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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

Design Wall June 2021

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Turkey Tracks: June 3, 2021

Design Wall June 2021

I’m having fun with quilt projects these days.

The design wall is full of fun.

Here’s the “funky” wedding ring block found in FREDDY AND GWEN COLLABORATE AGAIN: FRIENDS by Freddie Moran and Gwen Marston—and also made recently by Debbie Jeske of A Quilter’s Table blog. I’ve wanted to make this block since I saw Debbie’s modern version. Two blocks are together, but I’ll leave the other parts loose until all are made. I see some already I’ll be wanting to move. And, of course, I’m using up both solid and print scraps in this project.

Here’s Debbie Jeske’s version, which I love. Note that she begins to incorporate some printed fabrics in her half-square triangles at the bottom right. I really like that touch. She has such a great design eye.

Moran and Marston pioneered modern funky blocks, which they often made and put in what they called their “parts department” bins so they would have blocks ready to use. It is always fun to go back and revisit their work.

Guest designer for the seventh and last project from The Color Collective, season 3, is Latifah Saafir. “Tenderoni” is already taking many forms as members of the collective work with the block. Here’s what I have now. I’m thinking 5 by 7 rows, but who knows if this design of mine will hold. I could expand it with insertions of plain blocks of fabric. But I’m kind of liking the “windmill” that is taking shape—and of course all the fractured “parts” of a circle.

This next block designed by Abbey Lane Quilts for Issue 22 of SIMPLY MODERN magazine is called “Monkey Business.” I thought it might work to whittle down my Cotton+Steel/Ruby Star Society fabrics. The block is way fun to make, and I’m having such fun combining fabrics in each block and then making some sense out of where to put each block.

Abby Lane Quilts did a lap size of 4 by 5 blocks, so with a 13 inch block, that’s a nice lap size of 52 by 65.

I’m in no rush on any of these projects. It is just nice to have “play” time on the design wall.

I’ll likely get to the light grey/dark grey big log cabin later in the summer. And I’m looking forward to making it.

I heard this morning that my new longarm is coming in late July! The log cabin will be the first quilt to be quilted on it I think.

A Log Cabin Bubble Block for Karen

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Turkey Tracks: June 1, 2021

A Log Cabin Bubble Block for Karen

It’s June 1!

And now we will settle into early summer here in Mid-Coast Maine. We don’t get real summer weather until July 4th, which is just fine with me. I love the cool nights and days this time of the year.

We got some great rain over the weekend, so the ground is soft and wet again. Today is laundry and cleaning day—CLEAN SHEETS— so I’ll be back in the garden later this afternoon.

May’s Bee Sewcial Challenge, in the Mt. Battie Modern Quilt Guild, recipient was Karen Martin. Her prompt was “Bubbles,” and she specified black and white neutrals, blacks, and a “pop” of color of our choice.

I made her this “bubble” log cabin block, which will finish at 14 inches.

German quilter Aylin Nilya designed this block. You make the block in quadrants and rotate them to form the circle. Nilya is on Instagram and keeps a blog. To purchase the block pattern, which comes in many different sizes and with different thicknesses of the individual strips, go to wwwpayhip.com/aylinnilya.

It is a fun block to make. I kept the inclusion of the color red simple.

Written by louisaenright

June 1, 2021 at 8:49 am

Phoebe and “Wild Thing”

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Turkey Tracks: May 27, 2020

Phoebe and “Wild Thing”

This is the second year that Phoebe and her mate have built a nest over the outside light at the kitchen windows.

It is a shallow, messy little nest—full of moss in the construction—which I discovered from last year’s nest when removed. I just read that Phoebe may reuse her nest in subsequent years, so I’ll leave it in place this fall. And in between, other birds, like barn swallows, may use it too. A Phoebe pair may raise 1 or 2 broods a year, and incubation takes about 16 days.

Dad can be heard most of the day, singing the distinctive “pheeee bee” call out in the woods, while Phoebe sits and sits.

I checked this morning—she’s still on the nest.

For me, spring does not arrive until the Phoebe pair arrives and begins calling around the house, woods, and gardens. They go south for the winter but return very early in our spring.

I took a day off from intensive gardening yesterday as the day was meant to be hot, humid, and full of thunderstorms. We finally got some rain last night, but I’m not yet sure how much landed here. It did get hotter than it has been, but the wind was cool too. AC didn’t last long chasing his ball at the athletic field. I didn’t take him for a swim as it takes his thick coat a long time to dry, and with thunderstorms predicted, I didn’t want a wet dog on the quilt I just washed that covers the seat of the downstairs sofa in front of the tv.

I spent the morning quilting “Wild Thing” and finished just after noon. I loaded her on the longarm about a week ago and had started quilting—making a few passes then.

I used the clam shell groovy boards—which proved to be another exercise in frustration as the tip of the stylus that rides the boards to make a perfect pattern was worn down—so it made some of the patterns wobble and it would jump the groove easily. Ugh! The replacement tip I had did not fit my stylus—and apparently there is no longer a replacement tip that would work in my stylus that came with this machine.

Obviously I am not going to replace the stylus at this point as the new Innova will come some time this summer. But this is the last quilt I will put on this longarm.

The quilting, which should be perfect…isn’t. But the overall look of the quilting does work well. It is what it is, in the end. I do like how the bright aqua thread I used looks on both front and back.

You can see the wild backing I used in the above picture—which works color wise and was 108-wide, which I wanted. For whatever reason, I was just not up for piecing a back for this quilt and did not find a backing I liked locally.

Here’s what the groovy boards look like—I have four of the pattern so I don’t have to move a board for a wider quilt.

Discovering that I could use painters tape to hold them in place is a grand new discovery!!

These boards allow one to do a traditional quilting pattern like clam shell or Bishop’s Fan without using a computer program which I don’t have—and the quilting goes fast and does not require the intense concentration needed to follow a pantograph line free hand.

Plus, I just discovered that the Urban Elementz web site carries a full line of groovy boards of all sizes and types.

I put the quilt room back to order in the afternoon and cut the binding strips and label, which I hope to sew and install today.

And now I will return to playing with the three “play” projects on my design wall. And I’ll share those in a few days. I just need to make a few more blocks in each project first.

Written by louisaenright

May 27, 2021 at 9:54 am

Creative Quilt Binding Tutorials

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Turkey Tracks: May 16, 2021

Creative Quilt Binding Tutorials

Well these binding methods are fun.

Who knew?

I love the creativity that quilters constantly invent.

This post comes from the Aurifil thread blog, Auribuzz.

https://auribuzz.com/2021/04/23/five-for-friday-quilt-binding-tutorials-2/

Enjoy!

Written by louisaenright

May 16, 2021 at 8:24 am

“My Bokeh” is Done

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Turkey Tracks: May 15, 2021

“My Bokeh” is Done

“Bokeh” is a photographic term for when one manipulates the camera so that it makes the background fuzzy in a picture. In my mind, the darker colors are the “background” here—they are softer and less sharp in that way, though one could easily think that what is also interesting is how all the squares are like the pixels in a photo.

I really enjoyed making this quilt—and after I had an acceptable piece to say I tried it—I went back and made it all bigger as I was not ready to stop at a wall hanging size This one is now a nice lap size, and I used pretty much all the fabric. I added white and cream to the palette.

This project was one of this year’s The Color Collective online classes, hosted by Amy Newbold of Sewtopia. Tara Faughnan is the designer, and she picks the palette colors for each of the six yearly projects that she teaches to TCC students. I think this palette is particularly nice. (A guest designer staffs the 7th month, and this year that person is Latifah Saafir.)

I quilted from the front with an organic kind of doodle—using a wheat/gold thread that worked for the front and the back. I added in lots of curves to soften all the straight lines.

The backing is an architectural pattern—and I would not have thought of using this warm color until I had the top with me in a local fabric store. It was so much more interesting than any of the other colors represented in the quilt.

I am now working on Latifah’s project, and it is really fun.

And look what I had for lunch today!

This lettuce started out late last fall—as it was seeded into the cold frame and covered for the winter. Then, there is that moment in early, early spring when the light is changing, when the snow is melting, and when I walk by the cold frame and can see green down in the dark earth. It is still a long time before the cold frame cover can be removed permanently, not just on warm days, and before I can start harvesting the lettuce and sharing it with friends. Underneath the egg is a bit of leftover rice/lamb/veggie stir fry, and the white is a cottage cheese that I can tolerate on low histamine days.

These are the last of the daffodils, and the first of the very fragrant viburnam white “balls.”

The cool spring has been really good for the daffodils and forsythia this year.

Written by louisaenright

May 15, 2021 at 2:14 pm

The “Wild Thing” Top is Together

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Turkey Tracks: May 14, 2021

The “Wild Thing” Top is Together

My prompt for the Mt. Battie Modern Quilt Guild “Bee Inspired” improv challenge was “Shapes.” And, I set up a palette of clear, bright SOLID colors and hoped people would have fun playing with making shapes.

It took me some time to get the wonderful blocks I received into a coherent quilt top, but I’m really happy with how it came out.

The top is 87 wide by 81 long—so I found an equally wide 108-wide backing in Belfast yesterday at Fiddlehead Artisan Supply. I’m going to bind with the bright aqua that is in the quilt and have ordered some aqua thread for the longarm.

The top does seem to be a happy “Wild Thing.” I know I’m happy with it.

Written by louisaenright

May 14, 2021 at 9:14 am

“Peaceful” Has Landed

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Turkey Tracks: May 13, 2021

“Peaceful” Has Landed

On Tuesday, the big log cabin, “Peaceful,” arrived at its home—the home of my niece Lucy Howser Stevens, her husband Colby, and their three adorable children, who now have a doggie family member.

I love this picture:

But I love this one even more!

Dogs can love children deeply, and apparently this dog does. And dogs also love quilts!

Lucy chose these colors: grey and blue. And after much discussion. with me, she chose the lavender “chimney” (Kona “thistle”), which works really well in this soft, traditional quilt and which is there to remind her of her mother’s once-favorite color: purple. I really like this quilt—so much so that I’ll make another one in light and dark greys with a black chimney in the very near future. What’s been fun has been working with colors I would not have chosen on my own—the blue and grey. I don’t ordinarily like working with someone else’s colors, but this quilt has been a joy to make from start to finish.

Lucy and Colby are now in their first purchased home, and they are in the midst of making it their own, with home projects which include lots of painting of rooms. They will now choose the paint color for their bedroom.

I used the Creative Grid 12-inch log cabin ruler, and I really love how easy that ruler made this quilt block. I quilted with a light grey thread—and you can see the architectural backing in pictures below. As the quilt is 96 inches square, I used a 108-wide backing and a dark navy print for the binding. The pantograph is one I’ve used many, many times: Anne Bright’s “Simple Feathers.” I also purchased a Dream Cotton king batting rather than having to piece a batting for a quilt this size.

Here’s the backing—the quilt is mirror-image square, so the backing can go on the bed in any direction.

There are sheep, birds, stars/moons, villages, words, flowers, trees, leaves, paperclips, and all sorts of happy, whimsical organic prints in this quilt. The sheep are there to remember Lucy’s Uncle John, now deceased.

“Peaceful” is plenty big enough for their bed:

And look at that grey pillowcase with it!

It was a pleasure to make this quilt for Lucy and Colby and their family. Now I know that something special I have made will bless their lives together and their family.

On to the next!

Written by louisaenright

May 13, 2021 at 10:32 am

This Bag Project Caught My Eye

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Turkey Tracks: May 8, 2021

This Bag Project Caught My Eye

Aurifil’s blog, Auribuzz.com, posts a “Five For Friday” posting each week. This week this post features bags.

Wendy Chow’s (A Weekend Quilter) little gift/treat bag caught my eye—and her complete tutorial for it is on the blog post.

https://www.lovecrafts.com/en-gb/c/article/quilted-treat-bags

And here is the whole Auribuzz post if you want to see the other featured bags.

https://auribuzz.com/2021/05/07/five-for-friday-bag-tutorials/

Written by louisaenright

May 8, 2021 at 7:47 am