Louisa Enright's Blog

Mainely Tipping Points

Archive for the ‘Quilting’ Category

“Whirlygig” Quilt Top Finished

with one comment

Turkey Tracks: December 31, 2021

“Whirlygig” Quilt Top Finished

I had such fun making this very modern quilt top.

All the fabrics are Cotton+Steel/Ruby Star Society from my stash.

The geometrics here just make the eyes sing: the ”whirlygigs,” at the center of each block, of course, but also x’s and o’s and squares with a tiny square in the middle, and crosses in the narrow sashing down the middle of the big blocks. The interruption of the eye using the neutral to break up the flow is so interesting to me—and is a challenge the eye easily overcomes as our brains look for the patterns and start ”to see.” Wendy Sheppard designed “Whirlygigs,” and it can be found in Simply Moderne magazine, issue #26.

A friend helped me install the groovy board adapter that Urban Elementz sells for the Innova, so I can now use the two traditional patterns that I have and that cannot really be done by hand or with a pantograph. The groovy board is sitting on a pantograph I’ll use for ”Whirlygig”—it’s called ”Bayside” and will put down a lovely texture. (Thanks Wendy’s Quilting.)

The screws at the top turn bolts inside that have to turn from flat, to go into the groove, to upwards, so they catch the edges of the groove. I couldn’t make the bolts get into the right position—which my friend did in under two minutes. So, another lesson learned about using tools. I thought it might be pretty simple, which it was.

DIL Tami sent me this picture of ”Calm” last night—working its magic.

I sent her this one back:

We may get a little snow tomorrow to start the year off right.

Written by louisaenright

December 31, 2021 at 9:14 am

“Calm” Quilt Has Landed

with 4 comments

Turkey Tracks: December 30, 2021

“Calm” Quilt Has Landed

“Calm” landed in its forever home yesterday. I took these pics of it before mailing it.

The backing is a stylized version of ”daisy” petals—at one time the favorite flower of my DIL, whose birthday present this quilt is. Tamara Enright, with founding help from The Savanna Bee Company, has pioneered The Bee Cause, which now has bee hives meant to provide safety for this species in all 50 states. There is a Facebook page if you care to check it out.

The Innova quilting stitch is awesome—and the pantograph is ”Feather Grande” designed by Bethanne Nemesh—and seen by me on the blog wendysquilting.wordpress.com. Wendy lives in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, and we have become online friends—a friendship I treasure. Wendy is an awesome longarm quilter and quilt maker. I purchased the pantograph from Urban Elementz.

”Calm” provided so many lovely quilting hours. She was so fun to make.

Written by louisaenright

December 30, 2021 at 10:48 am

A Sunny Morning

with one comment

Turkey Tracks: December 29, 2021

A Sunny Morning

What a beautiful day we have today—as we all lumber toward the New Year 2022.

But, it’s too warm for the thin layer of snow we have on the ground to last—which is too bad as the Snow Bowl ski area had made enough snow for at least half of the mountain to be used.

On Monday, AC and I were able to visit the athletic field, and I took this video of all the activity at the ski area.

Note the father helping his young daughter learn to ski in the foreground as they return to their car. This way is how parents help the little ones learn to ski at early ages.

Yesterday was rainy and dreary, so it was good that I had house cleaning and laundry to do. And today is beautiful, so AC and I will try to throw his ball at the Snow Bowl athletic field, which will work if the snow isn’t too wet and mushy.

A Quilter’s Table blogger Debbie Jeske posted her most popular blog entries this year the other day—among them was the ”Liberated Wedding Ring” quilt she made—which started me on my own journey with this quilt block. That quilt now sits on the back of a chair that I see as I come down the stairs from the upper floor. It never fails to make me smile.

*To remind, the block is a ”Liberated Wedding Ring” designed by Freddie Moran and Gwen Marston and can be found in their book FREDDIE AND GWEN COLLABORATE AGAIN: FRIENDS.

I had some triangle ”outcuts” from a top I’ve now completed (more on this quilt in a future blog), so I sewed them together to get more parts for the ”parts department” bin.

The joke on me is that I intended to sew them with the colors in the triangle—but somehow I pinned them or sewed them so the white part made the triangle.

It’s all ok. I like them both ways. Apparently the universe had a different project in mind for me with this task.

Written by louisaenright

December 29, 2021 at 10:41 am

A Rafter of Turkeys

with 2 comments

Turkey Tracks: December 24, 2021

A Rafter of Turkeys

Here are some wildlife pictures for today—of a ”rafter” of turkeys—thanks to my Camden friend who has been sending me pictures recently of wildlife showing up in her yard, which backs up to the Mt. Battie woods.

I’ve always wondered if there was a special name for a flock of turkeys.

So, it’s ”rafter,” says my friend. That’s not as gruesome as a ”murder” of crows, is it?

Big ”rafters” of wild turkeys have been very present in our woods this fall—and that isn’t at all unusual. A big rafter used to spend the winter near my house—until AC Slater said ”no, just no.” They still come, but he puts them to flight pretty quickly.

The big groups this time of year are hens. The males usually band together in smaller groups of 5 or 6. They are often near the hens, but do not mix in until later in the winter when they start mating. Males have a long ”beard” that dangles from the front of their chests—and you can clearly see there are no males in these pictures.

Written by louisaenright

December 25, 2021 at 9:38 am

Brrrr Cold, But Sunny

with one comment

Turkey Tracks: December 20, 2021

Brrr Cold, But Sunny

The weekend was snowy and cloudy, and we got enough snow to cover the ground.

This morning it was 18 degrees on the north side of my house. AC returned from his morning run with VERY cold ears. I blew warm air on them to warm them up a little. He’ll be 4 in late March 2022 and handles indoor days better now, but he still is and always will be a very active fellow.

Our weather on Wednesday will warm and there will be RAIN! I hope that forecast doesn’t pan out and the snow can stay for a White Christmas. Low temps return on Thursday, so there is hope. What could occur I suppose is…icy roads and walks.

A friend whose house backs up to the Mount Battie woods sends me wonderful pictures of local wildlife that appear in her yard. This weekend, there was this beautiful fox:

I had some good sewing time. I’ve gotten two sides of the binding on the big log cabin quilt sewn down. At 96-inches square, that task takes…time…and I don’t feel a need to rush through it.

I’ve been piecing this scrappy quilt using the lively and interesting Cotton+Steel/Ruby Star Society stash fabrics—the pattern, ”Whirlygig,” is featured in the most recent issue of Simply Modern magazine—and I’ll give more info when I get further along. It is, I now realize, similar to the funky wedding ring quilt I did not that long ago. I think I have enough of the butterfly fabric for the backing. Not sure about binding yet. Will keep this one at 49 inches square and will not add a border. I want it to stay modern. I want it to be used and washed and dragged around and loved.

To remind, here’s the ”Funky” wedding ring quilt—it has the big cross, but not the inner ”Whirlygig.”

Tomorrow is the Winter Solstice—followed by each day gaining more light.

Don’t forget to take some time to acknowledge this darkest night of the year that marks the turning toward light returning.

Written by louisaenright

December 20, 2021 at 9:57 am

Betsy Maislen’s Fun Pillows

with one comment

Turkey Tracks: December 17, 2021

Betsy Maislen’s Fun Pillows

Betsy spent a chunk of last winter having fun making some foundation pieced patterns that she liked.

But, what to do with them?

How about 20-inch gift pillows for loved ones? How about keeping some too?

This quail was the first pillow, which sent her on to the next pillows. The hand-stitching quilting was her first effort with this skill, and she liked what happened.

The woodpecker came next:

Then the hot peppers:

And on to the peach:

She is keeping this New York Beauty block pillow, and I’m wondering if we’ll see more of these blocks down Betsy’s quilting road.

This chicken is staying with Betsy as well. And I look forward to seeing the pillow she makes. Isn’t the feather fabric terrific?

Question? Is Betsy done, or will she go back to this well?

Written by louisaenright

December 17, 2021 at 9:56 am

“Sunny” Top Is Finished

with 4 comments

Turkey Tracks: December 11, 2021

“Sunny” Top is Finished

Here it is:

I’m really pleased with how it came out.

I chose to keep the reds and oranges to the sunburst/half circle and use the other fabrics for background. And I wanted to use LOTS of the two yellows—at least one version is in every row. I added in Kona Snow and, I think, the light grey is Lighthouse—but I won’t sweat to it. I wanted to keep this top light and airy, and I think it is.

I have since seen people using the red and orange as backgrounds too, and those blocks are awesome. I’d like to play now with the reds and oranges as backgrounds, and I have enough fabric left to do that. I’ll also play with making all the backgrounds more or less dark. Maybe. I never know…

Meanwhile, “Calm,” the light/dark grey BIG long cabin is on Innova. That work is going well. I do love this Innova.

It’s a rainy day—and all the snow is melted out. The grass is still GREEN.

AC doggie, of course, is bored out of his ever loving mind!!

I am happy to have this day to sew.

**A reminder that this Sunny block is designed by Tara Faughnan for Sewtopia’s The Color Collective AND is the first project for Season 4.

Written by louisaenright

December 11, 2021 at 2:20 pm

“Sunny” is Happening!

with 4 comments

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

with one comment

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

with 2 comments

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