Turkey Tracks: Traveling South

Turkey Tracks:  February 26, 2014

Traveling South

I have traveled today and will travel tomorrow, so the past few days have been busy with getting ready to leave a house that is knee-deep in snow; six chickens, one of which has been in my kitchen for almost two months; two dogs; and a friend and house sitter who is recovering from a broken wrist from a fall on treacherous ice.

I am in Portland in the trusty Comfort Inn, which will keep my car until I fly home. Portland is about two hours south from Camden.

I had hoped to drive straight to the airport Thursday morning for an 11:30 flight, but the POLAR VORTEX and a bit of light snow might mean treacherous ice at 6:30 or so Thursday morning. Anything could delay me–even someone else having an accident. So, most everyone I know travels to Portland the day before flying when the weather and roads are so uncertain. The motel’s fee for keeping my car and the overnight stay is pretty much a wash with paying for parking at the airport.

Where am I going?

Destination: Norfolk, VA


The driver is that I meet with a group of quilters that I have been sewing with during this week for about 18 years now–minus the last few when John was too sick to leave with all the above responsibilities. (John did the taxes, the money management, and all sorts of repair and mowing jobs, and I have acquired a whole new understanding of how hard just the taxes are after these past two tax endeavors. I cooked, shopped, gardened, took care of animals, and pretty much organized all the social tasks.)

Rosie Pilkerton is a wizard with time shares, and she gets us a beautiful apartment every year. We sew, laugh, eat, walk, shop, and visit the Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival in Norfolk (a beautiful show).

Everyone does exactly what she wants to do for a whole week–no pressure, no responsibilities, no worries. It’s all a gift. It’s therapy of the finest kind.

The other (big) draw to Norfolk is that I have a sister and a brother there–and I will see them and their children.

I have the ipad with me, and it does not always like to upload pictures onto the blog, but I will put some up. If not, when I get home.

All serious subject matter has been left behind for the week!

Turkey Tracks: More Winter Pleasures

Turkey Tracks:  February 18, 2014

More Winter Pleasures

Kathleen and John Nixon often visit me in January or February.  Like me, they love Maine and love being here in the snow.  Nature graced them with 8 to 10 inches on their first night here.

One of the things we love to do is to work puzzles.  Kathleen and John have a favorite puzzle artist–Heromim.  And this year they brought two of these beautiful puzzles.  We set up the white folding table, add a card table for extra pieces, and drag up folding chairs from downstairs.  Then we set to work.


Here’s the first puzzle.   They let me choose which one to work first.


Heronim signs his puzzles in two ways:  signature and a tiny black cat on one puzzle piece.  You can see the black cat on the logo.  Kathleen found that piece almost right away as we sorted out the edge pieces.

Heronim’s pictures are set in California and, apparently, in MAINE.  I’ll see if I can find some of the latter.

So, we are playing, which is why you have not heard from me in a few days.  I will post something serious soon.  I promise.

Meanwhile, play is a very good thing.  And play with old friends or family is the best!!

Turkey Tracks: Snow Day!

Turkey Tracks:  February 13, 2014

Snow Day!

As I write, the sky is pouring snow.  It’s still unclear how much we will get and if warmer temps will turn some of the moisture into sleet.

Our monthly knitting meeting has cancelled for the second time this month.   When it starts to snow this seriously, I hunker down and take pleasure in all my projects–on the theory that some trips are not worth the risk.  In this case, it’s not the going, it’s the getting home after several hours of snow.

So, as we are deep into February, my wild turkeys are now quite tame.  I throw them leftover chicken food, some scratch, and some sunflower seeds.  It seems to be my mission in life to feed things.

I’ve told you they talk to me–so I took this little video yesterday–a bit after some long conversations had already occurred.  And my goodness, you should have heard them this morning.  They knew the storm was coming.

The males are really starting to display now, and their heads are turning cobalt blue.  I will try to get pics of that phenomenon soon.

Look at THIS:


I have six of the 12 needed of these BIG hexies.  I am working on the 7th and have two more planned.  You will recall that this idea/pattern comes from Kathy Doughty and Sarah Fielke in Material Obsession 2:  More Modern Quilts with Traditional Roots.   Remember these earlier pictures of two different settings?




The issue is bed quilt or wall hanging.  I go back and forth daily.

I have a quilt on the long arm and will work on that some this afternoon.

And I am listening to an Elizabeth George mystery downloaded from the library:  Careless in Red.  I have to finish it as Mary Karr’s Lit, which I had put a hold on, is now available.

Oh my goodness!!!  So many good things to do, so little time.

Interesting Information: Why Not To Buy Cut Flowers

Interesting Information:  February 13, 2014

Why Not To Buy Cut Flowers


I had no more put up a picture of a vase of cut flowers to which I had treated myself–a practice I do from time to time in the winter–when a post came in from Dr. Joseph Mercola saying NOT TO BUY cut flowers for a loved one for Valentine’s Day.


They are chock full of pesticides!

And, of course, HOW they are grown is also an issue–lots of fertilizers that spoil the soil, etc.

Here, again, are my pretty flowers:


Enjoy the sight, as I’m not buying any more.

It makes sense, of course.  Mercola writes that if at a border/port inspection, the inspectors detect one tiny little bug, the whole shipment is rejected.  So, growers and shippers drench the flowers with pesticides.   I hope you are remembering the recent post I put up about statistics that worry me.  If so, you’ll know that we have got to back ourselves out of the system that is poisoning us in countless ways.  And, know that even tiny amounts of these harmful chemicals are…really harmful.

There is a new documentary out that I am planning to see as it is going to be shown locally.  Take a look at the trailer for Unacceptable Levels:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVB6XSyBTVE.  Their web is http://www.unacceptablelevels.com/.

Secondly, the pesticide issue is one thing–a BIG thing, but, again, I was ALSO not practicing what I preach–which is to live within the seasons, to live sustainably.  Cut flowers (like out-of-season fruit) are shipped in here from across the world–which is a terrible use of energy that we are depleating way too fast.  What was I thinking?  NOT…

So, I’ll be living without flowers in the winter from now on.

Here’s Mercola’s post:   http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/02/11/cut-flower-pesticides.aspx

Turkey Tracks: “Celtic Solstice” Quilt

Turkey Tracks:  February 13, 2014

Celtic Solstice Quilt

“Celtic Solstice” is Bonnie Hunter’s 2013 Mystery Quilt.  Bonnie writes a few weeks before Thanksgiving about fabric choices and releases the first “clue”–which unit we will make first–the day after Thanksgiving.  Then we are off and running–making hundreds of units each week until she reveals the finished quilt and how to put it together sometime before New Year’s.  Some of us finish right away; others take longer as life circumstances are all different.  We had the option to sign up for a Facebook “secret”/closed group to connect with other quilters making CS, and I have to say I have really enjoyed seeing their comments, their work, their different color choices, and the many different ways they put together the quilt.  Some reversed the chevron unit, which made that block more like a star, for instance.  And there were many, many different border treatments.

My CS has been finished for about two weeks now, and it’s been hard not to “share” it here until I could send it to DIL Tamara Kelly Enright for her February 12th birthday.  Tami KELLY Enright is part of the amazing Kelly Clan of Charleston, SC–which has been a boon for all the Enrights.

Two of my friends held it upright at our last quilt meeting as I can rarely get this kind of a shot of a quilt.


Bonnie designed this quilt after a trip to Ireland last summer.  You can see that it has the colors of the Irish Flag (green, orange, white) and that blue figures prominently.

Here’s what it looks like thrown over a queen-sized bed.


This is a two-block quilt.  Each block is a nine-patch–and you can see them in this picture.  The block with the green square on point is a Bonnie Hunter design and has appeared in a recent book from Quiltmaker magazine (I think that’s right) of 100 blocks.  The star block–see the blue points with the orange and green four-patch in the middle–is made with Tri-Rec rulers and forms the blue circles.


Here is a close-up of the very interesting border–and you can see that I quilted with a medium green thread–using a pantograph called “Circle of Life” ordered from Urban Elementz.  I specifically wanted a pantograph with this “New Grange” circle symbol for this quilt.  (New Grange, in Ireland, is an ancient site where the solstice light figures prominently during the solstice.)


Here’s the backing, binding, and the quilt.  I chose this bright orange backing because I know that Tami likes orange and bright colors AND BECAUSE IT HAS FAIRY BEES all over it.  Tami is a bee keeper and Executive Director of The Bee Cause Project in Charleston, SC, and Savannah, GA.   See their url:  http://www.thebeecause.org/home.html.


And, the other way:


Here’s a close-up of the fairy bees:


I knew very early that this quilt had to go to Tami.  I could hear John whispering in my ears–she’s a Kelly for Heaven’s Sake.  And while there are MANY of my quilts in Tami’s home, even one I made for her when she was pregnant with Bowen, there isn’t a big one that’s just for her.   And I didn’t realize until recently that she likes BRIGHT quilts.

Tami was hard hit with the loss of John–they had a very special relationship, and I’m so glad she could come spend time with him not long before he died.  I put this old Irish poem on the label for her:


And our loved ones do not totally disappear.  We hear their voices inside ourselves all the time.  They have just gone on before us, to prepare our way.

I have so enjoyed making this quilt and so look forward to next year’s Bonnie Hunter mystery.  Meanwhile, Bonnie’s other mystery quilts are in her books, and there are many I would truly love to make.

Thanks, Bonnie!

Turkey Tracks: Diva Update and Winter Pleasures

Turkey Tracks:  February 10, 2014



The Diva Queenie continues to heal and hang out.  She is picking up weight not and is noticeably heavier when I pick her up.

If I’m going to be in the kitchen at all, I let her out, and she strolls around investigating, flying up to the counters (where she is immediately removed), and following my shoes and picking at the buckles.  I’ve almost stepped on her at least twice.

Here she is with the straw basket that is driving her crazy.

Winter pleasures include pulling a bag of frozen tomatoes out of the freezer so a few can grace a lamb stew.  What a treat in mid-winter.  I also put in some of my dried zucchini and frozen green beans.



AND, winter pleasures include a bunch of flowers.  These did double duty–at the Coastal Quilters Meeting last Saturday and, now, in my dining room–with all the snow outside.



Actually, that picture shows a line of turkeys coming into the yard.  I have about twenty to thirty around the house most days–which is another winter pleasure.  This morning they all talked to me as I let out the chickens.

Interesting Information: Some Supplement Dangers

Interesting Information:  February 10, 2014

Some Supplement Dangers

Calcium, Vitamin D, Folic Acid


Shane Ellison is The People’s Chemist and has a blog with that name.

Shane Ellison is brash and angry, but he’s also very smart.  And he’s had a bird’s eye view of Big Pharma products as he worked in a big industry lab until he saw that the dangers he was finding were going to be ignored and those products were still to be sold regardless of their danger.  That’s where his anger comes from, I think, and since I have a lot of it myself–it is simply incredulous to me that poison is allowed to be sold, put on plants, put on our food, put on our soil, put into our water, put into our air, put into our veins, and so forth–I can overlook how he sometimes chooses to express himself.

In the post below, Shane takes on the wide-spread supplements that are themselves harmful or are harmful as being given.  I’ve read this information elsewhere, many times, so I don’t doubt it.  But Shane’s synopsis of what’s wrong is instructive and ALL IN ONE PLACE.   One takaway is DO NOT TAKE A COMMERCIAL MULTI-VITAMIN.

Shane sells supplements, so you can skip the ads and the video if you like.  That he sells things does not negate what he’s saying about crappy supplements and their impact on the body.  He has a weight-loss system that is built on regulating hormones, and hormone imbalances are what cause obesity.  The trick is to STOP eating what’s causing your body to gain weight, and in most cases, that’s too many starchy carbs.  Maybe Shane’s system also helps.  I do not know.

Anyway, here’s the url with the above-mentioned good information:

Daily Dose – Store » | ThePeoplesChemist.com.

Blog Readers’ Quilts and Quilting Information: Lunch Bags!

Blog REaders’ Quilts and Quilting Information:  February 10, 2014

Lunch Bags!

Red Flannel Pantry has done it again.

Another great idea and fun sewing project:  making lunch bags.

RFP discovered that oil cloth has phthalates in the fabric coating, so has come up with a grand solution.

Take a look?


red flannel pantry | red flannel pantry.

Interesting Information: Statistics that Scare Me

Interesting Information:  February 6, 2014

Statistics That Scare Me


1 out of 2 people are now getting cancer–so don’t for a moment think we are “winning” the “war” on cancer.  Or, curing it once you’ve gotten it.  The “standards of care” cures are horrific and carry their own horrors.

Interesting documentaries to watch:  both the Burzynski documentaries as they show that the cancer industry is not interested in a bona-fide cure that means they don’t make money and will do anything to stop such a marvelous thing from happening.

1 out of 50 children now have autism according to the May 2013 statistics from the CDC.  And, no, these figures are not because there are better diagnostic tools.

1 out of 6 children now have a neurological issue.

See the documentary, The Greater Good

The United States has an abysmal infant mortality rate–the worst among the other industrialized nations.  Take a look at this graph from The Washington Post:


And, for some reasons why, see the documentary The Business of Being Born

* * *

We didn’t get here by accident.

There has been a long, slow change in the structures of how we organize our society.  If you want to understand those changes, those structures, take 90 minutes and watch Robert Reich’s Inequality for All, which quickly dispenses with the Democrat/GOP divide and gets to the historical heart of what has happened.  Understanding a problem is the first step toward solving it.

Best of all is that Reich leaves us with tremendous hope that something can be done, that change can occur, that we can all get out of the now-hot water that is scalding us.

When he is asked what other country we should emulate to get out of our mess, Reich says “America.”

That would be the America of my youth.



Blog Readers’ Quilts and Quilting Information: Oh No! Kaffe Fasset Fabrics Degraded

Blog Readers’ Quilts and Quilting Information:  February 6, 2014

Oh NO!

Kaffe Fasset Fabrics Degraded


I love Kaffe Fasset fabrics.

I love all of the Fasset books.

I love COLOR!  And the Fasset fabrics are all about COLOR.

I’ve made many a quilt with Fasset fabrics and thought to make many more.

But I’m not buying Fasset fabrics any more.

Here’s why:

Fasset fabrics are no longer 44-45 inches wide, but are now 40 inches wide.

The price is the same.  Or, more.

Most importantly, Fasset has changed to a cheaper griege, or the grey goods that get dyed to make the fabric.  The quality of the griege is what makes a fabric sturdy.  And you have only to look at some of the newer Fasset fabrics to see the difference.  I just bought some polka-dot Fasset fabrics, and they are like gauze.  NO WAY AM I PAYING $10 OR MORE DOLLARS A YARD FOR GAUZE.  I don’t care how “pretty” it is.

I found the Fasset email address and wrote to calmly say why I would no longer be buying Fasset fabric.  And I hope you take a look at the new fabrics, look at the quality and the width, and write him for yourself:  www.kaffefassetstudio.com.

In addition, Amy Butler is part of the Fasset group of artists.  I have refused to buy her fabric or her patterns for some years now.  I believe that when you sell a pattern or fabric, you’re done.  I do not believe you can threaten customers with law suits if they make something from your pattern or fabric and sell it, show it, or whatever.

And, yes, I shared in my email that I also refuse to buy anything of Amy Butler’s.

* * *

Fasset and Butler have gone too far.

They have become too greedy.

As customers, we have to protest and refuse to buy their goods.

It’s the only way to get them back in all their glory.