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Bits and Pieces: July 9, 2020

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Turkey Tracks: July 9, 2020

Bits and Pieces: July 9, 2020

Here’s what’s happening on my design wall at the moment. These circles are from the backs of the big circles we learned how to do in The Color Collective (Tara Faughnan, Sewtopia) season 1. When you trim out the back of the big circle after you have sewn down the circles on the front, you have these little circles left over. I couldn’t throw them out. Some time over the past two years I bought the light grey solid and cut it into squares on which I planned to mount the little circles. When I started sewing, though, I had more circles than I thought and I ran out of the light grey, so I just added in a darker grey from my stash.

My goodness these are cute! I was planning to use these circles in an improv quilt, but they really just wanted to stay by themselves. I made myself throw out the little grey circles from the backs of these circles. Time to STOP.

The 6 by 3-inch flying geese are a “leader/ender” project. Bonnie Hunter pioneered this method to keep running sewing projects through your machine rather than breaking thread. She suggests a new leader/ender project each year in July and has just revealed this year’s choice. Basically, you are making two quilts at the same time. That info for this year’s project is on her blog at quiltville.com.

I’ve cut a lot more fabric combinations, so these present colors will spread out. I’m thinking at least 10 rows wide. For play, I often stop and make some of these geese blocks. Who was it who said “no more new projects until the to-do projects are done”?

The shell peas are ready to pick now. I picked these at Hope’s Edge on Tuesday, came home, and put some raw on my lunch salad. They are delicious! The rest I added into a lamb/rice stew when it came out of the oven. I just recovered the pot and let the peas cook in the heat of the hot stew. BTW, the lamb also came from Hope’s Edge last fall.

On the way to pick up my weekly raw milk order, I passed a mommy duck walked her babies…somewhere. I tried for a longer video, but a biker came by me and ruined that one. Aren’t they adorable?

I’ve been in the garden for DAYS, and order has been restored out there. For the most part. There are always small jobs that have to be done. I am so grateful to Duane and Leslie Smith and their crew for helping me.

We are having cool weather, mixed with overcast, rainy, and sunny days. The temps fall at night into the 60s, so the sleeping has been lovely. The drought has broken, and everything is looking green and lush again.

Summer doesn’t really come to Maine with predictable hot weather until after July 4th. This year is no exception. Our summers are short and sweet and so filled with wonderful food and beautiful flowers.

“SOLID SCRAPPY GARDEN” Quilt

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Turkey Tracks:

Solid Scrappy Garden Quilt

What a fun project this leader/ender quilt has been.

It was inspired by the “Cottage Garden” quilt made by Then Came June. I loved that it was a kind of “cross” between a granny square and a trip around the world quilt project.

I started it to use up some of the solid stash I’ve acquired over the past two years—most of which have come from The Color Collective online class (Tara Faughnan designs/projects) given by Sewtopia. (There will be a season 3 starting this October.)

Basically, the way a “leader/ender” project works is that you set up a secondary project, different from your current one, and when you need to break your thread, you feed through a piece of your leader/ender project instead. Thus you are making two quilts at the same time. Quilter Bonnie Hunter pioneered this method, and you can read more about it on her blog, Quiltville.com. For this quilt, I set up a block at a time and kept the pieces where I could join them as I went along.

The backing was in my stash. But I purchased the soft coral solid (Bella) to bind the quilt, and I really like that soft punch of color around the edges.

I quilted the grid on my domestic sewing machine with a Sulky 100% cotton 12-wt. thread in a soft blue color—using a 90 Top Stitch needle. I did use a titanium needle as I thought that extra sturdiness might be good. I did put this thread in the bobbin as well. And I think this shiny thicker thread worked really, really well. I will definitely use it again. I’ve had this thread for a long time though, so I don’t know about color availability right now.

Note: I have had at least one comment on the blog cautioning about using a Titanium needle as if they hit the needle plate, they don’t break easily and can do damage. So, I suppose one must be careful not to put weight on the needle that pulls the needle out of line with it’s intended trajectory.

The secondary patterns are kind of cool. And fabric choices of light/dark can make some blocks kind of shimmer. Look at the picture of the whole quilt—third row down, far right block, to see the transparency that can develop.

Here’s where this quilt is going to live for the moment. It just makes the room sparkle. I love the block on the lower right. Hmmmmm….

Gumdrops Quilt: Done and Hung

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Turkey Tracks: June 6, 2020

Gumdrops Quilt: Done and Hung

I have enjoyed making this quilt so much.

Tara Faughnan of The Color Collective, Season 2, designed these blocks (there are 6 different ones to use and combine), assembled her own quilted version, and curated the color palette. The block pieces are printed on to cardstock, cut out, covered with fabric, and sewn together with English Paper Piecing. With each project, Tara makes a video to show us up close how to make the project, and I have found the videos to be really helpful.

There will be a Season 3, starting in October. The online class is hosted by Amy Newbold of Sewtopia, and Amy mails each month’s fabrics to class members. Plus, Amy discounts any extra fabrics one needs if members’ projects start to get bigger. (If you go to Tara’s web site, you can join her newsletter and get details on this class when details are available.)

I quilted with matchstick lines, which I have never done before. And I have to say that I think this quilting gave the quilt a lovely texture. I’ll be doing this type of quilting again, for sure.

The backing was in my stash. The print is an older Carolyn Friedlander fabric that I had left over from another quilt. It’s PERFECT for this quilt.

I hung my Gumdrops downstairs in the room where my tv lives. (My quilt room—which is where I do most of my sewing—is off this room and houses my longarm, design wall, and another sewing machine.) This space where Gumdrops is hanging had a bookcase, but remember from recent posts, I cleared out most of my books a week or so ago. I plan to house my Janome, on its Sewezi table, permanently in this little nook. It’s all set up with a walking foot ready to put on binding or to quilt a quilt I want to grid in some way. I also often use this machine for making knit fabrics as well, and I have two dresses cut out and needing to be sewn together.

I thought a long time before moving a machine to this spot and keeping it there. But most of the time I am here by myself, and I would like to be able to sew at night some times. I can see the tv from this spot, and I actually quilted Gumdrops at night. Usually I hand sew at night, but I was out of handwork at the moment, and there are three quilts in the pile that will need to have binding sewn down.

Everything’s a bit of a mess right now in this spot because I’m quilting another quilt and things are spread out. I can use the back of the couch to help support a quilt as it runs through the sewing machine. I hung the quilt high so it would not get knocked accidentally. (That’s not my kitchen you can see to the left—it’s a laundry sink. My kitchen and living room are upstairs.)

Here’s my view:

So, I’ve now completed four of this season’s 7 quilt projects. Two of the remaining projects will be wall hangings for me, and one will be a lap quilt. The block for the lap quilt was designed by Denyse Schmidt as a guest designer for the seventh month, but was made by Tara with fabric she curated for us.

I have more than these Color Collective projects going on. I’m doing the Sugaridoo QAL in TWO different versions. (Whose idea was that?) And I’ve been catching up with making blocks that will go into an improv quilt one of these days. These blocks are my real Play Time. And, somehow, there is a flying geese project growing on my design wall. Sometimes projects just will NOT leave me alone, and this one is one of those.

But, Tara’s Bedrock quilt is all lined up and ready to be started.

Galactic Quilt Done and Hung

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Turkey Tracks: May 22, 2020

Galactic Quilt Done and Hung

I LOVE THIS QUILT.

Tara Faughnan designed this quilt block and chose the color palette for this project in her online class hosted by Sewtopia, The Color Collective, season 2. How we used the colors was up to each maker.

I hand quilted with the Wonderfil GlaMour rayon/metallic 12 weight thread that Tara Faughnan also used on her Galactic quilt. I used 5 different colors—and justified that cost by the fact that I have a smaller block version that I’ll quilt with it as well. And…just because we all need some treats in the middle of a pandemic where we are “staying home.” I also used a Tulip Sashiko needle (found online easily)—the thin, coated version.

I knew from the beginning that I wanted a wall hanging for a wall on a stairwell landing between two floors. Galactic replaced these duck prints—and it’s so nice not to have to think how I can make these pics hang straight anymore:

It’s hard to get a good picture of a quilt hanging in a stairwell, but…

Galactic just draws one right up those stairs.

Thanks, Tara Faughnan, for this one!

Now, on to the next project in this class.

Turkey Tracks: May Monday Morning

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May 14, 2020

Look at my beautiful cold frame lettuce. It’s still growing—as it has been so cool here in Maine this spring. But I gathered some lettuce—thinning the clumps to give some plants more room to grow—for my first cold-frame lettuce salad.

To remind, I set up this cold frame in the fall with new compost and seed and cover it for the winter. Left alone, it does its own thing when the longer daylight hours return. I’m still covering it most nights—remember that it SNOWED all day last Saturday, with no accumulation, but…

Here’s my first lettuce, rinsed and headed for the lettuce spinner.

I’m making a lunch salad, of course. And the protein will be one of the cube steaks I keep on hand. These steaks have a lot of flavor, defrost quickly, and cook in a very few minutes—just about two minutes a side, or less, in a hot cast iron frying pan.

Here’s my beautiful salad:

Lettuce from cold frame, sweet red pepper, roasted beets, cucumber, leftover asparagus, carrot, spring onion, red onion, apple, leftover forbidden black rice, cubed steak, olive oil, salt, and dried dill.

The daffodils this year have been glorious. I’ve planted so many now, each year choosing more and different varieties. Some of them are so frilly—they look almost like peonies.

I bring some inside to the kitchen window and so enjoy them there. Here’s the most recent selection.

Tom Jackson’s crew came and cut up the GIANT ash tree that fell over the stone wall property line last fall. It is a monster. I tried through the winter to donate the wood to anyone who would cut it and take it, but had no takers. It is just in a very difficult spot where getting the wood out would be way too hard.

There is a wetland below the stone wall and the tree, which would not allow for any equipment to come in that way.

I really need to get a picture of the daffodils in the little meadow this year. They are so beautiful and continue to naturalize over this area. They brighten the heart and soul, and I look forward to seeing them each year.

I finished hand quilting the big block Galactic wallhanging last night. I’ll trim and put on the binding/hanging sleeve/label today. And yesterday I finished the smaller block version—just two rounds. I love this block and could quite easily go down a rabbit hole with making the big block in a different palate. But I need to move on to the remaining three projects in The Color Collective, season 2, each of which look exciting to make.

And, today, which is THURSDAY already, is going to be much warmer. It is a bright, sunny day with little wind. I’m eager to get out into it.

Written by louisaenright

May 14, 2020 at 9:04 am

Turkey Tracks: Wonderfil Glamour Thread

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May 2, 2020

How did it get to be May already???

Wonderfil Glamour Thread

I’m handquilting the Galactic wall hanging quilt now with Wonderfil Glamour thread, as shown by Tara Faughnan on Instagram. The Galactic quilt is a project in Tara Faughnan’s season 2 online class hosted by Sewtopia (Amy Newbold) . Glamour is a 12-weight rayon thread with a metallic strand.

These are the thread colors I’m using for this project. The orange one was risky—it’s so hard to tell real colors from an internet picture—but it is working out well I think.

I saw a magazine ad for the Tulip sashiko needles and wondered if they would be a good idea for this heavier weight thread in a quilt. I found them online (Fat quarter shop). And, yes, I think these needles are a good idea. However, I did find I needed a learning curve to handle the needle and the fabric to get smaller stitches. This is the THIN coated needle, and you can see the bigger eye helps NOT to fray the thread.

Here, you can see that my stitches started out bigger and gradually begin to get smaller. I don’t mind as there is a certain funkiness about this quilt anyway. And I do like the way the thread shines in the quilt.

Here, you can see the progression starting to go from big stitches to smaller ones. See the bottom rows in this picture. My first rows were…BIG stitches.

Now, look how pretty. I am just keeping the quilting simple—straight lines on a diagonal.

I hand quilt at night while watching tv. Someone thinks it’s time for him to go outside to drop his britches. Afterwards, he will decide that it is time for us to go to bed—all of which involves teasing wallowing on me.

Written by louisaenright

May 2, 2020 at 9:11 am

Turkey Tracks: April 2020 Update

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April 25, 2020

April 2020 Update

It’s a beautiful sunny morning in Camden, Maine.

I hope this post finds all of you safe and well.

Like many of you, I’ve been spending LOTS of time at home. Ha! But I’ve been deep cleaning, culling “stuff,” repairing broken things, washing winter coats and sweaters, getting out spring clothes and storing winter ones, sewing, spending time connecting with people via internet, and on and on. My life is, actually, pretty full.

Spring is coming in slowly this year. The new raspberry and blueberry plants arrived Thursday. I planted them all yesterday—which was a BIG job made moreso by having to plant the 5 blueberry bushes into soil that had quite a few rocks embedded. It was warm in the sun, and I really enjoyed being outside with some outdoor work to do.

The raspberry canes are in the dark soil—and the box they came in will keep the center weed-free. The cold frame is FULL of delicious looking lettuce. I keep it covered until each day warms, then cover it at night as our temps are still dropping too low at night for tender plants.

These raspberry canes fruit on the second year growth, so the canes will spend this summer getting established and growing new canes.

Here’s the cold frame—taken a few days ago. The lettuce is now filling out the box as the plants are getting much larger.

Here’s where the blueberry bushes went in: 3 varieties that will pollinate with the two bushes I have in the back yard. Research says mixed varieties is a good idea. (You can see our leaves have not yet started to pop out.)

I decided last year some time that the current raspberries on the hill in front of the house were a bad idea: too hard to get to, the whole bed there was a weed-infested mess, etc. So, I dug them out, got some help with the weeding and pruning, and things are looking MUCH better. That hill is just too steep for me to manage safely now.

Here’s where the blueberry bushes went. Each needs about 3 feet of space.

Inside, my sewing has been a bit slower as I’ve had other jobs that needed my attention—to include a daily long outing with my boyfriend, AC Slater.

But, here is the “Elvira” quilt top finished—from a design by Erla Gudrun released by her free for a one-day quilt-along online. I was drawn in by the movement with the slashes, but I’ve never done BIG blocks like this block, and they are really way out of my comfort zone. Still, the project used up a lot of stash and the quilt will be a sturdy, functional lap quilt.

The “Gumdrops” top, designed by Tara Faughnan for Sewtopia’s The Color Collective, is finished. I took this picture with another quilt underneath, so it looks a bit “bumpy” on the design wall.

Papers will come out now, and I’ll layer it. It will be a wall hanging. I’m thinking of matchstick quilting it on the domestic machine up and down with a pale grey thread. Maybe a color here and there? Don’t know… The fabrics will all lay flat with the templates out. (We learned how to make templates with card stock run through a printer for the pattern.)

Here’s the quilt underneath—a mini Galactic block with which I’m playing.

I have no idea what shape this quilt will take. I have lots of fabric from the big Galactic project (which is layered and ready to hand quilt now), so will just see where this idea goes…

I am RESISTING starting anything else new until I clean up the ongoing projects: there are 2 dresses cut out, a knit top pattern copied and ready to use up some leftover knit fabric, four quilts now ready to quilt, and pieces for an improv quilt prepped and ready to make. And, Sugaridoo’s row 7 to make before row 8 arrives in May.

It’s all good!

Be safe: Be well.

Written by louisaenright

April 25, 2020 at 9:43 am

Turkey Tracks: Social Distancing: Ongoing Sewing Projects

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Turkey Tracks:  March 20, 2020

Social Distancing:  Ongoing Sewing Projects

I’m ok.

I hope you all are all ok too.

I am social distancing.  AC and I go every possible day to the woods, to the beach, and to the grocery store as needed.  I am connected to friends and family a good chunk of each day via technology.  Except for worrying about getting the virus in a serious way, about family or friends getting it and not faring well, and about my seriously diminishing stock portfolio, I am peaceful.  I am enjoying all my sewing projects.  It’s good to see ongoing planned projects getting finished.  And working with my hands is, as always, soothing.

I am reminded that life is what it is, that we have to take it as it comes, and we can do that with joy and purpose and some laughter, or we can just let it all overwhelm us.  That’s a spectrum, of course.  I’m sure I hit the highs and lows of it every day, but mostly I’m…ok.

Here are some of my ongoing sewing projects:

The Galactic wall hanging top is finished, layered, pinned, and waiting for obtaining some Wonderfil GlaMour thread—a rayon with a metallic strand—that designer Tara Faughnan used and loved.  Marge Hallowell at Mainely Sewing is going to carry this thread.  I am hoping she can mail me some.  I LOVE this quilt and this pattern.  Tara Faughnan designed it and curated the fabrics in THE COLOR COLLECTIVE online class by Amy Newbold’s Sewtopia.

I am also playing with a two-round smaller version with the extra fabrics I have.  I have no idea where this project is going.  Play without a goal is important too.

Here is Gumdrops—another Tara Faughnan project from The Color Collective.  The blocks are English Paper Pieced, and we learned how to use a cardstock that one’s printer would take to make the six different patterns.  I’m making a wall hanging with this one too—probably about 30 wide by 30-40 long, with three staggered rows.  I will, of course, move blocks around a whole lot more as each combo gets finished.  I hand sew at night while watching tv.

I’ll be layering and pinning the solid scrappy trip/granny quilt from Then Came June (Checkered Garden) today.  I want to diagonal grid quilt it on a domestic, but will pin it on the longarm.  I loved Then Came June’s version and thought it would be a good use for the solid scraps I have.  It’s bright and wild.  And maybe that’s it’s name?

I cleaned and oiled my serger over the holidays—and replaced the knives.  There’s a blog post on that project.  It’s running like a dream.  But I’ve been having so much fun with quilty projects that I have not circled back to making garments.  There is a pile of knits to be used.  I cut out two tops this week.  Here is the Linden Sweatshirt from Grainline.  I made this top a while back and wear it a lot, so will enjoy this one as well.  This top can be hacked to make other interesting tops.  There is a short-sleeved version as well.  I wear it both layered with a high-neck t-shirt and all by itself when the weather is a bit warmer.  This particular jersey knit is so, so, so soft on the skin.

Be well!

Take care of yourselves!

 

 

 

Turkey Tracks: “Stacks,” A Wedding Quilt

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Turkey Tracks:  March 8, 2020

“Stacks,” A Wedding Quilt

The wedding is in May.

And this quilt got mailed last Monday and is now in the hands of the bride, who lives in Colorado.

Tara Faughnan of Sewtopia’s The Color Collective online class designed the block and curated the fabrics.  I added more greens as I had them on hand.  The quilt is called “Stacks.”  I think it looks a bit like a modern, graphic version of stacked mountains.  And I love the lines of triangles that form between the rows.  I freehand quilted in a medium grey.  I wanted lots and lots of movement—like winds blowing and moving air currents.

I knew thia fabric was my backing fabric the moment I saw it.

Yummy!

And here it is, in the hands of the bride, where I hope it will hug and cuddle and warm this special couple.

Written by louisaenright

March 8, 2020 at 9:57 am

February 15, 2020: Camden Public Library Quilt Show

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Turkey Tracks:  February 15, 2020

Camden Public Library Quilt Show

Coastal Quilters (Camden, Maine) president Tori Manzi got a call from the Camden Public Library asking if we could mount a quilt show in February since the “show” for that month had cancelled, leaving the library with no show to hang in their Picker Room.

Tori stepped up, with help from president of the Mt. Battie Modern Quilt Guild (Camden, Maine) Lynn Vermeulen, and many quilters from both groups, many of whom belong to both groups.  Special thanks to Sarahann Smith, who has hung many shows and knows what to do.

I contributed my “Radiating Log Cabin” quilt from Season 1 of The Color Collective, hosted by Amy Newbold of Sewtopia.  Tara Faughnan designed the block and chose the color palette.  The rest was up to each individual quilter.

 

I could not get a picture of the whole room as about 6 people were setting up for an event.

I did try to take pictures of the two traveling quilts that we did in Mt. Battie Modern last year.

Here is Lynn Vermeulen’s:

I did the top/right border, the word “joy,” and the little churn dash blocks over the word joy.  I also sewed the bottom third of top together, connecting remaining blocks to the top 2/3, and that arrangement remained as I came near the end of the “traveling.”

Here is Becca Babb-Brott’s traveling quilt, though I could not get the bottom due to the tables being set up.  Becca’s “saying” was “The more I wonder, the more I love.”  I think that came from THE COLOR PURPLE novel.  Becca did the words—as we all did—so we “travelers” worked in lots of motifs, etc.  I did some stars, the fabrics under the first  “the,” some flying geese (on the left), and near the “I” at the bottom, the girl figure—which copied that motif from a quilt Becca made some years back.

Here is my traveling quilt, which I did not hang in this show, but which I love so much.