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Archive for December 2016

Turkey Tracks: “Sweet Thing” Quilt

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December 31, 2016

“Sweet Thing” Quilt

Here she is, this “Sweet Thing.”  I’m quite, and unexpectedly, besotted with this quilt.

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Megan Bruns picked out the red school houses border fabric one day when she went with me to Augusta to take No No Penny to the homeopathic vet there.  (Love that vet!)  And I chose to make the binding neutral.  I didn’t want anything fighting with the small red border.

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I used clam shell groovy boards for the quilting.  These groovy boards are hard to find now since long arms are using computer packages.  You cannot lay down a pattern like this by hand on a long-arm.

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Here’s a close-up of the front.

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She’s going to live in the living room for a bit.

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I used this kind of setting in an earlier quilt, “Happy Baby Quilt.”  You can search for it by that name with the search button on the right sidebar.  I saw this kind of four-patch setting used by designer Lissa Alexander in the America Patchwork and Quilting four-patch challenge, April 2015, Issue 133, “Rainbow Rows” quilt.  Here the colored squares are set into on-point rows.

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Readers may recall that two summers ago I spent the whole of the summer practically sewing light/dark 4-patches out of the 2-inch scrap box, which created 1600 4 patches.  I have made four quilts to date from those four-patches.  Again, you can search for these quilts on this blog if you want to see more information and pictures of each.

“Bee Beauty”:

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“Crayon Crumb Box”:

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“Winter Blue Jays”:

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There is a fifth quilt in the making–a leader/ender project.  And I still might have some four-patches left over!!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

 

Written by louisaenright

December 31, 2016 at 12:53 pm

Turkey Tracks: Improv Sauteed Cabbage

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Turkey Tracks:  December 31, 2016

Improv Sautéed Cabbage

I hardly ever use recipes any more.

I collect the good clean food found in one of our co-ops or that comes from my summer CSA or garden and just…cook it.

The other day I had one small cabbage, the size of a large softball,  left from the summer CSA, Hope’s Edge.  Cabbage keeps really well in a produce drawer.  I don’t wrap it.

I had some leftover meatloaf, and it was lunchtime, and I was hungry.

So I put the meatloaf into the oven to warm–takes only about 15 minutes–and started sautéing the cabbage in some of my Wilderness Family Naturals centrifuge extracted, unheated coconut oil.  (I order this coconut oil by the case and am always willing to see a jar to someone at cost as it is much cheaper to bulk order.)

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I added a hunk of raw butter for added flavor and browning and good fat, some chopped shallots, some Penzey’s spices, local sea salt, and pepper.  Penzey’s spices are highly rated by the Weston A. Price Foundation.

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It’s looking good!

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And it was…

The meatloaf got a little brown on top as someone stopped by to give me something.  This one had added grated carrots and a handful of the greens I dried and whirred into tiny green flakes in the food processor last summer.  (A recipe for meatloaf is elsewhere on this blog.)

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But this lunch was delicious, nourishing, and filling.

Turkey Tracks: Done! Fun!

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Turkey Tracks:  December 30, 2016

DONE!  FUN!

As many of you know, I started A LOT of projects over the course of last year–like agreeing to make 99 Farmer’s Wife blocks (Laurie Aaron Bird).

And, starting SEVERAL English Paper Piecing projects (Katja Marek).

And, making blocks for a future improv quilt with Coastal Quilters friends.

And, getting the right borders and backing for the big Hexie quilt–which needs a good name (Edyta Sitar)

And, planning and making TWO baby quilts.

And, working on another quilt made from the 1600 four-patches I sewed out of the 2″ square blocks two summers ago.

And, collecting the makings for a BIG travel bag.

And, starting the day after Thanksgiving, working on “clues” for Bonnie Hunter’s 2016 Mystery Quilt “En Provence.”

Trust me, the list is MUCH longer than just these items.

So….  It is fun to see many of these projects coming to fruition.  At last.  DONE!!!

***

Here’s what a pile of the 99 Farmer’s Wife blocks looks like:

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Here are the last five blocks:

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I’ve got the blocks up on the design wall–using a method thought up by Lynn Vermeulen, who separated her blocks into different color piles before laying them out.  Great idea, Lynn.

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I am letting the blocks bubble on the design wall before sewing them together, and already I’ve swapped blocks out quite a bit since I took this picture.

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Can we talk about this project?  If you are thinking about doing it and foundation piecing the blocks, be warned that you must be somewhat sadomasochistic to even think about it as this project does bring both pleasure and pain.  I think that whoever did the foundation piecing plans didn’t really know that much about foundation piecing.  Some of the more difficult blocks are needlessly difficult–and if some had been drawn as the hand-piecing instructions showed, they would have been much easier.  Additionally, many times the seams did not but up, which made for a really bulky block.  So, I found myself taking out the papers to flip over a seam if I could and/or cutting into a seam to make the top flip so seams would but up.  I pressed open a lot of seams as well, which is not ideal in terms of quilt wear.  I really hope that if Laurie Aaron Bird produces an updated book that she will have someone new look at the foundation piecing patterns.

Having said that warning, the blocks are lovely, and the quilt is exciting.

I’m up-to-date on the Bonnie Hunter clues and will be starting this week’s tomorrow.  Here’s last week’s:

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The 4-patch red/neutral quilt is finished now and bound.  I’ll take pictures tomorrow and post them here.  This quilt is “So Sweet.”

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The second baby quilt is underway.

The big hexie quilt that I started Thanksgiving 2015 is ON THE LONGARM!  This quilt is on the cover of Edyta Sitar’s HANDFULS OF SCRAPS.

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Next up on the longarm, the Farmer’s Wife quilt.

I have two pieces of the Katja Marek THE NEW HEXAGON millifiore quilt completed–and am hyperventilating about whether it is working or not.  The top block seems very…bold?  But this quilt does have a place for bold, and it is too early to tell.  These are rosettes 1 and 9, and I am working on 11, which will sit next to rosette 9 on the upper border.  I wanted to use neutrals and fall/winter colors/themes.  Time will tell.

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This project will be a challenge for the Coastal Quilters for 2017.

 

Iinteresting Information: European Union’s Major Institutions Agree to Ban Amalgam Fillings

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Interesting Information:  December 27, 2016

Mercury Fillings Banned in the EU

I have had all my amalgam/mercury fillings taken out and replaced with “white” fillings.

A healthy amount of these fillings are…mercury.  Approximately 50% by weight, a quick check on google shows.

Mercury fillings off-gas mercury into the body, which can and does make it sick.

Some American dentists are actively suggesting replacing these mercury fillings.  Some are replacing if asked to do so.  Some are still using them.

It’s all another case of where American health organizations have backed themselves into a corner that could go legal on them if they admit they were…wrong.

Here’s the story, which starts with the quote below:

“Starting July 1, 2018, amalgam use will be banned for children and for pregnant or nursing women across the vast European Union.”

Source: European Union’s Major Institutions Agree to Ban Amalgam Fillings

Written by louisaenright

December 27, 2016 at 4:47 pm

Turkey Tracks: I Killed My Christmas Cactus

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Turkey Tracks:  December

I Killed My Christmas Cactus

It took a few years, but I killed it!

I’ve had them for years before now–back in Virginia–and never had any trouble with them.

I don’t have much sun coming into the house here in Maine–the overhangs around the house block most direct sunlight.  And the few windows where I do have sun produce too much sun and are just in the wrong place for keeping plants over the winter.

I tried the plant I killed in many places in the house, but its leaves were limp and listless and obviously sick.

So, the other day I asked a local nursery what was wrong.

Too Much Water.

Up here in Maine, these plants can go for two months with no water–especially in the winter.  They need to get really, really dry.  The limp leaves are a sign of root rot.

Makes sense.

In Virginia the climate and light is very different–and I suspect water in a pot dried out faster so root rot did not set in.

Let’s see if I can get this new one to thrive.

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Written by louisaenright

December 27, 2016 at 4:38 pm

Turkey Tracks: Becca’s Kitty and Becca’s First Longarm Quilt

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Turkey Tracks:  December 23, 2016

Becca’s Kitty and Becca’s First Longarm Quilt

Friend Becca has two half-grown black kittens that are hard to tell apart–brother and sister.

They are adorable.

They are coal black, but the female one has a white spot on her chest.  I may have finally learned to tell them apart.

I was over there the other day to admire Becca’s FIRST LONGARM QUILT all finished–she did it here on Lucy the Longarm, and it will be on a bed by now–and the female kitty begged and begged to come into Becca’s Etsy store, Sew Me A Song.  None of the family’s pets are allowed in the Etsy Store and especially not half-grown kittens.

Then we looked up to see this:

Here are some pics of Becca’s quilt–it’s her version of Bonnie Hunter’s “Scrappy Trip Around the World”–which is a free pattern on Bonnie’s web site Quiltville.com.  I LOVE Becca’s fabrics–so fresh and exciting and fun and so NOT like my older traditional ones…  I’m slowly switching over, and that is a totally wonderful journey.

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Becca used a navy and white strip to bind this quilt and quilted free hand with a medium grey thread.  To see more of this kind of binding take a look at Red Pepper Quilts blog.

Here you can see Becca’s backing fabric and how nicely the grey thread is playing on both sides of the quilt AND some of the really fun fabrics Becca uses.  She had fun with this quilt.  She wrote names into it, made hearts, made all kinds of squiggles, and just played.

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Here’s a pic of the “trip” pattern–which is really, really fun to make.  The blocks, when put together, start forming diamonds.

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Here’s my “trip” quilt from a few years back.  It’s the difference of night and day:

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I love mine–all made from 2 1/2-inch strip sets precut from other quilts and put into bins.  Each fabric reminds me of a quilt I made for someone.  And this quilt gets used every day.  BUT, I love Becca’s fabrics more.  Change is always good, and this change is providing me with loads of new joys–which include learning new things.

Turkey Tracks: Boot Wax and Coat Zippers

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Turkey Tracks:  December

Boot Wax and Coat Zippers

One day when Gina Caceci was here for Thanksgiving, we walked along the Rockland waterfront.  It was misty, though not too cold.  We both begin to zip up our coats.

I could not make my zipper work.

Gina could not make my zipper work.

At home, neither of us could make the zipper work.

On the way to take Gina to the Portland airport, we stopped by LLBean.

The return sales person made the zipper work in short order.  (Of course she did.)  But she gave me a new coat anyway.  And she suggested I get some boot wax and coat the zipper with it.  She had found that to be helpful with the big coat zippers.

So, I love my new coat.  It zips.  Which is important since we have had bitter cold.  (Bitter cold is cold in the single digits and below zero.  Cold in the 30s now feels like a summer breeze.)

And I just coated the zipper with the boot wax.

Then I coated my cherished boots with the beeswax.  (They were a gift from Sarah Rheault about 10 years ago since they did not fit her or her daughter.  They fit me wonderfully!!)

 

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Yes.  They look like new.

The instructions, which I read AFTER I waxed, said to heat the leather with a hair dryer first to warm the leather.  Well, that makes sense.  Next time…

Meanwhile, the wax is on the counter ready to coat all the other coat zippers as needed.

Written by louisaenright

December 23, 2016 at 2:37 pm