Sunday, October 28, 2018

A Star is Born. Sorta.

As I finished this little quilt, I just kept thinking "A star is born!" As I added the star as the crowning piece to this fun little tree, I just couldn't get that out of my head. Must have been that the third remake of the movie was in theaters this month, lol.


I had great fun making this wall hanging with this Yuletide Fir pattern by Susan of QuiltFabrication. I must admit there was some unstitching to be done, to get all the points as close as possible. But in the end, it was worth it.

Once the flimsy was together, I stood back and didn't like the gold fabric that I had used for the star. It was too light colored, and actually looked very similar to the tree trunk.  I didn't take a photo of it, but suffice it to say, I ripped out the star piece and restitched it with something that would stand out - a sparkly red!

I am happy to share that I bought this pattern this summer, and I actually made it up before it started gathering dust in my sewing studio. Go, me!  It even works nicely for our living room coffee table! It measures about 17 x 21.

I've listed it for sale in my Etsy shop, Mountain Quiltworks, but I'm hoping it doesn't sell. I'd like it for myself! Maybe I'll just have to make another one.....

Quilting with a smile,

Linking up with:
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Monday Making
Let's Bee Social
Can I Get A Whoop Whoop
Finished or Not Friday
Midweek Makers
Needle and Thread Thursday

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Finish Along Quarter Three Results

This is going to be a short post (hopefully) because I have limited time. But I have been working hard this summer to get these quilts finished and out of my To Do Pile.  I feel pretty good that I completed 7 of my 8 goals. Go, me!
Here is the list of my Q3 FAL goals and the results:
1. Scott and Lauren's Quilt - need to be completed by Sept. 28 Wedding.  COMPLETED!
2. Christmas Bed Runner 1 - Binding  COMPLETED!
3. Christmas Bed Runner 2 - Binding  COMPLETED!
4. Christmas Table Runner - finish quilting and binding  COMPLETED!
5. Quilt Blue Quilt - Quilting  COMPLETED!
6. Quilt Yellow/Blue/Red Quilt - Quilting  COMPLETED!
7. Finish Manger Quilt - piece, quilt, bind  NOPE

8. Quilt Animal Christmas Wall Hanging  COMPLETED!
What on deck for the coming quarter? I have no idea. I'll have to put my thinking cap on and see what I can come up with. 
Quilting with a smile,
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Thursday, September 27, 2018

The Wedding Is Here and The Quilt Is Ready!

It is with great honor that I present to you the wedding quilt for my son and our soon-to-be daughter-in-law! If you've followed me here or on Instagram, you are no doubt familiar with this quilt. It was my personal challenge quilt, and one that I am pleased to have made!

The wedding is Saturday, but the quilt is not really a surprise. They personally picked out the pattern, and have seen my progress photos online. This was truly a labor of love!

A monster king-sized quilt

It's a king-sized quilt, which will fit upon their queen-sized bed until they make the change to a larger bed. So at least for now, there will be plenty of drape for cozy comfort!

The quilt measures 108 x 108 inches. The pattern was for only a throw quilt, so I doubled the blocks, and then added even more. Then added 11 inches of borders all around. It just kept seeming to grow and grow and grow, lol! The pattern is Cacophony by Tina Lewis from the Winter 2016 edition of Modern Patchwork.

After stitching up 81 curves for these blocks, I now feel confident handling curves. I found I just needed to take my time, and the fabric fit together quite nicely. I don't know what I was afraid of! I actually learned a good lesson with this: "To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong." by Joseph C. Pearce. True, that!

Quilting for this became an ongoing debate for me. I truly wanted to do the entire quilt with custom quilting. But time was not on my side. So I made a compromise with myself. I custom quilted the outside and inner borders, and did a pantograph within the interior of the quilt.

The pantograph I used is Gatsby by Sarah Ann Myers and sold by Urban Elements. It's a very modern panto for a modern quilt - perfect. It's definitely my new favorite!

Since the top is all solids, I wanted to add a little pizzazz for the backing. But what? I had some of this great fabric in my stash, the woodland motif was perfect for this couple, and the colors blended well. I did have to order more fabric because I didn't have that much in my stash, lol! But who can complain about 'having to order more fabric', eh?

I used Hobbs 80/20 batting with So Fine 50 thread, and it quilted up nicely and has a nice drape. It will wash up well over time, but how you wash a king-sized quilt is beyond me. Even my enormous size washing machine tub may not even be big enough for this one!  It was interesting in the photo above to see how the light from the bedside lamp made that triangular block look purple. No purple is involved in this quilt! It's actually a dark blue.

There's a down comforter beneath this quilt, so that's why it look 'lumpy'!

The only thing that can make this better is to know that Scott and Lauren will love it! It will definitely evoke a smile when they enter their bedroom, it's so bright and cheery!  Best wishes go to the two of them as they embark on this life-long journey. I'm so happy to be a small part of their celebration! 

Quilting with a smile,

P.S. This was also part of my September One Monthly Goal, and for my quarterly Finish-A-Long!

Linking up with:
Needle & Thread Thursday 
Linky Tuesday 
Oh, Scrap! 
Monday Making
Main Crush Monday
Midweek Makers

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Outside Quilting

Fall is in the air! Here at our mountain cabin it's getting down to 32 or lower each night. And September is rapidly churning toward October! The hummingbirds have gone south already - smart birds. And the squirrels are busy as can be gathering pine nuts for the long, cold days ahead.

A hike to Fishhook Creek - a few snow fields remain on north side of the Sawtooths!

But the gift that follows those intense nights is the heat of the day. 75 degrees with cloudless, smokeless blue skies. It's the perfect recipe for a hike to a mountain lake, or to relax on the deck, visit with good friends, and hand stitch a binding to a favorite quilt. Heavenly!

A butterfly takes advantage of the Rabbit Brush in bloom.
The Bible Back Fire behind our cabin early September. It's slowing down now, thank goodness!

Sloe Gin Fizzes in memory of my mom's birthday

The Sawtooths easing into winter (photo courtesy of Sawtooth Association)

Home again, home again.

Slow stitching in a serene setting. With friends and family. Just doesn't get much better!

Quilting with a smile,

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Wedding Quilt Becomes a Reality!

I am thrilled to say that I have completed the quilt top for my son and his soon-to-be bride! And just in time to meet my August goal for One Monthly Goal.

What is it about making a king sized quilt that makes it seem like it just drags on and on forever? Oh, yeah. They are HUGE! And every step just takes that much longer.

But the result will be well worth it. The newlyweds chose this pattern almost two years ago. And instead of making it up right away, I stuffed it away in a plastic bin because I had a fear of curved piecing. How ridiculous! I had purchased the fabric, but just kept it in hiding.

However, once I overcame my fears, by taking a Craftsy class on curved piecing, I was good to proceed.

And if you read my last post, I miscalculated on the number of blocks as I increased the pattern from a throw quilt to a king quilt. Doh! Fortunately I had purchased extra fabric of all colors, and I simply made 10 more blocks. And then ordered additional fabric for the borders. I actually added 11" on each side to make the quilt come to 108 x 108 inches square. Whew!

The fun part was laying out the blocks. They were designed to go together in random fashion, so that is exactly what I did.  After I laid them out the first time, I snapped a photo and turned it into grayscale so I could 'see' better where any visual imbalances might reside.

Here's my first grayscale.  I ended switching some blocks around and came up with this second grayscale photo.

I actually played around with moving several more blocks here and there. But once I started to do that, then another area would become unbalanced. Finally, I decided it looked just fine and gathered them up to sew together for the final quilt top.

For those of you who whose brains are strongly geared toward symmetry, pattern and reason, this quilt is not for you! My husband, who is an engineer, goes crazy when he looks at it. He can see no pattern in it. Nothing matches up. It makes no sense to him. I think that is exactly why I like it so much - it's a jumble of color and movement, and your eye travels around to see what comes next!

This is a quilt which challenged me to go outside of my comfort zone of color. First of all, I have never made a quilt entirely out of solids before. But playing with nine different colors proved to be fun! That chartreuse green shocked my senses each time I cut one out and then again every time I sewed it into a block. And the yellow was so bold! But when it all came together, and once I added a 4-inch inner border and a 7-inch outer border in complimentary colors, I really liked it! In fact, I love it!

The pattern I used is called Cacophony by Tina Lewis from the Winter 2016 edition of Modern Patchwork.  I have three weeks to get this quilted and bound before we head to Portland for the wedding. I need to decide if I should custom quilt it with a lot of straight lines and a few curves, or just doe and edge-to-edge on it?  September 22 is my target date, so I wouldn't have to mail this monster. We can present it to them ourselves!

I certainly hope they like the finished product.  I'll post more shots after I get it quilted and bound. Which, by the way, will be my September OMG Goal!

And one more thing:  I must say that making a quilt for such a special occasion has been a very heartwarming, personal adventure. Next I want to make one for my daughter and son-in-law!

Quilting with a smile,

Linking up with:
August OMG
Linky Tuesday
Midweek Makers 

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,

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Remembering All The Little Things

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