Turkey Tracks: “Grand Illusion” Finished

February 21, 2015

“Grand Illusion” Finished

Here she is:  Bonnie Hunter’s 2014 Mystery Quilt, “Grand Illusion,” inspired by the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan.

You may recall that Bonnie gives out her colors in early November some time.  We all scramble around picking fabrics and getting ready to go.  Then she releases the first “clue”–which is the making of the quilt’s first set of units–on the Friday after Thanksgiving.  (Why on earth do they call that Friday “Black Friday”?)  After that, we are off and running at the pace that each of us can manage.  Some times we fall behind, some times we take months to finish the quilt, some times we finish it about a week after Bonnie releases her version–the “reveal”–sometime between Christmas and New Year’s.

I finished mine this week.  And I will say up front that I need better pictures of the whole quilt than I have.  I’ll get some at our next quilt meeting (we’ve had to cancel both the January and February meetings due to the Maine weather) when friends will hold her up for me.


See the secondary pattern that forms around the turquoise square?  See the big blue star?  And the diamond that outlines it with the darker pinks?

Here’s the main block in my quilt–surrounded by the green/white/black sashings




Here’s the very cool border.  ( I love how the yellow is working in this quilt.)



Here’s the backing fabric–which I think is an INSPIRED choice for this very contemporary quilt.  I found the fabric at Fiddlehead in Belfast, Maine.


Bluebirds, bicycles, and daisy’s–both in the bicycle basket and, larger, in the background.  The fabric also has a very French feel to it…

I quilted with a warm yellow, using a Daisy pantograph from Anne Bright called “He Loves Me” at 10 inches.

Here’s a view from the front of one daisy:


And one from the back that as chance would have it, kind of overlays one of the white daisies:


It’s an awfully cute quilt–especially for a teen age girl.



(Wild-haired dolly will soon be going to her owner, who will be 2 in April and probably reeling from the shock of a new baby.)



Turkey Tracks: Streak of Lightening Quilt

February 20, 2015

Fun Fiber Projects in February

How’s that for alliteration?

And. oops, this one published before I wanted it to.  It was meant for tomorrow…

I finished Bonnie Hunter’s 2014  Mystery Quilt, “Grand Illusions,” and will show that on a separate blog post.  It’s a spectacular, exciting quilt and was so much fun to make.

Look at this big red border!  This scrappy streak of lightening quilt top is done.  It will go on the long arm later today.  Remember that this quilt top has come entirely out of my stash and from the leftovers of two other scrappy quilts that I am using in my downstairs tv/sitting room.



I’m working on another hand-sewing quilt:  octagons.


I am playing around with the opposites on the color wheel.  This one is blue and orange.  Remember the Lucy Boston quilt I did was two more opposites:  red and green.

Here it is again:


Purple and yellow may be hexies…

Who knows?

This year, American Patchwork and Quilting magazine has issued a challenge to make quilts with 4-patch blocks.  Bonnie Hunter is one of the quilters–and you can go to the magazine’s web page and get the complete list.  The current magazine has all sorts of gorgeous pictures as part of this challenge.  Remember last year that their challenge involved low-contrast quilts–or, “tone it down” is how I remember them phrasing the challenge.

Anyway, Bonnie is doing something mysterious with this kind of block, put on-point, and which starts with 2-inch squares.  Here are two I have made, and I love them!


Look at my 2-inch square box.  It definitely needs to be cleared out…


So I will be making 4-patches of light and dark, regardless of what I do with them all.  Four-patches are endlessly useable.  So this will be a new leader/ender project.

I am also playing around with blocks for a low contrast quilt–in more of the Kaffe Fasset mold–color drenched, I hope.


I didn’t want that central set of blocks to have any order to move your eye around…  Or to line it up–in the way alternating light/dark squares would do.

It’s a work in progress, and I am having fun playing.

You can see the backing for the streak of lightening quilt on the long arm…



Turkey Tracks: Wild and Crazy Quilt

Turkey Tracks:  January 27, 2015

Wild and Crazy Quilt


I am now piecing Bonnie Hunter’s 2014 Mystery Quilt (started Black Friday after Thanksgiving and revealed just before New Year’s 2014).

This quilt is one wild and crazy thing!

Here’s what my blocks look like so far–they are not joined to one another yet–just pinned.  I am intrigued by the secondary pattern between the whirlagigs.  So interesting!



Here’s a close-up of one block.  Each block is sashed with the green/white/black outer border.  The cornerstone is the big aqua block.


Turkey Tracks: “Grand Illusion” Quilt Revealed

Turkey Tracks:  January 2, 2014

“Grand Illusion” Quilt Revealed

Well, I have my answer.



is going to turn into a version of THIS:


That’s Bonnie with her Dad at Thanksgiving.

And, here’s the computer version Bonnie Hunter posted:


Bonnie Hunter is ONE TALENTED WOMAN!!!

I can’t wait to sew my blocks together.

But I have to get THIS off the design wall first:

(Sorry, blurry photo, but you get the idea.  This is a version of Bonnie Hunter’s Scrappy Trips…which is on her website.)


And THIS off the long arm so I can push it back against the wall:


Here’s a close-up:


Grandson Kelly fell in love with this backing fabric when we went to a sale at Alewives Quilt Shop in Nobleboro, Maine, last summer.  Here’s a shot of it from the rear of the longarm:



I’m using the Bishop’s Fan Groovy Boards and an old gold colored thread that is puuuurfect.

Both of these quilts are being made from my 2 1/2-inch strips, a stash method taught by Bonnie Hunter.  The bin is about halfway down now…Yeah!

I’m going to use them in my downstairs room rather than the blankets and dog-covers I have now.  They’ll be loved and washed.


Turkey Tracks: What Kind of Quilt Will These Units Make?

Turkey Tracks:  December 28, 2014

What Kind of Quilt Will These Units Make?

I’m up to date with the “clues” for Bonnie Hunter’s 2014 Mystery Quilt, Grand Illusion.

But, will there be another clue, or are we done?

There were 4 units that might well be the cornerstones this week…

Here’s what I have right now…including the little “extra” units of small 1/2-square triangles…


We will all get the “reveal” or a new clue next Friday…

Turkey Tracks: Bonnie Hunter’s 2014 Mystery Quilt: Grand Illusion

Turkey Tracks:  December 15, 2014

Bonnie Hunter’s 2014 Mystery Quilt

The mystery started on Black Friday.

I was in Charleston, SC, at a family retreat for Thanksgiving–more on this quality experience later.

I left my fabrics ironed and ready to go when I got home on Tuesday after Thanksgiving–FIVE days after the first clue.


I finished the first and second clues last night.  Here’s what I have so far in terms of units made–which includes 400 bonus half-square 2-inch triangles made while making the pile of units on the left.  This method of making bonus triangles was, I believe, pioneered by Bonnie:


Clue 3 came last Friday, and it’s got GREEN, which I had thought might happen:


I’m on the job as soon as I finish posting to the blog!!!

120 units to make…

Turkey Tracks: Sewing/Knitting Projects Update November 2014

Turkey Tracks:  November 17, 2014

Sewing/Knitting Projects Update November 2014

Late October (that strange blizzard) and early November have brought a fair amount of inclement weather.  It is snowing off and on today, as a matter of fact.

So, I have been snuggling into a whole array of winter projects.

This big quilt is quilted, and the binding is on.  It is just waiting for me to sew down the binding.  It’s 97 inches square, so it will take some nights of hand sewing.







BUT, I’ve been finishing knitting a white linen shawl at night.  There’s a tale here.  I started this shawl on the J&E Riggin in early September.  I had it completely finished but did not like the tension, so I took it apart and went down a needle size.  I’m much happier with it now, and it’s almost done.  Just a few more nights.


After linen is knitted, one thoroughly wets it, dries it, and irons it.  In the process, the linen turns soft as butter and very shiny.

Our Coastal Quilters and Georges Valley auction took place last weekend–and look what I bid on and won:


Gail Galloway Nicholson made this quilt, and Joan Herrick quilted it freehand on her long-arm.

Here’s a closeup:


It gives me such pleasure to have the work of friends and family in my home.  Everytime I walk past one of these pieces I am reminded of the loved ones involved and of all the wonderful energy that they have put into their work.

You can see that this quilt is so, so happy to live on my coral chair!

I am in the process of making other quilts for this downstairs room.  I need quilts that can be loved, used, and washed–in place of the dog-blanket strategies that live in this sitting room/tv room/den space.  So, here’s a quilt top I’ve just finished that’s going to go on the back of the couch–where Rey Rey likes to hang out so she can see the back door comings and goings:


Fun, huh?  It’s 85 inches square, and I think I’ll just bind it without adding any borders.  I’ll quilt it when I return from Charleston December 2nd.

Here’s the backing–which is especially nostalgic as grandson Kelly Enright picked it out with me this summer.  He’ll get such a kick out of seeing this quilt with it’s lively backing when he next comes to visit.


This quilt is made with the 2 1/2-inch strips that I cut up from my stash two summers ago.  I had a HUGE bin filled to the top.  Look now:


OK, I have a few of the darks and mediums out on the cutting board as I’m using them in another quilt top:


It’s Bonnie Hunter’s Scrappy Trip Around the World version, and I’m having so much fun putting together various sets of 6 strips for each block (at 16 inches).  Here’s two of the blocks I made yesterday:


I’ve seen so many variants of this quilt now, and I can’t wait to see how mine develops.  I’m sure the blocks will get moved over and over again until I’m happy with the results.

My leader/ender project now is a low-contrast quilt made with a focus fabric and 2 1/2-inch light and dark blue blocks.  I’m mixing the focus fabric into the four-patch/eight-patch blocks.


Here’s what’s forming on the design wall–in a dark corner of the wall.  I’m playing with creating a center of 8 pieced blocks surrounding one of the focus fabric squares.  I don’t know how this will work out…   I’m just playing.  I may play with some single 4-patch blocks surrounded with sashings of the focus fabric as well.  Or, use another fabric that co-ordinates.  Who knows?  That’s what play is all about…



I made a big soup yesterday so was able to quilt until I got hungry.  AND, I’ll freeze some of it to have on the night I return.  The meat is from the turkey I roasted earlier in the year–a turkey from last Thanksgiving that came from my neighbors:  Susan McBride and Chris Richmond of Golden Brook Farm.  Sometime last summer I defrosted the turkey, cut it up, and roasted it.  I froze one-half of the turkey breast and am just now using it.


I used a chicken bone-broth base (of course), the turkey, and what I had on hand:  frozen tomatoes from the summer, onions, carrots, celery, fresh parsley, rutabaga, some brown rice, and the Indian spices (cumin, coriander, a bit of cinnamon, tumeric).  It’s super delicious!!

My fabrics for Bonnie Hunter’s Mystery Quilt 2014–Grand Illusion–are ironed and ready to go!  I’ll get the first clue the day after Thanksgiving, but will not be able to start it until I get home.  But, I’m ready!


I leave for Charleston, SC, this Thursday, for the Thanksgiving holidays with my family, and, as always, posting to the blog with the ipad is always chancy–but I’ll take lots of pictures and will post when I get home if all else fails!