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Turkey Tracks: April is Maine Quilting Shop Hop Month

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Turkey Tracks:  April 20, 2017

April is Maine Quilting Shop Hop Month

For two years now, Mary Bishop and I have spent some pleasant days “shop hopping” Maine quilt shops.

Today we finished what we are going to do for this year, having acquired the ten necessary shops to send in our ticket for the drawing.  (Last year I won a prize.)

Today we went west to Mystic Maine Quilts in Chelsea (on the Kennebec River just south of Augusta) and to Whippersnappers in Hallowell, where we also had a marvelous lunch at Slate’s.

It’s fun to visit quilt shops because each one is totally different from any other, and it is fun to see their projects, their fabric collections, etc., to maybe get something needed/desired on sale, and to visit with owners/staffs for a bit.  We always learn something in the process.

Each shop makes a “Shop Hop” quilt from the same set of fabrics, and it is delightful to see all the creativity in these quilts.  It is hard to choose which one is the best when it comes time to vote.  This year was no exception.

Outside Mystic Maine Quilts, these quilt blocks were new:

I bought a cone of 50-wt. RA thread for piecing in “eggshell” color.  It’s 3000 yards!  Looking forward to trying it out.  The color has some grey in it, so it might be really versatile.  We were also gifted with the pattern for their Shop Hop Quilt, which we both loved.

My 5-inch bin of blocks is overflowing, so I came home with this little book, found at Whippersnappers, where the patterns are for 5-inch blocks.

What a pleasant day!

 

Written by louisaenright

April 20, 2017 at 2:51 pm

Turkey Tracks: Working With My Star Design Block

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Turkey Tracks:  April 20, 2017

Working With My Star Design Block

OK, this block is better.  However, I need to make sure I have absolute contrast in the centers of all four quadrants before the center star will pop out cleanly.

This block finishes at 12 inches, from 6-inch quadrants.

Meanwhile, I figured out how to get two 8″ quadrants on one sheet of paper, got Staples to copy 60 of them, and will make one as soon as my current TWO projects are further underway than they are now.

The 8-inch block will showcase the Cotton+Steel neutrals a bit more I think.  Time will tell…

Written by louisaenright

April 20, 2017 at 2:32 pm

Turkey Tracks: The Millifiore Quilt

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Turkey Tracks:

The Millifiore Quilt

Here’s where I am with the Katja Marek millifiore quilt:

I had worried about the left bottom corner being too blue, but the teal in the upper right is balancing the blue just fine.  I’m working on the center star at the moment.  It’s “funky” too.

This quilt feels really big, but it isn’t really.

The left side and upper border is done now.

I am going to use the EPP pieces to even the borders, but I’m not sure yet how–as in with what fabric I’ll use.

And I will not add a border to this quilt.

What a fun project!

Written by louisaenright

April 18, 2017 at 12:18 pm

Turkey Tracks: My Improv Paper Piecing Designs

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Turkey Tracks:  April 13, 2017

My Improv Paper Piecing Designs

I can’t quite believe it, but I designed some quilt blocks–thanks to Amy Friend, author of IMPROV PAPER PIECING.  AND, it seems two quilts.

(See the post before this one.)

I drew and colored on EQ7–which is both fun and frustrating as I have a LONG way to go before getting some proficiency with this program.

Here’s one design–which I learned to “export” to my photos, but from which I forgot to remove the blank border feature.

Oh well…

“Dawn Winter Trees”

There are TWO blocks here, because if I set them without a sashing strip, the tree trunks would make one long line down the quilt.  So the second block’s trunks are off-set from the first.  And the stained glass background has all mixed up color–no set pattern there.

I have shot cottons for the pieces–all in soft “dawn” colors.

The first block I made is beautiful.

AFTER the workshop, I started thinking about a more modern setting.

I like both settings.  Which one will I make?  I will play around with the stained glass blocks before deciding.   But I am drawn to this second quilt.

It will be a wall hanging.

I can also see hand quilting with pearl cotton in curving lines across the horizontal–but NOT across the lavender trees.

I drew this star point block in the drawing part of our workshop.  When I got home, I drew it on EQ7 and learned how to rotate it to make all four pieces of the big FUNKY star.

I always saw it with a solid charcoal background and the low-volume Cotton+Steel fabrics.  I love the big dark whirl-a-gig that has formed.  And the partial diamonds of its fans.  And the suggestion of an octagon come undone around each star.  I love it so much I think I will keep the traditional grid setting.  It’s something like 60 by 72–so a nice lap size.  There will be no borders–and probably just a charcoal binding.  I’ll decide that later.  I don’t want anything to distract from how the quilt is just as it is now.

Here’s my block done at 6 inches–to make a 12-inch block.  I can see right away that the center whirling star needs to be more defined.  Imagine it in one of the darker low volumes.

AND, I’m now wondering about making it at 8 inches…  It would be bigger, more dramatic, and could show off more of the low-volume fabrics.

Big blocks have never drawn me much, but I seem to be changing a little…

There are a lot of cat fabrics in the Cotton+Steel fabrics have.  Hmmmm.  That could be dangerous.  A friend of mine here drew a black dog and one came into her life about a year later.  Cats are a whole different ball of wax from dogs though.  And I do not have a logical space for kitty litter in this house.  And they can scratch furniture…

 

As I said, my brain is spinning…

Written by louisaenright

April 13, 2017 at 3:58 pm

Posted in Quilting

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Turkey Tracks: Amy Friend Workshop

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Turkey Tracks:  April 13, 2017

Amy Friend Workshop

You probably think I have deserted you since I have not posted recently.

But, I have been having Quilty Fun.

Amy Friend was just here for a workshop on Improv Paper Piecing.

Our brains are still spinning.  Mine is, anyway.

Here is Amy’s exciting new book.  She is such a good teacher.

We learned all about how to create our own improv blocks and all of us walked away with fresh design ideas that we are now making into quilts.  Our monthly all-day Sit and Sew at the Camden Lion’s Club was buzzing with Amy Friend projects in process.

First, Amy did a trunk show of quilts from the book–and some extras as well.  She used these quilts to illustrate the ideas in the book AND to show us what makes an improv, modern quilt.

So, I’m going to share those quilts with you.

The quilts are being held up by President Lynn Vermeulen and VP/Program Organizer Becca Babb Brott.  (Remember Becca has an Etsy store, Sew Me A Song, where you can find some really interesting modern fabrics, including the harder-to-find Japanese fabrics by Japanese designers.)

Note the jagged triangles–very modern.  This is an early Amy Friend quilt that is NOT in the book.  Amy used it to talk about destabilizing a traditional block, among other ideas.

I love this one–of course I do.  I’m a scrappy quilter.  These fabrics are all Cotton+Steel.  This one is a great scrap buster.

Funky stars done in a very modern black/white/green combo.

Simple is sometimes best.  That’s Amy on the left.  Here she talked about the use of negative space, an “open” block, and her color combos.

A modern hour glass.

Note that the dark blue does NOT evenly meet up with the light blue.

I LOVE this one:

Stained glass and the use of negative space with interesting quilting.

Architecture…

Modern objects–a road sign repeated.

Love this one too.

Mirror images.

These next quilts are not in the book, but were made along the way as Amy refined/defined what she wanted to share in the book.

My goodness!  I love this quilt.

And this one, seen some time ago now, probably from Amy’s blog, likely sparked my own design for the workshop.  It seemed like stained glass.

This one, “Twinkle,” is in a book named SCRAPS, INC. Vol. 1, compiled by Susanne Woods.  It generated one of my designs from the workshop (a separate blog post on those).  This quilt is probably my all-time Amy Friend favorites.  I think because it is scrappy.  I think I will make it one of these days.

Amy has her FIRST fabric line coming out any minute now.  She has designed “blenders” as she really likes to work with solid fabrics in her quilts.

Amy’s blog is http://www.duringquiettime.com.

So, more on my designs and plans next post.

 

Turkey Tracks: April 2017 Quilty Update

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Turkey Tracks:  April 3, 2017

April 2017 Quilty Update

It snowed all Saturday.

Didn’t amount to much, was beautiful coming down, and provided a quiet sewing day to enjoy.

We all just hunker down on these sorts of days, providing we can.

I don’t feed the turkeys unless we have packed snow on the ground–which we did up to a few days ago.  (Though we have more snow coming in tomorrow, but maybe we will have rain here on the coast.)  The turkeys know I’ll throw out food when it snows, so they begin to assemble early morning, and when I let Penny out, they come running and talking.  They are more vocal now than ever before.   Anyway, I have had a lot of feed bags this winter.  I used to throw these bags away.  The feed bags from the chickens too.  But now everyone is making very nice bags from them–for the grocery store, for recycling, for anything that needs a bag.  I have been giving mine away, but everyone is “full up” now.  So, rather than throw one away, I tried to make a bag.

SUPER easy and very fun.  There are MANY tutorials online.  Here’s a good one:  Source: Feed Bag Tote Bag

I took the bag to the garage where it is storing newspapers to recycle at the dump.

The last of the amaryllis are blooming now.  The white one is from Rose Lowell (La Dolce Vita Farm).  It bloomed before and I put pics up.  Then it sent up a whole new stalk and bloomed three blooms again.  The gift that keeps on giving…

My leader/ender project got sewn into a quilt top.  More on that later as it will be a gift.  I got backing/binding for it today.  So my NEW leader/ender project seems to be a 10 1/2-inch log cabin block made from 1 1/2 inch strips.  I forgot (AGAIN!!!) how demanding log cabin blocks can be and spent most of yesterday resewing blocks.  Each section has to measure right or the whole thing goes awry.

How to set them???

It’s time to do 8 or 9 more Tula Pink blocks.  What a treat!  I’d probably rip through the whole book if I were not so busy with other projects as well.  Pics to follow soon I’m sure.

I spent a lot of time ironing fabric yesterday–getting ready to cut for the “Bits and Pieces” quilt made with Carol Friedlander “Doe” collection fabrics.  I’ve loved this quilt and this fabric for ages and ages.  I first saw it at Alewives Fabric Store in Damariscotta, Maine.

I wash fabrics first because the chemicals and dyes don’t agree with me.  If they didn’t, I probably wouldn’t.

The fat quarters go into making the “bits.”

I found this fabric in Friedlander’s recent collection.  It’s perfect for the neutral strips.  Or so I think.  I like the texture.

 

 

Here’s the whole array.  I’m thinking I’ll have enough for two quilts maybe…

The backing is a white/black Friedlander.  It’s perfect.

So, En Provence is still in pieces and ready to be sewn together.  Millifiori is getting BIG.  More on that later.  And the selvage star quilt is waiting patiently.

 

Turkey Tracks: Quilting: Improv Quilts

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Turkey Tracks:  April 3, 2017

Improv Quilts

I love this book!

This book is a slam dunk for the Mt. Battie Modern Quilt Guild.

We are making “traveling” quilts now.  Each of us started a quilt in some way, then it “travels” to another Mt. Battie member for work.  Quilts change at the monthly meeting.  So I am working on another member’s now, and I’m having so much fun doing so.  Working on these quilts is pure play.

Here’s my own “start.”

Can’t wait to see what happens next to it at the end of April.

Alphabet help came from Mary Lou Weidman and Melanie Bautista McFarland’s OUT OF THE BOX WITH EASY BLOCKS.

I’ll go back in with pearl cotton to give the exclamation point it’s bottom circle, etc., when the quilt is layered and ready to quilt.