Louisa Enright's Blog

Mainely Tipping Points

Turkey Tracks: Camden Clothesline Laundromat

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Turkey Tracks:  August 25, 2015

Camden Clothesline Laundromat

I’m not quite sure where this day has gotten to.

I did sleep later than usual.  I don’t sleep well in humid hot weather.  Neither do the dogs.  By the time I got up, the sheets felt like they had been dragged through the fog outside my windows.

It’s rained or been foggy and hot/humid for days and days now.  The grass has gone almost two weeks without being cut.  Mercy!  Will my little electric motor do the job when it finally dries out???  One can’t cut wet grass with an electric mower for sure.

About the time I had finished feeding the dogs, the top layer of the in-counter revolving shelves collapsed down on the tops of the things stored on the second level.  OK, I thought.  I’m going to have my tea and think this over.  Kraft Maid has a help line, and I located that.  But what if what I needed was just a simple tightening of whatever holds up the top shelf.  I called Stephen Pennoyer (who is beyond wonderful) who happened to be in Home Depot–which carries Kraft Maid.  He said he’d call back after talking to the cabinet folks, but within 30 minutes he was on my door step and five minutes after that had tightened the screw that holds the top shelf in place.  My goodness!!!  I am so, so lucky to have Stephen in my life.  He is a caring, kind, generous young man.

Next, I thought I’d go to the laundromat and do my weekly wash, including the damp sheets.

I’ve been without a washing machine since mid July.  First there was a part to be ordered, then it came, then it got installed, then it didn’t work the morning after.  That was about the time that John Park started to put a new roof on his house and so would not be able to come for another two weeks.  He comes this Thursday!!  And I’m betting the part is bad, so I thought I’d get ahead of the curve and not let the wash back up until the weekend.  (John Park is also wonderful, and I’m so happy he, too, is in my life.  I’ll never forget his helping me carry food down two flights of stairs and out to the garage when the kitchen frig went belly up one early evening.)

Camden Clothesline is totally automated, clean, nice, efficient, and it’s kind of funky fun to go there.  Likely I’ll continue to take heavy bed spreads there from now on as there is a BIG washer that can handle more than one spread at a time.  Running multiple loads is just so much faster, and the big dryers are amazing.  They’ll dry a lighter load in 18 minutes

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This automatic door REALLY helps when you’re hauling heavy baskets of clothes up these stairs:

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Washers:  they are the size of my front loader at home.  But it washes for 47 minutes on normal.  These machines wash for about 27 minutes.  I think I have better rinse cycles at home.  And the longer “tumbling” time cleans better.  But…

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Dryers–all the machines can be operated with a credit card.  See the swipe pad?  Plunking in $3.00 worth of quarters can take a long time.

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Dogs waiting in car, but so happy to be able to “go” as it was cloudy and a bit cooler:

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Now my Frigadaire RANT!

My Frigadiare Affinity is THREE YEARS OLD.

The entire electronics package that runs everything is secured to the machine WITH ONE BOLT and located FIVE INCHES from the drum.

Front loaders rev up and jiggle A LOT.  ONE BOLT IS NOT GOING TO HOLD THAT PACKAGE FOR LONG.

Of course it flew off and hit the outside of the drum and smashed.

The warranty is ONLY FOR ONE YEAR.

Folks, this kind of thing is a TOTAL BETRAYAL OF THE CONSUMER.  It is a breach of good faith.  It is planned obsolescence.  It’s deeply, deeply wrong.

Profit goals that don’t take into consideration pride in product and workmanship is producing this problem.

So, if the replacement parts are not going to work, the whole thing is going to wind up in some landfill.

That’s wrong too.

And, unsustainable.

***

Meanwhile, the local store from which I bought this machine, Kelsey’s Appliance, has not returned ONE of my three calls for repair in the past month.  Yet, I’ve bought two major appliances from them and was contemplating a third.  Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.  Guess where I will NOT be shopping again.

End of rant.

And I’ll end by saying that I am so grateful that we have TWO lovely clean laundromats in Camden.  The other is the Queen Bee.

Turkey Tracks: The Two-Inch Bin is Empty!!!

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Turkey Tracks:  August 22, 2015

The Two-Inch Bin is Empty!!!

See?

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Can I tell you that there were 6720 squares in that bin.  And note that it’s a SMALLER bin (13 by 8 by 5 inches deep) than I usually use.

Who knew there would be THAT MANY squares in that bin???

Now I have what I think of as “assets”:  1680 finished four-patch blocks.

Note that I use Bonnie Hunter’s Stash Management system to manage my stash, and you can read all about that in any of her books and on her blog, quiltville.com.

One part of that system is to cut leftover fabric from making a quilt into useable sizes that work together mathmatically AND to do something with a bin when it gets full.

I have spent the summer sewing these squares into light/dark four-patch blocks.  And that effort started with the American Patchwork and Quilting Magazine‘s challenge to work with four-patch blocks this year.

I was inspired, also, by Bonnie Hunter’s quilt block, as she is doing this APQM challenge.

So, at first I made Bonnie’s block.  (Bonnie’s background is aqua–which is so lively and pretty.)

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AND, Bonnie’s sashing is AWESOME!!  (I went ahead with my rich magentas BEFORE I saw what Bonnie opted to do.)

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I can’t wait to see what she does with the cornerstones, to see the finished quilt, AND to buy whatever book into which she puts this quilt.

(To follow her progress with this challenge, go to her web site, quiltville.com, click on the blog button, and search for the APQM challenge.

I put the final border on my quilt yesterday–after sewing the LAST FOUR-PATCH BLOCK–and am working on the backing now:

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And of course I will have to make Bonnie’s version since I love her strip-pieced sashing so much.  That will take 150 of my 4-patch blocks.  A drop in the bucket of my assets.

I have some of these already started–and the corners are from the 3 1/2 inch block bin–which has gone down considerably with the use of Bonnie’s block.

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I am very excited about doing a Jacob’s Ladder in blue/neutral.  I was able to carve out quite a few of those blocks:

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And could not resist putting two together to see the result:

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I have this great winter blue-jay fabric that I can use for a backing for a blue/neutral quilt.

AND, the mixed blocks would make up beautifully in a Jacob’s ladder with a constant setting for the half-square triangle blocks.

I also carved out some red and neutral blocks.

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What if I turn this block straight?  The lines would then be on the diagonal…

 

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This block came from Lissa Alexander, whose quilt was featured in the APQM article on the four-patch challenge.  I made a baby quilt recently using this block if you want to see a finished quilt:  Happy Baby Quilt.”

I have some green and neutral blocks–but not a whole lot.

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Could this green-based block fold into the red-based quilt???

And, somehow, I seem to have gotten started on Bonnie’s current block in the September/October 2015 issue of Quiltmaker magazine:  Criss Cross.

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They are fun, but I’ve had a little trouble translating directions to the Easy Angle Ruler AND with the given size for conventional cutting of a large square into four triangles.  I’m wondering if there is a mistake?

I’ve solved it for myself however.

So far, there are a minimum of five quilts out of these blocks…

 

Turkey Tracks: Summer Flowers

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Turkey Tracks:  August 22, 2015

Summer Flowers

For those of you who have read this blog for more than a year, you know already that I belong to a Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) farm and that part of that farm is the most gorgeous planting of LONG rows of flowers that members are free to cut when they come to pick up their food.  The variety of available flowers is a feast for the eyes and nose.

Here’s my bouquet from yesterday:

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Here are two bouquets from my own garden:

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The Annabelle hydrangeas are fabulous this year.

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I thought I was planting BIG zinnas.  I wanted big ones because they remind me of my Grandfather Pop Bryan (Reynolds, Georgia), my mother’s father, who was a country doctor–starting out back in horse and buggy days.  As a child, I remember his coming in from the farm (he was retired then) with baskets of garden produce and flowers.  The flowers were glads and big zinnas.  Grandmother put them all over the house.  Sometimes, Pop took flowers to people in town whom he thought would like such a gift.

And, here’s a bouquet from Bonnie Sinatro, one of my high school classmates from Bellevue High School, Bellevue, Nebraska–outside of Offutt Air Force Base–class of 1963.  She sent me this picture yesterday.

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My generation seems to share a love of gardening.  I think we were more attached to nature than today’s folk, most of whom live in cities.

 

 

Written by louisaenright

August 22, 2015 at 12:16 pm

Turkey Tracks: Two Sailing Trips

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Turkey Tracks:  August 17, 2015

Two Sailing Trips

I spent 6 glorious days on the windjammer schooner J&E Riggin with friend of at least 40 years, June Derr.

We left the dock on a foggy Saturday morning, sailed through the fog bank, and enjoyed bright sunny weather for the rest of our beautiful trip.

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The Riggin is the middle ship.

Here she has her canopy up for deck protection.

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Here’s a pic of some members of this congenial group of sailors–most of whom have signed up for this same 6-day cruise next year.

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On our last day, as we were headed back toward Rockland, a big storm brewed up.  And here is perhaps my favorite picture of this trip–taken by June Derr:

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We ran for our foul-weather gear as the storm was moving fast.  I got June’s as she was busy taking pics.

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We ducked into Owls Head Harbor for the night–a beautiful harbor.  And the storm passed uneventfully and the sun came out before dusk arrived.

I didn’t even feel the storm from my seat in the galley, enjoying a cup of coffee and reading a good book.

When Mike was here, he treated us to a sail on the windjammer Olad, owned by Captain Erin Lincoln, which sails out of the Camden harbor.

My oldest grandchild, Bowen, was allowed to sail this ship for quite some time.  That experience fired up his imagination and dreams big time.

Here’s two pics of all of us:

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Written by louisaenright

August 17, 2015 at 12:58 pm

Turkey Tracks: Flank Steak Marinade

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Turkey Tracks:  August 17, 2015

Flank Steak Marinade

HELLO HELLO EVERYONE!

It’s deep summer here in Maine, and I have been hosting my son Michael, DIL Tami, four grandchildren, and SIL Maryann.

What fun we had before this group headed home.

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The garden is glorious–but it’s been dry, and I have to water every day.  And, weed…

So, there has not been much time for the blog.

BUT, I have wanted to put up this recipe for a flank steak marinade–which comes from Rachael Ray:  “Surf and Turf Salad,” which I printed out back in 2005.

I don’t do the turf part.

Flank steak is a favorite in my family:  it has so much flavor.

Here’s the marinade, which you don’t have to put on for very long–only 10 or 15 minutes.

 

2 large cloves garlic, minced

1-inch fresh ginger root, peeled and minced or grated

3 Tablespoons Tamari (you might use the wheat free version)

1 teaspoon ground coriander

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon tumeric

1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (but not for me with my hot pepper allergy!)

1 Tablespoon grill seasoning–she recommends McCormick Montreal Seasoning–but I think after recent reading that I’d look long and hard at the ingredients.  Seems many of the commercial spices today have a lot of additives that are…questionable…and are labeled “natural”–which often means the neurotoxin MSG is present.

1 lemon zested

2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

 

If you have not grilled flank steak, you only need a few minutes each side on a hot grill.  Maybe 3 and then 2 for the other side???  Then let the meat sit for a full 5 minutes where it will continue to cook.  Slice the meat with a diagonal/slanted cut–not straight through the meat–into think slices.

I hope you’ll buy grass fed beef.  And that you are enjoying YOUR summer.

Written by louisaenright

August 17, 2015 at 12:24 pm

Turkey Tracks: Bonnie Hunter’s Quilts at Maine State Show

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Turkey Tracks:  July 27, 2015

Bonnie Hunter’s Quilts

At the Maine State Quilt Show

(Pine Tree Quilt Guild 2015)

It’s always fun to see Bonnie Hunter’s quilts at a quilt show.

Maine’s state quilt show, Pine Tree Quilt Guild Show 2015, is no exception.  There were six that I saw.

(Bonnie’s web site is quiltville.com, and you can get to and sign up for her blog from this main site.)

There was one Grand Illusion, Bonnie’s 2014 Thanksgiving challenge quilt.  It’s so interesting to me to see the color variations in quilts made with Bonnie’s patterns.

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TWO “Celtic Solstice” quilts, Bonnie’s 2013 Thanksgiving mystery quilt.

First, one using Bonnie’s colors:

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And one using red and green and creating an alternative block for some of the blocks in the center, by turning the green square pieces outward:

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I love the use of wilder neutrals in this quilt.  My version used fairly tame neutrals…  I am slowly gaining courage.

You can see the two different blocks in this picture.  Look inside the white diamond/star.

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One Scrappy Trip Around the World:

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Great use of the dark blocks to set off the edges.  This quilt is much lighter than the one I made.

 

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One Perkiomen Daydreams:

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And one “Narrogansett Blues” with a fall colorway–which hung outside the show:

(Not a great picture here as this quilt is very vibrant.)

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There is a Narragansett Blues in my future…

 

Turkey Tracks: Pine Tree Quilt Guild 2015 Show

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Turkey Tracks:  July 27, 2015

Pine Tree Quilt Guild 2015 Show

Yesterday was the final day of the Pine Tree Quilt Guild Show, the big state show in Maine.

I came off the windjammer J&E Riggin on Saturday and turned around by Sunday to get myself to Augusta to both see the show and to bring home our Coastal Quilters’ Challenge Quilts, which were hung in the show.  (You can see those quilts on the Coastalquiltersmaine1 blog if you like.

My favorite quilt in the show as a quilt made by our own Sarah Ann Smith–which did win a blue ribbon.  This winning quilt is a portrait of her son Eli, who is both a runner and a wrestler.  You can see this quilt and one of her oldest son Josh on her terrific web site:  www.sarahannsmith.  Click on gallery, and then people.  (Sarah is a nationally known quilter who teaches all over the country, including at Houston.  She is one talented woman.)

But, not having Sarah’s artistic talent and being a scrappy quilter, this quilt by Kathy Boudreau drew my attention and is still singing around my head:

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Look at the use of the selvages!!!

Here’s some close-ups of the birds:

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Oh my goodness!

 

Written by louisaenright

July 27, 2015 at 3:34 pm

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