Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Memory Tree

My goodness! I slept almost 10 hours last night. Went to bed at 8:30 and slept right through 'til 6:30. Usually a good night's sleep consists of 6 hours, so this is heavenly!  I think my body is just preparing for the arrival of family. It begins today with our son, followed tomorrow with my in-laws, and then on Christmas Day our daughter, her significant other and my Grand Kitty (IG @copper_kitty) will arrive via air. Fun, fun!

I can't wait! But in the mean time, there has been lots to do, and I still don't know what we're having for Christmas Dinner. Or Christmas Eve dinner. Or breakfasts. Or lunches. See, I'm not exactly the world's finest cook, and so that part stresses me out. Plus I have Special Needs Eaters: one diabetic, one vegetarian, one picky eater, one allergic to dairy. I need to make an app so I can figure out what to fix to please everyone!

So in these quiet moments, I'd like to wish all my Internet friends a very warm, heart-felt Happy Holidays, no matter which way you choose to celebrate the season!  Thanks for following along on my quilty journey - it's been quite a ride!  I have learned so much from following you and my success at quilting would not have been possible without learning through the Internet. Thanks!

Here's a quick pic of our tree this year. It's a conglomeration of nearly 40 years of collecting ornaments, and I love them all! There is a little one in the corner - see it hiding out? It's the shape of Idaho and I hang it for my daughter who would like to live here again. And there's the 1977 Hallmark ornament - it cost $3.50 at the time, which was HUGE money. We bought that and a box of 12 plain blue balls, a bottle of Elmer's glue, some glitter, and went to town making our own decorations that year we were married. I have a good hubby. And down below are photo ornaments the kids made in Sunday School when they were little. I guess rather than a Christmas Tree, it's a Memory Tree!

And here's a pic of the dismal amount of snow that we have accumulated this winter. It looks like a fair amount, but for a ski resort area, it has been melting way too fast, so the net effect is minimal in the valley. Thankfully the snow is sticking around higher up the mountains.

At any rate, I'll stop rambling. Merry Christmas!!!


Monday, December 22, 2014

Sew Sweet Simplicity Block 3 and Giveaway

Block 3 and Bonus Block 1 are being released today for the Sew Sweet Simplicity BOM. We're half way finished!  It's been fun for me to see the different variations Jacquelynne Steves has come with on these blocks. All are a bit different and yet go together so well.

Enough of the suspense.  Here's my version of Block 3:

I have to tell you, because it's in my DNA and I just can't help myself, I messed up on this block.  If I didn't point this out, you may not recognize it. But I just feel obligated to point out all my flaws, lol!

What is it, you might ask? Well, if I had followed the pattern correctly, I believe the points in all the corners should have been the dark fabric.  But some way or another I pulled the wrong squares, sewed them up, laid them out, stitched them together, and came up with what I have here.  In my desire to get through this so I could get my Christmas cards sent out, I did not relish the idea of picking out stitches. Besides - I liked the way it looked! So I left it.

And then I worked on Bonus Block 1:

I think I got all the colors where they are supposed to be, but with me, you never can be too certain, lol!  Here are both of this month's blocks side by side.

And here are all four blocks:

It's coming along quite nicely!  And I'm getting some ideas for quilting inside the centers once I have it all together. Stay tuned!

Jump on over to Jacquelynne's page to download the latest two patterns.  We will be having a "Catching Up" event in January- this will be a Sew Along Day for those of you who haven't started yet, have fallen behind, or maybe are all caught up but would just like to make some extra blocks for other projects. More details to follow, but it should be lots of fun!! 

Now we're having another Giveaway!  This time one lucky reader will receive a pattern for Jacquelynne's Nantucket Quilt and her Sun Blossom Tote. These are downloadable pdf patterns open to US and International entrants.

To enter, leave a comment below and let me know whether you are a Summer or Winter person and why. I live near a ski resort and so winter is a big deal around here. You either learn to do lots of outdoor things, or you hibernate. And when you hibernate, you pack on the pounds and get grumpy, so that's not much of an option. I can't downhill ski any more, but I love to cross country and ice skate. There is hardly anything more beautiful than gliding through the woods and listening to its silence. 

For another chance, I'd love to have you follow along on my blog or Facebook - just mention how you follow. This giveaway will be open until January 2. Good luck!
And last, but not least, have a happy and safe holiday season!


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Quilty Goodness and Giveaway Winners

My goodness, the days are just flying by. Oh, yea, that's because it's December!  Duh.

Here's a little peak at what I have been working on this week.  I'm still trying to get customer's quilts done up for them in time for Christmas gift-giving, and I'm almost done!

This quilt is nearly king sized and exquisitely pieced. 

The center of each block is different.

A very traditional quilt with a light cream/almost yellowish colored background.

All custom quilted.  I changed thread colors in the maroon sashing and triangles.

I had fun quilting large symmetrical  flowers in the center of each different block.

Smaller flowers for the center stones of the large X blocks.

A sea of quilty goodness!

I've asked Santa for a new camera for Christmas. He just scoffs at me.  Maybe I just need to take a photography class to sharpen my skills :(

At any rate, this was a fun quilt to do!  My client had me quilt up a large piece of the border fabric. She'll cut it up to make matching pillow shams. She also has a bed skirt in the works to coordinate with this quilt. What a wonderful bedroom that will be to walk into!

And lest I forget, I'd like to announce the winner of my Giveaway Day drawing.  Thank you to all 131 one of you who took the time to read my blog and comment. I appreciate it!  I polled the Random Generator and lucky Sandra (sandit1) will receive the two Moda charm packs. Congratulations, Sandi!

Quilting with a smile,

Linking up with Fabric Tuesday

Monday, December 8, 2014

Giveaway Day 2014 - Jump Right in!

While it's nice to receive, it's awfully fun to give!  And that's what I'm doing today. How about taking a chance at the Random Generator picking your name as the recipient of my Christmas Giveaway for Giveaway Day 2014!

My thanks to Sew Mama Sew for hosting this fun blogging event!  Before I get to the giveaway, let me quickly introduce myself.  I'm Barb, and I'm glad you stopped by. If you can spare a moment, take a look around my blog and you'll soon discover I'm pretty much absorbed in quilting these days.

I have a part-time Day Job, so other my part-time job is quilting for others and selling fun things in my Etsy Shop, Mountain Quiltworks.  My microwavable hot/cold packs made with rice or flax seed inserts are washable, and you can choose to have lavender scent in them - perfect for those days when your body just isn't cooperating with you! And I have a nice selection of quilts and table runners which are great if you just don't have time to make one yourself!

As you take a look around, you'll notice my shop is all decked out for Christmas - just love Red and Green. There's just something cozy, warm and special about red and green that always brings a smile to my face. Guess it reminds me of my mom :)

SO, on that note, I'd like to give away not one, but two charm packs to one lucky quilter!  I have one charm pack of Sweet Pea and another of Fellowship, both from Moda.  I just haven't been able to use them and I'd love to see somebody create something special with them. Could it be you?

Entering is easy - just leave a comment and let me know if you lean toward reds and greens for the holiday season? Or are you more a blues person?  Or maybe you like all things sparkly and your home reverberates with silver and gold? Just tell me your favorite holiday colors.

Followers here, or over at my Facebook page, are always welcome. The more the merrier!

Entries are, unfortunately,  open only to U.S. residents.  Some of you are No-Reply bloggers, so just in case, leave your email so I can get in touch with you if you win! Giveaway closes at 5p.m. PST on Dec. 12, 2014.

If you follow my blog, you already know about another great giveaway for a Wiggle Time quilt patten I have going on through Wednesday. Read all about it here.

But most importantly, my wish for you is to be able to take a few minutes for yourself this month, just long enough to re-energize and enjoy the holidays. You are worth it!

Quilting with a smile,

Friday, December 5, 2014

ALYOF December 2014 Goal

I adore the fall, but my work schedule for my Day Job is so busy with travel and, well, just taking care of business that my quilting efforts hit an all-time low. Especially this year.

But I want to finish the year out strong and participate for the December A Lovely Year of Finishes with Melissa and Shanna.  And I have a good reason - Christmas is just around the corner, and so my long-desired Christmas Tree Skirt simply must be finished this year!

It's been fun to make, so far.  I'm using a 10-degree ruler and pattern from Phillips Fiber Art. And I do like the way it is taking shape.

So help cheer me on - I want to have it finished - pieced, quilted and bound - by December 10. Yikes - that's only a week away.  I can do this, I will do this, I MUST do this.  I've wanted to get this done for five years. I do believe Christmas 2014 is the year for it!

Quilting with a smile,

Linking up with ALYOF,

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Wiggle Time Quilt and Giveaway, plus Sew Sweet Simplicity Winner!

December is in full swing and I'm certainly getting lots of sewing, quilting and decorating done. It's all good, because then I don't have so much time to mindlessly snack, lol!

I've got a winner to announce in the Sew Sweet Simplicity Giveaway for Block 2, but first, I'm so excited to show you a quilt that I have made up using the Wiggle Time pattern designed by Cynthia Brunz. You know Cynthia - she blogs over at Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework. With a blog name like that, who wouldn't remember her, right? And this week she is giving away a Wiggle Time pattern to one lucky winner!

This is a fun quilt to put together and it makes the perfect sized lap quilt. It wouldn't be too hard to cut a few more pieces to make it larger size if you'd wish.

The pattern calls for five fat quarters, so it was fun to go shopping and pull some fabrics together that blended.  I used Kona Teal for the background, and the backside is a very fun light-colored fabric with butterflies flitting around and about.

I'm awfully proud of myself because I made this quilt as a gift for Christmas, and here I have it done at the first of December - how did that ever happen?  I don't question it too much - I'm just happy I don't have to stitch down the binding on Christmas Eve!

Because of all that wonderful, solid background fabric, I had a great amount of negative space to play with.  I used a combination of swirls and paisley designs to wind my way through the background.  For each row, I chose a different quilting motiff.  In the dark pattern row (above), the quilting isn't very visible, so I chose straight lines to give a 'fan' appearance.

A nice, symmetrical floral motif worked well in the light-colored blocks above.

And the light polka dot blocks were quilted with a fun floral design, too.

Over all, I'd highly recommend Wiggle Time if you need a quick, fast, easy project. And if you're still looking for a last-minute gift idea, this pattern would serve you well.

You can find Wiggle Time on Craftsy or in her Etsy Shop.  And if you'd like to enter to win a downloadable pattern, there are 3 ways to enter:

1.  Leave a comment here and tell me what colors you can see working for Wiggle Time.
2.  Visit Cynthia Brunz Designs and her follow her via her blog. Come back and let me know you did.
3.  I love followers, too! Follow my Mountain Quiltworks blog, Facebook, or Favorite my Etsy Shop, Mountain Quiltworks. Let me know how you follow for another entry.

A winner will be chosen at random. Deadline for entries is midnight Pacific Time on Wednesday, Dec. 10.  Contest is open to international entries as well!

And speaking of winners, I'd like to thank all of you who responded to the Sew Sweet Simplicity BOM Block 2 Giveaway that I hosted last week.  After a random drawing, my winner of a pattern set by Jacquelynne Steves is:  Denise P who said, "Barb, your fabric choices are wonderful -- perfect for these blocks! I can't wait to see what quilty stuff you do in the centers!! Usually, when I'm crafting something for a large group, the first one is a prototype -- and I keep that one -- and learn from my mistakes on the subsequent reproductions!! ;)"  WTG, Denise!

Quilting with a smile,

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