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“Fractures” Quilt

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Turkey Tracks: July 28, 2021

“Fractures” Quilt

I finished “Fractures” last night and hung it outside my quilt room this morning—after retiring one quilt and moving another.

I am really happy with this quilt.

Latifah Saafir was the guest designer for this year’s 7th month in season 3 of The Color Collective. She called her block “Tenderoni.”

Latifah spread out her block by using blank pieces of her fabric palette (which I really love), but I wanted to play with how the block worked when all were together without interruption. Latifah’s version, though, is a very handsome quilt and a better choice I think if one wants a bigger quilt.

I hand quilted with 12-wt cotton Sulky thread in various colors—using a Tulip Saskido needle.

Written by louisaenright

July 28, 2021 at 9:51 am

Dessert Before Lunch?

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Turkey Tracks: July 25, 2021

Dessert Before Lunch?

You betcha—when the raspberries are ripe.

I can’t pass them without stopping to eat some—and most of the time, I eat all the ripe ones on the spot.

It’s what raspberries and summer are for, right?

In any case, my raspberry bushes are just in their first year, so production is not overwhelming yet. The ripe berries each day just fit into my palm. For the most part…LOL.

Yesterday, in the midst of mass production of the scrappy centers for the “Funky” wedding ring quilt—I needed 40 more—I paused to play with some of the scraps.

And I can say this improv session was fun. And took a fairly long time as this kind of sewing is intense.

This block trimmed to 12 inches, and I can see that it needs to be much bigger in order to work in the strips with short pieces. And it needs to have funky sewn strips, not these nice neat ones.

I’m going to draw a pattern on freezer paper to use for trimming as my triangle rulers aren’t big enough. I can use my big squares to get the pattern right I think. The blog needs to be 16 to 20 inches big to allow for funky strips and additions of the little stripe strip in various places.

I’ll take this prototype apart and make the pieces bigger.

My inspiration is a quilt Maria Shell made

So, here goes another project—but I’ll put it on hold for now and get back to the “Funky” wedding ring parts that need to have their triangle pieces installed.

Written by louisaenright

July 25, 2021 at 12:43 pm

Betsy Maislen’s Idaho Square Dance Quilt

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Turkey Tracks: July 21, 2021

Betsy Maislen’s Idaho Square Dance Quilt

It’s finished!

And she sent me pictures yesterday.

Betsy based this quilt on Bonnie Hunter’s Idaho Square Dance Block—but Betsy designed her own setting and borders.

Isn’t it pretty?

Enjoy, and thanks for sharing Betsy.

This quilt is a gift, but Betsy is making another version for herself now. Pictures of possible fabrics with which to surround the Idaho Square Dance block are flying to Maine now.

I’ll post the two finished quilt pictures when she is done with this second version as they will illustrate different design looks.

Written by louisaenright

July 21, 2021 at 2:31 pm

Design Wall, July 2021

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Turkey Tracks: July 18, 2021

Design Wall, July 2021

My quilt room looks like a bomb went off in it as there are color-coordinated piles of fabric everywhere as apparently I am working on four projects at the same time.

(1) Here are the strips for the log cabin, all cut—with two blocks organized on the right. I am using the Creative Grids 12-inch log cabin ruler for this project—which makes log cabin blocks super easy and fast to make.

I fell in love with Tara Faughnan’s Wedding Ring quilt the moment I laid eyes on it a few years ago. [Let’s face it: I’ve fallen in love with so many of Tara’s patterns now, having been introduced to her in The Color Collective (Sewtopia, Amy Newbold) three years ago.] This past spring I got as far as buying her pattern, and last week I photo copied the 10-inch versions on to freezer paper and thought I’d “just make a trial block.” Yeah. All of you quilters know how THAT goes. Here’s where I was by last night:

I’m finding it takes a lot of cutting to get started on this project—but that it is gobbling up solid scraps like mad.

The “funky” wedding ring quilt top—now a leader/ender project—is coming along. I will make it 4 blocks wide by 5 blocks (14-inch blocks) so it comes out 56 by 70. That will be a nice lap size. Previous posts cover the origin of this project for me. The block is by Freddy Moran and Gwen Marston and is in their book FREDDY AND GWEN COLLABORATE AGAIN: FRIENDS. And I am indebted to Debbie Jeske (A Quilters Table blog) for making the block without sashing which makes it much more modern.

And here’s how Maria Shell’s “Rattlesnake” zig-zag pattern gets formed with light and dark isosceles triangles. I used Tri Rec rulers to make mine, but Maria Shell shows how to free-hand cut these triangles in her book IMPROV PATCHWORK. I love the scrappy nature of this project.

I’ve cut a lot of strips while going through solid scraps, but have put this one on hold until I get the “funky” wedding ring top off the design wall.

It’s a totally rainy day today, so it will be a lovely sewing day for me—with breaks to console AC doggie.

A Fun Quilty Journey

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Turkey Tracks: July 12, 2021

A Fun Quilty Journey

It started with seeing Debbie Jeske’s triangle quilt from a class she took with Alaskan quilter Maria Shell at this past year’s QuiltCon virtual (during covid) 2021 meeting—where Maria Shell also won a major award.

I am a big fan of both of these quilters.

Here’s Debbie’s quilt—which is based on Maria Shell’s “Rattlesnake” quilt—and which is on Debbie’s blog, A Quilter’s Table. Among her many workshop class offerings, Maria Shell teaches workshops on dynamic triangle quilts.

My heart started beating the minute I saw Debbie’s quilt. I pulled out Maria Shell’s book IMPROV PATCHWORK, which I have really wanted to start exploring during quilty “play” time, and reminded myself of her “Rattlesnake” quilt, which is featured in her book and in her workshop class list.

I am noticing now how Maria Shell’s triangle lines form a zig zag with her manipulation of the dark colors. Hmmm…. Flashlight! That’s the snake. I can be so dense sometimes when I get overwhelmed with pattern and color. No wonder this quilt is longer rather than wider. I’ll probably have to try this idea down the road. And I am also seeing how the side pieces to each triangle can be different dark colors, but also have some light “pop” colors thrown into the mix.

Anyway, I had an unused palette from this year’s The Color Collective, Tara Faughnan designer, for a project I couldn’t get my head around. (After 3 years and 20 projects, having only 2 projects that didn’t draw me in is an awesome record for Tara Faughnan.) I put the palette and Shell’s book and a picture of Jeske’s quilt in the “to-do play” pile until I had time to get to it.

And that happened this past week as a quilt top on the design wall got finished (“Monkey Business”) and there were several rainy days. Here’s my mostly finished top. There is one block on the far right that is too dark, so I’ll take few minutes to replace that one dark green patch today with the light green and call it a day.

The big challenge was balancing the colors. I did add the pale orange to the original palette. You would think that having 12 colors would be enough, but I really needed one more light color, and I think the orange addition was a good choice.

It will finish at 34 long by 45.5 wide—and I have absolutely no idea how I’ll quilt it. I’ll bind with the dark green, use whatever fabric in my stash that fits the back, and set it up as a wall hanging.

Amy Newbold and Tara Faughnan are going to do a season 4 of The Color Collective. I really feel like I have grown so much as an improv quilter due to The Color Collective, so likely I’ll continue this part of my quilty journey.

Some Cool, Sweet Days

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Turkey Tracks: July 4, 2021

Some Cool, Sweet Days

I took this photo Friday when I took AC doggie to chase his ball at the Snow Bowl athletic field.

I love what I think of as “soft days” here when rain or fog is around and the clouds sit lie down on the mountain tops.

I’ve been thinking off and on all day that John and I made our first trip to Camden in July 2003 and were here for the 4th and that it was this some sort of cool weekend that we have this year.

It has rained yesterday and today, and much to AC’s distress, we have not gone anywhere. And it has been “get a sweater” cool, which I so love about June in Maine. And it is a joy to see the garden and grass so happy.

I’ve sewn a lot these past two days, and the design wall is, once again, changing.

The small circle top is done, and I sewed it together and stay-stitched the edges this morning. I think I’ve found really good color placement and movement in this little top, which will be a wall hanging. I’ve organized a backing and the batting, so will put it on the longarm tomorrow to baste it. And it is now off the design wall. I’ll probably hand quilt it.

You may remember that it came from the “off-cuts” from the last project in this year’s The Color Collective—the “Tenderoni” block Latifah Saafir designed. My version is layered and basted, and I’ll start hand quilting it tonight with 12-weight cotton thread.

The triangle top I’m exploring has been inspired by Debbie Jeske of A Quilter’s Table blog—after she took a class with Maria Shell at this year’s Quilt Con—The Modern Quilt Guild’s annual show. I’ve had Maria Shell’s book IMPROV PATCHWORK for a few years now and have wanted to try my hand at one of her amazing projects. Debbie Jeske’s version pushed me further along that road, so here I am.

I’m using one of the monthly color palette’s designed for a project that didn’t draw me in enough to make it. Out of 20 projects over three years, that’s a great record for The Color Collective’s design work. There are 12 colors in one of the monthly fabric palettes, and I’ve added a pastel orange to go with the pale green and pale pink. Given what develop’s in the next rows, I may add other colors, but it is a creative challenge to stick mostly to the original palette.

And likely you know the “Funky Wedding Ring” block by now from this blog. It’s coming along as a leader/ender. This project is also inspired by Debbie Jeske’s “redo” of an older “funky” block designed by Freddie Moran and Gwen Marston.

I spent a fair amount of time ironing and cutting strips for all the dark grey fabrics I’ve collected for the new 12-inch log cabin I planned months ago. I had lots of light greys from the blue/grey log cabin made this winter—but I did augment and reorder some of the greys, so I ironed and cut those as well. I’ve begun making those blocks as leader/ender blocks too as I’m near the end of the Funky Wedding Ring project—which would make a really nice baby quilt I think—but I may make it a bit bigger. I never know how inspiration will strike.

Enjoy the long weekend!

The Design Wall, June 26, 2021

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Turkey Tracks: June 23, 2021

The Design Wall, June 26, 2021

The “Tenderoni” quilt top is done, layered, and basted via the longarm basting. I’m almost certainly going to hand quilt it with a 12-wt. cotton in the honey color in the quilt. The binding (the darkest red in the quilt) is here and washed—I’ll cut it this week. I’m calling it “Fractures,” and I’m really pleased with the movement in this quilt. It will be a wall hanging—30 by 42.

Latifah Saafir designed this block and chose the color palette as a guest designer for this year’s The Color Collective (Sewtopia, Amy Newbold). And it has been really interesting to see what other people made with this block.

So with “Fractures” removed, the design wall looks like this now:

The “Monkey Business” blocks are all done. I may still move some blocks later today, but I’ll sew the blocks together after I try one more move with some of the blocks at the bottom. Basically this quilt is a “sampler” quilt of Cotton+Steel/Ruby Star Society fabrics. As such it is fun. And I loved making the blocks. Abbey Lane Quilting designed “Monkey Business,” which appeared in Issue 22 of Simply Modern magazine. The blocks finish at 13 inches—so it will be a fun lap size quilt.

The leader/ender “Funky” wedding ring scrappy top on the left is coming along as well. The pattern is in FREDDY AND GWEN COLLABORATE AGAIN: FRIENDS by Freddie Moran and Gwen Marston. Debbie Jeske of A Quilter’s Table blog made a quilt top recently where she took out the sashing Moran and Marston used, which made the top even more modern. I’ll probably wind up with a lap size top as I don’t see my version as a wall hanging—and I’m liking having fun making this block and using up both solid and printed scraps.

The little round circles are being made from the off-cuts from the “Tenderoni” block.

I thought about moving the circles into different positions on the background block—both sideways and up and down, but when sketching it, I couldn’t make the design work in a coherent way.

There is something really pleasingly “glowy” about this fabric palette as it appears with these little circles.

And now, as we had a good soaking rain yesterday, I need to go and weed! I’m rounding the final corner of the house now.

“Wild Thing” Quilt

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Turkey Tracks: June 19, 2021

“Wild Thing” Quilt

I’m still side-lined with my hurt foot. It gets marginally better each day, but I’m not yet over this event. Who knew…???…what on earth I did to it. I don’t.

I have had a lot of couch time with the foot propped up high and a heating pad going—and that helps it a lot. So, I have been able to do handwork while listening to Audible books, and I finished the binding on “Wild Thing.”

You may recall that this quilt has been in production for several years and is my part of our Mt. Battie Modern Quilt Guild ongoing challenge, “Bee Inspired”—which was modeled on the work of the Instagram group Bee Sewcial. In turn, each group member issues challenge “prompts” to its members—or guidelines for the kind of blocks the prompt member wants. The group works totally in solids, so the resulting quilts are very graphic in nature. Many of the quilts produced by this group have been prominently featured at QuiltCon, the yearly gathering and show of The Modern Quilt Guild. The quilt I thought to model from the Bee Sewcial group won best of show at QuiltCon a few years back. (See below for a pic of it.)

My prompt was “Shapes,” and I specified solid fabrics in bright colors. I gave members a picture of the solid clear, bright colors I wanted and hoped that all would have fun playing with…shapes.

So, this quilt holds many blocks made by Mt. Battie Modern Quilt Guild members who are participating in this challenge. I really enjoy the creative work of trying to make the blocks all “fit” into a coherent presentation.

I quilted with a bright aqua thread, using my clam shell groovy boards. I like the older, traditional pattern of the clam shells overlaid onto this very modern quilt. The fabric “flower” in this picture is one of my blocks. When I set up my prompt, I also gave members a number of blocks I had made while “playing” as examples. This flower block was inspired by Nicholas Ball’s recent book, INSPIRING IMPROV.

As this quilt is fairly large (87 wide by 81 long), I wanted to find a 108-inch wide backing, which I did. And it is as wild as the front. Front and back play well together. There is a mermaid which appears in places on the backing fabric—which I thought was rather run. A muse of sorts…. Can you find her below?

So, this project is done, folded up, and ready to be passed to grandchildren in some future time.

My thanks to all who made such beautiful blocks for me.

Here is the Bee Sewcial quilt that inspired me and that won best of show at QuiltCon:

Written by louisaenright

June 19, 2021 at 9:23 am

It’s Monday Again

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Turkey Tracks: June 14, 2021

It’s Monday Again

Funny how Monday rolls around each week.

One thing about time, it is always moving forward.

It was a quiet weekend here, as most weekends are. I worked in the yard mostly and was too tired to sew in the late afternoon. Plus, I did something to my right foot with all the outside work, so there has been pain. And now I really need to stay off of it and let it heal. Nothing serious, just something to slow me down a bit.

So, the good news is that now I will have time to finish sewing this quilt top together.

Reminder: This year Latifah Saafir is the guest designer for Sewtopia’s The Color Collective, season 3, month 7. This “Tenderoni” block and the color palette are her design. Members of The Color Collective this year are making some really interesting quilts using this block. I got intrigued with all the shapes and patterns that can be made by keeping the blocks close together. I’m calling it “Fractures.”

I’ll call this one finished. It will be a wall hanging. I’ll bind with the dark red in the fabric palette, and I found a paisley backing in my stash that will work really well. I may grid quilt it, but I don’t know if I’ll do that by hand yet or not.

Plus, I am playing around with the discarded quarter circle pieces that arrive when the block pieces are cut. I’ll need to redo this trial one as it got itself off-center while being sewed. And maybe I’ll machine stitch it down with a tiny blanket stitch done in invisible thread—as Tara Faughnan taught us way back in the first project of Season 1. I don’t mind the hand stitching though. I suppose those choices will depend on how many circles are available from the scraps.

I had fun this weekend discovering more gardening by Mother Nature.

She planted this Kousa dogwood some years back—when facing the garage, it is on the left, just down a very steep hill. I don’t have any dogwoods, nevermind Kousas, so this tree is so fun.

AC is DELIGHTED to have one of his old balls available for play OUTSIDE. It is now living in my work tool bucket.

I throw garden refuse along the top edge of that hill, both to stabilize it and to see what might start to grow. It is always amazing to see what begins to grow there. Right now there are some wildflowers, including some orange daylilies, some Joe Pye weed, some Bishop’s Weed, and look what else just emerged in the rocky ground.

Three white Fox Glove plants. I also found two more along the driveway over by the rock wall. (Yes, I know they are poisonous for dogs, but AC doesn’t really chew at plants unless I weed and throw them for him to chase, and I won’t be doing that with these plants if by chance they get weeded.)

I was able to mow yesterday, but it got hot again so I came inside. By then my foot was saying “enough.” When it is better, I’ll finish the last two beds on the far side of the house that need massive weeding. One is almost done and the other is small.

And here we are with another week of Maine summer to enjoy!

Written by louisaenright

June 14, 2021 at 8:54 am

Betsy’s Current Very Pretty Quilt Project

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Turkey Tracks: June 7, 2021

Betsy’s Current Very Pretty Quilt Project

Betsy Maislen has finished the scrappy quilt top she’s been working on in recent weeks.

She started with Bonnie Hunter’s “Idaho Square Dance” quilt block and created her own “secondary” quilt block to compliment it. The border treatment is also her own design.

At first Betsy thought she would pair the Idaho Square Dance block with a plain block, but decided to try something else—so the use of the square in a square block emerged. Then she had to figure out a border. I like the 4-patch she includes in the piano key border and also how she moves the orientation of the dark squares in the 4-patch from vertical to horizontal along the border—it takes the eye around the edge of the quilt in pleasing ways.

This top is now 60 by 70, which is a very nice lap quilt size.

I wonder now how she will quilt it…

Betsy has a really good eye for fabric, so I know she’ll chose an interesting backing and binding.

I’m sure we’ll see more of this quilt in weeks to come.

Go Betsy!

Written by louisaenright

June 7, 2021 at 7:56 am