Monday, August 13, 2018

The Saga of The Wedding Quilt

This is a hallelujah post! (Correction: At least it started out that way.....)

I went from this:

To this:

This represents 36 straight lined blocks and 36 curve-pieced blocks. Double curves at that! And the blocks are now complete.


This is the the wedding quilt for our son and our soon-to-be daughter-in-law. I wanted to make it and get it finished so I can take it to them when we drive to Portland in September for the wedding. I think now that I just might make it my deadline - whoohoo!!!

The quilt pattern is called Cacophony from a back issue of QuiltingDaily.Com. They picked it out almost two years ago! I bought the fabric right away, but I had put off beginning the project because of the curved piecing. And the fact that I wanted to turn this into a king-sized quilt. LOTS of curved piecing, and something I had never done before. The blocks are 9", so I guess I'd better do the math to make sure I have enough. It's always something, isn't it?

Wait a minute. Hold my horses!

I don't have enough fabric/blocks for a king-sized quilt. Doh!

I doubled the number of blocks in the pattern thinking that would be enough. But the pattern makes a 45x63 quilt, so doubling it only gives me 90x63. Or 81x81 by building two more blocks. Far from a standard king size of 92x100. Double doh!!

Ah, well. Their king-sized quilt just turned into a Twin. Or a super cozy, huge lap quilt built for two to snuggle beneath.

Oh, geez.  Yep, that will have to do on this project. I just don't have it in me to make another 45 blocks. And it won't look good with sashing. Maybe a large border???  Maybe two borders???  Well, it is what it is. Because I know they'll love it any old way!

Quilting with a smile,

Linking up with:
Monday Making
Main Crush Monday 
Linky Tuesday 
Midweek Makers

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

A Work In Progress, A Fire, and A Winner!

I've gotten sidetracked this week. As is the case in all the Western States, July and August seem to have become synonymous with wildfires. Sunday, a wildfire in mountainous pines and brush was started by some people shooting exploding targets. What the ??? Have you ever seen a video of exploding targets? It's like shooting off fireworks, with sparks flying in every direction!

Within 48 hours, the ensuing fire has engulfed more than 35,000 acres of timber and grazing lands for both cattle, sheep and wildlife, caused evacuations, threatened homes, destroyed wildlife habitat and will tarnish the watershed. It started just three miles from our home.

The Sharps Fire, 3 hours after it began on July 29, 2018

Wildfires started by lightening are one thing. Fires started from stupidity are quite another. We watch with immense sadness as the people of Redding, CA., are dealing with the severe aftermath of their fire storms, and I can't even imagine the anguish of finding everything you've owned in ashes.

This photo above was taken the morning after The Sharps Fire began. The photo doesn't do it justice, but it had an extremely eerie beauty about it.

A National Incident One Command Team has finally arrived to take control of this fire as it skirts the hills close to the four communities in our valley.  We, personally, are safe now as the winds have taken the fire in other directions.  Last year at this same time, in this same draw, another big fire was started by people shooting steel jacketed bullets (which cause sparks). I just shake my head.

Anyway, I'm off my soapbox now. I didn't get much sewing/quilting done as we watched the progress of the fire.  But I did get a start on the blocks for the king-sized wedding quilt for our son and our soon-to-be daughter-in-law.  By the time I get finished with this quilt, I am going to be an expert at curved piecing, that's for darn certain!  Getting this quilt top completely pieced by the end of August is my One Monthly Goal!

Let me finish this post with the best news of all!  As a grand finale to my participation in the Christmas In July Blog Hop, sponsored by Carol, from Just Let Me Quilt, I have used the random number generator to select my winner. Drum roll, please.  Congratulations to Janarama! I have emailed her and will be sending her an assortment of Christmas fabrics to play with for the coming season. Fun, fun!

Quilting with a smile,

Linking up with:
WIPs on Wednesday 

Monday, July 30, 2018

Ugly Is As Ugly Does

In July our quilt guild had a swap of sorts. Everyone brought a half yard of the ugliest fabric in their stash. All fabrics were placed in a paper sack, and then we closed our eyes and  each drew one out.

With our new ugly fabric, the task was to create a table runner using the fabric as a main focal point in the runner.

At this juncture, many people liked the fabric they drew. But not me! Mine was not even quilt fabric. It was a very thin fabric with the print woven in and the threads sticking out all over the back. I hung my head. "How in the world am I going to incorporate this truly ugly fabric into a nice table runner?"

Well, that was the entire point of this exercise. To see how we can use our stash to allow the colors, prints and textures shine through.

This is my result:

I was so 'mad' at that red fabric, that I didn't want to waste a lot of time on this project. So I simply cut out 3 large squares and then cut the gold and blue fabrics in 5-inch squares to sideline the focal blocks. I chose gold and blue to match the secondary print in the red fabric.

I quilted some fun paisleys in a gold thread. Then I finished it off with a blue binding.

Then I stood back, took a look, and said, "Oh my goodness. I like it!"

What a surprise this was to me.  We don't have our Show And Tell until our September meeting, but I'm anxious to see what the other quilters have created by stitching up their ugly fabrics. After this was all finished, I kept thinking, "Ugly is as ugly does."  After all, it's all in the eye of the beholder!

This would be a great mini event for your guild to hold. If you have any questions, just let me know. But it's a very simple concept, and lots of fun!

Quilting with a smile,

Linking up with:

Oh, Scrap!
Linky Tuesday 
What I Made Monday 
Main Crush Monday 
Midweek Makers
Needle and Thread Thursday

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Christmas in July Blog Hop and Giveaway!

So glad you could stop by my house for a little Christmas in July celebration! My thanks goes to Carol, from Just Let Me Quilt, for hosting this blog hop to help get you inspired to create Christmas magic! It's so fun to see what other quilters are making. What great motivation to come up with some ideas for yourself.

To help get you in the mood for Christmas sewing and quilting, I've come up with three fun projects. And a giveaway to boot!

A funny thing happened on the way to creating a Christmas table runner: it turned out to be TOO BIG! No worries. I simply christened it to become a bed runner instead. And, since I had enough fabric, I made two of them. Sometimes you just have to go with Plan B, lol.

For these bed runners, I used a jelly roll of Moda's Vintage Holiday by Bonnie and Camille. When I started, I really didn't have a plan in mind (hence, they became TOO BIG).  I sewed strips of five together and then decided to cut them into triangles with my 60-degree ruler.  At this juncture, I could see the runner was 20" wide, and wouldn't look proportionate if I made it just 40" long. Since I had enough triangles, I just kept laying them out. Suddenly the runner was 102" long. Perfect for a bed runner for our king-sized beds!

Placing the triangles on the design wall was an interesting process with these blocks. As you can see by the photos, I chose two different designs. Which one do you like best? I still can't decide.

These were fun to quilt freehand, and they will add a festive touch to the bedrooms at Christmas.

My second project was making this cute Christmas table runner with Moda's new Christmas fabric line, Swell. It features the cutest Santa, straight out of the 50's and 60's. Or prior? If you are a child of that era, this fabric will definitely take you back!

I had a fat quarter bundle of Swell that I pre-ordered and received just in time (it should be in the stores now). I began by making a simple table runner design - one-piece mid section as the focal point, bordered by patchwork to highlight the variety of fabrics in the collection, and tucked all nicely together with a dark, outer border. Oh, and pointed ends to add a wee bit of character to it. Topped it off with a solid red binding. Cheerful, eh?

This would be a great pattern for all your Christmas fabric scraps! I used a very light meadow green thread to do simple loop-d-loop quilting across it.  This table runner measures 17" x 52".

Finally, I was on a roll and WAY into the Christmas spirit, so I dug out this from the depths of my Christmas stash. It's a quick little Christmas quilt, perfect as a festive wallhanging. You can piece this together in no time, quilt it up, attach a hanging sleeve, bind it, and you have a great little decoration. It measures 40" x 51".  It would even make a great baby quilt!

I bought this as a kit but the pattern called for more fabric than was in the kit (how irritating is that!). So I simply used what I had in the kit to piece the panels together into a fun, colorful display. Again, when Plan A fails, find your Plan B!

That's it folks. That's all I've got.  Oh, wait! There's still a Giveaway to talk about.  I have too much Christmas fabric in my stash.  I haven't had time to pick out specific cuts, but the winner of my giveaway will receive a fun supply so you, too, can create a Christmas memory. You have three chances to enter. Please leave a comment for each.

1) Tell me if you make Christmas projects for your own home or as gifts. Or, who the heck has time for Christmas projects!
2) Follow me on Instagram @mountainquiltworks, and
3) Follow my blog adventures (links in right side bar).
The winner must be a US resident due to high shipping costs. I will randomly pick a winner on August 1. Be sure to leave your email address for me, in case you're a No Reply Blogger!

It's been a pleasure to be part of Carol's Christmas in July Blog Hop. Stop by and visit the remaining quilters' posts this week, or catch up on the previous posts you may have missed. Hopefully you'll come up with inspiration for a new Christmas project for this year!

July 23

July 24

July 25

July 26

July 27

Quilting with a smile,

Linking up with:

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Ambitious Thinker Here: Third Quarter Finish-A-Long Projects

Ambitious, yes. Motivated, yes. A Finisher? Maaaaybe?

It seems I have started way more projects than can fit under my needle, so I have written them down here, and will print them out, mark them off, and be thrilled when they are all completed! Do you have to do that? Keep specific track of your quilting projects because you leap over to a new one now and again? (Mostly again....)

At any rate, thanks to the Finish-A-Long, I am declaring that I shall strive to complete the following projects by September 30, 2018.

Blue Quilt patiently waiting to be quilted

1. Scott and Lauren's Quilt - cutting it out now. Needs to be completed by Sept. 28 for their wedding!!!!
2. Christmas Bed Runner 1 - Binding
3. Christmas Bed Runner 2 - Binding
4. Christmas Table Runner - finish quilting and binding
5. Quilt Blue Quilt - Quilting
6. Quilt Yellow/Blue/Red Quilt - Quilting
7. Finish Manger Quilt - piece, quilt, bind
8. Quilt Animal Christmas Wall Hanging

I think that's it! I really need to concentrate on #1. Our son is getting married at the end of September, and they will be using this quilt in their ceremony. And it's the project that needs the most work. No pressure here, lol! I know I can do this and they will love it (the "loving it" part is a given 💕).

Okay. Off to start the process. What are your goals for the rest of the summer? I find I actually sew/quilt more when it's too hot outside to do much!

Quilting with a smile,

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Wedding Quilt Blues

So, a funny thing happened on the way to making this quilt:  I didn't.  My son and soon-to-be daughter-in-law picked out this pattern nearly two years ago. I searched out the right colors for it, bought them, and they have tucked neatly away in a storage bin since then.

Why? Fear. Those curves through me for a loop. And the foundation paper piecing! You have to cut out templates for it. Good grief!  You'd think I'd never touched a sewing machine before. Just get over it, Barb, and get this quilt made, for goodness sake.

Even with all my procrastinating, I did do something to edge closer to the start. This winter, I took an online class to learn how to properly do curved piecing. You can check out my blog post about it here. Appears that was w-a-y back in early February!

Okay, I was prepared for Curves Ahead, but why didn't I just start then? Too many reasons or excuses. Now, however, I have no excuse, because they will be getting married at the end of September and would like to use this quilt in their ceremony. It must be done. No pressure here!

Actually, I'm thrilled to have a deadline to get this finished. So my goal for July is to get the quilt top all together and ready to quilt. That's a hefty goal for me, considering all the other irons I have in the fire, but I want to do it. Today I begin cutting....

Wish me luck!

Quilting with a smile,

Linking up with:


Sunday, July 1, 2018

The Quilt That Was Loved To Pieces

How endearing is it when your grown son asks you to 'fix' the quilt you made for him when he went away to college? Priceless, right?

So when I went to visit him in Portland this spring, I took a look at the quilt. It was a very, very simple patchwork quilt, one I had made back in 2002 before I really began my quilting journey in earnest.  I had cut six-inch squares from old, denim, used-up jeans, along with some new corduroy, sketched a layout design, and stitched away. The backing was a soft cotton, and the batting was??? I usually used old sheets or those blankets you sometimes win playing Bingo at the fair. In this case, it was that cheap 100% polyester from Joann's. (Don't use that batting - I'm telling you this from experience!)  I hand tied the quilt with yarn, at the intersections of the squares (terribly difficult to do). And wha-la! I made a quilt!

What a total newbie!

I did take a couple of shots of the original quilt, but I surely can't find them now. Drats! But suffice it to say, that quilt was in dire straights! Not only was the back shredding to pieces, but the squares on top were simply falling apart at the seams.  It was faded. It was seeping batting out the back. It was a disaster.

That quilt had been loved to death! I like to think that over the years it provided a connection with home. Or brought him some comfort. Or was just a great quilt to snuggle beneath.

There was no way to repair it, so I made him a new one!

I salvaged one square from the original quilt to include in the new quilt. It was the one I had embroidered with my sewing machine that said "Happy Birthday, Scott, March 25 2002."  (Notice how it looks gray? It was originally blue!) I pieced that into a bottom section of the new quilt top, and then created a new square that said "Happy Birthday, Scott, March 2018".

Blue is his favorite color, so I found some fabrics that he might be pleased with. Unfortunately, I didn't buy enough of the dark blue background fabric, so I had to have a friend pick up more for me from a quilt shop 150 miles away. Doh!

I had no pre-planned sketch for this one. I tried to make it fit his 6-foot tall body, so I kept adding rows. About four more than I counted on! This time around, no yarns were cut up in the making of this quilt! I quilted it with a fun, modern design, perfect for a guy. I even bought extra wide Minky backing so he could get the full Cozy Factor out of his new quilt.

The extra-wide Shannon plus fabric is a delight to work with, by the way. I had not considered making an adult size quilt with a Minky backing before, but this was truly awesome!

He and his girlfriend were delighted with this 'new' quilt. Which makes the process of creating a quilt all the more worthwhile. And they are getting married soon, so having a fresh, new quilt to start their journey is especially rewarding.

Quilting with a GREAT BIG smile,

P.S. This was also one of my second quarter goals for the 2018 Finish-A-Long.

Linking up with:
2018 FAL
Oh Scrap
Linky Tuesday
Main Crush Monday 
Monday Making 
Needle & Thread Thursday 


The Saga of The Wedding Quilt

This is a hallelujah post! (Correction: At least it started out that way.....) I went from this: To this: This ...