Saturday, May 26, 2012

And The Winner Is.....

Wow! What a turn out I had for the Sew Mam Sew Giveaway - thank you one and all for taking the time to not only enter, but to sign up to follow along with me on my quilting journeys. I love hear from you all.

I received so many interesting answers to the question, "Do you spend more time quilting in the summer or winter?"  Quilters from Australia, South Africa and even San Diego said they pretty much don't have a winter, so it's all the same to them.  Many said they sew more in the winter when kids are in school, and many said that summer was the best time to sew in order to escape the heat.

I found all the answers interesting, so I tabulated the results. In another lifetime, I used to be a newspaper reporter, and so facts and figures always pop out at me. I tallied the answers, and here's what it revealed:

Winter:  52% 
Summer: 31%
Equally Through the Year: 14%
Don't Know:  3%

So there you have it - winter brings out more sewing machines than summer.  I know I sew more in the winter, but then August rolls around and it's too hot to do much outside, so I retreat to my sewing room and stitch away. 

I received 393 entries - just overwhelming!  That's what made it so difficult to pick only one winner, and so I did using the scientific method of Asking My Husband To Pick A Number From 1 to 393.

So I'm glad to announce that Kluckingbear is my winner!  Thanks again for everyone's enthusiasm.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Quilt Block Finished for Charity Fundraiser

Our community has recently revived the local quilting guild - yes!  Even after the old guild disbanded, a group of dedicated quilters continued to put together a queen-sized quilt to raffle off, with a winner's name drawn at the annual Northern Rockies Folk Festival. What a better venue to raffle off a hand-made quilt made entirely from volunteers than at a folk festival, right?

Well, this year I've made a quilt block to include for the quilt top. The theme this year is "Flowers of the Mountains".  With that theme I simply had to make a block!

So here it is:
 It's a radiant sunflower made out of batiks. And it was such to make it. I got the pattern from Castilleja Cotton. Diane was great to work with - I needed the pattern in a hurry, and she obliged and sent me the pattern as a download. Isn't technology wonderful!

I can't wait to see the completed quilt. There will be 20 flower blocks, with proceeds going to support a local women's charity. Such a worthy cause, and such fun to be a part of it this year!

Have you been involved in any charity projects this year?

Monday, May 21, 2012

My First Giveaway Day

How exciting to be a part of Sew, Mama, Sew's Giveaway Day - Sewing and Craft Supplies!  And as it turns out, it's my very first Giveaway!

So what do I have in store for you? How about this fun book, Zakka Style by Rashida Coleman-Hale! It's filled with so many great little projects that are fast and easy to make. And it's not too late to enter the Zakka Style Sew-Along sponsored by LRstitched

You have 4 chances to enter. Enter a comment for each item you have done:
1. Leave a comment and tell me if you spend more time sewing in the summer or winter and why?
2. Follow my blog here at Mountain Quiltworks. It's a work in progress!
3. Go to Facebook and Like Mountain Quiltworks;
4. Follow me along on Twitter at MtnQuiltworks

Be sure to leave your email address as a way for me to contact when you are chosen the winner! If you are a No-Reply blogger, I have no way to contact you otherwise. I will do a random drawing from all the entries submitted on May 25th after the drawing closes at 6 p.m. Mountain Time. International entries are welcomed!

But that's not all! Don't forget to go back to Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day to check out all the other great Giveaways this week. It's all good!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My Head is Saturated With Ideas!

What a great week I had last week! A quilting friend and I traveled to the HMQS in Salt Lake City for three days of quilts, quilts, quilts.  It being my first large show, my brain was instantly overwhelmed with all the colors, designs, options and possibilities. Oh my goodness! It was like inspiration overkill!!!

Now that I have returned home and the reality of my Day Job has set in, I have had to put all those thoughts of quilting patterns and techniques aside. For a wee bit anyway. But once I get caught up with the Day Job, my sewing room needs some serious attention.

Since I am a new long arm quilter and had to travel a fair distance to attend the show, I decided to take full advantage of the variety of classes offered with the high quality of teaching staff. So I signed up for four classes in three days. Am I insane? Probably.

The first class was a hands-on free motion quilting class for beginners taught by Linda Taylor.

What a neat lady to meet in person! Knowledgeable, patient, knows her stuff. And can even teach an old dog new tricks - that's me. Her four-hour class flew by and before I knew it, I had learned to stitch 16 basic designs with my Gammill. I learned so much about how to 'think' about the stitching strokes to create the design I'm intending.
Here is a sampler that Linda made which included all the designs we learned. Of course, my sampler didn't look a thing like this gorgeous butterfly, but it shows what can be accomplished with a lot of practice!

I took another hands-on class by Suzanne Michelle Hyland. Unbeknownst to me, Suzanne is the creator of Machingers - how many pairs of those have you gone through with your machine quilting?  In her class I learned how to put on a perfect machine stitched binding. This is something I have been struggling with for the past year, and after this two-hour class, viola! Magic! I can use my sewing machine to sew down the binding without it looking all wonky on the back. Amazing!!! (I'm sorry I don't have any photos for this. After Linda's class, I totally forgot about my camera.)

The other two classes I took were presented by Sally Terry of Paducha, Kentucky.  She was so awesome, she received the Teacher of the Year Award from HMQS and IMQA. While Sally is known for her fantastic quilting classes, she also gives a mean class on marketing your quilting business. And one on using social media to propel your business into the limelight. If you ever, ever get a chance to take a class from Sally Terry, by all means do so. Applying just half of her tips will change your business immensely.

Between all these classes and the limited hours the HMQS was open, I only had four hours to browse the quilts and purchase a few things from the vendors. My quilting friend, Ellen, was a good sport and entertained herself with all this browsing while I was in class. See that smile on her face? She was A-OK with browsing.
I also was fortunate to meet up with one of my favorite bloggers - any of you know Annie's Ruby Slipperz?  I had lunch with her and what a gem she is!  It's great to put a face with the woman behind the blog.  All in all, it was a great week - a road trip to be remembered.

Now it's time to get down to some quilting!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

HMQS - Here I Come!

It's been five months now that I've been waiting for next week to arrive. Why? It's the Home Machine Quilting Show in Salt Lake City and I'm a Newbie!
Did I mention I'm excited?  It's Road Trip time for a friend and me - just two girls in the big city.  I suspect that danger lurks at every corner with a plethora of enticements on how to spend money.  Maybe I should leave my credit card at home? Heaven forbid I have to take out a home equity loan on the house just because I got carried away by so many possibilities.

I've signed up for four classes, so I don't know if I've left enough time to really take in all the wonderful quilts that will be displayed.  My long-arm quilting friend says I will be overwhelmed.  Probably true. But that's okay - I'm ready to be motivated.

Oh, and maybe best of all, I also have plans to meet one of my favorite bloggers. That will be the icing on the cake!

Remembering All The Little Things

I have let my blog side away in lieu of posting photos and updates over on Instagram. For me, it takes less time, and is a faster way to doc...