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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

Galactic Quilt Done and Hung

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Turkey Tracks: May 22, 2020

Galactic Quilt Done and Hung

I LOVE THIS QUILT.

Tara Faughnan designed this quilt block and chose the color palette for this project in her online class hosted by Sewtopia, The Color Collective, season 2. How we used the colors was up to each maker.

I hand quilted with the Wonderfil GlaMour rayon/metallic 12 weight thread that Tara Faughnan also used on her Galactic quilt. I used 5 different colors—and justified that cost by the fact that I have a smaller block version that I’ll quilt with it as well. And…just because we all need some treats in the middle of a pandemic where we are “staying home.” I also used a Tulip Sashiko needle (found online easily)—the thin, coated version.

I knew from the beginning that I wanted a wall hanging for a wall on a stairwell landing between two floors. Galactic replaced these duck prints—and it’s so nice not to have to think how I can make these pics hang straight anymore:

It’s hard to get a good picture of a quilt hanging in a stairwell, but…

Galactic just draws one right up those stairs.

Thanks, Tara Faughnan, for this one!

Now, on to the next project in this class.

Turkey Tracks: May Monday Morning

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May 14, 2020

Look at my beautiful cold frame lettuce. It’s still growing—as it has been so cool here in Maine this spring. But I gathered some lettuce—thinning the clumps to give some plants more room to grow—for my first cold-frame lettuce salad.

To remind, I set up this cold frame in the fall with new compost and seed and cover it for the winter. Left alone, it does its own thing when the longer daylight hours return. I’m still covering it most nights—remember that it SNOWED all day last Saturday, with no accumulation, but…

Here’s my first lettuce, rinsed and headed for the lettuce spinner.

I’m making a lunch salad, of course. And the protein will be one of the cube steaks I keep on hand. These steaks have a lot of flavor, defrost quickly, and cook in a very few minutes—just about two minutes a side, or less, in a hot cast iron frying pan.

Here’s my beautiful salad:

Lettuce from cold frame, sweet red pepper, roasted beets, cucumber, leftover asparagus, carrot, spring onion, red onion, apple, leftover forbidden black rice, cubed steak, olive oil, salt, and dried dill.

The daffodils this year have been glorious. I’ve planted so many now, each year choosing more and different varieties. Some of them are so frilly—they look almost like peonies.

I bring some inside to the kitchen window and so enjoy them there. Here’s the most recent selection.

Tom Jackson’s crew came and cut up the GIANT ash tree that fell over the stone wall property line last fall. It is a monster. I tried through the winter to donate the wood to anyone who would cut it and take it, but had no takers. It is just in a very difficult spot where getting the wood out would be way too hard.

There is a wetland below the stone wall and the tree, which would not allow for any equipment to come in that way.

I really need to get a picture of the daffodils in the little meadow this year. They are so beautiful and continue to naturalize over this area. They brighten the heart and soul, and I look forward to seeing them each year.

I finished hand quilting the big block Galactic wallhanging last night. I’ll trim and put on the binding/hanging sleeve/label today. And yesterday I finished the smaller block version—just two rounds. I love this block and could quite easily go down a rabbit hole with making the big block in a different palate. But I need to move on to the remaining three projects in The Color Collective, season 2, each of which look exciting to make.

And, today, which is THURSDAY already, is going to be much warmer. It is a bright, sunny day with little wind. I’m eager to get out into it.

Written by louisaenright

May 14, 2020 at 9:04 am

Turkey Tracks: Wonderfil Glamour Thread

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May 2, 2020

How did it get to be May already???

Wonderfil Glamour Thread

I’m handquilting the Galactic wall hanging quilt now with Wonderfil Glamour thread, as shown by Tara Faughnan on Instagram. The Galactic quilt is a project in Tara Faughnan’s season 2 online class hosted by Sewtopia (Amy Newbold) . Glamour is a 12-weight rayon thread with a metallic strand.

These are the thread colors I’m using for this project. The orange one was risky—it’s so hard to tell real colors from an internet picture—but it is working out well I think.

I saw a magazine ad for the Tulip sashiko needles and wondered if they would be a good idea for this heavier weight thread in a quilt. I found them online (Fat quarter shop). And, yes, I think these needles are a good idea. However, I did find I needed a learning curve to handle the needle and the fabric to get smaller stitches. This is the THIN coated needle, and you can see the bigger eye helps NOT to fray the thread.

Here, you can see that my stitches started out bigger and gradually begin to get smaller. I don’t mind as there is a certain funkiness about this quilt anyway. And I do like the way the thread shines in the quilt.

Here, you can see the progression starting to go from big stitches to smaller ones. See the bottom rows in this picture. My first rows were…BIG stitches.

Now, look how pretty. I am just keeping the quilting simple—straight lines on a diagonal.

I hand quilt at night while watching tv. Someone thinks it’s time for him to go outside to drop his britches. Afterwards, he will decide that it is time for us to go to bed—all of which involves teasing wallowing on me.

Written by louisaenright

May 2, 2020 at 9:11 am

Turkey Tracks: April 2020 Update

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April 25, 2020

April 2020 Update

It’s a beautiful sunny morning in Camden, Maine.

I hope this post finds all of you safe and well.

Like many of you, I’ve been spending LOTS of time at home. Ha! But I’ve been deep cleaning, culling “stuff,” repairing broken things, washing winter coats and sweaters, getting out spring clothes and storing winter ones, sewing, spending time connecting with people via internet, and on and on. My life is, actually, pretty full.

Spring is coming in slowly this year. The new raspberry and blueberry plants arrived Thursday. I planted them all yesterday—which was a BIG job made moreso by having to plant the 5 blueberry bushes into soil that had quite a few rocks embedded. It was warm in the sun, and I really enjoyed being outside with some outdoor work to do.

The raspberry canes are in the dark soil—and the box they came in will keep the center weed-free. The cold frame is FULL of delicious looking lettuce. I keep it covered until each day warms, then cover it at night as our temps are still dropping too low at night for tender plants.

These raspberry canes fruit on the second year growth, so the canes will spend this summer getting established and growing new canes.

Here’s the cold frame—taken a few days ago. The lettuce is now filling out the box as the plants are getting much larger.

Here’s where the blueberry bushes went in: 3 varieties that will pollinate with the two bushes I have in the back yard. Research says mixed varieties is a good idea. (You can see our leaves have not yet started to pop out.)

I decided last year some time that the current raspberries on the hill in front of the house were a bad idea: too hard to get to, the whole bed there was a weed-infested mess, etc. So, I dug them out, got some help with the weeding and pruning, and things are looking MUCH better. That hill is just too steep for me to manage safely now.

Here’s where the blueberry bushes went. Each needs about 3 feet of space.

Inside, my sewing has been a bit slower as I’ve had other jobs that needed my attention—to include a daily long outing with my boyfriend, AC Slater.

But, here is the “Elvira” quilt top finished—from a design by Erla Gudrun released by her free for a one-day quilt-along online. I was drawn in by the movement with the slashes, but I’ve never done BIG blocks like this block, and they are really way out of my comfort zone. Still, the project used up a lot of stash and the quilt will be a sturdy, functional lap quilt.

The “Gumdrops” top, designed by Tara Faughnan for Sewtopia’s The Color Collective, is finished. I took this picture with another quilt underneath, so it looks a bit “bumpy” on the design wall.

Papers will come out now, and I’ll layer it. It will be a wall hanging. I’m thinking of matchstick quilting it on the domestic machine up and down with a pale grey thread. Maybe a color here and there? Don’t know… The fabrics will all lay flat with the templates out. (We learned how to make templates with card stock run through a printer for the pattern.)

Here’s the quilt underneath—a mini Galactic block with which I’m playing.

I have no idea what shape this quilt will take. I have lots of fabric from the big Galactic project (which is layered and ready to hand quilt now), so will just see where this idea goes…

I am RESISTING starting anything else new until I clean up the ongoing projects: there are 2 dresses cut out, a knit top pattern copied and ready to use up some leftover knit fabric, four quilts now ready to quilt, and pieces for an improv quilt prepped and ready to make. And, Sugaridoo’s row 7 to make before row 8 arrives in May.

It’s all good!

Be safe: Be well.

Written by louisaenright

April 25, 2020 at 9:43 am

Turkey Tracks: Sugaridoo QAL: Row 6

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April 13, 2020

Sugaridoo QAL: Row 6

Here’s Row 6 of the Sugaridoo QAL.

I am doing two rows—one in the rainbow colors Sugaridoo designed and one with Cotton+Steel fabrics I have on hand. As you will see with the C+S rows, it isn’t always possible to replicate Sugaridoo’s colors exactly. And that’s ok by me.

These are the first rows that one could sew together with its adjacent row, made earlier. Sugaridoo may separate rows with sashing strips, but I thought these two rows wanted to be together. I can always take them apart if I change my mind later.

I made my braids the same size, except for the accent pieces—which differs from the Sugaridoo pattern, which used different sizes across the row.

Row 7 will drop next week some time.

Written by louisaenright

April 13, 2020 at 5:35 pm

Turkey Tracks: Social Distancing: Ongoing Sewing Projects

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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!