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Turkey Tracks: Kelly Launtenbach’s “Not Your Basic Blue Bag”

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Turkey Tracks:  January 16, 2020

Kelly Lautenbach’s “Not Your Basic Blue Bag”

I saw modern quilter Kelly Lautenbach’s BIG bag in the recent Simply Modern (#19) magazine’s article on her work.

I fell in love!

There are three sizes, and the BIG, original one is HUGE—big enough to hold 3 or 4 full-size quilts or, even, two of the small bag version.  There are leather straps (2 sets if you like and I did for a bag this big that could be really heavy) attached with 1/4 inch Chicago Screws.  I bought a hand-held leather hole punch set from Amazon for roughly $20 (Pro-Master Leather Hole Punch Set) which I really like.  As suggested in the article, I got the leather straps from Springfield Leather and the 1/4-inch Chicago screws from Tandy’s Leather.

NOTE:  the pattern cover page has a math error in that the finished width of this big bag is 32+ inches, depending on the width you use of Annie’s Soft and Stable.  I used the standard kit size of Annie’s 36 wide and was careful when quilting not to go below the 36 inches.  The pattern suggests 38 wide Annie’s S&S as the fabric layers will shrink with quilting, but you do trim to 36 by 42.  I did not want to buy 2 yards of Annie’s to get these extra 2 inches as the bag is plenty wide.

I would also use the spray baste product the pattern suggests if I ever make this bag again.  The bag is made from one BIG piece, which means there is lots of room for layers to shift easily when you quilt.  I just ran lines down the width and called it a day.  Use a walking foot for sure!!!

And note that the bag, when full, makes a big rectangle.  Also, sometimes the pattern is referred to as “Not Your Basic Blue Ikea Bag.”

The really cool thing about the Chicago screws is that they can be removed if you want to wash the bag.  I did use the screw lock (blue or purple) liquid on my screws to insure that they don’t jiggle loose down the road—which happened to the tiny, tiny screws on the Turn Lock on the Noodlehead Explorer Bag I made last fall.  I can get them open again; it just takes a bit more beginning muscle and a pair of pliers to hold the back of the screw in place while you turn the front.

I ordered 1 1/2-inch leather straps for this big bag.  I think they work well at that width.  Right now, this bag holds three full-size quilts and there is room for a 4th smaller quilt.  For a smaller bag, I’d drop back to the 1 inch leather strips.

The pattern suggests cutting some backing pieces to stabalize the screw holes on the inside of the bag.  I agree that’s a good idea, and it looks so nice.

I worried about the 1/4-inch screw working with FOUR layers (3 leather and the bag), but they did.

I love the way Kelly bound the inside seams—to avoid having to lay in the lining separately and turn the bag, etc.  Next time I will sew the binding on the right side in the ditch—so the seam line does not show on this side.  The pattern calls for that, but I was squeamish about catching the back, folded piece for sure.  I’m not good at that.  No one would care about seeing this seam line really.  It just looks like more quilting lines.

I loved the Chicago screws so much I took apart the handle I hand-sewed on my Noodlehead Market Basket and used these screws.  Steel-colored ones might have been classier, so I’m ordering both brass and steel screws next.  It takes 8 screws per bag.

And, again, I put reinforment leather on the inside.

Oh boy!  I am feeling the urge to make the smaller bag—maybe for a gift…

Ok, maybe for ME.

The pattern is available on Etsy.  Note that I blacked out the 22-inch figure for the original bag, which is wrong. It is more like 32 or more—depending on the width size of your Annie’s Soft and Stable.  And I added in black text the correct size on the image.  The other long sizes on the pattern are a big off as well.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/728254928/not-your-basic-blue-bag-pattern-by-kelly

 

Turkey Tracks: Bonnie Hunter’s Scrappy Irish Courthouse Pattern On Sale

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Turkey Tracks:  January 14, 2020

 

Bonnie Hunter’s Scrappy Irish Courthouse Pattern On Sale

I think this pattern would make such a great scrappy leader/ender project.

It’s on sale for $4 right now—for a download pattern—and the link is below.

 

https://quiltville.com/shop.html#!/Irish-Courthouse-Digital-Pattern/p/117044006/category=13038426

 

A leader/ender project is where you have block pieces prepped so you can feed parts through the sewing machine—instead of cutting your thread—while you are working on a primary project.  Leader/ender blocks can come into being faster than you think.  So, you are always working on two projects at the same time, but the leader/ender is much slower.  At some point, mine turn into primary projects.

 

 

Written by louisaenright

January 14, 2020 at 10:09 am

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Turkey Tracks: “Wild and Goosey” Quilt

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Turkey Tracks:  January 12, 2020

Wild and Goosey Quilt

She’s FINALLY done.

This one has been YEARS in the making.

Bonnie Hunter designed the foundation pieced block-which is 1/4 of the block arrangement I chose.  When combined with 3 other blocks and some inner sashings, you get what I have below.  I then used 3-inch wider sashings and a 9-patch to surround each block.  Friend Betsy Maislen suggested the low-volume border, and I added in narrow strips of the grey randomly as I went along.  This project is all scrappy, of course.

I quilted with a light grey thread and bound with a light grey solid.  The pantograph is Anne Bright’s 12-inch Simple Feathers pattern, which is a favorite of mine to lay down a curved, overall design that does not intrude.

I love, love, love the backing.  Betsy Maislen brought this one in to my life as well, and I bought enough to have for a backing down the road.

The block is very effective and dramatic, but it takes me (at least) a long time to make one of them.  Still, I love them, so the effort was worth it.

Turkey Tracks: Yummy Lunch

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Turkey Tracks:  January 11, 2020

Yummy Lunch

I really look forward to my lunch everyday.  It’s the first meal of the day that I eat.

I really like to make a big salad with LOTS of fresh and roasted veggies—and some protein.  I use what I have on hand.

This one has a bed of organic lettuce that includes hearty greens and some herbs , roasted beets, roasted asparagus, red peppers, carrots, cucumbers, red onion, and is sprinkled with Penzey’s dried dill and sea salt.

With my histamine intolerance issues, I can’t do vinegar.  I drizzle with an organic, first pressed, olive oil.  I’ve learned to really taste the veggies over these past years.  The peppers, beets, and carrots are so sweet.

 

Written by louisaenright

January 11, 2020 at 9:06 am

Turkey Tracks: My Turn For The Lions Dinner Committee

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Turkey Tracks:  January 9, 2020

My Turn For The Lions Dinner Committee

The Camden Maine Lions Club meets twice a month, first and third Tuesday night.

We share a meal together before our business meeting.

Members are assigned to dinner committees, and the rotation is that each committee sets up and cooks for everyone about three times a year.  This past Tuesday it was my turn to help cook.

I made a big salad to go with the chicken pot pies and biscuits that another Lions member (Cindy Wandell) made.  This was a big meeting as we were hosting the families of the sixth grade Peace Poster contest winners, so I made A LOT of salad and two Mason jars of HEALTHY dressing.

 

I used a lettuce mix and layered in steamed broccoli, sliced sweet bell peppers (yellow, orange, and red), cucumbers, slivered carrots, slice radishes, a scattering of dried sweet cranberries, and red onion slivers.

The dressing was olive oil, red wine vinegar, maple syrup, herbs, lime juice, and drops of Young Living essential oils (tangerine, lemon, lime, and orange).  It was delicious!  Commercial dressings are chemical brews with fake flavorings and bad, bad oils.  I won’t eat them.

Here’s our meal.

Other dinner committee members made a HOST of gorgeous pies and supplied whip cream and vanilla ice cream for toppings.

 

It was a very nice evening, and as always for me, there is a lot of gratification in doing something for other people that is healthy and life-giving.  The Lion community means a lot to me.

Written by louisaenright

January 9, 2020 at 9:35 am

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Turkey Tracks: I Love Stir Frys

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Turkey Tracks:  January 6, 2020

I Love Stir Frys

I love to make a stir-fry meal with LOTS of fresh, organic, local-when-possible veggies and a healthy meat.

Just look at this beautiful mixture:  onion, three colored carrots (orange, white, red), cauliflower, green and red sweet peppers, yellow squash, and garlic are in this mix.  I added sea salt, crumbled dried mint that I dried from my garden, and an herb mixture I like (Penzey’s Herbs de Provence which has lavender included).  I can’t do spices with my Histamine Intolerance, if I could I would like the Indian spices, like cumin, cardamon, tumeric, etc.  And some pepper heat.  Basically I use the veggies I have on hand and start to “sweat” them in a little beef or duck fat.  I don’t use olive oil as it is too delicate and fractures under heat, which isn’t good for us to eat.

This time I added a lean ground lamb when the veggies start to brown on the bottom of the pan.  The addition of the meat adds more fat and some moisture, which helps to cook the veggies without burning.  When the meat is almost done, I added, this time, slivered raw cabbage.

Here is the meal finished and ready to eat.  I will get several meals from this cooking expedition.  Note that I don’t like my veggies to get too limp—which means that when I reheat some of the mixture for a meal (covered and add a few tablespoons of water to keep things moise), the veggies don’t get overdone.  Reheating from a cold oven takes no more than 20 minutes.  I use an oven-proof glass bowl, a stray glass top I have that sits loosely on the top, and, often just slide the bowl on a plate and eat from the bowl.

With this method, I can also use cubed left-over meat from other meals—added at the last minute just to heat through.  And if I want, I can put the mixture over rice or, for me, rice noodles.  I don’t do that often though as all I have to do is look at rice forms to put on weight.  I like a sprouted, color mixed, organic rice from Trader Joe’s best of all, and when I make a run to Portland, I stop in and replenish my supply.  Sprouted grains make their nutrients more available for our bodies to use.

Written by louisaenright

January 6, 2020 at 9:50 am

Turkey Tracks: A Favorite Tool

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Turkey Tracks:  January 4, 2020

A Favorite Tool

I’ve used this tool for almost my whole quilting life—over 20 years now.

It holds 10 THREADED needles.

I started with one that held short hand-quilting needles.  But now it gets used for long, milliner size 11 needles that are set up for binding.  Friend Linda Satkowski gave me a second tool, so I’d have 20 threaded needles all ready to go for a binding session.  And a recent conversation with her surfaced the need for having one of these set up for EPP projects, for instance, so one would not have to remove thread from unused needles for a different project.

The tool has a clear plastic cover which, right now, it is sitting on.  It is from Clover (625 Dome Threaded Needle Case) and priced under $10.  Back in the day they were $5.  You insert a threaded needle, slide the thread just below the needle head into the slit on the side of the dome and twirl the dome around to wrap the thread around the inside of the dome.  I’ve never had one tangle, but I do have a friend who tangled one and had to take it apart and start over.

I bind quilts at night while watching tv.  And I put a pillow on my lap to bring the project higher up than my lap—which helps a lot with neck and hand strain.

And these days, I have a boyfriend who keeps my right leg warm!

If you hand sew a lot, I suggest you get two of these domes.

Written by louisaenright

January 4, 2020 at 9:41 am