The Traverse Quilt Top is Finished

Tara Faughnan designed Traverse and Sewtopia hosted the project, which ran as a block-of-the-month project, starting early fall last year. I chose this version, made with Windham’s Artisan Cottons (shot cottons). Those fabrics…glow. As usual, when I work with Tara Faughnan, I learn so much. And I continue to love her design work.

Somehow I’ve never learned the trick of getting my cell phone NOT to distort a quilt picture so the bottoms always look like they are not as wide as the tops.

I took Tara Faughnan’s “on demand” online class about hand quilting last week. She pretty much hand quilts all of her work. (I don’t know how she has the necessary time, but like me with hand work at night, she finds hand quilting can sooth away one’s stresses.)

I’ve hand quilted for decades now, and in more recent years gravitated to thicker threads and bigger stitches. But in both methods, I’ve never been terribly good about getting my back stitches to be even like the front ones. Busy backing fabrics help hide that lack, but Tara pretty much works in all solids, and her quilt backs are as pretty as her fronts!

Can I just say I learned so much with this hand quilting update. Like me with these bigger threads, she does not use a hoop. And it was so good to see how she uses her hands and her thimble. I’ve learned a lot of new information about using the thicker threads I’ve grown to love for these projects; which of these threads work best; and which needles, thimbles, and thread conditioners work best. (I’ve gotten some new thimbles and a new thread conditioner which I love already.)

The other issue is what solid backings make hand quilting easier as they have a lighter base–so I ordered a Michael Miller Couture Cotton backing in a beautiful teal color. And I chose Dream Cotton’s lightest backing–Request.

So, yes, I’m going to hand quilt Traverse–after I put it on the longarm and baste it. And after I make myself finish the last row of the “quilt from hell,” join the two big pieces, and set up the final border, which will be much easier than all the curves in the quilt. And, yes, I’ll hand quilt it too when it is done.

Finally, one bunch of grocery store flowers fixed these two empty pots on the porch which were begging to be used. I could hardly walk past them as they were screaming at me…so loudly too.

And a friend brought me these lovely beauties Tuesday.

Grandson Kelly graduates high school today. The family is now gathering for that event.

Go Kelly!

Another November Update

Hello friends.

The contract about which I last wrote fell through. But there is another one now, so I have a new closing date (December 28) and a new moving date (December 15). The due diligence time (8 days this time) started today and will end December 3rd. And a formal inspection will be done tomorrow. During due diligence buyers can back out of the contract if an issue is found that they feel makes buying the house not a good idea for them, for whatever reason.

The great news is that if this contract holds, I’ll be able to buy “my house” in Charleston after the December 28 closing here. I am trying not to get completely giddy over that possibility.

Both sons are coming on the 16th (we are meeting in Portland near the airport) to drive me to Charleston as I cannot fly and don’t feel like I could drive myself down the I95 East Coast urban corridor for 20+ hours. But what a gift to be with both sons at once in a car for 20 hours! My life in Maine has not included driving in urban traffic or for long periods of time, so at almost 78 I feel so grateful for all the family support I am getting to make this move not only happen, but to be a happy occasion.

During radon testing in the failed contract due diligence period, it emerged that there is an air/radon problem here, but that knowledge emerged only after the contract fell through for some other reason. Plans are now in place to mitigate that issue asap.

I have learned a lot about air radon and radon mitigation over recent weeks. It takes 48 hours for a machine to test for indoor radon, while doors stay shut except for going and coming. It’s winter, so all the windows are already shut. The mitigation will involves drilling down through the utility room slab to install a vent pipe (powered by a fan) that takes the radon air outside and over the roof–and that drilling is complicated by the radiant heat pipes in the lower floor. But there is a very nifty infrared camera that can show where the pipes are–but shows the pipes clearly after the heat is turned off overnight and restarted the next morning. Brrrrr!

Since I can’t do any more packing until the due diligence period is over, I got bored. I unpacked the Janome 6600 and its Sew-Ezi portable table–which positions the machine so it is flush to the table top–and set up a little sewing station in the quilt room that is now full of packed boxes and items that “will move” from other parts of the house.

I have four monthly fabric packets from Sewtopia for the Tara Faughnan designed block-of-the month Traverse quilt project. Each month’s fabrics makes one of the rows in the quilt–and some months have multiple rows of the same design that are repeated on the quilt. I am working on row 4 now, and it has 3 rows. It’s the row at the top of the quilt with the small green squares.

Here is a picture of Tara Faughnan’s sample quilt–done in the Windham Artisan “shot” cotton solids, which I chose. Other choices were Kona solid cottons in colors or neutrals or the Artisan cottons in neutrals. All of these quilts are beautiful, and the rows are fun to make, though the two flying geese rows were super challenging for me as each row needs to measure 72 1/2 inches.


I will be less anxious when the due diligence 8 days are over and the air/radon problem is mitigated, but I’m getting much better at just letting what I cannot manage go. All is just going to be what it is, and I am flexible with what life puts in my path for the most part–even when disappointment occurs.

I will miss Maine, for sure. But I miss my family much more. And I’m truly excited about living close to them again. The years since John died in January 2013 have been so good for me as I learned I can live on my own and that I can cope when life gets messy.

I suppose in that way I am choosing to be happy, no matter what. And I have so much for which to be happy.

PS: I learned this week that Jackpot has been adopted by a local family–after he visited them with his foster caregiver to see if JP and the family were happy with each other.

Eating and Sewing the Rainbow

Turkey Tracks: May 5, 2022

Eating and Sewing the Rainbow

Eating the rainbow at lunch today: roasted chicken and all kinds of veggies.

When I feel I’m getting full, I stop eating and put the leftovers into a bowl for my dinner meal. Sometime I just add more meat and veggies to the bowl and call it a night. Sometimes I add a tortilla heated over the flame on top of my stove—and add some butter when it is done. Sometimes I’ll also have a little dessert fruit. Mostly, I make an herbal tea, but sometimes I’ll have a coffee.

I am enjoying having my main meal in the middle of the day.

But speaking of rainbows, I just signed up for Tara Faughnan’s 10-month long Traverse Block of the Month—hosted by Sewtopia and starting in July. The project comes in two manufacturer choices (Windham Artisan Cottons or Kona cottons ) and two color ways. I chose the bright in the Windham Artisan Cottons. I love shot cottons. They have so much depth.

My experience with the ”Sugaridoo” quilt showed me it’s easy to make one row a month of a block that is fun.

And I fell in love with this colorful quilt.