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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Grand Illusion – We Have Greens!

Greetings!

For those of you following along with Bonnie Hunter’s latest mystery quilt, Grand Illusion, we got to play with our green fabric this week for clue #3! The instructions are still available from now until spring on Bonnie’s blog if you want to join in at any time.

For my quilt, I am mostly using Moda Grunges. For the greens, however, I am adding interest by using 4 different bright greens which match to Bonnie’s color recommendation. For more on the recommendations, see my earlier post here.

These are my greens:

  • Green Google It from the Giggles fabric line by Me and My Sister Designs
  • Swirly Scroll Lime from Wilmington Prints
  • Just Color Lime from Studio E Fabrics
  • Celery from the Folklore line by Lily Ashbury for Moda

I mostly stitch on the weekends and in the evenings after work so I finished assembling these units for part 3 tonight.

As I turned around to grab my camera, my quilt inspector sneaked in behind me and decided to pose with the blocks.

Greens in part 3 of the Grand Illusion Mystery quilt!

Greens in part 3 of the Grand Illusion Mystery quilt!

I’m making half the total number of units for a smaller quilt. Since we’ve now finished three clues, here are my units together:

Tiger with the first 3 clues for Grand Illusion

Tiger with the first 3 clues for Grand Illusion

This is going to be a very bright and cheerful quilt! Tonight, I had hoped to go to a local quilt guild meeting, but hubby and I are in the process of repainting some rooms. One of those rooms is my quilting room so everything is quite hectic and unorganized. I can’t wait to get the new color on the walls and reveal it here soon.

Happy stitching!

~Jennifer

Reach for the Stars Quilt, Blocks 1-3

This year, I made myself a goal to improve my piecing skills. To achieve that goal, I’m participating in various online BOMs as well as working on the Reach for the Stars quilt. You can read about my start on this quilt as well as all my fabric selections here.

I’m using the delicious Sunnyside line by Kate Spain for Moda, along with several solids thrown into the mix.

I finished up part 2 of 7 this weekend, which included blocks 1-3. I really wanted to get an outdoors photo to show off the fabrics better, but couldn’t squeeze it in before work on Monday.

Here are close-up photos of blocks 1-3. You can click each picture to zoom in on the block.

These blocks will be placed on the top of the quilt, above the center medallion:

Reach for the Stars, Blocks 1-3 with Center Medallion

Reach for the Stars, Blocks 1-3 with Center Medallion

It was challenging to find a floor space big enough for a photo. I stood on a little chair to get high enough, and I’m really surprised that one of my quilt inspectors didn’t come to “rearrange” the blocks, lol!

Since this project stretches over a year or so, I decided to create a little fabric swatch card/cheat sheet.

Fabric Swatch Cheat Sheet

Fabric Swatch Cheat Sheet

This cheat sheet really helped me keep all my fabric placements correct for each block. In the past, I just had my chicken scratches on a piece of paper. I could just see myself confusing dark 2 with dark 3 or light tan with medium 1 if I didn’t have the little fabric swatches.

I cut out all the pieces for blocks 1-3 at the same time and kept them in individual groups with labels:

Cut Fabric Groups

Cut Fabric Groups

Now, if only I could be this organized with all my quilty projects!

I hope you enjoyed seeing photos of this evolving quilt. I still need to “catch up” on parts 3 and 4, which are already published in the magazine.

Happy quilting,
Jen

Happy Worldwide Quilting Day!

Did you know that today, March 15th, is Worldwide Quilting Day? Yippee – a special day devoted to our love of all things quilty.

I celebrated the event by purchasing some gorgeous fabric from a local quilt shop having a 20% off sale this week. I was drooling over the new Sunnyside line by Kate Spain for Moda. You can purchase this fabric online from Fat Quarter Shop if your local shop does not have it.

I didn’t have a specific project in mind until I saw the Reach for the Stars quilt on Dawn’s blog, First Light Designs. This quilt pattern features a medallion in the quilt center, something that I haven’t yet tried in a quilt. The design is by Terry Krysan and can be found in the Quilter’s Newsletter magazine as a 7-part series. Look for the October/November 2013 issue for the fabric requirements and the medallion instructions.

For my quilt, I’m using the Sunnyside line plus 2 Bella Solids (Night Sky and Porcelain) and 1 color weave in turquoise. I’m using Aurifil in Light Sand (#2000) for all the piecing. I really need to get an Aurifil thread color chart so I can pick out the best thread color for the quilting.

Here’s a quick iPhone picture of my medallion before I had it sewn together.

Tiger on Medallion

Tiger on Medallion

I finished sewing the borders onto the medallion this evening and tried to catch the last of the light. These pictures are a little grainy due to the low-light conditions, but I hope you see the beautiful Sunnyside fabrics!

Reach for the Stars Medallion

Reach for the Stars Medallion

Some of my points do not quite match up, but I can see definite improvement in my piecing skills over the last year.

Of course, one of my cat inspectors could not resist sitting on the medallion during my photo session. I could hardly keep him off the fabric so I guess he approves!

Cow the Cat on the medallion

Cow the Cat on the medallion

Once I finish piecing the top for my Star Light Star Bright QAL project, then I hope to be able to work on the next blocks on this Reach for the Stars quilt.

I hope you had a little time to do some sewing today!

Enjoy,
~Jennifer

Modern Trees Quilt Along

I have a new-to-me dining room table that is just begging for a table runner. Since the holidays are coming up, I thought a Christmas themed one would be perfect, and I should have enough time to complete one before early December.

Then, I saw that Christa is hosting a Modern Tree Quilt Along (QAL) on her blog, Christa Quilts! She has instructions for a 30″ x 40″ finished quilt, but I decided to pare it down into a 5 block table runner.

I looked through my stash and found a Snowman Gatherings by Moda charm pack. You can find it online at the Fat Quarter Shop. This is such an adorable line of fabric that I decided to use it to make my improv trees. I found a nice solid light blue in my stash to use as a background.

Here’s a look at my 5 improv tree blocks:

Improv Modern Tree Blocks

Improv Modern Tree Blocks

I think this fabric combination will make a nice wintery table runner that I can display all season long. Next week, we’ll assemble the blocks as the second step in this QAL. There is still time to join this QAL and you can size the project to fit your space! You can make improv trees out of small scraps like I did or make solid trees from a 7-inch strip of fabric.

Happy quilting,
~Jennifer

Boxed In Class at Quiltmaker’s Block Party

In an earlier post, I showed the quilt that I won by finding the lucky golden ticket at Quiltmaker’s Block Party in Portland last weekend. With this post, I want to talk about the class that I took and show a photo of the fabulous goodie bag that all the attendees received.

I signed up for a class with Julie Herman of Jaybird Quilts called Boxed In. You can find this pattern in her book entitled Skip The Borders: Easy Patterns for Modern Quilts. In addition to Boxed In, you’ll find patterns for another 14 quilts so it is a great book to add to your quilt book library.

Julie’s patterns are fresh, fun, and appealing to sew. Boxed In is the perfect pattern to use with one of those pretty jellyrolls that you find in local quilt stores (2.5 inch pre-cut strips rolled together). I went with a bright, spring-like fabric line called Ticklish (Me and My Sister Designs for Moda). In the class, I had enough time to finish about 4 blocks. I need to make another 9 full blocks, 4 partial blocks, and 4 corner blocks. The pattern comes together pretty quickly so I hope to be able to finish my quilt soon!

Here’s a look at my four completed blocks:

Boxed In Blocks

Boxed In Blocks

In the class, Julie helped students ‘audition’ fabric choices for the sashing strips. Originally, I was going to use white and purple, but we decided that the black fabric made the Ticklish 2.5-inch squares really pop! I can’t wait to see the finished result.

At the Block Party store, I took the opportunity to purchase Julie’s latest pattern called Snack Time plus her versatile ruler called Hex N More. I highly recommend this ruler because it makes cutting hexagons, triangles, half hexagons, and jewel shapes a snap.

Here’s a pick of some of my purchased goodies:

Hex N More Ruler & Pattern

Hex N More Ruler & Pattern

I really enjoyed experiencing Quiltmaker’s Block Party. I was so surprised to receive a wonderful swag bag stuffed with treasures! The bag itself is a sturdy blue canvas tote with a zipper that will be great for carrying quilting supplies to future events. Inside, I found the following:

  • 15 fat quarters of neutral classics by Kaffe Fasset
  • A swatch pack of Tokyo fabrics by Red Rooster plus a mini quilt pattern
  • A charm square pack of Fresco fabric (New July colors) by Robert Kaufman
  • A fat quarter and retractable ruler by Northcott
  • A mini square pack of Avalon fabric by Joanna Figueroa for Moda
  • Misc. fat quarters
  • Embroidery snips and holder from Handi Quilter
  • A pin and writing pen from Gammill
  • 200 Blocks book from Quiltmaker Magazine
  • Misc. patterns, program guide, etc.

Here are the treasures:

Block Party Goodie Bag

Block Party Goodie Bag

Wow – I’ve never received such a nice gift bag at any event before! I really hope that Quiltmaker comes back to Portland next year, and I’ll plan to take a vacation day or two to sign up for more classes!

Enjoy!
~Jennifer