Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Thoughts for 2018

I am so not a Resolution Person! I make statements, and they seldom become conclusions. So for the most part, I have avoided New Year's Resolutions.

But December has seen me coasting with my quilting projects, primarily because I had a hefty-duty month with a setting up a craft fair booth, being sick, hosting our quilt guild's Christmas Party, and hosting family for Christmas. I am tired!  But now that family has gone and my batteries are recharged, I feel refreshed and ready to tackle my sewing studio again!

Mountain Quiltworks Shop at our Holiday Bazaar
 I didn't want to bore you with all my plans, but this post is mainly so I can see my goals in black and white, refer to them back here on my blog and not use the excuse of, "I don't know where I put that darn piece of paper that had my goals written on it. Guess I don't have to follow through now...." (This is the sad way my brain rationalizes for me. Silly brain.)

So here goes:

2018 is the Year of Me!  My quilting customers have gone astray for cheaper quilters. That's okay - my time is valuable and I'm not going to break my back for nothing. I don't have a computerized machine, so everything I do is hand guided. Less customers actually gives me more time to do the things I really want. Which is:

1. Make a king-sized quilt for my son
2. Make a king-sized quilt for my daughter and son-in-law
3. Make a blue quilt - blue is not my Go-To color, so this is my challenge
4. Make a queen-sized quilt for our cabin
5. Finish up my Christmas Trip Around The World Quilt
6. Make a flannel quilt with fabric I won last year
7. Quilt the two lap quilts that have been hanging in my closet for nearly two years, lol!

Beginnings of my Christmas Trip Around the World Quilt!

I also want to take time to learn new quilting skills. To that end, I'd like to do a Whole Cloth Quilt. Maybe. It scares me, so maybe that's exactly what I should be doing. Expanding my horizons. Plus, it doesn't have to be king or queen-sized, lol!

I know that if you set SMART goals, they are more likely to materialize (SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time Related). But I refuse to set a deadline for any of these. I am officially 'retired'. So I'm just going to do them as I please.

And while I'm thinking about which project to start with, I'll leave you with this pretty view - there are actually mountains in the distance that you can't even see.
My frosty morning view of our neighborhood!

What are your quilty goals for 2018?

Quilting with a smile,

Linking up with:
Midweek Makers

Monday, November 20, 2017

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 bazaar the weekend after Thanksgiving, and I suspect some latent OCD tendencies have surfaced, because, holy cow, I've got a lot of stitches under my belt!

Here's a few examples:

A different sort of Christmas Tree Skirt

Several varieties of Christmas Countdown Advent Calendars (these take longer to make than I thought they would. In retrospect, EVERYTHING takes longer to make than I thought they would, lol!)

And then there were the table runners....

And the special projects and wall hangings...

Not to mention the 65 microwave cozies, the 48 key fobs, and the two dozen patchwork embellished dish towels!

I still have to do the quilting on some wallhanging of a deer silhouette, but I should get that finished today. My daughter so graciously designed the pattern for me - since she's been living with us for awhile now until their new home is completed, it's been nice to collaborate with her on a few things!

And last, but not least, my favorite gnome.  I'm only making this one. He needs a nose, and he needs to be sewn together, poor little guy. Hopefully he'll get himself together before the bazaar!

Yep, yep. I can certainly see why I am 'tired'.  My plan is to get most all of this done by Wednesday. Realistically, I don't think that will happen, so maybe next Wednesday. It would be nice to have a couple of days off before the weekend event.

I'm having a sale on the items listed in my Etsy Shop, Mountain Quiltworks. Saving 20% is a huge cut in my slim profits, but I really do like to see these things go to a good home as a gift or just because another quilter loves it and doesn't have time to make it themselves. I've been very guilty of buying handmade items for that very reason, lol!

What have you been up to for your holiday preparations this year? I've even been listening to Christmas music while I sew, just to spur me on. Thank goodness my insanity is just about over!

Quilting with a smile,

Liinking up with:

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Back In The Saddle

What are friends for? To nudge you when they miss you on your blog! Thanks to my quilt blog friend Val over at Val's Quilting Studio, as she gently said, "Where the heck have you been, girl?"

 I've actually been posting on Instagram, because it's much faster, easier, and people can just 'heart' the post and you get immediate feedback to know someone has seen your photo and read the comment. However, I do have lots of goodies that I have been quilting this fall, which are worthy of further attention, so I'm back!

I'd like to share this amazing quilt that a friend of mine had me quilt for her. It's a wool applique quilt on a cotton background. She does simply amazing work! The quilt received the Best In Show award at The Trailing of the Sheep Quilt Show last month. 

It's fun to look at the quilt from a distance, because when I quilt it, my view is only the square foot or so of quilt that is right in front of my face. It's kind of like I 'can't see the forest for the trees' because I'm just too close.

Here are a couple of close-up shots of the detail work.

Shoot! I forgot to take pictures. (Hangs head....)  Guess I was so glad to have it finished, that I spaced taking photos. I cropped the larger photo to show the detail, but it's not the greatest. Silly me.

Guess I need to be a better blogger, lol! Next time.

Quilting with a smile,

Linking up with:
Linky Tuesday
Midweek Makers
Needle and Thread Thursday

Friday, September 15, 2017

Trailing of the Sheep Quilt

Trailing of the Sheep is a unique festival in our valley. It celebrates the cultural heritage of the Basque sheepherders who helped to transform our mountain communities from mining centers into ranching centers. In fact, way back when, my grandfather used to herd sheep from Twin Falls to Stanley Basin, a stretch of 130 or more miles!

Held every October, The Trailing of the Sheep includes a host of events and activities. And our local guild - The 5 Bee Quilters' Guild - has begun a tradition of hosting a quilt show during the Trailing of the Sheep Weekend. In conjunction with showcasing member's quilts, the guild creates a Raffle Quilt.  A committee designs a wool quilt, the members piece the blocks, it's quilted, then bound, and finally ready for display as a Raffle Quilt which helps support the guild's charitable projects! The whole process takes about 7 months.

Here is this year's quilt, minus the binding:

I made one of the sheep blocks and did the long arm quilting on it. It sure was a fun quilt to work on!

Not wanting to quilt on top of the wool applique, I simply did some background fillers around each block and then quilted an outline pattern around the exterior dancing flowers. It makes the appliques really pop!

The outside border has a feather feeding off the blue sashing, with piano-key quilting extending to the edge of the quilt.

Notice how the Bees have even made their way into this quilt, to represent the 5 Bee Quilt Guild!

If you are ever in the Sun Valley, Idaho, area the first weekend in October, make plans to attend some of the festival's activities. The Sheep Dog Trials are a jaw-dropping experience in and of themselves! And watching hundreds of sheep trail down Ketchum's Main Street is such a nostalgic experience.

While you're at it, you can even pop in and see all the wonderful quilts our members have been working on over the past years.  You never know what inspiration you'll find.

Quilting with a smile,

Linking up with:
Finish Or Not Friday
Needle and Thread Thursday 
Show Off Saturday 
Linky Tuesday

Friday, September 1, 2017

Labor Day Sale at Mountain Quiltworks' Etsy Shop!

I am so excited to let my readers be the first to know about my first-ever Labor Day Sale in my Etsy Shop - Mountain Quiltworks!  Sales don't happen often, but I'm making way for my new inventory of fall and Christmas items. You can take advantage by saving 20% off everything in my shop!

This includes Baby Quilts

Lap Quilts

Table Runners

And even the fun Aviatrix Quilt Pattern!

This sale runs only through Monday, September 4, so check it out now. Any questions, just let me know.  And have fun shopping!

Quilting with a smile,

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Quilting Finished for OMG August Goal!

Whew! I thought my goal was to have this quilt completely finished. And I panicked because I didn't have enough fabric for the binding, and I've had to order it.

But then I reread my goals, and I was foresighted enough to put down that I would just get the quilting done on this king-sized quilt. Mission accomplished!

This quilt comes from the six month process of following along with Pat Sloan's 182 Solstice Challenge QAL. Every two weeks we received a new block to piece. It was truly a mystery quilt, because we didn't know what the finished product would look like. So that was difficult to select fabrics for the quilt.

My goal was to use only what fabrics I had in my stash. And, as it turned out, I had a good variety of Joel Dewberry's Atrium line. I paired those with some good coordinating solids, and wha-la! A finished quilt.

         I've quilted this using an edge-to-edge pattern called Petal Pushers by Lisa H. Calle. It was such a fun design to quilt, and I think it matches the playfulness of this quilt perfectly!

I just received the binding fabric, so my new goal for September will be to get this bound! I'm bound to accomplish that one, eh?

Quilting with a smile,


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Fast Forward My Sampler Quilt to the August OMG

The best laid plans . . .

Summer seems to scurry by in a flurry of activities, and so I didn't quite make my July OMG goal. I actually reached my goal to have this quilt top pieced together yesterday, August 1. A day late and a dollar short - that's me!

But the good news is that I really don't care because now I have the quilt top done. Almost. I decided to add a sashing and border to tie it all together and to make it just a bit bigger so it can fit over a bed comfortably. Without the borders, it's 86x86. And of course, I didn't have enough fabric in my stash for the final outside border, so I had to order another yard.

If you follow me on Instagram, I have been posting these blocks this winter and spring. This was a Quilt Along with Pat Sloan - the 182 Day Solstice Challenge.  It was a mystery QAL, and we didn't know what the finished quilt would look like. So I selected my stash of Joel Dewberry's Atrium collection, added in some solids here and there, and came up with this.

It was all a labor of trust, because my fabrics are so bright and varied, that I didn't know how it would look once I got them all together. But you know, I think it was a good exercise because this quilt has grown on me, and I like it quite a bit.

I especially had a difficult time deciding on which colors to use for the checkerboard sashings and filler blocks. With the help of a local quilty friend, I chose white and a light, speckled gray, and I think that was just the ticket!

So, my goal for August will be to get the sashing and border on. I'd love to say I'll get it quilted and bound, too, but with all my other quilting orders for customers this month, I don't think that will happen. Trying to be realistic!

It great to be quilting with a smile,


Linking up with:
Oh Scrap!
Linky Tuesday
Needle and Thread Thursday 
Midweek Makers 
Can I Get A Whoop Whoop
Finished Or Not Friday 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

One Monthly Goal for Sampler Quilt

Summer disappears in a flash around here, so my OMG goal is to get the blocks of the 182 Day Solstice Challenge pieced together so it's ready to quilt.

I finished the last block before we left on vacation, way back in early June. I must admit, I didn't think too much about quilting while I was on vacation. But, as our once-in-a-lifetime tour through Italy and Greece progressed, I started seeing all sorts of quilty inspiration in the architectural and design elements of ancient Greek and Roman building and furnishings.

One day, they might find their way into my own quilting designs!

Quilting with a smile,


Monday, June 26, 2017

Pastel Quilt Bound, Finished and Given Away!

Just making this short and sweet:  I got my pastel jelly roll quilt finished, bound, and even given away. What a delight to give it to one of my bestest friends from high school! She recently found out she has cancer, and at 63, that is just WAY too young! Right? You're darn right.

So I mailed this little gem of quilt over to her, along with a huge HUG and continued wishes and prayers that she'll whip this monster into oblivion.

So see? I had great motivation to get this finished and sent on to someone who could shed a few emotional tears over it. Complex tears, but happy tears.

What better reason to make a quilt?

Linking up with OMG and quilting with a smile,


Sunday, June 4, 2017

Pastel Sweetness Nearing the Finish

Sometimes quilts surprise me. And this was certainly one of those.

This was made with a simple pattern from a jelly roll that I had sitting in my closet for way too long. The blocks were actually fun to make, but as I was stitching them together, I wasn't 'seeing' how they'd look all together.

Even when I placed them on my design wall, I wasn't feeling it. What I did feel was that I had wasted a lot of money for the fabric and a lot of time for the construction, all for not.  I typically lean towards bright, vivid, vibrant colors in my quilts, and this pastel was, well, just too pastel for my tastes!

But then I put the sashing on, using Kona Snow. And then I quilted fun, dancing feathers across in an edge-to-edge pattern. And suddenly, voila! I laid it out, stood back to take a look, and now I really, really liked it. Go figure!

All I have left to do is put the binding on. I've chosen a soft baby blue, which I hope picks up the blues from the quilt.  In fact, in my search for that perfect binding, I ended up reorganizing my entire fabric closet. OMG, that should have been an OMG goal all in itself. Took two days, and lots of stress and anxiety about all the quilting projects not yet started. But now the closet is under control, this quilt is almost finished, and life is good.

Since it's summer and we're taking a trip of a lifetime soon and I won't be able to quilt much this month, I've chosen this as my OMG goal. I'll get that binding on there and it will be all set to go to a good home :)

Quilting with a smile,

Linking up with:

Monday, May 29, 2017

No More Llama Drama

OMG - there's no more Llama Drama around my house. My llama quilt is completely finished and those cute little faces peek out at us from their perch on our couch.

Hand stitching the binding down on this darling quilt was my May goal for the One Monthly Goal (OMG).  And also on my Second Quarter Goals for 2017 Finish-A-Long!

As I was stitching along, I found that I really, really liked having the scrappy bits of color scattered around the outside of the quilt! If you remember, I found I was just a few inches short of having enough charcoal solid binding. So I improvised and pieced strips of the accent colors I used within the quilt for the pompoms and blankets, cut them to 2.25" strips, and incorporated them in the binding. It was a win-win!

This was my fun quilt, and it's still one of my favorites!

For the quilting, I free-motion quilted it in a free-form of rectangular swirls. I mixed the sizing up, primarily so I wouldn't have to be exact in the placement, but also to give it some interest and allow the eye to move across the quilt.

I guess I should name my llamas. The Elizabeth Hartman's pattern says they are Lloyd and Lola but to me they look more like Max and Maxine! Yep. Max and Maxine are in the house!

Quilting with a smile,


Linking up with:
Oh Scrap!

Good Homes Found For Forgotten Treasures

Thanks to all of you who spoke up and offered to Adopt the denim and corduroy fabric squares that I had up for adoption as part of Cynthia B...