Saturday, January 24, 2015

It's a Party! Grow Your Blog and Giveaway



It's a party - whoohoo! Who doesn't like a good party? I'm anxious to meet some new people and see what you've been up to to wile away these crazy cold winter days. There are so many great bloggers participating in 2 Bags Full's Grow Your Blog!

But first a little about me. And I mean, just a little because I really don't like talking about myself that much.

Here's the surface view of Me:  My Day Job is managing a state-wide accounting association. I've done that for more than 15 years from my home office and I'm getting ready to retire from it a year from now (yea!!!).  But retiring isn't in my vocabulary just yet. . . . . . I'm also a quilter!


Quilting has become my passion, so much so that I bought a Gammill long arm quilting machine a couple of years ago and I've been in seventh heaven ever since. Sure, I've torn my hair out trying to learn to navigate the tricky boundaries and interplay of thread and fabric. But it's been great fun! I've discovered late in life (I'm still holding onto being a 50+ something gal for a few more months) that I have a creative side to me that loves being released. Loves it!

Quilting practice after taking one of Judi Madsen's first long arming classes. Fun, fun!

Baby quilt from fabric swap


So I work my day job, quilt for others, and make some nice things to sell in my Etsy shop and at local craft fairs. Definitely keeps me busy.


I have two grown children: a son who is an accountant and a daughter who is a fine jewelry designer. She's always been the creative one in our family and now it's paying off for her as she designs custom-made, fine wedding and engagements rings. My husband and I have a 15-year-old Cocker Spaniel named Misty, and we've been dog-sitting our son's Cocker Spaniel, Camber, for several months now while he gets settled into a new job. I love these critters!

Misty - the Old Lady at 15
Camber loves his toys!

We've lived near the Sun Valley ski resort in the mountains of Idaho for more than 30 years, and so I consider myself a Mountain Girl. Hiking, boating, fishing, skiing, watching wildlife and just plain watching the clouds pass by are some of the many ways I feel blessed to live where I do. This is my little piece of God's Country and I don't take it for granted one little bit! It's also why I named my business Mountain Quiltworks. I love where I live!

View from my living room window. See? I'm blessed!

This is part of a herd of 17-23 deer that hang out. Very cool.


Here's a bird's-eye view of my neighborhood.
Oh, look! There's my house - way down there out the canyon to the east by that BIG white field!

And now for my Giveaway! And of course it's fabric!!! I have four one-quarter yard cuts of Kaffe Fassett, Phillop Jacobs and Brandon Mably fabrics! I cringed when I cut them from my stash, but I'll bet they will end up going to a good home!



There are two ways to enter:
1.  I've found a wealth of information, friendship and joy in sharing with the online quilting community. In fact, it's how I've learned to quilt! For one entry, please share a little about yourself, too.  Where you live, if you like to sew or quilt, or what you do to pass away these long winter days. Anything at all!
2.  For a second entry, just follow along with me either on my blog, by email, on Facebook or Instagram. It's all good.  Just leave a comment to let me know how you follow.

Giveaway ends Feb. 14 at midnight with a random drawing. Please check to see if you are a No-Reply blogger.  I must have a way to contact you should your name be chosen as my winner! And I try to respond to all email comments, and I'd hate to not be able to communicate with you.  If in doubt, just leave your email in your comment.

Don't forget to stop by 2 Bags Full Grow Your Blog Party for the full link-ups for the rest of the Party  this week. It's definitely a crowd!  

Thanks for stopping by. Good to meet you!

Quilting with a smile,
Barb



Wednesday, January 21, 2015

January Project Finished!


January 17, 2015 - a day to remember! Why? Because I finished my January Goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes, and it's not even the end of the month yet. How sweet is that?


I went into Christmas with just one small section of this tree skirt pieced together. It was intended to be used for Christmas 2014, but Plan A didn't pan out. Hangs head. So what's a girl to do but to go to Plan B.


After quilting it, I decided I wanted a bright binding on it and found some that matched well. I've never done machine-stitched binding on a round, circular shape before. While it's not perfect, it suits me just fine because it done, finished, and no one is going to criticize it as it lays beneath the tree, not when there are presents to be unwrapped!


So on to my next unfinished project.  I already know that for February I am going to machine applique my Fall Leaf table runner, get it quilted and bound.  I'll only have two weeks to work on this as I have out of town plans, so I plan to start and finish the first week of February. It's good to have a goal or two!

Quilting with a smile,
Barb

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Christmas Tree Skirt Quilted

My goodness - just look at the calendar. It's January 10 and I am well on my way to finishing this tree skirt as my January Goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes - whoohoo!

I got it all quilted yesterday, and it wasn't nearly as bad to quilt as I thought it would be.  It laid fairly flat on the backing and batting, and quilted up like a charm.  Now I just need to cut the batting off, make some binding and get the binding on.


But first, I found some time to 'play'.  There is a lot of extra backing fabric on this, so I'm going to just play with designs and shapes for awhile. Make some mug rugs, or who knows what.  This is the first of my play time creations.  I have 3 more corners to enjoy!



I'm going to change thread colors and go back around/through the flower to make it stand out more. Had a great time making pebbles, although I frequently couldn't quite see where I was going and just winged it. Practice makes perfect. So I continue to practice, practice, practice.

Enjoy your weekend,

Barb

Monday, January 5, 2015

January Goal for ALYOF

Quick and to the point:  In December I didn't get my Christmas Tree Skirt finished as I had hoped. So I am carrying it forward as my January Goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes.  I would be delighted to get 'er done by the end of the month, put it away, and be thrilled to find it next December. Yep, yep. Good plan!


Quilting with a smile and trying to stay warm!

Barb

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Sewing Machine is Buzzing!

Happy New Year everyone!  I've spent some time this week coming up with My Plan for 2015.  I won't bore you with it because it's subject to change (always include that clause in your plans - helps alleviate stress, anxiety and frustration!).

It's a good plan, one that I'm happy with, and one that is workable without over-due expectations. I like it!


First off on My Plan for 2015 is to restock my Etsy Shop, Mountain Quiltworks, with microwavable hot packs.  This weekend I've been stitching and stitching and stitching. So far I've completed 30 hot packs, have another 26 ready to go under the needle, and another 20 or so waiting in the wings.



Then I need to make some more inserts for them. That's 3 little bags for each hot pack, or about 200. Wah, wah, wah :(

I do these marathon Sewing Days, and have a marathon Photography Day, and have a marathon Insert Stuffing Day.  It all adds up so that when I hear that "Ka-Ching!" on my cell phone for an order, all I have to do is ship it out. Sweet.

Making some awesome microwavable flax seed hot packs with this amazing Moon Shine fabric from Tula Pink!

Also, in my overall Plan for 2015, this tops my list.  It accomplishes many things, but primarily I feel good that a bunch of the fabric that is sitting around is sewn up!  And I have stocked my shop. And I can proceed with other endeavors.  That part is especially sweet :)

So what are my other endeavors?

Well, after experiencing great amounts of anxiety about signing up for too many BOMs and QALs, I have narrowed my sites to these:

1.  Finish the Sew Sweet Simplicity which I've been working on through the fall.
2.  Signed up for Moccasin BOM by GenX Quilters - love this pattern!
3.  Salivated over the The New Hexagon - Millefiore QAL  but I decided to just stalk them for awhile and drop my jaw in wonder of these quilters' great use of fabrics. Besides, in reality, I don't have time for this one!
4.  I'm part of the Stash Bee, Hive 4, for 2015.  First time out; we'll see how this goes. First block is a foundation paper piecing block. I have never done that before, but I guess there is no time like the present.
5.  I want to participate in O Scrap! by Cynthia from Quilting is More Fun Than Housework.
6.  I will continue to do A Lovely Year of Finishes. This helps me stay on track - thanks, girls!
7.  Really wanted to join the BOM by Pile O' Fabric. I still want to do it. But I think I have enough on my plate. (Hangs head.)
8.  See? This is good. I said "No" on two things I was really interested in. Off to a good start!

2015 will be my last Seminar Season in my Day Job as the executive director of a state-wide accounting association. I'll be officially retiring in June 2016, so I suspect somewhere along the way this year, I will be training my replacement and writing up Procedure Notes.  But then, guess what? I'll be 'retired' and can quilt to my heart's content. What a happy camper I will be!

Best wishes for 2015!
Barb

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