Sunset at the Painted Hills, John Day Fossil Beds

Hello everyone!

I didn’t do any sewing over the Memorial Day weekend. Instead, my family and I went camping near the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in central Oregon. The weather was perfect! It can get really hot here in the summer so we were happy that day time highs only reached about 80 degrees for hiking.

There are 3 different units within this monument, spread out over some distance requiring several hours drive time. Having a whole 3 day weekend, we were able to visit all 3 units. In the past, we’ve usually limited our visit to just 1 or 2 units.

We hiked the short Leaf Fossil Trail, mainly because I wanted a comparison picture of our son from the last time we visited. Look how he’s grown!

For the first time, we got to see the spectacular Painted Hills unit at sunset.  The Painted Hills are quite beautiful at any time of the day; however, sunset is a truly beautiful experience to sit and watch the light.

Here’s a picture that I took around 1:30 in the afternoon. Notice the beautiful red colors really grab your attention.

Painted Hills during mid-afternoon

Painted Hills during mid-afternoon

We returned later that same day to catch the changing light during sunset. It seemed like every minute brought out different hues and tones in the hills. The sun bathed the hills in gold and the reds turned more orange-y. I think the clouds added an extra layer of depth to this photograph!

I took this picture about 8:30 in the evening.

Painted Hills at Sunset, May 2016

Painted Hills at Sunset, May 2016

On the way home, I naturally had to stop at the Stitchin Post in Sisters to browse the fabric. I picked up some National Park Centennial fabric by Hoffman and some fun birch tree and fox fabric from Moda. Since we love visiting and hiking in the National Parks each summer, I may make us some camping pillow cases with this fabric.

Fun Fabric from the Stitchin Post

Fun Fabric from the Stitchin Post

Hope you had a great Memorial Day weekend! Thanks to our veterans who make it possible for us to enjoy the freedom we have to travel and visit amazing places!

Enjoy!

~Jennifer

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Forest and Lake Finished Art Quilt!

Hi everyone!

After just over a year, I finished the binding on this epic foundation paper pieced quilt this week! This quilt combines the Forest art quilt and the Lake art quilt together by Quilt Art Designs.

For binding, I selected a fabric called Tick Tock Stripe in Mint from Tula Pink’s new line, Chipper. The blues, greens, red, and brown stripes accent the colors in my art quilt pretty well.

I did heavy custom quilting using my HandiQuilter 16 and a combination of Aurifil and Superior threads. The quilting alone took about 8 hours. I lost track of the time it took for the paper piecing!

The backing is also by Tula Pink from her Free Fall 108-inch wide collection in Sky.

Let’s take a look at the completed quilt! Thanks to my husband and son who are such wonderful photography assistants! We took these pictures today in slightly overcast weather in the Columbia River Gorge and Multnomah Falls.

Forest Lake Art Quilt Completed!

Forest Lake Art Quilt Completed!

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I love this finished quilt! It is the most ambitious paper-piecing project that I have done thus far. Thanks so much to Janeen from Quilt Art Designs for her beautifully detailed patterns. Thanks to everyone who encouraged me throughout the past year as I worked on this quilt, section by section.

Catch me on Instagram @nwquiltedcat for other photos and more frequent updates on my quilting hobby!

Enjoy!

~Jennifer

Spring Break Adventures!

Last week we had spring break here in Oregon. My husband and I were able to take Thursday and Friday off work to make a 4-day weekend getaway to the Oregon coast. We started in Newport and worked our way south to Gold Beach before returning home.

Here are some of my favorite pictures!

Yaquina Head Lighthouse, Newport, Oregon

Cape Blanco Lighthouse, Port Orford, Oregon

Near Gold Beach, Oregon

West Coast Game Park Safari, Bandon, Oregon

Wildlife Safari, Winston, Oregon

We’re now back home and back to work! Can’t wait to get back sewing again.

Enjoy!
~Jennifer

Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt + More

Hi quilty friends!

I hope that your 2015 is off to a great start! I have a few quilty goals in mind for this year so I hope to add those to a blog post soon.

One goal is to participate in some mini quilt swaps on Instagram. I’m now signed up for 4 this year, and I’ll send the first one out later this week. There is a vibrant quilt community on Instagram, and you can find me there as nwquiltedcat.

The other day as I was driving home from work, some late afternoon sun beams hit Mt. Hood with a striking intensity. The volcano seemed to glow, and I pulled over to take a picture (along with several other people!). Unfortunately, I just had a little point-and-shoot, and the pictures don’t do the scene justice.

Mt. Hood at Evening

Mt. Hood at Evening

I’ve been participating in Bonnie Hunter’s latest mystery called Grand Illusion. She released the final clue last week so I have been working on putting my top together. I went with a smaller quilt center and just a solid aqua border rather than a thin inner yellow border and pieced outer border. I used some of my leftover pieces on the back.

Here’s the quilt flimsy:

Grand Illusion Flimsy

Grand Illusion Flimsy

For the backing, I used units that would have gone into the pieced border along with some darker turquoise fabric that I had on hand. While trying to lay it out on the floor, someone jumped on the fabric!

Tiger on Grand Illusion back

Tiger on Grand Illusion back

After piecing the back, I framed it up on my HQ16 and just quilted an all-over meandering pattern with white Aurifil thread:

Grand Illusion on the HQ16

Grand Illusion on the HQ16

My Grand Illusion quilt (small version) is now quilted. I need to square it up and bind it. What do you think for binding – aqua or black or something else?

Grand Illusion quilted

Grand Illusion quilted


You can view other finished Grand Illusion quilts at Bonnie’s link up party here.

Enjoy!
~Jennifer

More Little Critters Plus Birdseye Mercantile

A few weeks ago, I posted about creating a little forest critter out of flannel. Later in October, I had a chance to visit with my sister and we set out to make more critters using wool in place of the flannel.

These little critters are from the book Countryside Softies by Amy Adams. They are really quick and easy to make!

We made 2 foxes, a robin, a swan, and a dragonfly. We stayed up late each night having fun stitching these little guys together, and then we did some quilt shop hopping during the days.

Here’s a look at our critter collection:

Here’a close-up of my fox wearing his cool heart-shaped shades. He’s going to be my little sewing room buddy!

Fox Critter with Cool Shades

Fox Critter with Cool Shades

One afternoon, we took a little drive to visit Birdseye Mercantile in the little town of Avon, Montana located between Missoula and Helena. This adorable quilt shop has low overhead so they price all their quilting cottons at $7.50 per yard. Batiks are a little more. What a bargain! I took the opportunity to add a few pieces to my stash.

Birdseye Mercantile

Birdseye Mercantile

If you are in the area, be sure to stop by and take a peek at this store. They are only open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays so it is always a good idea to call first.

From Avon, we headed towards Seeley Lake to visit another favorite quilt shop, Deer Country Quilts. They have a beautiful log cabin building with over 6000 bolts of fabric!

On the way to Deer Country Quilts, I took this picture of a lake reflecting the tamarack trees and their yellow autumn splendor. I didn’t have my good camera so this picture does not do them justice. They were just beautiful!

Tamarack Trees

Tamarack Trees

I wish that I had brought a quilt to photograph at the end of that dock! What a spectacular back drop for a quilt.

Enjoy!
~Jennifer

Supernova Friendship Block Swap Update + Broken Top Hike

Hi quilty friends,

Summer is quickly ending so I hope to have more time this fall and winter to catch up on my many projects in progress.

One project that I’m working on this year with a partner, Cindy, from What’s One More Project is the Friendship Supernova Block Exchange. You can read more about this unique swap in my first post here. In my first post, I have pictures of our month 1 blocks.

In this post, I’m happy to say that we have now swapped 2 more blocks (July and August) for a total of 6 blocks all together. We have 2 more months (September and October) for the blocks before we finish sewing our quilt tops together.

Here are the blocks that I made for July and August (1 to keep and 1 for my partner):

I took a picture of the first 6 blocks on my design wall in random order (3 made by me and 3 made by Cindy):

Supernova, First 6 blocks

Supernova, First 6 blocks

Isn’t it looking fabulous??!! I just love how this quilt is coming together so far.

For those of you who have visited or are familiar with the Sisters, Oregon area (home of the fabulous Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show), you might be familiar with one of the mountains called Broken Top. This mountain is next to the Three Sisters and is featured in many patterns, including the row-by-row pattern by the Stitchin’ Post this year. I used this row as the top row in my quilt here.

My family decided to squeeze in one last camping/hiking trip before school starts here next week. We camped near Broken Top and took a moderate to aggressive, 4-mile roundtrip hike to a beautiful glacier lake near the top of the mountain. The color of the lake water is amazing – a sort of blue/green/turquoise color and absolutely gorgeous!

The road to the trail head is very rough and not really suitable for passenger cars. You need a vehicle with higher clearance to navigate some sections. Broken Top itself is 9,177 feet. I’m not sure what the elevation is here at the lake, but I’d guess around 7,500 feet or so.

Unnamed Glacier Lake at Broken Top

Unnamed Glacier Lake at Broken Top

Another view looking back at the lake from farther up the trail:

View of Broken Top and Unnamed Glacier Lake

View of Broken Top and Unnamed Glacier Lake

If you turn from this viewpoint in the opposite direction, you are rewarded with a stunning, up-close view of the Three Sisters. Here’s my dog with his hiking boots to protect his paw pads:

Broken Top Hike with View of the Three Sisters (and Brutus the dog)

Broken Top Hike with View of the Three Sisters (and Brutus the dog)

My 9-year-old did great on this hike and had a great time. I think we wore out the dog because he slept for about 2 days straight after the hike! If you are ever in the central Oregon area, I’d highly recommend this hike for the impressive views.

Enjoy!
~Jennifer

Row by Row Winner + Vancouver Island

Happy Thursday, quilty friends!

I was on a family camping trip to Vancouver Island this past week and missed sewing and blogging. We did have some wonderful hikes and sightseeing adventures while on the island.

In Strathcona Provincial Park, we did a strenuous hike up to Baby Bedwell Lake and Bedwell Lake. It was about 4 miles one way and about a 2000 foot elevation gain!

Near Tofino, we spent some time walking on the beach at Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. This part of the island definitely reminded us of the Oregon Coast. We spotted some black bears, bald eagles, and other critters on a tour from Tofino and had a great time!

We returned home several days ago, and I have so many projects to catch up on before returning to work next week. I decided to finish up my quilt for the Row by Row Experience so I could have a chance at winning a prize. I finished about 5 of the rows before our vacation so I spent 2 feverish days stitching together 3 more rows before joining the rows, quilting the sandwich, and binding the whole project.

For the back, I used my label plus some of the Row by Row license plates from stores whose rows I used in the quilt. Unfortunately, only 5 of the 8 stores carried the license plates. I neglected to take a picture of the quilt back before heading out to the Pine Needle this morning to claim my prize.

Once at the Pine Needle, I ran into Dawn of First Light Designs. We’ve been visiting each other’s quilting blogs so it was great to meet in person! Dawn kindly agreed to hold up the quilt (it is taller than me at 5 feet, 4 inches!!) while one of the store employees took my photo.

Here’s a look at the quilt flimsy:

Row by Row Flimsy

Row by Row Flimsy

Here’s a picture of me with the completed quilt:

Row by Row 2014 Experience - Finished Quilt!

Row by Row 2014 Experience – Finished Quilt!

I visited more than 8 shops but decided to stick with “nature” themed rows for my quilt. I have some other adorable rows (including some chicken rows) that I will make into fun table runners. I used Aurifil thread for the piecing and quilting and Hobbs 80/20 for the batting.

My row by row quilt contains rows from the following quilt stores, in order from the top of the quilt to the bottom:
1. Mt. Washington, Three Sisters and Broken Top from the Stitchin’ Post in Sisters, OR
2. Pine Trees from the Pine Needle in Lake Oswego, OR
3. Cabin and scene from Homestead Quilts in La Pine, OR
4. Wonky trees from Greenbaum’s Quilted Forest in Salem, OR
5. Oregon plants from A Common Thread in Portland, OR
6. Stars by Hollyhill Quilt Shoppe in West Linn, OR
7. Hearts by Quilting Delights in Clackamas, OR
8. Cascade Mountains by BJ’s Quilt Basket in Bend, OR

Since I was the first person to bring in a finished row by row quilt at the Pine Needle, I won the 25 fat quarter prize. In addition, I won the bonus prize since I used that shop’s row in my quilt. I left my finished quilt at the Pine Needle so it will be on display for the next few weeks. If you are in the area, stop by and take a look!

My prizes:

Row by Row Prize

Row by Row Prize

I had fun participating in the Row by Row Experience this year and hope that it returns next year! Now, I’m off to finish up a few more blocks before exhaustion sets in this evening.

Enjoy!
~Jennifer