Turkey Tracks: “Megunticook Marmalade” Quilt

Turkey Tracks:  June 1, 2018

“Megunticook Marmalade” Quilt

Oops!  This post got published too early by mistake…

My apologies.

Here is my Bonnie Hunter 2017 Mystery Quilt “On Ringo Lake.”  I changed the colors and am calling it “Megunticook Marmalade” after our local lake and river.

I quilted with 12-inch “Simple Feathers” by Anne Bright–in a light grey Signature thread.  I love my backing–a Cotton+Steel fabric.

Here’s a corner.

And some shots of the quilt top.



This quilt is…beyond…intricate.  It’s one of the hardest quilts I’ve ever made, and it is my 142nd quilt.  I love tiny pieces and units, so that wasn’t it.  I was stressed by how many of the seams butted up to each other–and this quilt does have some “knots” at intersections, though I tried clipping into seams as much as possible.  It also took me forever to put the top together.  Many, many, many hours.  I am now seeing all sorts of secondary patterns, so I suppose it was worth all the work and stress.

Bonnie Hunter is an amazing designer.  For sure.

Turkey Tracks: Yummy!

Turkey Tracks:  June 1, 2018


It is yummy to be on my porch in the Maine spring and summer.  I spend a lot of time out here in the summer.

All the container pots are planted now and are growing well.  That means DAILY WATERING.  But I don’t care.  The feeling of being on either porch–upper or lower–is about which life should be.  And I do like the summer work of porch, lawn, and gardens.  Doing this work makes me feel…connected, alive, energetic, satisfied.

I’m putting the binding on Bonnie Hunter’s 2017 Mystery Quilt “On Ringo Lake.”  I changed the colors so I’m calling it “Megunticook Marmelade.”  Pics and post to follow soon.  This quilt is kind of a “fit” with my “Butterscoth Fall” finished last winter.  I don’t think I’ve ever taken a quilt out on the porch while sewing binding.  Who knew it would be so peaceful?

And here is more yummy!!  A hammock where the hot tub used to be!!!  I put it TOGETHER MYSELF, which was no small feat given the angles that had to fit together.  I got into it to test it out and…did not want to get out.  Where was my book?  How about a nap???

Here’s the lower porch.  You can sit out here in the rain.  I only use the upper deck, seen above, in the winter when it is sunny and one can sit out there with a sweater despite pretty cold temps.  In the summer this porch is way, way too hot.


On the walkway.  Love it when this creeps blooms.


Summer is here!

Turkey Tracks: Coastal Quilters’ 2018 Mothers’ Day Retreat: Part 5

Turkey Tracks:  May 21, 2018

Coastal Quilters’ 2018 Mothers’ Day Retreat:  Part 5

Betsy Maislen

Betsy comes to our retreat from Vermont.

I showed her “Long Time Gone” blocks in Part 1.

She brought her Bonnie Hunter 2017 Mystery Quilt “On Ringo Lake” quilt to share.  And we went to a local quilt store (Marden’s) and found a light coral backing for it.  Thank heavens Linda Satkowski was with us because it took an intervention to get us out of Mardens.  Betsy and I sewed our versions of this quilt together, starting the Friday after Thanksgiving and ending before New Year’s Eve.  Only, it took both of us longer to get the top together.  This quilt is…difficult.

Betsy got this top together and her borders planned.  She wanted to use the dark blue batik for an inner border but didn’t have enough of it.  Guess what?  She found more of it in her local quilt store after 4 years.  It was meant to be…

Turkey Tracks: Quilts By Friends: Betsy Maislen

Turkey Tracks:  February 23, 2018

Quilts By Friends:  Betsy Maislen

Betsy lives in Vermont and comes to MidCoast Maine to sail on the windjammer J&E Riggin, out of Rockland, Maine.  Last summer, after retiring in June, she volunteered to cook with Annie Mahle, co-owner of the Riggin with Jon Finger, for six weeks in September and October.  She stayed with me between trips, which was so much fun.  She also attended the May 2017 Coastal Quilters retreat at the Franciscan Guest House.

Annie and I roped her into making the Bonnie Hunter 2017 mystery quilt with us, and here is her finished top.  I really love the neutral borders she chose.

Next, I suggested she sew along with Mt. Battie Modern Quilt Guild’s challenge to make Jen Kingwell’s “Long Time Gone” quilt over the next year.

Here are her January and February blocks–and one of the March blocks.

I love her use of color in these blocks.


We all did different variations of this “star in star” block.




And, here is the March “crosses” block:


Yep!  Making these blocks is addictive.  Go Betsy!

Turkey Tracks: My “On Ringo Lake” Quilt Top

Turkey Tracks:  February 5, 2018

“On Ringo Lake” Quilt Top Done

Finished the top.  “On Ringo Lake” is Bonnie Hunter’s 2017 Mystery Quilt.  She releases the first clue the Friday after Thanksgiving.  The digital pattern is now available on her website, quiltville.com

I changes colors from Bonnie’s aqua, coral, dark brown, and neutrals to my grey, gold, black, and neutrals.

The secondary patterns are awesome.

I would rate this quilt as difficult.  And I’m an accomplished seamstress.  Bonnie’s directions are really good, and she shows you multiple ways to do the units.  I like to do her quilts because I always learn a lot.  This time was no exception.  I love the new “corner” ruler she introduced.  It sits on my cutting table all the time now.

Not sure how I’ll quilt it.  To remind, here is my Cotton+Steel backing and the gold binding I found:

Turkey Tracks: January 5, 2018

Turkey Tracks:  January 5, 2018

January 5, 2018

I’m not sure how it got to be January 5, 2018, already!

Where does the time get to so fast?

We survived yesterday’s “Bomb Cyclone” up here in Mid-Coast Maine.  I’ve seen much worse in terms of blizzards.  Maine coastal areas flooded, however.  Just north of Camden, Lincolnville Beach flooded.  I’ve never seen that kind of winter flooding before this storm, and many old timers here are saying they have not either.  It is not an exaggeration to say that we are in unchartered territory in terms of big storms and rising waters.

I replenished bird food and Louisa food before the storm.  The bags are so boldly colorful.

After this storm, we have a fair amount of snow on the ground.  The winter sports folks are delighted.   Here’s my back deck, so you can see what’s accumulated now.

The turkeys stay with me all winter now, but these males stick very close.  They spent the storm under the big white pine and their backs were often were covered with snow.  Did it help insulate their bodies?

I’ve had a lot of intense sewing time in recent weeks, which I love.  The Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt “reveal” came just before New Year’s, along with all the finishing “clues.”  “On Ringo Lake” is an intense, very scrappy quilt.  I am enjoying seeing all the different color ways and different settings people have used in this quilt and look forward to seeing my own different colors playing together.  You can see the finished quilt on Bonnie’s web site:  quiltville.com.

I don’t know.  I think in recent years Bonnie Hunter’s designs have gotten more and more busy.  Or, modern quilts have changed my own tastes.  But I often feel that all the busyness in sashings, especially, is detracting from the clever, innovative blocks she designs.  I know that opinion is a very personal taste take on my part, but I think my own challenge with her work that I attempt will be to scale back some of the elements.  The eye, I think, needs resting places.  Too much is…too much…and robs the work of its specialness.  The cleverness is getting…lost.

Here is a picture of some of the small quilts in my sewing room–made over the past 13 or so years:

I cut out a fleece top yesterday.  I’m working up my courage to sew it mostly on the serger.  Wish me luck!





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: Turkeys in Trees and Clue 5

Turkey Tracks:  December 26, 2017

Turkeys in Trees and Clue 5

It snowed all day yesterday.

I have about a foot on the ground up here on Howe Hill Road.  It’s pretty, very light, and very sparkly snow.

The plow/shovel guys came early, followed by Kelsey’s Appliance.  There is no way a van truck would be getting up my drive with a foot of unplowed snow on the ground.  The dishwasher is fixed–after a very nice conversation with the repair man.  Thank you Tom Jackson for sending the plow team.

The male turkeys spent most of the day in the trees out front yesterday–which is interesting because they usually roost in the big pines to the side of the house.  Why the bare trees, I wondered?  The tops of these trees were whipping around like crazy in the worst of the snow.  Are they safer than the big pines in a storm?  Or do the turkeys like the ride?  Who knows.

Four of the usual six that hang about here are in this picture–two on the left and two on the right.  One of the dark shapes on the left is a huge squirrel nest.

I spent some portion of the day working on Clue 5 of Bonnie Hunter’s 2017 mystery quilt, “On Ringo Lake.”

This clue wants flying geese units–in the dark fabric and neutrals.

I really love the new corner ruler Bonnie surfaced for this quilt.

The angle piece helps cut the side triangles, and the square side measures units. The ruler t is especially nice for cutting units from strips.  The orientation lines are wonderfully accurate for all the tasks..

Here’s a close-up:

I have not had to sliver trim one of the MANY flying geese units we have made now.  Of course, I fiddled with the needle position to get the needle sewing in the perfect place first–before chain piecing.


One does have to pay attention to WHERE one is making the angle cut though.  Or one gets this kind of unit.

Fortunately, as I’m working in piles of ten, I only did this ONCE.  I was too engrossed in my downloaded book I guess.  Or, it was time to STOP and WALK AWAY.



Turkey Tracks: “On Ringo Lake” Clue 4

Turkey Tracks:  December 19, 2017

“On Ringo Lake” Clue 4

This week was “easy peasy.”

So happy, as we’ve had, as we always do, some intensive sewing.

I chain-pieced all 218 units–first one side and then the other–and finished by Tuesday.

Here are some units with the first triangle ironed and piles of triangles on the left that go on the other side.

Done!  And glad to see that I do have enough light grey to be lighter than the blacks.

I’m hoping upcoming clues have more neutrals…

Here’s a block for the parts department–made from the tiny “waste” triangles in earlier clues.  Once was enough with these tiny blocks.  Cute though…