Louisa Enright's Blog

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Turkey Tracks: Summer Sewing

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Turkey Tracks:  July 10, 2017

Summer Sewing

Hmmmm…

This kind of thing happens when I lose my sewing focus and spend hours outside.

I start to sew but find myself reorganizing sewing supplies and fabrics.

Yes, I really use all these colors…

They are the result of 20+ years of quilting.

Done–the spools were a snarly mess.

I spent one summer totally redoing my stash–cutting up lots of it into Bonnie Hunter’s stash system of strips and cut squares and rectangles.  I have not looked back from that effort.

And I spent another summer making 4-patch squares in an effort to empty the 2-inch square bin which was overflowing.  I finished with 1,600!!! 4-patches and still have some left after making FIVE quilts to use them up.

What will this summer bring?  Am I finished after organizing the thread spools?  Can I get back to actually sewing something now?

I did finish Big Star Quilt.  Pics to come.

 

Written by louisaenright

July 10, 2017 at 3:55 pm

Turkey Tracks: It’s Summer: Bryan, Corinne, and the Girls Visit

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Turkey Tracks:  July 10, 2017

It’s Summer!

Bryan, Corinne, and the Girls Visit

Hello everyone!

I have not posted in a while, but…IT’S SUMMER.

And I have been enjoying it!

Summer brings many happy hours outside in my garden.  It’s always hard for me to shift gears from mostly sewing to mostly gardening, but that shift has now happened.

Summer brings my family to Maine–in two batches this year.

Son Bryan, DIL Corinne, and their three little girls have just come and gone.

I picked them up in Portland, and we always stop by LLBean on the way home.  It is now mid-afternoon, and these folks started out around 4 a.m. to get here.  This LLBean is the home store of the chain.  If you don’t know, LLBean made its reputation with this boot.  When I was growing up, to have a pair of LLBean boots was really special.  LLBean would resole them upon request, and these boots wore and wore and wore and wore.  As a girl, it didn’t occur to anyone to get me a pair!!!  Can I say that I bought myself a pair when we first moved to Maine thirteen years ago now.  And I love them.

The girls are 6, 4, and 2.  The six year old will be SEVEN in November, which is hard to believe.

I love this series of photos–of a very good daddy with a tired 2-year old in LLBean:

This little one had very clear ideas of what kind of rain boots she might like.  She took them from the display wall and tried them on.

Breakfast at Boynton McKay in Camden is a “must do.”  They make the best pancakes and serve real maple syrup with them.

Pictures on the harbor green are also a “must do.”  Here’s where the July 4th music, picnics, and fireworks take place.

You have to be quick to get the picture:

Here’s one of the bouquets the two older girls put together from my garden.  They are both getting interested in “gardening” and liked picking the strawberries and raspberries in my garden.

I’ve picked a quart of raspberries on each of the last three days, and there are many more to come as the bushes are loaded this year.  I have no idea WHY.

We had a great visit.  I was remiss in not taking more pictures as interesting outings occurred every day.  But…I get in the moment and forget to take pictures.  These girls live near one of the wide sandy southern beaches, so our rocky Maine beaches fascinated them as they discovered so many critters than were new to them.

The oldest won her “Maine Water Wings” for getting in our cold bay water!!  She now has bragging rights with her cousins–who are coming later this month.  She also went home a “wounded warrior” from a downhill fall July 4th night.  She’s a trooper though, and her face has already healed up according to Mom.

I miss them already!

Written by louisaenright

July 10, 2017 at 3:37 pm

Turkey Tracks: Bag Obsession–June 2017

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Turkey Tracks:

Bag Obsession–June 2017

Here are two more bags made with the pet screen.  Yes, I am bag obsessed.  I’d like to make a few more that are 16 inches or so as those would store a 12-inch block project.

The little green bag is in my “traveling” kit and holds thread.  The big one is, right now, empty.  It may wind up being a gift.

I kind of feel like I’m living out of the cold frame these days in terms of food.  I’m so enjoying the fresh, fresh, fresh lettuce.  I’ve reseeded the cold frame and I noticed this morning that the seeds are sprouting.  BIT, the days are getting hotter too, which does not bode well for tender lettuce and greens.  The sprig on the left is a garlic that seeded itself into the cold frame.

I seeded this cold frame last fall and covered it–after replenishing the dirt and laying the worm castings on the top.  A raised bed is ONLY as good as the dirt inside it.  You can grow pretty things, but they will not have the nutrients you need.

Look at the blush on this particular lettuce variety.   So pretty.

I am quilting the Big Star quilt–made with selvages:

I quilted the selvage pieces on the long arm and pinned the charcoal pieces before taking the quilt off.

Now I’m using my Janome 8900 to quilt the charcoal pieces.  This machine is new, and I do love it.

A friend here fixed my sewing machine table so that I can pull it out and use the back leaf to support a quilt.

This quilt is NOT perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m learning the intricacies of the Janome 8900 (wide throat space) and enjoying being able to lay in a grid on a quilt.  I don’t have the skills to do that work on the long arm.  In any case, this quilt will be functional and fun.  You can READ it.

I color sorted my selvages and am now making rectangles–using a pattern by Amy Friend, “Circuitry” from her book INTENTIONAL PIECING, but I’m making the rectangles bigger.  I’ve done blue, aqua, red, and yellow and am working on purple.   Here are the yellows:

I’m not worried about lining up the selvages perfectly straight as selvages are kind of funky anyway.

I’m plotting which fabrics to use for my next bag project:  a fabric “thread catcher” bag for my “traveling” kit.  I actually sew rather a lot with friends, so my traveling bag is always packed and includes everything I will need.  I only have to grab it, my project, and my machine, and I’m good to go.

I hope you’re enjoying your summer!

 

Written by louisaenright

June 21, 2017 at 11:16 am

Turkey Tracks: The Completed “Farmer’s Wife” Project

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Turkey Tracks:  June 21, 2017

The Completed “Farmer’s Wife” Project

A group of us started Laurie Aaron Hird’s THE FARMER’S WIFE 1930 SAMPLER QUILT a little over a year ago.

We showed the completed quilts at our June Coastal Quilters (Maine) meeting.

Here they are–in the order in which they were shown, which was ad hoc.

Lynn Vermeulen used batiks–and devised the very successful and subtle setting of pale stripes.

Lovely quilting too.

This quilt is Paula Blanchard’s FIRST QUILT.  She chose to do a selection of the foundation pieced blocks and set them in the “zig zag” setting with black.  Gorgeous Paula!

T

Becca Babb-Brott’s choice of modern fabrics is a whole new learning curve for me.   I love these fabrics.  Becca used a pale grey fabric from Dear Stella Designs for her background.  AND she was the instigator of this group project.

Becca had started an earlier version of Laurie Aaron Hird’s sampler quilts, so Becca put those blocks on the back of her quilt.

Linda Satkowski used the most interesting background fabric.  I loved it at first sight!  Her scrappy blocks are so much fun.  Note how she uses the background fabric in some of her blocks so that the outer edges disappear.

Here’s the background fabric up close.

And Linda’s choice of a scrappy outer border delighted us.

Margaret Elaine Jinno wanted her quilt to have a coastal/water/blues feel.  And it does.  She has had some issues with her hand, and has since had an operation on it, but was able to get her top completed for our showing.  Go Margaret Elaine!  I could also say that M-E is the most proficient seamstress I know.  She could knock out these blocks without turning a hair while I SWEATED over many of them.

You’ve seen my quilt, but here it is again.  I added strips to the side to make the top wider and set extra blocks (not used in the zig zag setting) on each side.  My background fabric is the teal version of Becca’s grey.  This fabric comes in LOTS of colors, and I like them all.

THIS PROJECT IS DONE.  (We’re now working on Tula Pink’s 100 city sampler blocks.)

Written by louisaenright

June 21, 2017 at 10:55 am

Interesting Information: I Love Homeopathy

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Interesting Information:  June 20, 2017

I Love Homeopathy

I didn’t know a thing about homeopathy until I moved to Maine in 2004.

I am a convert.  For sure.

It’s my first line of defense for body issues.

And as time has gone by, I am more and more wedded to this form of healing–having tried it for 13 years now.

What I like is that homeopathy works WITH the body, not against (cut, poison, burn) its healing modalities.

I can tell you that I used to get EXTREME reactions to poison ivy–such that it would run all over my body in huge, weeping sores that would take weeks and weeks to heal.  I no longer have poison ivy–yet am exposed to it all the time via the woods and an active rat terrier who runs through it on a regular basis.

I could go on.

At the end of May, I came down with shingles.  (Oh dear god!)  A week later my blisters were dry and healing.  I then had nerve and muscle pain and ITCHING, but my case has been nothing like what I have witnessed other people having.  My homeopath got me right on to one of the major shingles remedies, and that made all the difference.  Next, she moved to a number of other remedies.  And my energy person suggested vitamin E for the itching.  I found a very clean product on Joseph Mercola’s web site, and the itching is almost gone now.  (Most commercial vitamin E is made from soy, has a lot of ingredients I could not tolerate with my histamine intolerance issues, AND according to Mercola these products do not have balanced forms of vitamin E so can inhibit absorption of other nutrients.

Homeopathy is also well respected in much of Europe, as near as I can tell.  And is covered under many health care plans, as near as I can tell.  Coverage is probably is site specific though.  I don’t really know.

Anyway, here’s a good article if you are curious:

 

Homeopathy is here to stay. Despite relentless criticism from skeptics and fundamentalists, homeopathy has withstood the test of time.

Source: In Defense of Homeopathy | GreenMedInfo | Blog Entry

Written by louisaenright

June 20, 2017 at 3:37 pm

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Turkey Tracks: A Completed Quilt Project

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Turkey Tracks:  June 20, 2017

A Completed Quilt Project

Becca Babb Brott has worked for about two years on this HUGE Jen Kingwell quilt.  Becca combined THREE of Kingwell’s patterns into this king-size quilt–which she then quilted on my long arm.  One pattern is “Gypsy Wife,” but I don’t know the other two patterns.

There was drama with the long arm, of course.  I was using needles that were too light, and one broke, throwing off the machine’s timing.  It was way, way overdue for a check-up, so off it went to Sanborn Sewing Machine.  Those folks are beyond terrific.  The break occurred just before our Coastal Quilters’ retreat in Kennebunkport, so I was able to drop off the machine where the staff fixed it for me in a narrow window they had on Friday.

When you have to move a long-arm head, poles have to come down, which means a quilt has to be taken off said poles, etc.  When we got everything back, we were able to painlessly put everything back together, and off Becca went, sewing away.  Hmmm.  After a few tension adjustments however…

 

 

Here are some other pics, made when she showed it to Coastal Quilters’ members.

Turkey Tracks: Sewing Auto Pilot Fail

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Turkey Tracks:  June 5, 2017

Sewing Auto Pilot Fail

Somebody’s Sewing Auto Pilot failed yesterday.

Oh well.  This bag is meant for the kitchen to collect recyclables for the dump.

At least the “Made in America” is right-side up!

These “glitter” blocks designed by Jen Kingwell (Quilt Lovely) are really, really, really hard.  I can’t believe Kingwell made a whole quilt from them.

Maybe they get easier as one goes along…

Today is overcast and misty.  Outside, there is a wall of intense green, all mixed up with tendrils of fog.  It is so beautiful.

I planted five tomato plants yesterday, so they are loving this gentle welcoming to the garden.

The lettuce I seeded into the cold frame–into the top dressing of worm castings–is bearing now.  I picked these leaves for lunch.

I’m enjoying using the three selvage edge placemats I’ve knitted–I paired them with bright napkins that really pick out color in the placemats.  Funky and fun–and a boon to my sometimes thrifty soul.

I have a fourth one about half made.  I knit, using a garter stitch, on big needles.  14s I think.  About 32-34 stitches cast on.  It’s a soothing exercise for when I don’t want to concentrate much on anything.