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Turkey Tracks: End of May 2020 Update

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Turkey Tracks: May 27, 2020

End of May 2020 Update

It was a “masky” weekend. SIL in Boston needed some mask help. Like me, she wears hearing aids, and the simple elastic used in masks that loop over the ears do not work well with hearing aids—in that they can dislodge them so that you LOSE them. If you have no idea what hearing aids cost, you are in for a rude shock if you ever need them.

I have been at kind of a loss with what to do with knit scraps—often big pieces—left over from garment making. FLASHLIGHT! Try some in masks. I had already been told that just cutting knit for ties, stretching it so it rolls up, and using it for ties is THE BEST. They stay on your head without slipping for one thing. And they don’t need any pressing, turning, and sewing down to hide raw edges, etc. YES!

The green mask below has a pipe cleaner in the top to cup the nose—which is why it is kind of curved. I found the metal wasn’t really needed. I use an inner layer of quilt batting—not much gets through two knit layers and cotton quilt batting. Of course, the edges leak… But these guys are sturdy as can be. I made one for me, too, with knit ties, and mailed off 8 masks to SIL and her three housemates.

WASH YOUR MASK AFTER EVERY USE! Otherwise the mask harbors a lot of bacteria from YOU and you breathe it deeply into your lungs. Bad idea, especially with these knit masks which are really thick.

Looky! This quilting is really handsome. I’m pleased. I’ve never tried matchstick quilting before—I have to use the domestic of course. But this is HANDSOME!

I have two quilts to quilt on the domestic piled up—and one for the longarm. I moved my stored machine—which has its own SewEzi table—to an area behind the couch so the couch catches the quilt as it moves forward. And I can see the tv.

This machine can live now in a spot vacated by a rehomed bookcase. In the pic below the table is pulled forward so the quilt can go over the couch for support as I quilt. Otherwise, the machine table just tucks back into the bookcase space and does not impede traffic. A pretty bookcase or a nice sewing spot already set up—it’s a no-brainer for me these days. This is “Gumdrops” from Tara Faughnan in the online class, The Color Collective, season 2. Mine will be a wall hanging.

There will be a THIRD season of The Color Collective, hosted by Sewtopia. Go to Tara Faughnan’s web site and sign up for her newsletter for information on this third season. While you are there, take a look at her AWESOME quilts in her gallery.

I have been super busy these past days. I culled the books again. This time I put any book that has not been touched by SOMEONE in the past 16 years in 11 banana boxes and 2 orange boxes—they have lids and are easy to get hold of. (Thank you Hannaford’s, our local grocery store.) I slid the boxes down the stairs—many from the third floor—and used the dolly I bought last year to get the boxes to the van.

Whew!

My kids will thank me someday for this job. There are two bookcases remaining, but all others have been leaned out and other objects put on empty shelves.

Oh Lord!

I more or less escaped this critter last summer. It’s the brown tailed caterpillar, and it is DEVASTATING trees, bushes, ground plants, and so forth here in Maine. I have them on my front porch right and probably elsewhere.

See all those bristles? They are wildly toxic and can cause rashes and blisters and itching like poison ivy. The bristles come loose easily and float about in the air, lodge in the ground, get breathed into our lungs, and so forth. They have a little barb on one end. They can remain toxic for about THREE YEARS. No one is hanging laundry on the line up here these days. And I took down the hammock frame yesterday with the help of a friend.

On a happier note. This fellow guards the front porch. John bought him at the Common Ground Fair the summer before he died the following January.

Of course I have a lot more sewing going on and a lot going on in the garden. But those are posts for another day.

Written by louisaenright

May 28, 2020 at 9:26 am

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: Making Komebukuro Bags Is Fun and Addictive

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Turkey Tracks:  June 3, 2019

Making Komebukoro Bags is Fun and Addictive

These “rice bowl bags/pouches” by kzstevens are so much fun!

I’ve published other versions in earlier posts here.

Kzstevens’ pattern is on her Etsy store.  Just google her name on the Etsy web site and scroll for the “Modern Japanese Rice Pouch” pattern that sells for $6.

Here’s her description of the bag’s uses:

Komebukuro. A traditional pouch used in Japan to carry rice offerings to the temple during religious ceremonies or to hold gifts destined for a close friend or relative.  Komebukuro bags were hard sewn in a patchwork style and individually designed with a mix of whatever fabrics were on hand and closed with a cotton drawstring cord. It is reversible.

Here’s are first two bags, and my first is on the right:

Each side is a bit different as I did piece the top.  First, one constructs an improv top piece that is a large rectangle.  Then one can “decorate” that rectangle with decorative sewing, adding little patches, and so forth.  Then one joins the rectangle to the square bottom.  The lining is constructed in the same manner.  I ordered the leather ties from Amazon.

I used Essex linen (pepper color) in the bag and for the top tie slips and for the bottoms.

 

Here’s my lining, and note that the bag is completely reversible if desired.

Here’s the second bag, where I added the blue daisy square for decoration:

I’ve already ordered more leather ties, but will also look the next time I go to a quilt store for cotton twill kind of ties.  I don’t see why a long shoe lace wouldn’t work either.  And, what about some decorative beads on some bags???

 

Written by louisaenright

June 3, 2019 at 9:05 am

Turkey Tracks: The LAST Pillow

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Turkey Tracks:  May 29, 2019

The LAST Pillow

Maybe…

Here’s my trial block for the 5th Color Collective block by Tara Faughnan.

I LOVE this block, which one draws on freezer paper and then uses that method to sew the block.  It is different than foundation piecing, and I really like the method.  BUT, I am still grappling with getting the points to stop at the right place.  I am on my third drawn template now, but am understanding how to get the result I want.

I also discovered that I like the bright colors against a dark background, unlike the Lone Star version with the light grey background.

I used green in this last pillow so it would blend with the other pillows I’ve made.

Here is Tara’s quilt made from this block, though she also sent us other versions one might consider:

WOW!  Look at these wonderful blocks!  Each one represents a new method to learn.

The Color Collective (Amy Nebold/Sewtopia) will continue in the fall.  I will definitely sign up again.

And now there are 10 pillows, scattered around the house.  You have seen pics and posts about these pillows already.  All have been made with Anna Graham’s method with an invisible zipper closing and with lined and quilted fronts and backs—from Anna’s book HANDMADE STYLE.  Her shop is “Noodlehead.”

There is one more block in Season 1 of THE COLOR COLLECTIVE though…

I’m playing with it now…

Turkey Tracks: Noodlehead Market Bags

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Turkey Tracks:  May 26, 2019

Noodlehead Market Bags

I’ve been wanting to make Anna Graham’s Market Bag, from her book HANDMADE STYLE, for some time.

As noted in previous posts, The Mt. Battie Modern Quilt Guild has challenged members to make something in “handmade style” every other month, using Anna Graham’s book as a kickoff point.  In other months, I have made pillows, using blocks from “The Color Collective” online class with Tara Faughnan and supported by Amy Newbold of Sewtopia.  More on that pillow project later.

Here’s my first bag, which uses all Cotton+Steel fabrics.  This one is a gift.

The leather handles came from the Noodlehead store.  I cut the top binding on the bias and hand stitched it on the inside—as I’ve never been able to sew this kind of closing properly from the outside so that it catches all the inside fabric.  Just can’t do it.  I also hand sewed the edges of the pocket in the same manner.

And I lined the pocket and fused the outer fabric to Pellon’s SF 101.

Here’s the bag I made FOR ME, or “ownself,” as I like to say.  I used Essex Linen in pepper and Cotton+Steel fabrics in shades of teal/acid green.  And I put longer handles on this bag for shoulder carrying.  These handles were bought locally at Alewives Quilt Store some time ago when I first saw the Market Bag.

 

I am organizing making Graham’s Explorer purse for a real purse as this market bag is really meant to carry things loose.  As my purse possessions are not secured in pockets for the moment, I made a little lined phone case in the same way the interior pocket is constructed and by closing off the top side binding in the same way the bottom closes off.

I’m going to make the small Explorer Tote.

Explorer Tote PDF Pattern

Turkey Tracks: Pillows, Pillows, Pillows!

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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: Karen Martin’s Rice Bowl Bag

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Turkey Tracks:  January 21, 2019

Karen Martin’s Rice Bowl Bag

Becca Babb-Brott has found another fun project that some of us are making:  Kzstevens Rice Bowl Bag, or a modern komebukuro.

Pictures are on Instagram, and I put a link to Stevens Etsy shop below.  (#Kzstevens, #kzkomebukuro)

Here are two of Karen Martin’s bags—one open and one folded closed:

You can also use a thin leather or a cord of some sort for the pull-up strand—and maybe decorate the ends with a knot and some bigger beads???

They are adorable!  Thanks for making and sharing, Karen!

 

https://www.etsy.com/shop/kzstevens

kzstevens.com

 

Written by louisaenright

January 21, 2019 at 9:24 am

Turkey Tracks: Quilts by Friends: Tori’s Ice Dyeing and More

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Turkey Tracks:  February 7, 2018

Quilts by Friends:  Tori’s Ice Dyeing and More

Tori is intrigued with ice dyeing.  She made a rope bowl a bit back after ice dyeing the rope.  (Only use pure cotton rope for dyeing.  Polysester won’t take the dye.

Jim Vandersnoot recently did a program on ice dyeing for Coastal Quilters.  That got Tori really going.

Here’s a “onsie” gift for a new baby.  With socks.

What a great present!

But wait, there’s more:  her giraffe quilt goes into the present as well:

Tori is “camdenmemom” on Instagram if you want more info on her work.

And here’s a selection of what she dyed recently.

 

Here’s a t-shirt quilt for a friend–from the friend’s t-shirts.

And here she is making a RUG with a package of Alison Glass strips.  Tori loves Alison Glass fabrics.

 

Tori’s projects always amaze and intrigue me.  Go Tori!

Written by louisaenright

February 7, 2018 at 10:32 am

Turkey Tracks: Camden Juried Craft Shows

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Turkey Tracks:  October 15, 2017

Camden Juried Craft Shows

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I rounded a corner of a grouping of booths in the Camden Juried Craft Show a few weeks back.  The booths spread out over the library amphitheater and on the green hill that overlooks our beautiful harbor.  This booth was tucked into a grouping of booths in the amphitheater, and close-by were two other booths I really liked.

My dad used to make his own fly-fishing lures when I was a little thing.  He grew up fly-fishing out west and tried to teach his three girls how to fly fish as well.  We used to practice on the grass front lawn.  My dad loved all sorts of fishing, and he married a woman whose family all loved fishing too.  Family vacations–that was back when people could take month-long vacations–always included fishing.  We fished lakes, swamp bream beds and bass holes, streams, rivers, and bays and oceans.  If it was wet and had fish in it, we were all in.

So, these beautiful handcrafted lures made me catch my breath and long for an idyllic time long gone.  John and I thought we would fish up here in Maine, but the fish are tainted by mercury or no longer exist in places where we would have looked for them.  We soon gave up the fishing idea.  People do fish the lakes and streams, but…

Heirloom Lures, handcrafted by Christopher Augustus, Seal Cove, Maine

heirloomlures.com

 

Kathleen Farnsworth, Searsmont, Maine

Sewing A Notion, sewinganotion@fairpoint.net

Kathleen makes beautiful handcrafted items:  from fiber to buttons.

These little goodies are jewelry holders.

See?  The colors are delicious!

There is a button story which you can read on her blog.

Look at this beautiful little bag.

As you all know, I love bags of all sizes and shapes, so I stood and admired these for quite some time.

Very high quality workmanship here.

 

Jennifer Butts, Brunswick, Maine

Scenic Fabric Collages, Maine Hill Studio, mainehillstudio.com

My pictures did not come out too well as my camera picked up reflections in the glass.  Jennifer has a good gallery of her many beautiful products on her web site though.  Take a look?  There are some great gifts here.

I am awed by her beautiful work–these pictures are not cut from paper.  She cuts fabric to make her collages.  I can only think that she has tiny, tiny scissors to make such beautiful sharp edges.

Clever, clever artist here.

Written by louisaenright

October 15, 2017 at 6:08 pm

Turkey Tracks: Sewing Clothes And Learning a Serger

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Turkey Tracks:  October 2, 2017

Sewing Clothes!

And Learning A Serger

One of the really fun things about sewing is the young women who are making their own clothes these days.  For fun and satisfaction.

They are inspiring!

Leah Ondra of Clementine (Rockland, Maine) was the Coastal Quilters speaker at our September meeting.  She lit a fire under many of us about making clothes.  Including me.

I have not made clothes since my 20’s as a newly married and poor wife and mother.

But…

Here I go.

Linen tunic, which I shortened:

Skirt to go with…

I have no idea what this material is.  I knew when I left the store but I have to learn garment fabric names.  I cut the skirt on the bias, and the material is nice.  I will make this skirt again and make it a tiny bit longer.

On advice, I prewashed the materials.

Together–and best of all both pieces FIT.

Tunic top is 100 Acts of Sewing Tunic No 1

Skirt is Colette, “Ginger”

I can wear a warm t-shirt beneath the tunic for now.  And, tights or leggins with the skirt for warmth.

I bought a table from amazon that I had to assemble myself.  I loved doing it.  Here is just came up from being upside down on the floor.  (Studio Designs:  Comet Hobby Center)

Here it is with the SERGER (Brother 1034DX I also ordered from Amazon.  (Under $200)  Leah Ondra swears by using a serger in garment making and says this one is just fine.  The thread cones (Mettler polyester) came from Red Rock Threads.  The colored thread spools came with the machine, which is fully color coded, which makes it easier to thread.

Sergers are so NOT like a domestic sewing machine.  And they have sharp knives as they trim off the excess material in a seam allowance.  The threading problem seems to be ok what with all the color coding involved here.  Brother is trying to make this easy.  I keep reading the instruction book, watching the DVD that came with it, and patting the machine.  I did sew ONE line of stitching.  But I need to switch out the thread and PRACTICE.  Which will start, maybe, with learning how to disable the knives.  There is no use in letting them get dull, is there?

Next week’s plan:  get comfortable with the serger.  I have a knit top I want to make.

And “En Provence” only needs 2 1/2 passes on the long arm.

And “My Milli” needs to be loaded on the longarm…

Life is fun and busy.