Thursday, September 14, 2023

A Late Summer Quilt Finish

 It feels so very, very good to finish up with this particular quilt: 'The Mountains Are calling'. Not only because there's been so few finishes for the year, but because it's really ran me through the whole gamut of emotions from feeling rather blasé about the idea until now, when I'm actually rather proud of the cozy, warm vibe to it. Who would have ever expected it to end up this way? 

The Mt's Are Calling is a true blue finish!
This was started in March of 2022, always intended to be a quilt for our youngest son. In an odd twist, the back of the quilt was sewn first. Mostly because I didn't have a very clear picture of what the front of the quilt should look like. Masculine looking quilts? Not exactly in my comfort zone.... 

So glad that I bought the blue woven fabric
for the centerpiece
Our son loves living in the northwest and has always had an avid interest in hiking the high mountain trails. Though I always sort of knew that this quilt should be more of a blue, green and brown quilt, fabric and color options are pretty limited around here the last couple years. A lot of the green fabric languishing in the fabric totes is more olive in tones and I've been trying very hard to use up what I have. {Or at least dig through and start from there!} Olive wasn't doing it for me and this was second choice, these primarily blue and red fabrics. 

Always wonderful to see the spirit and vibe I wanted to convey come through regardless of material chosen for the foundation of the quilt. If I've learned anything in the past several years, it's to try and try again and never give up on what's available right here at home. This time I caved and bought the blue centerpiece fabric because I needed the simplicity of a single fabric background, but nothing else was purchased for this quilt! Making do can give off an authentic look almost impossible to achieve by running out and buying brand new for everything. 

The trees are weird and quirky but just
simple enough to be fun
This quilt was a long hard struggle to get to completion stage. Anyone following along knew that a long time ago. My heart was never really in it like so many of the projects that get started around here. Though I'm happy and satisfied with it now, it never took my muse on a thrilling little adventure the way the more interesting quilts do. Just not the style that I most prefer to work with these days! 

Anyway, by the time I had the details figured out for making this happen, our son was engaged to be married! After a lengthy time pondering, I decided to just finish it up as a 'marriage' quilt. Thankfully my daughter-in-law likes to go on hikes with him too so she wasn't being completely left out. And I did add more pinkish reds to the improv. strips at the front of the quilt after she was in the picture. Definitely more her than him so that's something!

And the crooked compass works too
And.... she has also managed to talk me into gifting her with a much more girly looking quilt in the meantime. Uh huh. DDIL2 already picked it out and hauled it to their new home. You know. Because the 'marriage' quilt was going to be belated! Funny how I can never say no to any of our kids....

Home is where the heart is!*wink
I am especially relieved by the texture on the front of the quilt as wide open spaces always fill me with terror. So dumb. They almost always look amazing when filled with the simplest of quilting lines such as the Baptist Fan motif. The way the lines pop instead of sink into the piecing {such as in the back of the quilt below} should be a lesson to remember forever.

Backing made up of lots of older indifferent
looking fabrics and a few mens shirts too
Believe it or not, the back of the quilt looks much, much more cozy than it does in the picture. Quite honestly, I almost like the back better than the front, which is something that happens fairly regularly around here.*sigh  Improv. seems to fill some need apparently?

I'd curl up in this quilt in a New York minute!
Loving the crumpled, wrap-this-quilt-around-you-and-be-happy vibe to this quilt soooo much. I would have been ecstatic to have this as a finish about 10 years ago and now I'm just sort of bemused and smiling. Yep, I can do this! Even when I don't know what I'm doing. So exciting when the 'me' voice comes through regardless of all the doubting and off perfect color and fabric choices happen. That's where experience and trust in our intuition helps bridge the gaps if we lean into it.

Next up in the hoop!
Next up in the hoop is a palette cleanser of serene greens and lovely pink pops of happiness. It's not a special quilt in any great sense, but the quirky spark to it makes me very happy to have in the hoop.

Should look a lot better with hand quilting
Summer is not quite over here yet so I didn't want to dive into fall colored quilts if I didn't have to. Autumn just needs to wait for its turn. Thankfully my have-to list of quilts is caught up until mid November. Yay! Have I mentioned how grumpy have-to lists make me when it comes to quilting?
Working my way through the middle blocks
Getting back into the swing of things quite slowly, but I'm beginning to accept that it's just gonna be that sorta year all the way till December. We had both of our boys and their wives come see us last weekend {for a long weekend} and had such a great time with the granddaughters especially. They are growing up too fast! Our oldest is making noises about moving back to the state and we are just so incredibly thrilled by that. Crossing our fingers that things work out where we can see them on a more regular basis. Funny how quilting drops down the priority list real quick when it comes to kids and grandchildren time....

p.s. The Legacy of Gwen Marston Exhibition is now open at the New England Quilt Museum. Makes me feel like kind of a fraud, but they didn't send my quilts back with a 'sorry, these won't work' excuse like I half expected. So exciting to have two quilts on display there!  My head is just whirling it seems so surreal. Big thanks to Barb Vedder for spearheading and helping to organize this event. If anyone attends, I would love to see pictures!


  1. The mountain quilt for your son if fabulous and no doubt he will love it. I do love your pops of pink quilt too and look forward to seeing the quilting journey.

  2. The Mountains are Calling is great and what a lovely backing! The quilt next in the hoop has such pretty colours, I'm looking forward to seeing how you quilt this one.

  3. The front and back for the mountain quilt are perfect. i would use either side and have a hard time deciding.

  4. the mountain quilt is great and congratulations on having two quilts on exhibit at a museum that is such an honor for you!

  5. From Quiltdivajulie - "Making do can give off an authentic look almost impossible to achieve by running out and buying brand new for everything. " THIS IS SO TRUE - I love how you manage to enunciate these truths mixed in with the other words of your posts! And congratulations on your two quilts in the GM exhibit. (as to the marriage quilt - I really like it and totally agree with you on the quilted texture).

  6. Lovely post! Congratulations on having 2 quilts on display at the museum! It’s about an hour drive for me and I’m really looking forward to seeing that exhibit. Both quilts in your post are wonderful. Right now I’m in a similar situation as you - lots of time devoted to family affairs. I’m trying to grab what little extra time I have for quilting as it helps keep me calm and grounded 😊.

  7. I had forgotten how much I like the backing of your mountain quilt. Was it hard to quilt through? Just an all around fascinating quilt, front and back.

  8. Your quilts would definitely qualify to be in the Legacy of Gwen Marston Exhibition. You have the same kind of free spirit approach as Gwen had. All of your quilts are so uniquely you.
    I like the back of the Mountain quilt too.

  9. If DDIL2 is already making off with your quilts, she's a keeper for sure! The Mountains are Calling is a perfect man's quilt, I think the Baptist fan quilting kind of echoes the mountain theme, maybe the quilting becoming the foothills. At any rate, after all the misgivings this is a great finish. I wish we were a few hours closer to the NEQM so I could visit their latest exhibits and see your quilts in person. Congratulations on this honor, much deserved!

  10. me encantan sus trabajos!
    Yo he decidido hacer como usted, llevo todo el verano trabajando en una colcha y no he comprado ningún material quiero utilizar solo lo que tengo en casa .

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  12. Loving the green & pink combos. It's very calming & unruffled, the repetition of a simple flower shape invites a closer look! Congrats on getting two quilts in the display, your unique style is amazing!

  13. I guess we learn lessons and skills with each quilt we make. The Mountains are Calling is warm and welcoming. Buying fabric is okay. Especially when it is perfect for the plan. Congratulations on having 2 quilts in the exhibit. They're hanging out with kindred spirits.

  14. Congratulations on having your quilts including in the exhibition; I wish I could see them. I love how your manly mountain quilt was softened a little for your new DIL - I think it worked out splendidly. I love your sentiments about making do rather than buying fabric, though in this instance I agree that blue was a good decision.

  15. This quilt is just lovely! I enjoyed the thought processes you shared. ( and the "make do or do without"attitude!!) Using what's on hand forces you into creativity. You did a splendid job with this.

  16. I love "The Montains are Calling" -- I think both the front and back are perfect! What quilt did your new daughter in law pick? Congratulations on having 2 quilts in the NE exhibit -- would love to see picture of them as well!

  17. Loved finding your blog again, and reading what you've been up to. Since moving into our tin house almost 12 years ago I had not had any of my quilt tops quilted... till this year. One that I made last year out of Christmas fabrics that I had purchased around 2000 very simply pieced, was the first one. It went to our niece when she got married in early September. I have a big one (king sized) that is quilted, needing me to find my thimble to turn the binding to the back. It feels so wonderful to get things done again!


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