Turkey Tracks: Christmas Decorations

Turkey Tracks:  December 21, 2015

Making Christmas Decorations

…and the stockings were hung by the chimney with care…


The reindeer on the mantle were made by my daughter-in-law Tami Kelly and her two daughters–at our Thanksgiving retreat at Camp St. Christopher in Seabrook, SC.  (A very fun time was had by all–great family time.)  The fireplace is in their house in SC.

Here’s a close-up of these reindeer:


This project uses driftwood from SC palm trees…washed up on the riverfront beach of the Edisto River.

I thought about putting one in my suitcase, but thought it would not make it.

What a fun project!!


Turkey Tracks: Playing With Fabric “Crumbs”

Turkey Tracks:  December 21, 2015

Playing with Fabric “Crumbs”

What do you do with small pieces of quilting fabric that are too small to use in something like a strip or a square?

I learned from Bonnie Hunter to call them “crumbs,” and to use them.  Quilting fabric is now around $12 a yard and the width has shrunk from 44-45 inches to 40-42.  (How greed can kill an industry.)

Like Bonnie, I throw these pieces in a bag and when it gets full, I start a project that uses them.  I also throw in large trimmed pieces that have been already sewn together.

(At the very least, you could use these scraps to stuff a dog or cat bed…)

Here’s my ongoing “crumb” project:


Some of the pieces are larger, but would not cut into a 2-inch square.  I don’t cut into 1 1/2-inch squares because they would be too bias stretchy.  I use 1 1/2-inch strips to form small squares.

I played with making fabric from the crumbs–which was kind of interesting.  And you could cut squares out of a piece like this and use the remainders to form more blocks.  If you use those blocks as a center with sashings around–or as a center to a larger pieced block, you’d have an interesting quilt.


Right now, though, I’m interested in creating sashings.  So here’s my growing pile of sashings:


I cut my large piece of “made” fabric into diagonal strips measuring 2 2/1 inches wide.  I use a backing piece of paper to sew these sashings and then I trim them up on the cutting board.  I can sew strips together to get the length I want.

I’m thinking of using these with this block, which you’ve seen before:


Stay tuned…

So, I warn you…

This kind of “play” is addictive.

Books, Documentaries, Reviews: Two Mystery Writers: Louise Penny and Jacqueline Winspear

Books, Documentaries, Reviews:  December 21, 2015

Two Mystery Writers:  Louise Penny and Jacqueline Winspear

They couldn’t be more different, these two writers.

But both bring a decided femaleness to their work–and I really like reading how they approach and execute their mysteries.

I’m not sure that male readers would like Winspear.  They might find her gentleness and carefulness boring in this present day world of violent and voyeuristic entertainment.  I do think they would like Penny’s work.

Jacqueline Winspear was born and educated in England, but moved to the United States as an adult.  Her Maisie Dobbs mysteries are set in post World War I England.  These are wise and gentle novels, though they deal with war wounds of all kinds, insanity, murder, mayhem, class differences, and so forth.  I’ve downloaded from the Maine audio library two of these mysteries and am waiting for two more.

Louise Penny is Canadian, and her protagonist is Armand Gamache, the chief of homicide for Quebec in a present day time frame.  Her work is elegant to say the least.  And, interesting.

There is something so seductive about having someone read a novel to you while you work with your hands.