Archive for July, 2019

True Confessions

July 22, 2019

My name is Barbara and it has been 8 days since I bought fabric. Hopefully, that won’t change tonight when my guild meets at the local quilt shop instead of the church.

Each summer the Row by Row experience does me in as far as no buy goes. This year I am trying to be much more selective in my choices. But, who can resist this collaborative quilt from 8 shops in the Chicago suburbs?

chicago row

Back in the dark ages of the mid-1970s I lived in Chicago so, of course, I had to have this. All the Chicago things, although some of them arrived after I left. The cheese popcorn should also have caramel popcorn in it – that’s the Chicago mix. I may have to make some adjustments to the design to accomodate that. I meant to ask the store about it but forgot. We’ve got the skyline, theĀ Chicago bean, the Buckingham fountain, the Picasso sculpture, the Chicago dog, the ferris wheel at Navy Pier, deep dish pizza, the beginning of Route 66, a twinkie that I was told represents the Hostess company (because they’re moving headquarters to Chi-town?), and, last, but not least, the 2016 World Series winning Cubs. I used to live a couple of miles from Wrigley Field but never went to a Cubs game. They only played during daylight because the field had no lights. Of course, that’s when I was at work. That changed a while back and lights were finally added. Chicago is also home to the White Sox. I asked if there were hard feelings from White Sox fans. One woman who made the quilt and turned it in as the winner at one shop changed the Cubs player to a White Sox player.

After my visit to Mom and Dad, I drove up to my brother’s in Chicago to collect these 8 kits. One shop was sold out so will send it when their reorder arrives. Surprisingly, my mother likes this design. She thinks quilting is boring and always asks when I’m going to get into something more interesting. After I got home, she asked if I’d gotten everything I needed for this and asked when it would be done. Silly question. Said she’d like to see it. Shocked me to hear that. Guess I need to get on the stick and get started.

Along the way some other things jumped into my bags.


I saw this collection of bolts on the shelf but didn’t want to buy yardage. When I saw they had strips and layer cakes, I looked at the Missouri Star Quilt Company tutorial app to select a pattern to make so I’d know which pre-cut to buy. I decided on May Day Baskets. The yardage on the left is for the outer border. I found 3 potential fabrics for the basket part of the blocks at another store.


I couldn’t decide which one I wanted so I got all three and will decide later. Right now I’m leaning toward the blue in the center. That could change after I open the strip set and see them laid out.

Found these at another store. The left one will be a border for the drive-in movie row I picked up from a swap group or for the Scaredy cats fabric hiding somewhere in my stash. This is the movie row:


Here’s the scaredy cats at the movies fabric.


Maybe I should just cut a good sized piece of the scaredy cats and border it with the Dracula fabric and find something else for the drive-in block.


This is another fabric I picked up on my trip. It was just too pretty to leave on the shelf. It will be a border for the Missouri Star Quilt Company’s Crazy 8s. I’ll make the necessary 10″ squares (non-background) from my stash. Background will be a purchase because I don’t have that much yardage of dark purple I want to use.


Picked up this pattern book at one of the shops. Discovered there’s a quilt-a-long that just started for this one.


And this pattern by Valori Wells. The shop did it in Kaffe Fassett collective fabrics. I liked that a lot better than the cover quilt. I’ve got a ton of KFC fabric, so it was a no-brainer.

Here are most of the Row by Row kits I’ve acquired this summer.

Some of these were in person and some through the swap group. As you can see I also picked up the 2018 kits for a couple of the stores.

At the store with the diner row, I was met by this cute little guy.


His name is Milo and he is 9 months old. He was standing at the door looking out when I arrived. I had to slip into the shop without letting him out. He got a little excited when I came in (I seem to have that effect on dogs) so got put into the sling his daddy uses to carry him around. Very cute.

I had to have the popcorn block because popcorn was always a thing with me and my dad. Mom and my brother could take it or leave it. The kernals are yo-yos. Too cute.

Another set of collaborative rows comes from the 10 Maryland-VA Quilter’s Quest shops.


So far I have four of these. Linda and I will be making a couple of trips to get the rest.


At Capital Quilts, in addition to this year’s row kit, I picked up last year’s as well as the Maryland state pride row. It’s not part of the Row by Row Experience but sized the same as the original rows. I went on the website to look at the rows for other states I’ve lived in but Maryland was the only one that was really interesting. I think this company does a lot of the laser cut kits for the row by row shops,

Jinny Beyer designed a paper-pieced fork block as an alternate row by row for those who don’t want applique but then learned she could only have one official row block. Since they were part of the collaboration quilt, the hot pepper jam block is her official row. Anyone who wants the fork kit can order it from her website. She also designed a larger sized fork in a pieced version for a larger quilt. Of course, while I was there, a few fat quarters of tone-on-tones came home with me. The fat eighth stripe at the bottom is a freebie when you bring in one of the shop’s cloth bags.

While I was away, these arrived.

I’m not much of a solids gal but I like some of these quilts that mix solids and prints. Lord knows I’ve got plenty of scraps to work with. I decided the best way to do this was to buy solids in layer cakes rather than build a yardage stash. So, I ordered several. Unfortunately, I didn’t see that one of my selections wasn’t solids. Darn it.

My friend, Polly, has converted me to the dark side so I couldn’t resist the cemetery print. It will probably be a backing for something appropriately creepy.

So, the situation with Mom and Dad is somewhat unsettled. Dad (96 with a collection of conditions, now including dementia) has improved physically with the therapy but can’t go back to independent living with Mom. The assisted living people evaluated him and said he needed more assistance than they offer. Doesn’t sound like they offer too much assistance. So, he’s staying at the nursing home, waiting for a non-therapy room to open up. He’s not happy about his situation. When we visit, we wake him up and next thing you know he’s asleep again. If he keeps doing that, then we leave because why spend time sitting there while he sleeps? He was doing that at home, too, but at least he’d be awake and interacting with us sometimes.

Mom will be moving next month to a smaller two-bedroom apartment across the hall from their current one. She’ll be losing an entry-way, dining room, a bathroom and her close access to parking. Right now, she parks right outside the outside entrance to the apartment. The new apartment outside access is to the interior courtyard. She’s not happy about that. The bathroom in the smaller apartment is a little larger than the ones in the larger apartment. It’s going to be an adjustment for all of us.

Mom’s driving my brother crazy. He gives her assignments that need to be done to make the moves happen and she doesn’t get around to doing them. I’m kind of the same way. I hate it when he gives me assignments. He’ll be going down again soon and I’m sure he’ll get things on track. I’ll just show up next month and do what he tells me. She was saying she’d move in September. He pointed out that we will be there in August for her birthday so can help then but we won’t be there in September to help. Sigh. I’m still not sure she realizes how much stuff has to go away. We want to put it in a storage locker for a couple of months to make sure none of it is needed. She doesn’t think that’s necessary. She’s still whining about missing things from the move to the apartment 6 years ago. We don’t want to go through that again.

The Eagle Landed . . .

July 20, 2019

View from above of 2 astronauts in spacesuits deploying a US flag on the moon.

50 years ago today man landed on the moon for the first time and I missed seeing it.

In July 1969 I was 18 years old and a member of the 1969 European tour of The School Band and School Chorus of America. July 20 found us in London, England – our last stop before returning to New York.

Our guide took us on a walking tour of the city. It was quite an exciting evening to be in London. I remember two things about that night. One was seeing the Prime Minister arrive at 10 Downing Street. He waved to us as before entering the residence.

The second thing I remember is the huge crowd filling Picadilly Circus. There was barely room to move. A huge movie screen had been erected, showing the TV video of the moon landing. TVs weren’t as ubiquitous then as they are today so people gathered in public places to watch. Unfortunately, the astronauts didn’t exit the lander until approximately 3 a.m. London time. I believe the exit was delayed to occur during U.S. TV prime time. By then I was sound asleep. Bed check by the chaperones for our tour members was 11 p.m. No exceptions made for historic events. The hotel had set up a TV in a small room off the lobby but there were no TVs in the rooms.

The most historic event of my lifetime and I’m one of the few Americans who missed it. Where were you when the Eagle landed?