Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Rosie Lee Tompkins

"Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society."
~Oliver Wendell Holmes

We had a three month delay in paying taxes here in the US. The new deadline is July 15. Tomorrow.

Chinese Coins

With so many little projects around the house there wasn't much time for quilting this week. Someone asked how to decide on the widths of Chinese Coin columns recently and here's what I wrote:

1. I plan the overall size (LxW) of the finished quilt because it helps me determine when I have enough columns and when to stop sewing onto a column. Believe me, column length is difficult to eyeball. I put pins on my design wall but you could masking tape your carpet or use floor tiles as a guide. Just something concrete to refer to.

2. Decide on a range (say 4-8") or pair of ranges (very narrow and very wide) as a guide because it helps determine how many columns you are shooting for. {50" wide/6" = 8 columns while 50" wide/ (8+2") = 5 PAIRS of columns. Only three 14" wide columns could fit in the same 50 inches.} You might still need extra columns in the end but this gives you an idea to aim for.

3. Sew the widest column(s) you want first because you will run out of strings. Just look at your outlined quilt size and consider what width looks "right" remembering you will trim and seam about an inch off the column. 

4. When that/those columns are finished, look at the strings that remain to figure your next column width.

5. There are usually enough tiny bits left at the end for one or two very narrow columns.

There are many examples on my blog because it must be my favorite scrap quilt idea. Just search for Chinese Coins or use this link where I did it for you.


Despite all the issues of the pandemic, I did manage to see the Rosie Lee Tompkins quilt exhibit at BAMPFA. Just not in person. You can see it, too... until December 20. The exhibit opened just as California locked down for the pandemic so the museum kindly made a video tour. It's over an hour long so get your coffee ready first. The museum site includes a slideshow and links to their catalog but the video itself is also available on YouTube. Among the benefits of video {as opposed to in person visiting} are the ability to rewind and tour a site as many times as you wish.

Rosie is the pseudonym of Effie Mae Howard who lived in Richmond CA where Eli Leon met her. He purchased many of her quilts over the years and curated several shows that included her work. I have catalogs of three of the shows but believe there were at least eight including several, such as the 2016 exhibit at the Museum of California, that didn't have catalogs.

Catalogs of African-American quilt shows by Eli Leon

Upon his death, Eli donated most of his collection of 3,000 African-American quilts to the UC Berkeley museum including 500 by Ms. Tompkins alone. 

Projects Around the House

Still scanning and shredding. As previously mentioned the compost bin limits how much can be done each week. There is nowhere else to put the stuff. Currently six of twelve drawers completed. Halfway through although the tougher files are still ahead. More of these will need to be retained. Still, it's good to review what is in the files and put misfiled papers into their correct section. 


As we watch Covid ravage the US and see other countries actually dampen their outbreaks I realize part of the problem is the politicization of the pandemic. For the first time, politicians have pushed health care professionals out of the way as they rush to get their face before the electorate. They are not trained in public health and conflate their own agenda with medical facts. It has encouraged people to think the virus votes. I am appalled by the thoughtless actions of my neighbors and fellow citizens who somehow think it's a hoax/ they won't get it/ it's not too deadly. Read this short article if you find a 1% death rate acceptable.  

If nothing else consider the rate of infection among health care workers. It takes years of training to become either a nurse or a doctor. As they die off, who will be there to provide your healthcare?

Who else recalls one of America's major problems of WWII was that  malnutrition during the preceding decade of the Great Depression left many of our citizens unfit to serve? Are we really ready to write off another generation of working-age citizens? Do you want yourself or your family to be one of these people? And support them with all the extra care they will need over the years ahead? 


Our national election scheduled for November 3 is 112 days away. Help someone register and encourage everyone to vote. Vote 411 is a wonderful resource. Democracy requires the participation of ALL citizens. 

Enjoy the day, Ann


patty a. said...

I watched the video of the quilt exhibit and it was well done.

It's great you are getting house projects done. Around here I tried to take some items to the Goodwill, but they weren't accepting anything because they had run out of room. Their procedure was to disinfect everything and then let it sit for four days. At the store I went to they had two semi trailers full waiting for the four days to pass.

I agree with you on the covid problems. The city council here just passed an ordinance that you have to wear a mask, but the governor already said masks were mandatory for the county because of the rising covid cases. I started wearing a mask in March when we were told we didn't need too and I plan on continuing to wear one until the world gets a handle on this virus. To say that this is a hoax is true denial. 135,000+ deaths from covid is not a hoax. Now the POTUS is taking advice from a former game show host! This is just crazy.

Quiltdivajulie said...

The Rosie Lee Tompkins exhibit was highlighted in an extended article in the New York Times - that's how I learned about it being online. SO worth watching! And you don't need to preach to me about the COVID mess we are all in. The numbers are rising rapidly here due to so many who refuse to mask and distance - the hospitals are opening their surge areas and pulling in any and all nurses they can hire. And it will, sadly, get worse before it gets better. Yes, we do need to V-O-T-E for candidates who value and respect respect science, nature, and each other.

LA Paylor said...

well said Ann!
It's criminal for anyone to sacrifice health of citizens he's tasked with protecting, whether it's discouraging the only thing that helps (masks), trying to remove health care (pre existing conditions that need treatment) from citizens,encouraging citizens to attack each other with guns in the name of rights, or seeking to divide citizens from each other instead of uniting them. criminal.

Exuberantcolor/Wanda S Hanson said...

That lingering heart and lung damage is what I can't seem to make some people realize. They are only looking at the percentage rate of recovery, not how well did they recover. I'm staying home 99% of the time and trying to be a survivor. I want to see my 80th birthday in Nov.

Gale Bulkley said...

As your neighbouring country to the north, we are a somewhat horrified about what is happening in your country with respect to this devastating virus. It's sad and scary. While we are in an area that is currently doing alright, we are still in lockdown (stage 2, partial opening of businesses and restaurants). My workplace is not considering returning to the office until October, if then. IF physical schools open in September, not all children will be returning to the classroom. I don't know any parents that want to risk their children's health (potentially for the rest of their life), or their life for that.

Shasta Matova said...

Thanks for the tips on the Chinese coins and the video. I thought at first you were scrounging for coins to pay your taxes! Coins are in short supply now, so maybe they might be worth more than they think! It sure is sad how the virus is considered a hoax, or that people think that any deaths are acceptable. I guess they are okay until they hit home.

Mystic Quilter said...

Such good information on Chinese Coins, I'd love to make another more traditional one than my 'split' Chinese Coins made some time ago.
Covid - Ann, even though I am over here in New Zealand we see nightly on our TV screens and in our daily papers the horror ravaging countries in the world, a few countries more than others and I applaud you for putting down your thoughts here. We cannot understand the reasoning behind some of the decisions made, or not made, by various governments, it beggars belief indeed! Our world has sadly changed I believe, and will we ever return to normality! I do pray that we will. Keep safe.

Ann said...

I'm delighted you liked the video, Patty. I thought it was great. It's always good to hear from trained art curators although I was amused to hear about "half squares."
DH dropped a few things off at Goodwill a month ago but they are closed again now. They can't store all the stuff when they can't sell or ship some themselves.
We are all supposed to wear masks but it seems most of my neighbors find excuses not to do it. So disappointing. Between their breathing issues, exercise excuses, drinking while walking so they "can't wear a mask" I'm just staying home.
Whatever it takes I'm voting. Several people have to go.

Ann said...

Neat! An unexpected benefit of staying at home is the many videos that museums are putting online. I enjoy lots of them in the morning with coffee instead of watching the news.
I am appalled how low our country has fallen and the complete disregard and dismissal of all scientific data. I can’t believe how people can be so cavalier about the safety of others. V-O-T-E.

Ann said...

I was thrilled when ACA became law. For once, we had a plan to give everyone health care rather than misusing emergency rooms or simply ignoring conditions. Don’t get me started about pre-existing conditions! V-O-T-E.

Ann said...

You and me. Why would anyone think recovery means 100% instead of just not dead? We’re both at home. I’m glad I like to sew and read. Roll on November. V-O-T-E.

Ann said...

Only somewhat horrified? The worst thing is that the terrible growth is self-inflicted. Just taking it slowly and methodically with serious regard for science is they way to go. I wish you all so well. I wouldn't want to use my children as canaries. Shame on Betsy... except none of them have shame or ethical standards.

Ann said...

You're welcome. I read that article about coin shortage. Did you hear about the bitcoin scam today? How sad that some people think a virus is a hoax but 100% ROI isn't. I'll just stay home and V-O-T-E.

Ann said...

Yours was absolutely gorgeous - the fabric was part of it but even more was your clever design!
Congratulations on addressing Covid quickly and proactively. What a difference it makes having ethical government officials.