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Moose on the Porch Quilts Blog

  • Quilts of Valor and the Moda Piece and Comfort Challenge

    It's no secret that I am a big supporter of Quilts of Valor. So much so that I recently took a break from my tight schedule trying to get my next book done to make a few quilts.

    The first top I finished earlier in the year using Sandy Gervais' Americana line called Red, White & Free. I love the aqua and gray in this line. It is a fun, playful line. I knew right away I would make my Charming Lonestar pattern. I took it up to my semi-local quilt shop, Thimbles and Threads for the Moda Piece and Comfort Challenge.


    In the meantime, I had been working on a quilt of valor (QOV) for the Home Machine Quilting Show (HMQS) next month. I knew I would be busy this time of year when the call went out for the HMQS QOV Challenge months ago. I held off signing up until I was asked directly. I couldn't say no. This one took a little longer to piece. It is made using the challenge fabric by Quilting Treasures. This fabric has metallic flecks in it. I don't love metallic flecks, so it isn't my favorite. Despite that, I thought the block I designed look nice. IMG_20150327_193928

    The third QOV I made is the one that was really nagging at me. I fell in love with this Moda fabric line, Because of the Brave. I fell in love with it even more while working with it. I couldn't decide on what quilt to make, so I just made my Charming Lonestar again. It is made with charm packs so it is super fast. I made the center in one afternoon/evening with kid breaks, put the borders on and quilted it the next day. Because this was the original fabric that I felt impressed to make a quilt from for the Piece and Comfort Challenge, I couldn't not have it made. Fortunately, I had to make a trip to the doctor with my daughter on the last day to submit my quilt, so I was able to drop it off on my way.IMG_20150331_122234542

    I love the fabric so much that I used one of my favorite quilting patterns on it even though it takes longer to quilt. The design is based off of the Iwo Jima Memorial. I designed it for my brother. IMG_20150328_122852

    Quilters are such giving people. Quilts of Valor is the charity that I support on a consistent basis. It takes a special person to put themselves in harms way to protect others. I appreciate being able to give back.

  • Spring Fling Mini Swap

    I participated in my first mini quilt swap on Instagram a couple months ago. I had a great experience. I found some new friends, had a lot of fun making a mini quilt and received a fun mini quilt in return.

    I quickly signed up for another swap. This one is called the Spring Fling Mini Swap. I started by making three hexagon flowers. Somehow this is the quilt I ended up with. To me it represents spring.spring fling mini

    To make the alternating blocks, I drew the shape on a 6" piece of paper. Then I cut them out and traced them onto freezer paper. I cut the templates out of freezer paper, I added a 1/4" seam allowance. I made the blocks using the templates. It worked out fairly well.

    I intended to hand quilt the quilt. As soon as I got the quilt spray basted, the quilt told me how it wanted to be quilted. It quilted up fairly quickly.
    spring fling mini2

    I love the way it looks on the back!spring fling mini3I am not very good about all the "extras" that go along with some swaps. However, I have found that I enjoy making simple zip bags. This is the zip bag I made with scraps from the quilt.

    spring fling bag

    The triangles that make up the center band were left over from the charm squares after I cut out the triangles for the quilt. I randomly pieced the rest. My favorite part is the green Ty Pennington fabric inside. The piece I had left was just the right size for the bag. I love it when it comes together like that!

  • APQ Quilt Along

    A couple months ago I was at a quilt retreat. I had many projects that I should have been working on, but I couldn't help starting on my Four Patch American Patchwork and Quilting quilt along quilt. I used a jelly roll and a layer cake to make a four patch in a four patch block. They are two different Fig Tree fabric lines that play nicely together. By the end of the retreat, I had a pretty stack of blocks.

    apq quilt along2

    When I realized that I wasn't going to get the quilt done, I settled with a stack of blocks and made a mini with the left over four patch blocks!
    apq quilt along3

    Fast forward two months, I finally was able to sew the blocks together. I said fast forward, but it seemed like slow forward. Some days it was torture to leave the blocks in their project box. Now my top is done! apq quilt along1

    I want this quilt to have a nice drape. I used a thin Quilter's Dream Batting cotton batt. For the backing, I used two fabrics that felt extra silky. I didn't have enough to use one or the other. One fabric is a Free Spirit fabric, the other is a Moda silky woven fabric. It's going to be luscious!

    It wants to be hand quilted. I have it spray basted and ready to go. It will take some time, but I look forward to spending some quality time with my pretty!

  • Piece and Comfort Challenge

    When I heard of the Moda Piece and Comfort Challenge, I instantly knew I wanted to be involved. I love both of the fabric lines, and I am passionate about the Quilts of Valor Organization. I called around and found out that Thimbles and Threads, one of my local quilt shops, was a participating shop.

    A couple months ago I finished the quilt top and got it quilted. I finally got it bound last week and took it to Thimbles and Threads a couple days ago. qov 1I used a pattern called Charming Lonestar in Simply Charming Collection. The fabric is Sandy Gervais' Red, White and Free. I love the aqua in the line.

    It is really bothering me to not have a quilt made from Because of the Brave as well. With the deadline on Tuesday, I don't think I will get it done. Except that I could get it done if I dropped everything and did it...

  • It's Spring in the Rocky Mountains! A Sale and a Giveaway

    A couple days ago, the temperature hit 70 degrees. With daylight savings time (which I don't particularly care for, but that is a different story), it got dark later, and my kids played outside until it was time for bed. I love it when they play outside all day! It's only better when the trees in our backyard is full of fruit that they can snack on!

    I always know it's spring in Utah when I use the heater in the car in the morning, and the air conditioner in the afternoon.

    With spring in the air, I fall in love with my book Springtime in the Rockies all over again! I wrote this book two and a half years ago with the help of 8 friends of mine who design quilts and live in the shadows of the Rocky Mountains and love them as much as I do. It is published by Kansas City Star. There two things I love about this book:

    1) It's a gorgeous book. Kansas City Star makes beautiful books. I can this book my coffee table quilt book. Besides the fabulous quilts, I asked for a lot of pictures of my mountains to be included. In the pages of this book, you can take a virtual road trip here. I hope it will encourage you to come visit!

    2) The second thing I love about this book is all the different techniques. Each of the nine designers in the book make quilts differently. I enjoy getting to experience the personality of each of the designers.

    Here is one of my quilts in the book, True North. It is made from a charm pack, which is what I am known for. It is also appliqué  which is unusual for me. It was fun to try something different, but I did get dizzy blanket stitching the 33 little circles onto the quilt!



    For more pictures of the quilts included in the book, you can see some on my website:

    You can also see a few sample pages at the Pickle Dish Store: 

    In celebration of spring, I have decided to give away THREE books!



    1) The first book will be given away here on the blog. To enter, comment on this post. I would love to hear what your favorite part of spring is!

    2) The second book will be given away on my Facebook page, To enter, like my Facebook page and comment on the Facebook post.

    3) The third book will be given away on my Instagram page, To enter, follow me on Instagram and comment on the Instagram post.

    Winners will be drawn next Monday, March 23rd.

    In addition to the giveaway, Springtime in the Rockies has been listed for sale on my website. The retail price of this book is $26.95. Until the end of March, the book will be on sale for $10! By one for yourself or a friend.

    Celebrate spring!

  • Bryce Canyon Retreat

    I had the opportunity to spend the later part of last week near Bryce Canyon at a quilt retreat. Sew fun!!!


    I taught two quilt classes. The first class was Swinging Diamonds. It uses the Fons & Porter 60 degree diamond ruler. I wish I had taken pictures. One lady was having a really hard time visualizing how the diamonds went together. By the end of the class, even she had it figured out. She had two diagonal rows done and said she didn't hate diamonds anymore! Yay! MPQ126SwingingDiamonds

    I also showed that class my Rawhide Quilt. It is temporarily a free pattern on the Timeless Treasures Website.Picture 1725

    The next class I taught was Allie's Garden. This pattern came with a summer version, Allie's Garden

    a halloween version,

    Charlotte's Babies

    and a Christmas version that I don't have a picture of yet. These are published though Checker's Cut Loose Press. Ask for them at your favorite quilt shop.

    After my classes were done, I was able to take the short trip into Bryce Canyon National Park and catch the sunrise. Talk about gorgeous!
    Sm 20150207_2Sm 20150207_5Then it was back to sewing, sewing, sewing! I wasn't able to get done what I was "suppose" to do because I saw Sherri McConnell's four patch blocks for the American Patchwork and Quilting quiltalong. Then, I HAD to make my four patch blocks. The next day and a half, I sewed four patch blocks from a jelly roll. Then I took a layer cake and made them into blocks. Unfortunately I ran out of time. I didn't get it laid out or sewed together. Now I am home doing what I am "suppose" to be doing. Perhaps one day I will finish what I am suppose to do and sew what I want to sew.

    Does that ever happen???

  • Round Robin Quilt Finish

    Last year I participated in my first Round Robin. It started with a small group of friends that quickly grew to 12 people. I would recommend doing a round robin with fewer participants. It would have been better doing two groups of 6 rather than one group of 12. Having said that, I LOVE my quilt! We figured out ways to make it work with more people. We adapted it by 1) having two or three people team up to do some of the borders, 2) as in my quilt, doing assymetrical borders - just doing two sides of the border at a time, or 3) having some smaller borders.

    We each started with a center. I decided that I would have no control over how my quilt turned out. I decided to go with something that I thought was fun but a simple idea. As a math teacher, I went with a fun number fabric in the center and scrappy color around it.

    numbers center


    I requested that my quilt be black and white and color, but not rainbow. It then became a running joke that my quilt was being made with rainbow borders. I took this in stride ( I think) trusting my friends to make a quilt I would like.

    It took us a little over a year to complete the quilts. They have been finished for a few months now. In the back of my head, I have been thinking about how to quilt my quilt. Nothing seemed right, but I wasn't thinking too hard. I love how I could think about this without really thinking about it. One day I was working on another project and saw a group of numbers together. It instantly struck me as how I needed to quilt this round robin quilt.

    That was the bee in my bonnet. I digitized the numbers and quilted it the next day.

    numbers close

    I felt like I had to hand bind it because several of us are entering our round robin quilts in the Home Machine Quilting Show (HMQS) in May. Unfortunately, hand binding takes me forever! After two evenings working on it, I had it done.

    numbers back

    It was fun to quilt and bind it and look at my quilt again. Each border has fabulous details in it. The best thing about this quilt is that it is better than anything I would have made if I had set out to make a medallion quilt from my center. Each person who worked on the quilt thinks differently than I do. All of them stayed true to the quilt and interpreted the theme in their own way. numbers full

    The other best part about the quilt is that it is full of personality. There is so much of it that I appreciate that will mean nothing to others. For example, two of the skinny borders are embroidered with bicycles because my friend knows like I like riding bikes. Another friend added a fabric with small orange bikes in it, bikes for me, orange for her. SO FUN!

    My quilt "By the Numbers" is done. If you want to participate in a round robin, I think the most important thing is to do it with a group of friends whose quilting you trust. Medallions are tricky to keep flat. Beginners will need help learning how to put on borders correctly.

    If you aren't ready for a round robin, then a block exchange or even a fabric exchange is another way to go. They are all fun ways to create quilts that celebrate friendship. Give it a try!

  • Blocks from the Past Quilt Along Week 4

    My blocks this week are found on pages 10, 11, and 61.

    The first block is called Windblown Square on page 10. I made this block following the instructions. I liked the instructions for this block, but I would recommend sewing it together using a scant 1/4" seam allowance.


    The second block is the Cakestand Block on page 11. This block I made using different half square triangle methods. For the center, large square, I cut 1-4" background square and 1-4" blue square.

    I used the method where you draw a diagonal line and sew 1/4" on both sides of the line. Here is one place it is shown:

    After you cut on the line, square up the HST to 3 1/2". It makes two HSTs instead of one, but to me, it's worth it.

    For the small HSTs, cut two 2 1/2" squares of the background and two 2 1/2" squares of the color. Square up the HSTs to 2".


    Having to square up the HSTs, makes a better HST. On such a little block, the points of my Cakestand look pretty good.

    My third block is the Pineapple on page 61. This block was rough. I have no hints. If I wasn't assigned it, I would have skipped it!


    I appliqued the pineapple stem first. My stem looks pretty funky, but I am okay with that, Then I appliqued the pineapple. The pineapple was easy, deceptively so. Because the pineapple was so easy, I attempted the scallop. That was a mistake. It almost killed me.

    Halfway through the scallops, I thought I was going to die. It felt like the last half mile of a half marathon. In a half marathon, the last part, I have to talk myself through each block. Each block feels like a mile. The same was true of the scallops. Each little tiny scallop felt like an eternity. I kept telling myself, "I can sew one scallop. Just one." Somehow, I finished.

    It was just one block. I survived. If you like the pineapple, you will survive too. If you don't love the pineapple, then I suggest you skip it. Sorry Marion and Natalie!

    Be sure to post your blocks on the flickr group (!

  • Rescuing an Antique Quilt

    A year or two ago, I came into posession of an antique quilt in terrible condition. No one wanted it. It was headed for the garbage.


    I believe it was made by my great-great grandmother. The pink fabric is disintegrating, but the rest of it is fairly good. Antique 3

    My six year old daughter fell in love with it immediately despite the condition. I gave it to her. She has been using it to sleep with for months even like it is. I told her I would fix it. Now I have started.

    First I ordered a bolt of Moda Bella solid Betty's Pink. Then, a couple days ago, I took the blocks off of the quilt. It didn't take much more than hour. The backing was the pink fabric that was falling apart, so it didn't take much.

    I thought I could put it back together quickly, but I will have to repair the pink in the center of each of the blocks. Now this will be the project that takes a while.

    Wish me luck!

  • BFTPqal - Fabric Selection

    In the Blocks from the Past Quilt Along post this week, Natalie talks about fabric selection and fabric requirements.

    I decided that I wanted to use a layer cake. To make sure it was enough and to provide contrast, I paired it with white as a background fabric. The layer cake I picked is Solstice by Kate Spain for Moda.



    Here is one of the first blocks.IMG_20150108_161659Remember, these finish at 6" square. Those little squares are little. The big squares are 1 1/2" finished. To make only one block wasn't so bad though. That is the interesting thing about these blocks. I wouldn't want to make a whole quilt out of most of the blocks because they are a little fiddly, but one at a time, they aren't bad.

    This block is one I may make a second time with a little bit different colors if I need another block to make the quilt a good size.

    I don't have any expectations for this quilt. I will make as many or as few blocks as I want, see where I am at, design a quilt with what is there, and then make a few more blocks as needed.

    Because I love the fabric, and I love how the blocks are turning out so far, I know I will love the quilt! Sometimes it nice to finish a quilt quickly, but sometimes it is nice to have a project that takes a while.


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