Category Archives: fabric

Big Rock Candy Mountain Quilt- quilt piecing triangles

photo 2Here is my fabric interpretation of the painting ‘Big Rock Candy Mountain’ by Colt Bowden. We’ve been locked into an artist trade for years and I’m finally coming through on my end of the bargain.
big rock candy mountain by Colt BowdenHere is the original painting and inspiration- Big Rock Candy Mountain by Colt Bowden, painted for Summit in Eden Utah.  In case you’re not aware, Summit is a residential artists community designed with the vision of creating an epicenter of innovation in the heart of the Wasatch Mountains.

photo 1It’s been a very experimental and frustrating piecing process, in quilt piecing triangles, I’ve been making it up as I go along. But like any challenge, if you keep working at it, it becomes easier as you go and hopefully you learn something along the way.

triangle mountain quiltHere is the mountain, finally all pieced, with a faint chalk outline of where to cut out for the final mountain shape. It’s about 5 feet tall and 34 inches wide at the bottom.

triangles from the backYou can see the freestyle, experimental piecework from the back, some seams match and have a small edge and other seams have quite a bit of extra on the back. For the most part, this doesn’t matter. When a dark fabric could be seen through onto the right side of a light colored fabric, I made sure to trim the darker fabric in the back.

mountain quilt top detailThe snow capped top of the mountain was challenging to put together. Mainly because it took reversing the triangles from facing inward in ‘starburst’ patterns method to a new method of triangles facing downward with their pointy ends, I wasn’t sure I would pull it off at first. After picking out many seams as I went along, I finally got the snow angles right.

photo 3I don’t think I could have finished this mountain if I didn’t love it so much. It’s been so inspiring. I feel like it’s opened up a whole new world of thinking when it comes to colors, solid fabrics and even the piecing of triangles of fabric in such a unconventional way.
photo 4The background is underway, here’s a possibility. Plain fabrics in solid colors, like the ones in the mountain, set in gradation, to follow the layout of the painting. I do like the dark colors as a background, it helps the mountain stand out in the foreground. But, as I searched for background fabrics, I think I found a better idea:

mountain quiltThese fabrics are mainly solid in color, but with a slightly variegated aspect to them. All the colors I needed were available- bonus.

photo 2The subtle difference in the solids of the mountain fabrics and the ‘shadow play’ background fabrics should be small but significant to the end result.  I can’t wait to see the background in place. Stay tuned.

Take a look at the finished quilt here.

how to make drawstring backpacks

Hello and happy 2014! Sorry about my missing-in-action status but it was a crazy month with sewing, Beehive Bazaaring, skiing, holiday festivities and now cleaning and organizing for the new year.
In the midst of the madness I managed to sneak in teaching a video class for Atly on how to make my drawstring backpacks. drawstring backpacks
Here’s a bit about Atly, in case you don’t already know, it’s a fantastic website or forum for expanding your horizons and skills, learning something new with beautiful video classes on all kinds of topics (and upgrade possibilities within the classes for personal instructor feedback.) No dark, obscure YouTube tutorials shot in dirty houses that you realize aren’t really what you needed to know after painfully watching and waiting for way too long. …this may have happened to me once or twice… Just straightforward, visually motivating, well-done classes.
The great part of this class is learning the EASY WAY to put in a zipper and how to install grommets for connecting the handles. So, without further ado, here a link to my drawstring backpack class.

If you need some inspiration for fabrics and backpack designs, here are a few more backpacks I’ve sewn up.

DIY: hot colors, cheap and easy, party banner

simple bright bannerThis is perhaps the simplest party banner you could ever, ever make. The easiest of all DIY projects… and very cheap. With only a seam across the top, the folded-over flags flap cheerfully in the wind and brighten up any outdoor (or indoor) soiree.
You can go from a handful of fabric to adorning a party in 45 minutes. Then stow it away and reuse it for your next event. Here’s ALL you’ll need:
how to make a bannerBrightly colored nylon fabric (or other fabric with no right or wrong side) about 1/8 of a yard of each color and twine or ribbon to connect them together. Scissors or a rotary cutter, a ruler, an iron and a sewing machine.

materials you will needWith scissors or a rotary cutter, cut out the flags. The flags pictured measure 4 inches by 10 inches. You will need to cut out 12-15 flags for a 10 ft. banner.

line up the flagsFold the flags in half and iron a crease on the fold. Then line up the flags by color and in the color order you like.

fold the flags in half and ironUnfold the flags and place the ribbon or twine in the ironed crease. Fold the flag back in half over the ribbon (or twine) and pin the flags into place, about 4 inches apart.

sew the top of the flagBegin sewing the first flag, across the top and continue until you get to the last flag, no need to stop and cut thread in between.

hot colors banner3If you use twine or string, simply set the sewing machine to a zig zag stitch and sew directly over the top of the twine to secure it in place. If you use this method, you might want to cut the threads and stop and go the machine stitching in between the flags.

fluorescent colors bannerThe ribbon method, with one continuous stitch will look like this when all finished.

nylon_bright_summer_bannerAll ready to party!

easy party banner5The beauty of this banner is the flapability of the flags. The only-sewn-across-the-top method allows lots of movement in the wind and eye catching color to any outdoor event.

Want a different look? Here’s a triangle banner tutorial.