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Turkey Tracks: And Then There Were Two: Quilty Update

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Turkey Tracks:  September 19, 2017

And Then There Were Two:  Quilty Update

 

I haven’t been able to work on this project–which came out of an Amy Friend workshop earlier in the year–because I was trying to catch up on other started projects.  I’m kind of driven that way, actually, and I allowed myself to start too many projects–which made me cross.  Amy showed us how to design our own blocks, and this is mine.  I am so happy to have had time to make another block last week.  They are 16 inches and foundation pieced, so each one takes a bit of time.  I am using all Cotton+Steel fabrics on the charcoal solid background.  You can start to see the funky shape a bit now.  I am loving these blocks!

By the way, Amy has her first designed fabrics out now.  You might want to go to her blog (During Quiet Time) to see the fabrics, which she designed to be used in foundation pieced projects as that is her first love AND to see what she is making with these fabrics.

I have Bonnie Hunter’s 2016 Mystery Quilt, En Provence, on the long arm, but have been distracted with–among other projects–picking some clothing patterns, making my “cutting out” patterns, buying some fabric, and–oh my goodness–making the first one, a tunic in linen.  More pictures coming on these projects soon.  Meanwhile, En Provence, has at least two runs done and the binding made.  I’m using a pale lavender thread which is awesome with this quilt and its backing.

I FINISHED MY KATJA MAREK MILLEFIORE QUILT.  It’s been a year long project to paper piece it, and I LOVE how it came out.  More pictures coming when it is quilted and bound.  It will go on the long arm next, and I finally figured out how I want to quilt it.

Now I am doing Willyne Hammerstein’s paper pieced quilt called “Valse Brillante,” from her book MILLEFIORI QUILTS.  And then there were…SEVEN blocks.  These guys are a bit more tedious to make, but aren’t they fun?  I am liking this project.

My rules are text, brights, and some solid fabrics.  We learned about making “rules” to follow from Timna Tarr when she came to Coastal Quilters (Maine) last year for a workshop.  When I glue blocks, I make two of each block with the brights and text fabrics reversed:  one small, one large of each.

 

Friend Becca Babb-Brott lucked into taking a two-day Gee Bend quilters class at Maine’s recent Fiber College.  Of my friends, Becca is the one who loves improv quilting the most I think.  So this class was right up her funway path.  Here’s what she has done so far.  Note the use of solids.  These pieces will be connected, and they are actually wider than they appear here now.  Note the jean pocket on the lower piece.  She plans to add another pocket.  Using old denim is something the Gee Bend quilters do/did a lot.  They used what they had.  The Gee Bend quilters advocate working out the width of your piece and them building more to the top and bottom.  It will be interesting to see where this one goes.

 

Gee Bend comes back every other year, and we are already plotting going when they return.

If you don’t know the Gee Bend history, take a minute to google them.  Their quilts are unique and are both old and modern and not quite describable.  They defy “rules.”

 

Turkey Tracks: The Completed “Farmer’s Wife” Project

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Turkey Tracks:  June 21, 2017

The Completed “Farmer’s Wife” Project

A group of us started Laurie Aaron Hird’s THE FARMER’S WIFE 1930 SAMPLER QUILT a little over a year ago.

We showed the completed quilts at our June Coastal Quilters (Maine) meeting.

Here they are–in the order in which they were shown, which was ad hoc.

Lynn Vermeulen used batiks–and devised the very successful and subtle setting of pale stripes.

Lovely quilting too.

This quilt is Paula Blanchard’s FIRST QUILT.  She chose to do a selection of the foundation pieced blocks and set them in the “zig zag” setting with black.  Gorgeous Paula!

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Becca Babb-Brott’s choice of modern fabrics is a whole new learning curve for me.   I love these fabrics.  Becca used a pale grey fabric from Dear Stella Designs for her background.  AND she was the instigator of this group project.

Becca had started an earlier version of Laurie Aaron Hird’s sampler quilts, so Becca put those blocks on the back of her quilt.

Linda Satkowski used the most interesting background fabric.  I loved it at first sight!  Her scrappy blocks are so much fun.  Note how she uses the background fabric in some of her blocks so that the outer edges disappear.

Here’s the background fabric up close.

And Linda’s choice of a scrappy outer border delighted us.

Margaret Elaine Jinno wanted her quilt to have a coastal/water/blues feel.  And it does.  She has had some issues with her hand, and has since had an operation on it, but was able to get her top completed for our showing.  Go Margaret Elaine!  I could also say that M-E is the most proficient seamstress I know.  She could knock out these blocks without turning a hair while I SWEATED over many of them.

You’ve seen my quilt, but here it is again.  I added strips to the side to make the top wider and set extra blocks (not used in the zig zag setting) on each side.  My background fabric is the teal version of Becca’s grey.  This fabric comes in LOTS of colors, and I like them all.

THIS PROJECT IS DONE.  (We’re now working on Tula Pink’s 100 city sampler blocks.)

Written by louisaenright

June 21, 2017 at 10:55 am

Turkey Tracks: Amy Friend Workshop

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Turkey Tracks:  April 13, 2017

Amy Friend Workshop

You probably think I have deserted you since I have not posted recently.

But, I have been having Quilty Fun.

Amy Friend was just here for a workshop on Improv Paper Piecing.

Our brains are still spinning.  Mine is, anyway.

Here is Amy’s exciting new book.  She is such a good teacher.

We learned all about how to create our own improv blocks and all of us walked away with fresh design ideas that we are now making into quilts.  Our monthly all-day Sit and Sew at the Camden Lion’s Club was buzzing with Amy Friend projects in process.

First, Amy did a trunk show of quilts from the book–and some extras as well.  She used these quilts to illustrate the ideas in the book AND to show us what makes an improv, modern quilt.

So, I’m going to share those quilts with you.

The quilts are being held up by President Lynn Vermeulen and VP/Program Organizer Becca Babb Brott.  (Remember Becca has an Etsy store, Sew Me A Song, where you can find some really interesting modern fabrics, including the harder-to-find Japanese fabrics by Japanese designers.)

Note the jagged triangles–very modern.  This is an early Amy Friend quilt that is NOT in the book.  Amy used it to talk about destabilizing a traditional block, among other ideas.

I love this one–of course I do.  I’m a scrappy quilter.  These fabrics are all Cotton+Steel.  This one is a great scrap buster.

Funky stars done in a very modern black/white/green combo.

Simple is sometimes best.  That’s Amy on the left.  Here she talked about the use of negative space, an “open” block, and her color combos.

A modern hour glass.

Note that the dark blue does NOT evenly meet up with the light blue.

I LOVE this one:

Stained glass and the use of negative space with interesting quilting.

Architecture…

Modern objects–a road sign repeated.

Love this one too.

Mirror images.

These next quilts are not in the book, but were made along the way as Amy refined/defined what she wanted to share in the book.

My goodness!  I love this quilt.

And this one, seen some time ago now, probably from Amy’s blog, likely sparked my own design for the workshop.  It seemed like stained glass.

This one, “Twinkle,” is in a book named SCRAPS, INC. Vol. 1, compiled by Susanne Woods.  It generated one of my designs from the workshop (a separate blog post on those).  This quilt is probably my all-time Amy Friend favorites.  I think because it is scrappy.  I think I will make it one of these days.

Amy has her FIRST fabric line coming out any minute now.  She has designed “blenders” as she really likes to work with solid fabrics in her quilts.

Amy’s blog is http://www.duringquiettime.com.

So, more on my designs and plans next post.

 

Turkey Tracks: The Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Sampler Quilt is FINISHED

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Turkey Tracks:  March 14, 2017

The Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Sampler Quilt is FINISHED

This project–99 foundation pieced blocks–many of them VERY DIFFICULT and time consuming–took a year to make.  A group of us at Coastal Quilter’s (Maine) took on this project in January 2016.  We decided on 9 blocks a month, and if it weren’t for the encouragement and stimulation of these other quilters, I don’t think I would have ever finished this project.  All of us have completed all 99 blocks, two of us have totally finished, two of us have quilts at longarm quilters, one “very busy” of us with a larger family has all her blocks finished, and one of us elected from the beginning to make a smaller quilt and is finished with her blocks.  I call that a roaring success.

Each of us used different fabrics and different backgrounds, and all of the quilts are GORGEOUS! We will bring them all together at a Coastal Quilter’s meeting when everyone is done, so I will get pictures to share of the others then.

Here’s mine–and I’ve even washed it.  This is a BIG QUILT.

Because I used this zig-zag setting, I could either “halve” four of five of the blocks or chose a different setting.  No way was I cutting any of these blood-sweat-and tears blocks in half!!!  And I thought this setting made the quilt too long and narrow.  So I added two rows on either side and floated the extra blocks.  I did have one extra block, to make 100, and it went into the body of the quilt.  I love this setting.  I had visions of quilting down the length of the zig-zags from the front of the long arm, but that would have meant quilting each of the blocks individually, and that would have been way too time consuming for me.  And would have probably involved a lot of thread changes.  I decided it was way too involved for me, so I used one of my favorite pantographs, “Simple Feathers” by Anne Bright.

Right now, it’s living on the living room couch where it totally perks up the room.

I chose this bird fabric for my backing and used a darker (than the front) teal blue/green solid for the binding.

I quilted with a thread that matched the teal/green surrounding fabric that just disappeared into the quilt.  I didn’t want anything to take away from the blocks themselves.  I washed it, which I almost never do until needed–I wash all my fabric before quilting with them as the chemicals in the fabric bother me–so it is all crinkly and cuddly.

Here’s a pic of a few of the blocks.

 

Written by louisaenright

March 14, 2017 at 2:11 pm

Turkey Tracks: Tula Pink’s 100 Modern Blocks

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Turkey Tracks:  February 4, 2017

Tula Pink’s 100 Modern Blocks

Some Coastal Quilters have issued a new challenge for 2017 to members:  to make Tula Pink’s “City Sampler” from her book 100 Modern Blocks.

(We are sewing our Farmer’s Wife blocks into tops now.)

 

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Again, we will do about 9 blocks a month, ending in December.

These blocks are all about the fabric and, unlike the Farmer’s Wife blocks, are pretty easy.  Indeed, they are FUN!

I am going to use Cotton + Steel in all of my blocks, but will allow myself some digressions with other designers mixed in, like some of the Japanese fabrics I like, some Carolyn Friedlander, and some solids, including shot cotton.

Here my first 9 blocks:

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As with the Farmer’s Wife blocks, adding solids can work to sharpen other fabrics–which I did not do unfortunately.  The top left block needed some solids as the fabrics are too jumbled together.  What can be pretty when looking at big pieces of fabrics can…not be…when pieces are small.  You would think I would have learned that lesson after all the Farmer’s Wife blocks.  But, no…

The bottom right “jacks” block also needed more definition.  The aqua is too busy.

Having said that, as with the Farmer’s Wife blocks, they all look pretty when they get into a quilt top.

The main thing is to have some fun with each block and not to stress about perfection.  Some work better than others.

This collection came in the mail today, from Craftsy:  Cotton + Steel “basics.”  They should help with the basics problem.  If you haven’t discovered Craftsy fabrics yet, take a look.  Also, I like the Etsy store, Stash Builders for specific colorways, etc.  And, of course, I continue to love Becca Babb-Brott’s Etsy store, Sew Me A Song.

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I got my first low-volume monthly shipment from Pink Castle fabrics, and it was beautiful.  I treated myself some time around Christmas.  I have since changed this fabric club to Cotton + Steel, but I really loved the first low-volume shipment from them.  Hmmmm…  I continue to be enchanted with low-volume fabrics.

I hope readers are having a good quilty winter.  I know I am.

 

Turkey Tracks: The Coastal Quilters’ October Retreat

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Turkey Tracks:  October 22, 2016

The Coastal Quilters’ October Retreat

We had a great time!

As happened in May, we want to go back soon, soon, soon…

And we will in May and October 2017.  AND we will add a day for those of us who want a bit longer time sewing at the Franciscan Guest House in Kennebunk, Maine.  (This forty acre property sits walking distance to the town or the beach and the grounds themselves are lovely.)  We checked in Monday at 1 p.m. and left Wednesday around noon, but could have stayed until 1 p.m.

This time, we were in the gym.  Look at this awesome set-up:

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(That is Vicki Fletcher at the cutting table.  See her quilt below.)

We had lots and lots of ironing boards and design walls and a table full of snacks we had brought with us and coffee, tea, and water supplied.  We have breakfast every day, lunch on the full day, and dinner on the two nights we are there.

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Here is Vicki’s quilt–which is made from a four-patch of five-inch blocks that get sliced and resewn.

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Sharon Flanagan and Margaret-Elaine Jinno.  Margaret-Elaine had pre-cut Farmer’s Wife blocks and she made SIXTEEN of them over the two days.

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Sharon worked on hemming some curtains for her brother and left Saturday afternoon for a special high tea at MIT, returning early evening.  She and Margaret Elaine stayed up late, and when the rest of us came down in the morning, we found this quilt on the design wall.  It’s an “amazing” quilt.  Do you see why?

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Lisa Niles brought her friend Sandy Pushaw.

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Here’s Lisa’s quilt:

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Here’s Sandy:

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And here’s Sandy’s quilt developing:  a trip around the world.

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Nancy Saulnier, or Mac, is Jan Kelsey’s friend.  She came last May and is coming again, with or without Jan.

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A Christmas beauty:

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Tori Manzi was with us for the first time:

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Tori did a retreat with Pink Castle quilts (a good site to follow) up in Michigan.  The medallion and each of the borders were designed by different designers.  We had such a good time watching Tori make these borders.  There are more borders to follow I think.

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Here’s another project Tori is working on–a “sampler” type quilt of these big, intricate blocks.  This one is foundation pieced.

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Jan Kelsey worked on a number of projects.  There was a quilt with half-square triangles that disappeared from the design board before I got a picture of it.  Here Jan is working on one of the grocery bags made from feed sacks.

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Look at this cute feed sack!

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My friend Penny Rogers Camm came over from Burlington, Vermont, to join us.  You can see her FIRST QUILT in an earlier blog post.  Here she is with Becca Babb-Brott (check out Becca’s Sew Me A Song Etsy store).

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Penny fell in love with Amy Friend’s “Tell Me A Story” quilt and here are her first blocks for that quilt, which is FOUNDATION PIECED.  She is doing fine with that method.

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She went home with this many blocks made.  I am very proud of my student!

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Lots of sharing went on among everyone.  We really loved this unified setting we had–no middle aisle to separate us.

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Becca worked on the Jen Kingwell project she has undertaken–a fusion of three Kingwell quilts, using all Kingwell blocks.  Becca is creating a geographical “scene” in this quilt.

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See the sky, the town buildings, etc.

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Mary Sue Bishop finished her sweatshirt jacket.  Behind her is the beginning of her trip around the world quilt.

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Here’s the back of Mary’s jacket:

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Linda Satkowski worked on several projects during the retreat.

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Linda sashed blocks from the Bonnie Hunter 2015 mystery quilt, “Allietore.”  Isn’t this gorgeous?  She will add another row maybe and, definitely, a border.

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Becca wanted to see what kinds of colors she had in the Farmer’s Wife blocks, so she just randomly put blocks on a design wall.  The camera is making her grey background look flat, but that grey is all shimmery and glowy in real life.  This quilt will be so much fun.

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As I said, as we were driving away, we wanted to return.

 

Written by louisaenright

October 22, 2016 at 1:55 pm

Turkey Tracks: August Farmer’s Wife Blocks

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Turkey Tracks:

August Farmer’s Wife Blocks

There are 99 blocks in this project.  A group of Coastal Quilters of Maine are doing eight a month.  These blocks were designed by Laurie Aaron Bird in her THE FARMER’S WIFE 1930s SAMPLER QUILT project.  We are foundation piecing these intricate blocks and are mostly on track.  I’ve got posts for all that I have done is you want to see them.

No. 57, Margaret:  The cat fabric and the non-polka dot fabric are Cotton + Steel.

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No. 58, Martha:  The bright green fabric is Japanese.

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No 59, Mary:  The green fabric is a new Cotton + Steel fabric from the Portugal collection.  Just bought some of it in the mustard color.

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No 60, Mary Gray:  These fabrics are all Japanese.

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No 61, May:  The blue and cream fabrics are Japanese.  The pink is Cotton + Steel.  This block was challenging.

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No. 62, Milly:  The blue and cream/figured fabrics are Japanese.  This block works better “on point.”  And I think the white is not working so well.  It’s hard to tell sometimes.

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No. 63, Mollie:  All Japanese Fabrics.  This one was…HARD!

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No 64, Monette:  The orange fabric is Japanese, the others Cotton + Steel.  I like the way these fabrics work together.  Dear God, do you see all those TINY squares???

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As Lynn Vermeulen said a while back, “the M’s go on forever”!!!  I just printed out the last 10 of them–my goal for September.

No 75 is “Nan,” and I will have TWENTY TWO blocks to go.

Written by louisaenright

August 28, 2016 at 1:16 pm