Inspired by Glacier National Park

When Laura and Katy were planning their road trip around the southwest the United States, they knew they wanted to fit in a little sewing and they decided that English Paper Piecing (EPP) would be a great option since it’s all hand sewing: no sewing machine required.  Hey, I know how they feel!  When we were planning to be gone for 2 months this summer, I knew I needed to find a way to fit in a little sewing.  That is what inspired me to buy my 1/2 size sewing machine and begin the Road Trip QAL.

Laura and Katy thought that this EPP project would be even more fun if they included a lot of other sewing friends, so they began the Traveling PicStitch Blog Hop.

The idea behind this blog hop is to take a travel picture (yours or borrowed), put it in a color palette generator, and create an EPP project inspired by the colors in the travel photo.  So, throughout all of October and November, a different blogger will showcase an EPP Project every day (schedule here).  A few weeks ago, when Laura indicated she needed to fill a few more days on the blog hop, I volunteered.  Why I thought it might be a good idea to invite people over to my blog to see my EPP project when I have never, ever even attempted English Paper Piecing before, I do not know.

But here we are.  I worked really hard yesterday trying to finish up this project for you today, even fitting in a little bit of sewing during the daytime (gasp)!

I took my inspiration photo from Glacier National Park, where my family visited this summer.  Let me take you on a quick tour.

Glacier National Park is an incredible place.  Around every turn is another sweeping view of snow topped mountains and tumbling waterfalls.

We visited in July, which is springtime in Glacier National Park, and the wildflowers were in full bloom.

There are an abundance of lakes and water sources and the water is this insane color of deep turquoise.  It’s gorgeous, and completely unlike anything else I’ve seen.

Put this all together, and you have a fairytale photo of brightly colored wildflowers in front of a backdrop of a clear, beautiful lake, reaching outward until it touches the mountains and the scene rises to the crystal sky.

This was my inspiration.  I created a color palette that reflected flowers, mountains, and sky, and decided to create a rose star wall hanging.

I wanted to get a feel of the photograph when I created the piece.  The colors of the flowers in the foreground of the photo become the center of the rose star.  The mountains, with green at the base, and dark blues near the tops are the 3-parted triangles around the center.  And the light blue of the sky nestles between the mountains.

I learned my free motion quilting definitely needs some practice, but this was a good piece to practice with because it’s small, and I’m not giving it to anyone!  The colors of the wildflowers have a flower pattern in the quilting.

And the quilting for the mountains and sky follow the lines of those features.  I used a textured swiss dot fabric for the background, and I thought the loopy quilting pattern could be the path of snowflakes as they fall to the ground.

I attached the binding in my usual after dark sewing time last night.

And this is currently hanging on my closet door until I can rig a method of attaching it to my sloping, roofline walls in my sewing room.

Did you make is this far?  I hope you enjoyed the Glacier adventure!  Go visit Sewing Over Pins to see Claire’s fabulous, bright rose star from yesterday’s blog hop stop.  For more travel inspired English Paper Piecing Fun, you can also visit Esprit Patch tomorrow, and Creative Inspiraciones on Friday.

Guess what?  You can play, too!  There will be a link-up on November 30th with fabulous prizes from Fabricworm, Pink Castle Fabrics, Aurafil, and others.

You’ve got plenty of time to finish your project; the link up begins November 30th.  Details here.

Tree block inspiration

I joined a group on Flickr called Bee a {modern} swapper.  Basically, the premise is this: every other month, we alternate exchanging quilting blocks (an online quilt bee); and on the opposing months, there is a swap of some handmade item that you are welcome to join (or not).  During each of the bee block months, one member of the group is the “Queen Bee” and all other members of the group make her (or him) two quilt blocks to her specifications.  Thus, during your month being “queen bee,” you receive 10 quilt blocks (2 from each other member of your group).

The schedule of fun for the year looks like this:

February: Pin Cushion Swap
March: Bee Block Month
April:  Pot Holder Swap
May:  Bee Block Month
June:  Pillow Swap
July:  Bee Block Month
August:  Hoopie Swap
September:  Bee Block Month
October:  Mini Quilt Swap
November:  Bee Block Month
December:  Secret Santa Swap
January:  Bee Block Month

I joined the first month pin cushion swap, and that resulted in my Pin Cushion Caddy Tutorial.  We were asked to hold off mailing until closer to the end of the month, so I’ll send that lovely out Monday.  I can’t wait to see what my (secret) partner came up with for me!

Meanwhile, I have the honor of being the Queen Bee for the first bee block month in March.  I decided that I want to make a little tree quilt wall hanging and made this inspiration mosaic to give my group members some ideas.

1. Blue Tree, 2. BBC February blocks- trees on white… Group #1, 3. Bonus Triangles Central Park Tree Block for Kari, 4. Mod Trees Quilt Block, 5. Tree Block- Rainbow, 6. Fall Tree Block, 7. January Blocks Quilting NewBees, 8. Tree for Carmen, 9. Sunni’s Tree Block, 10. tree swap block, 11. tulip tree for Melissa, 12. BBC February blocks- trees on white… Group #2

If you’re interested in attempting a tree block of your own, or just want to see how it’s done, check out these tutorials:

*This one is great because there are several different sorts of trees at the bottom of the post.
*This tutorial is for overlapping squares, but just add a trunk at the bottom and (bam!) you have a tree.
*Here’s a fun way to do trunk and branches, but I think I would like it more with more leaves.
*Scrappy tiling would make a lovely treetop.
*The tutorial for the tree with the paisley-looking leaves on the bottom left of my mosaic is here.
*You could try a ticker tape tree. Basically, you just slap some scraps on your background fabric and stitch it down. Looks like this.
*A couple other good tutorials for evergreen type trees can be found here and here.