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July 26, 2021
Weekly update: wildflowers! , blocks assembled, and reading from With Strings Attached

 Signs of progress:  the Zion Woman's Club board and the AAUW Waukegan Branch board met this week. Both groups met in person for the first time in over a year.  It was so good to be together! 

(Left: though this is specifically AAUW, it's representative of the other groups I'm in.  Sitting next to one another in someone's living room after a potluck dinner!)

Stevens and I made several visits to different parts of Illinois Beach State Park and also to one of the forest preserves this past week.  Here are just some of the many ...

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July 25, 2021
Oh Scrap! : Little Progress on Scraps from Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework

 This week seemed to whiz by again.

I did get all sixty some blocks sewn for this crazy quilt this week.  Now I am working on sewing up the quilt top.  Who knew I had so many scraps in these colors?!

I also made a final decision on my background fabric and pulled my scrap bins for a new project.  I will be participating in Kelly Young's Scrappy Improv Quilting book release tour.

I just received my electronic copy and I have to say I love so many of the mini projects in this book.
I am not going ...

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July 19, 2021
Weekly update: the flock is growing, and this week's books from With Strings Attached

 (Just a short post this time.)

I need 100 Birds in the Air blocks for the wedding quilt.  They'll be assembled in 25 sets of four -- 13 of one color and 12 of the other.  That means 52 + 48 individual blocks.  Each cutting creates two blocks so I just used each of the blue prints until I'd used them all -- more than 52, I'm sure.  I'm now working on the greens.

(Confession:  I went fabric shopping to get more greens.)

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All That She Carried,
by Tiya Miles

In the 1850's Ashley, a 9-year-old enslaved girl ...

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July 18, 2021
Oh Scrap! : Still on Purple from Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework

 The new color for July is actually supposed to be blue or neutral.  But I am still working on the color purple.  I continue to fall behind this year!

I didn't have a lot of time to sew with this scraps this week but I did get these three pretty purple blocks completed.

I put them up on the design wall with the other completed blocks.  I have decided to go with a 5 x 6 block layout so I need to make 11 more.  I know I need some orange blocks and probably some brown.  I think I ...

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July 12, 2021
Weekly update: wildflower bounty, new scrappiness, and reading from With Strings Attached

 Wildflowers are in abundance at Illinois Beach State Park and the forest preserves (McDonald Woods).

Left: creeping juniper, also called Waukegan juniper because it is native to this part of the lakeshore; shrubby St. John's wort.
Center: evening primrose. Left: white meadowsweet.  Right: butterfly bush.

Soapwort, pinnate prairie coneflower, creeping thistle.   Turk's cap lily (twice), bladder campion, pale purple coneflower, sawtooth sunflower.  

This was new to me.  rattlesnake master, eryngium yuccifolium. Also called button snakeroot or bear grass.  Note the yucca-like leaves.  It's very invasive. The upper-left photo shows an entire meadow of them, with a few ...

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July 11, 2021
Oh Scrap! : Keeping the Options Open from Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework

 Last Sunday I shared a few block photos of a new scrap project I had started.

I was making some 16 patches from 2.5" squares and framing them in some 1.5" solid strips.  The initial plan was to make the entire quilt from these framed blocks.

As I started sewing blocks and realizing just how many scraps in these colors I really had, I decided to modify my plans and make some of these 5 x 5 blocks to use up even more scraps.

Now I can alternate the framed blocks with these 25-patch blocks.  I was worried ...

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July 5, 2021
Weekly update: RSC and reading from With Strings Attached

**Don't miss the previous post with photos from our visit to the Endangered Species quilt exhibit**
Happy Independence Day!   I hope you and your family celebrated as much or as little as you pleased. (We stayed indoors in the air conditioning.) 

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Dark blue is the July color for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  

This year I  am making 16 framed four-patch blocks each month. They're 5.5" unfinished.

I'm also participating in Joy's Table Scraps Challenge with two potholders in the monthly color.

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I picked up the Magpies' hug quilt at the beginning of the week.  LeAnn ...

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July 4, 2021
Oh Scrap! : Seeing a Trend from Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework

 Happy Fourth to all of those in the US.  It was nice that our weather cooled somewhat so many can get out and enjoy the holiday weekend.  I still decided to stay home close to the AC and sew.

I am finding myself excited about a new project I started.  I am always on the lookout for scrap quilt inspiration and recently I have been noticing I have a lot of turquoise, lime and black/gray fabric.

Like...A LOT.

So I started pulling them and cutting them into 2.5" squares.  I found quite a bit of my fabric ...

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June 29, 2021
Weekly update: birthday week, ALA, fabric discoveries, a finish, and reading from With Strings Attached

Extraordinary times

If these were ordinary times I wouldn't be composing a blog post this weekend. I'd  be caught up in the activities of the American Library Association Annual Conference.  Well, I still was, but the event was virtual and I attended from the comfort of home.  I had committee meetings on Thursday, Saturday, and today (Sunday). 

Saturday morning I moderated the Retired Members Round Table program featuring Pamela Bannos, a art history/photography professor at Northwestern, whose has done extensive research on Vivian Maier. The book is subitled, "A photographer's life and after life."  

Dr. Bannos ...

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June 27, 2021
Oh Scrap! : Under the Needle from Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework

 This last week, I spent one whole day sewing with a friend.  It has been well over a year since we have gotten together and it was such an enjoyable time.

I didn't realize how much I had missed my quilty friends.

We sewed at her house...which means I had access to her scrap baskets.  I was looking through one and saw a bunch of bright colored strings all clipped toegether.  I asked her if they had a home.  I also grabbed some squares that had been stacked together.

I needed a leader/ender project to work on ...

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June 22, 2021
Weekly update: estate sale, a finish, and reading from With Strings Attached

 But first, a few wildflowers at Camp Logan/Illinois Beach (June 15).  The wild flag iris is still in bloom (but about over now). Also: hedge bindweed aka "bell bind"; flowering spurge; rudbeckia aka Blackeyed Susan; green bulrush; bird's-foot trefoil; spiderwort aka Bluejacket or Widow's Tears; oxeye daisy.

On Friday I picked up Erika and we drove to Nordstrom's at Woodfield Mall to have lunch with six other AAUW friends from the northern suburbs.  It was SO wonderful to see everyone in person!!   (We've met at Nordstrom's cafe a couple of times before. I don ...

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June 20, 2021
Oh Scrap! : More Plus Blocks from Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework

 This week was a busy one!  So there was not a lot of time available to sew.

But I did get nine more of my Positivity blocks completed.  These blocks used up the last of my gray background fabric so I also spent some time this week digging through my gray scraps so find some other fabrics to use for the last few blocks I need.  I have decided to make some blocks that will stand out much more than the rest and my plan is to scatter them about.  

Maybe next week I will be ready to start laying ...

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June 14, 2021
Weekly update: the garden, a new flimsy, and reading from With Strings Attached

 Illinois officially opened up on Friday with fewer Covid restrictions in place.  My P.E.O. chapter met for lunch on Saturday (we brought our own) -- the first in-person gathering since August.  Church services on Sunday were mask-optional.  There were twice as many people as we've had over the spring.  

A light fog over the lake on Thursday was not a harbinger of rain, unfortunately.  We are in a moderate-to-severe drought.  On Saturday we saw the clouds that brought 1" to the suburbs just south of us but not a drop fell here.

I have been watering the vegetable ...

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June 13, 2021
Oh Scrap! : Finally some time to Sew from Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework

 We have had a beautiful Spring here in Oregon.  That means I have been spending lots of time outside digging in the dirt.  Last week, the weather cooled and the intermittent rain kept me indoors.  That means I finally had some time to sew!

First thing I accomplished was to turn some purple and blue pinwheel blocks into these cute blocks.

Here are what I have finished so far.  All of these pinwheels have been made from bonus triangles trimmed from making some flying geese blocks.  I think when I go to sew all the blocks together, I will use ...

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June 7, 2021
Weekly update: a few wildflowers, convention and scrappy multitasking, and reading from With Strings Attached

 Each year I search for flags -- wild iris. This afternoon I found them everywhere I looked. I think that's because it's been so very, very dry (as in ZERO rainfall) that the other vegetation is not as lush as usual.  Even so I'm surprised that the iris are blooming in such profusion. The wild ones like wet feet. This year they're high and dry.  

See the exposed roots?  (Yellow are invasive; blue are native.)

I found another patch of hybrid iris. (Last week I posted a photo of the clump that comes back annually.)  

Daisies are ...

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June 6, 2021
Oh Scrap! : Time for Purple from Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework

 The RSC color for June is purple - my favorite color!

So the very first blocks I made in purple are my Well Suited blocks.  These blocks are made using one of my Scrap Mixology patterns.

Here is how all the finished blocks look together right now.  This quilt is going to look very different than a lot of the other quilts I made using the same pattern.  You can see some here and here.

I still need to finish my pinwheel blocks.  I am using the bonus triangles from the geese component to make these little cuties.  Hopefully I will ...

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May 31, 2021
Weekly update, part 2: finishes, a start, OMG, and reading from With Strings Attached


See the previous post for this week's wildflower photos!

I finished the pomegranate mug rug for my friend who will become Bat Mitvah on May 31. ("Jewish tradition teaches that the pomegranate is a symbol of righteousness because it is said to have 613 seeds, which corresponds with the 613 mitzvot, or commandments, of the Torah. For this reason and others, it is customary to eat pomegranates on Rosh Hashanah. Moreover, the pomegranate represents fruitfulness, knowledge, learning and wisdom." Source: 

It arrived on Saturday, just in time.

  She sent a picture showing it in action. 

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Barb of ...

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May 30, 2021
Oh Scrap! : A Bit of Progress from Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework

 First, I apologize for not sharing any finishes this last Friday but Blogger decided to not allow any uploading of photos Thursday night when I went to write my post.  Then the weekend just got away from me...So I guess I will share my finish next week.

Today I want to share the progress I have made on my scrappy projects.  
I was able to finish one more blue color block that I cut the pieces back in April.  I think this last block catches up all of my RSC projects just in time to switch to purple for ...

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May 24, 2021
Weekly update: wildflower time and some progress from With Strings Attached

The water is still cold!
  My sister came to visit on Friday.  We walked in the ravine (at the end of our block) and in the state park.  Though the drought continues the wildflowers are beautiful and the migratory birds are trilling away. 

Phlox, false Solomon's seal, Golden Alexander,  Star of Bethlehem (a garden escapee), fringed puccoon aka narrowleaf stoneseed, sweet Cicely, mayapple, wild columbine (aquilegia).

Puccoon, blue-eyed grass, lupine, chokecherry, daisy fleabane, and what the i.d. app calls Umbellate Bastard Toadflax which to me sounds like a Shakespearean insult.

Every year I look for this patch of ...

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May 23, 2021
Oh Scrap! : Baskets from Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework

 I have been dealing with baskets this week!

I made ten more scrappy basket blocks from my Kaffe Fassett scraps.  I think that brings the total finished up to fourteen.  So that means I am almost halfway finished.

To make my HSTs, I love using my Bloc-Loc ruler.  But I know many scrap quilters are a fan of the Easy Angle ruler.  I am curious what method do you like using?

The other basket I had to deal with was this giant one filled with radishes from my garden.  I had well over five pounds!  I love planting radishes because ...

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