A Summer Gift

Turkey Tracks: August 7, 2021

A Summer Gift

This guy made a last minute trip up to see me:

He is 18 next month, a rising high school senior, and my oldest grandchild.

I am so touched that he wanted to come and spend NINE days with his grandmother.

I have not seen my family for two years now, and this grandson is now taller than anyone in his family.

Plus, he is a sweet as a summer day is long.

The Aurifil blog posted an interview with Edyta Sitar, whose work I’ve always admired. I met her when I made my solitary trip to the Houston Quilt Show years ago. She was so gracious and lovely, and I so enjoyed meeting her.

I’ve been really tempted by her house quilt—and there is a scrappy version in this post. Her original one was in the blue fabrics she so loves.


Turkey Tracks: “Bee Land” Quilt

Turkey Tracks:  January 9, 2017

“Bee Land” Quilt

I can’t quite believe that I have finished this quilt.

I started it in Charleston, SC, Thanksgiving 2015 as my “take along” project.  I used scraps from my 2 1/2 inch square bin.  It felt more than a little daunting to take on a project this size with so many tiny (1-inch) pieces to make by hand using English Paper Piecing.

I called it “Bee Land,” after finishing the binding a few days ago.

The design is from Edyta Sitar’s “Flower Garden,” which is on the cover of her book HANDFULS OF SCRAPS.




I did NOT attempt to do Edyta’s amazing applique borders, as you can see.

As a side note, I met Edyta in Houston in October 2014 and saw this quilt in her booth.  It is so gorgeous “in person,” as is Edyta Sitar.  It was a pleasure to meet and talk with her.  I have many of her books and so love her tiny, tiny pieces and exquisite work.

The quilting went so well on this quilt.  Lucy the Longarm behaved beautifully.  And I like the warm old gold thread color I used.  The pantograph is a 12-inch version of “Simple Feathers” by Anne Bright.


The doll faces look lacy from a distance.


I had another fabric for the borders, a blue fabric with medallions, but discarded it in favor of the warmer red/orange.  AND, I had TWO other backings, one to go with the blue fabric and another modern fabric that was whimsical.  At the last minute I settled on a more traditional fabric that I had bought in last year’s April “Shop Hop” for 40% off.  It’s perfect for this quilt.


It is a really good feeling to finish a quilt you have spent a year +++ making.  There were hours of sewing pleasure with this project  It is all done by hand except for the binding and the quilting on Lucy.

I would love to make this quilt again using low-volume fabrics that are very light and bright, whimsical fabrics.

Turkey Tracks: Done! Fun!

Turkey Tracks:  December 30, 2016


As many of you know, I started A LOT of projects over the course of last year–like agreeing to make 99 Farmer’s Wife blocks (Laurie Aaron Bird).

And, starting SEVERAL English Paper Piecing projects (Katja Marek).

And, making blocks for a future improv quilt with Coastal Quilters friends.

And, getting the right borders and backing for the big Hexie quilt–which needs a good name (Edyta Sitar)

And, planning and making TWO baby quilts.

And, working on another quilt made from the 1600 four-patches I sewed out of the 2″ square blocks two summers ago.

And, collecting the makings for a BIG travel bag.

And, starting the day after Thanksgiving, working on “clues” for Bonnie Hunter’s 2016 Mystery Quilt “En Provence.”

Trust me, the list is MUCH longer than just these items.

So….  It is fun to see many of these projects coming to fruition.  At last.  DONE!!!


Here’s what a pile of the 99 Farmer’s Wife blocks looks like:


Here are the last five blocks:


I’ve got the blocks up on the design wall–using a method thought up by Lynn Vermeulen, who separated her blocks into different color piles before laying them out.  Great idea, Lynn.


I am letting the blocks bubble on the design wall before sewing them together, and already I’ve swapped blocks out quite a bit since I took this picture.


Can we talk about this project?  If you are thinking about doing it and foundation piecing the blocks, be warned that you must be somewhat sadomasochistic to even think about it as this project does bring both pleasure and pain.  I think that whoever did the foundation piecing plans didn’t really know that much about foundation piecing.  Some of the more difficult blocks are needlessly difficult–and if some had been drawn as the hand-piecing instructions showed, they would have been much easier.  Additionally, many times the seams did not but up, which made for a really bulky block.  So, I found myself taking out the papers to flip over a seam if I could and/or cutting into a seam to make the top flip so seams would but up.  I pressed open a lot of seams as well, which is not ideal in terms of quilt wear.  I really hope that if Laurie Aaron Bird produces an updated book that she will have someone new look at the foundation piecing patterns.

Having said that warning, the blocks are lovely, and the quilt is exciting.

I’m up-to-date on the Bonnie Hunter clues and will be starting this week’s tomorrow.  Here’s last week’s:


The 4-patch red/neutral quilt is finished now and bound.  I’ll take pictures tomorrow and post them here.  This quilt is “So Sweet.”


The second baby quilt is underway.

The big hexie quilt that I started Thanksgiving 2015 is ON THE LONGARM!  This quilt is on the cover of Edyta Sitar’s HANDFULS OF SCRAPS.


Next up on the longarm, the Farmer’s Wife quilt.

I have two pieces of the Katja Marek THE NEW HEXAGON millifiore quilt completed–and am hyperventilating about whether it is working or not.  The top block seems very…bold?  But this quilt does have a place for bold, and it is too early to tell.  These are rosettes 1 and 9, and I am working on 11, which will sit next to rosette 9 on the upper border.  I wanted to use neutrals and fall/winter colors/themes.  Time will tell.



This project will be a challenge for the Coastal Quilters for 2017.


Turkey Tracks: Hexie Quilt Center DONE

Turkey Tracks:  May 3, 2016

Hexie Quilt Center DONE

I started this project in mid-November 2015 and finished it yesterday, May 2, 2016.


The pattern is from Edyta Sitar’s HANDFULS OF SCRAPS book.  I used only fabric from my 2 1/2-inch strips and from the 2 1/2-inch square bin.

So, it is totally scrappy.

I went yesterday with Megan Bruns to get help from Rhea Butler at Alewives Quilting with picking out the borders, backing, and binding–all of which were due to a generous certificate from Bryan and Corinne Enright for my birthday this year.  Corinne likes this quilt, so her name will be put on it.  I may have to love on it a bit first…


Turkey Tracks: April Quilty Update

Turkey Tracks:  April

April Quilty Update

And then there were TWO quiltlets:


They will go together like this:


A reminder:  this project is from Katja Marek’s 2016 challenge:  one quilt-let a week.  There are 52 blocks–taken from her book,  THE NEW HEXAGON.  I figure those who started on time are into their 14th week!!  I have a third block cut out and ready to be sewn.  They are so fun to make.

I made seven of the flower blocks while in Charleston for the big hexie quilt, based on Edyta Sitar’s quilt on the cover of her HANDFULS OF SCRAPS.


These are all from my 2 1/2-inch scrap bin.

I finished the last of the blocks yesterday:



Now, on to the last of the neutrals…

I’m working on a quilt for granddaughter Mina.  AND, I’ve finished seven of the eight FARMER’S WIFE blocks for this month–three more to go and pics will come when I’m finished.

Turkey Tracks: Hexie Project Update

Turkey Tracks:  March 24, 2016

Hexie Project Update

Last night I sewed several big pieces on to the mother ship.

Here’s what the hexie project looks like now:


The pattern is from Edyta Sitar’s HANDFULS OF SCRAPS.

Seems like I’m more than halfway done now.  I started this project back in mid-November 2015.

I’m going to float this main piece on wide borders and applique it down.  Then I’ll remove the paper pieces.

I am really liking this quilt, and I love the hand work at night.

The fabric is ALL from my 2 1/2-inch square scrap bin or from 2 1/2-inch strips.

Turkey Tracks: March Quilty Update

Turkey Tracks:  March 7, 2016

March Quilty Update


I’ve been distracted with all the political hoopla of late and suspect some of you have as well.

But the distraction has not prevented me from quilting.

The “mother ship” is coming along.  Since this picture I’ve filled that hole on the left and am almost done with the right side piece that will fill below the red and purple flowers.


This quilt is from Edyta Sitar’s Handfulls of Scraps.

“Crayon Box Crumbs” is on Lucy the long arm.  I’ll likely finish her up today.


I’m liking the teal border a lot and will go out to a violet/purple binding.  Teal, violet/purple, and red orange are a “triad” on the color wheel.   (Thanks Janet K. for seeing I needed a border on this quilt.)


And now there are FOUR of Bonnie Hunter’s Wild and Goosey blocks.


Friend Becca Babb-Brott, who has an Etsy store, Sing Me A Song, helped me find a background fabric for these blocks–which will be set with a 3 1/2 inch wide sashing and as-yet -undetermined cornerstones.  Maybe the Wild and Goosey corner block or maybe a small nine-patch.  The sashing fabric is a pale grey tiny polka dot–which we think is in keeping with the black and white narrow sashing in these blocks.

What to do with more of the crumb bag–which seens to be breeding in the night?

These blocks, which have 4-inch crumb centers:


It’s easy to cut the surrounding “square” with the Companion Angle ruler.  Use the Easy Angle ruler for the half triangles.  Quick and easy and no loss of fabric or fiddling with tiny triangles with the flip and sew and trim method.

Becca and I chose a modern, mottled blue kind of fabric for the narrow sashings see in this block.  These blocks are inspired by a Bonnie Hunter quilt, “Nine in the Middle,” as seen in her book Adventures with Leaders and Enders.  Bonnie used a nine-patch where I am using the string/crumb center.

At some point about two weeks ago, I realized I would need at least 7 1/2 yards of fabric for the outer triangles for the Farmer’s Wives blocks and that the cream I was using wouldn’t be large enough.

Again, Becca helped me choose a new fabric–and I really love it.  The soft aqua/teal is just making ALL the blocks sing.  Having to take the triangles off of the 16 completed blocks went faster than I would have thought and was well worth the effort.  (Still struggling over how to set these blocks.)




I’ve been working on the March allotment of 8 Farmer’s Wife blocks–we are trying for 9 a month to complete the 99 blocks.  Here are the ones I’ve completed so far:



Carol–the darks are a dark, soft charcoal grey:




And, two of Caroline as I did not like the first one so much–not enough contrast between two of the fabrids:




Granddaughter Mina’s quilt is taking place on the design wall.  Pics when more blocks are done.  AND I’ve got all the units done for a blue/neutral Jacob’s ladder quilt made from the blue/neutral four-patch project of last summer.

Turkey Tracks: Quilting Update–February 2016

Turkey Tracks:  February 6, 2016

Quilting Update–February 2016

Yesterday was our first real “snow day” of winter.


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I sewed all day–and the day just flew by.

Here’s what my design wall looks like now:


Yep.  That’s SEVEN active projects, if you count “Allietore,” which is waiting  on the long arm to be loaded and quilted.

Note how the hexie project has grown.  (From Edyta Sitar’s HANDFULS OF SCRAPS.)  I’m using my 2 1/2-inch scrap blocks to make this quilt.  The top right side shows the top and right borders–with relation to the center blocks.  I’m working on the top left part now.

The blue blocks are waiting for me to finish more of the large half-square triangles–they are going through the leader/ender process–I only need about 70 more of them.  That’s a Jacob’s Ladder nine-patch block.

On the far right are more Farmer’s Wife blocks–see earlier posts–and I will do a separate entry on those blocks.  They are so fun and pretty.  And, addictive.

I will need to make more of the sashings (from my crumb bag) for the cheddar quilt.  I have a lot, but not enough for 30 or so blocks.  But I like how this quilt is going to look.  Lively and full of energy.


These blocks are the start of a quilt using a collection of Kaffe Fasset prints that I got at the Norfolk Mancuso show some years back.  There was a demo quilt using these fabrics and the pink polka dot fabrics in a snowball block.  I fell in love with it.  I’ve got some wild fabric out of that collection for the back and borders.  AND, there are darker prints in this mix as well.  Not all are ironed and cut yet.  This quilt will be very feminine, but with some wild twists–and it’s for a granddaughter.

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I’ve longed to try Bonnie Hunter’s Wild and Goosey block for some time.  So, guess what else is coming out of my crumb bag?  I couldn’t resist.  I have two of these blocks finished after yesterday’s snow day.


I really like the black and white neutrals in the cross piece.  Will likely stick to that idea.  Probably this will be a quilt for my newest granddaughter–as it will match the bright nature of her sisters’ recently finished quilts for their new bedroom.  (Pics on these quilts after they have been delivered.)

I still have over a thousand 4-patch blocks from last summer’s work, but I have ideas about those blocks…

Will the winter be long enough???


Turkey Tracks: Quilty Update January 2016

Turkey Tracks:  January 11, 2016

Quilty Update January 2016

I am happily enjoying my winter quilting time.

The “mother ship is growing.”


The  center is done and I “m moving out to the side flowers.  This project is from Edyta Sitar’s Handfuls of Scraps.


I am using my box of 2 1/2 inch squares and, when needed, 2 1/2 inch strips for this quilt.  I am addicted to English Paper Piecing.

The second of the two granddaughter BRIGHT quilts is on the long arm, and is about 1/3 done.


I cut the top and bottom borders down to the size of the purple and blue borders–and I like that better.  The center block is one of Bonnie Hunter’s–Criss Cross.  The rest are my invention using leftover blocks from other projects and ones I made to go with this quilt.

“Allietore” is growing on my design wall…


I am really loving this quilt.  I found a black fabric with little red wiggles, almost like polka dots but much more widely spaced for the outer border.  I have a nice gold for the inner border.  I want to quilt it in an “old gold” thread–so am thinking of a medium grey for the backing…  The binding will be red.

I’ve finished the first two Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt blocks.  They are so intricate that foundation piecing is the way to go.  I have not foundation pieced in a few years, so there has been a reminder learning curve.  Here’s “Addie” and “Aimee.”  Each one took at least three hours as I struggled along…  Hopefully that will get better.  LOVE these blocks in contemporary fabrics.


The camera is distorting “Aimee”; it’s perfectly straight.


We are to do two blocks a week in our little group who are participating…

Thursday will be the monthly “sit and sew” from 9 to 3 or so with Coastal Quilters’ members.  I’ve gotten out my Bernina from the attic, test run her, and boxed her up in her carry case for the day.  I’m going to spend the day playing with the “crumb” bag–making sashing for the cheddar quilt that is in pieces on the spare bed in my office.


This kind of play is fun, creative, and relaxing for me.

I hope January is bringing such joy to each of you!

Turkey Tracks: December 2015 Quilty Update

Turkey Tracks:  December 8, 2015

December 2015 Quilty Update

The hexie project I took with me to Charleston, SC, for Thanksgiving is coming along.

Truth to tell, I’m addicted to it.

The center is nearly ready to sew together:


I’m should have let the teal stripe NOT line up, as the little doll head looks disembodied in the middle of a sea of strips.

Will I go back and take out tiny, tiny seams and restitch.  As much as I am a perfectionist, no.

This project is scrappy and is using my 2 1/2-inch squares and strips.

The missing unit is greens and is now ready for the neutrals.  And the project gets quite a few neutrals around this center.  You can see pictures in an earlier post.  The design is from Edyta Sitar.

Once again, the Sewline fabric glue pen is to English Paper Piecing (EPP) as a rotary cutter is to quilting.  Holy Cow what a find!

One of the bright scrappy quilts is on Lucy the Longarm:


Love the bright coral backing:


I’m using a dusty rose thread.  And this is a Bonnie Hunter block, as you can see from earlier posts.

I’m caught up with Bonnie Hunter’s second clue, released last Friday, for the 2015 mystery quilt, Allietare.


I wonder if we will get the gold fabrics next Friday?

Love the neutrals in this quilt.  Many are from Cotton + Steel fabrics.   I have some lovely posts on that group of fabric-designing women here on the blog.  Such an interesting story.  Use the search button on the right sidebar to find that story.

I am also working on the other bright scrappy quilt–it’s on the design wall and getting some more borders.  More on that later.  It’s cute!