Turkey Tracks: Two Granddaughter Quilts: Yellow Bird and Wise Bird

Turkey Tracks:  April 5. 2016

Two Granddaughter Quilts

Wise Bird and Yellow Bird

I have two granddaughters (3 and 5 years) who are now sharing a bedroom.  They have a new baby sister, so bedrooms needed to be rethought and renovated for the long haul that will involve, eventually, three teen-age girls..

For the new living arrangement and the new bedroom, I made them each a quilt–with the hope that these quilts are not the same, but go together.  And I wanted something that would interest them for a long time.

What emerged after a LOT of piecing and a lot of fun for me was “Yellow Bird” and “Wise Bird.”

“Yellow Bird”:


“Wise Bird”:


“Yellow Bird” has a yellow bird in the border fabric.


“Wise Bird” has a backing of owls, and this granddaughter LOVES owls.


“Yellow Bird” has a Kaffe Fasset fabric for the background.  I think this one is called “Roman Coins.”


“Yellow Bird’s” organizing block is Bonnie Hunter’s “Carolina Chain,” which appeared in Quiltmaker magazine’s March/April 2010 issue–in Bonnie Hunter’s “Addicted to Scraps” column.  The pantograph is “Check and Chase” by Lorien Quilting.  I used, as I recall, a soft rose thread.


I am so loving the interesting neutrals–or “low volume” prints–on the market today.


“Wise Bird’s” central block is Bonnie Hunter’s “Criss Cross” block–from her “Addicted to Scraps” column in  Quiltmaker magazine’s September/October 2915 issue.

This quilt center started with me just making a block or two for fun one day–and I got hooked.


I surrounded the center with rows of different quilt blocks–many of which came out of the “parts department” where I keep blocks I’ve made from leftovers of other quilts.  (The term “parts department” has come from Freddie Moran and Gwen Marston’s book COLLABORATIVE QUILTING.)  And I used lots of the polka dot fabrics I have acquired.

The pantograph for “Wise Bird” is also “Check and Chase” from Lorien Quilting.  I quilted with a soft limey green.


I did make the flying geese and the larger “primitive star” outer border for this quilt.  I like this primitive star a lot.  And of course I had to make some blocks to add to the ones I already had in the parts department.


Here’s a view up and down the length of the quilt.  I am certifiably crazy about polka dots.  I really like how the orange/green polka dot on the binding came out.


Baby girl will get a quilt that blends with these two completed quilts.  It will be made from Bonnie Hunter’s “Wild and Goosey” block–which also appeared in her “Addicted to Scraps” Column in Quiltmaker magazine, May/June 2013.  This block is Foundation Pieced on paper, and since it appeared, it has acquired a large and solid fan club.  I succumbed this winter while using up my “crumb” bag–which is not used up at all, but growing like mad with all the quilting.  AND after taking Bonnie Hunter’s class at Craft Online University–which I highly recommend.  (One of the cool things is seeing five or six quilts at the end of each segment–each using a block in a different way.)


These blocks will sit on a soft grey polka dot, and it brings out all their vibrant colors and works well with the black and white sashing.  I’ll use a 3 1/2-inch sashing in the setting–which will give me a 3 1/2-inch corner stone of some kind.




Turkey Tracks: One Quilt Top Finished

Turkey Tracks:  November 3, 2015

One Quilt Top Finished

I got the final borders on this quilt last night–and the pics here do not do it justice.  The border fabric is so cute with this quilt, for instance.


I have loved working with these bright prints and these so-fun neutrals.  (You can see part of the other/companion quilt hanging over the bars on Lucy the Longarm.)


I’m going to call this quilt “Yellow Bird,” after the repeating bird in the borders.


To remind this quilt block, Carolina Chain, was designed by Bonnie Hunter for her “Addicted to Scraps” column in Quiltmaker magazine.

I am thinking that though I do have backing fabrics bought on sale that what these two quilts need is some sort of cream/black/neutral backings that match…

Not sure what I’ll do yet, so will finish the other top before deciding.




Turkey Tracks: October 2016 Quilting Update

Turkey Tracks:  October 6, 2015

October 2015 Quilting Update

I seem to be working on about 7 quilts–three using the 4-patch blocks I spent the summer making.

The tumbler quilt is off Lucy the longarm and is ready to be bound.

The Coastal Quilter’s 2016 challenge quilt is ready to be bound.  That’s a little guy–16 inches square, with 16 pieces, and using one set of opposites on the color wheel.

The two quilts that are emerging fast though are these bright and happy darlings–both using Bonnie Hunter blocks from Quiltmaker magazine:  Criss Cross and Carolina Crossing.


Carolina Chain:  I saw this quilt completed on the Bonnie Hunter FB site in regular, not bright, scraps, and I loved it on sight.  I’ll make this one twin size.  Love the bright happy colors.


Criss Cross.  I think I want to make this a medallion quilt with these blocks as the center.  I’m going to go to a border of white fabric with tiny dark blue stars next and then build out from there.  Not sure which block I’ll use next.  If it gets too wide, I’ll just extend on the ends???



I think these two quilts want to be companion quilts, and I know two little girls who are getting a new, shared bedroom in the near future.  One of them does not have a “big girl” bed quilt from me.


Turkey Tracks: Quilty Update

Turkey Tracks:  September 2, 2015

Quilty Update

…and time just keeps on marching on…

…it’s been a lovely summer…

…and I’m looking forward to fall.

So, as usual, I have a lot of quilting projects “in process.”

This quilt, as yet unnamed, is on the long arm:


You already know that the block is Bonnie Hunter’s block for the American Patchwork and Quilting Magazine‘s four-patch 2015 challenge, AND that this is the first quilt using blocks from the sewing I did for most of the summer–making light/dark four-patches from the two-inch square bin.

The backing is a fabric I bought on sale some years back:


You can see part of the pantograph in the above picture.  I’m using a limey green that goes well with the green in the quilt and in the backing:


I will finish with the long arm later today–“God Willing and The Creek Don’t Rise”–as my dad used to say.

I’ve been trying to make one of Bonnie Hunter’s most recent blocks from her column in Quiltmaker magazine every day or do…


Bonnie Hunter’s 2015 leader/ender challenge is to use the tumbler block.  It so happened that I have a really nice tumbler template bought years and years ago AND a bunch of veggie/fruit fabrics also purchased years and years ago.  So, I seem to have gotten a little side-tracked with this project, like making it a main project, not a leader/ender, and look what’s happening:


I added some fabrics to the collection to get more variety at the Pine Tree Quilt Guild state show in late July when I knew I’d use these fabrics with the tumbler block.  Otherwise, I had way too many reds, oranges, and greens.


Using the dark prints together is making a nice border–something Bonnie suggested somewhere along the way.

Finally, Coastal Quilters issued a little challenge at the June 2015 meeting.  The organizers gave us a brown paper bag with a collection of fabric, including a backing piece to indicate size.  We were to create whatever we wanted, and we could add some fabric, but we had to use some of all the pieces in the bag.

I made a little quilt called spring moon:


I added the green polka dot background, the orange chicken legs, and the chicken’s neck fabric.

Here’s a close-up of the chicken:


(I may move her eye back just a hair.  I used a picture of one of my chickens, and the bead is where the eye is in the picture, but it isn’t translating quite right here.)

I quilted with the domestic machine and by hand with pearl cotton.

Why this chicken?

I spent the summer looking at the fabric I got, and the black and white fabric looked like it wanted to be a kitchen or bathroom floor.  Or, a foyer.  And I just could not get excited about that idea.  Eventually I worked my way around to the chicken.  AND, one factor was that in an earlier challenge I made a black and white picture of my Copper Black Maran rooster, Napolean.

So now he has a sweet little hen named Spring Moon to accompany him in his quilty journey:


Turkey Tracks: The Two-Inch Bin is Empty!!!

Turkey Tracks:  August 22, 2015

The Two-Inch Bin is Empty!!!



Can I tell you that there were 6720 squares in that bin.  And note that it’s a SMALLER bin (13 by 8 by 5 inches deep) than I usually use.

Who knew there would be THAT MANY squares in that bin???

Now I have what I think of as “assets”:  1680 finished four-patch blocks.

Note that I use Bonnie Hunter’s Stash Management system to manage my stash, and you can read all about that in any of her books and on her blog, quiltville.com.

One part of that system is to cut leftover fabric from making a quilt into useable sizes that work together mathmatically AND to do something with a bin when it gets full.

I have spent the summer sewing these squares into light/dark four-patch blocks.  And that effort started with the American Patchwork and Quilting Magazine‘s challenge to work with four-patch blocks this year.

I was inspired, also, by Bonnie Hunter’s quilt block, as she is doing this APQM challenge.

So, at first I made Bonnie’s block.  (Bonnie’s background is aqua–which is so lively and pretty.)


AND, Bonnie’s sashing is AWESOME!!  (I went ahead with my rich magentas BEFORE I saw what Bonnie opted to do.)


I can’t wait to see what she does with the cornerstones, to see the finished quilt, AND to buy whatever book into which she puts this quilt.

(To follow her progress with this challenge, go to her web site, quiltville.com, click on the blog button, and search for the APQM challenge.

I put the final border on my quilt yesterday–after sewing the LAST FOUR-PATCH BLOCK–and am working on the backing now:


And of course I will have to make Bonnie’s version since I love her strip-pieced sashing so much.  That will take 150 of my 4-patch blocks.  A drop in the bucket of my assets.

I have some of these already started–and the corners are from the 3 1/2 inch block bin–which has gone down considerably with the use of Bonnie’s block.


I am very excited about doing a Jacob’s Ladder in blue/neutral.  I was able to carve out quite a few of those blocks:


And could not resist putting two together to see the result:


I have this great winter blue-jay fabric that I can use for a backing for a blue/neutral quilt.

AND, the mixed blocks would make up beautifully in a Jacob’s ladder with a constant setting for the half-square triangle blocks.

I also carved out some red and neutral blocks.


What if I turn this block straight?  The lines would then be on the diagonal…



This block came from Lissa Alexander, whose quilt was featured in the APQM article on the four-patch challenge.  I made a baby quilt recently using this block if you want to see a finished quilt:  Happy Baby Quilt.”

I have some green and neutral blocks–but not a whole lot.



Could this green-based block fold into the red-based quilt???

And, somehow, I seem to have gotten started on Bonnie’s current block in the September/October 2015 issue of Quiltmaker magazine:  Criss Cross.


They are fun, but I’ve had a little trouble translating directions to the Easy Angle Ruler AND with the given size for conventional cutting of a large square into four triangles.  I’m wondering if there is a mistake?

I’ve solved it for myself however.

So far, there are a minimum of five quilts out of these blocks…


Turkey Tracks: “Remembering…Louise Phillips Bryan, 1892-1981” Quilt

Turkey Tracks:  December 18, 2014

“Remembering…Louise Phillips Bryan, 1892-1981” Quilt

I mailed this quilt to sister Susan Heath this week.

It’s one of the prettiest quilts I’ve ever made, and it was made in memory of my beloved grandmother Louise Phillips Bryan of Reynolds, Georgia.  I had the most amazing relationship with her, and to this day, I can hear her big hearty laugh, see her twinkling brown eyes, and know that she “had my back” no matter what.  I spent a lot of time with her growing up, and one of my fond memories is sitting in her back yard one afternoon, our feet propped up on a pole, singing old songs together.  She was so much fun.  She was a gardener, a seamstress, a knitter, made sure the table in her dining room held nourishing, delicious food every day, and was a savvy and successful card player.  I could go on and on about her, as like many others, I loved her so dearly.  Brown was my grandmother’s favorite color–she had dark fine curly hair and brown eyes.

Susan fell in love with this quilt as it grew on the design wall during her last visit.  So I gave it to her.

This quilt is a split nine-patch, and I started it as Bonnie Hunter issued this block as a  leader-ender challenge a while back.  A leader-ender project is where one works on a block whenever one needs to cut thread while working on another quilt.  You can see Bonnie’s version of this quilt easily as she has it on the banner of her web site, quiltville.com, at the moment.  Or, it’s on the blog, which you can get to from the main site.  I LOVE Bonnie’s version–it’s more modern and uses a different setting.

With light/dark blocks, setting possibilities are endless.  I adapted a setting used by Lynn Roddy Brown in the Jan/Feb 2014 (#155) issue of Quiltmaker Magazine.



Here are some close-ups of this quilt that was made with dozens of different fabrics out of my deep stash:



I quilted with a gold/brown thread, using a pantograph called “Arcadia” from Urban Elementz.




Here’s the backing:


And the label: