Louisa Enright's Blog

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Turkey Tracks: Fall Quilty 2017 Update

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Turkey Tracks:  September 6, 2017

Fall Quilty 2017 Update

It’s official.

Summer is over.

I confess I love the rotation of the seasons and am looking forward to fall.  Up here in Maine, the trees are beyond gorgeous when they turn, which they are just beginning to do now.

I always think I’ll get some final porch use in September–sitting in the sun and soaking up the last of the late summer sunshine, but the feel of fall is here.  The angle of the sun has changed and the back porch does not get sunshine like it used to.  Time to move some chairs to the upper front deck for that sunshine.  And time to let go of the flower container pots and to start cleaning up flower beds and to winterize.

This hanging pot has been so pretty all summer.  It hangs on the upper front porch, and I can see it from where I sit at the dining alcove table.  This picture is the one I will see in my mind in the dead of winter this year.

The humming birds are still here but will leave any minute now.  They, too, have loved this feeding location and move from the feeder to the actual flowers.  I have two feeders and LOTS of humming birds.  The other feeder is on the back porch, which means these little fast-flying birds are often just skimming any heads whose bodies are sitting on the porch.

Here is the second to last rosette of the Katja Marek millifiore quilt.  I have almost finished the LAST ROSETTE, which will attach to the right side of the one below.  They make up the lower right hand side of the quilt.  I started this project last fall, and it has been a joy.  Up to the point, that is, until I have to figure out how to quilt it.

I slowed down the other day to make this feed bag for a friend:

This time I got the whole thing right side up!

I have almost finished piecing Bonnie Hunter’s mystery quilt “En Provence.”  I’ve had the units completed since last Christmas/New Year’s.  And the pieced blocks and sashes have been on my design wall almost all summer.  One more row of the big blocks and then on to the outer borders.

I find myself really drawn to the outer neutral borders with their hint of the pointy stars.  I find myself wondering what a quilt would look like with these stars (the red ones above) made scrappy and floated on neutrals.

OK, so I know I’m in a “neutral” fabric moment.  I worried about whether or not the stronger neutrals I used would be too much, but they are what are making the neutral areas of this quilt sing.  I really like how they are working in the quilt and will not be afraid to go to a mixing in of stronger neutrals next time.

This quilt, as all Bonnie Hunter quilts do, has a great “skeleton.”  The designs she makes are inventive and wonderful.  But I find that lately I am really drawn to less-busy quilts.  I think that is one reason why I have had such a hard time finishing this quilt.  It will be wonderful when it is done, but it has been a bear to sew.  Very labor intensive.  Very busy.  This year I am going to print out her clues and see the finished quilt before I charge in to making it.  Part of my issue is that I have several projects of my own I am so excited to start this fall.  They are trumping my doing another Bonnie mystery quilt I think.  And it is always ok to give yourself a break for a year.

We were challenged in our new Mt. Battie Modern Quilt Guild to experiment with making a minimalist little quilt–the second “how to” chapter from the MIGHTY LUCKY QUILTING CLUB 2016 WORKBOOK, “Minimalist Improvisation,” by Season Evans.  The plan of action in this chapter was very clear and very helpful.  Here’s what I devised:

I quilted with the walking foot–which was an experiment for me.  And I used a circle cutting tool that works like a protractor–cutting the fabric circle 1/4-inch wider than the freezer paper circle.  I ironed the paper onto the circle and turned in the edges with an iron.  I should have tried to cut the circle free hand of course–as everything else was cut free hand, per instructions.  I wanted to get a handle on sewing curves, so that added to some “play” time with this project.  So, I cut and sewed curves, experimented with the circle cutter, and quilted with the walking foot.  A good exercise, I think.

I spent a fair amount of time working on Vicki Fletcher’s traveling quilt, but those pictures will have to wait until after our next meeting.

 

Turkey Tracks: “Uh, No! Just no!”

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Turkey Tracks:  August 14, 2017

Uh, NO! Just NO!

Here’s what happens when you return to a complicated piecing project after a month AND think you know just what to do!!!

The red blocks should be PURPLE.

What was I thinking???

I spent five hours at our monthly Coastal Quilters Sit and Sew sewing FOUR of these blocks all wrong.

Fortunately the blocks are on the OUTSIDE.

Still took me three or so hours to fix.

But, here’s the “YES!”

The red stars are formed by the sashing pieces.

To refresh:  I did all these units absolutely on time last fall, but…  Got sidetracked with putting them together.

I am ALMOST done now.

Written by louisaenright

August 14, 2017 at 4:49 pm

Turkey Tracks: Maine’s Pine Tree Quilt Guild Show

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Turkey Tracks:  August 14, 2017

Maine’s Pine Tree Quilt Guild Show

I was able to attend this show for a quick run-through one morning while my family visitors went off to Squirrel Island.

The show has recently changed its judging process and categories.

And, the show winner is now deemed “Best of Judged.”

There is now a non-judged hanging quilt category for “modern” quilts.

There were rows and rows of red and white quilts–to honor the show’s 40th anniversary.

And rows of gorgeous functional quilts that one wraps up in to feel the love.

I saw a LOT of Bonnie Hunter quilts in all kinds of colors, and each one was so lovely.  Some groups had obviously used Bonnie’s patterns to create challenges for each other.

I LOVED this selvage quilt.  Do you recognize the star pattern Vicki Fletcher used to start her “traveling” quilt–and which Linda Satkowski paper pieced in miniature for Vicki’s quilt–see earlier posts–but this one has an added small triangle at the center, which makes the on-point block in the middle of the star.  And look at the selvage borders.

Here’s one of the quilts in the modern grouping.

Another improv one I liked:

And, another.

I like the free-hand nature of the blocks in these quilts–and the improv nature of making and joining them.  I like the energy.  I like the grid quilting in many of these quilts.  And, often, the heavy use of solid fabrics.

I like to think of traditional quilting as being about a “community” of blocks that make secondary patterns with each other–producing all sorts of crossing paths and connections.  To me, modern quilting is about individuals–each free and stand-alone.  They can join to make a “community,” but not in the same way traditional quits do.  I love both.  And there is in the modern movement, something called traditional modern, or something like that, which blends the two.

Here’s the Coastal Quilters’ (Maine) Challenge quilt for 2017:  Dawn Chorus.

Sarah Ann Smith found this idea on Pinterest a few years ago and proposed it as a challenge for us.  It was created on Pinterest by Terry, Draw Me A Line.  The idea, and others like it, can be seen on Pinterest at this link:

If you belong to a group interested in this kind of project, and my link does not work, you can find it in the Pinterest Art section, under group projects.   I think it would lend itself to paints as well as fabric.  And to other animals besides birds.  There are other examples of this idea at the link.  Per Terry’s Draw Me A Line Pinterest instructions, Sarah painted the sky and tree-limb background on a large piece of heavy something and cut it into numbered squares, which members took away with them in May of 2015–with the assignment to reproduce the background and add a bird and leaves and bring back the square in May of 2016.  Sarah organized putting the completed squares back together, hanging the completed quilt on its black backing, and getting it to the show with all the attendant paperwork.  Thank you, Sarah, for a fun challenge.

Here is Sarah  with her “Best of Judged” winner at the show.

Congratulations, Sarah!

In the best of my memory, in the 13 years I’ve attended this show, this is the first art quilt to ever win it.

Sarah has an awesome blog, teaches at the big show in Houston, has a special exhibit for emerging artists there this year, and has published several books.  Her quilts have been displayed world-wide.

 

Written by louisaenright

August 14, 2017 at 4:47 pm

Turkey Tracks: Coastal Quilters’ May Retreat

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Turkey Tracks:  May 18, 2017

Coastal Quilters’ May Retreat…

…Mother’s Day weekend at the Franciscan Guest House in Kennebunkport, Maine.

We had SUCH A GOOD TIME!!

Tori Manzi started this quilt at Pink Castle’s Glampstitchalot last year and worked on it at our last retreat.  She finished it at this retreat.  (Pink Castle has a great web site, sells fabric, and organizes the amazing Glampstitchalot each year, where high profile quilt teachers come and work with attendees.)  Each border of Tori’s quilt was designed and taught by a different teacher.  How fun is that!!

Here’s part of the group early evening Saturday night.  We came on Thursday night so by this picture we were all thoroughly punchy.

Margaret Elaine Jinno worked to put her Farmer’s Wife blocks together.   We are all going to show our quilts at our June meeting:

Deb Hazell was on the J&E Riggin’s “Slow Sewing at Sea” cruise with Rhea Butler of Alewives Quilt Shop last September.  Deb brought along Deb Torre (on the left) to our retreat.  We loved having them with us.

Deb Torre worked on Sarah Fielke’s “Down the Rabbit Hole.”  This kind of quilt lets a quilter learn a lot of new blocks and sewing methods.  Here’ the left side in process.  The blocks below are for a sampler Deb Hazell is making.

Here’s the right side in process, and the lower blocks are Deb Hazell’s sampler blocks.

By Sunday morning, Deb Torres had these blocks done.  I am tree quilt crazy at the moment, so loved these blocks–made from organic cotton:

New to our group also was Betsy Maislen, who started this amazing quilt behind Karen Martin.  Betsy had all the blocks done by the time Sunday rolled around.  We are looking forward to seeing the finished quilt top, borders and all.

Penny Rogers Camm returned to us for her second retreat and started her third quilt.  Look at her pretty fish blocks!  (There were requests for this Joan Ford pattern.  I made Joan’s version–you can see it here if you search for “fish quilts” and scroll down.)

Linda Satkowski and Karen Martin hard at work.

Penny and Vicki Fletcher at one of the cutting tables.

Lynn Vermeulen making a foundation piecing check.

Becca Babb-Brott and I brought our selvages.  Becca started this spider web quilt using a Bonnie Hunter pattern (free on her web site, quiltville.com).  Love the way the neutral circles are working in this quilt.

Jan Kelsey worked on a number of quilts which went up and down on the design walls.  I was sewing myself and missed getting pictures until I slowed down to get this Christmas funky log cabin.

Mac Saulnier worked on three baby quilts.  I love her colorful novelty fabrics.  The designated children will be so happy to get these cheerful quilts.

Tori Manzi worked on several projects as well.  Here are more.  This quilt came out of an online block exchange.  Check out Tori’s Instagram (Camden Maine Mom) to see more of her work.

And, blocks from a sampler challenge.

One of our quilters could not go with us, but she worked on this quilt while we were away:

I worked on this selvage project–a BIG star from Jen Baker, a free pattern which I loved at first sight.

I am going to put all the Tula Pink 100 city blocks in a separate post.

It was a good long weekend.  We are so glad we added the extra day.

 

Written by louisaenright

May 18, 2017 at 10:40 am

Turkey Tracks: The Reveal of Bonnie Hunter’s “En Provence”

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Turkey Tracks:  January 4, 2016

The Reveal of Bonnie Hunter’s “En Provence”

I finished the last clue last night.

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And, now THIS…

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…is going to turn into THIS!!

 

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The above is Bonnie Hunter’s computer rendering of “En Provence.”

You can see her real version at quiltville.com–on the blog.

I have the Farmer’s Wife blocks on the design wall, and I think I’ve finished moving them around now.  I will sew those blocks into a quilt top before starting turning all the “clues” into a quilt top.

Written by louisaenright

January 5, 2017 at 1:24 pm

Turkey Tracks: Becca’s Kitty and Becca’s First Longarm Quilt

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Turkey Tracks:  December 23, 2016

Becca’s Kitty and Becca’s First Longarm Quilt

Friend Becca has two half-grown black kittens that are hard to tell apart–brother and sister.

They are adorable.

They are coal black, but the female one has a white spot on her chest.  I may have finally learned to tell them apart.

I was over there the other day to admire Becca’s FIRST LONGARM QUILT all finished–she did it here on Lucy the Longarm, and it will be on a bed by now–and the female kitty begged and begged to come into Becca’s Etsy store, Sew Me A Song.  None of the family’s pets are allowed in the Etsy Store and especially not half-grown kittens.

Then we looked up to see this:

Here are some pics of Becca’s quilt–it’s her version of Bonnie Hunter’s “Scrappy Trip Around the World”–which is a free pattern on Bonnie’s web site Quiltville.com.  I LOVE Becca’s fabrics–so fresh and exciting and fun and so NOT like my older traditional ones…  I’m slowly switching over, and that is a totally wonderful journey.

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Becca used a navy and white strip to bind this quilt and quilted free hand with a medium grey thread.  To see more of this kind of binding take a look at Red Pepper Quilts blog.

Here you can see Becca’s backing fabric and how nicely the grey thread is playing on both sides of the quilt AND some of the really fun fabrics Becca uses.  She had fun with this quilt.  She wrote names into it, made hearts, made all kinds of squiggles, and just played.

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Here’s a pic of the “trip” pattern–which is really, really fun to make.  The blocks, when put together, start forming diamonds.

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Here’s my “trip” quilt from a few years back.  It’s the difference of night and day:

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I love mine–all made from 2 1/2-inch strip sets precut from other quilts and put into bins.  Each fabric reminds me of a quilt I made for someone.  And this quilt gets used every day.  BUT, I love Becca’s fabrics more.  Change is always good, and this change is providing me with loads of new joys–which include learning new things.

Turkey Tracks: Clue 4 is Done

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Turkey Tracks:  December 18, 2016

Clue 4 is DONE!

But not without a learning lesson…

…44 learning lessons to be exact about it.

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So, NOTE TO SELF:  when you are tired and it is time for dinner, STOP.  No matter how close you are to finishing something.

These Tri-Rec units do have some key things to which one should pay attention.

When putting the first purple piece, yes, match up the bottom and sew to the top/wide side.  When pressing, use a dry iron and just pat the seam down as the OTHER SIDE is on the bias and very stretchy.

When sewing the next strip, DO NOT just rip through the pile without checking how things are coming out every so often.

I did 44 of these without checking things:

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DO pay as much attention when laying down the other purple side.  Yes, the bottom needs to line up, BUT those two little triangles at the top do as well.  I got fixated on the bottom and ignored how the top was so NOT matching up.

Why didn’t I see this problem?  Because I was too busy pushing pieces through the machine.

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Here’s how the bottom should look:

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Here’s how the top should line up==the triangles at the top should MATCH.  The edge of the neutral piece may be a bit stretchy, but it will fall in when you sew.  You could pin it to be sure.  And, again, don’t be ironing the first side down with steam or lots of pushing/pulling without thinking about the opposite, raw, bias edge.

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Then you will get a unit that has a nice straight top that only needs the protruding triangles trimmed.

If your top is NOT straight, take out the seam and start over.

I hope I have saved some of you from ripping out 44 purple pieces and resewing!!!

 

(This unit is from Bonnie Hunter’s 2016 Mystery Quilt “En Provence.”  All instructions and “clues” are on her blog, quiltville.com.  Look for the tab on the top of her blog header–along with a lot of other wonderful tabs filled with free quilt patterns, tips and tricks, how-to videos, etc.)

 

Written by louisaenright

December 18, 2016 at 3:31 pm