Turkey Tracks: Tuesday is Clean Sheet Day

Turkey Tracks:  February 12, 2012

Tuesday is Clean Sheet Day

Or, wash day.

And the day we change sheets.

Last Tuesday I took this picture of the counter over the dryer.  I throw my wool socks on to the counter when they come out of the washer.  (Make sure your wool socks are washable!)  I can dry them in the dryer, but I never do as I have the notion that they will last longer if I don’t subject them to the dryer’s heat.

Anyway, all the colors seemed pretty to me lying all next to each other.

Turkey Tracks: “Nature the Greatest Show on Earth” Quilt

Turkey Tracks:  February 12, 2012

“Nature:  The Greatest Show on Earth” Quilt

Here’s this lively, happy  finished quilt:

Here’s a picture of a block close-up:

This block pattern is a very old one–and I have been unable to put a name to it.  It’s just always–there.  If anyone has a name for it, please let me know.

What’s different here is that I surrounded the block with a stripe and used a unifying corner stone.  Then I set the blocks on point.  The idea for using stripes, a unifying corner stone, and setting the blocks on point came from “Quilt Magazine,” Susan McDermott, and her remake of an older traditional quilt using these tatics.  The article was called “Old World Comfort.”  When I xeroxed the article so I could “play the magazine forward,” there were no dates on the pages.  My memory is that it appeared in the late fall/winter of 2011.  The magazine’s web site does not have any listings of what has been published when…so I was unable to find McDermott’s quilt reproduction again.

For over ten years I have been cutting leftover fabric that’s too small to fold into my stash into useable pieces.  The most versitile show up in this block:  3 1/2-inch squares, 2 by 3 1/2- inch rectangles, and 2-inch squares.  The 3 1/2-inch 9-patch you see in the above pic is from a quilt given to my niece, Kerry Enright, some years ago.  I had a few of those 9 patches leftover and just threw them into the bag of 3 1/2-inch squares.  And, for me, it’s fun to see all the pieces of quilts I have made over the years.  I can feel their good energy vibrating in this happy quilt.

What’s cool about this quilt, though, is the backing:


I absolutely love this fabric!  It’s called “June Bug.”  You may see some of it turn up in quilt blocks down the road, too…  I especially love the dragonfly which is my artist symbol.  I often use the term “Lovey Dragonfly” to sign a piece of artwork.

The name comes from the binding fabri , which has a round stamp scattered across it that says “Barnum and Bailey Circus:  The Greatest Show on Earth.”  I had been going to call the quilt “Nature Sings” since there is a lot of “nature” in the front blocks as well.  But, the Circus stamp chinched the name for me.

I quilted using an “antique rose” thread, which did not detract from the back and which “dumbed down” the red border on the front, and I used an all-over feather pattern pantograph.  (I really love pantographs!)

This quilt went with love and affection to my great niece and fellow artist, Fiona Whittle.

Turkey Tracks: “Fine China” Quilt

Turkey Tracks:  February 12, 2012

“Fine China Quilt”

This quilt started out with a set of blue and white squares and rectangles.

Here’s the first block–made and placed tentatively on the design wall–four-square blocks alternated with rectangles:

 Here’s the finished quilt:

I alternated the placement of the rectangles on the second block–the first block has the four-patches to the outside; the second has the rectangles to the outside.  What results, still, are lines of light and dark blocks on diagonal lines up and down the quilt.  Since I have a lot of “medium” blues, the lines are not always as stark as if I were using starker darks and lights.

Here’s a close-up of the blocks, so you can see some of the beautiful feather and swirl quilting I did freehand on the long-arm:

John went with me down to Marge’s at Mainely Sewing to choose a backing.  He chose this paisley fabric, which we both thought was perfect, and I chose the binding fabric, which has a lot of visual interest:

This quilt went to Hannah Rheault Kreibich, first daughter of Willow Rheault Kreibich, who is the daughter of our neighbor Sarah Rheault, who is English.  The blue and white floral prints have always looked like English china to me.   But this name is a bit more complicated.  “Fine China” is what our grandsons thought they heard when their parents used real words to describe their younger sisters’ body parts.  Willow topped this story with a similar one from her family.  A son thought his mother had a “china.”  It all became very complicated when they went to a zoo and he saw a panda bear from “China.”  Too funny!  Thanks, Willow.

Turkey Tracks: Quilts, Quilts, Quilts: “Star Light, Star Bright”

Turkey Tracks:  February 12, 2012

Quilts, Quilts, Quilts:  “Star Light, Star Bright”

I’m still quilting like a madwoman.

And, having such a good time making creative use of 10 years of scrap fabric cut into useable pieces.

I sent off three quilts this week.

Here’s “Star Light, Star Bright”–a baby quilt made for a little boy–Meyer James Kelly–who will be born any minute now.  The bed gives you some size references.

 These blocks are in the “La, La Log Cabin” style, taught to Coastal Quilters by Rhea Butler of Alewives Quilting in Damariscotta, Maine.  For the centers, which are deliberately cut “wonky” so the block develops “wonky,” are a set of blocks from a Wynkin, Blikin, and Nod line of fabric that I used in another baby quilt.  I loved the blocks so much that I couldn’t bear to toss what was left.  I had to make two star blocks–I traced the star on a blue fabric, fused it to the star print, and blanket-stitched around it.

Here’s an upright view:

Here’s a close-up of one of the “Wynkin, Blinkin, and Nod ” blocks–there were different pictures in the blocks:

I quilted with a big meander pattern broken by stars–so it will be soft–and tried one of my curved templates in the border.

I love the orange binding with blue stars.  That fabric was a find.

The backing is plain–and I’ve been printing labels and hand sewing them on to the back of the quilt.  I like it that I can put in little sayings, poems, how the quilt emerged for me, and so forth–even pictures!  You can see both backing and the label in this pic:

So fun!  So happy!

Turkey Tracks: “Neil Berg’s 100 Years of Broadway”

Turkey Tracks:  February 12, 2012

Neil Berg’s 100 Years of Broadway

Friday night held a special treat for us, besides dinner with good friends:  Neil Berg’s “100 Years of Broadway,” a Bay Chamber winter concert.


Neil Berg is a very successful composer/lyricist–“The Prince and the Pauper,” “The Twelve,” “The Man Who Would Be King,” “Time and Scrooge,” “Heidi,”  and on and on…   He oozes music and knowledge about the history of Broadway.  He puts together this show where he asks major Broadway stars to join him in singing and dancing many of the songs/dances that they, themselves, have sung “on broadway.”  Along the way, we all learned a little Broadway history and some “insider” tales.

Berg played the piano, and there was a drummer and an electric guitar player.  And boy could Berg play the piano!

This show started with Natalie Toro singing some of the major songs from “Evita,” in which she starred.  She also had major roles in “A Tale of Two Cities,” “Les Miserables,” “Cats,” and “A Christmas Carol.”  Her gorgeous voice is laced with passion.

Rita Harvey is a major Broadway star, probably best known for five years as Christine in “The Phantom of the Opera.”  She’s married to Berg, and she has an astonishing soprano–clear and true.

Danny Zolli is probably best known for “Jesus Christ Superstar,” and he blew us out of the Camden Opera House with some of that music–but not before singing “Sherry,” from “Jersey Boys,” which made us all want to sing along and get up and dance.

Ted Louis Levy is a master tap dancer with a mellow voice and a soft-shoe pleasing manner onstage.  He made his Broadway debut in “Black & Blue.”

David Elder danced and sang “Singing in the Rain,” a la Fred Astaire style.  He’s been in “42nd Street, “Kiss Me Kate,” “Once Upon A Mattress,” “Damn Yankees,” “Guys and Dolls,” “Titanic,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and “Curtains.”

Were we ever spoiled or what???

One of the joys of living in a small town with a huge cultural component is that we get to see traveling shows like this one.  The Camden Opera House was sold out.

It’s Sunday now, and we’re still walking around humming bits of songs we heard Friday night.  And, we’ve checked our stash of Broadway CD’s to see what’s there.

The show ended–after three hours with an intermission– with “Seasons of Love” from “Rent.”  We think we’ll order some of the Broadway DVDs and have some fun on these cold winter nights.

If this show comes to a place near you, GO!