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“My `On Point’” Quilt Top is Done

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Turkey Tracks: August 24, 2020

“My `On Point’” Quilt Top is Done

Messy photo, as there are two other projects on my design wall, but this last project from season 2 of The Color Collective is done. Denyse Schmidt, as a guest designer for a 7th month, designed this big, graphic block (20 inches) and curated the color palette.

At 60 by 60, it is a good lap quilt. This block is tricky to make. I found that the seams around the grey center needed to be VERY scant, for instance, to get the 20 1/2 inch trim right. I’m wondering if that grey square should be cut just a bit bigger??? Precision is everything on this big, graphic block. There are two colorways for the block. I emphasized the warm block. If one emphasized the cooler blue block, the quilt would have the blues as intersecting lines in the middle.

I’ll quilt this one on the longarm with something curvy and likely a dark grey thread, but who knows… And I need to organize a backing. I don’t have something in my stash that will work. The binding will be the dark brown as I did order more of it to get the 9 blocks. Thank heavens I ran out of fabric…or I’d be making at least one more row.

I would still like to make ME a “Stacks” as I gave the one I made as a wedding present. I think “Stacks” and “On Point” will appeal some day to my two grandsons as they are more masculine in nature. But who knows. I love them both myself.

Summer is winding down now up here in Maine. Temps are dropping into the 50s at night, which makes for great sleeping. The days are warm enough for shorts and so clear. And we did get some rain this past week, but not nearly enough. The growing season this summer for vegetables has been very, very slow. For instance, the glut of tomatoes has not yet arrived, even if the plants are inside hoop houses.

It is way past time to clean up the garden. The deadheading chore is badly needed to be executed. This summer just flew by…

Written by louisaenright

August 24, 2020 at 9:10 am

“My `Bedrock’” Quilt is Done and Hung

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Turkey Tracks: August 13, 2020

“My `Bedrock’” Quilt is Done and Hung

I love this quilt!

The method comes from Tara Faughnan and is part of this past season’s (2) The Color Collective online class hosted by Amy Newbold of Sewtopia. Tara also selects the color palette and teaches the method in a video. She called her own quilt “Bedrock,” so this quilt below, which is my improv version of the block method, is “My `Bedrock.’ “ I think I did a good job of balancing color and taking the eye around the quilt.

It is quite safe to say I never would have made this quilt without this class. My improv skills are growing, as is my confidence with improv.

I am using up stash pieces big enough for backings. I’ve always liked this one.

I hung this quilt outside my quilt room. It does hang straight; the camera distorts a bit. I think the matchstick quilting in a very soft cream with darker overtones came out really well. It does not distract from the quilt itself at all.

My quilt room is at my back in this picture. The door to the right goes to a bedroom/office where (LOL) I’ve taken over the closet for quilting “stuff.” I also have a sewing table and my serger in this bedroom.

Here’s the cotton 12-weight thread I ordered from Sulky for under $2 each. I had the pale blue on hand. And I filled more color needs from my size 8 perle cotton stash. I want to keep the thread color to the blocks of color in this “Give and Take” quilt top.

I’ve started THE LAST project from season 2, so pics to follow soon. It’s a BIG and GRAPHIC BLOCK (20 inches finished), designed by Denyse Schmidt as guest for a month 7 project. Tara curated the color palette.

It is now Queen Anne’s Lace and Rudbeckia time of this summer. Both are so hardy and cheerful.

Written by louisaenright

August 13, 2020 at 1:18 pm

Rainbows and “`My Give and Take’ ” Quilt Top

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Turkey Tracks: August 5, 2020

Rainbows and “My `Give and Take’ “ Quilt Top

The ”I” tropical storm—who thought up THIS name anyway—more or less missed us here on Mid-Coast Maine. We got some rain and some wind last night, but that’s it. This one headed inland north to the Montreal area, though I am hearing that southern Maine had more trouble with it. We’ll take whatever rain we can get here on the coast. And, thankfully, the storm created some COOL weather, for a bit of time, anyway.

Last week, friend Marsha Smith sent me this pic of a double rainbow, taken from her porch, which is on a hill that looks out over the town and the harbor. Wow.

So, here is my finished quilt top “My `Give and Take’ “—which is the 6th project from season 2 of The Color Collective. Tara Faughnan designed this improv quilt method and curated the analogous color palette to start us off.

I’m thinking hand quilting with 12-weight cotton thread in green shades that are in the quilt. Tara used a grid on her bigger quilt, and I think that works to NOT take away anything from the quilt top itself. It just needs something really plain. I’ll use that dark turquoise on the upper left to bind. I had to cut that binding straight grain rather than on the bias, but this quilt will be a wall hanging and is not large at all so a straight binding will be ok. (I think bias binding is easier to manage and wears better over time.) It finishes at 28 by 47. I planned that size to fit where I’d like to hang it.

Here’s where Tara went with this method:

How fun! I really enjoyed this one, but I’ve enjoyed all the projects from both seasons and will sign up again for season 3 this October.

To see more of Tara’s quilts, go to tarafaughnan.com. It’s worth the visit. And her ongoing work is on Instagram. She’s a good teacher, for sure.

Now, on to the LAST project, which looks…complicated. I’m sure more “stretching” of my abilities will be involved. Denyse Schmidt designed the block for project 7, but Tara chose the fabric palette and made a video showing how best to make the blocks.

Written by louisaenright

August 5, 2020 at 9:45 am

Gardens and Grid Sewing Quilt Tops

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Turkey Tracks: July 30, 2020

Gardens and Grid Sewing Quilt Tops

Friend Roxanne Wells sent this picture of her garden this week—with the day-lilies and phlox adding to the color.


Here’s my kitchen window today.

I finished sewing a grid on the little circle quilt with the domestic.

And now I’ve almost finished sewing matchstick gridding on to “My Bedrock.” Sewed late last night, actually. Will finish this one tonight, “god willing and the creek don’t rise.”

I’ll trim both of these smaller quilts at the same time. The binding fabric for “Little Circles” is in the mail, and I have the binding cut for “My Bedrock.” I have to organize a hanging sleeve and label for it. Then I’ll have some night-time hand sewing instead of the pesky EPP project that will probably take the rest of my natural life—or so it often feels like that to me.

It’s all good.

Written by louisaenright

July 30, 2020 at 9:09 am

I Love the Simple Folded Corner Ruler!

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Turkey Tracks: July 29, 2020

I Love the Simple Folded Corner Ruler!

I got this ruler when Bonnie Hunter recommended it during one of the annual mystery quilts I did with her. (They start the Friday after Thanksgiving, and all info is on her blog, Quiltville.com, including I’m sure more info on this ruler.) This ruler has now replaced SEVERAL other rulers I had been using a lot. Buying info is on the ruler picture below, but http://www.antlerquiltdesign.com will get you there too.

Let’s talk about flying geese blocks to show how this ruler works—and specifically a goose block which will measure 3 by 6 finished. First cut 3 1/2 inch strips. This ruler can “sliver trim” the end of the strip. And it can sliver trim other blocks to size as well.

To prepare the goose body, cut 6 1/2 inch pieces of fabric. I layer these and cut multiple pieces at once. If you fold your strips in half, lengthwise, the bottom piece will face printed side down and the top piece printed side up. You can clearly see the orientation lines at the top and bottom of the ruler.

Next, trim off one side of the goose body—where the half-square triangles will fit. These cut triangles are smaller and mine get thrown into a pile to be used for another project—maybe a quilt of half-square triangles where one side is a neutral??? See how the orientation lines fit on to the strip at exactly the 3 1/2 inch mark—along the edge to be cut and on the left side of the ruler to keep the cut perfectly straight. At this cut, you are cutting for the right angle for the join with the half-square triangle you want for your goose block.

Next, cut the other side of the goose body strip. Here, the orientation is along the cut side. This is one place on the the ruler you might want to use to sliver cut one side of either a half-square triangle OR a sewn block that you have folded in half to trim.

Here’s how you cut the side units that will join to the goose body—from your 3 1/2 inch strips. Again, if you fold your strip in half lengthwise and cut two or four pieces (or more) at once, they will be perfectly set up to piece to the goose body. (The bottom piece will face right side down.) Of course you would sliver trim the left edge first.

For the next cut, you will again use the diagonal marks to orient the ruler. And you will repeat these two cuts across the strip until you have the number of corners you want. You can use this corner of the ruler to sliver cut two sides of a half-square triangle OR a sewn block folded in half.

All the pieces will fit together perfectly when you sew them.

This project is a leader/ender project for me. And it’s growing pretty fast.

I’m using some of the pre-cut 3 1/2 inch strips in my Bonnie Hunter scrap user system AND cutting more colors as needed. This one is a great stash buster for sure. It will probably wind up being at least 10 rows wide and 20 rows long. At least…

Written by louisaenright

July 29, 2020 at 12:04 pm

“Bedrock” Quilt Top Finished

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Turkey Tracks: July 23, 2020

“Bedrock” Quilt Top Finished

Well! That was fun!

Here is the 5th project of 7 from this year’s online class The Color Collective sponsored by Amy Newbold’s Sewtopia. Tara Faughnan is the designer and curator of each month’s fabrics.

I wanted a wall hanging, so my version is 31 by 45 inches.

I LOVED this project. And I was so pleased that my blocks and sections went together without a hitch. There is math involved here. And a lot of thinking about balancing color. But the improve “rock” block is really fun to make.

I am not sure how I’ll quilt it, but likely the matchstick lines on my domestic machine. I liked how that looked on an earlier project, “Gumdrop.” I am not sure about thread color though. Possibly my “go to” light grey. Possibly a neutral cream? I will use a “skinny” 50-weight as I don’t want the lines to take over the quilt.

Here is the fabric palette for project 6, “Give and Take,” which I’ll start next. It would be impossible to make an ugly quilt with these gorgeous analogous colors.

Look what’s in my kitchen window today.

I picked them yesterday before last night’s rain.

The day-lilies continue to brighten the whole yard. The Pee Gee hydrangea bush/tree is loaded with blooms this year. The hostas are blooming with their tall lavender spikes. The little perky flower on the right in the little jar is tickseed. Bee Balm is the magenta on the right of the big arrangement. And, of course there is a lot more in there: Queen Anne’s Lace, a rose-colored yarrow, the dusty pink bloom of a creeping succulent that has a life of its own here, AND one hot orange cone flower that is making one part of the garden glow with color.

We have dense, dense fog this morning, but it was so cool and lovely last night. Great sleeping weather!

Sugaridoo QAL: Part 9

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Turkey Tracks: July 18, 2020

Sugaridoo QAL: Part 9

My solid row looks just like it should, so I didn’t take a picture of my own developing solid rainbow quilt. The deep rose color of this block/row is so luscious. And I love the big X block we made—with it’s secondary bloc that forms such a nice pattern between the big X’s.

This picture is the mock-up that Sugaridoo’s Irene gives us each month—with each new row added. I am enjoying the very graphic nature of this quilt. And, there are so many cool methods in this Quilt Along; so many terrific blocks. The blank rows are the remaining three left to do.

I am also making the quilt in my Cotton+Steel/Ruby Star Society fabrics—which I’d like to whittle down a bit. It’s been fun trying to come close to the rainbow colors of the solids Sugaridoo chose.

Somehow I didn’t get the line of the butterflies centered just right on the accent block. Even though I wasn’t happy with it, I sewed the strip together. The next morning I took it apart and redid the long butterfly piece. Now I’m happy. It was an easy fix when I wasn’t tired, and I learned how to handle this problem with the freezer paper method along the way.

I’m pretty sure the Cotton+Steel/Ruby Star Society fabrics are breeding in their bins. They don’t seem to be going down with use. Of course, I keep adding to them!!!

The green row above the big Delta row—Mowed Lawn—is an improv method that lends itself to all kinds of uses. I’ve loved the many blocks with tree trunks cut into them that one sees around and about today. One of them is Bright Birch Trees by Crazy Mom Quilts. Beth Guntner Jones posted a picture on the Sugaridoo FB page and others identified the Bright Birch Trees pattern.

Oh boy, I found myself making some stripped fabrics from the off-cuts on a table I keep near my sewing machine, cutting them into one-inch slices, and digging into my solid stash for some bright colors.

Now I can’t stop making them, so I have TWO leader/ender projects going on. My “trees” are on smaller blocks than I think Crazy Mom’s pattern uses. I cut at 8 1/2 inch and trimmed to 8 inches, which will finish at 7 1/2 inches. I tried this method once before but got frustrated. After the Sugaridoo improv row, Mowed Lawn, it was easy.

BUT, one hint: when you cut your solid block, number your slices from left to right on the RIGHT SIDE of your fabric. Otherwise, it’s just way too easy to get the pieces mixed up.

Now I want to vary the trunk widths a bit…

And I’ve started “Bedrock” from The Color Collective, designed by Tara Faughnan. Pics likely to follow in a few days.

After the Rain

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Turkey Tracks: July 12, 2020

After the Rain

Last night and yesterday morning we got a good rain from the remnants of tropical storm Fay. Around noon, the skies cleared and the sun came out. Earlier, I had roasted some Hope’s Edge CSA beets in the oven and was making a salad with them, so I went out to the garden to get some fresh herbs: tarragon, mint, and lemon thyme came inside for the salad—along with these flowers as you can’t turn me loose in the garden with a pair of kitchen shears and downed flowers offering themselves up. It was painful to see the downed delphiniums.

Before I knew it, my kitchen window was so pretty.

The beaded humming bird was a gift from a grandchild a few years ago. And I can’t use vinegar in a salad, so I use the herbs to give my roasted beet salad some interest. The mint was especially nice in the beet salad, which turned out to be delicious. I used olive oil, salt, some Penzey’s Sunny Paris (to which I am addicted), diced roasted beets, chopped spring onions, chopped Vidalia sweet onions, some drops of Young Living Essential lemon oil, and the herbs. You could add vinegar—a fruity one would be nice. Or balsemic. And maybe a tiny, tiny bit of Dijon mustard?

I finished getting the “little circles” quilt top together later in the afternoon. It is so sweet. And now it is OFF the design wall as it is time to make this month’s Sugaridoo QAL row. Then on to The Color Collective project “Bedrock.”

I was intrigued with these double prong pins to be used to keep seams together and each “flap” in place so ordered some. They worked REALLY well. When I get close to a pin, I sew up to them in slow motion—sometimes sewing over the prongs REALLY slowly, sometimes removing them as I get to the first prong—depending on where my sewing machine needle is going to land. I got them from Connecting Threads I think. (The one pictured below is inserted a little too crooked; they need to be straighter.)


Written by louisaenright

July 12, 2020 at 10:52 am

Bits and Pieces: July 9, 2020

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Turkey Tracks: July 9, 2020

Bits and Pieces: July 9, 2020

Here’s what’s happening on my design wall at the moment. These circles are from the backs of the big circles we learned how to do in The Color Collective (Tara Faughnan, Sewtopia) season 1. When you trim out the back of the big circle after you have sewn down the circles on the front, you have these little circles left over. I couldn’t throw them out. Some time over the past two years I bought the light grey solid and cut it into squares on which I planned to mount the little circles. When I started sewing, though, I had more circles than I thought and I ran out of the light grey, so I just added in a darker grey from my stash.

My goodness these are cute! I was planning to use these circles in an improv quilt, but they really just wanted to stay by themselves. I made myself throw out the little grey circles from the backs of these circles. Time to STOP.

The 6 by 3-inch flying geese are a “leader/ender” project. Bonnie Hunter pioneered this method to keep running sewing projects through your machine rather than breaking thread. She suggests a new leader/ender project each year in July and has just revealed this year’s choice. Basically, you are making two quilts at the same time. That info for this year’s project is on her blog at quiltville.com.

I’ve cut a lot more fabric combinations, so these present colors will spread out. I’m thinking at least 10 rows wide. For play, I often stop and make some of these geese blocks. Who was it who said “no more new projects until the to-do projects are done”?

The shell peas are ready to pick now. I picked these at Hope’s Edge on Tuesday, came home, and put some raw on my lunch salad. They are delicious! The rest I added into a lamb/rice stew when it came out of the oven. I just recovered the pot and let the peas cook in the heat of the hot stew. BTW, the lamb also came from Hope’s Edge last fall.

On the way to pick up my weekly raw milk order, I passed a mommy duck walked her babies…somewhere. I tried for a longer video, but a biker came by me and ruined that one. Aren’t they adorable?

I’ve been in the garden for DAYS, and order has been restored out there. For the most part. There are always small jobs that have to be done. I am so grateful to Duane and Leslie Smith and their crew for helping me.

We are having cool weather, mixed with overcast, rainy, and sunny days. The temps fall at night into the 60s, so the sleeping has been lovely. The drought has broken, and everything is looking green and lush again.

Summer doesn’t really come to Maine with predictable hot weather until after July 4th. This year is no exception. Our summers are short and sweet and so filled with wonderful food and beautiful flowers.

Sugaridoo QAL

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Turkey Tracks: June 30, 2020

Sugaridoo QAL

I’m up to date with the Sugaridoo QAL and have joined many of the rows. Eight of 12 are done now, and each row to come will combine with at least one other row.

I am making TWO versions: one in Sugaridoo’s rainbow solids and one in Cotton+Steel/Ruby Star Society print fabrics because I want to USE what I have amassed now.

I am enjoying this project and though I have quilted for more than 20 years now, I have learned A LOT of new methods and have enjoyed the growing collection of new blocks I can use in other projects.

Written by louisaenright

June 30, 2020 at 9:14 am