Friday, April 20, 2012

Zakka Pincushion

I closed up shop early today so I could do something just for myself - make a Zakka Pincushion!  It's part of the Zakka Sew Along hosted by Lindsey over at LR Stitched.



It was great fun to go through my stash and pick and choose for a small project like this. And then, to top it all off, I got to finally do something with the ric rac and cute owl ribbon I've had sitting in a drawer for the longest time.

I didn't have any linen fabric as the instructions called for, so I winged it.  The back side has a fun little turquoise green button that looks like a flower. I forgot to take a photo of the backside, so you'll just have to imagine what it looks like.


Need a quick, easy, fun project for the weekend?  Instructions are in the book Zakka Style compiled by  Rashida Coleman-Hale.  And it goes together in a snap! 

And guess what? There are prizes!  Have you ever seen so many giveaways as out here in quilting blogland? It's all fun.  This week the prize is a fat quarter bundle of Monsterz fabric from Cloud 9 Fabrics, which is so cool.  If you haven't seen this fabric collection, check it out - it's nothing but fun!  Just link up at LR Stitched.

Our weather is finally NICE!  I think I'll barbecue something tonight - a tasty salmon perhaps??? 

Enjoy!
Barb

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Gearing Up for Summer Season

I'm approaching the one-year anniversary of officially licensing Mountain Quiltworks in my state. I can hardly believe it's been a year already - whew! My accountant wasn't all that impressed with my endeavor, but, hey -  it's a work in progress.



Last winter I began Mountain Quiltworks for two reasons. Well, maybe three.

  1. The winter is my 'off' season and I have very little to do, so sewing and quilting and planning and setting up my own business was intriguing and fulfilling.
  2. It was a way to challenge myself. Could I really do this? Could I make things people wanted to buy? Could I make it successful?
  3. And, it was a way to make money. 
Making money isn't openly talked about on many of the quilting blogs. And that's fine. But it lingers behind many of the blogs in the form of pattern and book sales to Etsy shops to monetizing blog sites and on and on. So bear with me just a bit more as I talk about the making money aspect of quilting.

It's been a learning process to sit back and watch what others are doing and take a stab at incorporating some of the things that work for them into my own business.

I must say I have learned a tremendous amount this past year. I accidentally discovered quilting blogs last fall, and was amazed at how open everyone was with tutorials and information and compliments. Such a nice place for women to gather online! And such tremendous talent out there!!!

Before I accidentally discovered Etsy, my method of selling my wares was at arts and crafts fairs. Here's a pic of my booth at my first fair, the Mountain Mama's Arts and Crafts Festival in Stanley, Idaho.  Again, this was a learning experience, but I made my first sale, and then my second, and third, and so on. It was fun!


I certainly didn't sell out, but you know what? I learned a lot!

My business has taken some twists and turns as it evolves into a better (hopefully) critter. Thanks for taking the ride with me.

Are you planning to sell at arts and crafts fairs this summer? Let me know and maybe we could compare notes.

Barb
I'ved linked up over at Marcia's Minutes for Me Party

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Show a Little Love; Get a Chance to Win!

Keli blogs over at Craft Quilt Nurse is gathering strength in numbers and is hosting a fabulous first-time Giveaway.

Check it out - not one, but two winners to celebrate her first 10 followers. How cool is that?  Now I'm thinking that a Giveaway might be in the works here at Mountain Quiltworks soon.  Keep checking in and I'll let you know when I come up with a terrific prize!

Be sure to follow Craft Quilt Nurse for your chance to win!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Blog Remodel in the Works

I ran across a great tutorial this morning from Honeybear Lane. It's called Bling Your Blog and even though it was written two years ago, it's an excellent blueprint for spiffing up your blog.

So my plan of action for this week is to work on the New and Improved Version of my blog.  You'll probably see it reformulated in bits and pieces with a change here or there.  I'll work on it as time allows, but I'm excited to learn how to make different pages, put a tab bar across the top, and just streamline it a bit.

It's good to teach an old dog new tricks!


Blog Tip of the Day:  It's said that you should always, always include a photo with your blog posts.

So here's my photo.  Since I spoke of  'old dogs,' this is a priceless photo of our Cocker Spaniel, Misty.  I had purchased six little packs of flowering kale for the flower beds and had them sitting inside out of the cold weather.  I came in to discover Misty had taken a great liking to them. Does that face look guilty, or what?

Friday, April 13, 2012

What a Nice Honor!

What a nice surprise today!  Awhile back I was asked by my Idaho Etsy Team to complete an interview profile for a feature they do for the team blog.  I completed it, and then forgot about it. Until today.

Today I was cruising through my Twitter feed when I came across an announcement that Mountain Quiltworks was a Featured Seller.  How cool is that?



To read the article, you can jump over to Mountain Quiltworks - Featured Seller.  It's a short read, but a chance to get to know me a little bit better. Maybe we have something in common?

Thanks, Idaho Etsy Team!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

New Quilt Bloggers Unite!

It was so refreshing to read Marcia's blog today at Crafty Sewing  & Quilting.  She wrote about her blog that she began in January 2011.

She said she felt like she kept writing and blogging and posting and felt like no one was reading. But she kept sharing and learning and having fun with it, and now she has a regular group of followers who look forward to her posts (me included!)

And bless her heart, she believes there may be others like her out here - new bloggers that are testing the waters and just not giving up.  To help them out, she has started a New Blogger Linky Party, and you can join in!
 


If you are a blogger with less than 50 followers, just link up your blog and join the fun. Who knows, maybe we'll get some new followers, meet new people, and share this love of quilting that we have.

See you over there!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Wonky Pastel Summer Quilt

My new thing this week is putting together a great Wonky Quilt using a variety of pastels in pinks and greens and blues.  I basically followed the pattern called Off Your Rocker by Carolina Patchworks.

Talk about fun!  To make a wonky quilt, you can stack and whack and cut your strips just about any way you like.  It's a like a carousel that goes up and down, circles around, and comes back to the starting point.


This calls for 20 fat quarters - talk about a fabric spree - an open opportunity to grab and mix and match - so much fun!

 And these colors are just right to lift my spirits to get in the mood for spring. Our snow is finally melted off the valley floor. Another few weeks and we'll have daffodils popping up (being in the mountains, our growing season severely lags from most everyone else!)


I do know that this quilt makes me happy! And I had so much fun making it.  If a quilt can put a smile on your face, isn't it worth it?

Barb
P.S.  Linking up with TNT at





and

Quiltsy WiP

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sew a little, quilt a little, sew a little, quilt a little, pick out a few stitches, quilt a little more

After a hectic week last week, and company through Tuesday, I was finally able to dig in and get some projects done. Such a great feeling! I decided to see how long it would take me, start to finish, to cut out, piece, and quilt a small quilt, about 50 x 50.  Result? With hand stitching the binding to the back, I'm right at 6 hours.

Am I slow? Doesn't seem like it should take that long. But I'm still very slow at loading my quilts on the long arm, so I could probably reduce that by 30 minutes if I felt confident in that regard.  But overall, it's a great way to spend a rainy day.

I had this little baby quilt already pieced and got it quilted. I love it! I am stepping out of my comfort zone and trying to mix and match colors that I wouldn't normally combine.  Some little boy would love to tote this quilt around with him, I'm certain.



This is my start-to-finish quilt for a little girl.  I put the Minkee backing on it and it's so soft. Love this one, too.




 Oh, my. Can you tell I really need a grandchild in our family?

Barb

Be sure to Link Up your projects this week at Marcia's Crafty Sewing and Quilting.

Sewing for the Christmas Bazaar

I think there is good reason I am feeling burnt out with sewing and quilting this fall!  I have been getting ready for our local holiday ba...