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Archive for April 2018

Turkey Tracks: Mt. Battie Modern April 2018 Meeting

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Turkey Tracks:  April 29, 2018

Mt. Battie Modern April 2018 Meeting

This month we shared the March blocks we did for our Jen Kingwell “Long Time Gone” quilt challenge:  tiny churn dash blocks sewn into two different bigger blocks and the crosses/star block.

Tori Manzi’s blocks are on the top; she is using grunge fabrics for the whole quilt.  Vicki Fletcher, the left column, is making her quilt from this suite of fabrics.  My blocks are in the middle column and are all Cotton+Steel.  Becca Babb Brott’s are on the far right and are scrappy.

Here is a line-up of our star and cross blocks:  Vicki, me, Tori, and Becca.  It is always amazing to me how different our work can be for the same block.  Sew fun!

Vicki is making this quilt, and I really love this block and the color palate she is using.  I have never thought about using half-square triangles to make a large diamond block.

Anne Bargetz brought us another of her quilts.  She is a new-ish member, and we are so enjoying getting to know her.  She is—local peeps—also working at Marge Hallowell’s Mainely Sewing in Nobleboro.  So say hello to her when you visit.

Next month:  the traveling quilts come out to play again.  Most of them will only have one more rotation before they go back to their owners to be finished.  Owners will get them back in July.

Written by louisaenright

April 29, 2018 at 9:13 am

Turkey Tracks: “Sweet Dreams” Quilt

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Turkey Tracks:  April 27, 2018

“Sweet Dreams” Quilt

Today is my youngest grandchild’s third birthday.  “Sweet Dreams” went into the mail to her and has been received.

The blocks are Tula Pink’s 100 Modern Quilt blocks, from her book of the same name.  This quilt was a challenge made to Coastal Quilters (Maine).  We did eight blocks a month until we were done.  Many of us have completed the project and some are almost done.  All of the quilts are gorgeous!

I used the “city scape” setting suggested by Tula Pink and put the lighter blocks on the top of the skyscrapers, per a suggestion by CQ President Sharon Flanagan.

And the blocks, grey sashing, backing, and binding are all Cotton+Steel fabrics.

I really love how my quilting came out.

Look at this fabulous backing fabric.  Could it be more perfect?  No.

Here are some of the blocks.

I love this quilt.  I didn’t really expect to love it as much as I do.  It’s one that caught me by surprise.  I’m really pleased with it.

Written by louisaenright

April 27, 2018 at 3:50 pm

Turkey Tracks: April 2018 on the Homefront

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Turkey Tracks:  April 27, 2018

April 2018 on the Homefront

The snow is almost gone from the Snowball slopes–where we have local skiing.  I stopped to take this picture because I love it when wispy clouds cover the top of the mountain, allowing glimpses here and there as they swirl and drift.  My world is greening up now, especially after two days of much needed rain.

I planted pansies this week.  Usually these barrels get planted much later in the spring, but they had to be moved from their winter spot due to the garage drainage project.  I love pansies, so having them planted where I see them every day is a real treat.  I’ll plant them every spring now.

The droopy plant below has recovered after two days of rain.

Dinner the other night was some scallops I found frozen at the Belfast Coop the other day.  The scallop season up here is very short and starts in December.  It’s amazing to think they are mostly collected by DIVERS who brave the cold Maine bay waters that time of year.  I made sweet potato fries to go with and sautéed some baby boy chow–a favorite vegetable of mine.  I just flash cook scallops in a good fat, or a mixture of good fats, so that they caramelize.  They are amazing with sweet potatoes.

This sweet potato is one of the white Japanese ones.  Peel, cut into fry sizes, put into an oven pan lined with parchment paper (please, please, please DO NOT use aluminum foil for any cooking), add dried herbs, minced garlic and ginger (you don’t have to peel the ginger, just chop it fine), drizzle with olive oil and toss everything around.  I used the convection oven feature to cook these at about 350 degrees.  Otherwise, use a slightly higher heat and check that you are not burning the bottom of the pieces.  Turn them over if they are getting brown.  I don’t know.  It takes about 30 minutes, depending on heat temps.  This sweet potato variety is dead sweet.

Written by louisaenright

April 27, 2018 at 3:42 pm

Books: Recent Books I Liked

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Books:  April 27, 2018

Recent Books I Liked

I’m currently reading William Kent Kreuger’s mystery series (Cork Corcoran) mostly set in the “Boundary Waters” area up on the Canadian border.  Kreuger, from the beginning of this series, has won numerous writing awards for this series.  AND, for at least one stand-alone novel.  I like the strong emphasis on the powerful, spiritual connection that is possible between humans and nature, how wrong the human condition can go for some people, and what is truly important in life.

I have fallen into a pattern of reading. EVERYTHING by an author I like for some years now.  Among these are the series by Elizabeth Ogilvie (Maine coastal people), Laurie R. King (Mary Russel/Sherlock Holmes), and now Kreuger.

I do the same thing, apparently, with the downloads I get from the Maine Library system.  There is something magical about having a book read to you while you work with your hands.  My tastes are eclectic, for sure, and include multiple books by Louise Penny, Julia Spencer-Fleming, Lee Child, Paul Doiron, Karen White, Lisa Gardner, and Sandra Brown.  Those authors with series really need to be read in order.

Recent books I really enjoyed from the Maine download system follow:

A QUIET BELIEF IN ANGELS by R. J. Ellory.  This author is British, but captures the speech and thought of rural Georgia for decades, starting back after WWI, as the main character grows up to identify and confront a long-time serial killer.  My mother’s family is from rural Georgia, and I did a lot of growing up in her home town, Reynolds, Georgia.  The prose and deep understanding of the human condition in this novel captivated me.  I look forward to reading more of Ellory’s work, which I will have to do as this is the only Ellory novel on the Maine system at the moment.

THE SISTERS by Nancy Jensen.  This novel, I think, is a first novel.  It spans decades.  At times it is slow, but, again, I really liked the development of the characters.  A misunderstanding at the beginning of the novel sends characters along life tracks that develop down through several generations.  I like long novels like this one, so enjoyed it.  Sometimes we don’t really know how our life decisions will work out as they play out over many, many years.

MEET ME AT THE CUPCAKE CAFE, Jenny Colgin, is light as a feather and very predictable.  BUT, she includes MANY descriptions of baking goodies along with real cupcake recipes that make your mouth water.  Will get the hard copy of this one and will give to someone in my family who still bakes.

I am currently listening to THE FOLDED EARTH by the wonderful Anuradha Roy.  I love her work.  The NY Times said this novel is “quietly mesmerizing,” which I think is true.  I am enjoying the beautiful prose and the quiet understanding of the complexity of the human condition that is slowly emerging.  We are, truly, a strange and, at times, wonderful, species.

 

 

Written by louisaenright

April 27, 2018 at 10:56 am

Turkey Tracks: Amelia Poole: Couture Textile Studio

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Turkey Tracks:  April 29, 2018

Amelia Poole:  Ecoture Textile Studio

Fiber artist Amelia Poole came to Coastal Quilters last Saturday.

My what a nice program she gave us.

Amelia works with indigo dye processes AND with dyeing natural fabrics with local flora and fauna.  Amelia made her dress fabric—see below—using this latter process—which does involve treating natural fabrics with heated chemical solutions before attempting to get images from local leaves, ferns, seed pods, and the like.

She treated us to a history of humans using dyes they have made from the indigo plant—which is a complicated process, actually.  Did you know that this human endeavor can be traced back over thousands of years.  She showed us a slide of a 6,000 year old fabric that still held indigo dyes in the fibers.  The indigo plant itself (there are several varieties across the world) just looks…green.  Who knew it would dye things blue??

Every now and then I am so overwhelmed by something I’m observing that I forget to take pictures.  This paralysis happened with Amelia’s indigo dyed samples, which are fascinating and beautiful.  But you can see pictures on her web site:  http://ecouturetextilestudio.com.

 

The Coastal Quilters blog also has a lovely write-up—done by the talented Paula Blanchard—on Amelia’s work:

Coastalquiltersmaine1@wordpress.com.

And here are some pictures I did take of some of her dyed fabrics using local plants.

Amelia sells beautiful silk scarves if you are looking for something really special as a gift.  And she, of course, has indigo pieces to sell.

Written by louisaenright

April 20, 2018 at 3:47 pm

Turkey Tracks: Judy Sala’s Log Cabin Challenge

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Turkey Tracks:  April 20, 2018

Judy Sala’s Log Cabin Challenge

Judy Sala showed Coastal Quilters the challenge she just completed for Clamshell Quilters (Newcastle, Maine).  The challenge was to make a quilt with embedded, hidden log cabins.  Judy says there are eight such log cabins in this quilt.  Can you find them all???

 

Go Judy!!

 

 

Written by louisaenright

April 20, 2018 at 3:33 pm

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Turkey Tracks: Drainage Project

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Turkey Tracks:  April 19, 2018

Drainage Project

I had a major drainage project going on all last week.

My garage sits below a rather steep hill that discards both surface and underground water–much of which goes right into the garage.  Or goes under the garage foundation.

There have been times when I’ve had 6 to 8 inches of water inside that garage–which happens when the ground is frozen and we get rain rather than snow.  This year we had bitter cold early on, and all this moisture froze and settled on the inside roof of the garage.  At first I thought my new roof was leaking, but Horch Roofing came out and got me going in the right direction toward fixing the problem.  They installed a ridge vent which will work to let any moisture out of the garage.  It is not a building that will ever be heated I don’t think.

Evergreen Home Performance very kindly came out and helped me figure out what else to do and who might do that work.  In the back of my mind was Stephen Pennoyer, who is now in Florida, telling me that I really should put in French drains around the garage.  Evergreen thought so as well.  The question was what kind of French drains.  Also, the garage faces north, so the front drive holds snow for a long time.

After getting some consults and bids, I settled on Tom Jackson, who has always “done right” by me.  He has solved several major property problems for me over the years.

Tom thought French drains in key places, yes, but also more work on the ditch on the other side of the driveway, which was not functioning properly.

The ditches around the garage are over three feet deep and are now, filled with pipes and gravel.

The “kabota” lived up here this week:

Doesn’t it look nice.  There was NO WATER in this garage after a really heavy rain a few days ago.

The far side of the garage does not have ditches, but has been shored up as it was eroding and the back corner foundation was out of the earth.  Tom added a gravel drip line to help prevent erosion.  What you see piled up are the boardwalk sections, which the men very kindly took up and stacked for the summer.

The drainage ditch on the other side of the drive has been dug out again and filled with gravel.  In the process, Tom discovered a pipe way to the left of where the well overflow is that was pouring water down the drive.  That pipe has been redirected into the ditch.

I think this work will solve this thorny drainage problem that has plagued us for years and years.  No more worries about the garage rotting out now.  No more sheets of ice on the driveway.  It’s all good!

Written by louisaenright

April 19, 2018 at 3:50 pm