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Turkey Tracks: “Celtic Solstice” Quilt

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Turkey Tracks:  February 13, 2014

Celtic Solstice Quilt

“Celtic Solstice” is Bonnie Hunter’s 2013 Mystery Quilt.  Bonnie writes a few weeks before Thanksgiving about fabric choices and releases the first “clue”–which unit we will make first–the day after Thanksgiving.  Then we are off and running–making hundreds of units each week until she reveals the finished quilt and how to put it together sometime before New Year’s.  Some of us finish right away; others take longer as life circumstances are all different.  We had the option to sign up for a Facebook “secret”/closed group to connect with other quilters making CS, and I have to say I have really enjoyed seeing their comments, their work, their different color choices, and the many different ways they put together the quilt.  Some reversed the chevron unit, which made that block more like a star, for instance.  And there were many, many different border treatments.

My CS has been finished for about two weeks now, and it’s been hard not to “share” it here until I could send it to DIL Tamara Kelly Enright for her February 12th birthday.  Tami KELLY Enright is part of the amazing Kelly Clan of Charleston, SC–which has been a boon for all the Enrights.

Two of my friends held it upright at our last quilt meeting as I can rarely get this kind of a shot of a quilt.

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Bonnie designed this quilt after a trip to Ireland last summer.  You can see that it has the colors of the Irish Flag (green, orange, white) and that blue figures prominently.

Here’s what it looks like thrown over a queen-sized bed.

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This is a two-block quilt.  Each block is a nine-patch–and you can see them in this picture.  The block with the green square on point is a Bonnie Hunter design and has appeared in a recent book from Quiltmaker magazine (I think that’s right) of 100 blocks.  The star block–see the blue points with the orange and green four-patch in the middle–is made with Tri-Rec rulers and forms the blue circles.

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Here is a close-up of the very interesting border–and you can see that I quilted with a medium green thread–using a pantograph called “Circle of Life” ordered from Urban Elementz.  I specifically wanted a pantograph with this “New Grange” circle symbol for this quilt.  (New Grange, in Ireland, is an ancient site where the solstice light figures prominently during the solstice.)

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Here’s the backing, binding, and the quilt.  I chose this bright orange backing because I know that Tami likes orange and bright colors AND BECAUSE IT HAS FAIRY BEES all over it.  Tami is a bee keeper and Executive Director of The Bee Cause Project in Charleston, SC, and Savannah, GA.   See their url:  http://www.thebeecause.org/home.html.

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And, the other way:

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Here’s a close-up of the fairy bees:

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I knew very early that this quilt had to go to Tami.  I could hear John whispering in my ears–she’s a Kelly for Heaven’s Sake.  And while there are MANY of my quilts in Tami’s home, even one I made for her when she was pregnant with Bowen, there isn’t a big one that’s just for her.   And I didn’t realize until recently that she likes BRIGHT quilts.

Tami was hard hit with the loss of John–they had a very special relationship, and I’m so glad she could come spend time with him not long before he died.  I put this old Irish poem on the label for her:

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And our loved ones do not totally disappear.  We hear their voices inside ourselves all the time.  They have just gone on before us, to prepare our way.

I have so enjoyed making this quilt and so look forward to next year’s Bonnie Hunter mystery.  Meanwhile, Bonnie’s other mystery quilts are in her books, and there are many I would truly love to make.

Thanks, Bonnie!

Turkey Tracks: January Thaw!

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Turkey Tracks:  January 12, 2014

(I don’t know why some recent posts are not separating paragraphs…  Sorry…)

 

January Thaw!

It’s a January thaw!
It’s 50 degrees!
We can see grass in the snow paths again, and the chickens came out of their coop/cage and are re-exploring the yard.  There is all sorts of talking and crowing and clucking and general delight going on in the yard.
Today’s job was to retrieve TWO glass bowls that the chickens have dragged to the back end of the cage.  The chickens, in their boredom and hunger for different foods, literally lick those bowls clean and drag them around.  Did you know that chickens have tiny little tongues?
Until today, I could not reach them from the front end of the cage with the crab net.  Or poke a broom handle through the chicken wire to push them forward from the back end as the tarps were knee deep in snow.  I’m going to try the very tall tree/limb cutter which has a curved saw on the top–and if that does not work, will try to life the tarps at the back end.
I NEED those bowls to continue feeding the chickens things like warm mash, leftovers, meat and milk, and so forth.
Well!  The tree saw was too tall to wedge into the flap/gap between the coop and the cage.  I finally got the bowls with a leaf rake–the longest one I had.  The tines kept collapsing, but patience and effort was rewarded, and I gradually was able to turn each bowl over and over until I could reach it with the thick pole I use to prop open the coop roof.  Yeah!!!!  I am easily amused, apparently.
Meanwhile, the rooster herded his girls up together next to the house and told them I was an extremely dangerous intruder into their space.  He is so cute and has come into his own.  He crows all the time now.  I’ll try to get some pictures of him soon, but we are getting more weather coming in over the next few days.
Last night I sewed the fifth row of seven of Celtic Solstice.  It’s so pretty.  Only I sewed one of the units upside down, which threw off the pattern.  I took the offending block out of the row, fixed the unit, and resewed the row together.   Now I had TWO blocks upside down.  I took it all apart and fixed both units and resewed and QUIT for the night, thinking I would finish the rows today.  But I have not yet, and I’m not quite sure where the day has gotten to.
I have downloaded another audio book:  P.D. James’s DEVICES AND DESIRES.  Oh my gosh!  There is a mini-series of this book:
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There is something so seductive about having someone read a story to you while you sew.  I finished BEST OF WOMEN’S SHORT STORIES, Vol. 1, William J. Locke, yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it.  There were a number of stories I read in school, like Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” and it was a pleasure to hear them dramatized.
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I spent some time yesterday going through ALL the 1200 titles of the audio books as the search engine is not great on this system.  I found so many books I will love to hear and made lists of the same.  I thought a mystery would be fun for a change.