Turkey Tracks: Streak of Lightening Quilt

February 20, 2015

Fun Fiber Projects in February

How’s that for alliteration?

And. oops, this one published before I wanted it to.  It was meant for tomorrow…

I finished Bonnie Hunter’s 2014  Mystery Quilt, “Grand Illusions,” and will show that on a separate blog post.  It’s a spectacular, exciting quilt and was so much fun to make.

Look at this big red border!  This scrappy streak of lightening quilt top is done.  It will go on the long arm later today.  Remember that this quilt top has come entirely out of my stash and from the leftovers of two other scrappy quilts that I am using in my downstairs tv/sitting room.



I’m working on another hand-sewing quilt:  octagons.


I am playing around with the opposites on the color wheel.  This one is blue and orange.  Remember the Lucy Boston quilt I did was two more opposites:  red and green.

Here it is again:


Purple and yellow may be hexies…

Who knows?

This year, American Patchwork and Quilting magazine has issued a challenge to make quilts with 4-patch blocks.  Bonnie Hunter is one of the quilters–and you can go to the magazine’s web page and get the complete list.  The current magazine has all sorts of gorgeous pictures as part of this challenge.  Remember last year that their challenge involved low-contrast quilts–or, “tone it down” is how I remember them phrasing the challenge.

Anyway, Bonnie is doing something mysterious with this kind of block, put on-point, and which starts with 2-inch squares.  Here are two I have made, and I love them!


Look at my 2-inch square box.  It definitely needs to be cleared out…


So I will be making 4-patches of light and dark, regardless of what I do with them all.  Four-patches are endlessly useable.  So this will be a new leader/ender project.

I am also playing around with blocks for a low contrast quilt–in more of the Kaffe Fasset mold–color drenched, I hope.


I didn’t want that central set of blocks to have any order to move your eye around…  Or to line it up–in the way alternating light/dark squares would do.

It’s a work in progress, and I am having fun playing.

You can see the backing for the streak of lightening quilt on the long arm…



Reviews: Blog: Big Hips. Open Eyes. Number Twenty

Reviews:  February 20, 2015

Tracy Rothchild Lynch’s


Here’s a real treat for you:  Tracy Rothchild Lynch’s essay “Twenty.”

You may recall she is trying to spend this year writing about connections she’s making with people in her daily life.

She hit this one right out of the ball park in my humble estimation/opinion.

Big Hips. Open Eyes.: Twenty.

“Twenty One” isn’t bad either…

Big Hips. Open Eyes.


Interesting Information: “Antiperspirants Can Make You Smell Worse”

Interesting Information:  February 20, 2015

“Antiperspirants Can Make You Smell Worse”

Like many of you, I suspect, I have been using a “natural,” aluminum-free deodorant for well over fifteen years now.  My current brand has been a Tom’s “long-lasting” product.

I’ve never had much body odor.

And I don’t sweat a whole lot, and I’m past the “hot flashes” stage.

So, about two years ago, I began to notice that at night when I woke up, I had really, really strong body odor under my arms.

And, for about two years, I’ve had some off and on swelling of the lymph nodes under my left arm.  (I worked with my local homeopath on this issue.  We’d clear it, but it would come back–especially in the winter.  Think layers of clothes, including lots of wool, and less showers.)

I LOVE sleeping in a cool bedroom with a lot of heavy cover on top.  I’ve been known to crack the bedroom window right at my head when the temps are in the 20s.  I crave the clean, clear, crisp Maine air–as long as there is enough cover.  But, at some point, the cover is too much, and I wake up sweating in my warm cocoon.   And, stinking…

It took me quite a while to connect the dots.  The Tom’s was causing the odor.  And, maybe the swelling.  And it was worse on the left side because I’m right-handed and was likely putting more of the deodorant under my left arm.

I stopped the Tom’s and went back to a very light dusting of some baking soda mixed with a bit of corn starch (which cuts the baking soda’s scratchiness).  I have this mixture in a small glass jar in the bathroom, put two fingers into it, and just lightly dust under my arms.  I don’t think I even have to do it every day…

The odor immediately stopped.

The swelling stopped and is gone.

For good measure, I stopped wearing a bra around the house, too.

(Saw a bit of a story on tv about young women wearing the most constrictive “body shapers” under their clothes and wanted to cry for them.  Back to the Victorian age…  And it all has to do with all this form-fitting clothing today where athletic clothes are now dressed up for every day.)

Within a few days, I got a Mercola post on the importance of our bodies’ surface microbiome and how important it is to good health.  (That’s a great example of synchronicity–which I’ll talk about in another post.) And you can read the Mercola below.  DO READ IT.

In addition, the post discusses the fact that we are washing away our bodies’ first line of defense when we use so many commercial soapy products every day.

For a long time now, when I shower, I don’t use soap.  I might take a loofah product and give my skin a scrub–it seems to like that stimulation.  But I don’t use soap unless I have gotten really dirty outside.

So many of these commercial products have really seriously bad chemicals in them–from cleansers to scent chemicals.  They dry our skin.  They kill the microbiome colonies.  They are just bad for us.  And, apparently, with the deodorant, they are causing odor, not curing it.

When I came back from Charleston on my last trip, I went for a haircut.  My hairdresser said “have you been swimming in a chlorine pool?  Your hair is so, so dry.”  I had been using a commercial shampoo rather than the baking soda/water “shampoo” and vinegar/water “conditioner.”  It took some weeks for my hair to get its gloss and shine back–a gloss and shine on which people comment.  Lesson learned.

Next time you are in a crowd, take a close look at the hair you see.  How many people have dry, lifeless hair?

Here’s a little quote from the Mercola article:

Science is clearly showing that your body’s microbiome plays a major role not just in your health, promoting or warding off skin diseases for example; it can also dramatically alter things like body odor. So, it’s really in your best interest to work with your microbiome, rather than against it. Doing so could help you avoid all sorts of chemical toxins that most people slather on themselves without thinking twice about what it’s doing to their microbiome, or their health.

Antiperspirants Can Make You Smell Worse.

Go through your cosmetic regime.  Read the labels.  Look for the parabens, the chemicals, and get rid of that stuff.  It’s expensive and dangerous.

I use unheated coconut oil as a moisturizer, Burt’s Bees “lipstick” sticks, baking soda/cornstarch deodorant, and a 1 to 4 baking soda/water ratio for shampoo and about the same with vinegar for a rinse.  I also use baking soda and sea salt as a toothpaste.  I “oil pull” coconut oil for teeth and gum health when I slow down to think about it.  If you want more scent, you can go to the essential oils for support.  Young Living oils are great, but you can find good ones in a health food store or a health food section of something like Whole Foods.

Good Luck!