It’s a Rainy Day!

Turkey Tracks: June 8, 2022

It’s a Rainy Day!

I needed a rainy day!

All my indoor weekly cleaning/laundry tasks are done.

I’ve completed catching up with my garment projects—until fall when I’d like to make a tunic pattern I have—maybe in flannel to wear over pants or leggings.

There are actually 4 tops if you count the first one I did where the neckline was too big and the sewing was crappy until I used a walking foot for ALL the sewing.

These tops fit, can layer over t-shirts, and are so, so cute!

The outdoor tasks will wait for the rain to pass, and now I have time to sew the big Bear Paw blocks using the 3-inch strips I cut for the Churn Dash blocks out of the Cotton+Steel stash. Pics later as the blocks on the design wall grow.

Monday I walked with friend Jan Corson. We did a circle that runs along the harbor and bay where there are some challenging grades.

Here’s a view of Curtis Island and the iconic lighthouse that sits looking out to the bay:

The rhododendrons are spectacular this year. Here is a whole gorgeous hedge of them we passed as we walked on the high side of the circle.

I have two rhodos here in the yard. The deer ate them back to their stems this winter. One of them, on the north side of the house toward the woods, was protected with burlap and stakes. The deer ripped off the burlap and destroyed the rhodo—even though there was a very deer-savvy dog in the house.

And they also found and ate the rhodo that sits in a protected spot in the back of the house.

So, I have rhodo envy for all the beautiful rhodos that escaped the deer predators.

And I think I’m going to have to give up and take these 2 rhodos out and replant with shrubs that deer don’t like.

I may try spraying them with the smelly spray next early winter.


I think it is a losing battle.

Rocking Out

Turkey Tracks: June 5, 2022

Rocking Out

I usually mow on Fridays as that is when the grass has had a week to grow. But Friday this past week was a rainy day.

The morning here yesterday, Saturday, was murky, but dry.  But after lunch, the sun came out, and I went for a walk.  I took my little ipod touch and ear buds and played music rather than my current book—I used to walk with music a lot back in Virginia, where I had a recorded tape of “walking music” that kept the pace strong.  I found myself singing with the music quietly so as not to freak anyone passing by and just moving pretty fast.  It was so much fun!  And that would not have happened if I were walking with AC doggie as I would have been walking WITH him.

When I got home, the sun had dried most of the grass—it was only wet in some shady spots—so I put on boots, got out the mower, and sang at the top of my lungs to the music and just rocked out the mowing and weed whacking.  I came into the house full of joy and satisfaction.

After a shower, I made a coffee and returned to the almost-finished knit top I was making—where I was trying a pattern hack to take out extra fabric around the neck.  It worked beautifully.  The shirt fits perfectly.  And today I will likely walk again and will cut out and start to sew the other two shirts—which are less flamboyant than this one. There was a scarce printed knit selection at Fiddlehead Artisan Supply on Friday—due to supply chain problems. But this print seemed so cheerful.

Today, Sunday, is cool and sunny—my kind of sunny day. I’m going to grill a flank steak at noon—and will use some of the meat for a salad supper, which I’ll make at noon too. Thus dinner will be all ready when I stop sewing. I’ll roast a cauliflower and will pan sauté some Bok Choy to go with the flank steak.

I bought some Granny Smith apples at the Belfast Co-op. Maybe I’ll bake some of them for a dessert for tonight. I’ve just been adding a bit of my raw fresh cream to dress the warm apples—after dishing up one with all its lovely juice. Vanilla ice cream is very…sweet. The raw cream is just right.

Sewing Garments

Turkey Tracks: June1, 2022

Sewing Garments

So, I’ve had two knit garments cut out for two years—waiting for me to sew them.

It was now time, I decided. So I uncovered the serger and refreshed my memory on how to thread and use it.

I’ve made this dress a few times now—and along the way worked out altering the pattern to suit my body. It’s the ”Out and About Dress” by Sew Caroline.

I bought this more expensive fabric first, so I didn’t want to cut it until I made sure I had a good fit on the pattern.

And, due to the internal side pockets, I didn’t actually use the serger. I used a knit stitch on my Janome, and that worked fine.

The dress fits beautifully. I am so happy with it.

The other garment is the Chai T by Liesl & Company.

I cut the pattern out of extra knit leftover from another project.

The resulting garment was way too long. I want to wear the top outside, not tucked in.

And as is common for my body, the bust fits but there is too much fabric around the neckline as I have, apparently, a narrow shoulder width.

It was 51 degrees outside this morning, so I layered under the top. You can see the gaping neck line in front—and it is throwing off the fit in the shoulders too.

I was also fighting with my sewing machine until I realized I could put on the walking foot for the knit stitch as well as the straight stitch.

I chopped off the extra at the bottom and found a way to take out fabric around the neck (front and back) on the pattern that does not disturb the straight of grain (the front and back are cut out on folded straight of grain lines) and that does not overly impact the bust line.

There was some construction that was new to me—the yoke construction uses a ”burrito” folding method that makes the inside yoke seam on one side enclosed. But I hated the neckline attachment method and will not do it that way again. Instead I’ll do that burrito method for the yokes on both sides (if that is possible) and will install the neckline as I do all other knit top necklines—which makes the neck circle seam much less bulky and much less difficult to sew.

I did use the serger on the garment sides.

And I love the little cap sleeve.

Now I’ll buy a new yard of knit fabric and try it again.

Dressing During the Virus

Turkey Tracks: October 11, 2020

Dressing During the Virus

Many months ago now I stopped wearing my beloved Ka Ora bracelets, made by a local friend here in Maine.

And I stopped wearing pierced earrings every day.

Why would I wear these things if I don’t really see anyone or go anywhere to mix with other people?

My answer NOW is because they make ME feel as if I am doing something nice for myself every day. And also, I was born to a mother who grew up after the depression when “things” in the market were scarce, so “saving“ a piece of clothing to be pristine “for a good event” was part of my childhood. Over the years, I have “saved” way too many clothing items for “good” and had them just go out of style without really being worn. I’m changing that right now.

The retrieved earrings made my ears sore—who knew after 50 years of wearing pierced earrings that taking a months-long break would make ears tender again?

The bracelets had to be polished—which does not happen when I wear them all the time.

And there is more to this story of rethinking how one lives during the pandemic.

At least two springs ago I went into Mainely Sewing in Nobleboro, Maine, and saw a beautiful dress of rayon batik that would be just perfect to wear over a summer t-shirt. I walked out of the store with the pattern and some rayon batik fabric. The dress sample was for a shorter length version than this one on the cover.

This pattern has TONS of options for making this dress—options that vary the bodice and the skirt—to include a tunic version that is on the back cover.

The pattern and fabric sat untouched that spring—and the next spring as we were now socially distancing. Where would I wear such a dress? And I was preoccupied with keeping my head above water with all the summer tasks outside.

Sometime over this past summer, I cut out the dress, but didn’t get any further. The sewing task fell into “to do” sewing projects. But, with the realization that I wanted to spend the next amount of pandemic time differently, I started sewing the dress.

This dress has a number of learning curves—to include making two buttonholes in the waistband where the tie would exit the enclosed waistband. I have not made a sewing machine buttonhole in probably 50 years!! But, I have to say that part of the learning curve went well.

Here’s the dress—I just put it over a winter t-shirt for this picture as I’ve put away all the short-sleeve t’s now.

The bodice has these sweet little pleats—another learning curve:

I’ve put the dress away with my summer clothes now, but it will be waiting for me next spring. And I will be wearing it.

Turkey Tracks: Social Distancing: Ongoing Sewing Projects

Turkey Tracks:  March 20, 2020

Social Distancing:  Ongoing Sewing Projects

I’m ok.

I hope you all are all ok too.

I am social distancing.  AC and I go every possible day to the woods, to the beach, and to the grocery store as needed.  I am connected to friends and family a good chunk of each day via technology.  Except for worrying about getting the virus in a serious way, about family or friends getting it and not faring well, and about my seriously diminishing stock portfolio, I am peaceful.  I am enjoying all my sewing projects.  It’s good to see ongoing planned projects getting finished.  And working with my hands is, as always, soothing.

I am reminded that life is what it is, that we have to take it as it comes, and we can do that with joy and purpose and some laughter, or we can just let it all overwhelm us.  That’s a spectrum, of course.  I’m sure I hit the highs and lows of it every day, but mostly I’m…ok.

Here are some of my ongoing sewing projects:

The Galactic wall hanging top is finished, layered, pinned, and waiting for obtaining some Wonderfil GlaMour thread—a rayon with a metallic strand—that designer Tara Faughnan used and loved.  Marge Hallowell at Mainely Sewing is going to carry this thread.  I am hoping she can mail me some.  I LOVE this quilt and this pattern.  Tara Faughnan designed it and curated the fabrics in THE COLOR COLLECTIVE online class by Amy Newbold’s Sewtopia.

I am also playing with a two-round smaller version with the extra fabrics I have.  I have no idea where this project is going.  Play without a goal is important too.

Here is Gumdrops—another Tara Faughnan project from The Color Collective.  The blocks are English Paper Pieced, and we learned how to use a cardstock that one’s printer would take to make the six different patterns.  I’m making a wall hanging with this one too—probably about 30 wide by 30-40 long, with three staggered rows.  I will, of course, move blocks around a whole lot more as each combo gets finished.  I hand sew at night while watching tv.

I’ll be layering and pinning the solid scrappy trip/granny quilt from Then Came June (Checkered Garden) today.  I want to diagonal grid quilt it on a domestic, but will pin it on the longarm.  I loved Then Came June’s version and thought it would be a good use for the solid scraps I have.  It’s bright and wild.  And maybe that’s it’s name?

I cleaned and oiled my serger over the holidays—and replaced the knives.  There’s a blog post on that project.  It’s running like a dream.  But I’ve been having so much fun with quilty projects that I have not circled back to making garments.  There is a pile of knits to be used.  I cut out two tops this week.  Here is the Linden Sweatshirt from Grainline.  I made this top a while back and wear it a lot, so will enjoy this one as well.  This top can be hacked to make other interesting tops.  There is a short-sleeved version as well.  I wear it both layered with a high-neck t-shirt and all by itself when the weather is a bit warmer.  This particular jersey knit is so, so, so soft on the skin.

Be well!

Take care of yourselves!




Turkey Tracks: I DID IT!!!

Turkey Tracks:  December 26, 2019


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…


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: Summer Family Visits

Turkey Tracks:  July 28, 2019

Summer Family Visits

I see I have not posted here since late June.

I’ve been busy!  Summer brings lots of outdoor chores and lovely family visits.

Bryan, Corinne, and their three girlies were here for a glorious two-plus weeks.  I had such a good time with them.

The first stop is always the LLBean Boot.  This year is was getting painted, so no opportunity to get a picture of the girls up on the toe, flanked by parents.

This trip, the youngest was 4, and so the family could hike to all the high places all around us.  They went on a big hike about every other day—many of them 4+ miles up and down.

This little girl below will remember these days all her life.

As will these…

They traveled to see many of our local lighthouses—this one (Marshall Point down in Port Clyde) in pea soup fog.  They love to hear the lighthouse fog horns.

They bravely swam in the Duck Trap River estuary and at the Laite Beach off Camden harbor.

We made “Lazy Day” summer skirts—each helped and chose their ribbons for the bottom hem—a free pattern on the Oliver+S web site).

July 4th at the harbor.

Here’s my very favorite picture of this trip.  Well, maybe, as there are lots of favorite pictures.  But I do love this one as it kind of shows what kind of young women they will become.

My boyfriend, AC Slater, ADORED them.  So I will do a separate post on their pictures with him.

Turkey Tracks: Out and About Dress

Turkey Tracks:  November 24, 2018

Out and About Dress

I finished this dress a few weeks back.

And it was a learning curve.  I have some very expensive knit fabric that I want to use for this dress, but I want to get the pattern right on my body first.

This first time, the bodice was way too long.  I was able to cut it away from the skirt, but now it’s too short by a few inches.  But I know what to do next.  I think the bodice shoulders could come in a smidge.

The other issue is that as first made, the pockets are way, way, way too far down the skirt.  I can fix that too.  And there may be just too much material in the skirt as well.  I kind of fall between two sizes.  Here the bust and arms are good, so I will tinker with the rest.  And I’ll shorten the skirt a bit as well.

The pattern calls for a fusible tape for the hem and sleeves—and that is brilliant.  I really like that method.  BUT, I don’t like the 1-inch hem with the tape I used.  Will try 1/2-inch on the next try.  As is, the hem needs to be ironed after washing—which I have done.

But, despite it all, I do like the dress.  The lined jersey is as soft as can be.  The dress layers well and will be nice when spring returns with a sleeveless under top.  Or, not.  It’s super comfy.

I got some sale fabric yesterday—an Art Gallery print.  So, on to the next try soon.

Turkey Tracks: Another Knit Top

Turkey Tracks:  October 28, 2018

Another Knit Top

I am really loving the three knit tops I’ve made from Simplicity 8529.  I finished this last one the other day.  It and one other are Cortton+Steel knits.  The third is a fleece top, pictured below.

I like that there are side slits and that the back is longer than the front.  The collar has a self-facing.  It’s easy to put a  t-shirt underneath it for more warmth.

I cut out this navy one last summer, but only just slowed down to sew it.  I have three other garments cut out, but have gotten a bit side-tracked with quilty projects.



Here’s the fleece top.  I put it on two days ago and stil have not changed it out for some other clothing.  One reason is the totally yummy pants I got from LLBean.  They are so soft—a cotton/stretch mixture.  They are kind of like a sweatshirt fabric, but are plain on the inside.


Turkey Tracks: Another Lark Knit Shirt

Turkey Tracks:  October 11, 2018

Another Lark Knit Shirt

Sue Kandziolka gave me this knit fabric last spring.  It will go with so many of my clothes, including the soft red knit jacket I made last spring.  I used the Grainline Lark Knit shirt pattern and cut out the shirt last June.  I then got “summer busy” and didn’t get back to actually making the shirt until last weekend.

I did remember how to use the serger, and it didn’t take long to sew up the shirt.  I have set up my Janome 6600 next to the serger and put in a ball point knit needle, so I can just go back and forth without having to change eveything on my big Janome 8900.  (The Janome 6600 is an excellent workhorse of a machine.  I’ve had mine for 15 years now and still love it.). I have a sweat shop organized for winter sewing!



The Lark is very long, so tucks in beautifully.  Or, hangs out beautifully.

I put on the shirt right away—it’s so soft.

Thanks Sue K. For this gift.

On to the next!