Turkey Tracks: June Farmer’s Wife Blocks

Turkey Tracks:  June 29, 2016

June Farmer’s Wife Blocks

I finished June’s 8 blocks just under the wire.

I’ve already printed out patterns for July’s 8 blocks.


Blocks 40 to 48:



















Turkey Tracks: The Vermont Quilt Show

Turkey Tracks:  June 28, 2016

The Vermont Quilt Show

I drove over to Burlington, Vermont, this weekend to see Bellevue High School (1963) classmate Penny Rogers Camm and the Vermont Quilt Show.


Can I say that we had a wonderful visit that included a lot of laughter.  She will come to me in September for a windjammer cruise (we go on different boats at the same time this year), for a visit to the Common Ground Fair (MOFGA), and to organize some quilting projects.  Penny went to the Vermont Quilt Show last year, loved the quilts, and thought she might like to get into this kind of sewing.  She will be a natural as she has a very strong design background.

I’ll do another post on some of the quilts, but for now I’ll leave you with a video of an amazing quilt the likes of which I have never seen.

So unusual!


Turkey Tracks: The Gold Bug

Turkey Tracks:  June 28, 2016

The GOLD Bug

For two years now some bug has been eating my ornamental sweet potato vines.

Big, big holes.

Christine Annis showed me what it was on her last visit to trim the dog’s nails.  Christine’s business is House Calls For Pets, and her farm is Goose River Farm off Wiley Road.

I could not believe my eyes when she pushed back the leaves and found one of the “gold bugs.”



This critter is as shiny as a lost gold earring dropped into the leaves.

It’s a Gold Tortoise Beetle, Metriona bicolor, and it specializes in ornamental sweet potato vines.

After two years, I have quite a few as they winter over just fine.  Like the Japanese Beetles, they will drop to the ground in a hurry if you shake the leaves.

Here’s one of the “bi color” versions, which is a clay red.


I wondered at first if these were male/female colors, but the name suggests otherwise.

Nature is endlessly fascinating to me.  Why would a beetle like this be such a shiny color???  It certainly does not lend to camouflage, does it?

One of the best ways to handle them is to pick them off every chance you get.


Turkey Tracks: Mina’s Quilt: “Sugar and Spice”

Turkey Tracks:  June 28, 2016

Mina’s Quilt:  “Sugar and Spice”

I mailed granddaughter Mina’s “big girl” quilt to her last week.

The fabrics are an older collection of Kaffe Fasset prints that I bought some years back at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival in Norfolk/Hampton, Virginia.  The block is a “snowball” block.

The tiny triangles in the border mostly come from the corners of the snowball blocks.  But, of course, I had to make more.  I used my trusty Easy Angle ruler to make fairly quick work of that task.  And, I credit Bonnie Hunter’s teaching about the Easy Angle ruler for my constant use of it.  My half-square triangles come out perfectly with this ruler as long as my stitching line is a scant 1/4 inch.  Somewhere on one of Bonnie’s quilt I saw this use of triple, small, half-square triangle blocks used in a border.


I used a cream and pink polka dot on the corners.



Here’s a cornerstone “broken dishes” block to link the borders.  I had the orchid-colored fabric for the binding in my stash.  It was perfect for both sides of this quilt.


This “suite” of fabrics came with a wild border print that could be fussy cut into borders.


And a wild fabric that was perfect for the backing.  These “wild” fabrics drove the name “Sugar and Spice,” which is true, too, for this granddaughter.


I used an Signature’s Victorian Rose thread.  The pantograph is 10″ Double Dutch, from Anne Bright and as are many of Anne Bright’s pantographs, detailed and complicated, but lovely.


Quilt No. 128

Turkey Tracks: More Katja Marek Quiltlets

Turkey Tracks:  June 19, 2016

More Katja Marek Quiltlets

By the end of June, I should have completed 26 blocks to be “caught up.”

Here are blocks 19, 20, and 21.




Blocks 22 and 23 are organized.

I’m getting there!

Here’s what the quilt looks like now:


Block positions are apt to change as more blocks get completed.  There are 52 blocks in all.

This project is from Katja Marek’s 2016 “quilt-along” project.  The blocks are from her book THE NEW HEXAGON.  Paper pieces can be found at paperpieces.com.  Each “quilt-let” is a finished quilt.  The quiltlets will be sewn together to make the quilt.  I will use mine as a wall-hanging.

Turkey Tracks: Improv Quilt Blocks

Turkey Tracks:  June 19, 2016

Improv Quilt Blocks

I took some time this week to play with scrap fabrics and improv blocks.

Funky flowers emerged:


Maybe they need at least one leaf on the stem–so they don’t look like lollipops.  I’m thinking that would not be hard to applique in a leaf.  It would be easy to open along the edge of the stem to insert the bottom of the leaf…

Or, I could make a leaf with green thread–either by hand (pearl cotton!!!!) or machine quilting.  (You know how I love pearl cotton, so you can guess what I’m likely to do here.)

That’s improv for you…

Here are close-ups of two blocks:



It would be easy to remove the top and bottom strips when it comes time to use these blocks.

For the most part, the fabrics are coming out of my scrap bins.

I sorted those bins this week and threw out all the too-tiny pieces.  Yes, I could sew them together and make fabric, but the pieces I threw were really small and mostly triangles.  Maggie Schwamb gave me permission to do it.

Yeah Maggie!

Turkey Tracks: Red Poppies

June 19, 2016

Red Poppies

I love the red poppies that bloom in Maine in June.

I have a small bunch of them.

The poppies are outstanding this year.


Buddha is happy to have this new spot this summer.


St. Francis wanted to live alongside the garage this summer:


I see him and think about his gentleness and love of nature every time I go into the garage–which is several times each day.

June Derr’s Sungazer Indian is on the front porch this year.

And Bedo likes his spot along the drive so went out there again.

I’ve shown you these guys many times, so will not repeat.  Just making the point that I honor all who show us paths to the mountain top.

Especially this week…



Turkey Tracks: My Design Wall is Crazy

Turkey Tracks:  June 10, 2016

My Design Wall is Crazy

…or I am…

My goodness!!


Have you ever?

Mina’s quilt is on the long arm as well.

The top quilt is working as a leader/ender project using the red/neutral four-patch blocks from summer before last.

The left project is Amy Friend’s “Tell Me A Story” quilt.

The far right project blocks are the “quilt-lets.”  I’ve almost caught up now.

The middle are scrappy, funky blocks for the group of four making blocks for each others’ attempts at a Jen Kingwell kind of scrappy, modern, “evolving” quilt–see earlier posts on this project.  But, we are each making multiples of four to share with each other.


The sacks pinned to the left side of the wall are filled with blocks in various stages for the group project–we’re going to give each other our blocks in late summer some time–and with parts of blocks for the “Wild and Goosey” foundation piecing project for my youngest granddaughter.  (That one will take some time to finish.)

What you can’t see is the bedroom bed on this floor covered with piles of fabrics, the hexie quilt waiting for its borders, the blue/neutral quilt waiting for two more rows, and supplies for the Farmer’s Wife and Katja Marek blocks.

Oh my goodness!!  It’s bedlam for sure.

But, I am having fun.

Turkey Tracks: Salt Water Bays and Alewives

Turkey Tracks:  June 10, 2016

Salt Water Bays and Alewives

I made a run down to Alewives Quilting in Damariscotta Mills, Maine, on Thursday.  Mary Sue Bishop went with me.

Mary had never been the back way into Damariscotta Mills that skirts around the edges of the salt water bay that rises up to meet Damariscotta Lake.  Here’s where folks built a fish ladder that now lets the alewives get into the lake to spawn.

It was a gorgeous day, and the fields were filled with flowers:  buttercups, white Marguerite Daisies, lupine in shades that range from purple to pinks to whites, are among spring’s offerings.

I stopped and took this little video.  Note how the wind is blowing the grass.  Truman Capote called this effect “the grass harp.”

Here are some still pics:

Mary riding shotgun.  We ran into each other in town on Wednesday, and we both had on spring green sweaters.  Today we both had on turquoise.  It’s funny the way friends can do this kind of thing.  We laughed over it.



I forget every spring how gorgeous the lupines are and how many of them are along the roadsides.


Turkey Tracks: Friday Garden Day

Turkey Tracks:  June 10, 2016

Friday Garden Day

It’s once again time to mow.  I also weed-whacked and blew off the porch.  The latter is not easy for me as the blower is heavy and cumbersome.  And, the oak tassels were sticking in the spaces between the back deck planks.  But, the porch is so pretty when it is all ready for summer.


Some really good sitting, reading, eating, and visiting takes place on this porch every summer.




The flower pots are filling out now…


The violas are loving our cool June nights.



I found this poor creature when blowing near the table.  I have a hummer feeder on this back deck.


His feathers glowed iridescent in the sun.

They are so, so tiny.

Did he run into the window?

I don’t have so many this summer.  Not like years past…

I worked for some time in the veggie garden before I got hot and hungry.  I’m ready to plant the warm weather crops now, but our nights have been so cool yet.  We dipped down into the high 40s last night.