Louisa Enright's Blog

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“Sunny” is Happening!

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Turkey Tracks: December 2, 2021

“Sunny is Happening!”

The dark grey/light grey BIG long cabin top is done and will go on Innova next.

I bought a 108 wide backing and ordered a king batting, and I will bind with a medium grey solid.

”Calm” is a handsome quilt and has been claimed by my DIL Tami Enright, who also runs The Bee Cause, which has a Facebook page you could check out. This organization is dedicated to preserving bee habitats and to providing hives. Tami now has hives in all 50 states. Many of these hives are demonstration hives in schools and public places, so people can learn all about bees.

There was some drama while this top was still on the design wall: another chipmunk got into the house, the second one this year, and s/he appeared while I was watching nighttime tv and handsewing with AC doggie dead asleep next to me on the couch. When I shrieked, AC leapt up in a flash and trapped the chipmunk in the quilt room—where I shut the door to keep her/him in there. Unfortunately, when AC caught and shook the chipmunk, a spray of blood went across the bottom of the quilt.

What followed was a lot of soaking and blotting the spray with salt, salted water, and OxiClean spray. Finally, the blood all came out, but it took a long time. The blood, even so fresh, was very thick and very red—it was much denser than human blood. Later nurse and quilter Betsy Maislen told me that hydrogen peroxide would have taken the blood right out and would not have harmed the fabric. Good to know. Which is why I’m telling this story.

The fabrics on Innova’s roller bar are for the first project of this season’s online class hosted by Sewtopia, The Color Collective. Designer Tara Faughnan has given us a really fun and colorful “Sunny” block for this first project of the 4th season.

Here is where I am as of this morning:

I followed Tara Faughnan’s method of keeping the reds and oranges to the sunrise and adding neutrals to make the quilt lighter. I added Kona Snow and a Kona soft grey which I think maybe is Quicksilver. Sometimes it is hard to tell exactly from the fabric swatch cards I have.

BUT, I’ve seen some folks in the class using the red and oranges for backgrounds—and those blocks are awesome. I will make some of those when I am done—just because. Maybe a pillow? Maybe just blocks for the parts department bin. I never know when I start down a road like this one. Whatever, making them will be fun, and fun and play should always happen. And a quilt with all darker backgrounds would be so pretty too.

Of course this block can be used to make circles or other intriguing patterns—in that it is like “Tenderoni” the last quilt we made last year, designed by Latifah Saafir. Remember my version?

I pushed all the curved blocks together, whereas Latifah Saafir spread them out by including plain fabric blocks—which made for a beautiful, airy quilt. Maybe this could happen along with making blocks with a darker background for a small wall hanging or table runner of some sort.

Today is a rainy day! Yeah! That means sewing time for me, and all my household ”to do” tasks are done for the week—except for a quick trip to the grocery store today—mostly just to get AC out for a bit. Otherwise he ”dogs” me until we do something together.

It Was A Nice Week

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Turkey Tracks: November 7, 2021

It Was A Nice Week

Today, Sunday, emerged as sunny and as cool as the rest of the past week. But I have not had a hard freeze yet.

I set the clocks back late last night, so when I awoke in the dark at my normal waking time, I turned over and went back to sleep until the clock and the sun said it was time to switch over the body clock and get out of bed. What was 6:30 am on Saturaday morning was now 5:30 am. And that meant ”no,” just ”no.” I woke again at 7:30, which was really 6:30, and so it goes for a few days. Or, longer.

The past week was busy, but easy. Monday meant an EARLY trip to Rockland to the Toyota Dealer for ”Girlie’s” first checkup and the installation of snow tires while there. Girlie is a Rav4 Prime plug-in hybrid acquired at the end of April. She plugs into the 110 volt outlet in the garage. I don’t think I’ve put even 3 full tanks of gas into her in the past 6 1/2 months. I use the gas feature when I get out on a highway, but otherwise she stays in her electric mode. And, no, my electrical bill has not risen.

I voted on Tuesday, and the referendum that interested me most was refused by the Maine voters: the building of a pipeline through Maine forest that benefitted Canada and Massachusetts and not Maine. Once shrinking wild forests are cut, they can’t really be replaced. Our Maine energy company is not American; it is foreign owned. Time for some changes there I think. And that possibility is simmering.

Friday saw AC doggie and me headed to Augusta for AC’s 3-month checkup for the Lyme infection he got. He was totally cleared, so the herbal tinctures worked. And his urine was also healthy. I’ll use up what is left of these tinctures as the ticks have been really bad this fall. His bloodwork will go to a bigger lab to make sure there aren’t any other issues. You may recall that AC reacted to his 1 year rabies booster so that he could not eat any meat protein without terrible allergic reactions that caused himto chew at himself constantly. The holistic vet in Augusta was able to stop the reactions—and we put AC on a fish diet. His favorite fish is the local farmed salmon (ugh!), but it goes on sale every 3 weeks, so I buy it then and freeze it. The next step in terms of diet may be trying some hamburger.

There was time for late afternoon quilting this week. Here’s the log cabin quilt now—it will be 8 rows square, or 96 inches—so I am getting right along with it. I will move around blocks to balance out the more dramatic fabrics before sewing blocks together.

The fabric palette on the longarm bars is from the first project from The Color Collective, season 4–a quilt designer Tara Faughnan is calling ”Sunny.” Resisting making more and more of these blocks is hard—so I’ve limited myself to making two a day and cutting out two more. LOL, I now have 4 cut out and ready to sew. But I need to get the log cabin off the design wall before setting up ”Sunny” there. And that is why my quilting is always endlessly engaging for me.

I’ve added the soft grey and Kona ”snow” to the mix in the fabric palette. I’m not exactly sure what the Kona grey is…Lighthouse maybe. Part of the joy of this project is seeing how different fabric combinations work out visually—and then how they work in the quilt when near other blocks or how they work in the overall quilt. The prepped blocks involve the darker navy and the soft lavender—in part—so then I will have used all 12 colors at least once.

The blocks can be combined in many, many ways of course. In that way, ”Sunny” is like the ”Tenderoni” block Latifah Saafir designed for last year’s guest designer project in the 7th month. Tara set her blocks like the red and pink blocks in the picture above—like rising ”suns” made with half circles. And her quilt is…Sunny…so lively and bright.

Here’s “My Tenderoni” quilt—which is very different from Latifah Saafir’s—and that is what is fun about The Color Collective. The creativity that emerges from people is just awesome.

I hope you have a wonderful week.

“Joyful” Is Finished

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Turkey Tracks: November 1, 2021

“Joyful” Is Finished

She’s done!

And, oh my goodness, what a visual impact this one has.

To remind, this is Tara Faughnan’s wedding ring quilt pattern, and Tara Faughnan is also the designer for 7-month The Color Collective online class hosted by Amy Newbold at Sewtopia. Indeed, season 4 starts TODAY, and, LOL, my fabrics are washed and ironed for the first project, but the design wall is FULL of the log cabin quilt at the moment.

I quilted with a light grey thread by using the 40-inch Innova ruler equipment on the new Innova longarm. There is a basting line crease in this photo that is gone now as I express washed and dried Joyful to remove the basting lines.

Here are some close-ups. The quilting is not 100% perfect all over the quilt as this ruler was a learning curve. Now that the quilt is bound, washed, and dried, one would not notice the kinds of things I note about the quilting. It’s all good, and I’m happy with the results.

After Joyful was dried and while she was all warm from the dryer, I brought her up to my bedroom where she is going to live for this winter at least. I almost took a little nap to bask in the warmth, but thought better of it.

Joyful is a treasure. For sure.

When I checked the rain gauge yesterday, it showed FIVE INCHES of rain from the wild storm.

No wonder there was such flooding.

Written by louisaenright

November 1, 2021 at 7:00 am

My Color Collective Season 3 Quilts

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Turkey Tracks: September 6, 2021

My Color Collective Season 3 Quilts

I thought it would be good, for me at least, to review the work I did last year (season 3) in the online class (The Color Collective) hosted by Sewtopia (Amy Newbold) with designer Tara Faughnan (for six months of projects and fabric palettes) and with guest designer Latifah Saafir (for an extra seventh month).

The quilts are more or less in the order of the monthly projects. Tara gives us the pattern and the fabric (there are also helpful videos) and shows us her version of the project—then we have at it. Pretty much all of us make the project differently, and that outpouring of creativity is really fun to see and experience.

If you want to know more about each of my quilts, there are separate blog posts. You can search on the name of the quilt on the right sidebar.

My “Marrakesh”:

My “Pips”:

My “Splice,” and this one differs from Tara’s layout in that I laid out the strips to form that central diamond. I hand quilted this one with 12-weight cotton thread (Sulky).

My “Bokeh”:

Bokeh is a photographic term for the manipulation of the background to make it intentionally fuzzy.

My “Tenderoni”—which I called “Fractures”:

Latifah Saafir was the guest designer for the 7th CC month this year. She spread out her Tenderoni block by using plain squares of the fabric palette to make the Tenderoni blocks stand out—which of course made a lap-size quilt. I wanted to see how the Tenderoni shapes played together up close and I wanted a wall hanging. I hand quilted with 12-weight cotton thread (Sulky).

I made this wall hanging from the leftover “Offcut” quarter circle pieces and hung the two quilts opposite each other on the walls outside my quilt room. This one, too, is hand quilted with 12-weight cotton thread (Sulky).

I didn’t do “Hitch” (an improv project) or “Rex” (an appliqué project) this year. Both projects were very nice; they just landed here when I was really busy. There might come a day…. Both projects offer a lot of room for experimentation and play. These two projects are the only ones I have not made in the three years of the class—not a bad record for this class I think—for me or for Tara Faughnan.

I am so looking forward to Season 4, which starts November 1.

Written by louisaenright

September 6, 2021 at 8:57 am

The Color Collective: Season 4

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Turkey Tracks: September 1, 2021

The Color Collective: Season 4

It’s BACK for SEASON 4.

I signed up.

I couldn’t resist.

https://www.tarafaughnan.com/color-collective

The 7th and final month designer will be Annabel Wrigley. Take a look at her exciting work:

https://annabelwrigley.com

Two of the 12 fabrics in this year’s palette of solids will be shot cotton from Windham’s Artisan Cotton collection, which Tara helped design.

Fabrics for the first project will ship in October, and the first pattern will be released November 1.

I have to say that I have been so engaged with the projects of the last three years, and it has been such fun to see where Tara takes these projects over time—and that has often been to award-winning quilts.

I have learned so much! It’s like learning to read: once learned you can’t go back.

Written by louisaenright

September 1, 2021 at 2:11 pm

“Fractures” Quilt

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Turkey Tracks: July 28, 2021

“Fractures” Quilt

I finished “Fractures” last night and hung it outside my quilt room this morning—after retiring one quilt and moving another.

I am really happy with this quilt.

Latifah Saafir was the guest designer for this year’s 7th month in season 3 of The Color Collective. She called her block “Tenderoni.”

Latifah spread out her block by using blank pieces of her fabric palette (which I really love), but I wanted to play with how the block worked when all were together without interruption. Latifah’s version, though, is a very handsome quilt and a better choice I think if one wants a bigger quilt.

I hand quilted with 12-wt cotton Sulky thread in various colors—using a Tulip Saskido needle.

Written by louisaenright

July 28, 2021 at 9:51 am

A Fun Quilty Journey

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Turkey Tracks: July 12, 2021

A Fun Quilty Journey

It started with seeing Debbie Jeske’s triangle quilt from a class she took with Alaskan quilter Maria Shell at this past year’s QuiltCon virtual (during covid) 2021 meeting—where Maria Shell also won a major award.

I am a big fan of both of these quilters.

Here’s Debbie’s quilt—which is based on Maria Shell’s “Rattlesnake” quilt—and which is on Debbie’s blog, A Quilter’s Table. Among her many workshop class offerings, Maria Shell teaches workshops on dynamic triangle quilts.

My heart started beating the minute I saw Debbie’s quilt. I pulled out Maria Shell’s book IMPROV PATCHWORK, which I have really wanted to start exploring during quilty “play” time, and reminded myself of her “Rattlesnake” quilt, which is featured in her book and in her workshop class list.

I am noticing now how Maria Shell’s triangle lines form a zig zag with her manipulation of the dark colors. Hmmm…. Flashlight! That’s the snake. I can be so dense sometimes when I get overwhelmed with pattern and color. No wonder this quilt is longer rather than wider. I’ll probably have to try this idea down the road. And I am also seeing how the side pieces to each triangle can be different dark colors, but also have some light “pop” colors thrown into the mix.

Anyway, I had an unused palette from this year’s The Color Collective, Tara Faughnan designer, for a project I couldn’t get my head around. (After 3 years and 20 projects, having only 2 projects that didn’t draw me in is an awesome record for Tara Faughnan.) I put the palette and Shell’s book and a picture of Jeske’s quilt in the “to-do play” pile until I had time to get to it.

And that happened this past week as a quilt top on the design wall got finished (“Monkey Business”) and there were several rainy days. Here’s my mostly finished top. There is one block on the far right that is too dark, so I’ll take few minutes to replace that one dark green patch today with the light green and call it a day.

The big challenge was balancing the colors. I did add the pale orange to the original palette. You would think that having 12 colors would be enough, but I really needed one more light color, and I think the orange addition was a good choice.

It will finish at 34 long by 45.5 wide—and I have absolutely no idea how I’ll quilt it. I’ll bind with the dark green, use whatever fabric in my stash that fits the back, and set it up as a wall hanging.

Amy Newbold and Tara Faughnan are going to do a season 4 of The Color Collective. I really feel like I have grown so much as an improv quilter due to The Color Collective, so likely I’ll continue this part of my quilty journey.

The Design Wall, June 26, 2021

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Turkey Tracks: June 23, 2021

The Design Wall, June 26, 2021

The “Tenderoni” quilt top is done, layered, and basted via the longarm basting. I’m almost certainly going to hand quilt it with a 12-wt. cotton in the honey color in the quilt. The binding (the darkest red in the quilt) is here and washed—I’ll cut it this week. I’m calling it “Fractures,” and I’m really pleased with the movement in this quilt. It will be a wall hanging—30 by 42.

Latifah Saafir designed this block and chose the color palette as a guest designer for this year’s The Color Collective (Sewtopia, Amy Newbold). And it has been really interesting to see what other people made with this block.

So with “Fractures” removed, the design wall looks like this now:

The “Monkey Business” blocks are all done. I may still move some blocks later today, but I’ll sew the blocks together after I try one more move with some of the blocks at the bottom. Basically this quilt is a “sampler” quilt of Cotton+Steel/Ruby Star Society fabrics. As such it is fun. And I loved making the blocks. Abbey Lane Quilting designed “Monkey Business,” which appeared in Issue 22 of Simply Modern magazine. The blocks finish at 13 inches—so it will be a fun lap size quilt.

The leader/ender “Funky” wedding ring scrappy top on the left is coming along as well. The pattern is in FREDDY AND GWEN COLLABORATE AGAIN: FRIENDS by Freddie Moran and Gwen Marston. Debbie Jeske of A Quilter’s Table blog made a quilt top recently where she took out the sashing Moran and Marston used, which made the top even more modern. I’ll probably wind up with a lap size top as I don’t see my version as a wall hanging—and I’m liking having fun making this block and using up both solid and printed scraps.

The little round circles are being made from the off-cuts from the “Tenderoni” block.

I thought about moving the circles into different positions on the background block—both sideways and up and down, but when sketching it, I couldn’t make the design work in a coherent way.

There is something really pleasingly “glowy” about this fabric palette as it appears with these little circles.

And now, as we had a good soaking rain yesterday, I need to go and weed! I’m rounding the final corner of the house now.

It’s Monday Again

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Turkey Tracks: June 14, 2021

It’s Monday Again

Funny how Monday rolls around each week.

One thing about time, it is always moving forward.

It was a quiet weekend here, as most weekends are. I worked in the yard mostly and was too tired to sew in the late afternoon. Plus, I did something to my right foot with all the outside work, so there has been pain. And now I really need to stay off of it and let it heal. Nothing serious, just something to slow me down a bit.

So, the good news is that now I will have time to finish sewing this quilt top together.

Reminder: This year Latifah Saafir is the guest designer for Sewtopia’s The Color Collective, season 3, month 7. This “Tenderoni” block and the color palette are her design. Members of The Color Collective this year are making some really interesting quilts using this block. I got intrigued with all the shapes and patterns that can be made by keeping the blocks close together. I’m calling it “Fractures.”

I’ll call this one finished. It will be a wall hanging. I’ll bind with the dark red in the fabric palette, and I found a paisley backing in my stash that will work really well. I may grid quilt it, but I don’t know if I’ll do that by hand yet or not.

Plus, I am playing around with the discarded quarter circle pieces that arrive when the block pieces are cut. I’ll need to redo this trial one as it got itself off-center while being sewed. And maybe I’ll machine stitch it down with a tiny blanket stitch done in invisible thread—as Tara Faughnan taught us way back in the first project of Season 1. I don’t mind the hand stitching though. I suppose those choices will depend on how many circles are available from the scraps.

I had fun this weekend discovering more gardening by Mother Nature.

She planted this Kousa dogwood some years back—when facing the garage, it is on the left, just down a very steep hill. I don’t have any dogwoods, nevermind Kousas, so this tree is so fun.

AC is DELIGHTED to have one of his old balls available for play OUTSIDE. It is now living in my work tool bucket.

I throw garden refuse along the top edge of that hill, both to stabilize it and to see what might start to grow. It is always amazing to see what begins to grow there. Right now there are some wildflowers, including some orange daylilies, some Joe Pye weed, some Bishop’s Weed, and look what else just emerged in the rocky ground.

Three white Fox Glove plants. I also found two more along the driveway over by the rock wall. (Yes, I know they are poisonous for dogs, but AC doesn’t really chew at plants unless I weed and throw them for him to chase, and I won’t be doing that with these plants if by chance they get weeded.)

I was able to mow yesterday, but it got hot again so I came inside. By then my foot was saying “enough.” When it is better, I’ll finish the last two beds on the far side of the house that need massive weeding. One is almost done and the other is small.

And here we are with another week of Maine summer to enjoy!

Written by louisaenright

June 14, 2021 at 8:54 am

Design Wall June 2021

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Turkey Tracks: June 3, 2021

Design Wall June 2021

I’m having fun with quilt projects these days.

The design wall is full of fun.

Here’s the “funky” wedding ring block found in FREDDY AND GWEN COLLABORATE AGAIN: FRIENDS by Freddie Moran and Gwen Marston—and also made recently by Debbie Jeske of A Quilter’s Table blog. I’ve wanted to make this block since I saw Debbie’s modern version. Two blocks are together, but I’ll leave the other parts loose until all are made. I see some already I’ll be wanting to move. And, of course, I’m using up both solid and print scraps in this project.

Here’s Debbie Jeske’s version, which I love. Note that she begins to incorporate some printed fabrics in her half-square triangles at the bottom right. I really like that touch. She has such a great design eye.

Moran and Marston pioneered modern funky blocks, which they often made and put in what they called their “parts department” bins so they would have blocks ready to use. It is always fun to go back and revisit their work.

Guest designer for the seventh and last project from The Color Collective, season 3, is Latifah Saafir. “Tenderoni” is already taking many forms as members of the collective work with the block. Here’s what I have now. I’m thinking 5 by 7 rows, but who knows if this design of mine will hold. I could expand it with insertions of plain blocks of fabric. But I’m kind of liking the “windmill” that is taking shape—and of course all the fractured “parts” of a circle.

This next block designed by Abbey Lane Quilts for Issue 22 of SIMPLY MODERN magazine is called “Monkey Business.” I thought it might work to whittle down my Cotton+Steel/Ruby Star Society fabrics. The block is way fun to make, and I’m having such fun combining fabrics in each block and then making some sense out of where to put each block.

Abby Lane Quilts did a lap size of 4 by 5 blocks, so with a 13 inch block, that’s a nice lap size of 52 by 65.

I’m in no rush on any of these projects. It is just nice to have “play” time on the design wall.

I’ll likely get to the light grey/dark grey big log cabin later in the summer. And I’m looking forward to making it.

I heard this morning that my new longarm is coming in late July! The log cabin will be the first quilt to be quilted on it I think.