The First Grill of 2022

Turkey Tracks: March 31, 2022

The First Grill of 2022

Today is rainy, as will tomorrow be.

But yesterday, if cooler, was sunny and beautiful. AC and I had a very nice outing at the Snow Bowl area, where despite the colder temps and wind, he ran and swam in all his ”spots” again.

I had two lamb chops to cook and put on my noon meal, which yesterday was a BIG salad. Lunch has involved over the winter into my main meal, with a snack and fruit for dinner.

I dragged the grill out on to the open deck area and unwrapped its winter cover. (See AC on the rock wall hunting for chipmunks?)

AC was hopeful, but there was no mouse nest inside the grill.

After letting the grill heat up—which took some time as the wind was cold—and on went the lamb chops.

The resulting salad was…DELICIOUS. And I always add some cooked green veggies—in this case broccoli and little green peas. The red pepper, I’ve read, has more vitamin C than an orange. The raw onion contains sulphur—an ingredient now lacking in human diets and one that is crucial for health.

Often, I save some of the salad for my supper snack, but not today. I ate every bite with relish.

The snowdrops along the front path and ”boardwalk” are blooming, and the daffodils are up about 3-4 inches. That ”monster” boardwalk, which is so hard to put down and pick up, is going to be replaced by a concrete path this spring.

The lettuce has sprouted in its cold frame—seeded last fall. Soon I’ll start taking the lid off during warm days to harden off these new plants. I think the raspberry leaf buds are swelling.

The house is clean for the week. The laundry is done. And friend Betsy from Vermont is coming on Sunday for a quick visit and to pick up a fantastic sewing machine she bought from a friend here.

AC hates rainy days, but I enjoy the slower pace they bring. There is time for reading and sewing and posting to the blog when all the other tasks are done for the week.

Cotton+Steel Stash Project Cutting Done!

Turkey Tracks: March 28, 2022

Cotton+Steel Stash Project Cutting Done!

Yesterday morning, Sunday, was another beautiful spring morning.

AC and I went to the Snow Bowl again, and there was running, walking, chasing the ball, and swimming in all the watery places.

Then, the promised weather started rolling in as we got ready to go home for lunch.

How dramatic are those clouds? We got a little snow during the night—just a coating—when the temps dropped. This week is meant to be fairly clear at the moment, but will be a bit cooler than last week.

Last week I ironed the last of the Cotton+Steel stash and those pieces into squares and strips. I kept out bigger pieces to use for backings and bindings. And I didn’t cut into several big pieces that were low volume, as I may need them as I move through this big project to augment the low volume pieces already cut. If I don’t, they will go into the regular stash.

Anyway, here are the last fabrics I cut. The fabrics on the upper longarm roller bar are meant for fussy cutting centers for the Churn Dash blocks or for the backing for the ”warm” ”Pot-Pourri 3” quilt—and I laid out that backing yesterday after sewing that top together.

The table with strips for Churn Dash blocks is overflowing—especially after this last big cutting.

And I now have two bins of color-sorted squares ready to be used for more of the scrappy ”Pot-Pourri” quilts:

Indeed, the whole project has more or less been moved to the bed next door to the quilt room so I can use the longarm. The basket of solids is another scrappy project I’ll get back to some day. And the strips and squares on the right are smaller pieces that evolved from the major cutting project. They will be used down the road.

And, here’s a sneak peek at the next Churn Dash quilt blocks and their sashings and corner stones, which are all cut. I think a binding I cut will also work for this new ”Eye Candy 3” quilt.

And off we go into a whole new week.

I intend to enjoy this week, and I hope you enjoy yours as well.

A Beautiful Spring Day!

Turkey Tracks: March 27, 2022

A Beautiful Spring Day!

Yesterday was just a beautiful spring day, and AC and I went for an outing at the Snow Bowl area—where the ruined field has some grass strips between the deep ruts made by parking cars there where he can chase his ball for a bit. The parking lot is also empty now, and the ball flies a long way there and bounces further along in a very satisfying way.

Yesterday was the first day I didn’t need a coat over my knit/fleece sweater/jacket. Or a hat, or gloves.

The ice is almost out of the pond on the Snow Bowl side. You can see what ice remains on the far right, over by the toboggan run.

We walked over there as part of our outing.

AC swam at the edges of the pond here, but I didn’t have the camera ready to take a video.

He swam everywhere we went actually—and there are running creeks and water basins that are part of the drainage in this area and the pond itself. Here he is at the public swimming area.

After lunch, I read for a bit on the couch downstairs with a tired dog at my side. Then I sewed blocks and rows together on ”Pot-Pourri 3.” Only two more rows to sew and attach—then on to the pieced backing. I cut binding yesterday.

I always take a picture of a developing quilt top before I start sewing blocks and rows together—so if I get blocks confused I have a picture of how they are meant to be placed.

The morning is bright and sunny at the moment, but weather is moving in. We might even get a dusting of snow later tonight.

That’s spring in Maine.

Cassandra’s Interesting Blog Post

Turkey Tracks: March 25, 2022

Cassandra’s Interesting Blog Post

Cassandra’s blog, The Not So Dramatic Life, often has interesting posts.

This post takes a close look at 5 modern quilts from this year’s QuiltCon that she especially liked, along with analysis about what it was that she liked.

Taking a Closer Look: 5 Quilts from QuiltCon

Here’s a screenshot of her recent blog offerings to give you an idea—she has been looking closely at different categories of quilts shown at this year’s QuiltCon.

More Baby Quilts Landed

Turkey Tracks: March 24, 2022

More Baby Quilts Landed

Here’s ”Eye Candy 2.”

Isn’t it cute?

To remind: I’m cutting up my Cotton+Steel/Ruby Star Society stash and USING it in a project of making baby quilts for 3 nieces and an Enright cousin. This is the second batch of the ”Eye Candy” and ”Pot-Pourri” quilts.

I’m using larger pieces in the stash to piece backings.

Here’s ”Pot-Pourri 2.” And this time I used more of the darker fabrics as this quilt is for a boy. For these scrappy quilts made from simple blocks, I’m using 9-patches. Here, the block with 5 dark colors is followed by a block with 4 dark colors—so diagonal lines form.

This back was fun to make. AC doggie liked it a lot. Both the tiger fabric and the sheep fabric are longtime favorites of mine. There was a time when I truly could not bear to cut deeply into them. And the horse fabrics have images too big to use with fussy cutting for the most part. The darker grey whimsical fabric also comes in light grey—and I have used both as quilt backings. I never thought they would carry me this far.

Only a deep stash can call on such variety within the blocks—and that is what this quilt is all about as I want a child to see and recognize images—and to learn what the images are that are now retro like the phone in one of the blocks below.

These functional quilts are meant to be used, loved, washed and used, loved, and washed. Until they wear out, which I hope takes many years.

I rejoice, too, that these amazing designers are carrying on with their work via the Ruby Star Society. They are not done, and neither am I—with my love of their work.

Twenty Curved Quilts From Quilt Con 2022

Interesting Information: March 18, 2022

Twenty Curved Quilts From Quilt Con 2022

Cassandra Beaver posted a blog entry featuring 20 curved quilts at this year’s Quilt Con.

They are, of course, awesome.

Cassandra Beaver’s blog is awesome too.

She thinks we should all be making more curves in quilts this coming year.

Trending: Quilts with Curves at QuiltCon


PS: local peeps—one of the quilts shown was made by Amy Friend, who has taught several workshops for us over the years.

Sliver Trimming Leftovers

Turkey Tracks: March 17, 2022

Sliver Trimming Leftovers

The deep cutting into the Cotton+Steel stash has produced a trashcan full of fabric slivers.

It’s even fuller now since I took this picture.

Somewhere I read recently that if one puts fabric slivers like these outside that the birds will use them for making their nests.

I’m thinking about putting out the slivers in a box to see what happens.

A Magic Walk and the Stash Cutting Continues

Turkey Tracks: March 15, 2022

A Magic Walk and the Stash Cutting Continues

AC doggie and I hiked into my neighbor’s beautiful property yesterday, and when I got to the top of the steep entry hill, AC was nowhere in sight. When I called, he burst from the woods with another dog running at his side—a beautiful young golden female—and both ran helter skelter to me, grinning happily.

Down by the pond, I could see a woman coming toward me, and when she got closer, I could see it was my neighbor up the hill. With coats and hats, it is hard to tell who someone is until they get a bit closer. And for the past two virus years, I’ve mostly only seen this neighbor in person walking on the road while I was in my car.

She did another ”lap” of some of the trails with me while we visited and tried to catch up with our news, and the dogs ran and ran and ran, but in my joy of the moment I did not take any pictures.

It was magic! This gift of a lovely hour!

So, when I came home, I had renewed energy for my Cotton+Steel deep-stash cutting project. My hands and rotary cutter went through these ”light” salmons and pinks—they are all now strips on my cutting board or in the Churn Dash block ”parts” table.

These light strips will be cut and will join the darker reds and pink and previously cut light squares on my sewing table. Colors that aren’t quite right for my current quilt project will go into a box of squares for other quilts.

I take breaks to make more blocks, so the quilt on the design wall now, ”Pot-Pourri 3,” has its planned 7 squares across the top. I was thinking last night while sewing down the binding on the scrappy baby quilt (“Pot-Pourri 2”) that these quilts are special because their variety could only have been made from a very deep fabric stash collected over many years.

The Churn Dash block table is now loaded with cut strips and center squares, and I so look forward to making another of these quilts, which will be ”Eye Candy 3.”

Next up, the neutrals with black, which have been ironed and are ready to go.

On the longarm table are pieces I will fussy cut for Churn Dash centers and some quilt blocks, big pieces of fabric for backings, and what is left of the darker colors.

The end of the cutting project is growing closer.

Today is cleaning/laundry day. But though cloudy, it is much warmer. Maybe there will be another walk in the woods. I made a big soup yesterday, so there is no need to cook today or tomorrow. There will be time later to do more cutting and sewing.

AC’s Belly Time

Turkey Tracks: March 12, 2022

AC’s Belly Time

It’s pouring rain today, but inside AC and I are dry and warm.

As the temps drop later today and tonight, the rain will turn to snow and/or ice. West of us, it’s all snow all the time.

It’s a good thing AC and I had such a lovely woods walk yesterday—you can see a little video and a picture at the end of this post. AC does NOT like rainy days where he has to stay inside or go outside and get wet. He rejects both choices presented to him.

Meanwhile, AC knows exactly when it is 6 pm, and he ”dogs” me until I stop sewing and give him his dinner. “Dogging” can be milling and prancing around my sewing chair and/or butting me with his long nose. Below is what he really wants: both of us settled on the couch, me watching tv and hand sewing, and AC presenting his belly to be scratched. How’s that for a display of utter safety, warmth, and trust?

Here’s the hand-sewing project for the moment: sewing binding on this scrappy baby quilt. Note the heavier use of color in this one.

The long-arm holds ironed Cotton+Steel fabrics in pink and red. They are the docket for cutting up.

And here is where many of these are going: baby scrappy “Pot-Pourri” quilt number 3. It’s meant for a girl child, and if here are no takers, note that I am a girl child of this earth.

I hiked in to these wood trails where I have owner permission to roam. They are soft and muddy, but I have Bean Boots that take me where I want to go.

Here’s AC waiting for me to catch up. He’s done this kind of waiting for me since he was a puppy of 6 months. No one is going to lose AC in these woods as he knows exactly where I am at all times.

AC loves the drainage culverts. And, AC is very vocal. We have a language we share. What he’s saying here is ”I’m ready if you are to get whatever is in this thing.”

On that note—which shows some of how AC wants to work with me and how fun it is for me to play with him, I’ll close…

…except to say that spring is inching slowly into Maine and that I love this season of promise and mud as the earth opens once more to feeding us again that which we will need in coming days.