Louisa Enright's Blog

Mainely Tipping Points

Archive for the ‘Turkey Tracks: My Life in Maine’ Category

Turkey Tracks: Mud Season, Cherished Walks, Happy Spring

with 2 comments

Turkey Tracks:  April 22, 2019

Mud Season, Cherished Walks, Happy Spring

I took these pictures a week ago at the Erikson Wellness Trail.  And yesterday, Easter Sunday, AC and I returned and walked, playing along the way, the whole trail, which is about 2.5 miles with the added spur.  We had “pea soup” fog here yesterday, and on the back side of the trail, rain started.  I had on a good raincoat with a hood and my LLBean boots, so I was fine.  AC didn’t care, of course.  He got a bath of sorts.

To recap, this trail has been iced over for much of the winter.  AC and I went in once, me with spikes on my boots, but mostly I avoided going.  The one icy trip was, however, lovely, and the boot spikes and walking stick support were terrific.  Still, it was…kind of lonely back in those woods.

My LLBean boots are PERFECT for mud season and have been much used this year as AC Slater has me outside a lot these days.

Last week, there were still patches of snow/ice deep in our woods.  But the trail was clear except for two spots that I could more or less walk around.

The rock moss is such a startling, rich green.

As the snow melts out, the hillsides are full of water moving downward.  The streams are filled and rushing madly.  AC has not figured out yet that he can swim, but he’s fascinated with the rushing water.  I throw sticks in, and he tries to get them.

This creek runs along side the path and crosses under in a culvert.

This bigger creek has a bridge over it.

My older grandchildren walked this trail with their father and me at Christmas.  I’m looking forward to taking the three little granddaughters here when they come in June.  They will love this stream, which does have the most enticing pools.

 

 

Written by louisaenright

April 22, 2019 at 8:34 am

Turkey Tracks: AC LOVES the Dog Park

with 3 comments

Turkey Tracks:  April 11, 2019

AC LOVES the Dog Park

It’s mid-April, and we’ve had three snows in the past week.  Two, plowable!  There are 6 or 7 inches of snow in my woods at the moment.  But temps are going up this weekend, so this snow will melt slowly into the ground.  Some up here call this kind of spring snow “a poor man’s fertilizer.”

My dog fence is not working.  Perhaps a deer stepped on the line.  But it could be anything, including a falling rock or tree branch.  I am replacing the dog collar, as it is not working.  The transmitter works, but is 14 years old, so I am replacing it as well.  And I’m hoping that by the end of this weekend all will be in place again.  That will depend on how fast the snow melts.

AC is a year old now and full of zip, which spring has intensified.  He is now watching what goes on in the road beyond my house and wants to patrol that too.  No!  So, the dog park, especially right now, is a must as until I can sort out the dog fence issue, he is not safe outside unsupervised.

AC LOVES being with other dogs.  That makes sense as he was raised in a household with five other dogs.  He knows how to play and delights in getting the dog park dogs to play with him.  Many times he has to teach them how to chase him while he gets to hold the ball or a stick he’s found on the ground.

I never thought that I would be spending “dog park” visiting time most days.  But there are some really nice people there, so that’s kind of fun.  I feel like I have a toddler again as there are days where “play dates” are arranged with owners/dogs that work especially well for AC to get LOTS of exercise.

AC knows the dog park road, and he starts “talking” as soon as we enter it.  He is really very vocal now.  And a total character!

 

 

 

Written by louisaenright

April 11, 2019 at 8:15 am

Turkey Tracks: Lone Star Block Terror

with one comment

Turkey Tracks:  April 8, 2019

Lone Star Block Terror

I’ve always been terrified of trying a Lone Star block.

The 4th block in The Color Collective online class (Tara Faughnan, and hosted by Amy Newbold at Sewtopia) is…a Lone Star block.

And, whoo hoo!!!  I did it.  Tara’s instructions and videos were excellent.  This class uses all Kona solids, and each month Tara chooses a selection of 12 colors to send us for the block of that month.

She suggested this 4-block arm version for the first try, and I’m glad I did that, even though I loved the bigger 9-block arm much better as it allows 5 colors and a background color.

But one makes trial blocks for a reason.  Here, the light grey makes the block look too “neon.”  And the acid-green star points lose the drama they would have had with a dark background.  The dark background would also have knocked back the neon nature of these colors.

I turned this block into a pillow—which is why I used the light grey in the first place.  It was as simple as I had a light grey invisible zipper.  The pillow construction comes from Anna Graham’s HANDMADE STYLE.  Graham’s patterns are also on the Noodlehead web site.  Both sides of the pillows are lined with muslin and quilted.  And an invisible zipper closes the pillow case.

There is something about these two blocks together that I like a lot.  The Radiating Log Cabin finishes at, I think, 20 inches.  The bigger Lone Star at 30+ inches.   Hmmmm…

I quilted both with size 8 perle cotton with big stitches:

These pillows could likely land up on the bed in the downstairs bedroom just behind this chair.

I have one more pillow insert.  Perhaps I will try block FIVE in a pillow size in days to come…

Then, NO MORE PILLOWS!

But, these new ones have perked up my whole house.

It’s been a nice winter project, and I’m loving learning so many new techniques with The Color Collective class.

PS:  Look where Tara Faughnan took the Lone Star method (TaraFaughnan.com).  Talk about inspiration!

That’s a 36-block arm.  Look at the center, and you’ll see the block comes together in quadrants.  Each quadrant has two arms.

Holy Moly!

 

 

 

Written by louisaenright

April 8, 2019 at 9:53 am

Turkey Tracks: Lap of Luxury

leave a comment »

Turkey Tracks:  April 5, 2019

Lap of Luxury

While I sew and watch tv at night, I have company.

The company is asleep right now, after a busy day at the dog park and after running lots of errands.

The quilt I’m working on right now is made from blocks designed by Tara Faughnan in the online class I’m taking, The Color Collective, hosted by Amy Newbold’s Sewtopia, which also ships the solid Kona fabrics Tara Faughnan chooses each month for the monthly project.

I’m hand quilting this quilt, which I made from the first two blocks, with size 8 perle cotton and big stitches.  And I’m really intrigued by this quilt and loving it.

Before the company went to sleep, there were cuddles enjoyed by all who participated.

We got snow on Wednesday.  I got about three inches.  The weather cleared my day in a hurry, so there was some nice sewing time.

I got about 3 inches, so AC and I went outside to shovel off walks and the generator.  By late afternoon, the snow had melted, which is the nature of a spring snow.  AC wants to play with both the snow shovel and the vacuum cleaner.  They move, you see…

But, spring is here, and to celebrate that, I could not resist getting some flowers.

 

 

Written by louisaenright

April 5, 2019 at 7:57 am

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