a cold Saturday evening -- I think the worst of it was Sunday night. We should be healthier by Thanksgiving Day. We've been invited to have dinner with friends.  I bought a turkey anyway ...

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November 11, 2019
Weekly update: the kitchen, BOM reveal, and a new flimsy from With Strings Attached

 Our house was built in 1972. When the original owners remodeled the kitchen in 1985 they moved the old cabinets  and sink to the basement.  The past couple of weeks that double-basin sink has come in very handy.  I can do meal prep in the bathrooms (his or mine) but those basins are not convenient for washing dishes.

Below, right, shows the Instant Pot and crockpot  on my 44-year-old card table. The microwave is set up in the garage.

The kitchen and dining room walls had been covered in acres and acres and acres of floral wallpaper since 1985. When ...

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November 4, 2019
Weekly update: auditioning HST settings and aimless piecing from With Strings Attached

I made 550 black-and-something HSTs (3-1/2" unfinished). The plan was to set them in 25 rows of 22.

The design wall wasn't large enough to hold all of them.

The row-by-row setting is sparkly but I wondered what alternate designs might be.

Spectacular Scraps by Judy Hooworth and Margaret Rolfe is one of my favorite quilt design books. They use the triangle permutations described by French mathematician Dominique Douat -- 256 ways to arrange 8 triangles (or, for quilters:  4 half-square triangles).
I've come up with these so far.  Right now I'm leaning toward the pinwheel (#3 ...

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October 28, 2019
Weekly update: OMG and work in progress from With Strings Attached




Monarchs were fluttering around weigela bushes at the marina in Crisfield (see the previous posts for the account of our trip).

There is work in progress in the studio, which you'll see later in this post -- but here's the work in progress upstairs.   I spent two days this week packing up the contents of the kitchen cabinets.  Our housecleaner's regular day was Wednesday. I told her it was useless to clean the kitchen so she helped pack.  I was grateful that she was there.

The cabinets were removed Thursday. The electricians capped and drilled on Friday.

The ...

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October 8, 2019
Weekly update: a challenging guild speaker, a local quilt show, and tote bags from With Strings Attached

Diane Murtha presented the program at Wednesday's guild meeting.  "Accept the Challenge and Win the Prize" was about all kinds of quilt challenges.  There are big-name juried competitions that require entries that interpret a specific topic or that require a particular line of fabric (e.g. the Hoffman Challenge). Some require both (e.g. the Cherrywood Challenge -- one year it was Wicked with a specific Cherrywood acid green; this year it was Prince with a particular purple).  There are local challenges (like our guild's Birds of a Feather).  A quilting bee or a quilt retreat can include a ...

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