Turkey Tracks: “Bee Beauty” Quilt

Turkey Tracks:  October 6, 2015

“Bee Beauty” Quilt

I finished the “Bee Beauty” Quilt.

I have so loved working on it.

You may recall that I spent the summer making light/dark 4-patch blocks out of my 2-inch square scrap bin.  Here’s one use of those four patches.  There were about 6000 squares in that bin, and I wound up with about 1600 4-patch blocks.

You may also recall that this block is a Bonnie Hunter block–as she designed a quilt using this block for the American Patchwork and Quilting 2015 scrappy challenge–using 4-patch blocks.  (Bonnie’s web site is at quiltville.com.)

This pic of the quilt is not great, but I have fallen in love with it and will save it for a grandchild.


Here is a block.  I quilted with limey green thread with the “Lovely” pantograph by Denise Schillenger.


The backing fabric I’ve had for a long time, and I’m pleased with how it worked with the front of this quilt.  I chose the dark purples and limey greens from the backing fabric:


The backing has a strip of this block to make up for not having enough of the backing fabric.


Here’s a corner so you can see the binding and border fabrics:


It’s just such a fun, lively quilt:


I like it so much I’m going to make it with a cheddar background:


I can see red sashing, I think.  Mercy!!


Turkey Tracks: Stash Obsessions

Turkey Tracks:  July 17, 2015

 Stash Obsessions

I have been obsessed with a quilting project for almost a month now…

…clearing out the 2-inch squares bin…

…it’s been about four years…at least.

And the whole purpose of cutting up all useable fabric after completing a quilt is that…one day…you need to use them.

Bonnie Hunter’s rule is that when the bin gets full, you have to slow down and USE THOSE SQUARES.

Well, here’s the project.  (And I think I wrote about this before.)



This year is the American Patchwork and Quilting Magazine‘s four-patch challenge–which Bonnie Hunter is participating in as well.

So I’m going to turn the 2-inch squares into four-patch blocks.

When I got obsessed, I had already gotten this far with the block Bonnie is using:


But, right in the middle of putting the gorgeous magenta sashing on these blocks, I have lost my mind.  I have not attempted to make the four-patches as a leader/ender project.

No, I thought I’d just sew them all up.

Do you have any idea how many squares there were in that bin?

I am now counting them just for fun.  There are 600 in the quilt above.

So, I realized as I sewed a light square to a dark square, that I had a lot of blue and neutral and red and neutral possibilities.

(These are NOT all the two-inch squares by a long shot.)


Here’s a larger version of the block Lissa Alexander used in American Patchwork and Quilting Magazine–which I used to made “Happy Baby Quilt.”  Put on point, one gets a long chain of the red squares.


And what about a Jacob’s Ladder block for the blue and white?


Here are two of these blocks stacked together.  Wow!  I really like this block.


I have spent many, many hours now sewing the light/dark squares together and that’s all done:


So the bin is now full of the two-square strips.

I’ll move on to making the four-patch blocks next.

But first, Bonnie Hunter’s method of pressing open strips of blocks BEFORE cutting them apart really works.  Visit her web site (Quiltville.com) for tutorials on handling your stash and tips like how to press FAST.


I am still loving the four-patches inside a square–and especially as I am using the 3 1/2-inch blocks to make the outer square.  (Cut them on the diagonal.)  So I will make more of these as I go along.



Quilt count from this effort?  A red/neutral quilt, a blue/neutral quilt, the almost finished Bonnie Hunter block quilt, more of those blocks, and lots and lots of four-patches.

Yep.  It’s good to slow down and create some “assets” from time to time.

Turkey Tracks: Mid-March Project Update

Turkey Tracks:  March 21, 2015

Mid-March Project Update

Ironically, today is the first day of spring.

And it is warmer, but it’s also snowing outside.

Though it’s wet and dreary, my heart has been warmed by Kathleen Nixon’s visit for my birthday.

She was to have come yesterday, but the storm grounded flights, so she arrived bright and cheerful at noon today.  We had a sushi lunch at Mr. Wat’s, a coffee at Zoots, and will have what will be a wonderful dinner at the Hartstone Inn (thanks to Gina Caceci).  Tomorrow we’re going to a special showing of the uncut version of LAWRENCE OF ARABIA at The Strand in Rockland, Maine (where we’ll have some POPCORN).  Afterwards, we’ll have an early dinner at Mirandas in Rockland–a favorite place for both of us.  I have to let her go on Monday, but will take her down to Portland and will do some errands on the way home.

I have been working on the big quilt this past week.  It just needs one more border:


Which is almost done:


This is a VERY BIG quilt…

Here are some close-ups:


AND this one, which shows how much of my focus fabric I’ve been able to use:


It’s interesting and inspired by Kaffe Fasset’s low-contrast style of quilting.  AND by the American Patchwork and Quilting Magazine’s low contrast “quilt along” of last year.

This year their challenge is to work with four patches–and the above quilt actually uses a lot of four patches.  BUT, I am much more intrigued by the four-patches on point that Bonnie Hunter is making for her part in the magazine’s challenge.  So, these patches have become my current leader/ender project.


I have no idea how Bonnie is going to set hers, and I’m hoping she will do a “reveal” on April 3rd, the end of the challenge.  If not, I’ll open my EQ7 quilting design program and get to work.

Here’s a close-up.



I have 20 blocks done now, but truthfully, I could just disappear from the world and sew these fun blocks until I drop.

Remember that I have a whole box of two-inch squares that need using…


Maybe I’ll do a marathon session and sew these into light/dark four patches…

Meanwhile, the chickens are out every day now and hang out at my quilting room windows where they try to talk to me:


Barb Melchiskey challenged our group to complete one UFO for our May challenge meeting.  I have a handful of planned quilt projects all folded up together.  This one is at least nine years old:


And it’s pretty fabric that I still like:


It wants to be a quilt for a male person…

And I have one in mind…

So, I will start it when the big blue quilt is…quilted.

Happy spring everyone!



Turkey Tracks: “Two Bits” quilt

Turkey Tracks:  January 29, 2012

“Two Bits” Quilt

As I’ve been writing since early January, for over 10 years, when I finish a quilt I make myself cut up any leftover fabric pieces that are too small to fold and put into my stash.  I start with the largest square–up to 5 inches–and work down.  The smallest square I cut is two inches.  And, at the start of January, I had two and a-half bags of two-inch squares.

I had been seeing large blocks made from these small squares for some time–say a block of 25 (or 5 rows by 5 rows).   But, what color setting fabric to use?  I didn’t want to use a cream or white muslin.  That would be pretty, but too tame for me.  Then I saw a quilt in the December 2011 “American Patchwork and Quilting” by Miriam Kujac that used a soft black setting fabric and used, even, grey borders.  The small patches glowed with the soft black to set them off.  This quilt was a reproduction of an antique quilt that used a type of grey/black fabric called “Mourning” that was made from the 1800s on.  Kujac named her quilt “Mourning Glory” after that antique fabric.

Also, I liked the alternating rows of two different sized blocks Kujac used.

Here’s “Two Bits” at its beginning.  You can see some–but by no means all–of the other sacks of cut fabric.  There’s a huge bucket full of them off the end of my ironing board!  And, there are MANY more of the two-inch squares.  I think what’s in the pic is the contents of one bag.

Here’s the finished quilt.  The picture does not begin to do justice to this fabulous quilt!

I had a large piece of red (cranberries) fabric in my stash that was perfect for the backing:

I used a soft grey thread to quilt “Two Bits,” and a pantograph of feathers that were full of curves–to offset the straight lines of the quilt blocks.

Finally, here’s a picture of the grey borders and binding–all from my stash:

One of the fun–and sweet–things about using these squares is that I was–and am again now looking at these pictures–of all the other quilts I have worked on.  I deliberately placed blocks with faces–and there were a lot of faces of all sorts–directionally–so that they were all going the same way.  For those of you who have one of my quilts, look closely as you’re liable to see some fabric  you recognize.

“Two Bits” is now living at my sister’s house–Jamie  Philpott Howser–in Atlanta, Georgia.  She likes it too.

The leftover two-inch squares are mostly warm colors.   Hmmmmm.   Maybe a rich russet brown setting fabric???