Louisa Enright's Blog

Mainely Tipping Points

Archive for the ‘Turkey Tracks: Our Life in Maine’ Category

Turkey Tracks: The Mt. Battie Modern Traveling Quilts in November

leave a comment »

November 21, 2017

The Mt. Battie Modern Traveling Quilts in November

We had POURING cold rain the night of our meeting last Thursday.  Some of those from away elected, wisely, to stay home.

For those who made it to the meeting, these traveling quilts continue to excite us!

On the right  is Vicki Fletcher’s addition to Lynn Vermeulen’s quilt.  The pinks and blues are playing nicely with existing bright colors.  And this addition is opening up room for the quilt to grow, as four or five members have yet to work on it.  Vicki stretched herself by making these curved blocks as she tried making blocks she had never made.

Tori Manzi made a Timna Tarr map of Linda Satkowski’s neighborhood.  (We attended Timna Tarr’s map  workshop at our last Coastal Quilters’ meeting.  See Timna’s map quilts in the gallery at timnatarr.com)

Here’s how the map fits into this quilt.

Here’s G. Bruns’ quilt.  This quilt is in pieces, so we spent some time trying to see where we might begin to connect the blocks.  Linda Satkowski connected the top right pieces by adding the red trees between them.  And she added the hexie flower and the bright green/blue blocks.  I have this quilt now, so who knows what will happen to it next.  My mind is turning over ideas as I work on other projects right now.

I did not get a good picture of Vicki’s quilt.  It’s getting large now.  Lynn Vermeulen added the stars over the forest and cabin

Aren’t these great stars!!!

Becca Babb-Brott added the “never stop looking up” to Nancy Wright’s “star” quilt.  And, the selvage star on the right.  Joann more added the “made fabric” star in blues–a la Victoria Findlay Wolfe.  I hope some of you have iPads and will look at these stars close up.  I promise to get close ups next go round.  This quilt is certain to get more celestial blocks.

My quilt arrived at the Mt. Battie Sit and Sew the next day.  It was so fun to see it as I have not seen it for some time now.  Nancy Wright added the big moon, and G. Bruns added the big feather.

Love this feather and the way the Carolyn Friedlander background fabric works.  And the teacups that Margaret Elaine Jinno made for me–one each for my sons and daughter-in-laws.

Nancy used a collection of fabrics she had to make this moon–Blue Park designed by Karen Lewis Textiles.  I love the curved pieces in this circle.

JoAnn Moore made this star for someone’s quilt–and I have lost track of whose.  It will be put in the right box, and I’ll point it out next time we see the quilts.

JoAnn Moore worked on Margaret Elaine’s “village” quilt.  We placed some of the buildings around Vicki’s square for fun.  JoAnn finished the school’s and flagpole at the Sit and Sew on Friday.  You can see them below.

So, we are having fun.  And now we all have projects to work on for the next two months.  We will see the quilts again in January.

Written by louisaenright

November 21, 2017 at 11:30 am

Turkey Tracks: Scratching a Log Cabin Itch

with one comment

November 2017

Scratching a Log Cabin Itch

This one began as a 10-inch (finished) leader/ender project, using 1 1/2-inch brights and neutrals from that strip bin.

Then, suddenly I had 16 of them.

I really wanted to see LOTS of the neutrals together, so the quilt got bigger in order to see this pattern in a symetrical way that pleases me.  It’s now 60 by 60.  So I did have to make more blocks as a dedicated quilt, not as a leader/ender.  And that was fun.  I only had to cut a few black/white neutrals to add to what I had in this strip bin.

It’s on the longarm now, and I’ll likely finish it today.

It is a joy to work on a quilt that is squared up properly–and that is what happens when one is anal about making sure every strip sewn on to a block is “true.”  If not, fix it at that spot.  It’s really easy to get “off” with log cabin blocks.  I keep a square ruler on my ironing board and measure as I iron each strip.  That practice saves me time in the long-run and a lot of anxiety as I quilt the quilt on the longarm, which is so not forgiving of our-of-true quilts.

More pics to follow when I finish it.

Written by louisaenright

November 20, 2017 at 2:42 pm

Turkey Tracks: Drying Mint

leave a comment »

November 20, 2017

Drying Mint

I’ve had my Reynolds, Georgia, grandmother’s mint in my garden for nearly 50 years now–through moves to three different houses.

I almost lost it a few years back here in Maine, but put it in three different places in my garden and when it began to come back, gifted it to a neighbor for extra safe keeping.  It is now close to running amok, as mint will do.  But I love to walk by it and pinch off a piece and crush it in my hands.  In places I ruthlessly mow it down and enjoy the heavenly mint smell wafting across the yard.

I particularly like throwing some leaves into a stir fry.  It just adds a very interesting layer of flavor.

So, this year I’ve tried drying it, stripping off the dried leaves, and stuffing them into glass jars.

High end mint teas are nothing more than dried mint leaves and sell for $6 or so a box of 20 packets!!!!

The mint I’ve dried is working find in stir fries–not like the fresh, but an interesting taste layer nevertheless.

To dry, just cut some stems and stick them into a kitchen glass for a few days.

I use parchment paper to capture the leaves as I strip them from the stalks with my fingers.

The jars are freebies after I’ve eaten the raw cream they contained.

And, voila!

Winter pleasures

(I also blogged here about preserving mint and basil in olive oil in the refrigerator–and have to dig out some of those leaves next stir fry to experiment.)

Written by louisaenright

November 20, 2017 at 2:23 pm

Turkey Tracks: Change of Fabrics for Bonnie Hunter Mystery

with one comment

November 17, 2017

Change of Fabrics for Bonnie Hunter Mystery

As I posted earlier, I started with these fabrics—which replicate Bonnie Hunter’s color scheme.

They’re pretty.  No doubt.  (The deep dark is a midnight teal.)

 

But,, but—I have been thinking all winter that I want to work with lots of low-volume fabrics this winter.  And I have several projects picked out to start.  And I’ve been clearing the decks to get to them.

I had not intended to make this year’s mystery when it starts, but to print out the pattern for sure.  Bonnie’s mystery patterns are the best.   But a friend asked me to accompany her on this year’s mystery journey.  And several more have joined us.  This friend was over the other day with fabrics to audition.  Along the way, she looked at me and said, “You know, I really want to work with neutrals and not these colors we’ve picked out.”

Oh my!

”Me too,” I said, and I’m going to pull out a different combo from my stash and see what it looks like.”

”Let’s do it RIGHT NOW,” said my friend.  And off we went.

Here’s what we pulled:

 

Now I’m happy!

And, yes, these are colors I used in “Butterscotch Fall,” so clearly I have not scratched this itch enough yet.  I can’t wait to see how these colors come together.

Written by louisaenright

November 17, 2017 at 6:16 pm

Turkey Tracks: Washing with Water

leave a comment »

November 15, 2017

Washing With Water

Now.  Don’t laugh.

I’ve been washing clothes with water and a magnet system for the past two months.

My clothes are as clean as if I had doused them with a detergent.

I still have to spot treat stains, but I had to do that before using the magnets.  And sometimes I have added some tea tree oil to the washer or dryer if I thought there were mold/mildew issues that needed to be addressed or I just wanted to add a clean, fresh scent.  Adding any of your favorite essential oils would give laundry their smell.

And, no, my clothes don’t smell like whatever they got into before I washed them without the essential oil addition.

I am on a well, so I don’t have the added ingredients that city folks have, like chlorines and fluorides.  Those chlorine chemicals also clean.

I have to tell you, I like what is happening a lot.  I am so less itchy these days.

 

++++

 

I don’t know that I’m ready to outright recommend this system to you.

I’m still experimenting.

For instance, I wanted to make sure that the clothes being washed weren’t holding a lot of residual soap–and that’s going to take some time–especially since I just switched out summer t-shirts for warmer winter ones.

But I can say that it is pretty clear to me that the recommended amounts of soap I had been using is excessive, to say the least.

You know, I can remember back when I was a kid, and every other ad on the tv was for some kind of cleaning product, but laundry detergents were there a lot.  I think we got kind of indoctrinated that we needed all these chemicals.

I stopped soaping off in my showers years ago, and, again, my skin is so much better because of using less soap.  I do use soap when I’ve gotten into something really greasy or dirty, but mostly, the warm water is good enough.  Best of all, I’m preserving the natural colonies of critters (good “germs”) that are are first line of defense on the skin that is the largest organ we have.  I don’t smell.  I am not dirty.

Water, I’ve learned, is actually pretty naturally corrosive in and of itself.  You might need a bit of soap for a grease stain, but not for just cleansing and refreshing fabric that is not greasy.

And history shows pretty clearly that terrible diseases got eradicated by cleanliness and quarantines.  Changes in hygiene practices made all the difference.  And hygiene maybe does not need so much soap.  We have germ phobias that have been carefully developed by advertising.  Some critters are good guys.

 

+ + ++

 

Soap works by making water slippery, which works to pull dirt and grime out of fabrics.

Powerful magnets can apparently change the surface tension of the water in the same way–or so the claim goes.

I bought two of these really strong magnets, and they live in my washing machine.

 

The company is Water Liberty, and you can check out their videos and claims at waterliberty.com.

I am now considering getting their Nano towels and their highly concentrated enzyme cleaner for stains.  I’ve been using enzymes in my hot tub for years now.  They eat organic matter, and they work really well.

 

Written by louisaenright

November 15, 2017 at 11:39 am

Turkey Tracks: My Milli is FINISHED: “Butterscotch Fall”

with 2 comments

Turkey Tracks:  November 15, 2017

My Milli is FINISHED:  “Butterscotch Fall”

I love this quilt.

I love everything about it.

I have loved every minute spent making it.

This quilt stretched me.  It let me go off into all sorts of new quilty directions.

Here is “Butterscotch Fall.”

One year ago, in early fall, I got inspired for the milli fabric by a range of fall fabrics I saw in local quilting stores–and that inspiration set me off.  I had been trying to come up with focus fabrics for this quilt project over the summer.  As I worked on the quilt, the butterscotch color kept coming on stronger and stronger–some times lighter, sometimes as dark as honey.  When the top was finished and I was hunting for backing, I knew when I saw this 108-inch wide Carolyn Friedlander cross-hatch fabric , called Butterscotch, that I had both my quilt’s backing and its name.  (This fabric is from Friedlander’s Architextural line.)

I wanted this quilt to have an organic feel of fall:  colorful leaves, trees going bare, bees, hives, the idea of harvesting fall honey, blue water under a vibrant autumn blue sky, vivid green moss, the ghosts of Halloween, the grey and blacks of the darkening days and longer nights, and so on.

I was paralyzed about how to quilt the top when I remembered that Jo Diggs once told Coastal Quilters members that you can’t go wrong with using a Bishop’s Fan pattern to quilt.  I liked the idea of this old-fashioned pattern on this modern quilt, which in turn used ancient millefiori rosettes as its design.  And I have the Bishop’s Fan groovy boards for the long arm.  (If you don’t know Jo Diggs, take a minute and look at her web site gallery.)

You will see a Japanese text fabric used in all its color ways in this quilt.  For instance, it’s in the grey star above and in the star below in gold.  These fabrics were designed by Suzuko Koseki.

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s the first rosette, which began to set the tone for the quilt:

 

I am so proud of this quilt.

It is PERFECT!!!

Thanks you so much Katja Marek!

Turkey Tracks: Hats to Donate for Children

leave a comment »

Turkey Tracks:  November 14, 2017

Hats to Donate for Children

I am always appreciative of and amazed with the number of donated winter hats, mittens, and scarves that our Maine local women make for our community children.

Margaret Elaine Jinno, of Coastal Quilters (Maine), came to our CQ Sit and Sew last Wednesday with this batch of colorful hats she had made for school children–hats requested by someone at the elementary school who wanted some extras to protect the heads of forgetful children:

I liked them all, but I loved this one:

Here they all are:

Go Margaret Elaine!

Written by louisaenright

November 14, 2017 at 1:25 pm