Project 3 of The Color Collective Arrives Tomorrow

Turkey Tracks: December 31, 2020

Project 3 of The Color Collective Arrives Tomorrow

The fabrics are here and have been washed, but not yet ironed.

The dark one is a very rich navy dark blue.

Meanwhile, “Pips” is almost done. I have one more row. So pics of the top will follow soon.

And now we are living through the last day of 2020. Tomorrow we will be celebrating the start of a whole new year.

A Quilter’s Table

Turkey Tracks: December 28, 2020

A Quilter’s Table “Bee Sewcial” Quilts

I have a treat for you.

Debbie of A Quilter’s Table posted pictures in her blog of her #BeeSewcial quilts over the past years, and they are fun to see.

This group (#BeeSewcial, which you can see on Instagram) gives each other “prompts” that solicit improv blocks that will be made into an improv quilt. They work in solids only.

Our local modern quilt guild has been doing this “prompt” method started by the #beesewcial quilters as a challenge for those in the group interested for the past two years. We do not limit to solids. I occasionally put blocks I have made for each person’s blog on this blog.

Even if you are not a quilter, it is fun to see Debbie’s wonderful improv quilts. If you are a quilter, you might want to follow her blog.

An “Unintended” Wild Car Ride

Turkey Tracks: December 23, 2020

An “Unintended” Wild Car Ride

Last Monday late afternoon, I had an “unintended” backwards wild ride in the Subaru. It lasted only 4 to 5 seconds, but I landed in a deep snowy ditch filled with water—and that was a blessing as the car didn’t hit something (people, another car, a tree) that would have been far worse.

I was backing out of a friend’s driveway on Start Road, and as I slowly backed out of the driveway to get to the place where I could see if anything was coming down the road, suddenly I was thrown backwards as the car went full bore speed backwards.  I didn’t know this car could go that fast in such a short time. Before I could take a breath and in about 4 to 5 seconds the car went runaway out over the road and into the ditch—engine still racing full bore until I got the car in park and turned it off.

I might have braked. I don’t know. It happened so fast and was the most surreal feeling. But braking would not have stopped the car in what is known as an “unintended acceleration” occurrence.

My friend came out of the garage where he was working to help me get out of the car—it was listing to the driver side into the ditch so I had to crawl out over the passenger seats and grab his helping hand.  AC doggie was with me with no winter coat as we were just going to drop off a check and have a little outing and it was still not crazy cold. I had to get his harness out of the far side of the car and get him into it and find his leash.

We called AAA, and my friend took me inside to stay warm and sat with me until the tow truck came—two hours later and in the now total dark.  AAA towed the car to Dan Foshay’s Cooper Tires in town, and my friend took me home.

In thinking about it, there was an incident with the engine racing a while back, maybe even a year ago, but I was stopped at the mailbox and facing up a steep hill, it somehow stopped without further incident.  I don’t remember what I did at the time to stop it. And there were at least 2 incidents when starting the car in the garage where the engine raced, but not as powerfully and the car was in park.

I tossed and turned all that night and at some point realized I would never get in that car again and that I had to take responsibility for getting it off the road—mixed with profound feelings of luck that no one had been hurt.

I wrote my two sons and DILs the next morning, and the older son wrote right back with research about these “unintended accelerations” in Subarus. I, too, started to research. Apparently there are two class-action suits now pending in courts over this issue. AND, there have been other cars with this kind of issue in past years—Toyota for one. Toyota was eventually fined a substantial amount of money.

It is a computer problem—with a sporadic glitch between the braking and acceleration systems. When it happens, the brake will not work to stop the car.

There are also videos out there on what to do if you have more time than 4 to 5 seconds to react. First, you do brake as hard as you can and you don’t remove your foot from the brake. Then you put the car into neutral—do not turn it off yet as you will lose steering and braking power which makes the car hard to handle manually. The car should coast to stop, and then you can turn it off.

After a lot of help from the people at Dan Foshay’s, for which I am very grateful, my car was towed on Wednesday to a used car dealer who agreed to use it for parts and who would give me a fair check for the car. This car was a one-owner car and though 10 years old was just below 60K miles. If the used car dealer is tempted to sell the car, that will be on them. I’ve done what I can.

In this holiday season, I am so grateful for luck, family, friends, and kind community people who helped me through this problem.

“Marrakesh” Quilt Done

Turkey Tracks: December 26, 2020

“Marrakesh” Quilt Done

Marrakesh is such a bright, happy quilt.

It is the first project for Sewtopia’s and Tara Faughnan’s online class The Color Collective in season 3. This project was all about color combinations and how color can change the look of a block. I also learned some new techniques—one of which was a new way (for me) for making flying geese

The block on the middle left is a happy accident. I cut the wrong side of a unit which emphasized the navy blue rather than the orange. I left it as I liked it.

I matchstick quilted on my domestic with a pale blue-grey thread, but every now and then I ran in a gold, or a pale orange, or a coral. You don’t really notice them overall, but they do add some interest and complexity I think—though it makes for a lot of re-treading of the machine.

The backing is “Newsprint” by Carrie Bloomston, and I had enough of the pale orange to make bias binding.

I did put a hanging sleeve on this quilt, but I don’t have a hanging place right now. Well, there is one place, but I’m waiting to see what other projects we do in The Color Collective this year.

A Chipmunk Mystery

Turkey Tracks: December 19, 2020

A Chipmunk Mystery

AC doggie is…fast!

AC and I were on the downstairs couch last night—I had a quilt over my lap, and he was on my lap.  SUDDENLY he leaped from my lap like something shot out of a cannon, ran around the back of the couch between all the legs of the sewing table I’ve set up to do a quilting job while I watch tv—an area he has avoided—and there was all sorts of frantic scuffling on the wooden floor beyond.  

By now I was trying to get out from under the quilt to see what on earth…  

In about 3 more seconds as I was finally on my feet, he appeared on the rug in front of me shaking a dying chipmunk.  What???  The whole event took less than 10 seconds.  My heavens that dog can move fast.  

Then I had to find something with which to pick it up and throw it out into the snow—which meant AC who was jumping around me had to follow.  And for the rest of the night, he wanted to go outside about every 30 minutes in the bitter cold to check on it. And I’m sure that happened first thing this morning.  

But how did it get in?  And when?  With this cold, the chipmunks would be hibernating. I am suspicious of the closet at the downstairs door.  AC has been telling me that chipmunks are under the porch just outside there.  Have they found a way inside? Could they get into the tv room by going under the closet door? 

It’s a mystery.    

PS: I wasn’t sure at first it WAS a chipmunk as the animal’s coat was very dark. But I googled it, and chipmunks lose their bright orange color in the winter in favor of a dark brown and black coat. Who knew as I never see them from the onslaught of cold weather until spring when they emerge to herald that spring is on the way.

Today will involve a thorough inspection of the suspect closet, which is full of coats, scarves, mittens, hats, and shoes.

Yummy Lunch

Turkey Tracks: December 18, 2020

Yummy Lunch

I’m the queen of cream—local, raw heavy cream, that is.

I’m off coffee right now, so I’ve been looking for other ways to use my weekly heavy cream.

Look at this yummy, warm lunch.

I sautéed some veggies and herbs in duck fat: zucchini, onion, garlic, carrots, cauliflower until they began to color up. Then I added in some cubed roasted chicken from breasts I cooked the day before—just turned the meat in the veggies until it heated a bit. Add sea salt at some point.

Then the magic!

I poured cream over the whole mixture and stirred it until it heated and got bubbly. At that point it all needs to leave the frying pan and got into a dish that will hold the cream gravy.


I’ll be doing this method again with leftover meats.

“A Gaggle of Geese” Quilt

Turkey Tracks: December 17, 2020

“A Gaggle of Geese” Quilt

It’s done!

It’s been such a fun project AND is a real stash buster.

I took a chance and used black and white striped binding cut on the bias, and I think that worked really well. The backing is Carrie Bloomston’s 108 inches wide “Newsprint.” Combining “Newsprint” with the black and white bias-cut binding and fairly colorful fabrics is something I like a lot.

I quilted with a medium grey thread that disappeared into the backing fabric and didn’t make any bold statements on the front of the quilt. And I used the Check and Chase Pantograph from Lorien Quilting which added some great texture.

The block is 3 by 6. And now I’m wondering about working with an even larger block. That will probably happen along the quilty road. In any case, this quilt is a delight—big enough to cover a bed well and bright with interesting fabrics.

Ongoing Quilty Projects, December 2020

Turkey Tracks: December 10, 2020

Ongoing Quilty Projects, December 2020

As usual, I have multiple quilty and garment sewing projects going on. I move from one to the other as my momentary interest prompts. Joy and engagement prompts me, not stress to finish anything.

The as yet unnamed flying geese quilt is getting its binding sewn down at night. I’ve got a few more nights on this one. But I have to say, I’m really pleased with this quilt, and it was a huge stash buster. The striped binding was a risk, but I think that it is working really well. It is just fun.

Marrakesh, designed by Tara Faughnan for The Color Collective online class I’m taking, is ready to quilt. I started the first line of matchstick quilting and realized there was a HUGE fold in the batting, starting about 1/4 of the way down. How on earth…??? I put smaller quilts I’m going to quilt on my domestic on the longarm to layer and pin. I can’t imagine how I missed a fold in the batting along the way. The quilt WAS pinned more intensely, but I had to put it back on the longarm and take most of the pins out and then repin it. And, yes, the fold was bad and thick, so there was no choice. Anyway, I’ll probably spend some time with Marrakesh later today. I can watch tv from this spot I’ve set up. I really enjoyed Selena The Series on Netflix, by the way. I had no idea about this story.

I’ve got the rows sewn together for this very interesting quilt inspired by one Tara Faughnan made. She has classes on color in which she uses her quilt like this one as an example. I need one more row at the bottom—which should be lighter. It will finish at 50 wide by 60. Easy Peasy. I’ve taken a ton of pictures along the way while trying to check and recheck how the colors are working together. This quilt is made mostly from my solid scraps, not my larger pieces of solid fabrics. I think it will need a dark binding to hold it all together…

”Trees” is now the only leader/ender quilt, and it is growing slowly, which is ok. It is based on a block designed by Amanda Jean Nyberg of Crazy Mom Quilts. I think it will finish at 8 by 9 rows. And it, too, is meant to knock back my solid scraps, which it is doing.

The two Sugaridoo quilts are all ready to go on the longarm—as soon as I figure out how to quilt them. And the second project from The Color Collective is all ready go—my fabrics are washed and I’ll iron them soon. This project is all about curves.

Then, there are two garments that are all cut out and ready to sew, but neither is something I can wear right now, so they are still on pause.

I’m busy and engaged, despite being alone and staying away from people. And I’m grateful for my sewing projects. They can pass a lot of time, for sure.

Maine Is So Pretty

Turkey Tracks: December 9, 2020

Maine Is So Pretty

I haven’t been out of Camden in over a month now.

So, Monday I undertook an errand in Damariscotta, which is about 45 minutes south of Camden.

We had been blessed with our first real snow and some, finally, cold weather. (It has been very warm this November.) It was good to be out on the highway and seeing how pretty Maine is, period, but with a new fall of snow, it is just beautiful.

Marsha Smith sent me these pictures taken by her son and grandson as they repaired a hiking shelter up on Ragged mountain. I’ve been meaning to put these pics on the blog, so today is the day.

That’s the bay out in the distance.

Maine in winter just has the most gorgeous colors due to the winter light. In these pics we get pastels. But in winter we also get fiery sunsets and dawns. And long lavender shadows on the snow when the sun is so low in the sky as it is now. And cobalt blue light at dusk that turns the world blue. And marmalade orange on tree trunks when the sun rises. I could go on. I could move to the starry cold nights where the full moon is so big you feel like you can reach up and touch it. But I will leave you with my joy about winter.

Solstice is coming, and them we start to climb uphill to longer and warmer days and all the lush green growth of summer.

I love our seasons, and I love being close to them, so I see most of the small, beautiful daily changes.

“Funky Rail” Quilt

Turkey Tracks: December 4, 2020

“Funky Rail” Quilt

My “Funky Rail” quilt is all done. This pattern is from Sajata Shah’s CULTURAL FUSION QUILTS book, which I love. I will be doing more patterns from this book and will likely make this one again in different fabrics

Sajata Shah’s method for forming these blocks is different and amazing. I could never visualize a concept like this one on my own. The block is so lively and fun.

I pieced this backing from leftovers from the front and from my stash.

The line of rectangles is made from the trimming off-cuts from the block pieces. I couldn’t just thrown them away.

I quilted with an antique gold thread, which worked well I think. And the pantograph is “Check and Chase” from Lorien quilting.

I’m using this same pantograph for my wild geese quilt, which is now on the longarm.

More rain is coming in, so I’ll probably get this quilt longarm quilted soon now.