Tree in the Sunset mini quilt

I joined a mini quilt swap through the Flickr group Bee a {Modern} Swapper.  The result was actually TWO mini quilts because the first one was damaged by a 2-year-old wielding a dry erase marker (note: dry erase marker on fabric is PERMANENT!).  I have now creatively covered the marker, but there was so much of time and tears in that quilt that I couldn’t bear to give it away.

So with less than a week to go before the mailing deadline, I made a new one!  I showed you part of it the other day, along with a couple extras I included in the package.  But I didn’t want the color scheme to ruin the surprise for the recipient, so I waited to show you the whole thing.  Since the package has been delivered, here is mini quilt #2.

My partner was Tiffany, for whom I made the spider web blocks last month.  As a result, I knew she was going to be working on a quilt for her home with a purple, orange and brown color scheme.  I used my tree from the first mini and her color palette as my inspiration.

Tree in the Sunset mini quilt

My free motion quilting definitely leaves much to be desired, and I’m working on it.  I used this mini to practice some new stitches.  I hope Tiffany can overlook the imperfections of this beginner.  I added some pointy blades of grass and tried out a modified tree bark design that I learned from Leah Day’s free motion quilting site.

Tree in the Sunset mini quilt: Grass and tree bark quilting

The fabric for the sunset sky is something I fell in love with when looking for a fabric for another project.  I believe it’s by Hoffman Fabrics.

Tree in the Sunset mini quilt: close up


I used a variegated thread for the quilting in the sky, which I think complements the sunset vibe nicely.

Tree in the Sunset mini quilt: variegated thread quilting I love how the quilting looks on the back, especially the tree.

Tree in the Sunset mini quilt: back, close up of quilting Tree in the Sunset mini quilt: back

More fun finishes at Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday and Finish It Up Friday.


All wrapped up

The mailing deadline for the Bee a {Modern} Swapper mini quilt/Secret Santa swap was yesterday.

After deciding that I was going to keep my original project and start over completely with less than a week to go before the deadline, I was happy to have shipped my package on time!  The original mini was the one that was attacked by my marker-weilding toddler.  I literally cried over that quilt.  And I probably spent as much time trying to remove the marker as I did making it in the first place.  After all we’d been through, I just couldn’t give her away.

But I was still in the swap, which meant: Quick!  Make a new mini quilt.  I can’t show the whole thing yet because the color scheme will give away my partner, but here’s what I came up with. 

I love the quilting in the sunset sky.  I used a variegated poly thread by Aurifil that my friend Kim gave me to try out.

More details on this mini quilt after my partner receives it!

I also included a little bit of fabric and some cute extras for my partner: A string block zippy pouch and a cute little pin cushion.

But I must admit, I’m almost as thrilled about the packaging as I am about the gifts inside.  One of group leaders, Katherine, issued the challenge to come up with some creative packaging for our swap gifts.

I wrapped the gifts in plain paper and tied them with some cute ribbon.

And then ….

(drumroll please … )

Oh, I amuse myself!  Happy holidays.

Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday!

Welcome to Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday on Sewing by Moonlight.

My name is Em and I have far too much on my mind. Sewing is my release! I just recently opened my Etsy store (with all of 6 items) and now have a Facebook page. I would be delighted if you came by to Like Sewing by Moonlight on Facebook!

This week, I had hoped to show you this little mini, all quilted and bound, since last week it was all quilted (one would think I could accomplish 96 linear inches of binding in one week).
 But, alas!  Horror of horrors!  There was an attack by a tiny, marker-weilding terrorist and this happened:
 So instead of binding this lovely mini this week, I spent a lot of time trying to (as of yet, unsuccessfully) remove dry erase marker from white fabric.  (insert sobbing)

I did give you a sneak peek last week at a quilt I was ambitious about finishing this week, but life happened, and quilting did not.  However, I finished the back of the quilt, and the quilt sandwich is completed, so that is definitely significant in my book!  I’m going to quilt this myself, and I’m admittedly a bit nervous about it.  This is a bed-sized quilt (72 x 90) and it will be the largest thing I’ve quilted on my home machine.  I would appreciate any words of encouragement you care to offer on that front!

This is the Road Trip Quilt Along quilt, which came together as a result of the 16 weeks of Road Trip Quilt Along tutorials I posted this summer and early fall.

I added the strip pieced sections to the top and bottom of the quilt because I wanted it to be rectangular rather than square.  And then two borders finished it off.

I am trying to decide if I should attempt to add the name of the state each block represents in the quilting so I don’t forget.  That’s Virginia, in the upper left corner, the block I completed first on the Road Trip Quilt Along.  Right below it is South Dakota, which gave me some trouble the first time I attempted it, but turned out to be one of my favorite blocks.

The back of the quilt is mostly Kona coal, but I pieced the back with extra fabric from the blocks and few blocks that were rejected or redone.

There are two Pennsylvania blocks here, one deconstructed and rearranged, and the other that I just decided to redo because I didn’t love it.  You can also see my first attempt at the interior of that South Dakota block, which turned out too small.

I’d love to see what you’ve been up to this week!  If you’re in the U.S. did you accomplish stuffing yourself with turkey today?  I did, but just a little because I wanted to save room to stuff myself with PIE!

Multiples of 3: quilt block tutorial

This is the “Multiples of 3” Quilt Block
3 x 1 = 3: This block is composed of 3-sided triangles; each triangle is made from 3 pieces
3 x 2 = 6: 6 triangles are used to make up the 6-sided hexagon in the block
3 x 6 = 18; The hexagon is made from 18 identically shaped pieces
3 x 8 = 24; Add in the background pieces and this block used 24 pieces of fabric

Multiples of 3 Quilt Block Tutorial

Make a template for your “kite” pieces

Each triangle in this block is an equilateral triangle with three 6-inch sides (and 3 60-degree angles).

Begin by drawing a line, 6-inches in length on a piece of paper.  Line up the 60-degree line on a clear ruler with the line you just drew and draw a 2nd 6-inch line at a 60-degree angle from the first.  Complete the triangle by drawing a third 6-inch line.

Mark the center point of each line.  Split the interior of the triangle by connecting the center point of each line with the opposite corner of the triangle.

The “kite” template that will be used for this block is formed by two adjacent interior lines that extend from the center point of the triangle to the middle of exterior edge.  This triangle is composed of three of these “kite” shapes.  Choose one of them and add 1/4 inch seam allowances on all sides of your template.  Cut out the paper template.

Use the template you just made to cut out 18 “kite” shapes from fabric.  My preference is to use 6 different fabrics and cut 3 kites from each fabric, but you could use as few as 2 different fabrics, or go really scrappy and choose 12 different fabrics.  (Actually, this block would be a great scrap buster block because the individual pieces aren’t very large.)

Arrange your kites to make up a hexagon composed of 6 triangles.  Each triangle will have two identical fabrics to form the base and a different one for the apex.

Begin by sewing the two base pieces of one triangle together.  All seams will be 1/4 inch.  Mark 1/4 inch from the center point of the triangle.  Sew from the outside edge of the triangle to the point you just marked 1/4 inch from the center edge.

Fold down the top edge of the fabric you just stitched together.  This will expose a second unsewn edge of one of the kites that compose the base of the triangle.  Lay the kite that will be the apex of the triangle on top, right side down.  You will have now have a stack of three pieces of fabric: 1. the bottom, right side facing up, which is already sewn to 2. the middle, with one edge folded back between the layers and 3. the top, right side down.

Flip the stack over so you can see the first line of stitches.  Again, sew from the edge of the triangle and stop where your previous line of stitches stopped, 1/4 inch from the center point of the triangle.

Two of three interior seams are now completed, and just one remains to finish the 3-parted triangle.

Match the two un-sewn interior edges.  The two kites that still have these un-sew edges will stack on top of one another.  The third kite will be folded in half.  Line up the two interior seams that have already been completed.

Once again, sew from the edge of the triangle and stop where the other stitches stopped, 1/4 inch from the center point.  I like to put in a couple back stitches here to hold it in place.

Iron the triangle open.  Now make 5 more!

To get the best results when you make your hexagon, you will need to trim your triangle so the edges are even.  I have tried this without trimming and ended up with a hexagon whose two halves wouldn’t match up correctly.

Trimming the triangle, Method 1: faster

This is the easiest way to trim your triangle.  You simply line up the 60-degree line along one edge of the triangle and use a rotary cutter to trim the adjacent edge.  Rotate the triangle so that the edge you just trimmed lines up with the 60-degree line on the ruler and trim the adjacent edge.  Repeat one more time and you’re finished trimming.

Trimming the triangle, Method 2: more accurate

This trimming method involves making a triangles template of the size the triangle is supposed to be.  It takes a little extra time upfront to make the template, but goes just as quickly as the previous method after that and it more accurate.  I made my template on heavy card stock so it would hold up well.

Begin by drawing an equilateral triangle with 6-inch sides, just as you did to make your “kite” template in the beginning.  This time, as I mentioned, I used card stock.  Add a 1/4 inch seam allowance all the way around the triangle.  Draw another triangle to the interior, about an inch from the outside edge.

Cut around the outside of the seam allowance line.  Cut out the middle of the triangle.  Add a line perpendicular to each edge at the half way point.  This will help you line up the interior seams of your fabric triangle.

Line up the fabric triangle under the template and place your ruler along the edge of the template.  Use a rotary cutter to trim off the excess.  Repeat for the other 5 triangles.

Arrange your triangles how you want them to appear in your block.  Sew three triangles together into a half-hexagon.  Repeat for the other half hexagon.

Place the two half hexagons right sides together and line up the center seam and the interior seams.  Sew the two halves together and iron the hexagon open.

Completing the “Multiples of 3” block

I prefer to cut my background fabric larger than needed and then trim the block down later.  From your background fabric, you will need:

(2) rectangles, 6.5 inches x 2 inches
(2) rectangles, 6.5 inches x 8 inches, cut on the diagonal to make (4) triangles

First sew the two thinner triangles to opposite edges of the hexagon.  Lay out the triangles around the remaining four edges of the hexagon.  Sew the upper triangles to the hexagon. Iron open.  Sew the two lower triangles; be sure that your fabric extends beyond the edge of the piece already attached to the triangle.  Iron open the final pieces.

Trim the block to 12.5 inches.

Want to see how this block looks in other colors?  Here ya go!

I know it’s Tuesday, but since this is a modern block, which I made for the 4×5 Modern Bee, and I began writing this up on Monday, I’m linking up with {Sew} Modern Monday (while there’s still time!)

Spider web block tutorial

Have you seen Heather’s excellent spider web quilt block tutorial from House of a la Mode?  She uses a fabric foundation to create the block, which finishes at 12″ square.  This tutorial is great if you’re going to make an entire project from her tutorial.

However, if you are making a block or two for a quilt bee, or for a sampler quilt, the 12 inch block size is just a teensy bit too small.  You want your block to be 12.5 inches square.  I also wanted to eliminate the fabric foundation and create a template for the center of the block so I wouldn’t end up with so much wasted fabric.

Here is how you can make a template for your block centers and for trimming the quarters of the block, and finished 12.5 inch spider web quilt block.

UPDATE: I made a printable pdf template for the center portion of the spider web block, as well as one for trimming the 1/4 block to the correct size. 

CLICK HERE: Cutting template PDF for spider web quilt block

If you have printed your template, skip to the section called “Cut out your block centers.”  If you’d like to learn how to make your template, keep reading.

Draw a 12-inch square on a large piece of paper (I used freezer paper).

Divide the 12-inch square into quarters by drawing diagonal lines from corner to corner, forming an “x” across the square.

In one of the quarters, mark the center of the square’s edge.  Also make a mark along the diagonal lines 6-inches from each corner.

You will end up with 3 marks, each 6 inches from their closest corners.

Connect the mark on each diagonal line to the mark in the center of the square’s edge.  This is the center portion of your finished block.

To finish up your template, add a seam allowance of 1/4 inch all the way around.

Cut out the shape around the seam allowance and you have a template for the center portion of your spider web block!

Make a trimming template

To ensure your block ends up the correct size, you are going to need to trim up each quarter block before sewing them together.

Guess what?  You already made your trimming template!  It’s the quarter square directly across from the one you used to make the center piece template.

All you have to do is add 1/4 inch seam allowances all the way around and cut it out.

Two templates – easy!

Cut out your block centers

Lay your center template on the fabric you will be using for the center of your block.  Align a ruler with the template and use your rotary cutter to cut out the centers of your block.

(No rotary cutter?  No problem.  Just use a pencil or a fabric mark to draw around your template and cut out with your scissors.)

And since you have this handy template, you can turn it the other direction, lay it along the line you just cut, and cut out the rest of your pieces.  Very little waste.  Yay!

For each block, you will need four (4) center pieces from your template and a pile of strips.    Your longest strips need to be 6 inches long, and I like to cut mine 1-2 inches wide.  You will need between 40-65 strips per block, depending on how wide you cut your strips.

Construct the block

Take one of your center pieces, and align a strip with one of the long edges, right sides together.

Sew with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Open the strip away from the center piece.  (Gross.  Ignore my yucky ironing board cover, which clearly needs to be replaced.)

Align your next strip with the edge of the first, right sides together.

Again, sew with a 1/4 inch seam allowance and then open the strip outward.

Continue in this manner until you’ve attached enough strips to reach the edge of your trimming template.

You’ll need 6.5 inches of pieced strips from the center point to the edge, but if you’re not sure, just hold the template up to to check.

Add another series of strips for the other side of the quarter block.  If you have not yet pressed your seams with a hot iron, now is the time.

Align your trimming template with your quarter block and place a ruler along the edge of the template.  Trim around all sides.

Now, make three more quarter blocks in the same way.

With a scant 1/4 inch seam allowance, sew pairs of quarter blocks together.  Press the seam open.

Align the center seams of the two halves, as well as the seams at the edge of the block center.  Sew the halves together with a scant 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Trim the block to 12.5 inches.

Then, go make some more.  Because the beauty in this block is in how it comes together with its friends.  I only made two blocks since they were for a bee, but you can see how the spider web shape begins to appear where the blocks meet.

Blogger’s Quilt Festival Nomination Time: my favorites

It’s nomination time for the Blogger’s Quilt Festival.  The nomination form is up at Amy’s Creative Side, and you have until tomorrow, November 4th to nominate your favorite quilts in a variety of categories.  Voting on the nominees will be November 5-8.

Of course I would love it if you felt inclined to nominate my entry, the Civil War Love Letter Quilt, in any of these categories: favorite bed quilt, favorite group or bee quilt, favorite quilt photographer (I thought I was being creative taking photos of a Civil War Love Letter quilt draped over a Civil War cannon!).  I’m #581.

Really, though, go look at all the amazing entries and pick your favorites!

I thought it might be fun to share my nominations for the various categories.  That way, I will feel like all the time I spent looking at quilts had another purpose than just my personal entertainment!

Favorite baby quilt: Baby clothes on the line (#618) by Piece and Quilt.  Cute idea for a little one.  I like how she imitated the pattern in the print in a large scale on the border.  

Favorite throw quilt: Who’s your granny? (#81) by Retired to Quilt.  I think what did it for me with this one was the cool way she added the borders on the blocks.  

Favorite bed quilt: Rainbow Derecho (#422) by Water Penny.  Totally cool multicolored swirls and I can totally get the derecho inspiration.  

Favorite group or bee quilt: Civil War Love Letter quilt (#581) by Sewing by Moonlight.  I love that this quilt collaboration between my mother and me, so of course I feel it deserves the nomination in this category.  Favorite two color quilt: You are my sunshine (#197) by Porch Swing Quilts.  The yellow and orange string blocks just make me happy to look at!  

Favorite ROYGBIV quilt:  Over the rainbow New York Beauty/circle of geese by Better off Thread.  Amazing over all.  I love the variety of neutrals used, the quilting, and that embroidered quote in the middle!

Favorite applique quilt:  Winter blooms (#383) by Litamora.  This is different than what I usually gravitate towards; the colors are a lot more muted.  But the quilting is great and all those little appliqué flowers are darling!

Favorite hand-quilted quilt:  Camelot quilt (#359) by Little Island Quilting. I literally said “wow” aloud when I saw this quilt.  It’s a big, bed sized quilt, but all the blocks were pieced by hand and the quilting is also done by hand.  I love the star blocks and I like the play of the not-solid background.  

Favorite home machine quilted:  Neutral linen with color pops (#180) by Jibberish Designs.  I really like how the concentric circle quilting plays against the straight line piecing.  Cool effect where the circles of quilting overlap.  

Favorite professionally quilted:  Flower quilting with chevrons (#431) by Doodle Moochie.  I would have loved to see a whole-quilt photo of this one, but the category is quilting, and it’s beautiful.  The small quilting around the flowers really gives them some dimension! 

Favorite quilt photographer:  Civil War Love Letter quilt (#581) by Sewing by Moonlight.  I love that this quilt fell into place and I had the perfect opportunity to photograph a Civil War Love Letter quilt with a Civil War cannon and with a statue of Civil War General Grant.  Perfect.

Favorite art quilt:  Penny and Fletcher (#273) by Penny Dog Patchwork.  This is amazing.  I can’t believe it’s a quilt!

Favorite doll/mini quilt:  A light in the dark (#397) by Don’t Call Me Betsy.  I really do have a thing for stars.  These vibrant paper pieced stars in a background of a charcoal text print are fantastic.  

Favorite wall hanging:  Bird on a wire  (#105) by Grace and Favour.  This is just beyond cute.  A series of lines with miniature quilts hanging on them and bird silhouettes on top. 

Favorite scrap quilt:  Technicolor Dream scrap quilt (#138) by Persimon Dreams.  Huge scrappy blocks in a rainbow of colors, all from her scrap bin.  I could totally do this, and the effect of all the different scraps in each color is awesome!  

Honorable mention:  With well over 600 entries in the Blogger’s Quilt Festival, it was tough to pick just a few favorites.  There is an overwhelming pool of talent out there.  Here are a few of my other favorite that I wasn’t able to nominate (I hope someone else did!).

QR Code quilt (#45) by Lolly Quiltz.  

Tetris (#161) by Fabric Engineer.  

Chasing Rain (#195) by Sweet Boater Chick.

By Sea or by Land (#404) by Sew Happiness.

New Wave Solid Gradient (#474) by Live. Love. Create

So, there you have it!  My favorite quilts from the Blogger’s Quilt Festival.  Ooh, eye candy for quilters and fabric lovers!  Now, go nominate your favorites!!

Civil War Love letters, Revisited: Blogger’s Quilt Festival Entry

EDIT: Nominations are open!  You can see all the entries in the Blogger’s Quilt festival at Amy’s Creative Side.  The nomination form is also on her site.  This quilt is #581 and is nominated in the bed quilt, group or bee quilt, and quilt photographer categories.

Oh my!  Suddenly, I find myself with just hours to enter the Blogger’s Quilt Festival.  I kept looking at the page and noticing that the dates on the blog button say “October 26-November 9.”  Well, turns out, I have until the end of TODAY to submit my quilt and the remainder of the festival is nominating and voting for your favorite quilts!

The Blogger’s Quilt Festival is a twice yearly event for the online community of quilters to share a favorite quilt and the story behind it.  Then the entries are open for voting and everyone can pick their favorites.

This is the Civil War Love Letters Quilt, with blocks from the book by Rosemary Youngs.  It was a collaboration between my mother and me, and was presented as a wedding gift to my sister and her new husband when they were married this past summer.

The story behind this quilt is one of many pieces, falling perfectly into place.  This quilt, its creation, and the recipients were meant to be.

Chapter 1: The recipients

My sister Christine and her new husband, Patrick, are Civil War reenactors.  On summer weekends, their idea of a good time is to go out in a field and camp in canvas tents and pretend to have battles (with cannons!  Cannons, people!) during the day.

Patrick and Christine are below in period dress. This is Christine’s man character. She has a man character and a woman character that she uses when reenacting. Both were real people who lived during the Civil War era. Note the canvas tents in the background.

And when the weather is no longer conducive to camping in canvas tents and firing cannons, there are winter balls to attend!  Look, she’s wearing a hoop skirt!

I don’t quite understand the excitement in this hobby, but Christine and Patrick enjoy it, and it is something they enjoy doing together.

Chapter 2: The Quilt and the Quilters

Eleven months before Christine and Patrick were married, some of the quilters on blogs I enjoy were talking about the Farmer’s Wife Quilt.  Since I had no idea what this was, I did a quick search and learned that this was a quilt based on blocks in a book.  When I clicked on the book, suggested I might also enjoy a book called “The Civil War Love Letter Quilt.”

The moment I saw it, a light bulb went on in my head.  What could be a more perfect wedding gift for two Civil War reenactors sharing their love and beginning their life together than a quilt made from a book called “The Civil War Love Letter Quilt”?

My mother had begun quilting a few years before, and I had recently started dabbling in quilting myself.  I asked my mom if she would collaborate with me on this project, and she agreed.  Over the course of the 8 months or so, the two of us completed every single one of the 121 6-inch blocks in the book.  Some of the blocks were so intricate that they had as many as 81 different pieces.  Eighty-one separate pieces of fabric to compose one six-inch quilt block!

We chose fabric from the green, blue and orange colorway of Lola’s Posies by Lila Tueller, split it between us, and then we each added in other fabrics to coordinate.  We divided the blocks between us, and we made a schedule so that we would be sure to finish with enough time before the wedding for the quilt to be quilted and bound.

The back of the quilt has a row of fabric scrap blocks from the quilt, and a few that ended up too small and were redone.  We also added an embroidered dedication block to one corner.

The quilting was done by Pat Willis, who is local to my mom out of Menominee, IL.  She really did an amazing job!

Here we are with our masterpiece and parts of historic, Civil War town Galena, Illinois in the background:

Chapter 3: Capturing the Quilt

One more piece that fits in this puzzle.  I grew up in historic Galena, Illinois, which just happens to be the hometown of Civil War General Ulysses S Grant.  Galena’s Grant Park has several Civil War cannons on display, as well as views of the town, which is composed of many restored Civil War era buildings.  It was the perfect location to capture this Civil War Love Letter quilt with my camera.

The Soldier’s Memorial and Napolean Cannon are in the background of the next photo.

General Ulysses S Grant gives his full approval of the Civil War Love Letter Quilt.

Chapter 4: Presentation

I was the Maid (ahem …) Matron of Honor at Christine and Patrick’s wedding.  During the reception, I gave a speech and used some bits of history to weave in the story of the Civil War Love Letter Quilt.  Each spread of the book features the quilt block on one side and an actual letter from a soldier who fought in the Civil War on the opposing page.  The quilt was presented to Christine and Patrick along with a copy of the book so they can read the stories within.

Blogger’s Quilt Festival Stats
Finished quilt measures approximately 100 x 100  inches
Special techniques used: paper piecing on some blocks
Quilted by Pat Willis, Menominee, Illinois
Best Category: bed quilt, group or bee quilt, quilt photography
Entry: #581 

Safe Motherhood Quilt Project

I first heard of Ina May Gaskin when I was pregnant with my first daughter.  I read her book Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, and was transformed in the way I thought about myself, my body, and how I would and could handle bringing a life into the world.  She is a midwife by trade, but, as her website indicates, she is also an “author, activist, and innovator.”

The way she writes about birth makes you feel empowered as a woman.  She gives you the confidence to trust yourself, trust your instincts, and know that your body was built to bring new life into the world.  Her views are in stark contrast to the intervention-heavy births that happen more often than not in the United States these days.

Don’t get me wrong, I am so thankful that we live in a world where medical intervention during the birthing process can save both mother and baby, but after a lot of reading and research, I have come to the conclusion that these technologies are vastly overused in the United States.  One intervention leads to another intervention and suddenly, birth is a medical event that must be “treated” by a doctor (and too often, by a surgeon), rather than the natural, beautiful, mother-led process that it should be.

The real problem is that the increased use of medical interventions during birth in the United States has not resulted in the deaths of fewer mothers.  In fact, since 1982, the maternal mortality rate in the United States has more than doubled!  This is appalling!  And until recently, I didn’t even realize there was a problem.

Ina May Gaskin began the Safe Motherhood Quilt Project to bring awareness to this issue.  She was inspired by the AIDS quilt, and wants to have the quilt available for public viewing so that, hopefully, more people will become aware of the problem of high maternal mortality rates in the United States and we will begin to work toward a solution.  She wants a block made to represent every mother who has died as a result of pregnancy or birth since 1982.

Since I can make quilt blocks, I sent Ms. Gaskin an email offering to make a block to represent one of these mothers and she responded with a mother who had died at the age of 31 as a result of died of an epidural that was wrongly administered and the resuscitation errors that followed this complication.

I used rainbow colors to keep the block bright and happy to celebrate the life of this woman.  A circle of triangles on one side was inspired by some paper piecing blocks I had been looking at recently and another row of bright squares balances the other side of the 12 inch x 16 inch block.

I practiced my embroidery skills by adding the name, death and location information using DMC floss.

Any death is awful, but for a family to experience that at a time when they were to be rejoicing a new life is just tragic.  I can’t even imagine it.  The rates of maternal mortality in the United States should not be as high as they are.  I hope that Ina May Gaskin, and this Safe Motherhood Quilt Project to accomplish the goal of awareness and we begin to take steps toward all births being filled with only joy.

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.

WINNER: Road Trip Quilt Along Giveaway

Hey, look at that!  I know it seems like #1 is hardly ever the winner of a random number generator, it has just as much change of being the first random number as any other number.

The winner of the Road Trip Quilt Along Giveaway is #1.

That was Majorie, who said

Hi Emm…..just got back from Lancaster,PA. I have all 16 finished, but not finishing the top right now. I may make it bigger…..all my pictures are on Flickr; do you still want me to post them all together again in a post?

Marjorie, email me your address and I will get this little bundle of fat quarters out in the mail to you.

Here is a photo from Marjorie’s blog with 8 of her completed Road Trip Quilt Along blocks. You can see the rest of her blocks in our Flickr pool.