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Turkey Tracks: Friendship Samplers Quilt Show, Belfast, Maine

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Turkey Tracks:  November 1, 2013

Friendship Samplers Quilt Show

Belfast, Maine


Friendship Samplers is the Pine Tree Quilting Guild chapter located to Camden’s north, in Belfast, Maine.

(We are the Coastal Quilters here in Camden.)

The Friendship Samplers quilters are strong, competent, wonderful quilters.  There is just so much talent in that group.

They do a quilt show every other year, and this year was the year.

And this year, their show was as wonderful as ever.

I did not begin to take pictures of everything–or even of some of the most amazing quilts–and there were many.  I took pictures of work that stimulated my own creativity.  And do remember that the quilts I love best are scrappy quilts that are functional.

First, my most favorite quilt was my friend Joan Herrick’s “Logs and Ladders”–where she has combined a log cabin block with a Jacob’s Ladder block–and took advantage of their strong directional orientations.  There’s one of these in my future!

Frienship S's, J. Herrick Logs and Ladders

I was intrigued by the quilting in this quilt–and later realized it’s called “McTavishing,” after Karen McTavish, who invented it.  You can see how to do it on Leah Day’s web site, along with at least 400 other free-motion quilting designs she has put onto utube videos.

Friendship S's 3

Don’t you love this modern “take” on the log cabin block?

Friendship S's 2

I love the work of Alice Parsons.  And she had a hand in this quilt below:

It’s stitched with bright orange thread in squiggly lines up and down the quilt.  And look at the use of purple for the sashing.  That purple is making the yellow leap out of the quilt!

Friendship S's 6

Look at how the center square is varied–and the use of the adorable funky bird–and the use of rows of the squares…

Friendship S's 5

I want to make a quilt with birds at the center of some kind of block.  And I love what these quilters have done here.  It’s just so much fun!

Friendship S's 4


Here’s another creative idea for making use of a central square with something (birds!) fussy cut inside it.  Surround the square with flying geese and corner blocks:

Friendship S's 9


The flying geese and their backgrounds can vary in color choice.  What’s uniting the quilt here is the sashing/border fabric–in this case black and white and the use of the center square with a border around it.


Friendship S's 8


The Friendship Samplers always have a “quilt alley” where you buy chances (25 for $2!!!) and put your chances in the can/s of the quilt/s number you like.

All these quilts were to be “won” on Friday.  Another set went up on Saturday.

Friendship 18

I found many little quilts I liked on this wall.  But this one was my favorite:

Frienship S's 19


Here’s a close-up of the blocks:

Friendship S's 22

The Friendship Samplers always have goodies to eat–and they COVER FOOD TABLES WITH QUILTS–which fascinated Giovann McCarthy–on her first outing to a Frienship Samplers Quilt Show:

Friendship S's 10

I really loved some of these “table cloth” quilts.  I cringed at using a quilt for a table cloth, but their use does remind one that quilts are made to be used and loved:

Here’s a close-up of a table cloth quilt.  I’ve never found a squared square form that I didn’t like:

Friendship S's 13

Here’s a close-up:

Friendship S's 11

I was most intrigued with this pattern as well:

Friendship S's 12


Here below you can see the two blocks that make the pattern together:  4 half-square triangles with the colors to the inside making a square AND a sixteen patch with four red blocks making the center.  I’d cut the block to combine two of the white squares into a rectangle though

Friendship S's 15

This quilt was HAND STITCHED!!!


Friendship S's 14

Imagine it made in any number of colors–as long as you keep the light and dark values:  blue, yellow, orange, brown, etc.

SO, our group really enjoyed the Friendship Samplers Quilt Show 2013 and look forward to attending in 2015!

Thanks Friendship Samplers!

After the show we had lunch at Chase’s Daily–which specializes in local foods mostly from (in season) their farm.  And we visited Nancy’s Quilt Shop on Route 3 just outside Belfast to pick up more of a fabric that two of our quilters wanted to buy more of than Nancy had at the show.



Turkey Tracks: September Update

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Turkey Tracks:  September 22, 2014

September Update

Late August and ALL of September are really busy months for me in Maine.

First of all, son Bryan often comes for his birthday, which is September 11th.  Bryan and Corinne like to come visiting in the early fall as most of the tourists have gone home or are taking a breather before the fall foliage gets rolling.  And, it’s cooler.

Second, in Maine, September is the red month (tomatoes), not July, as is true for regions south of us.  Plus, the gardens are cranking out food at alarming rates.  So I am busy blanching, roasting, drying, lacto-fermenting, and generally reveling in all the bounty of our earth in Maine.

Third, MOFGA, the Maine Organic Farmers and Growers Association fair happens in the third weekend of September.  This fair, also known as the Common Ground Fair, is one of my most favorite things to attend all year.

Fourth, Coastal Quilters starts its new year in September.  I agreed to be President this year, so I’ve had a fair amount of organizing and reviewing to do to get back up to speed.  We had a terrific organizational meeting September 14th, and we’ll have a really good year this year I think.

Fifth, I start the process of putting the yard to bed for the winter.  The flower pots are played out.  The wind chimes have to be taken down.  The hummers are gone.  The porch furniture and kayaks have to be stored.  The chickens have to be winterized.  And, the garden put to bed with the new garlic planted for next year.  I have LOVED having that garden fenced all this summer–especially since I never was able to keep the hens I have now inside their pen.

So….I will do some separate entries on some of these events.  But I will leave you with some fun pictures taken more or less in late August/early September.

Susan McBride of Golden Brook Farm grew these awesome cherry tomatoes.  I experimented with drying these to see which ones were the best.  Hands down, the purple heritage cherry tomato was.  They are like eating candy–and I know I will enjoy having them on hand all winter when the snow is flying.  That bag of highly colored bits is corn from Margaret Rauenhorst and Ronald VanHeeswijk.  I’m going to grind it and make cornbread with it any day now.

Golden Brook cherries

I planted random squash seeds in the blue tubs this year.  One is growing a Hubbard Squash–which delights me so much.  I will go ahead and collect the squashes as soon as it stops raining and put them into the garage to “sugar off” for a bit.  They do better when they have a bit of time to cure.  The Blue Hubbard squash can get HUGE–and is a really great all-purpose squash.  It’s delicious to eat and makes great “squash” pie too.

Hubbard Squash

Here is a typical Hope’s Edge pick-up day–with Giovanna McCarthy.  We have sacks of food and flowers!

Hope's Edge Flowers and Food

I found this picture on John’s computer before we retired it.  It’s one of my very favorites.  He really had such a great eye for a good picture.  LIkely I’ll make some cards from this picture…

Hope's Edge

Turkey Tracks: Current Projects

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Turkey Tracks:  April 6, 2013

Current Projects

Spring is on the move, but we’ve had a chilly, if sunny, week.

One of my current projects is to practice taking more videos in order to learn what works and what doesn’t.  I erased quite a few for various reasons.  One reason is that it is very hard to hold the cameras steady.  Here’s one of the Camden Harbor at low tide, with the spring-full river pouring into it.  At high tide, the water would rise to a foot or two below the docks.  The wind is high and the noise of it and of the river interferes a bit with what I’m saying.

It’s elver season, and people trap them at the mouths of rivers–as near as I can determine.  Elvers are little eels that fetch the most astonishing prices per pound.  These little guys are sold alive to the Japanese, mostly, who then raise them to be much bigger before eating them.

Have you ever eaten eel?  It’s delicious actually.  You could try it in a sushi restaurant.  It’s cooked with a sweet sauce of some sort.

Anyway, here’s the video:

I’ve almost finished a pair of socks for my sister-in-law, Maryann Enright.  She chose the yarn just before John died.  We had a nice visit one day around early December to our newest yarn shop in Rockland, Maine, called Over The Rainbow.  It’s a fabulous yarn shop, and we are so lucky to have it.  I think these socks might be a bit wilder than Maryann imagined, but she will rise to the occasion with them.  The yarn does not have black in it, but deep navy and dark plum and a tiny bit of dark brown.

Maryann's socks

I am working on an applique quilt made with big blocks of green turtles.  I have not done any applique in some time and am very slow at it, so I refreshed my skills (ha! that’s a joke) with this little Easter Card for Maryann–in a class at Coastal Quilters taught by Barb Melchiskey, who is a master appliquer.  If I were doing this card again, I’d chose either a colored card or a colored background.  The two whites aren’t working so well together, and I don’t like the lines running away from the eggs.  But the eggs!  Ah, the eggs.  Perfect for this very eggy household.

Egg Applique

The turtle applique quilt will get a lot of quilting to bring out texture in the blocks–on the domestic machine.  But, here’s one block ready to go.  Now I need to do more.  I have not decided whether to do 6 or 9 blocks…

Green Turtle block

What is really drawing me is the scrap quilt taking shape on the design wall.  This one calls me from other rooms to work on it.  I have fallen in love with Bonnie Hunter and ALL of her books:  LEADERS AND ENDERS, SCRAPS AND SHIRTTAILS I AND II, and STRING FLING.  She embodies the kind of work I love best to do–make functional quilts that people can curl up under or into and use as much of the stash fabrics as possible.

Bonnie’s motto is reuse, repurpose, recycle.  She has a monthly column in QUILTMAKERS and her web site is awesome.  There must be 50 free quilting patterns on that web site.  She’s coming in May to our state guild, Pine Tree Quilting Guild, on May 5th, and I will be there to see her quilts and meet her, God willing and the creek don’t rise.

Bonnie Hunter also promotes Victoria Findlay Wolfe’s new book:  15 MINUTES OF PLAY , which is so much fun.  Both Hunger and Wolfe are having way too much fun with their quilts, and both employ string piecing methods to great advantage and fun in their quilts.

Anyway, Hunter uses a method that I really like.  She cuts any pieces of fabric in her stash smaller than a fat quarter, or at the biggest, a half yard, into strips:  3 1/2 inches, 2 1/2 inches, 2 inches, 1 1/2 inches.  (I also cut 5 inches as I have rather a lot of those now and want to make a broken dishes block with them.)  These measurements work well together.  She divides these strips into light and dark piles.  When she starts a project, she’s already done a lot of cutting.  And she can cut the strips further down with rulers, like the Easy Angle ruler, into the shapes she wants.  (She also likes the Tri Rec ruler set.)  I’ve been using the Easy Angle ruler, and it makes PERFECT half square triangles, as long as you have an accurate 1/4 inch sewed seam.

This quilt started using Bonnie’s method described in LEADERS AND ENDERS, where you keep a basket next to your machine with some block parts in it–like two-inch squares.  When you would need to cut thread on another project, instead, you just feed a light and dark set of squares through the machine and cut off the piece you wanted to free on the back side of the needle.   In no time, you have a pile of sets of two squares sewn together.  You can finger press those and sew them to another set for a four-square–and so on.


Here’s what happened in short order at my sewing machine–the idea came from Hunter’s LEADERS AND ENDERS.  And it’s putting a real hurt on my green stash fabrics!!!!  I’m no longer just piecing squares  through the machine while working on another project.  I’m making time to make as many blocks as I can.

Quilt in Progress

Here’s the block:  a form of a Jacob’s Ladder block, depending on where you locate the dark and light of the half-square triangles.

Quilt block

I iron the half-square triangle blocks along the way, but I don’t iron the whole block until I’ve finished it.  I’ve had to trim up very, very few of them.  All have been a bit too big–with stretching from ironing mostly I think.  None have been too small.  Most are perfect.

The squares quickly overflowed from the basket as I cut into my stash.

Quilt squares

The basket got filled with half-square triangle pieces:

Quilt triangles

And I have a pile of strips all cut and ready to be cut further–and separated by value–so Bonnie is right that just a bit of cutting each day delivers a lot of sewing for days to come.  She also says that she groups medium and dark values together and relies on the REALLY light fabrics to create contrast in a quilt like this one.

Quilt strips

I finished and mailed a beautiful quilt for a beautiful bride, Ashley Malphrus, who will be married in Charleston later this month.  I will put up pictures when I get home from Charleston, and the bride has seen the quilt.  But I am delighted with it.

So, I will leave you with this picture:  the last bouquet of flowers from our CSA, Hope’s Edge, last summer.  Those days are coming around again.  Look at all that green in the windows.

Hope's Edge, last boquet, Sept. 2012

Turkey Tracks: Shine On

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Turkey Tracks:  March 18, 2013

Shine On

A year before John died, my quilting chapter, Coastal Quilters, of Camden, Maine, brought us the most beautiful quilt.

“We are bringing you lots of hugs,” they said.

And, we felt each and every one of those hugs over the next year.  Some, many times over.

I called the quilt “Shine On” because it is a heritage quilt that will be passed on to a grandchild and will carry with it all the hugs and love that reside in its depths.   This quilt glows with light and warmth and will always “Shine On” down through the years with its beautiful colors and memories.

Here is a picture I took of it on my bed upstairs, where I take a picture of all the quilts.

Shine On edited

Here is a close-up of two of the many beautiful blocks that so many in the Coastal Quilters chapter made.

Shine on blocks edited

Here is a picture of the border fabric and the binding, each put on by Sarah Ann Smith, whose blog link is on the right sidebar.  Sarah designed the quilt; bought, washed, and ironed the fabrics; made kits for each interested quilter; squared up the blocks; and  assembled the quilt.  The quilting was done by Marge Hallowell’s Mainely Quilting in Nobleboro and is beautiful.  Marge also donated the batting for the quilt.

Shine On border

Here is a picture of the label, made by Barb Melchiskey:

Shine On label

And here is a picture of the downstairs room that son Mike and I put together for John for the day when he could not manage the stairs any more.  This room was formerly John’s office, so we thought he would be close to his computer as well.

Shine On on John's bed

John never made it to this bed, choosing instead to die in his own bed and in his own time.  And now I spend a lot of time in this room.  I’ve moved my computer down here.  And my quilting and research books.  And my quilting supplies are now in this closet.

The quilt speaks to me as I pass it many times each day, reminding me of all the love and the many hugs it holds.  For it “shines on.”

Written by louisaenright

March 18, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Turkey Tracks: Handmade Winter Snow Globe by Kathy Daniels

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Turkey Tracks:  January 4, 2013

Handmade Winter Snow Globe By Kathy Daniels

Coastal Quilters had their annual Christmas party early in December.  As part of the festivities, we had a Yankee Swap.  Though I’m sure other members think they wound up with the best gift, I came home with the BEST swap ever–a handmade snow globe, made by member Kathy Daniels, who is an art quilter.

Here’s a picture:

Winter Globe

The insert on the inside of the globe has two fabric sides–both made by Kathy.  The tree side has white fabric for snow, blue fabric for sky, and tiny trees thread-painted with her sewing machine.  The stars are embroidered onto the sky fabric.  Here’s a close-up, sans most of the snow:

Winter Globe 3

The other side is a tiny bare bush that is dotted with French knots that make up red and white berries.  Kathy has couched a line of frayed, fuzzy thread to separate the snow and the sky.

Winter Globe 2

Kathy says this project was not hard.  There’s probably a kit somewhere for the apparatus itself–and the interior fluid.  The outer ball is soft plastic, not hard, so one does have to be gentle with it.  It came in a large box that I will use to store it when spring makes itself felt.

I have shaken up the snow and watched it fall so many times now since early December.  Something about watching the falling snow is soothing.  The action slows one down for at least a minute!    It’s a gift that will keep on giving–full of creativity and promise.

Kathy did a trunk show for Coastal Quilters some time back, before she moved to Camden from elsewhere in Maine, so there is another entry about her, with pictures of her and some of her amazing quilts , elsewhere on this blog.  And, her web site is http://studiointhewoods.blogspot.com/.  I’m sure you’ll find lots of good quilt pictures and fiber art projects on Kathy’s blog.


Turkey Tracks: “A Thousand Flowers” Comes Home

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Turkey Tracks:  August 20, 2011

“A Thousand Flowers” Comes Home

Here’s what our Coastal Quilters’ Grocery Store Challenge looked like hanging at the Pine Tree Quilters’ Guild show in Augusta, Maine, this past July.   You can see  my entry, “A Thousand Flowers”–it’s the third from the left, top row.  I wrote a blog entry on this quilt earlier, so you can take a look at that if you want to see a close-up.  On the right sidebar, search on quilts.  I used Green Hive Honey Farm as my food product–local UNHEATED honey which is made by bees from “A Thousand Flowers.”

Sarah Ann Smith staged this presentation with her usual flair.  Viewers were asked to try to identify which quilt represented what product from the grocery store.  Answers lay beneath the strips of fabric on the cards below.  Sarah is a nationally recognized quilt teacher and has a fabulous web site, which you can visit to see her amazing and exciting work:  http://www.sarahannsmith.com/index.php.  Sarah’s quilt is to the right of mine.

And, here’s “A Thousand Flowers” in the entryway to my quilt room.  Home at last.

Turkey Tracks: Steve Melchiskey’s Earring Holder

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Turkey Tracks:  December 13, 2010

Steve Melchiskey’s Earring Holder

I’m a member of Coastal Quilters, a chapter in the Maine State Pinetree Quilters’ Guild.  CQ is based in Camden, Maine, and it is a lovely group of women.  I treasure knowing each and every one of them.  They are generous to a fault, astonishingly talented, and devoted to this quilting group.  We learn a lot from each other.

Our spouses are no slouches either.  Many of them help us set up our meeting space at the Lion’s Club each month, which involves putting up lots of tables and placing chairs around them.  And, for our annual fundraising auction, one spouse–Steve Melchiskey–made several, very clever, pierced earring holders, using frames and window screen.  I had been searching for something to organize my earrings–especially since I have a new-found passion–making earrings with the help of the staff at Aboca Beads in Damariscotta, Maine, about 40 minutes down the road.

Here’s my terrific earring holder, and my heartfelt thanks to Steve Melchiskey for supporting Coastal Quilters:


Look at all those earrings, both VERY old and new!  The top three on the left are made from folding clay by the most amazing artist who displays at Alewives Fabrics in Damariscotta Mills.  How does she make such intricate pictures????  Some readers will recognize earrings they have given to me.  Some of the earrings I remade from old, outdated earrings, giving them new life.  One of the amber-like ones on the lower left got dropped and cracked.  John glued it for me, and I love it still. 

Written by louisaenright

December 13, 2010 at 5:39 pm