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Turkey Tracks: Kelly Launtenbach’s “Not Your Basic Blue Bag”

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Turkey Tracks:  January 16, 2020

Kelly Lautenbach’s “Not Your Basic Blue Bag”

I saw modern quilter Kelly Lautenbach’s BIG bag in the recent Simply Modern (#19) magazine’s article on her work.

I fell in love!

There are three sizes, and the BIG, original one is HUGE—big enough to hold 3 or 4 full-size quilts or, even, two of the small bag version.  There are leather straps (2 sets if you like and I did for a bag this big that could be really heavy) attached with 1/4 inch Chicago Screws.  I bought a hand-held leather hole punch set from Amazon for roughly $20 (Pro-Master Leather Hole Punch Set) which I really like.  As suggested in the article, I got the leather straps from Springfield Leather and the 1/4-inch Chicago screws from Tandy’s Leather.

NOTE:  the pattern cover page has a math error in that the finished width of this big bag is 32+ inches, depending on the width you use of Annie’s Soft and Stable.  I used the standard kit size of Annie’s 36 wide and was careful when quilting not to go below the 36 inches.  The pattern suggests 38 wide Annie’s S&S as the fabric layers will shrink with quilting, but you do trim to 36 by 42.  I did not want to buy 2 yards of Annie’s to get these extra 2 inches as the bag is plenty wide.

I would also use the spray baste product the pattern suggests if I ever make this bag again.  The bag is made from one BIG piece, which means there is lots of room for layers to shift easily when you quilt.  I just ran lines down the width and called it a day.  Use a walking foot for sure!!!

And note that the bag, when full, makes a big rectangle.  Also, sometimes the pattern is referred to as “Not Your Basic Blue Ikea Bag.”

The really cool thing about the Chicago screws is that they can be removed if you want to wash the bag.  I did use the screw lock (blue or purple) liquid on my screws to insure that they don’t jiggle loose down the road—which happened to the tiny, tiny screws on the Turn Lock on the Noodlehead Explorer Bag I made last fall.  I can get them open again; it just takes a bit more beginning muscle and a pair of pliers to hold the back of the screw in place while you turn the front.

I ordered 1 1/2-inch leather straps for this big bag.  I think they work well at that width.  Right now, this bag holds three full-size quilts and there is room for a 4th smaller quilt.  For a smaller bag, I’d drop back to the 1 inch leather strips.

The pattern suggests cutting some backing pieces to stabalize the screw holes on the inside of the bag.  I agree that’s a good idea, and it looks so nice.

I worried about the 1/4-inch screw working with FOUR layers (3 leather and the bag), but they did.

I love the way Kelly bound the inside seams—to avoid having to lay in the lining separately and turn the bag, etc.  Next time I will sew the binding on the right side in the ditch—so the seam line does not show on this side.  The pattern calls for that, but I was squeamish about catching the back, folded piece for sure.  I’m not good at that.  No one would care about seeing this seam line really.  It just looks like more quilting lines.

I loved the Chicago screws so much I took apart the handle I hand-sewed on my Noodlehead Market Basket and used these screws.  Steel-colored ones might have been classier, so I’m ordering both brass and steel screws next.  It takes 8 screws per bag.

And, again, I put reinforment leather on the inside.

Oh boy!  I am feeling the urge to make the smaller bag—maybe for a gift…

Ok, maybe for ME.

The pattern is available on Etsy.  Note that I blacked out the 22-inch figure for the original bag, which is wrong. It is more like 32 or more—depending on the width size of your Annie’s Soft and Stable.  And I added in black text the correct size on the image.  The other long sizes on the pattern are a big off as well.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/728254928/not-your-basic-blue-bag-pattern-by-kelly

 

Turkey Tracks: Yummy Lunch

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Turkey Tracks:  January 11, 2020

Yummy Lunch

I really look forward to my lunch everyday.  It’s the first meal of the day that I eat.

I really like to make a big salad with LOTS of fresh and roasted veggies—and some protein.  I use what I have on hand.

This one has a bed of organic lettuce that includes hearty greens and some herbs , roasted beets, roasted asparagus, red peppers, carrots, cucumbers, red onion, and is sprinkled with Penzey’s dried dill and sea salt.

With my histamine intolerance issues, I can’t do vinegar.  I drizzle with an organic, first pressed, olive oil.  I’ve learned to really taste the veggies over these past years.  The peppers, beets, and carrots are so sweet.

 

Written by louisaenright

January 11, 2020 at 9:06 am

Turkey Tracks: I Love Stir Frys

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Turkey Tracks:  January 6, 2020

I Love Stir Frys

I love to make a stir-fry meal with LOTS of fresh, organic, local-when-possible veggies and a healthy meat.

Just look at this beautiful mixture:  onion, three colored carrots (orange, white, red), cauliflower, green and red sweet peppers, yellow squash, and garlic are in this mix.  I added sea salt, crumbled dried mint that I dried from my garden, and an herb mixture I like (Penzey’s Herbs de Provence which has lavender included).  I can’t do spices with my Histamine Intolerance, if I could I would like the Indian spices, like cumin, cardamon, tumeric, etc.  And some pepper heat.  Basically I use the veggies I have on hand and start to “sweat” them in a little beef or duck fat.  I don’t use olive oil as it is too delicate and fractures under heat, which isn’t good for us to eat.

This time I added a lean ground lamb when the veggies start to brown on the bottom of the pan.  The addition of the meat adds more fat and some moisture, which helps to cook the veggies without burning.  When the meat is almost done, I added, this time, slivered raw cabbage.

Here is the meal finished and ready to eat.  I will get several meals from this cooking expedition.  Note that I don’t like my veggies to get too limp—which means that when I reheat some of the mixture for a meal (covered and add a few tablespoons of water to keep things moise), the veggies don’t get overdone.  Reheating from a cold oven takes no more than 20 minutes.  I use an oven-proof glass bowl, a stray glass top I have that sits loosely on the top, and, often just slide the bowl on a plate and eat from the bowl.

With this method, I can also use cubed left-over meat from other meals—added at the last minute just to heat through.  And if I want, I can put the mixture over rice or, for me, rice noodles.  I don’t do that often though as all I have to do is look at rice forms to put on weight.  I like a sprouted, color mixed, organic rice from Trader Joe’s best of all, and when I make a run to Portland, I stop in and replenish my supply.  Sprouted grains make their nutrients more available for our bodies to use.

Written by louisaenright

January 6, 2020 at 9:50 am

Turkey Tracks: I DID IT!!!

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Turkey Tracks:  December 26, 2019

I DID IT!!!

On Christmas Day I met a friend with a dog for a super pleasant hour of exercise for all involved.  It was cold enough that the dog park mud was frozen.  Others came, the thrown balls bounced high and traveled far, and the dogs and people were all happy to spend this time together.

I came home, had a nice lunch, and…started my planned Christmas Day project.  In between I talked with various family members via Facetime.

With the help of a terrific video, I took apart my Brother 1034D serger, cleaned it, greased it, CHANGED THE KNIVES, changed the needles, and rethreaded it.

I had some trouble at the end with getting the thread on one of the loopers right, but this morning…

PERFECTION!

And now I understand EXACTLY how that looper threading works.

That serger is running like a dream!  The new knives made all the difference—and the lubrication and cleaning, well, the thing is running super smooth.  Now to make the knit garments I have stockpiled for winter sewing.  PLUS, I’ve realized I don’t have to take EVERYTHING apart just to change the knives.  But, cleaning this machine thoroughly may become a Christmas project yearly.

Here’s the very helpful video, and I had a lot of fun assembling the products this generous woman uses for this project.

Look what’s on the longarm today—Bonnie Hunter’s Wild and Goosey block is now in a quilt.  This one has been a LONG project—two or three years all told, off and on.  Many, many, many hours have been used in getting all these blocks done and into a quilt.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

And all my best to everyone for 2020 and beyond.

Turkey Tracks: Cotton+Steel “Slopes” Quilt

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Turkey Tracks:  December 21, 2019

Cotton+Steel “Slopes” Quilt

It’s finished, and I love it.

The design is by Amanda Jean Nyberg in her book NO SCRAP LEFT BEHIND.

I used all Cotton+Steel fabrics.  (They are now Ruby Star Society and released their first collection under a new manufacturer last August.)

See the little row near the top of small solids, which are not C+S.  Nybeg’s “Slopes” is made from solids, so her inclusion of this little row stands out more than mine.  Still, it’s kind of a cute surprise when your eye lights on it.

The backing and binding are also Cotton+Steel.

Here are some close-ups of these fun, often quirky, delightful fabrics:

One of my favorite fabrics is the one of bears.  And here you can see the little row of solid squares.

Written by louisaenright

December 21, 2019 at 9:41 am

Turkey Tracks: Season 1 Quilts From The Color Collective

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Turkey Tracks:  December 16, 2019

Season 1 Quilts From The Color Collective

I’ve almost finished all the six projects from Season 1 of the online class The Color Collective, hosted by Amy Newbold of Sewtopia.  Tara Faughnan designed each block and curated 12 solid fabrics for each project and Sewtopia mailed the fabrics to participants each month and published the videos that helped us with each project.  With each project, Tara taught us a new quilting method.

The first and second projects can be seen in the quilt below:  a machine applique circle method and a foundation pieced cross block.  I thought the two months’ colorways were compatible, so I combined them in this XOXO quilt.

The third project was this radiating log cabin—these blocks of mine are now sewn together and are being hand quilted with perle cotton.  This quilt will complete Season 1 for me.  I’m going to hang it in a bedroom.  On Tara’s website gallery you can see how complicated this block can be.  For one thing, it can be cut up to create whole new looks.

I went down a Lone Star rabbit hole.  I couldn’t stop making Lone Stars via Tara’s method.  I’ve always been afraid to try this block, but once started I could not stop.  There are two more blocks not pictured in this post.

But my favorite block, inspired by Tara’s larger Lone Star scrappy quilt (again, google her web site to see her gallery and her stunning LARGE Lone Star scrappy quilt), is this scrappy Lone Star—made from leftovers of the completed blocks.

This saw tooth block is made by drawing the design on freezer paper.  I love it!  I will always love this method and this design.  It can be varied by drawing, for instance, fat short triangles.

The final project is this 6-pointed star, all made by hand.  The design is drawn on to the fabric, and one sticks to those lines to keep everything working.  I hung this one in my bedroom, and I remain fascinated by how the design changes in different light.  Darker light makes some designs pop out or recede.

In order to keep up, I sometimes made a pillow of the design first, just to make sure that I understood how to make the block.  And, too, to see if I liked the block.  Thus, these pillows.

The method of the seasonal tree quilts come from Kathy Doughty in the book MATERIAL OBSESSIONS.

The Color Collective Season 1 has been a great ride!  My thanks to Amy and Tara for all the fun.  I’m now doing Season 2, and I’m really enjoying the projects.  I have learned so much over the last year, and it is all good.  It has been especially fun to work with solids as they are so graphic and modern.

Written by louisaenright

December 16, 2019 at 12:15 pm

Turkey Tracks: Sewing Projects, November 2019

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Turkey Tracks:  November 7, 2019

Sewing Projects, November 2019

Winter is my intensive sewing time.

The bed is the bedroom next to my quilting room is my project staging area when the longarm holds a quilt.  On the bed there’s a finished quilt top and its backing and binding fabric all set to go when the longarm is empty again.  There are garments—saved to sew in winter.  And, all sorts of other projects, from an EPP project, to The Color Collective blocks, to my own inventions.

Here’s what my design wall looks like now.  The top blocks are meant to use up the solids acquired for The Color Collective projects.  The 14-inch block is from Then Came June’s Checkered Garden Quilt, and I’ve written posted about it before now.  It’s a leader/ender project from Bonnie Hunter’s method.  The big blocks below it are the 20-inch Radiating Log Cabin blocks from Tara Faughnan’s The Color Collective Season 1, hosted by Amy Newbold of Sewtopia.

To the right are various projects—to include just playing with shapes with ideas garnered from a workshop with Amy Friend (curved foundation piecing) and from Nicholas Ball’s new book INSPIRING IMPROV, which I high recommend.

I think there is a flying geese project in the making, done with 6” wide blocks and bright colors.  And the Jen Kingwell “Glitter” blocks are ongoing and will probably wind up in an improv quilt.

Below, hidden are the improv bird blocks I’m making off and on.

My quilting life is very rich I think.

I’ve moved blocks around and around below, but I think I like this arrangement, so will sew it together later today. L Then I have to decide if it is a 60-inch wall hanging or a lap quilt AND how on earth to quilt it.  Hand or machine, for starters.

The “shapes” blocks are fun.  I’m going to cut the teal blue/green block on the right in half and see what develops.  These blocks will go into my Mt. Battie Modern Quilt Guild “prompt” quilt where other members will make blocks for me as well.  But, my turn will not come up until NEXT November as there are many of us in this challenge.  So there is plenty of time to play with shapes and clear colors over the year.

My Cotton+Steel “Slopes” quilt from Amanda Jean Nyberg is on the long arm now.  I quilt until I get tired, then stop and play with other projects.  It all gets done.

The winterizing outside is DONE, so it’s time to move into my winter sewing in earnest.  And we may get SNOW tomorrow.

I love the change of seasons and enjoy each and every one.