Turkey Tracks: Clue 5 and Quilty Play Time

Turkey Tracks:  December 28, 2017

Clue 5 and Quilty Play Time

I finished Clue 5 yesterday.

The pile of units is looking healthily large:

I will be interested to see how my colors will work in this mystery quilt, “On Ringo Lake,” by Bonnie Hunter.

Instead of working on the LAST THREE blocks of the big star quilt…based on my design from Amy Friend’s Improve workshop and her book IMPROV PAPER PIECING…

…I played.

I think it is really important to have play time with sewing.

And, like many quilters, I have the ongoing battle of using scraps so as not to waste too much fabric.  Plus, I like scrappy looks in a quilt.

I pulled out some old blocks–because I wanted to see how the very modern fabric I chose for their sashing would actually work with these blocks.  The blocks are a riff on Bonnie Hunter’s “Nine in the Middle,” from her ADVENTURES WITH LEADERS AND ENDERS.  Instead of the 9-patch middle, I am using “made fabric.”  The sashing fabric came from Rebecca Babb-Brott’s Etsy store, Sew Me A Song.

I like it.  I like, too, the neutral block.  I have A LOT of neutral scraps, so will kind of dot those around this quilt like polka dots.  I will use colored squares on most of the neutral centers.  The all-neutral one is a bit stark.

We learned in one of Bonnie’s mysteries, to use the Companion Angle ruler to cut the big triangle in the outer block.  With a 2-inch strip, one can line up on the 4-inch line so as to get the top of the triangle cropped off.  This technique would combine with the Easy Angle ruler for the outer triangles.  No waste that way.  You could also use the new corner cutting ruler and lay a 2-inch square over a rectangle and cut.  More waste, though.  And, of course, Bonnie always shows how to draw a line on a small square, lay it over the rectangle, and sew a scant seam.  So many ways to make a unit.

Friend Linda Satkowski is making these “made” fabric blocks by using the same colors, like all the reds, all the blues.  I think that’s very interesting too.

Right now I have TWO leader ender projects:  The above and this one:

Garlic Knots, from Bonnie’s QUILTMAKER magazine column:

I THINK Bonnie made this quilt, and I suspect it is in her upcoming new book.  Here’s a picture. If anyone knows where this quilt appeared, let me know so I can credit it??

I think I would NOT do a border…???  I seem to be in a borderless moment.

Finally, I played around with Amanda Jean Nyberg’s idea of making birch tree trunks from scraps.  She made a small block, starting with a 5-inch square and making thin tree trunks–for a pincushion.  I started with a 7 1/2-inch block and used 1-inch trunk columns.  It so does not work:  the block-size math isn’t right, it isn’t square, and I don’t like how the trunks lean.  Will continue to play around with this one though.  Clearly the beginning block size needs to be much bigger.  Meanwhile I’ll throw this block into the Parts Department box and will probably frame it somehow to make the math work with other blocks.

I had a fun afternoon and emerged relaxed and ready to enjoy dinner and, later, to watch tv and sew “Valse Brilliante” English Paper Piecing blocks (Willyene Hammerstein, MILLEFIORE QUILTS).  I have quite a lot of those blocks now, but that is a story for another day.

Turkey Tracks: Bright Quilt

Turkey Tracks:  January 2, 2014

Bright Quilt

The snow is flying outside.

The predicted storm is coming on in.

It’s been bitterly cold for the past three days, and I have stayed home.

But I have been quite happy inside working on a VERY BRIGHT quilt for the past two days and listening to the last of Watership Down, which I downloaded from our library’s collection of audio books.

The setting inspiration of setting simple 9-patch blocks into a BRIGHT fabric:  Bonnie Hunter’s “Sisters Nine Patch” found in her Adventures with Leaders and Enders.



The middle rows are being sewn together at the sewing machine.

Here’s a close-up of one block, because I LOVE the neutral fabric I’m using and wanted you to see it.  Flags Flying…







Here’s the focus fabric and two other fabrics I will use.


Loved on sight these bright boat sails.

The bright cherry red will be a narrow border.  I will use the boat sails both as a front border and as backing.  The blue stripe will be the binding and will be cut on the bias.

I think this quilt will be called something like “Sails Up and Flags Flying.”

And now I’m going to eat some lunch and make some soup for dinner.  Then I can sew, sew, sew!


Turkey Tracks: Green Camden Hills Beauty: Thanks Bonnie Hunter

Turkey Tracks:  July 13, 2013

Green Camden Hills Beauty:  Thanks Bonnie Hunter

Look at this beauty!

I think it’s one of the prettiest quilts I’ve ever made and its ALL from my green stash.

I saw Bonnie Hunter’s “Blue Ridge Beauty” in her ADVENTURES WITH LEADERS AND ENDERS and started piecing four-patch light and dark green patches as a “leader and ender” project fed into the machine when I needed to remove blocks from another project I was working on–that way, you never break your sewing thread and are working on two projects at once.  (You can read more about this method on Bonnie’s web page, www.quiltville.com.  You can get to her blog from the main site if you want to–and I have to say I love getting her posts.)

Green Camden Hills Beauty, 2

Of course, I had to piece some of the half-square triangles just to see how the block looked.  And then I had to see how multiple blocks were going to look.  Soon, I was piecing this quilt and NOT working on my original project.  I became, quickly, obsessed with this quilt.  And of course, I needed to sprinkle in some blocks that had green, yes, but also had some orange, some pink, and some blue.  They effect is very pleasing, as if there are polka dots scattered across the top.

It’s a BIG quilt–easily king size–and I didn’t make it quite as long as Bonnie did.  She took the pattern down one more row for the length.  I could make the quilt this wide since son Bryan helped me put four more feet into my long-arm–so now I have the full 12 feet.

Green Camden Hills Beauty

Here’s a close-up for you.  I quilted it with “Deb’s Swirls” in the big version.  (I smiled when I saw that Bonnie Hunter was also using this pantograph on her “Dancing Nines” project.)  I’ve later also gotten the medium version for smaller quilts.  It’s a very nice all-over swirling pattern.  I used a dark teal thread, which is pleasing to the eye I think.  We have such dark greens in our forests and on the hillsides in the spring–all mixed up with every shade of green imaginable.

Green Camden Hills Beauty blocks

Here’s a close-up of the border and a corner–that greenish stone-looking fabric has been hanging around my stash for years.  It’s PERFECT in this spot–echoing all our granite and rocky ledges on the Camden Hills–which are very old  mountains.

Green Camden Hills Borders

The back is all taken from my stash–which used up yards and yards of, again, green fabrics hanging around without a purpose.  I mixed in some orphan blocks that were going nowhere–and it all works really well for a scrappy quilts.  That saved me probably $80.  Or, used $80 that I’d already spent–however you want to think about it.  This backing works well for this scrappy quilt.

Green Camden Hills Beauty back

I pieced a line of the three-inch half-square triangle blocks to see what they might look like in a bar quilt.  They’re nice–and I might have gone that direction a year ago.  But after finding Bonnie Hunter’s work, I know there is a more complicated, complex way to use those blocks.  I’m piecing more of them as a leader ender project now…

Green Camden Hills Beauty back detail

This project has been so much fun for me!  And I really love this quilt.