Turkey Tracks: Wheels of Mystery Quilt

Turkey Tracks:  September 22, 2013

Wheels of Mystery Quilt

I started this hand project earlier in the summer.  I wanted to take a break from knitting and do some hand sewing at night watching tv shows and movies–that I stream.  I HATE all the noise and confusion of watching tv shows with commercials. It’s just plain painful.

So, this quilt has grown a lot since this picture…

Wheels of Mystery

I’m going to do 9 rows by 11 rows.

And, it’s all out of my stash.  And, scrappy, of course.

This block is an old traditional block–and I love what the curved pieces do when hung together.


Wheels of Mystery 2

They make BIG circles.  Isn’t that cool?

I have a childish delight in this quilt.

I tried to draw the block on QE7, but have been totally unable to do it.

Will try again, as I’d like to play with light and dark borders.  And what would an outer border of 9 patches look like?  Made with these same fabrics…

Turkey Tracks: “Sunshine and Shadows” Quilt

Turkey Tracks:  August 23, 2013

Sunshine and Shadows Quilt

I’m addicted to my scrappy project–Louisa Enright’s Scrappy Project–and have been for the past two years.  I’m determined to use my stash and to get it into some sort of useable condition.

As part of my addiction to scrappy quilting, I had started saving Bonnie Hunter’s columns in Quiltmaker magazine.  One of my earlier quilts–Spinner–pictured on this blog I’m sure–came from one of Bonnie’s columns.

Then our state quilt guild hosted two workshops by Bonnie Hunter–and that coincided with my getting her book on “leaders and enders”–and then getting ALL the books (she’s a genius with scrappy quilt design)–then finding her blog (quiltville.com), all her free patterns (more genius), her Facebook page, and QuiltCam, where she sews and talks to those who have put aside the time to sew and visit with her.   That led to the quilt “Green Camden Hills Beauty”–a green version of her “Blue Ridge Beauty”–which is in one of the books and which I also found in my “ideas” file when I cleaned it out recently.

On several QuiltCams this spring, Bonnie worked on two quilts for two family babies that she called “Dancing Nines” because the nine-patch blocks are offset so they “dance.”  She used old shirting materials from these babies grandfathers’ old shirts.  I had a whole bunch of “leader/ender” four-patch green blocks from working with my green stash–so they were easy to make into nine-patches.

And, here’s “Sunshine and Shadows”–a Bonnie Hunter “Dancing Nine” quilt.

Note that the sashing fabric is NOT yellow, but a green/yellow that blends beautifully with the blocks.  I love the piano key border.  And it’s a bit different in size than Bonnie’s since I was using strips that I had already cut.

Sunshine and Shadows quilted

The narrow inner border also works best with this quilt.  I had this perfect fabric in my stash, but it was TERRIBLE in a wider version.  I should have trusted Bonnie’s eye to begin with.

Here’s another view–but that sashing still looks yellow…

Sunshine and Shadows quilted 2

Like Bonnie, I used the pantograph “Deb’s Swirls”–but I can’t tell if Bonnie used the small or medium version.  I have both the medium and the large and have been using both a lot.  I think it’s funny that I had it already when Bonnie mentioned it…

Sunshine and Shadows blocks quilted

Here’s a close-up of the inner border:


Sunshine and Shadows top 2

And one of the binding and backing–the backing is like our forests in spring–all greens and yellow and golds.  It works really well with the front.

Sunshine and Shadows binding and backing

This quilt is so versatile.  It’s a great scrappy project with a lot of visual interest.  It can be made large or small, bright, dull, contemporary, sweet, bold, whimsical, and on and on.  I know I’ll be making it again.

Best of all, the only thing I had to buy for this quilt was the backing.  And I could have pieced a back, but since the quilt was smaller, and meant for a baby I know, I thought one piece of fabric would be best.

Turkey Tracks: Flamboyant Fall Quilt

Turkey Tracks:  July 5, 2012

Flamboyant Fall Quilt

This contemporary bar quilt is another colorway of an earlier quilt:  “Bar None”–which is on this blog.

I started with Flamboyant Fall with bar strips of neutral rectangles–2 by 3 1/2–cut up and saved as I finished other quilts.  I cut up any leftover scrap that was not approximately the size of a fat quarter.  Bigger pieces went back into my stash.  About 2 years ago, I realized that I had bags and bags of pre-cut squares and rectangles, and I began to quilt with them.  I purchased a Handi-Quilter long-arm two years ago and that enabled my production rate to increase sharply.  This past winter, I made a real dent in the saved bags of pre-cut quilting fabric.

At first I thought this quilt would be really pretty with browns, golds, and creams–and here’s what I pulled from my stash to highlight the neutral rectangle “bars.”

Here’s what the dark brown strips and the neutral bars look like on the design wall…

At this point, I headed off to Marge’s Mainely Sewing to get borders.  I had bought some lovely large fabrics for backing at a sale at Quit Diva’s in Rockland–one of which really wanted to be part of this quilt.  TAnd I did not have enough of the paisley to use in the quilt.  The plan for a mostly neutral quilt went right out the window.

Here are the fabrics that came home with me–the backing is the third from the left–the fabric with the leaves.  Marge found the big Kaffe Fasset floral for me, and I loved it at first sight.  (The laundry basket is a dog bed for whichever dog is hanging out with me in the quilt room.)

Here’s the top on the design wall–ready to be put on Lucy the longarm and quilted:

I quilted with a varigated thread that had all the colors of the quilts in it–all the golds, oranges, deep reds, and so forth.  This pic doesn’t do this thread justice, but you can at least see the pantograph pattern:

Here’s a good pic of the outer and inner borders.  Note how the inner border has the dark brown of the bars.  I love how the swirly fabric worked for the binding.  I cut all bindings on the bias these days, so that really made this fabric’s movement shine.

Look at how well the backing and the binding work with the quilt.

Here are two pics of the quilt on a low bed upstairs.  Neither do it justice.  One is faded and the other’s colors are a bit “off.”  But, here they are.


Flamboyant Fall is both wild and controlled, what with the bars in the center.  I love the fabrics in this quilt.  I’m really pleased with how it came out.

Turkey Tracks: Bar None Quilt

Turkey Tracks:  May 7, 2012

Bar None Quilt

“Bar None” is all finished.  I LOVE this quilt–from the way it came together to the quilting in it and the binding of it.

Here’s how it started on the design wall–after I took a strip of the rectangles to Marge’s Mainely Sewing and, in passing, waved it over this purple/lime green fabric–which just made everything sing.  It’s going to be a bar quilt–with a strip of what is called “Chinese Coins”–or rectangles stacked into a bar.

Next came the blue and green borders, which I found on a rainy day at Fiddlehead in Belfast–lovely contemporary fabrics there:

What’s fun about this quilt are the lively colors–I adore the purple and green and the clearer blue all together.

The girls like it, too.  Both wanted pictures taken on this quilt.

Here’s a close up–see the swag quilting on the green border and the really fun toothy leaves in the blue border–I’ll use those again in the future.  The green border is done with green thread, and the blue border with blue thread.

Here’a another view:

Here’s a close-up of the borders and the terrific polka dot magenta binding:

Here’s the backing–which is a kind of reversal of the purple on the front–blue with tiny magenta dots:

I don’t know if the next photo will do justice to the free-hand quilting–it’s some of my best and I felt really good doing it on the long-arm–it’s a three-leaf pattern combined with a kind of twining vine that works like a meander to help me travel around.  The thread is a variegated purple, green, magenta, blue blend from Signature.

It’s going to be hard to part with this one!

Turkey Tracks: Quilting the Last of the Rectangles

Turkey Tracks:  April 27, 2008

Quilting the Last of the Rectangles

For those of you following The Scrappy Quilting Project progress, I’ve used up the last of the 2 by 3 1/2-inch rectangles I have been cutting for over 10 years.  I had BAGS of them–all ready to be used.

This quilt, as yet unnamed, is on Lucy, the longarm right now:

I really like this quilt.  I’ve always wanted to make a bar-type quilt, and I like the “Chinese Coin” bar arrangement.

I have another set of the rectangles in shades of cream that I’ve sewn into this same kind of barred formation.  Hmmmm.  They look good with browns:

I took the very last rectangles and made them into eight funky placemats, using fabrics from my stash for borders, backings, and bindings.  They turned out to be surprisingly cute.  And, given the experience of other placemats I’ve made, they will last forever and only get prettier as they get worn.

These placemats, I discovered, do best when they are NOT overquilted.  Here’s one that is overquilted, so you can see what I mean.  These placemats are reversible, so this one looks great on the other side!  Anyway, a simple meander works better, given all the color and scrappiness.

I paired the placemats with an array of different-colored napkins and some cute napkin rings (brass chickens) and sent them off to the four older grandchildren in Charleston.  There are six for the family and two for me and John–which was a nice way to signaling to the children that we are coming to visit soon.  Wilhelmina, the four-year old, got this concept right away.  My reward was a big belly laugh from her.

Here’s the picture I got back from Tami of the placemats on her table–as arranged by Talula:

I had told Talula that I was making something for her when I talked to her about the quilt she helped make for me.  And, I called and told her the “something” was in the mail.  She was so excited when the package arrived.  She called me right away, and we discussed who was to get which placemat, which one she liked best, and could I help her make some in the near future.  When she comes next, I’ll turn her loose with rectangles, some pins, and see what she designs on the design board in my quilting room.  Then we can sew some placemats together.  She will be old enough to operate the sewing machine before we know it.

She was so excited that the chicken napkin rings almost got lost.  They were at the bottom of the package in a plastic bag.  I can see from this picture Talula has used some of their napkin rings.

So, here’s what’s left of the rectangles at this point…

Except for some rectangles I put aside for another project…

And, except for the ones I’ve cut in the past few weeks…

Turkey Tracks: “Seriously Scrappy” Quilt

Turkey Tracks:  April 13, 2012

Seriously Scrappy Quilt

Here’s the latest finished quilt from “The Scrappy Quilt Project.”  Starting with a pattern from SUCCESSFUL SCRAP QUILTS (Judy Turner and Margaret Rolfe), I made light and dark blocks and alternated them.  So far, so good:

I had already pulled enough rectangles to make two other quilts–one of those tops is finished so will go on the long-arm next week.  The other uses strips of the cream-colored rectangles with some rich dark brown fabric and, maybe, a coordinating paisley.  So this quilt, already named “Seriously Scrappy” is using up as many of the remaining rectangles as is possible.

I had enough red and green rectangles to make a border–see?

Here’s a different angle:

With the top in hand, I went down to get help from Marge Hallowell of Mainely Quilts–who has been a great advisor with The Scrappy Quilt Project, and ran right into a fabric that had just come into the store.  I knew at first sight it would be perfect for the back:

See how well the top and this fabric play together–especially when bound with the great olive green striped fabric cut on the bias.  I make all my bindings on the bias now.  They just perform and wear so much better than using a straight grain.

Here’s a close-up of the quilting–with a few stray white dog hairs in the picture.  The dogs love it when I put bindings on quilts; they get beneath the quilt on both sides of me.  I used the Bishop’s Fan pattern groovy boards for the first time, and I LOVED doing it–so much I ordered a third board to make the quilting easier for the Bishop’s Fan and for the clam shell pattern.  Groovy boards make this daunting pattern really easy, and I love the way it looks on the quilt itself.  I used a variegated green Superior thread that Marge Hallowell of Mainely Quilts helped me pick out.  It’s beautiful on both sides of the quilt.  You always have to remember how a thread will look on both sides of a quilt–and I don’t like threads to really stand out all that much usually.

Years ago, my sister Maryann Enright asked me for a quilt that “had all the other quilts in it.”  So, Maryann, here it is!

Turkey Tracks: “Orange Sherbert” Quilt

Turkey Tracks:  April 8, 2012

“Orange Sherbert” Quilt

When I was making blocks for “Quilt of Many Colors,” I made some pink blocks that just didn’t work.

So, I used them to make this cute little quilt that I’ve grown to love.  My camera always makes quilts look crooked, but they aren’t.  And, the flash can wash out colors.

Here’s a corner of the quilt top with the backing and binding fabrics, all from my stash:

Here’s the center block, so you can see how I quilted “Orange Sherbert.”  I used the freehand daisy pattern again, but I made it denser by echoing the daisy and by using curves–like the outside curves of the petals–to travel.  I used Signature’s Victorian Rose thread, which is a soft pink.

I’m going to keep this little quilt for a bit–likely until a girl baby is born to one of my kin.  I’m going to hang it in an upstairs bedroom.

Turkey Tracks: “Quilt of Many Colors”

Turkey Tracks:  April 8, 2012

Quilt of Many Colors

I’m now thinking of this whole winter’s work as “The Scrappy Quilting Project.”

The “Quilt of Many Colors” helped use up more of the 2 X 31/2 rectangles I have been cutting up for over 10 years.  Remember, I pulled out most of the blue ones to make the “Blue Fox Trot” quilt.  So, here’s what the pile looked like when I started this quilt.

Clearly they needed to be color sorted first of all:

I had in mind using a pattern from Judy Hooworth and Margaret Rolfe’s book, SUCCESSFUL SCRAP QUILTS FROM SIMPLE RECTANGLES, which has guided me with cutting the 2 x 3 1/2 rectangles in the first place and, then, using them.

But, I didn’t like the way those blocks developed.  Hooworth and Rolfe were working with plaids, and their version of this pattern is lovely.  My colors were just dying in these blocks.  See?

So, I struck out on my own.

I went down to Marge Hallowell’s Mainely Sewing in Nobleboro.  Marge has been a great consultant in The Scrappy Quilting Project.  She helped me pick out four bright colors:  orange, turquoise, acid green, and magenta with a darker purple running through it.  I loved what started happening.   Note that I’m already alternating how the rectangles orient.

But, I began to see that just having these four bright colors was going to present problems with how to arrange them.  Here there’s already a pattern forming on the diagonal of warm and cool blocks in the diagonol lines.  So, I started pulling brights out of my stash, and here’s what happened on the design wall.

I found a great backing in Marge’s 40% off attic.  And, chose a binding that’s hot pink with yellow stars.

Here’s the quilt all finished.  Something about it reminds me of a brand new box of crayons–something to this day I have trouble resisting.

Here’s a block, so you can see how I quilted it–using a freehand daisy chain in lime green thread–which plays nicely against the flowers in the backing fabric.

Here’s the backing and binding.  The yellow stars on the hot pink binding are adding a really lively and fun sparkle to this quilt.

So, there you go.  A beautiful, fun, charming quilt out of the chaos of all those rectangles.

I’m really happy with this one!