Saturday, January 19, 2019

The Diary of Helen Korngold: January 13-19, 1919

Helen Korngold, December 1919, New York City


Monday 13
Up—Wellston. Class—Dr. Holmes began her lecture. It sounds good. We all cut Shakespeare. Dr. Mck must be raving! Home. Orchestra—a fine rehearsal. Letter from Ruth—Read.

Tuesday 14
Up—Wellston—Class—Dr. Holmes lecture II. I like her. Miss Cozy Cornors & Mr. Atheltia’s party. Home—Dress—lecture—Everybody treats us fine. Summer came. He’s lots of fun. He’s reading my “Without Benefit of Clergy.” Doesn’t like it. I do. Will educate him! Letter from Jewell. 8 pages. Exciting. Home—Bed.

Wednesday 15
Up—dress—eat—Wellston—Class—nothing exciting. Lecture III. Home—eat—dress. Summer took me to War Exposition. Enjoyed it immensely—He’s a nice fellow! A good teaser. He’s a Bostonian propagandist. I love St. Louis! Home—Bed.

Thursday 16
After breakfast—Wellston—Class—good day. Last of Dr. Home’s lecture on Social Ed.—a very fine woman, best lecture of all. Miss Macauley’s tea—she quite fussed me. However--! I can stand it! Home—study—bed. Letter from Lenna King Connley.

Friday 17
After breakfast—Wellston. Kids had good lesson. The boys are cute, but the girls are dull. Class—dancing—home.

Saturday 18
Up—dress—eat—fool around. School. Dr. McCourt is a peach—showed us telescope. Ed. 12—Sip & Margaret Martin & I enjoy that class. Sip giggles all the time. Dr. Usher gave a fine lecture. Junior Council Board meeting & home. Fool around. Bathe. Made date for pop with E.

Sunday 19
Clean up house after breakfast. Dinner. Dress for pop concert. Ernest E. he liked me too well. He’s all right but I don’t fancy him. I amuse myself while with him. Steindel played wonderfully well. Home—eat—Aunt Beryl’s. Home & to bed.

January 13

Professor Holmes Smith, A.M.  taught art education.

Associate Professor of  English William Roy Mackenzie, Ph.D. and Assistant in English Mrs. William Roy (Ethel) Stuart Mackenzie, A.B. both taught at Washington University in McMillan Hall.  The course listing reads:
21. Shakespeare. A close and critical study of six plays: in 1918-19 Twelfth Night, 1 Henry IV, Macbeth, Othello, Winter's Tale, Henry V. Three hours a week. Credit 6 units

January 14

Without Benefit of Clergy by Rudyard Kipling first appeared in MacMillan's Magazine and in Harper's Weekly in June 1890. The story concerns an English Civil Servant in India who falls in love with a Muslim woman. They share a secret life together, outside of society. They have a child, but their happiness ends when the child and ‘wife’ both die. Mixed marriages were not tolerated in Colonial India, and unless the woman converted to Christianity the pair could not have legally married. Thomas Hardy’s novel The Return of the Native was first published in 1878.

The main female character becomes involved in illicit love affairs.

January 15

The War Exposition was a traveling exhibit about Allied efforts during WWI, sponsored by the American Government. An advertisement stated military men could attend free to see “1000s of Relics” from Europe, band music, and a review of the troops. It was held at the Coliseum.

January 16

Martha Gause McCaulley, Ph.D. was Dean of Women and Instructor in English, McMillan Hall, at Washington University.

Lena King Connely was born July 23, 1895, and died Sept. 25, 1989, and is buried in Calvary Cemetery, DeSoto, Jefferson Co., MO.

January 18

Dr. Walter Edward McCourt, A.M. was dean of the School of Architecture and of the School of Engineering. He taught Geography courses and resided at 6060 Berlin avenue. Course description:

General Geology. The principles of geology, including earth structure, forces modifying the surface and structure of the earth, and earth history. Lectures, field trips, and laboratory work. Three hours a week. Open to all students. 6 credits.

Margaret Gray Martin was a student at Washington University

Junior Auxiliary of the Council of Jewish Woman.  Helen attended a national convention of Junior Council while in New York City on December 28.

January 19

The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1880, the second oldest symphony in the country. Max Zach was the conductor at this time. Information about his career can be found at:
Max Steindel
Max Steindel was born in Germany in 1891 and died in 1964 after forty seasons with the St Louis Symphony.

He became lead cellist in1912 at age 21. He was principal cellist for 41 seasons.

The January 19, 1919, St. Louis Dispatch gives the Pops concert program as Tschaikowsky's Variation on a Rococo Theme, Massenet Two Entr-Actes, Clifton's Adagio for Orchestra, and Berlioz Rakoczy March. Index Point_

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Memory Quilts the Modern Way!

This is a memory quilt. It's not the kind of memory quilts I made 28 years ago! It is sophisticated and edgy in design while bringing comfort to family separated by distance. 
Otherwise/Autrement, 45" x 60"
Modern Quilting is all the rage. The use of negative space and graphic design suits contemporary tastes influenced by Mid-Century design. Susanne Parquette shows today's quilters how to mix Modern with sentimental in Modern Memory Quilts: A Handbook for Capturing Meaningful Moments. The twelve quilts in the book are actual commissioned memory quilts made by Paquette, who includes the people and stories behind each quilt.

Many of my friends are Hexie addicts. Here is a Hexie quilt that uses a half-hexagon pattern alternating with full hexies that are fussy cut from a child's clothing. 
Paquette includes advice on how much yardage can be gleaned from shirts in various sizes and quilting cotton.

Quilts can be personalized with embroidery or imagery, as in the quilt below. She used the same pattern with a bird silhouette.

Paquette walks us through the process, beginning with Memory Keeping: remembering, documenting, and perspective. She moves on to Empathy+Design on the "collaborative voice" in memory quilt design. Color Stories addresses color basics. She discusses the tools and construction methods needed to work with clothing.

These memory projects aren't like photographs, they are "hidden in plain sight," blending into the decor.

Striped Half-Square Triangle pillows are very cool and functional. A surprise is the strips of a fur coat! A casual visitor may not recognize them as holding a memory, but the family will recall their loved ones with every use.

The Initial quilt was a "leaving home' quilt for a son going off to college. This is an easy half-square triangle pattern.

My first memory quilts were made from my mother's painting smocks after her early death from cancer. I used traditional quilt blocks. Parquette used a beloved father's clothing in Connect the Dots, made with large quarter-circle blocks alternating with solid square blocks.

Intersections can be made with 10-12 adult clothing pieces or 24-36 baby/child pieces. Here, a pet dog's clothing is included.
Other projects included are a pieced apron, Arabesque, Modern Mandela, an easy Mosiac made of rectangles and squares, bed-sized Arrow quilt.

My mind is filled with ideas! I lost a cousin last year and her children are asking about memory quilts. This book couldn't have come at a better time.

I received a free ebook from the publisher in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

A Handbook for Capturing Meaningful Moments,12 Projects + The Stories That Inspired Them
by Suzanne Paquette
Stash Books
8" x 10"
128p + pattern pullouts, color
ISBN: 978-1-61745-565-0
UPC: 734817-112662
(eISBN: 978-1-61745-566-7)
 Book ($28.95)
 eBook ($23.99)
Here are memory quilts I have made over the years.

I used my mother-in-law's handkerchiefs and printed family photos on fabric to make this wall hanging.
My first memory quilt used my mother's plaid painting smocks. It was the second quilt I had ever made.
My sister-in-law gave me some lace that had been in her family which I used these two quilts.

Last year I finally finished this quilt made with my father-in-law's shirts.
Another quilt made with mom's painting shirts.
I used my mother-in-law's counted cross stitch embellished clothing to make a dozen pillows for family members. I incuded her handkerchiefs and trims and buttons from her sewing room.
My mother-in-law's niece loved this dress she wore which I turned into a pillow.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict

There is nothing new under the sun. It was true in the Third Century B.C. when the writer of Ecclesiastes wrote it and it is true in 2018.

And some of those perennial truths is that women are valued for their beauty and preyed upon for sex and must fight for equality in their vocations and avocations.

Take Hedy Lamarr, the gorgeous Austrian-born star. Marie Benedict's new historical fiction novel The Only Woman in the Room peels back the Hollywood-packaged icon of female physical perfection and offers us a woman who would be in the #MeToo marches and fighting to be taken seriously as an inventor.

I had seen the fascinating American Masters show Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story and was interested to see how Benedict handled Lamarr's exceptional story. Although I have some issues with the writing, I believe that the importance of bringing Lamarr's story to the general public in an accessible venue is more important. The book is a page-turner, quick and easy to read. It hits all the hot-button issues in contemporary society: Antisemitism, abuse and control of women, the power used by Hollywood moguls over starlets, immigration and refugees. Throw in marriage and divorce, adoption, and single moms. And no, the book is not fiction written to address these issues! Hedy Lamarr's life touched on them all.

If all you know about Hedy Lamarr is her films or "It's Hedley!" from Mel Brooks movie Blazing Saddles, you need to read this book.

Benedict's previous books include The Other Einstein and Carnegie's Maid. Learn more about them here.

I received an ARC from in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

The Only Woman in the Room
by Marie Benedict
Publication January 15, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-4926-6686-8
Hardcover $25.00

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Big Bang by David Bowman

My Sixth Grade class was in the library that Friday afternoon when Mr. Saffronoff led us back through Northwood Elementary School's ancient hallways to our classroom. We were being let out of school early. The president had been shot. As I walked home alone down the tree-lined street I was filled with vague and unsettling fears. Was America vulnerable and unprotected without the president? 

It would be years before I revisited the America I grew up in, hoping to understand as an adult the events that had shaken my childhood's sense of security--The Cuban Missile Crisis, the assassinations of President Kennedy and later his brother Robert and Martin Luther King, Jr., the Vietnam War and the daily body count on the television news.

At 600+ pages, I was uncertain I wanted to read Big Bang, but the subject matter was too tempting.

The book begins with Jonathan Lethem's essay on his friend David Bowman, calling Big Bang "docu-fiction," "an epic novel about celebrity and power in the postwar twentieth century," a "mammoth project" about "everything and anything" Bowman knew about postwar America. The Foreword ends by telling readers that all of the people and events are based on "true history."

I found a densely woven correlation of events and personages so intricate as to astonish. Bowen had created a literary, "six degrees" link chart of interconnections that is all-embracing. Of course, the Kennedys are central along with all the necessary Washington figures, but also making appearances are J. D. Salinger, William S. Burroughs, Howard Hunt writing pulp fiction and planning the secret invasion of Guatemala, Richard Nixon and his Checkers speech, Carl Djerassi and Robert McNamara in an Ann Arbor book club, Lucille Ball facing the McCarthy House Un-American Activities Committee...

Just to give you a taste.

Bowen suggests that after the Atom Bomb, the second "big bang" to change the world was the Kennedy assassination. It changed a lot of things, for sure. It set off a chain of other political assassinations.

The novel was a journey into the world that shaped me. I have to wonder what my son's generation will make of Big Bang, Millennials for whom the 1950s and 60s are ancient history?

I received a free ebook from the publisher in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

Big Bang
by David Bowman
Little, Brown and Company
Pub Date 15 Jan 2019
ISBN: 9780316560238
PRICE: $32.00 (USD)

Saturday, January 12, 2019

The Diary of Helen Korngold: January 6-12, 1919

Helen Korngold, December 1919, New York City


Monday 6
Beginning teaching. I suppose I’ll like it—awfully tired. Last night! Class—all OK, Basket ball—lots of fun. Home—orchestra—fellows still discussing Dewey. I should worry. He treated me fine. Eat. Home.

Tuesday 7
Up—Wellston—Class. Things going nicely. Nothing startling. Home. Ellenburg has them bad. But I like Dewey & Summer better. Even M. Block is much more entertaining—on second thought, he’s really a very delightful conversationalist.

Wednesday 8
Rise—eat—Wellston. This is a pretty nice room. Class—Basket ball—it’s awfully rough. Florence F. just naturally tried to bully everyone. Can’t do it. Home.

Thursday 9
Up—Wellston. Kids are funny. I should worry. School. Nothing startling. Home—study—bed. I wish Summer would locate Dewey Pierre Flambert—he won the Distinguished Service Cross & the Legion of Honor, and after doing all that, he actually made a hasty exit out of St. Louis. Poor Dewey. He was so nice.

Friday 10
Up—Wellston. Kids are real enthusiastic—gave them exam. I suppose they flunked. School—unexciting. Home. Summer for dinner. He’s so entertaining—Morris & Sam over in the evening. Very enjoyable. Loaned M. & S. some books. Bed at 11:30.

Saturday 11
Up—eat—School. Dr. U sprang exams. Pretty easy. Why worry—I got an “A” from him! He’s a peach! Nothing special. Home—bath—eat & study & to bed. Party at Cassels house—kids & sophs to Seniors Hockey team. Cute.

Sunday 12
Up—clean up rooms. Study. In afternoon Dan came over. He looks so well. Jewell sent me a beautiful calendar. He’s rather nice I think. But he is too far away from me to be sure about it. Lesson at Aunt Beryl’s. Home.


January 6

K.C. is Kansas City

January 7

Wellston High School, originally located at Ella and Evergreen in Wellston, St Louis, had their first graduating class in 1911.

January 8

Florence Funsten Forbes of 469 Lee Ave, Webster Groves appears on the Freshman class list of the 1916 Washington University Catalog. She graduated from Washington University in 1922.

Genealogies on this family are available at

Florence was the daughter of the beautiful Hortense Funsten who married Arthur Henry Forbes in 1897. Florence was born on October 26, 1898. Her father died on April 19, 1899, in Waco, TX.  The coroner’s death certificate lists the cause of death as “La Grippe.”

After the death of Arthur, Florence and her mother resided with her maternal grandparents Robert Emmett Funsten (born 12/10/1851 in VA and died 1927 in St. Louis) and Charlotte Elizabeth Cook (6/1852 in VA to 9/1922 in St. Louis). On the St. Louis City Directory Robert appears as President of Webster Groves Dried Fruit Company. has his family tree and shows three generations of Robert Emmetts.

In 1905 Hortense married author Herbert Durand, born 1858 in New York, who was a famous author of nature guides and travel books. In 1906 Hortense and Herbert had a son Eugene Funsten Durand. They were wealthy enough that the 1940 New York State Census shows they had a butler and a cook. Hortense died in 1950.
Florence's 1922 passport photo

Florence traveled with her mother and step-father numerous times. Her December 12, 1922, passport application shows Florence was 24 years old, 5’ 6 ½” tall, with a low forehead, grey/blue eyes, short retrousse nose, medium mouth, round chin and face, and had light brown hair. Florence reported no occupation. She was born at St. Louis on October 26, 1898. She reported her father Arthur Henry Forbes was diseased. She had resided at the Graniston Hotel in Bronxville, NY. She was going to Italy, Egypt, Portugal, the British Isles, France, Spain, Constantinople, and Morocco, leaving from the port of New York on the S.S. Empress of Scotland on February 3.

Florence’s grandfather Arthur Page Forbes appears in the Book of St. Louisians. He was born in 1840 in Illinois and moved with his family to St. Louis in 1846. His father moved to Massachusetts in 1852 and served in the Civil War. In 1866 he returned to St. Louis with his family and in 1867 joined Forbes Bros and White tea dealers. In 1869 he married Theresa James and they had a daughter Alice Eliza who in 1869 married William Fitzhugh Funsten, born in Virginia in 1855 and was the owner of Funsten & Co. Furs. Their children included Kenneth Mead, Florence, and Arthur Forbes Funsten, who was father to Mary James, Arthur Henry (father of Florence), Helen Francis, Ruth Rogers and Florence Theresa born in 1874.

The family appears in The Ancestors and Descendents of Colonel David Funsten and his wife Susan Everad Meade.

January 11

Washington University history professor Dr. Roland Greene Usher, Ph.D. from Harvard College, was born in 1880 in Lynn, MA to Edward Preston Usher and Adela Louis Payson. His ancestors can be traced back to the Pilgrim Fathers.

At age 30 he became a professor of History at Washington University.

In 1910 he married Florence Wyman Richardson. They were strong supporters of woman’s suffrage. His most famous work is Pan-Germanism, written in 1913. He accurately foretold events leading to WWI and urged the United States to end isolationism and play an active role in world events. He died in 1957 and is buried in St Louis. He is listed as living at 5737 Cates Avenue in St. Louis.

There were many Cassels in St Louis during this time. See this list for a collection:  

January 12

Beryl Frey, Helen’s maternal aunt, was born in 1875 in Germany and at nine months of age arrived with her family in America. She was a music teacher. She married St. Louis pharmacist Louis Lieberstein. She died in 1929.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Sugar Run by Mesha Maren

Sugar Run by Mesha Maren. Quilt by Nancy A. Bekofske
From the beginning, I had the feeling that things were not going to turn out well for Jodi.

After serving eighteen years of a lifetime prison sentence, Jodi is free under supervised release. The jails are overcrowded, and she was only seventeen when convicted of killing her girlfriend Paula. She is given a bus ticket and sent into the world to report to her home district parole officer.

Jodi first takes a bus in the other direction, on a mission to fulfill Paula's intent to save her younger brother Ricky from their abusive father. Along the way, Jodi meets Miranda, a needy young mother of three who latches onto Jodi like a drowning woman to a life raft.

This makeshift family--Miranda and her boys and Ricky--travel with Jodi to her home in the Appalachian mountains where she hopes they can find a refuge.

They move into Jodi's grandmother's abandoned cabin where she was raised. As the fracking operation pushes closer to them, Jodi's brothers draw her into their illegal activities. Jodi falls for Miranda who slips back to her dependency on pills. And questions arise about Ricky's past.

In Sugar Run by Mesha Maren, an ominous cloud compelled me to turn pages. Backstory chapters reveal Jodi's story, and Miranda's and Ricky's stories are unraveled. It appears that their futures are mired in decisions made long ago.

The story ends with violence and heartache, but also with hope as Jodi realizes there is a future beyond home and it's web to the past.

This is an impressive first novel with memorable characters and polished writing. 

I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

Read an excerpt at

There is something essential and powerful that keeps me coming back, and
I feel like Jodi and I both realized at some point that although the home
you’ve recalled so vividly during all your years away is a place that only truly
exists in your heart and your dreams, it will always be inextricably a part of
who you are.
from Montani Semper Liberi, an essay by Mesha Maren

Sugar Run: A Novel
by Mesha Maren
Algonquin Books
Publication date January 08, 2019
$26.95 (USA) hardcover
$12.99 ebook
ISBN: 9781616206215
ISBN: 9781616208882

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Art Quilts Unfolding: 50 Years of Innovation

The first time I saw an exhibition of art quilts* it changed my entire concept of what was possible as a quilter. During my 28 years of quiltmaking, art quilts have been a source of inspiration.

I was super thrilled to receive a review copy of Art Quilts Unfolding from Schiffer Publications, a celebration of The Studio Art Quilt Association, founded in 1989 to promote art quilts.

Art Quits Unfolding documents the 50-year history of the art quilt movement, lushly illustrated by the art quilts of each time period.

Timelines for each decade mark the major shows, publications, and venues. The book shares each decade's important artists and their quilts, followed with a gallery of quilts from that time period and articles on the decade's important collections, collectors and publications.
art quilts
Spin Cycle. 1998. 66" x 71". Commercial cotton, hand-dyed and airbrushed cotton. Machine pieced and appliquéd, machine quilted. Photo: James Dewrance. Image from the publisher on Amazon.
The breadth of art quilts embraces the abstract and representational, using traditional quilt materials and techniques and employing non-traditional materials and embellishments.

Piecing, applique, painting, embroidery and thread painting, fabric manipulation, embellishing-- the techniques used have no limits! New technologies have revolutionized the art quilt, such as manipulation of images printed on fabric and programmable longarm quilting. The 94-year-old quilter in my weekly group scans images to print on fabric!

Every quilter and artist will discover techniques, art, and voices to inspire them!
Leonard. 2017. 27" x 37". Hand-dyed cheesecloth, cotton, silk organza. Collection: Roberta Russell Photo: Ray Pilon.
image from the publisher on Amazon
Some of my favorite art quilts appear. I particularly enjoy quilt incorporating words and those which address the human experience. Such a quilt is Chawne Kimber's quilt The One for Eric Gardner, now in the Michigan State University collection. I read Matt Taibbi's book I Can't Breathe about Gardner, and this quilt vividly captures the story.

Velda Newman's Sunflower State
at the Grand Rapids AQS Quilt Show
Many of the quilts and artists included were familiar to me through publications and shows I have attended. But I also discovered many new artists and quilts.

Over the years I attended quilt shows, subscribed to art quilt publications, and bought art quilt books. I tried various techniques. The art quilt movement has been an inspiration to take risks and find my own voice.

Art Quilts Unfolding: 50 Years of Innovation
Sandra Sider, ed.
Schiffer Publications
Size: 8 1/2″ x 11″ | 457 color images | 352 pp
ISBN13: 9780764356261
Hardcover $49

from the publisher:From 1965 through today, the art quilt movement has grown to become one of the most exciting art forms of the 21st century. Until now, there has not been a comprehensive, chronological history of the studio art quilt, which has become an international phenomenon. This feast for the eyes offers full-color images of 400 masterpieces along with engaging interviews and profiles of 58 influential artists, key leaders, important events, and significantcollections. Organized by decade, an additional 182 international artists’ works are featured. An introduction by Janet Koplos, former senior editor of Art in America, and a conclusion by Ulysses Grant Dietz, emeritus chief curator of the Newark Museum, help us to understand the impact and the future of the art. This publication originated with Studio Art Quilt Associates, a non-profit professional organization founded in 1989 and now serving 3,500 members in nearly forty countries.

*I made my first quilt in 1991. A few months later my family was traveling across Pennsylvania when I noted a quilt show, Flights of Imagination held at Donnecker's in Ephrata, PA. I saw my first art quilts and they gave me a vision of what was possible. I worked hard to master traditional quilt skills with my eye on the dream of someday making art quilts.

One of the quilts that most inspired me at that show was Jonathan Shannon's July, a representational quilt that is also surreal with giant sunflowers against a blue background, with fish swimming between the flowers. Is the blue background sky? Water? Are the flowers a reflection?
photo of July by Jonathan Shannon
Flights of Imagination 1992