Saturday, December 29, 2012

Don't Miss Quilting Secrets Blog Hop

Ready for the new year? Start it out by learning something new!

Here is a fun blog hop that is just about ready to begin - it's the Quilting Secrets Blog Hop sponsored by Mrs. Pickles Garden.  It's due to run Dec. 31- Jan. 6.  And just look at the line up of seven wonderfully talented quilters who will be sharing a few of their Quilting Secrets!
Sue @ Quilt Times  January 5th

Mrs. Pickles has a variety of give-aways scheduled as well, so be sure to check it out. It's always fun to learn something new!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I just wanted to say how much I have enjoyed reading about everyone's Christmas projects this month! Especially this past week, everyone has been finishing up their gifts in time to get them under the tree, and it has been an absolute delight to see the amount of creativity, skill and enthusiasm that goes into these lovely hand-made gifts.  Aside from being gifts that are to be used and treasured for always and a day, they are made from the heart. And that is what quilting is all about.

So, my dear bloggy friends, I want to wish you the merriest of Christmases and only the best for you in the coming year.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Last Minute Christmas Pillow

I had so much fun yesterday! As I was reading through my blog updates, I came across a free pattern from Tula Pink for an awesome, retro VW van pillow, made with the new Salt Water collection. I made a mental note to make that pillow some day.

Then, I ran across a post from My Go Go Life and Kim's great rendition of the Cruiser Pillow.  Quickly my mind went into overdrive and I thought, "That would be a kick to make that pillow for my sister-in-law for Christmas, particularly since she has an old VW Van."  My husband agreed, and so I began pulling fabrics from my stash to come up with a mod version of their maroon colored van.

Here's what I came up with.

Our last name is Neiwert, so I embroidered a big "N" on the front emblem.  Putting this together was so cool - I had this great black fabric with gold and silver stripes in it, so it looks just like tires. The colors and patterns are kinda funky - exactly the look I wanted.

I quilted the front with a paisley pattern in gold thread, just to give it that little psychedelic touch!  I did make one blunder in my quilting, and I'm always the first to point it out. I quilted the yellow background first, and then moved down on the right-hand side of the dark pink. I did about a fourth of it and couldn't see very well, so I stopped and went over to the left-hand side, moving back over to the right.  Oops. Should not have done that. I ended up with a crinkle in the fabric, down by the right tire.  Sigh. So glad that wasn't on a large quilt.  I eased the quilting into it as best I could, and have now learned a valuable lesson: don't do that again!

Here's the backside of the pillow. For that I just ran straight lines across it, mostly at half-inch increments, but I'd throw in a quarter-inch every now and then, just to mix it up a bit!


Here it is, started one day, finished the next, and now patiently sitting beneath the tree waiting to be boxed up and wrapped for my fantastic sister-in-law.  They can either use it in their van, or have a fun touch for their family room. Either way, I hope she gets as much of a kick out of it as I did making it!

Linking up with Link A Finish Friday by Richard and Tanya Quilts and Sew Darn Crafty Linky Party.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Fun little gifts

Living in land-locked Idaho, our family relishes the time we get a chance to see the ocean, wiggle our feet in the wet sand, watch the birds glide effortlessly across the vista, and breathe in that fresh, moist salt air! And the Oregon Coast happens to be my coastline of choice when it comes to wonderful beaches and gorgeous scenery.

From the time I was seven, my mom, who raised two children as a single mother, saved her quarters so that every other year we could vacation at Cannon Beach, Oregon. It quickly became our Favoritest Vacation Spot In The Whole Wide World!  So imagine my delight when I was able to spend some time there this summer on business. What's that? Business in a beach resort community! Heavenly!

And wouldn't you know it? Just a block down from our hotel was the best little beachside quilt shop, Center Diamond.  And after browsing around for an hour or so, I came up with an idea for Christmas gifts for my daughter and nieces.  And one for myself, just because! 

These watercolor panels of famous Haystack Rock were just $8.50 apiece and would make a great centerpiece for a small wall hanging.  Just now as I looked up their website, these panels are featured on Center Diamond's home page, so I guess they are a popular item.

Which one do you like best?  It was fun to mix and match batiks for the borders, and quilt them with swirls to resemble the ocean waves.  The backing is a great white fabric with blue starfish.  So for all of us landlocked beach-walker-wanna-be's, these  wall hangings will be a good visual reminder of our Favoritest Vacation Spot In The Whole Wide World.  Sssshhhh......just don't tell them yet.

I also want to share a project I just finished up.  It's my Christmas quilt and it was the first quilt I quilted on my long arm machine last spring.  I finally got the binding put on, gave it a good washing, and now we are snuggling up with it just in time for Christmas.  Couldn't resist posting this photo of my husband with such a smug look on his face.

And, just in case I don't get back here before we start our Christmas festivities Friday, my wish for all my quilty friends is a Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and safe journeys if you will be traveling.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

And we have a winner!

It has been so much fun hosting a give-away this week in conjunction with Quilting Gallery's 5th Anniversary Party.

I asked people to share their most unusual Christmas gift with us. And boy did I get some strange answers on that one!  Perhaps the one that made me smile the most was a comment by Beulah. She said: "The first Christmas we were married my husband shopped on Christmas Eve right before the store closed...I got a Flash Light that year for Christmas."

I didn't tally up the votes for who is the favorite reindeer of all, but by far, it was Rudolph. I guess it's just really difficult to compete with a shiny red nose!

With 106 entries, I used the Random Generator to pick a winner. Congratulations to Vesuviusmama.  I've sent you an email for your contact information so I can get these sent to you soon.  Thanks to all of you who took time to make comments, and to those of you who decided to follow my quirky blog!


P.S.  Perhaps it's needless to say, but give those kids and loved ones of yours a little extra hug today. Just because.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Celebrate Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways

'Tis the season for celebrations, and so what fun it is to be a part of the Quilting Gallery's 5th Anniversary Party!  I'm joining the fun, and you can, too. Dozens of Quilting Bloggers around the globe are helping the celebration with Give-Aways and fanfare, all intended to relay a great big "Congratulations!"

Hop Party with Give-Aways

I'd like to welcome you to Mountain Quiltworks, if you haven't been here before.  I have been smitten with the quilting bug and so enjoy reading about what all the talented quilters are doing. So much creativity, friendliness and compassion, all wrapped into one here in Blogland. Fantastic combination. Take a minute to look around my blog - I'm not a prolific blogger. I just write when the mood strikes, and when I have something quilty to write about.

For the celebration, I am giving away a pair of vintage-style Christmas snack mats and a set of four Christmas coasters that I've made.  You can use them yourself, or tuck in a stocking - Santa won't mind the help!

Entering is easy. Just leave a comment and let me know what was the most unusual Christmas gift you've ever received, or if that's too personal, how about your favorite reindeer that pulls Santa's sleigh.

No need to be a follower, but if you'd like to hop along for the ride, I'd love to have you!

One winner will be chosen at random. The give-away will remain open through Saturday, December 15 at midnight Mountain time, so be sure to enter.  And visit the other bloggers who are taking time to give back to the blogging community. Again, you can find the list over at Quilter's Blog Hop.

Party On, at the Quilter's Christmas Party!

Did someone say "Party"?  I'm in!

Time to get ready for this virtual Christmas Party.  I have a favorite red sweater that I bring out only for the holidays, so I'm going to jump into that. Maybe find those Avon Christmas tree earrings I inherited from my mom (I know they're someplace in the dark recesses of my jewelry stand), touch up my hair a bit, and I'm ready to go. Oh, yes - can't forget the hostess gift! I'll bring a bottle of fine wine, packaged ever so nicely in one of the classy wine gift bags I made this year for my Etsy shop!

What the heck am I talking about? Well, it's the Quilter's Christmas Party sponsored by our good friend SewCalGal.

Not to disappoint, she has lined up a plethora of great giveaways from her gracious sponsors, and has included an opportunity for you to make a donation to a great cause - Operation Homefront. You can participate by buying raffle tickets - check out her site for more details.

Christmas.  What a special time of year, not only for remembering why we celebrate, but for the chance for loved ones to come together.  If it wasn't for Christmas, would you 'make' time to get all your kids and parents together for a few days? Or does life get too busy and those things would not always get done?

This year is a little more special for our family.  On Christmas Day, it will be my in-laws' 60th Wedding Anniversary.  Just think: they got married on Dec. 25, 1952.  That's such a busy day to get married, but my father-in-law was home on leave from his duty in Korea. The window of opportunity was slim, so they just went for it!  60 years - hard to believe.  They are 80 and 78 now, but to me, they don't look a day over 50 (my perspective changes drastically the older I get. To illustrate, I'm 57 and I'm absolutely certain I don't look a day over 30. Oh wait. My son is 30. What am I thinking!!!!)

Anyway, all their kids and grandkids and friends and a few other relatives are getting together for a celebration on the 22nd. I'm so looking forward to it. Not only will be get to spend time with everyone, but both our son and daughter are coming home, and my daughter is bringing her boyfriend so she can show him her old stomping grounds. How exciting!

Our house, a few winters ago. That's Misty sniffing at the corner - gotta love those corners, if you're a dog, that is!
On the quilting side of Christmas, I have been so busy this fall with my Day Job and then with trying to get ready for a Christmas Fair (it was last weekend, lots of fun, sold lots, glad it's over - whew!), that I hadn't even had time to think about making anything for gifts. But then I decided I've love to make a quilt for my dad, who is losing his eyesight.  I want him to be able to 'see' my handiwork while he can.

However, I can't find the fabrics I want in our local quilt shop, I don't have the proper time to devote to it, and so it's not going to happen. But I am going to make it right after New Year's and give it to him as a belated Christmas gift.  I'm very happy to be working on something like this.

What makes you happy at Christmastime?  Any special going on in your life this month? I'd love to hear what you are all up to.

Don't forget to visit SewCalGal soon!


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