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“Sunny” is Happening!

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Turkey Tracks: December 2, 2021

“Sunny is Happening!”

The dark grey/light grey BIG long cabin top is done and will go on Innova next.

I bought a 108 wide backing and ordered a king batting, and I will bind with a medium grey solid.

”Calm” is a handsome quilt and has been claimed by my DIL Tami Enright, who also runs The Bee Cause, which has a Facebook page you could check out. This organization is dedicated to preserving bee habitats and to providing hives. Tami now has hives in all 50 states. Many of these hives are demonstration hives in schools and public places, so people can learn all about bees.

There was some drama while this top was still on the design wall: another chipmunk got into the house, the second one this year, and s/he appeared while I was watching nighttime tv and handsewing with AC doggie dead asleep next to me on the couch. When I shrieked, AC leapt up in a flash and trapped the chipmunk in the quilt room—where I shut the door to keep her/him in there. Unfortunately, when AC caught and shook the chipmunk, a spray of blood went across the bottom of the quilt.

What followed was a lot of soaking and blotting the spray with salt, salted water, and OxiClean spray. Finally, the blood all came out, but it took a long time. The blood, even so fresh, was very thick and very red—it was much denser than human blood. Later nurse and quilter Betsy Maislen told me that hydrogen peroxide would have taken the blood right out and would not have harmed the fabric. Good to know. Which is why I’m telling this story.

The fabrics on Innova’s roller bar are for the first project of this season’s online class hosted by Sewtopia, The Color Collective. Designer Tara Faughnan has given us a really fun and colorful “Sunny” block for this first project of the 4th season.

Here is where I am as of this morning:

I followed Tara Faughnan’s method of keeping the reds and oranges to the sunrise and adding neutrals to make the quilt lighter. I added Kona Snow and a Kona soft grey which I think maybe is Quicksilver. Sometimes it is hard to tell exactly from the fabric swatch cards I have.

BUT, I’ve seen some folks in the class using the red and oranges for backgrounds—and those blocks are awesome. I will make some of those when I am done—just because. Maybe a pillow? Maybe just blocks for the parts department bin. I never know when I start down a road like this one. Whatever, making them will be fun, and fun and play should always happen. And a quilt with all darker backgrounds would be so pretty too.

Of course this block can be used to make circles or other intriguing patterns—in that it is like “Tenderoni” the last quilt we made last year, designed by Latifah Saafir. Remember my version?

I pushed all the curved blocks together, whereas Latifah Saafir spread them out by including plain fabric blocks—which made for a beautiful, airy quilt. Maybe this could happen along with making blocks with a darker background for a small wall hanging or table runner of some sort.

Today is a rainy day! Yeah! That means sewing time for me, and all my household ”to do” tasks are done for the week—except for a quick trip to the grocery store today—mostly just to get AC out for a bit. Otherwise he ”dogs” me until we do something together.

It Was A Nice Week

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Turkey Tracks: November 7, 2021

It Was A Nice Week

Today, Sunday, emerged as sunny and as cool as the rest of the past week. But I have not had a hard freeze yet.

I set the clocks back late last night, so when I awoke in the dark at my normal waking time, I turned over and went back to sleep until the clock and the sun said it was time to switch over the body clock and get out of bed. What was 6:30 am on Saturaday morning was now 5:30 am. And that meant ”no,” just ”no.” I woke again at 7:30, which was really 6:30, and so it goes for a few days. Or, longer.

The past week was busy, but easy. Monday meant an EARLY trip to Rockland to the Toyota Dealer for ”Girlie’s” first checkup and the installation of snow tires while there. Girlie is a Rav4 Prime plug-in hybrid acquired at the end of April. She plugs into the 110 volt outlet in the garage. I don’t think I’ve put even 3 full tanks of gas into her in the past 6 1/2 months. I use the gas feature when I get out on a highway, but otherwise she stays in her electric mode. And, no, my electrical bill has not risen.

I voted on Tuesday, and the referendum that interested me most was refused by the Maine voters: the building of a pipeline through Maine forest that benefitted Canada and Massachusetts and not Maine. Once shrinking wild forests are cut, they can’t really be replaced. Our Maine energy company is not American; it is foreign owned. Time for some changes there I think. And that possibility is simmering.

Friday saw AC doggie and me headed to Augusta for AC’s 3-month checkup for the Lyme infection he got. He was totally cleared, so the herbal tinctures worked. And his urine was also healthy. I’ll use up what is left of these tinctures as the ticks have been really bad this fall. His bloodwork will go to a bigger lab to make sure there aren’t any other issues. You may recall that AC reacted to his 1 year rabies booster so that he could not eat any meat protein without terrible allergic reactions that caused himto chew at himself constantly. The holistic vet in Augusta was able to stop the reactions—and we put AC on a fish diet. His favorite fish is the local farmed salmon (ugh!), but it goes on sale every 3 weeks, so I buy it then and freeze it. The next step in terms of diet may be trying some hamburger.

There was time for late afternoon quilting this week. Here’s the log cabin quilt now—it will be 8 rows square, or 96 inches—so I am getting right along with it. I will move around blocks to balance out the more dramatic fabrics before sewing blocks together.

The fabric palette on the longarm bars is from the first project from The Color Collective, season 4–a quilt designer Tara Faughnan is calling ”Sunny.” Resisting making more and more of these blocks is hard—so I’ve limited myself to making two a day and cutting out two more. LOL, I now have 4 cut out and ready to sew. But I need to get the log cabin off the design wall before setting up ”Sunny” there. And that is why my quilting is always endlessly engaging for me.

I’ve added the soft grey and Kona ”snow” to the mix in the fabric palette. I’m not exactly sure what the Kona grey is…Lighthouse maybe. Part of the joy of this project is seeing how different fabric combinations work out visually—and then how they work in the quilt when near other blocks or how they work in the overall quilt. The prepped blocks involve the darker navy and the soft lavender—in part—so then I will have used all 12 colors at least once.

The blocks can be combined in many, many ways of course. In that way, ”Sunny” is like the ”Tenderoni” block Latifah Saafir designed for last year’s guest designer project in the 7th month. Tara set her blocks like the red and pink blocks in the picture above—like rising ”suns” made with half circles. And her quilt is…Sunny…so lively and bright.

Here’s “My Tenderoni” quilt—which is very different from Latifah Saafir’s—and that is what is fun about The Color Collective. The creativity that emerges from people is just awesome.

I hope you have a wonderful week.

“Joyful” Is Finished

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Turkey Tracks: November 1, 2021

“Joyful” Is Finished

She’s done!

And, oh my goodness, what a visual impact this one has.

To remind, this is Tara Faughnan’s wedding ring quilt pattern, and Tara Faughnan is also the designer for 7-month The Color Collective online class hosted by Amy Newbold at Sewtopia. Indeed, season 4 starts TODAY, and, LOL, my fabrics are washed and ironed for the first project, but the design wall is FULL of the log cabin quilt at the moment.

I quilted with a light grey thread by using the 40-inch Innova ruler equipment on the new Innova longarm. There is a basting line crease in this photo that is gone now as I express washed and dried Joyful to remove the basting lines.

Here are some close-ups. The quilting is not 100% perfect all over the quilt as this ruler was a learning curve. Now that the quilt is bound, washed, and dried, one would not notice the kinds of things I note about the quilting. It’s all good, and I’m happy with the results.

After Joyful was dried and while she was all warm from the dryer, I brought her up to my bedroom where she is going to live for this winter at least. I almost took a little nap to bask in the warmth, but thought better of it.

Joyful is a treasure. For sure.

When I checked the rain gauge yesterday, it showed FIVE INCHES of rain from the wild storm.

No wonder there was such flooding.

Written by louisaenright

November 1, 2021 at 7:00 am

The Design Wall Is Filling Up Again

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Turkey Tracks: October 28, 2021

The Design Wall Is Filling Up Again

It always does, of course.

I have been super busy outside getting ready for winter. We had three rainy days though, so I was able to take a break and come inside to sew—which I did. I also spent some time working on a document that contains all the old family recipes that I’ve saved and loved—the ones that go back to my grandparents, for instance.

Nevertheless, I’m making progress on the dark grey/light grey log cabin. Pretty much all the strips are cut. Of course I’ll move blocks around as I go.

I ”digressed” to play with this very modern ”Whirlygigs” block—designed by Wendy Sheppard and shown in the newest issue of Simply Modern (No. 26). The block is 8 inches finished, and as more blocks are added, one begins to see a doughnut circle also forming. I’m trying to use as much of my Cotton+Steel/Ruby Star Society stash as I can.

After the rainy days, the log cabin got a bit bigger. I’m liking it a lot. I especially like the texture in the fabrics.

AC doggie was really missing his hard daily run. He is so not a fan of hearing ”rainy day, AC. It’s a rainy day.” He brings me toys or his ball as he attempts to connect and play. It’s hard to resist him as his little face is so earnest. And it is good to stop and let myself play some too.

Today was bright and sunny, so AC did get his hard running over at the Snow Bowl athletic field.

The wind is ”up” though—so weather is blowing in again.

The snow boardwalk got put down last Monday—just as the rain was starting in earnest. It’s a beast, that boardwalk—the sections are heavy and difficult to place evenly. I’m thinking of “starting over” with a new one next summer. I spent an hour outside getting it level so no one takes a spill out there. I think it is as good now as it’s going to get.

Written by louisaenright

October 28, 2021 at 6:25 pm

“Big Birds” Quilt

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October 18, 2021

“Big Birds” Quilt

I had such fun making this quilt.

The pattern is “Monkey Business” from Abbey Lane Quilts, and I saw a version in a recent Simply Modern magazine issue (no. 22). I made it using all Cotton+Steel/Ruby Star Society fabrics from my stash, so it is a kind of fabric ”sampler” quilt.

I had enough of this backing fabric, and isn’t it sweet?

I used a pale, pale, pale peach thread (Signature’s ”Linen”) and Deb’s Swirls for the pantograph.

This one is going to stay with me. It is replacing an older quilt that hung on the stairwell wall for MANY years and then was the lap quilt for this couch. That one is now getting a much deserved rest and lives with other of my stored quilts.

This quilt is the second one I’ve done on the new Innova longarm. It was my ”learning curve” on Innova tension—and I learned that the problem I was having was due to a bobbin that wasn’t correctly wound. That was a whole tension learning journey that is, I think, solved.

I wound up taking out the stitching I had done—about 1/3 of the quilt—and redoing it. And now I am happy. The stitch I have now is BEAUTIFUL. And I LOVE my Innova longarm.

“Liberated Wedding Ring” Quilt

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Turkey Tracks: October 1, 2021

“Liberated Wedding Ring” Quilt

This is the first quilt on my new Innova longarm.

It is made from the “liberated” wedding ring block designed by Freddy Moran and Gwen Marston in their book FREDDY AND GWEN COLLABORATE AGAIN: FRIENDS.

I used solid and print scraps to make the rings, but went to my grey solids for the backgrounds. As you know, greys can be blue grey, green grey, brown grey, etc. So I just mixed them all up for this scrappy look.

I bought this backing on sale some time back and I thought it would be fun to use it here. I like it.

The green grey binding blends with the teal on the backing and looks just fine on the front.

I quilted with an icy blue thread that blended well on both back and front. The pantograph provided lovely texture I think: Check and Chase by Lorien Quilting.

”Triangle Geometry” Quilt Finished

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Turkey Tracks: September 29, 2021

I finished this little wall hanging the other day. It is going to a friend where it is going to hang over an electrical utility box that for some reason is in his living room. So, I have set up the hanging system lengthwise, rather than widthwise. It will hang from a curtain rod that uses brackets to extend the quilt from the wall, and I put a dowel in the bottom to give the bottom some weight to keep it hanging straight.

This wall hanging is inspired by Maria Shell and her book IMPROV PATCHWORK—and from work done by Debbie Jeske of A Quilter’s Table blog. Debbie took a class with Maria Shell at the last Quilt Con which resulted in her own version of this improv method using these triangles separated by stripes. And I have done earlier posts about this process. Maria Shell’s original design was her quilt ”Rattlesnake.”

The back is WILD, but no one sees the back with a wall hanging, and it was a piece from my stash that was big enough.

I hand quilted with Sulky 12-weight cotton thread and a Tulip Sashiko needle. I have LOTS of colors now from Red Rock Thread’s ”petite” spools that sell for $1.65 each.

This project was fun—and I’m not done yet. I will play with making the zig-zag ”Rattlesnake” Maria Shell designed where she offsets these triangles.

One of our local quilt groups—Mt. Battie Modern Quilt Guild—is planning a Zoom workshop with Maria Shell this winter, and I am looking forward to participating in that event.

First Quilt on Innova

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Turkey Tracks: September 22, 2021

First Quilt on Innova

What a joy the Innova is! It’s like moving a feather that is floating on an air current over the quilt—which is especially lovely when following pantograph lines.

Gradually I’m learning to let go of my death grip on the Innova handles as this machine is NOT going to jump away from the pantograph lines.

Here’s my first completed quilt—made from the ”funky” wedding ring block created by Freddy Moran and Gwen Marston in their now-vintage book FREDDY AND GWEN COLLAGORATE AGAIN: FRIENDS. These two women pioneered many of the improv methods that are used today—some with little updating as Freddy and Gwen ”got” it from the get-go. What has moved along, I think, is how a block now gets ”set” in improv/modern quilting. One doesn’t see sashing all that often, for instance. AND, I trimmed the quilt on the table in the back of the machine for the first time. It’s ready to bind.

Look at this beautiful stitching:

The back is MOSTLY as pretty. After a while the tension there slipped a bit in places—so I do need to do more tension adjusting. It is all passable, but could be more consistently wonderful. The top thread is showing through in places—and as time went on, the bobbin thread was too flat. I’ll figure it out.

I’ll load in a quilt sandwich next and fiddle with the tension so it is 100%.

Here’s how the trimming on the back went. You can see that I can use my big square ruler as there is plenty of room. This method sure beats what I had been doing to trim a quilt.

On to the next!

Written by louisaenright

September 22, 2021 at 10:25 am

My New Innova Longarm

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Turkey Tracks: September 13, 2021

My New Innova Longarm

She came Saturday!

I have not named her yet, but she’s a beauty!

The 10-foot size is such a good footprint for this room. And look how much SPACE I have visually now.

She has CASTERS that let her move easily before locking them down.

And she sews beautifully!

There are three sets of handles—big ones front and back and micro handles in the front. It’s so easy to move their positions around too.

So now I am playing, experimenting, and learning all about her. ALL is maybe too definitive a word as there is a big learning curve, for sure.

Judy and Rob Engime from Olde City Quilts, Burlington, NJ 08016 are the dealers, and they have both been wonderful.

So, today the adventure continues.

Written by louisaenright

September 13, 2021 at 8:54 am

I Lost My Mojo For This Quilt

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Turkey Tracks: September 12, 2021

I Lost My Mojo For This Quilt

I started this EPP project in 2018.

It’s the “36-Ring Circus” designed by Joanne Lewis. The pattern and template kit are at Paper Pieces.

I am using Cotton+Steel/Ruby Star Society fabrics for the centers, pastel solids for the rings, and darker solids for the rest.

I now have three rows done after three years—three more to go.

But it seems I put off working on it to do other handwork on a regular basis.

It is an elegant pattern, for sure.

But it is hard and in many ways, seems tedious to me. Sewing the rings to the centers is…hard. I’ve found taping from the front and using a flat stitch on the back helps.

I have all the solid pieces cut and glued, so I will finish it someday.

I hope it doesn’t take another three years—one for each row!!!

I did organize all the centers for the 4th row, so that’s something. The first center is done, but not the rings.

Meanwhile, I seem to be more than a little interested in wedding ring quilt versions.

Here’s the funky one whose top is now done: from Freddie Moran and Gwen Marston’s book FREDDY AND GWEN COLLABORATE AGAIN: FRIENDS.

And Tara Faughnan’s Wedding Ring Quilt:

I’m ready to start sewing together the last and final row.