Louisa Enright's Blog

Mainely Tipping Points

Archive for March 2019

Turkey Tracks: Pillows, Pillows, Pillows!

with 3 comments

Turkey Tracks:  March 30, 2019

Pillows, Pillows, Pillows!

Mt. Battie Modern Quilt Guild has TWO challenges going this year that rotate every other month:  our “Bee Inspired,” where we make blocks for a member that illustrate her creative prompt (mine is “shapes” and asks for bright, solid colors) and making something using Anna Graham’s HANDMADE STYLE book for inspiration.  Anna Graham (Noodlehead patterns and web site) has all kinds of projects in her book, like quilts, clothing, bags and clutches of all sorts, and, yes, pillows.

I needed some pillows for my living room as my couch and chairs are deep.  I started with twolong narrow pillow with the flying teal geese and followed with an EXPLOSION of pillows that perked up both the living room and the downstairs room that gets heavy use as that is where the tv lives.

There are 2 of the flying geese pillows (see earlier blog post), 3 of the pillow on the left (Sarah Watt’s canvas Tokyo Train Ride Cotton+Steel fabric, which I fell in love with at first sight and have hoarded for a few years now), 1 of the Radiating Log Cabin (3rd block from Tara Faughnan in The Color Collective class I’m taking from Sewtopia), and 1 each of the two pillows on the right from a fun Japanese fabric (Tréfle, KOKKA CO, Ltd).  I will make two more, one will be my trail of the 4th Color Collective block, a Lone Star block.  (I’ve always been terrified of Lone Stars.)  And one from the insert of an existing pillow that is worn out that will likely go into the downstairs bedroom.

The big pillows are 20 inches, the smaller Japanese one is about 18 inches.  All are lined with muslin and batting and quilted on both sides (except for the flying geese pillows, which are lined, but not quilted).  All have invisible zipper closures on the bottom.

These three pillows just  “sparkle up” the downstairs, which was looking quite shabby.

The Radiating Log Cabin wants to live here.

But the choice of the center color makes more sense next to this pillow:

Oh well, that’s why one does trial blocks.

Very sparkly pillows upstairs in the living room.

Fun!

I’m working hard on the “parts department” blocks that are on my design wall.  That is coming slowly, slowly, but it is coming.  Meanwhile there are other smaller projects as well, like trying the Lone Star block.  It’s all creative, fun, and life-giving.

Turkey Tracks: Changing Fabric Tastes

with 3 comments

Turkey Tracks:  March 22, 2019

Changing Fabric Tastes

Back in the day when I first started quilting, I used dark, intense colors.  That’s what was in the market in the 1990s.  And they were beautiful.

I also used traditional patterns, where blocks, when put together, formed internal, secondary patterns—like strings of little colored squares all lined up in diagonal rows.  Traditional patterns, I think, are much like the intersecting interactions of a community—where the whole is made from the intersections.

Here’s a favorite from some years back—a Bonnie Hunter pattern, “Narragansett Blues,” which can be found in MORE ADVENTURES IN LEADERS AND ENDERS.

Here’s another, showing the use of dark, rich colors.

But something happened to my fabric “tastes” over the last five or so years.  I found brights, low-volume neutrals, and whimsical fabrics.  I also found all the greys—down to deep charcoal colors.  And English Paper Piecing with its intricate blocks.

Many of my quilts still have internal secondary patterns—I do love that effect—but many now also have stand-alone blocks, each an individual feature in a matrix of surrounding cloth and other individual blocks.  So, now, in some forms of modern quilting, the individual blocks form a community in the quilt, but one made up of separate individuals.

Look at this pile of quilts, all made in recent years.  They are VERY different from my older quilts.  (The dog is different too.)

Here are two completed EPP projects.

Here’s the charcoal I love, but the stars are low-volume Cotton+Steel.  The internal patterns (see the dark fans) are just…different than a traditional quilt.  (This one is my design, made from a workshop with Amy Friend of the blog During Quiet Time.)

I still love Bonnie Hunter’s patterns, but now I use brights and low-volume to construct them.

And grey:

And, oh my goodness!!!  Look what’s happening now.  Solids!!  Drenched intense color, yes, but very different patterns.

And the journey continues…

Written by louisaenright

March 22, 2019 at 7:38 am

Turkey Tracks: Yep, They’re Still Pretty

leave a comment »

Turkey Tracks:  March 10, 2019

Yep, They’re Still Pretty!

All winter I’ve roasted local organic beets about once a week.

You can see earlier posts on tricks to oven roast and peel while warm.

I still get so much pleasure out of seeing the jewel-like mixture in a bowl.

Beets are a powerhouse veggie and are definitely all about “eating the rainbow.”

How’s this for a rainbow lunch?

Written by louisaenright

March 10, 2019 at 10:38 am

Turkey Tracks: Sunday Morning Quilt

leave a comment »

Turkey Tracks:  March 10, 2019

Sunday Morning Quilt

I love this yummy quilt.

The pattern came from SUNDAY MORNING QUILTS (Amanda Jean Nyberg, Cheryl Arkison) and was designed by Cheryl Arkison.  I used all Cotton+Steel fabrics, except for the solid binding.  And I made it as a “cool” companion to the “warm” quilt (see below) using the herringbone pattern Victoria Findlay Wolfe designed (MODERN QUILT MAGIC).

I quilted with the “Simple Feathers” pantograph designed by Anne Bright.  And I used a soft smoky seafoam green thread that disappeared into the backing, from Signature threads.

 

Here’s the “warm” quilt, to remind:  “Bee Warm.”

 

Both of these quilts have lived in my mind for some years now.  It’s so good to have them be really here.

The Cotton+Steel designers have left their original home and are now “Ruby Star Society.”  Their first collection from their new home arrives this summer.  I just signed up for the Pink Castle “Ruby Star Society” fat quarter club which will start in July.  Yeah!!!

Turkey Tracks: How Many Ongoing Project Are There?

with one comment

Turkey Tracks:  March 4, 2019

How Many Ongoing Projects Are There?

Some of stopped sewing long enough to count up ongoing projects we’ve started.

1.

I was in pretty good shape until I got involved in Sewtopia’s Color Collective project with blocks and solids designed by Tara Faughnan.  (Amy Newbold owns and runs Sewtopia.)  For heaven’s sake, google “Tara Faughnan quilts” and you will be blown away, as I was.  She works in saturated color and solids.  (Tarafaughnan.com)

The first month’s block was the circle; the second, the cross.  I combined them as clearly I got obsessed and couldn’t stop making them.  Note the two projects at the top of the design wall.

This top is done now, and I absolutely love it.  I’ve found, in my stash, a backing I like a lot, and I will buy a binding.  I’m thinking of doing some hand qulting with size 8 pearl cotton.  Here is the top all together.  It glows.

2.

Above the big project on the right is a row of 14-inch blocks, made using scraps from the solid projects and from my solid stash. I saw this block used in a quilt made by Then Came June called “Checkered Garden Quilt” and using Alison Glass bright fabrics in the Road Trip line.  I fell in love with it.  (Here is a picture: https://thencamejune.com/products/road-trip-checkered-garden-quilt.)  This block has been called “part Trip Around the World,” part “Granny” block.

Here’s the next block cut out and ready to go and waiting in the adjacent bedroom—sitting atop my Traveling Quilt.

3.

Above left is the start of the “Slopes” quilt by Amanda Jean Nybery of Crazy Mom Quilts.  The book is NO SCRAP LEFT BEHIND.  I am cutting the dark Cotton+Steel fabrics—a few a day—for this quilt.  I’m using leftover 1 1/2-inch blocks combined with leftover solid pieces for the row of “little” pieces near the top of the quilt.  I might do more than one of these rows.  Who knows?  Not me.

4.

I have a bird quilt project going and have made three of the big blocks and one of Jen Kingwell’s “The Avenue” of trees blocks.  I’ve been saving bird fabric for several years, but I’m choosing only the artist-types for this quilt.   I want to use in an improv style.

The 9-inch tree block is bigger visually than I thought for some reason.  Inspired by Tori Manzi’s recent tree blocks on our Mt Battie “Bee Inspired” project, I’ll probably group these in lines and make them in seasonal colors.  This one would be “spring.”

The I’m thinking this will look like a MUCH BIGGER version of this little quilt I made in a Timna Tarr workshop.

5.

My Sunday Morning Quilt is done and getting its binding.  Cheryl Arkison is the designer, and it’s in the book she did with Amanda Jean Nyberg called SUNDAY MORNING QUILTS.  The thread color I ordered arrived.  My go-to grey just didn’t work well on the backing.  This quilt is the “cool” to the “warm” herringbone quilt I finished not long ago, designed by Victoria Findlay Wolf and in her delicious book MODERN QUILT MAGIC.  See previous blog posts for that quilt.  Both of these quilts are LUCIOUS!  And both are totally Cotton+Steel low volume fabrics.

 

6.  My “Wild and Goosey” quilt is once again on the back burner.  Bonnie Hunter designed the block.  I have all the sashing cut, and the design I want to do for it all planned.  I’m sure I’ll need more of the little blocks though.

7.

Right now I am working on the “parts department” improv quilt.  See the earlier post on this quilt project.

8.

There is the EPP “36-Ring Circus” project.  This one is slow as there is a big learning curve.  That’s ok.

9.  There are more pillows from a method shown by Anna Graham of Noodlehead projects (HANDMADE STYLE) in the works.  This project is one of two from Mt. Battie Modern Quilt Guild.

10 and 11.

There are TWO blocks to make as part of the Color Collective class.  The fabric for the first one is all washed and ready to go.

12.

Here are the FIRST blocks for the Mt Battie Modern Quilt Guild’s challenge “Bee Inspired.”  These blocks were made for Donna Strawser, whose prompt was “Mid-Coast Maine.”  You can see the individual blocks better on the Mt. Battie Facebook page or on Instagram.  Thirteen quilters each made one of these blocks for Donna, and she made one for herself, so 14 blocks.  Mine is the white winter birch trees at dawn.  Tori Manzi made the four trees at the bottom, by season.  They really need to be seen lined up together, a you can on FB or IG.  Donna will now set these blocks into a quilt and will bring it back to show us at some point.  I will need to make a block for our next Bee Inspired event in April:  “Dark and Light” for Vicki Fletcher.

I really, really loved this block I made and might do another version for one of the pillows:

13.  I am gathering bits for a Rice Bowl bag or two.  See earlier post, but the designer is kzstevens and the pattern is in her Etsy store.

14.  I want to make a little sewing folder like friend Megan Bruns showed me the other day.

So…

That list is not actually too bad.  In any case, I’m having so much fun, even though I’m not getting as much time as usual, due to the needs of my boyfriend, AC Slater, who will be 1 year next month.  He’s a crazy man and has me visiting the dog park daily, as the snow and ice are pretty risky on the wood paths.

Turkey Tracks: The “Parts Department” Quilts

leave a comment »

Turkey Tracks:  March 3, 2019

The Parts Department Quilts

Linda Satkowski has finished HER parts department quilt.

You may recall (see earlier posts) that these quilts began two summers ago when three of us (Linda, Becca Babb-Brott, and me) started just playing with blocks and making them for ourselves and each other—with the long-term goal of making improv quilts.  The original idea for creating a bin of “parts department” blocks that are made and can be used in quilts came from books by Freddly Moran and Gwen Marston, who encouraged constructing “funky” blocks as part of the mix.  Along the way we made Jen Kingwell’s improv quilt as part of a Mt. Battie Modern Quilt Guild challenge, and that helped us enormously in thinking how to piece together these “parts.”

Linda has partly hand quilted and partly machine quilted.

Becca finished her top first, and that lit the fuse.

Now the pressure is on for me.  I dragged out the parts department bin and cleared off my design wall.

Hmmm.  Doesn’t look too full.

Oh my!

And that’s not all of it.  There are piles on the cutting table sorted into “like” blocks, with space left for cutting needed fabric.

And blocks being combined in some, hopefully, intelligent and interesting way.

I actually really like this kind of play.  The block on the left is made from 8 blocks leftover from some quilt or other.  I cut them in half on the diagonal and recombined them into 4 blocks.  I could put them together in many ways, but I think this way is visually interesting.  Who knew?  And that’s the fun of play.

The pale green block in the middle on the right came from leftovers from a quilt.  I took the two blocks I had, took off the solid part of the half-square triangle and sewed the two pieced parts together.  And then sarted surrounding it with a set of pinwheel blocks.  Something will go on the left side, but I, right now, have no idea what.

Let the play begin!

Written by louisaenright

March 3, 2019 at 10:05 am