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Rainbows and “`My Give and Take’ ” Quilt Top

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Turkey Tracks: August 5, 2020

Rainbows and “My `Give and Take’ “ Quilt Top

The ”I” tropical storm—who thought up THIS name anyway—more or less missed us here on Mid-Coast Maine. We got some rain and some wind last night, but that’s it. This one headed inland north to the Montreal area, though I am hearing that southern Maine had more trouble with it. We’ll take whatever rain we can get here on the coast. And, thankfully, the storm created some COOL weather, for a bit of time, anyway.

Last week, friend Marsha Smith sent me this pic of a double rainbow, taken from her porch, which is on a hill that looks out over the town and the harbor. Wow.

So, here is my finished quilt top “My `Give and Take’ “—which is the 6th project from season 2 of The Color Collective. Tara Faughnan designed this improv quilt method and curated the analogous color palette to start us off.

I’m thinking hand quilting with 12-weight cotton thread in green shades that are in the quilt. Tara used a grid on her bigger quilt, and I think that works to NOT take away anything from the quilt top itself. It just needs something really plain. I’ll use that dark turquoise on the upper left to bind. I had to cut that binding straight grain rather than on the bias, but this quilt will be a wall hanging and is not large at all so a straight binding will be ok. (I think bias binding is easier to manage and wears better over time.) It finishes at 28 by 47. I planned that size to fit where I’d like to hang it.

Here’s where Tara went with this method:

How fun! I really enjoyed this one, but I’ve enjoyed all the projects from both seasons and will sign up again for season 3 this October.

To see more of Tara’s quilts, go to tarafaughnan.com. It’s worth the visit. And her ongoing work is on Instagram. She’s a good teacher, for sure.

Now, on to the LAST project, which looks…complicated. I’m sure more “stretching” of my abilities will be involved. Denyse Schmidt designed the block for project 7, but Tara chose the fabric palette and made a video showing how best to make the blocks.

Written by louisaenright

August 5, 2020 at 9:45 am

“Bedrock” Quilt Top Finished

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Turkey Tracks: July 23, 2020

“Bedrock” Quilt Top Finished

Well! That was fun!

Here is the 5th project of 7 from this year’s online class The Color Collective sponsored by Amy Newbold’s Sewtopia. Tara Faughnan is the designer and curator of each month’s fabrics.

I wanted a wall hanging, so my version is 31 by 45 inches.

I LOVED this project. And I was so pleased that my blocks and sections went together without a hitch. There is math involved here. And a lot of thinking about balancing color. But the improve “rock” block is really fun to make.

I am not sure how I’ll quilt it, but likely the matchstick lines on my domestic machine. I liked how that looked on an earlier project, “Gumdrop.” I am not sure about thread color though. Possibly my “go to” light grey. Possibly a neutral cream? I will use a “skinny” 50-weight as I don’t want the lines to take over the quilt.

Here is the fabric palette for project 6, “Give and Take,” which I’ll start next. It would be impossible to make an ugly quilt with these gorgeous analogous colors.

Look what’s in my kitchen window today.

I picked them yesterday before last night’s rain.

The day-lilies continue to brighten the whole yard. The Pee Gee hydrangea bush/tree is loaded with blooms this year. The hostas are blooming with their tall lavender spikes. The little perky flower on the right in the little jar is tickseed. Bee Balm is the magenta on the right of the big arrangement. And, of course there is a lot more in there: Queen Anne’s Lace, a rose-colored yarrow, the dusty pink bloom of a creeping succulent that has a life of its own here, AND one hot orange cone flower that is making one part of the garden glow with color.

We have dense, dense fog this morning, but it was so cool and lovely last night. Great sleeping weather!

Sugaridoo QAL: Part 9

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Turkey Tracks: July 18, 2020

Sugaridoo QAL: Part 9

My solid row looks just like it should, so I didn’t take a picture of my own developing solid rainbow quilt. The deep rose color of this block/row is so luscious. And I love the big X block we made—with it’s secondary bloc that forms such a nice pattern between the big X’s.

This picture is the mock-up that Sugaridoo’s Irene gives us each month—with each new row added. I am enjoying the very graphic nature of this quilt. And, there are so many cool methods in this Quilt Along; so many terrific blocks. The blank rows are the remaining three left to do.

I am also making the quilt in my Cotton+Steel/Ruby Star Society fabrics—which I’d like to whittle down a bit. It’s been fun trying to come close to the rainbow colors of the solids Sugaridoo chose.

Somehow I didn’t get the line of the butterflies centered just right on the accent block. Even though I wasn’t happy with it, I sewed the strip together. The next morning I took it apart and redid the long butterfly piece. Now I’m happy. It was an easy fix when I wasn’t tired, and I learned how to handle this problem with the freezer paper method along the way.

I’m pretty sure the Cotton+Steel/Ruby Star Society fabrics are breeding in their bins. They don’t seem to be going down with use. Of course, I keep adding to them!!!

The green row above the big Delta row—Mowed Lawn—is an improv method that lends itself to all kinds of uses. I’ve loved the many blocks with tree trunks cut into them that one sees around and about today. One of them is Bright Birch Trees by Crazy Mom Quilts. Beth Guntner Jones posted a picture on the Sugaridoo FB page and others identified the Bright Birch Trees pattern.

Oh boy, I found myself making some stripped fabrics from the off-cuts on a table I keep near my sewing machine, cutting them into one-inch slices, and digging into my solid stash for some bright colors.

Now I can’t stop making them, so I have TWO leader/ender projects going on. My “trees” are on smaller blocks than I think Crazy Mom’s pattern uses. I cut at 8 1/2 inch and trimmed to 8 inches, which will finish at 7 1/2 inches. I tried this method once before but got frustrated. After the Sugaridoo improv row, Mowed Lawn, it was easy.

BUT, one hint: when you cut your solid block, number your slices from left to right on the RIGHT SIDE of your fabric. Otherwise, it’s just way too easy to get the pieces mixed up.

Now I want to vary the trunk widths a bit…

And I’ve started “Bedrock” from The Color Collective, designed by Tara Faughnan. Pics likely to follow in a few days.

“SOLID SCRAPPY GARDEN” Quilt

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Turkey Tracks:

Solid Scrappy Garden Quilt

What a fun project this leader/ender quilt has been.

It was inspired by the “Cottage Garden” quilt made by Then Came June. I loved that it was a kind of “cross” between a granny square and a trip around the world quilt project.

I started it to use up some of the solid stash I’ve acquired over the past two years—most of which have come from The Color Collective online class (Tara Faughnan designs/projects) given by Sewtopia. (There will be a season 3 starting this October.)

Basically, the way a “leader/ender” project works is that you set up a secondary project, different from your current one, and when you need to break your thread, you feed through a piece of your leader/ender project instead. Thus you are making two quilts at the same time. Quilter Bonnie Hunter pioneered this method, and you can read more about it on her blog, Quiltville.com. For this quilt, I set up a block at a time and kept the pieces where I could join them as I went along.

The backing was in my stash. But I purchased the soft coral solid (Bella) to bind the quilt, and I really like that soft punch of color around the edges.

I quilted the grid on my domestic sewing machine with a Sulky 100% cotton 12-wt. thread in a soft blue color—using a 90 Top Stitch needle. I did use a titanium needle as I thought that extra sturdiness might be good. I did put this thread in the bobbin as well. And I think this shiny thicker thread worked really, really well. I will definitely use it again. I’ve had this thread for a long time though, so I don’t know about color availability right now.

Note: I have had at least one comment on the blog cautioning about using a Titanium needle as if they hit the needle plate, they don’t break easily and can do damage. So, I suppose one must be careful not to put weight on the needle that pulls the needle out of line with it’s intended trajectory.

The secondary patterns are kind of cool. And fabric choices of light/dark can make some blocks kind of shimmer. Look at the picture of the whole quilt—third row down, far right block, to see the transparency that can develop.

Here’s where this quilt is going to live for the moment. It just makes the room sparkle. I love the block on the lower right. Hmmmmm….

Gumdrops Quilt: Done and Hung

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Turkey Tracks: June 6, 2020

Gumdrops Quilt: Done and Hung

I have enjoyed making this quilt so much.

Tara Faughnan of The Color Collective, Season 2, designed these blocks (there are 6 different ones to use and combine), assembled her own quilted version, and curated the color palette. The block pieces are printed on to cardstock, cut out, covered with fabric, and sewn together with English Paper Piecing. With each project, Tara makes a video to show us up close how to make the project, and I have found the videos to be really helpful.

There will be a Season 3, starting in October. The online class is hosted by Amy Newbold of Sewtopia, and Amy mails each month’s fabrics to class members. Plus, Amy discounts any extra fabrics one needs if members’ projects start to get bigger. (If you go to Tara’s web site, you can join her newsletter and get details on this class when details are available.)

I quilted with matchstick lines, which I have never done before. And I have to say that I think this quilting gave the quilt a lovely texture. I’ll be doing this type of quilting again, for sure.

The backing was in my stash. The print is an older Carolyn Friedlander fabric that I had left over from another quilt. It’s PERFECT for this quilt.

I hung my Gumdrops downstairs in the room where my tv lives. (My quilt room—which is where I do most of my sewing—is off this room and houses my longarm, design wall, and another sewing machine.) This space where Gumdrops is hanging had a bookcase, but remember from recent posts, I cleared out most of my books a week or so ago. I plan to house my Janome, on its Sewezi table, permanently in this little nook. It’s all set up with a walking foot ready to put on binding or to quilt a quilt I want to grid in some way. I also often use this machine for making knit fabrics as well, and I have two dresses cut out and needing to be sewn together.

I thought a long time before moving a machine to this spot and keeping it there. But most of the time I am here by myself, and I would like to be able to sew at night some times. I can see the tv from this spot, and I actually quilted Gumdrops at night. Usually I hand sew at night, but I was out of handwork at the moment, and there are three quilts in the pile that will need to have binding sewn down.

Everything’s a bit of a mess right now in this spot because I’m quilting another quilt and things are spread out. I can use the back of the couch to help support a quilt as it runs through the sewing machine. I hung the quilt high so it would not get knocked accidentally. (That’s not my kitchen you can see to the left—it’s a laundry sink. My kitchen and living room are upstairs.)

Here’s my view:

So, I’ve now completed four of this season’s 7 quilt projects. Two of the remaining projects will be wall hangings for me, and one will be a lap quilt. The block for the lap quilt was designed by Denyse Schmidt as a guest designer for the seventh month, but was made by Tara with fabric she curated for us.

I have more than these Color Collective projects going on. I’m doing the Sugaridoo QAL in TWO different versions. (Whose idea was that?) And I’ve been catching up with making blocks that will go into an improv quilt one of these days. These blocks are my real Play Time. And, somehow, there is a flying geese project growing on my design wall. Sometimes projects just will NOT leave me alone, and this one is one of those.

But, Tara’s Bedrock quilt is all lined up and ready to be started.

Galactic Quilt Done and Hung

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Turkey Tracks: May 22, 2020

Galactic Quilt Done and Hung

I LOVE THIS QUILT.

Tara Faughnan designed this quilt block and chose the color palette for this project in her online class hosted by Sewtopia, The Color Collective, season 2. How we used the colors was up to each maker.

I hand quilted with the Wonderfil GlaMour rayon/metallic 12 weight thread that Tara Faughnan also used on her Galactic quilt. I used 5 different colors—and justified that cost by the fact that I have a smaller block version that I’ll quilt with it as well. And…just because we all need some treats in the middle of a pandemic where we are “staying home.” I also used a Tulip Sashiko needle (found online easily)—the thin, coated version.

I knew from the beginning that I wanted a wall hanging for a wall on a stairwell landing between two floors. Galactic replaced these duck prints—and it’s so nice not to have to think how I can make these pics hang straight anymore:

It’s hard to get a good picture of a quilt hanging in a stairwell, but…

Galactic just draws one right up those stairs.

Thanks, Tara Faughnan, for this one!

Now, on to the next project in this class.

Turkey Tracks: May Monday Morning

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May 14, 2020

Look at my beautiful cold frame lettuce. It’s still growing—as it has been so cool here in Maine this spring. But I gathered some lettuce—thinning the clumps to give some plants more room to grow—for my first cold-frame lettuce salad.

To remind, I set up this cold frame in the fall with new compost and seed and cover it for the winter. Left alone, it does its own thing when the longer daylight hours return. I’m still covering it most nights—remember that it SNOWED all day last Saturday, with no accumulation, but…

Here’s my first lettuce, rinsed and headed for the lettuce spinner.

I’m making a lunch salad, of course. And the protein will be one of the cube steaks I keep on hand. These steaks have a lot of flavor, defrost quickly, and cook in a very few minutes—just about two minutes a side, or less, in a hot cast iron frying pan.

Here’s my beautiful salad:

Lettuce from cold frame, sweet red pepper, roasted beets, cucumber, leftover asparagus, carrot, spring onion, red onion, apple, leftover forbidden black rice, cubed steak, olive oil, salt, and dried dill.

The daffodils this year have been glorious. I’ve planted so many now, each year choosing more and different varieties. Some of them are so frilly—they look almost like peonies.

I bring some inside to the kitchen window and so enjoy them there. Here’s the most recent selection.

Tom Jackson’s crew came and cut up the GIANT ash tree that fell over the stone wall property line last fall. It is a monster. I tried through the winter to donate the wood to anyone who would cut it and take it, but had no takers. It is just in a very difficult spot where getting the wood out would be way too hard.

There is a wetland below the stone wall and the tree, which would not allow for any equipment to come in that way.

I really need to get a picture of the daffodils in the little meadow this year. They are so beautiful and continue to naturalize over this area. They brighten the heart and soul, and I look forward to seeing them each year.

I finished hand quilting the big block Galactic wallhanging last night. I’ll trim and put on the binding/hanging sleeve/label today. And yesterday I finished the smaller block version—just two rounds. I love this block and could quite easily go down a rabbit hole with making the big block in a different palate. But I need to move on to the remaining three projects in The Color Collective, season 2, each of which look exciting to make.

And, today, which is THURSDAY already, is going to be much warmer. It is a bright, sunny day with little wind. I’m eager to get out into it.

Written by louisaenright

May 14, 2020 at 9:04 am

Turkey Tracks: Wonderfil Glamour Thread

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May 2, 2020

How did it get to be May already???

Wonderfil Glamour Thread

I’m handquilting the Galactic wall hanging quilt now with Wonderfil Glamour thread, as shown by Tara Faughnan on Instagram. The Galactic quilt is a project in Tara Faughnan’s season 2 online class hosted by Sewtopia (Amy Newbold) . Glamour is a 12-weight rayon thread with a metallic strand.

These are the thread colors I’m using for this project. The orange one was risky—it’s so hard to tell real colors from an internet picture—but it is working out well I think.

I saw a magazine ad for the Tulip sashiko needles and wondered if they would be a good idea for this heavier weight thread in a quilt. I found them online (Fat quarter shop). And, yes, I think these needles are a good idea. However, I did find I needed a learning curve to handle the needle and the fabric to get smaller stitches. This is the THIN coated needle, and you can see the bigger eye helps NOT to fray the thread.

Here, you can see that my stitches started out bigger and gradually begin to get smaller. I don’t mind as there is a certain funkiness about this quilt anyway. And I do like the way the thread shines in the quilt.

Here, you can see the progression starting to go from big stitches to smaller ones. See the bottom rows in this picture. My first rows were…BIG stitches.

Now, look how pretty. I am just keeping the quilting simple—straight lines on a diagonal.

I hand quilt at night while watching tv. Someone thinks it’s time for him to go outside to drop his britches. Afterwards, he will decide that it is time for us to go to bed—all of which involves teasing wallowing on me.

Written by louisaenright

May 2, 2020 at 9:11 am

Turkey Tracks: Social Distancing: Ongoing Sewing Projects

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Turkey Tracks:  March 20, 2020

Social Distancing:  Ongoing Sewing Projects

I’m ok.

I hope you all are all ok too.

I am social distancing.  AC and I go every possible day to the woods, to the beach, and to the grocery store as needed.  I am connected to friends and family a good chunk of each day via technology.  Except for worrying about getting the virus in a serious way, about family or friends getting it and not faring well, and about my seriously diminishing stock portfolio, I am peaceful.  I am enjoying all my sewing projects.  It’s good to see ongoing planned projects getting finished.  And working with my hands is, as always, soothing.

I am reminded that life is what it is, that we have to take it as it comes, and we can do that with joy and purpose and some laughter, or we can just let it all overwhelm us.  That’s a spectrum, of course.  I’m sure I hit the highs and lows of it every day, but mostly I’m…ok.

Here are some of my ongoing sewing projects:

The Galactic wall hanging top is finished, layered, pinned, and waiting for obtaining some Wonderfil GlaMour thread—a rayon with a metallic strand—that designer Tara Faughnan used and loved.  Marge Hallowell at Mainely Sewing is going to carry this thread.  I am hoping she can mail me some.  I LOVE this quilt and this pattern.  Tara Faughnan designed it and curated the fabrics in THE COLOR COLLECTIVE online class by Amy Newbold’s Sewtopia.

I am also playing with a two-round smaller version with the extra fabrics I have.  I have no idea where this project is going.  Play without a goal is important too.

Here is Gumdrops—another Tara Faughnan project from The Color Collective.  The blocks are English Paper Pieced, and we learned how to use a cardstock that one’s printer would take to make the six different patterns.  I’m making a wall hanging with this one too—probably about 30 wide by 30-40 long, with three staggered rows.  I will, of course, move blocks around a whole lot more as each combo gets finished.  I hand sew at night while watching tv.

I’ll be layering and pinning the solid scrappy trip/granny quilt from Then Came June (Checkered Garden) today.  I want to diagonal grid quilt it on a domestic, but will pin it on the longarm.  I loved Then Came June’s version and thought it would be a good use for the solid scraps I have.  It’s bright and wild.  And maybe that’s it’s name?

I cleaned and oiled my serger over the holidays—and replaced the knives.  There’s a blog post on that project.  It’s running like a dream.  But I’ve been having so much fun with quilty projects that I have not circled back to making garments.  There is a pile of knits to be used.  I cut out two tops this week.  Here is the Linden Sweatshirt from Grainline.  I made this top a while back and wear it a lot, so will enjoy this one as well.  This top can be hacked to make other interesting tops.  There is a short-sleeved version as well.  I wear it both layered with a high-neck t-shirt and all by itself when the weather is a bit warmer.  This particular jersey knit is so, so, so soft on the skin.

Be well!

Take care of yourselves!

 

 

 

Turkey Tracks: “Stacks,” A Wedding Quilt

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Turkey Tracks:  March 8, 2020

“Stacks,” A Wedding Quilt

The wedding is in May.

And this quilt got mailed last Monday and is now in the hands of the bride, who lives in Colorado.

Tara Faughnan of Sewtopia’s The Color Collective online class designed the block and curated the fabrics.  I added more greens as I had them on hand.  The quilt is called “Stacks.”  I think it looks a bit like a modern, graphic version of stacked mountains.  And I love the lines of triangles that form between the rows.  I freehand quilted in a medium grey.  I wanted lots and lots of movement—like winds blowing and moving air currents.

I knew thia fabric was my backing fabric the moment I saw it.

Yummy!

And here it is, in the hands of the bride, where I hope it will hug and cuddle and warm this special couple.

Written by louisaenright

March 8, 2020 at 9:57 am