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  • monday making
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May 10, 2021
Weekly update: workshop WIP, a goal met, a surprise project, and books from With Strings Attached


I hope everyone had a pleasant Mother's Day! 

When we began exploring the forest preserves the walks seemed longer because I wasn't familiar with the trails.  The path around Lake Carina, a reclaimed gravel pit, is just a mile.  

Upper right: strawberries. Middle right: black mustard (an nasty invader). Lower left: puccoon. I haven't identified the other two. 

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Eleanor (Ellie) Levie was the quilt guild speaker Wednesday evening by Zoom (she lives in Philadelphia).  Her lively presentation  "American Quiltmaking 1970-2000" is a version of the book she wrote (see photo).  I have owned Great Little Quilts, her ...

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May 3, 2021
The Quilty Year so Far from Life In Pieces

The end of April means we are one third of the way through 2021.  That's a bit sobering as there's only been one finish  coming out of my sewing room so far this year.  I've been focusing on just a few projects at a time in hopes of moving more to the finished column, but it's been slow going. I've been playing along with Quilting Gail's 2021 PHD  program to help with the motivation. 

My PHD report for the end of April doesn't show much in the way of progress for the last ...

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April 26, 2021
Weekly update: convention, concert, the whole nine yards, new ideas, and reading from With Strings Attached

On Friday afternoon I walked along the fire lane at the northwestern edge of the state park, less than a mile from home.  I saw a beaver lodge (upper right) and several beaver-chewed trees.  Were the beavers trying to sabotage the fire lane?   

A brisk northeast wind brought whitecaps to the lake. It was chilly but clear.  There's a pair of bald eagles nesting in that part of the park. My quest this season is to see them one day.  

  Friday evening and a good part of Saturday were spend Zooming with AAUW-Illinois colleagues for the 96th annual state ...

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Playing with Rainbows from Life In Pieces

It was a beautiful weekend, though both days were really windy.  I'm not sure where the time went, Saturday is a bit of a blur.  I did spend some time in the sewing room working on the Morewood Mystery project, as well as working on April's One Monthly Goal.  Since work has been so nuts this year, I picked an easy to accomplish task for this month; make a start on assembling the Cabins and Fans UFO.  It was slow going initially as there was some quilt math to take care of.  It's an on point setting ...

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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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Mostly Morewood from Life In Pieces

There is snow in the forecast for this week. I guess Mother Nature isn't ready to be done with winter yet.  It looks to be a weird week on the weather front.  Thankfully it was a nice weekend. We were able to meet up with the Scientist in Training for lunch and a chilly walk in park on Saturday. I got in one whole day of dedicated sewing time on Friday.  Though it doesn't seem like there was much progress.  

Morewood Mystery by Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs

All the Morewood blocks are now stitched together.  That was ...

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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 12, 2021
Just Stitching Stuff from Life In Pieces

It was a quiet, but busy weekend. Taxes are finished, with some time left to play in the sewing room.  Getting Grassy Creek cleaned up and pressed was the first priority. 

The yellow and gray fabrics frayed a bit, so there were lots of loose threads to remove from the back.    

Once that was done, I could go stitch a bit at the machine. 

Morewood Mystery by Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs

The top and bottom two rows of the Morewood Mystery quilt are completely assembled, but I'm still working on stitching the blocks together in the middle two ...

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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 27, 2021
The Front and Back from Life In Pieces

It was a quiet weekend, but not nearly long enough.  I'm not ready to head back to work today.  Thankfully, the meeting schedule doesn't look too nuts this week. Maybe I can get caught up a bit.  

It would be nice if work projects were going as well as my stitching projects.  Last week I finished adding the borders to Grassy Creek but wasn't able to get a photo to post.  That was remedied yesterday. 

Grassy Creek, the 2020 Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt

The top hasn't been pressed yet, so please excuse the wrinkles. I'm ...

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March 15, 2021
Weekly update: pie for Pi Day, square dancing, elephants, and reading from With Strings Attached

 March 14 (3.14) is the day for Pi, Pie, and Puns. I made cherry pie for the occasion.   

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In the studio:  I have finished 20 Nine Patch Square Dance blocks.  I found the perfect fabric for the sashing in my stash -- a Hoffman floral.  The colors are right (not too yellow, not too green, a little pink, a little orange).  The flowers are realistic, not stylized, which go with the realistic flowers in the centers of the blocks.   I need 1 yard.   I have 15 inches. Okay, what can I use instead?  I searched high and low -- in the ...

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So What's Next? from Life In Pieces

It's really squishy outside after our rainy weekend.  The river running through town is up, but not out.  So we should be able to get to work no problem.  I'm glad we didn't get all that moisture as snow, but I know lots of places did.  Hope everyone will be able to dig out today.  

I didn't spend as much of my weekend in the sewing room as usual.  The Scientist in Training was home and so there were other things to do.  Though we did hang out together for a bit while I was working ...

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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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March 8, 2021
The Oldest UFO from Life In Pieces

The weather this weekend was beautiful. Sunny with temperatures in the mid 60s.  It was just too pretty to stay inside and sew all weekend, so there were a couple of long walks on the schedule this weekend.  Still there was plenty of stitching time.  

Friday night I put the last stitches into the binding for the Red, White and Blue Stars, aka the Picnic Stars quilt.  

Picnic Stars was the oldest UFO on my list.  We were still living in Texas when I started these Lone Star blocks back in April of  2005. Like most of my quilt starts ...

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March 1, 2021
One More Mystery from Life In Pieces

We took our monthly day off on Friday, so it was a three day weekend for me.  So I had three good afternoons of stitching time this week to work on the four quilts in my "focus" group.  Red, White and Blue Stars should be a finish this week. I've gotten past one corner of stitching on the binding.  The other three focus quilts in the works at the moment were all started last year as mystery quilt alongs.  I was able to get Grassy Creek off the big design wall this weekend so I could put Unity back ...

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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 22, 2021
The Other Mystery from Life In Pieces

Most of the snow had melted by yesterday afternoon. It was pretty while it lasted, but I certainly don't miss the bone chilling cold that came with the snow.  It was still mostly dreary weather this weekend, though we never got the rain that was forecast.  It was still good sewing room weather.  

Grassy Creek is still my focus project, but it's been the subject of my design wall post for the last couple of weeks.  So time to switch it up and highlight the other mystery quilt that's taken over the smaller design wall. 

Morewood Mystery ...

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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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  • monday making
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