Louisa Enright's Blog

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Turkey Tracks: Ann’s Blue and White Chocolate Feather

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Turkey Tracks:  December 8, 2012

Ann’s Blue and White Chocolate Feather

Ann O’Callaghan is my husband John Enright’s first cousin.  She and her sister Margaret Nealon live a few blocks from each other in the Boston area.  Their children have all grown up together, and it is the greatest pleasure to John and me that our sons have kept close ties with both of these families and all their children.  Now, John, Ann, and Margaret are grandparents many times over as many of their children now have children of their own.

Ann and Margaret have always been more sisters than cousins to John.  Their mother died very early, so Ann left Ireland as a teenager to come to Boston to live with one of her mother’s sisters.  (John’s father was her uncle.)  Margaret, who had lived with another of her mother’s sisters, followed Ann to America some years later.  All of these families are outliers from their mother country–Ireland–where the bulk of all their families live.

When we moved to Maine from northern Virginia, we began to see more of Ann and her family.  Every time Ann would come to visit, she admired whatever quilts I was working on at the time.  Always she would tease and say how much she would love a quilt.  And, I would always ask “what colors do you like.”  The answer was consistent.  Blues.  So, this winter, as part of my scrappy project, I made Ann a quilt.  John’s sister, Maryann Enright delivered it to Ann a few weeks ago, so now I can put it on the blog.

Here’s Ann’s Blue and White Chocolate Feather:

Ann's blue and white chocolate feather

The pattern is from “American Patchwork and Quilting” (August 2010).  It’s called “Outside the Box” and was designed by Karen Montgomery of The Quilt Company.  It uses 3 1/2 inch squares–which I took from the box where I store pre-cut leftover fabric from other quilts and from my stash.  I purchased the white fabric.  What’s cool about this concept is that the block is made like a log-cabin, in that it has a light and a dark side made from 16 blocks–six white and 10 blues.  So, the block combines in the same way that a log cabin block does–into all kinds of log-cabin patterns.

The quilting is from the Chocolate Feather pantograph, thus the name.  And it came out beautifully–it’s a functional quilt meant to be used and loved.

Ann's blue and white quilted

Here’s a view of the center:

Ann's blue and white, center

I like the varigated blue thread on this quilt a lot.

Ann's blue and white quilted

Ann's blue and white backing, binding, top, 2

Somehow, I’ve made a lot of blue and white quilts over the past year.  My blue and white stash has been reduced considerably–which is the goal.  I’m working on another right now, actually.  It, too, has a white background, though the pattern is different.  What I’m wondering about now is how a low contrast Kaffe Fasset kind of treatment, where the white becomes a blue print and the blue blocks are made into squares that float around in the print…

Perhaps I’ll find out this winter as I have enough 3 1/2-inch blue squares to make another quilt…

3 Responses

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  1. So lovely. With all that hand work, it must take you a long time to complete a single quilt. Do you use a machine at all? The back of the quilt has that chintz feel. I know there is a name for it, but it escapes me. I so admire your talent and fine handywork. Bravo. Ann will treasure it always!

    June Derr

    December 8, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    • Louisa, this is one of your most special quilts…It is so cheerful and has a light airy feel to it…Love the white background. It sets off the blue squares beautifully….Reminds me of a china pattern that I saw in SF!

      Susan Heath

      December 8, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    • The only hand work on most of my quilts now is sewing on the binding–which takes me 4 or 5 nights watching a movie on tv. I machine piece and then quilt with my long-arm “Lucy”–a Handi Quilter Avante with an 18-inch throat. I have hand-quilted a few quilts in years past, but it is VERY time consuming. Especially if they are at all large. I love to make tops, so hand-quilting is too slow for me, though I don’t mind doing it. All hand sewing and knitting is very soothing for me. And, I have one BIG quilt that was entirely made by hand, and it’s gorgeous! Basically, I love to make and give big functional quilts that people love and use. I do some art quilts, but not recently. Louisa


      December 13, 2012 at 11:58 am

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