Louisa Enright's Blog

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One of My Happy Spots

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Turkey Tracks: September 19, 2021

One of My Happy Spots

We have a local store that carries LOTS of organic produce and my raw dairy—among many other products.

It’s FRESH OFF THE FARM, which is located between Camden and Rockland.

The store makes good use of its outdoor space—which is filled with local outdoor furniture and plants of all kinds. The latter rotate with the seasons.

Right now, there is a veritable explosion of fall color.

There are bins along the front edge of the store that are filled with in-season delights—like all the different varities of onions. I truly love the ”sweet” onions and keep them on-hand. I use different onions for different cooking tasks. The sweet onions are best just sliced and eaten raw on a salad. The red ones are spicy and hot. The yellow onions are great in soups, stews, and roasted alongside meat or other vegetables.

Onions contain (or should contain) sulfur—which is really important for human health The destruction of soil in commercial agriculture has eroded sulfur levels. So that is another reason to buy organic products.

This time of year is when the fingerling potatoes come into the market. These potatoes are not great keepers, so it is best to enjoy them in their season. These are ”banana” fingerlings.

And the ones below are new to me. They are ”pinto” fingerlings.

They are all delicious. They cook quickly—and it is good to parboil them if you want to then add them to something roasting in the oven. Or just eat them when tender with some butter for dressing. Or cool some and add them to salads. I also like to slice them when cooked and heat them in a little fat in a frying pan before adding some eggs and scrambling the whole mixture. Ghee or a little butter or duck fat would be good choices for the fat in the pan.

Soon the local winter squashes will appear. And, local Brussel Sprouts. And there is always a large selection of greens (different varieties of kale and chard and collards in season or when available from elsewhere). Collards, by the way, when blanched quickly and cooled (and stem removed if needed) make great tortilla-type wraps. They are sturdy and delicious.

And sooner than many would like, we will have seasonal wreaths, stems of red berries, cranberries, and clementines and Meyer Lemons.

Written by louisaenright

September 19, 2021 at 9:53 am

Fun At the Dump

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Turkey Tracks: September 14, 2021

Fun At The Dump

The fancy name for our recycling center is the ”Transfer Station.” Info about it can also be found online at ”Mid-Coast Solid Waste. But most I know call this place ”the tip” or “the dump.”

Aside from how ”it” gets identified, I’ve always been interested in how it works. And it seems to me that it is recycling and waste management at its best. One can take most anything one wants to get rid of to this place. It has landfill sites for construction waste, old furniture, yard waste, metal—you name it. It has sites for old appliances. It has sites for old computers and other products produced by the technology industry. And in the main recycling bins, we can place various kinds of plastic items, glass items, bottles and cans with rebates, and all kinds of paper items. Newspaper, cardboard, boxboard/mail, and many kinds of plastic, for instance, all have their own bins.

The above bins handle dry trash, range in size, and are metal, with the largest of these being the shape of railroad cars, though not quite as large. I’ve seen how a lift moves these metal containers which are lined up at the beginning of the dump.

But the grand-daddy of the big metal bins are where we throw the yellow bags we can fill with whatever garbage we have, but also with odd items that don’t fit into the above dry bins, but do fit into the yellow bags. There is one bin dedicated to items that don’t fit into the yellow bags.

Items in these bins get compressed by a kind of hydraulic pressing machine that makes a lot of noise when operated.

But, how do all of these bins get moved to where they go when they leave the dump?

I got my answer this past week when I saw how one of the bins got put on a ”transfer” truck where the truck bed was obviously designed for this task.

I stopped the car (the road was blocked by the front of the truck anyway) and took these videos.

I took three videos that showed the whole process—so I could make the process shorter for you to see.

Then feeling really good about having a trash-free garage and learning something new, I went home, fired up the grill, and made this late lunch of grilled lamb chops and stir-fried veggies:

I often grill something for lunch. It’s quite easy to fire up the grill as it is right outside my kitchen door. And it’s easy to make a quick stir fry.

It was delicious!

Written by louisaenright

September 14, 2021 at 2:20 pm

My New Innova Longarm

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Turkey Tracks: September 13, 2021

My New Innova Longarm

She came Saturday!

I have not named her yet, but she’s a beauty!

The 10-foot size is such a good footprint for this room. And look how much SPACE I have visually now.

She has CASTERS that let her move easily before locking them down.

And she sews beautifully!

There are three sets of handles—big ones front and back and micro handles in the front. It’s so easy to move their positions around too.

So now I am playing, experimenting, and learning all about her. ALL is maybe too definitive a word as there is a big learning curve, for sure.

Judy and Rob Engime from Olde City Quilts, Burlington, NJ 08016 are the dealers, and they have both been wonderful.

So, today the adventure continues.

Written by louisaenright

September 13, 2021 at 8:54 am

I Lost My Mojo For This Quilt

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Turkey Tracks: September 12, 2021

I Lost My Mojo For This Quilt

I started this EPP project in 2018.

It’s the “36-Ring Circus” designed by Joanne Lewis. The pattern and template kit are at Paper Pieces.

I am using Cotton+Steel/Ruby Star Society fabrics for the centers, pastel solids for the rings, and darker solids for the rest.

I now have three rows done after three years—three more to go.

But it seems I put off working on it to do other handwork on a regular basis.

It is an elegant pattern, for sure.

But it is hard and in many ways, seems tedious to me. Sewing the rings to the centers is…hard. I’ve found taping from the front and using a flat stitch on the back helps.

I have all the solid pieces cut and glued, so I will finish it someday.

I hope it doesn’t take another three years—one for each row!!!

I did organize all the centers for the 4th row, so that’s something. The first center is done, but not the rings.

Meanwhile, I seem to be more than a little interested in wedding ring quilt versions.

Here’s the funky one whose top is now done: from Freddie Moran and Gwen Marston’s book FREDDY AND GWEN COLLABORATE AGAIN: FRIENDS.

And Tara Faughnan’s Wedding Ring Quilt:

I’m ready to start sewing together the last and final row.

Rain and More Rain

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Turkey Tracks: September 11, 2021

Rain and More Rain

Weather moves really fast here on the coast.

I took this little video several days ago, before we got another two days of rain. AC and I were over at the Snow Bowl so he could chase his ball. Listen to the wind whipping by as well as admiring the amazing clouds moving in fast.

This summer has been the wettest since we moved to Maine in June 2004—17 years ago now.

The lawns and gardens and fields are thriving—though harvesting hay has been a real challenge for the farmers this year.

And today, the sun is bright and shiny!

Written by louisaenright

September 11, 2021 at 9:51 am

It’s September

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Turkey Tracks: September 10, 2021

It’s September 2021

How did that happen?

And it is already the 10th!!

We’ve had cooler weather, with temps dropping down significantly at night, which makes for great sleeping.

And for rising desires for warmer foods, like this beef stew I made in the Instant Pot. I cook the carrots and new potatoes separately—and the fresh green beans separately too.

The beautiful beef cubes were a gift from friend Margaret whose freezer went belly up earlier this summer. The carrots, new potatoes, and fresh green beans came from Farmer Tom’s Hope’s Edge weekly market out at the farm—which is a trip to which I look forward each week.

The Instant Pot cooks the beef in 35 minutes!!!! For my Histamine Intolerance, that’s wonderful as long cooking times create more histamine in foods. I saute the beef in the pot in some tallow or ghee. If I’m not in a hurry, I’ll remove the meat and throw in the chopped onions and garlic and saute those for a bit, but not this time. I added two cups of liquid, onions, garlic, herbs, salt and called it a day. I also added a limited amount of ketchup, whichI can eat in small quantities sometimes—and it added such flavor. When the meat is done I put the beef in a large bowl and add the warm, cooked vegetables and spooned out what I wanted to eat. The rest I saved for other meals.

This Dahlia is now three years old. Isn’t it gorgeous!

The first year I just saved the tuber after the first killing frost. But when I planted it in the spring, it took it all summer to get big enough to start blooming. Last year I put the dug tuber into a small pail with its dirt and roots intact and put it into the dry/dark/cool storage hold upstairs, and when the days started getting longer in early March, I put the whole pail in a sunny window. The Dahlia sprouted and started growing. Finally it was warm enough to put it out in the garden again, which it liked. It’s been blooming like crazy since early August, so I will put it back in the pail again this fall.

And here’s Tara Faughnan’s Wedding Ring quilt with THREE rows finished. I moved it up the design wall so I could get to the bottom row more easily. This quilt clearly wants to be called “Joyful!”

I will be making this quilt again very soon (this winter) as I’m obsessed with it. I want to try a more controlled palette with dark brown/black/dark grey/khaki/cream centers and rings that have a lot of the dark brown/black and cream rings—studded with pastels and a few pops of color here and there. Tara has a version that sparked my imagination, but I hesitate to show it here due to copyright issues.

Written by louisaenright

September 10, 2021 at 10:37 am

My Color Collective Season 3 Quilts

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Turkey Tracks: September 6, 2021

My Color Collective Season 3 Quilts

I thought it would be good, for me at least, to review the work I did last year (season 3) in the online class (The Color Collective) hosted by Sewtopia (Amy Newbold) with designer Tara Faughnan (for six months of projects and fabric palettes) and with guest designer Latifah Saafir (for an extra seventh month).

The quilts are more or less in the order of the monthly projects. Tara gives us the pattern and the fabric (there are also helpful videos) and shows us her version of the project—then we have at it. Pretty much all of us make the project differently, and that outpouring of creativity is really fun to see and experience.

If you want to know more about each of my quilts, there are separate blog posts. You can search on the name of the quilt on the right sidebar.

My “Marrakesh”:

My “Pips”:

My “Splice,” and this one differs from Tara’s layout in that I laid out the strips to form that central diamond. I hand quilted this one with 12-weight cotton thread (Sulky).

My “Bokeh”:

Bokeh is a photographic term for the manipulation of the background to make it intentionally fuzzy.

My “Tenderoni”—which I called “Fractures”:

Latifah Saafir was the guest designer for the 7th CC month this year. She spread out her Tenderoni block by using plain squares of the fabric palette to make the Tenderoni blocks stand out—which of course made a lap-size quilt. I wanted to see how the Tenderoni shapes played together up close and I wanted a wall hanging. I hand quilted with 12-weight cotton thread (Sulky).

I made this wall hanging from the leftover “Offcut” quarter circle pieces and hung the two quilts opposite each other on the walls outside my quilt room. This one, too, is hand quilted with 12-weight cotton thread (Sulky).

I didn’t do “Hitch” (an improv project) or “Rex” (an appliqué project) this year. Both projects were very nice; they just landed here when I was really busy. There might come a day…. Both projects offer a lot of room for experimentation and play. These two projects are the only ones I have not made in the three years of the class—not a bad record for this class I think—for me or for Tara Faughnan.

I am so looking forward to Season 4, which starts November 1.

Written by louisaenright

September 6, 2021 at 8:57 am

AC Will Miss His Daily Swims

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Turkey Tracks: September 5, 2021

AC Will Miss His Daily Swims

We are having a cooler spell these past few days.

I’m sure that we’ll get an Indian Summer soon, but for right now, it’s jeans, long-sleeved t-shirt, and sweater time. And more trees are turning.

AC has been swimming every day after he runs after his ball and gets hot. Over by the Snow Bowl, there are FIVE places where he likes to swim—two in the pond, one in a runoff pool, and two in a stream with some deep pools.

But now the cooler nights are making the water cold.

So he is being more cautious. These may be the last dips until next year as an Indian Summer warmer spell won’t heat the water enough.

Here is the pond over by the Toboggan Run—which is, actually, a lovely spot.

Then we backtrack towards where the car is parked, past the run-off pool and the two places in the stream, where he also swims, to the boat launch/swimming area.

Sometimes there are other dogs swimming and/or playing, and AC loves to join in.

Written by louisaenright

September 5, 2021 at 11:04 am

The Color Collective: Season 4

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Turkey Tracks: September 1, 2021

The Color Collective: Season 4

It’s BACK for SEASON 4.

I signed up.

I couldn’t resist.

https://www.tarafaughnan.com/color-collective

The 7th and final month designer will be Annabel Wrigley. Take a look at her exciting work:

https://annabelwrigley.com

Two of the 12 fabrics in this year’s palette of solids will be shot cotton from Windham’s Artisan Cotton collection, which Tara helped design.

Fabrics for the first project will ship in October, and the first pattern will be released November 1.

I have to say that I have been so engaged with the projects of the last three years, and it has been such fun to see where Tara takes these projects over time—and that has often been to award-winning quilts.

I have learned so much! It’s like learning to read: once learned you can’t go back.

Written by louisaenright

September 1, 2021 at 2:11 pm

“Offcut Circles” Quilt

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Turkey Tracks: August 29, 2021

“Offcut Circles” Quilt

I finished the scrappy wall hanging I have been making from the “offcut” quarter circles left over from the last project of this year’s The Color Collective season. The 7th and final month’s project this year was designed by Latifah Saafir. I loved her block (Tenderoni) and also loved her color palette.

I hung “Offcut Circles” at the entrance to my quilt room, opposite from its parent, the Tenderoni block wall hanging I’m called “Fractures.”

The small quarter circles in “Offcut Circles” comes from the way the small circles are cut and discarded from the Tenderoni block—replaced by a larger quarter circle that makes the math in the Tenderoni block work.

For both quilts, I quilted a grid with Sulky 12-weight cotton thread in many different colors related to the palette. You can buy this thread on small spools that cost under $2 a spool. They have plenty of thread on the spool for most projects where one wants lots of different colors. I get them from Red Rock Threads and order online.

I used the rusty dark brick color for the binding. The backing is just made from whatever I had in my stash that would fit. This time a warm paisley.

I made the circles using the template method Tara Faughnan taught us in our very first The Color Collective project in Season 1 and appliquéd them to the backing square. You know, in thinking about what I did, I don’t think I trimmed out the back of the background block after sewing down the circles. ???? I must have been resisting creating MORE CIRCLES that I would find hard to throw away.

Here’s the very first circle quilt from the very first project in season 1 of The Color Collective. I combined blocks from the first and second months.

Here’s a link to the original post about XOXO.

Here’s a link to the quilts I made from the first season of The Color Collective:

https://louisaenright.com/?s=Season+1+quilts+from+the+color+collective

Written by louisaenright

August 29, 2021 at 9:30 am