Interesting Information: 2015 Was Hottest Year in Historical Record, Scientists Say – The New York Times

Interesting Information:  February 26, 2016

2015, The Hottest Year on Record

Two of my neighbors now have installed solar panels on their roofs.

I’d LOVE to install solar panels.  It’s a long-held dream.

Yes, even up here in Maine, solar panels will work.

What’s stopping me is that my roof is about 14 or 15 years old, and I don’t want to install solar panels and then have to take them down for a new roof.

Apparently one can get a loan that is a “wash” with current energy bills.

But, maybe, this year I’ll start the conversation with a local solar company with a great reputation.


Meanwhile, here’s an article discussing the heat generated this past year.  There are some great statistics and good graphs AND a link to a “quick question and answer” document that’s interesting.  (Admission:  I don’t agree with the section on meat eating being a major cause of global warming.  The CAFO lots are a problem, but we should be grass-feeding cows anyway.  Meat is a major source of fat soluble vitamins and amino acids in forms that our body accepts.)

Source: 2015 Was Hottest Year in Historical Record, Scientists Say – The New York Times

Turkey Tracks: Carroll Rhodes Risk’s English Paper Piecing Project

Turkey Tracks:  February 25, 2016

Carroll Rhodes Risk’s English Paper Piecing Project

Carroll Rhodes Risk is a Bellevue High School, Bellevue, Nebraska, classmate.

She’s a quilter too!

She saw my blog posts on various English Paper Piecing projects–especially the exciting millefiori projects.

She’s working on tiny circles–and has promised to send along pics of her progress.

Here’s what she has now:



Aren’t these FUN!!!

(Thanks Carroll, for staying connected and for being a quilter.)

Turkey Tracks: Snow Day Quilting

Turkey Tracks:  February 24, 2016

Snow Day Quilting

It’s a kind of a snow day.

We had wet, slick snow early, followed by ice, followed now by rain–and temps are rising.

The Coastal Quilters Sit and Sew cancelled for this morning, wisely.  People come from far away here in rural Maine, and the early roads were not good.

I did get out for my haircut, but am now hunkered down with the pleasure of sewing to my heart’s content.

These 30 quilt blocks are ready to sew together:


Is this wild or what?

Here’s a close-up:


I have not decided about a small border yet.  It seems wild enough.  What do you think???

I have a great backing fabric for this quilt.

These are Bonnie Hunter’s block from the 2015 “American Patchwork and Quilting Magazine” four-patch challenge.

This is my second quilt using this block.  This one is set in cheddar fabric and surrounded by sashings made from my “crumb” bag.

(I don’t think the crumb bag is going down in size; I’m pretty sure those crumbs are breeding during the dark of night.  But I adore sewing them into something fun.)

I had to make fourteen more sashings, so I found my self organizing the crumbs into piles that stopped all the mindless pawing through off of them.)

I pulled off fabrics that I thought would work in Bonnie’s Wild and Goosey block:


I now have TWO of these.  And I’m thinking they will make a third “bright” quilt for Bryan and Corinne’s youngest.  I’ll put up pics of the first two “brights” after they have been gifted.

I’ll use sashings to surround each block–maybe a bit wider than the cross sashing in the block’s middle.  It will be one fabric, not scrappy.  That will make these little blocks pop out nicely.

I AM PUTTING THE BINDING ON “ALLIETORE,” and it’s glorious.  Bonnie hit this one right out of the ball park.


Interesting Information: Blood Pressure Meds: Yes or No?

Interesting Information:  February 24, 2016

Blood Pressure Meds:   Yes or No?

In the past few weeks, I’ve run across a handful of friends who have mentioned that they are taking meds to lower their blood pressure.

I love it when the universe begins to send me information regarding something about which I have questions.

I’m reading the winter issue of WISE TRADITIONS, the Weston A. Price journal.  Inside there is a review of an audio CD by Dr. Donald K. Weber, DC called HEALTH 101 SIMPLIFIED, page 80.  (This issue is not yet online but will be eventually.)

Here’s a quote written by the reviewer:

Dr. Weber’s views on blood pressure are a little different from those of most other doctors.  He believes that your blood pressure is what it is supposed to be.  In other words, artificially adjusting it with drugs is not “correcting” anything.  Blood pressure is controlled by oxygen levels in the brain.  If the brain is not getting enough oxygen it raises the blood pressure until it does get enough oxygen.  Normal blood pressure is considered to be around 120 over 80, although the pharmaceutical companies would like to lower those figures so that they can make a whole lot more money selling their drugs to a lot more people.

The ratio of 120 over 80 is 3:2.  If your pressure is higher but is the same ratio (150 over 100, for example), then you are dehydrated, according to Dr. Weber.  I’m pretty sure there is not a drug in the world that cures dehyderation, but I’m not a doctor.  Weber also mentions that chemicals from things like processed lunch meat can raise blood pressure.

Many doctors seem to prefer prescribing expensive drugs to lower blood pressure.  Do they work?  Well, they lower pressure but they do that by weakening the heart.…The result is insufficient oxygen to the brain resulting in dizziness, light-headedness or even blackouts.  That is a known side-effect of blood pressure medication.  Over the long run, brain cells start dying when they don’t get enough oxygen.

My other go-to person with heart and other issues is Dr. Sherry A. Rogers.  She’s a big believer in the notion that we are all low in magnesium–which cause all sorts of heart problems and high blood pressure.  (She backs up everything she says with citations from leading studies and journals.)  She recommends an easy to find magnesium product, Natural Calm, taken twice a day.  She has a book on blood pressure, THE HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE HOAX, but here’s a quote from IS YOUR CADIOLOGIST KILLING YOU?

There are so many ways to lower and permanently CURE high blood pressure that it boggles the mind why we insist on merely bludgeoning it for the rest of our lives with drugs.  Especially drugs that guarantee you will require more drugs, while bringing on an avalanche of more side effects, symptoms and diseases (15).

Remember that docs do not get any nutritional training.  Most don’t begin to know how to use foods to CURE problems.  (Rogers says eating four stalks of celery a day will magically lower blood pressure.)  Docs are practitioners, not scientists or nutritionists.  They only know what those pesky drug companies are telling them about health problems.  They’ve lost the whole vocabulary of “CURE.”  They are now just managing illness–and contributing to it far to often.  AND, they have become “workers in the system,” in that if they do not follow the “standards of care,” they are driven out.  That’s how a strong market works to increase its market share.


Before you buy into thinking you even have high blood pressure, get one of those inexpensive cuffs from the drug store and take your blood pressure over the course of a few days at different times over each day. Figure the ratio.  If it’s “high” or not 3:2, drink water and test again.

My late husband’s blood pressure zoomed so high in ANY doctor’s office that they would threaten to hospitalize him on the spot.  At home it was just fine.

I hope this little post gives you some information on this very serious subject and that you will investigate more before taking any medication.


Turkey Tracks: It Feels Like Spring: February 2016

Turkey Tracks:  February 22, 2016

It Feels Like Spring:  February 2016

Temps have soared up here in Maine.  In places over this week, some temps will be close to 60 degrees.

I have daffodils coming up through snow patches.

We are to get two days of rain again this week.

Is winter over?

Hard to tell.  We usually get some spring snows, even into April.  But it has just not been a cold, snowy winter this year.

I have been hard at work on so many quilt projects–each and every one a joy to produce.  And more on that later.

Yesterday I took down the Christmas wreath and installed this lovely thing:


How fun is that???


I have another bare branch wreath that I also love.  It lives in the garage in the winter.  I’ll find another spot for it for right now.  Or, rotate it “in” later in the year.


Interesting Information: Vaccines: Why Are So Many People Choosing Not to Vaccinate? | Vision Launch

Interesting Information:  Vaccines:  February 22, 2016

Why Are So Many People Choosing Not to Vaccinate?

This series of 12 essays pretty much covers the anti vaccine argument.  It is chock full of links to further educate–and of course the links are to reputable sources, studies, etc.

Be fully aware that the “story” you’ve been told in the media and in your doctors’ offices that this is “settled science” is far from the truth.  And, remember, that science should never be totally “settled.”  It must always be open to exploration and refinement.  Otherwise, it just morphs into belief system, not science.

You owe it to yourself and your family to read these essays.  The first essay addresses the “famous/infamous” vaccine skeptics.

A Comprehensive Review of Vaccines – Part 1 of 12 What is With All These Vaccine Skeptics?

Here’s a quote from the opening essay:

Most people have a difficult time understanding why any parent would choose not to vaccinate their children. After all, we have been assured by our doctors that clinical trials show that vaccines are safe and effective and that we need to vaccinate to protect everyone. So what’s the reason for these people to refuse vaccination for their children?

Unfortunately, the further we objectively researched the whole body of evidence surrounding vaccines, the more difficult we found it to come to the conclusion that vaccines are safe and effective. The truth is, there isn’t just one reason for vaccine skeptics to forgo vaccination. There are many.

Source: Why Are So Many People Choosing Not to Vaccinate? | Vision Launch

Turkey Tracks: Quilting: Disappearing Nine Patch Method

Turkey Tracks:  February 7, 2016

Quilting:  Disappearing Nine Patch Method

I’ve been reading about this new “disappearing nine patch method.”

What is it?

Basically you take a nine patch and cut it in half twice and recombine the fourths.

It makes for some interesting combinations.

Here are some pictures to illustrate:  scroll down to find the method.

Source: The Last Quilt of 2015 | Inside Quilters Newsletter

Turkey Tracks: Subaru Storage Box Project

Turkey Tracks:  February 7, 2016

Subaru Storage Box Project

The storage box between the two front seats is where No No Penny likes to “ride.”

Both dogs toenails can and do pit the padded top of that box.

So, a few years back, I made a quilted top meant to fit over the top.

Only it never did very well…

And time and sun damage meant it was time to do something else.

One day, friend Mary Sue Bishop got into my car, took one look at the worn-out box protector, and said “I’m making you a new one.”


Here’s what she was seeing:

IMG_0921 IMG_0922

Here’s what she made:


The dogs weight and “digging in” with the motion of the car can make the protector slide a bit, but it isn’t going anywhere.


Mary used three strips of velcro to anchor the protector against the above force–and the really important one goes from front to back.  (I had only used elastic side strips.)

She also put in a draw string ribbon, so as the fabric stretches with use, I can tighten it up.

It’s brilliant!  It works!  It matches the car!  And I love it !

Thanks Mary Sue Bishop.

Turkey Tracks: Megan Bruns’ English Paper Piecing Projects

Turkey Tracks:  February 6, 2016

Megan Bruns’ English Paper Piecing Projects

Some of us at Coastal Quilters (Maine) have gone quite mad over EPP.

But the projects are so intricate and gorgeous–way more involved than my simple hexie project.

Megan Bruns is an EPP “star” in our quilting group.

And an inspiration!

Just off the top of her head, she started making hexie placemats out of modern fabrics.  As she has colorful fiesta ware, I asked her to take some pics for me for the blog.

A placemat:


…in use:



Megan is now trying to decide how to back these little gems.  Or whether to “float” them on a rectangle or larger hexie…

Time will tell…

BUT, Megan has also taken on the VERY challenging “Millefiori” quilts as shown in Willyne Hammerstein’s book Millefiori Quilts.

Here’s the start of her first “rosette”:


Some progress:


And the finished first rosette:



Note that the hanging “flags” on the outer ring disappear when those blocks are attached to others–they just go underneath the quilt.

These “rosettes” of various sizes attach to each other to make the “millefiore” look.

Note:  We are using fiber glue pens with refills to put the fabric onto the EPP templates BUT we keep the glue away from the crease edge–as that makes it hard to get your needle through the fabric and the glue.


Another good source for millefiore projects is Katja Marek’s The New Hexagon Millefiore Quilt Along.

The English Paper Piecing Company carries card stock templates, acrylic templates, and can facilitate delivering monthly block projects–such as this year’s project being designed by Katja Marek.

Marek has a nice web site if you want to take a look at completed projects, etc.

Turkey Tracks: February Farmer’s Wife Blocks

Turkey Tracks:  February 6, 2016

February’s Farmer’s Wife Blocks

From earlier posts, you know that a group of us at Coastal Quilters (Maine) are spending this year making the 99 Farmer’s Wife blocks from Laurie Aaron Hird’s book, The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt.

We set of goal of making two blocks a week, or eight a month.

Since February is a short month…  OK, since I am addicted now to making these blocks, here are my February blocks.  Each block has a woman’s name, and I have only one more “b” name to go.

I am putting on the setting triangles as I go, and I am loving these bright modern fabrics.  (Leftovers are going into a hexie project.)  Each block, even the so-called “simple” ones, takes a fair amount of time to make.