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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

Zipper Pouch From A Mini Quilt

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Turkey Tracks: May 7, 2021

Zipper Pouch From A Mini Quilt

How did it get to be Friday already?

It’s another beautiful day, so I’ll spend at least one hour weeding. Of course, when I get outside in the garden, I usually stay longer. It’s always, “just finish this bed,” or something like that. But the birds are singing, AC is delighted we are “working” at something, and the fresh air is so delightful.

Here’s a fun project—which comes via A Quilter’s Table blog.

https://mailchi.mp/aquilterstable/issue-101-more-from-a-quilters-table

Written by louisaenright

May 7, 2021 at 8:09 am

Bits and Pieces, May 6, 2021

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Turkey Tracks: May 6, 2021

Bits and Pieces, May 6, 2021

Well!

Somehow my post I thought I published May 1, didn’t get posted. In part because wordpress now puts all drafts in a separate place, not on my main listing of all my posts.

I can now say that along the way of all my clean-up/clean-out projects I pulled a muscle in my upper back that has been REALLY painful. AND, I used a water bottle for heat, wrapped it in a towel, and it felt so, so good. But it blistered my upper back. Who knew?

Today is the first day I haven’t been in a lot of pain, and that feels really great.

So, I mailed the big log cabin, “Peaceful,” and I’ll post final pics when it arrives at my niece’s home next Monday—hopefully, God Willing and the Creek Don’t Rise.

BUT, I did get “Bokey” quilted on the longarm, and here it is, getting its binding installed:

I was going to quilt with an interesting geometric pantograph, but my longarm wouldn’t hold to the line and kept jumping off in really ugly ways, so I stopped, took out those stitches, went to the front of the machine and quilted freehand, which I actually like to do. This episode is one of the reasons I am trading this machine and getting a new one—which has a hopping foot that will move upwards when it encounters fabric thickness.

But, I really like how my quilting came out, so it’s all good:

You will see why I chose this warm gold colored thread when I show you the quilt with its backing.

Everything is so green and lush outside! The lettuce in my cold frame is ready to be eaten now:

The daffodils have just been beyond glorious this year. And this is the time of year when I vow to plant more, and I chuckle as I always wonder why I ordered more bulbs when fall and planting time rolls around. Down in the meadow, there are hundreds and hundreds of daffodils now. I planted them the first fall—in 2004–so it’s been 17 years as of June.

The raspberries I planted last spring are THRIVING. They have sent up shoots all over the place. And I’m spending time today getting the weeds out of the strawberries—to the left of the raspberries. They just run loose in that space, and last year I filled two gallon bags for the freezer.

And I’ve mowed twice.

I need to do massive weeding—but the black flies are in full force at the moment. So, I wait for a breeze rather than slavering myself with something natural (peppermint essential oil, for one thing) that will repel them.

Written by louisaenright

May 6, 2021 at 1:24 pm

Ideas For Quilting Stitches

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Interesting Information: April 18, 2021

Ideas for Quilting Stitches

Cassandra Beaver of The (not so) Dramatic Life! blog is featured in this Aurifil blog post. Her subject is creating texture and drama in your quilt projects with your thread choices. Her blog link is below, along with the Aurifil blog article.

notsodramaticlife.com

https://auribuzz.com/2021/04/09/thread-matters-2021-creating-definition-in-quilting-stitches/

Written by louisaenright

April 18, 2021 at 8:35 am

“Bright Birches” Quilt

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Turkey Tracks: April 12, 2021

“Bright Birches” Quilt

This very-fun-to-make quilt was inspired by a larger block made by Amanda Jean Nyberg (Crazy Mom Quilts) “Trees” block. My blocks finish at 7 1/2 inches. (There is an earlier blog post here on how I made this block: https://louisaenright.com/?s=How+to+make+a+tree+block. )

The backing is “Art Theory Overall Day” by Allison Glass for Andover. It comes in “night” and “charcoal” as well.

I quilted with Signature 40-weight, “Rose,” with the “Check and Chase” pantograph by Lorien Quilting. Using a darker warm thread and the burgundy border “knocked back” the neon brightness of this quilt, and I am liking the finished product.

Here’s a nice close-up picture.