Louisa Enright's Blog

Mainely Tipping Points

Posts Tagged ‘LEADERS AND ENDERS

Turkey Tracks: “Sails Up & Flys Flying” Quilt

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Turkey Tracks:  February 2, 2014

Sails Up and Flags Flying Quilt

 

This little beauty got mailed last Tuesday and is now in its new home–with a beautiful and healthy baby boy–Giovanna McCarthy’s first grandchild!

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The parents wanted BRIGHT–and when I saw this bright boat sails fabric, I knew what I wanted to do with it.

And the parents didn’t want to know the sex, so I could not use pink in case the baby was a boy…

The neutral fabric with the flags begin to solidify the quilt in my mind.

Even though I grew up living land bound, we had sayings in the family about “flags flying”–to indicate excitement, anticipation, happiness…

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Here’s a close-up of the blocks:

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And, of the corner block–I like how this fabric is working in the quilt.

 

 

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Here you can see the pantograph pattern and the yellow thread a bit better.

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I was a bit stumped as to what color thread to use to quilt–and settled on this very nice yellow.  I might have been able to make pale blue work, but what if the baby were a girl??

The pantograph is Denise’s Spirals, and I ordered it from Urban Elementz, which has the most amazing selection of pantos.

(I love the binding on this quilt–it’s just perfect.)

I had originally thought to use this muted blue stripe as the binding, but it found its way to the quilt’s back instead–interspersed with the sails fabric as I didn’t have enough of the blue.  Again, the yellow thread is working just fine on the back of the quilt.

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I think the backing works nicely with the front:

 

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Finally, here’s where the quilt lived for the nights it took me to bind it.  You can see how BRIGHT it is in contrast to its surroundings.

 

 

 

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I had so much fun making this quilt, and you can expect to see more versions of it as it really lends itself to fun interpretations.

Indeed, I have two versions in mind already…

And it’s a good thing as I have THREE family babies coming into this world soon.

The idea for this kind of setting came, for me, from Bonnie Hunter’s first book, LEADERS AND ENDERS, and the first quilt in the book:   “Sisters’ Nine Patch.”  This setting is traditional, but it’s always good to be reminded how something will look.  Bonnie used cheddar orange blocks with red and neutral nine patches.

 

Turkey Tracks: Rainy Day!

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Turkey Tracks:  May 20, 2013

Rainy Day!

Finally, a rainy day!

My apologies for not posting sooner, but I have been OUTSIDE for days in this glorious spring, putting the garden back into order.

I’ve been in a planting frenzy, actually, and have really needed this rainy day.  With the generous and kind help of David Hannan, many tasks have been completed:  putting up the chicken fence and the vegetable garden fence, bringing out all the outdoor furniture from the top of the garage, putting away the boarding walk, rebuilding the rock wall on the drive where the snow plow folks couldn’t see where the rocks were, bringing out all of the container pots (I think there are at least 25) and filling them with dirt and planting them, mulching, mowing, weeding, pruning, edging, seeding, and planting a now-shady bed with shade plants and, in the sunny part, an herb garden that I hope will be more permanent.

Electrician David Dodge came and fixed the back outdoor plug and installed a new plug at the front door–which will make mowing with an electric mower and a LONG cord much easier.  And once he showed me how to take out the prong-plug expensive halogen bulbs in an under-the-counter kitchen light, I got new bulbs and replaced them.  I’m afraid I had to touch the bulbs though–the oils from your fingers can make them blow–but they were too tiny and slippery to grip and get into the two out of four right holes.   Anyway, right now, it’s working.

I’ll take pictures soon.  Meanwhile, here’s how the green scrappy quilt is coming along.  I’ve been quilting in the late afternoon through the early evening, and that’s been so relaxing.  This quilt is a green copy of Bonnie Hunter’s “Blue Ridge Beauty,” in her book LEADERS AND ENDERS.   I’m calling my version “Camden Hills Beauty,” and right now, the trees on the Camden Hills are so fluffy and are so many greens that I know this quilt is well-named.  The block is a traditional Jacob’s Ladder block, but I love Bonnie’s method of combining color with neutrals.  I used light greens, but Bonnie uses true “neutrals” in her quilts and just mixes them all up.  I LOVE this quilt!

Camden Hills Beauty top taking shape

Here’s a close-up of some of the blocks.  You can see I’ve mixed in some color–bits of pink and orange.  I like the way they are working in the quilt.

Camden Hills Beauty blocks

I started sewing together rows in the last few days–and realized I need 14 rows, not 12!!!  So, it’s back to piecing more blocks.  But that’s ok as I’m really enjoying this project.  AND, my green stash is diminishing, diminishing–which is a lovely feeling of usefulness.

At night, in front of the tv, I’ve been appliqueing the “Green Turtles” quilt turtles for new granddaughter Cyanna.  I am on the eighth turtle–of nine.  So as soon as I get the Camden Hills quilt off the design wall, up will go the Green Turtles.  You can see some of the blocks on the left side of the first picture.

The 14 rows will mean the quilt will have the DARK line predominant, which is better visually I think.

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.

Well!

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