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Turkey Tracks: Sewing Update

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Turkey Tracks:  November 3, 2013


Sewing Update


The Wheels of Mystery/Winding Ways quilt top is finished.  (This light/dark block is known by both names.)

I have Bonnie Hunter to thank for the border treatment, and I think it works really well.


wheels of mystery top

I am working on piecing the back now–which is taking 9 yards of fabric right out of my stash.  YEAH!!  This quilt is finishing up at just under 90 by 90 inches.

I have yet to find a binding I like…

Here’s a close-up of the blocks:

wheels of mystery close-up

I hand pieced more than half of these blocks–and really enjoyed the hand sewing.  Indeed, I’m off on a whole new hand-sewing project list–which I’ll talk about in another post.  But these blocks sew well on the machine too.

This kind of quilt is drawn from what can only be called “deep stash”–Bonnie Hunter’s term–as there are so very many wonderful fabrics in the quilt–fabrics that have been collected for over 10 years.

The other hand-quilting project is this little clam shell quilt–made from fabrics inherited from a local quilter here who died tragically of cancer, Susan Barry.

I have two clam shell templates–this one (4 inches) and, yikes!, a smaller one.  I could not find much online on how best to sew a clam shell block.  There is a lot of excess fabric in the curve that has to be eased into its complimentary arc.  It isn’t easy.  Many on-line suggestions involve appliqueing the blocks, but I didn’t want to do that.  Clipping the curve is absolutely necessary.  Deeply clipping.  And lots of pinning and lots of easing in by hand.  One could, I suppose, sewing a basting line to ease in the material, but I did not.

This week I got the clam shells trimmed up and the borders on.  These pictures do not do this little quilt justice.  It’s pale and sweet, and just isn’t showing up well at all.

Here it is on the design wall, where it is absolutely dying with the white border on the white wall:

Clam shell top

Here’s a close-up of the blocks:


Clam shell top close-up

Here’s a close-up of the border fabrics.  I wanted something darker to set off the clam shells’ paleness.  And the little rose fabric came in the fabric mixture.  I had thought it would be the backing.  But it isn’t.  I used, instead, a white rose with green accents fabric–which I did not take a picture of here.


Clam shell border on top

I am going to hand quilt it.  I layered it together late one night–too late–I should have stopped.  And used a too-thick batting I had on hand.  I am so spoiled with Lucy the Longarm.  I have not layered and pinned a quilt in a long time.  It’s so tedious.  Anyway, I took it all apart and put in a thinner batting–and it’s hand-quilting so nicely now.

Clam Shell Hand Quilting

Enjoying my quiet nights of hand quilting and watching tv shows…

Have seen all of HOMELAND, Season 2; all of FALLING SKIES; all of SUITS; all of ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK; DAMAGES, season 5; all of Kenneth Branaugh’s WALLANDER; and am up-to-date with THE GOOD WIFE and REVENGE.  Last night I watched a very young Reese Witherspoon in THE MAN IN THE MOON, which is a real tearjerker.  Now moving on to new episodes of NIKITA, but it’s starting to play out now as a series.  Am waiting for GAME OF THRONES, season 3; NEWSROOM, season 2; CALL THE MIDWIVES, season 3?; and, of course, DOWNTON ABBEY.



Written by louisaenright

November 3, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Documentaries: Pay Attention: Antibiotics Can’t Keep Up With ‘Nightmare’ Superbugs

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Documentaries:  November 3, 2013



Frontline TV Program:

Antibiotics Can’t Keep Up With “Nightmare” Superbugs

Terry Gross interviewed David Hoffman, the developer of the FRONTLINE television show that aired last week on the presence and threat of Superbugs that are now present in our world.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) allowed, and helped, Hoffman address–and surface–this very real problem.

Hospitals are really threatened with these Superbugs, but they are present in other environments as well.

Below find a link to Gross’s very informative interview:

Antibiotics Can’t Keep Up With ‘Nightmare’ Superbugs : NPR.

And here’s a quote from the web page–which has a link to the Frontline program.

We’re used to relying on antibiotics to cure bacterial infections. But there are now strains of bacteria that are resistant to even the strongest antibiotics, and are causing deadly infections. According to the CDC, “more than 2 million people in the United States every year get infected with a resistant bacteria, and about 23,000 people die from it,” journalist David Hoffman tells Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross.

Many people are familiar with the type of resistant infections often acquired in hospitals, caused by MRSA, the acronym for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. But most people don’t know about the entirely different group of resistant bacteria that Hoffman reports on in Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria, airing Tuesday on PBS’ Frontline. The show explores an outbreak of resistant bacteria at one of the most prestigious hospitals in the U.S., and explains why there is surprisingly little research being conducted into new antibiotics to combat these new superbugs.

“We really have a big information black hole about these really, really dangerous bacteria, and we need to know more, and it ought to be a national priority,” Hoffman says.

Me, I’m staying out of hospitals unless I get carried in there on a stretcher.

Written by louisaenright

November 3, 2013 at 2:53 pm

Books: NPR Interview With Stephen Kinzer, Author of THE BROTHERS

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Books, Documentaries, Reviews:  November 3, 2013

NPR Interview With Stephen Kinzer

Author Of



Well, here’s a book I’m buying.

THE BROTHERS is a really good example, I’m thinking, of what I learned in Cultural Studies–the power of those with cultural power to effect vast and sweeping changes in a nation.

The “brothers” are John Foster and Alllen Dulles.  AT the same time, one was head of the CIA, the other Secretary of State.  Together they changed the course of our nation from being a nation that would help out with something like World War I or II, to a nation that went out actively and sought out actively “monsters” to police.

The “brothers” could no begin to imagine the blowback from this shift in philosophy–with which we are dealing profoundly today.

I think it would take a long time to pass before a nation could look back on accumulated history and see the philosophical shift and to understand how it happened and why it happened.

Kinzer is a journalist, not a historian.  So there might be a critique mounted against his credentials.  But, I don’t think one can say that THE BROTHERS is a populist, read lightweight, book.

I’m going to read it…

At the very least, you’ll learn a lot from the interview by NPR’s Terry Gross:

Interview: Stephen Kinzer, Author Of The Brothers : NPR.


Here’s a quote from the web page:

In 1953, for the first and only time in history, two brothers were appointed to head the overt and covert sides of American foreign policy. President Dwight Eisenhower appointed John Foster Dulles secretary of state, and Allen Dulles director of the CIA.

Journalist Stephen Kinzer says the Dulles brothers shaped America’s standoff with the Soviet Union, led the U.S. into war in Vietnam, and helped topple governments they thought unfriendly to American interests in Guatemala, Iran, the Congo and Indonesia. In his new book, The Brothers, Kinzer says the Dulles’ actions “helped set off some of the world’s most profound long-term crises.”

John Dulles died in 1959. President Kennedy replaced Allen Dulles after the covert operation he recommended to overthrow Fidel Castro in Cuba ended disastrously in the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion.

Kinzer tells Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross that the Dulles’ shared background and ideology played out in their policy decisions: “They had this view of the world that was implanted in them from a very young age,” Kinzer says. “That there’s good and evil, and it’s the obligation of the good people to go out into the world and destroy the evil ones.”

Written by louisaenright

November 3, 2013 at 2:33 pm

Turkey Tracks: Friendship Samplers Quilt Show, Belfast, Maine

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Turkey Tracks:  November 1, 2013

Friendship Samplers Quilt Show

Belfast, Maine


Friendship Samplers is the Pine Tree Quilting Guild chapter located to Camden’s north, in Belfast, Maine.

(We are the Coastal Quilters here in Camden.)

The Friendship Samplers quilters are strong, competent, wonderful quilters.  There is just so much talent in that group.

They do a quilt show every other year, and this year was the year.

And this year, their show was as wonderful as ever.

I did not begin to take pictures of everything–or even of some of the most amazing quilts–and there were many.  I took pictures of work that stimulated my own creativity.  And do remember that the quilts I love best are scrappy quilts that are functional.

First, my most favorite quilt was my friend Joan Herrick’s “Logs and Ladders”–where she has combined a log cabin block with a Jacob’s Ladder block–and took advantage of their strong directional orientations.  There’s one of these in my future!

Frienship S's, J. Herrick Logs and Ladders

I was intrigued by the quilting in this quilt–and later realized it’s called “McTavishing,” after Karen McTavish, who invented it.  You can see how to do it on Leah Day’s web site, along with at least 400 other free-motion quilting designs she has put onto utube videos.

Friendship S's 3

Don’t you love this modern “take” on the log cabin block?

Friendship S's 2

I love the work of Alice Parsons.  And she had a hand in this quilt below:

It’s stitched with bright orange thread in squiggly lines up and down the quilt.  And look at the use of purple for the sashing.  That purple is making the yellow leap out of the quilt!

Friendship S's 6

Look at how the center square is varied–and the use of the adorable funky bird–and the use of rows of the squares…

Friendship S's 5

I want to make a quilt with birds at the center of some kind of block.  And I love what these quilters have done here.  It’s just so much fun!

Friendship S's 4


Here’s another creative idea for making use of a central square with something (birds!) fussy cut inside it.  Surround the square with flying geese and corner blocks:

Friendship S's 9


The flying geese and their backgrounds can vary in color choice.  What’s uniting the quilt here is the sashing/border fabric–in this case black and white and the use of the center square with a border around it.


Friendship S's 8


The Friendship Samplers always have a “quilt alley” where you buy chances (25 for $2!!!) and put your chances in the can/s of the quilt/s number you like.

All these quilts were to be “won” on Friday.  Another set went up on Saturday.

Friendship 18

I found many little quilts I liked on this wall.  But this one was my favorite:

Frienship S's 19


Here’s a close-up of the blocks:

Friendship S's 22

The Friendship Samplers always have goodies to eat–and they COVER FOOD TABLES WITH QUILTS–which fascinated Giovann McCarthy–on her first outing to a Frienship Samplers Quilt Show:

Friendship S's 10

I really loved some of these “table cloth” quilts.  I cringed at using a quilt for a table cloth, but their use does remind one that quilts are made to be used and loved:

Here’s a close-up of a table cloth quilt.  I’ve never found a squared square form that I didn’t like:

Friendship S's 13

Here’s a close-up:

Friendship S's 11

I was most intrigued with this pattern as well:

Friendship S's 12


Here below you can see the two blocks that make the pattern together:  4 half-square triangles with the colors to the inside making a square AND a sixteen patch with four red blocks making the center.  I’d cut the block to combine two of the white squares into a rectangle though

Friendship S's 15

This quilt was HAND STITCHED!!!


Friendship S's 14

Imagine it made in any number of colors–as long as you keep the light and dark values:  blue, yellow, orange, brown, etc.

SO, our group really enjoyed the Friendship Samplers Quilt Show 2013 and look forward to attending in 2015!

Thanks Friendship Samplers!

After the show we had lunch at Chase’s Daily–which specializes in local foods mostly from (in season) their farm.  And we visited Nancy’s Quilt Shop on Route 3 just outside Belfast to pick up more of a fabric that two of our quilters wanted to buy more of than Nancy had at the show.