Tag Archives: Delectable Mountains

Stuck in the Mud? I Guess Not.

I’ve felt stuck, unable to move forward or back, not even really spinning my wheels as the wheels aren’t turning. My red and white Fire & Ice quilt has been my major endeavor so far this year, and it’s still not done. Because of that, it feels (feeeeeeeeeeeels) like I don’t have anything to show for my year.

Not true.

In fact, I’ve done a few things I’m pleased with. Kim’s Bright Garden is one of the highlights so far. The real highlight is she loves it, and Son loves that she loves it. 🙂

Kim’s Bright Garden. 71″ x 71″. Finished March 2017. Photo by Jim Ruebush.

Another finish, which I don’t think I’ve shared with you, is a mystery quilt I made with my small group. The instructions called for strip piecing, but I wanted to use scraps. To find out if that would work, I looked forward in the directions, ruining the mystery but likely improving the quilt. For this I used all the bright pink, orange, green, and purple scraps from my scrap drawer, along with yellow background fabric and a pretty piece for the border. I donated this for my guild’s quilt show (June 2 and 3) silent auction.

Mock Irish Chain mystery quilt. Approx. 50″ x 70″. Finished spring 2017. I’m not sure who took the photo to promote our quilt show.

Early in the year I decided to make a pink and brown quilt using the Delectable Mountains design. My original intention was to make it the “easy” way, using large half-square triangles to create the jagged blocks. Because those blocks are not square, the construction confused me a bit and I opted to make them the old-fashioned way. The method suited the old-fashioned colors, as did the heavy feathering I used to quilt it. I did post a photo of the finished top, but not after it was quilted.

Delectable Mountains. 61″ x 61″. Finished spring 2017. Photo by Jim Ruebush.

After making the pink and brown Delectable Mountains, I still wanted to create the design with the HST method. Googling images showed me how other people managed the problem of non-square blocks. Simply, they used small spacer blocks to adjust the sizing. Because my guild is having a special exhibit of red and white quilts, I decided to make the quilt again with the HST method. (Very long, not pretty story of why this quilt won’t be in the special exhibit. My nose is a bit out of joint, but it will heal, I suppose.) I don’t have a photo of the finished quilt yet (but it is done!), but here is the finished top. (And you can read more about it here if you wish.)

Hibiscus Mountain. Unfinished top. 73″ x 73″. Photo by Jim Ruebush.

In addition to these four finished quilts, I have three going that are not quite done. The biggest project by far is Fire & Ice, my other red and white quilt. (This one will be in the special exhibit, and even that is part of the long, not pretty story. UGH.) It is done with the exception of the binding and hanging sleeve. Today’s number one priority is to get those attached so the hand-finishing can commence.

Besides that, a niece has fallen in love with the muslin mock-up, which I created specifically to test quilting for the Fire & Ice project. It also is done except for binding. I’ll finish it and send it along to her.

Finally, I began a project with a paper-pieced spinning star. The top is done, the back is made, and the batting is cut. It’s loaded on the longarm frame now, and I hope to quilt it tomorrow and finish it before the end of the month. Here is the star center.

Along with all the quilting (it will be seven projects finished by mid-year,) I’ve put in a lot of time for other guild projects. I’m a little worn down by it all. My brother jokingly suggested that my next six quilts be constrained to red and white, to see how well I can work within the limitations. I told him that certainly is an idea, but “My next 6 quilts, whatever they are, will be with a joyful intention. That will be my constraint.” While all these quilts have been valuable to me for their lessons, it’s time to shift back to happiness in my quilting, as I found with Kim’s Bright Garden and Hibiscus Mountain. The joy is where the power is.

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More Delectable Mountains

As you might remember, I carried on quite a debate with myself about making a red and white Delectable Mountains quilt. After a mildly disappointing experience with the pink and brown one (and finish photos still to come,) I decided to move on. Next up was the red and white Ohio medallion from the early 1800s. And after that I quilted the happy quilt you saw in “Unstitched.” (I’m sewing the binding down now, so you’ll get a finish photo of it soon, too.)

But I couldn’t shake the idea of making Delectable Mountains again. This time I wanted to use red and white, to enter in my guild’s special exhibit at our upcoming show. And I wanted to try it using the “modern” technique for making blocks, rather than the “traditional” method.

Though I purchased a reproduction red print earlier this year, I decided to update the quilt not just with method but also with fabrics. In my stash were a few pieces of red with similar background color and a more upbeat vibe. One has long been a favorite. It’s a Hawaiian-style print I bought at a guild auction a few years ago. There were several yards, and I’ve used it in various ways over the years. Another was a quilt shop purchase and used in other favorite quilts.

I did have one glitch as I began this project. I made the first set of Delectable Mountains blocks using Kona solid “Snow.” I started making the corner blocks from Kona solid “White,” pieces of which were in my stash from a long-ago project. I thought they were the same color, but they’re not, and that became all too obvious when the blocks were side by side. I rebuilt the corner blocks and tossed all the scraps of “White” in a pile away from my working pile. It was a little discouraging, but I bounced back. 🙂

I’m planning to add one more round of Delectable Mountains blocks, and then use the last bits of the Hawaiian print to cobble together an outer border. Depending on the width I can eke out of the print, it will finish at about 80″ square.

Better?

No one was very thrilled with my Delectable Mountains quilt top, including me. As I said the other day, it was pretty but not very interesting. In particular, others commented on the large amount of double pink, and how the corners in pink seemed large and unbalanced.

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Delectable Mountains design, most popular in the 1840s – 1870s. Color combination of double pink and brown popular during same years. Unquilted top. Approximately 61″ square.

I defended the design as traditional, and not something I was inclined to mess with. However, some DM quilts from the 1800s had stars in the corners. After consideration, that seemed like an appropriate way to break up the pink expanse, brighten the whole, and add some interest.

I built corner blocks using the variable star. The background fabric is the same as used in the center star, and the brown is the same as the one surrounding the center. It is slightly softer in appearance than the brown of the middle border and HST border.

Surgery required removing stitches that held the double pink corners in place. Then I pinned in one seam at a time and re-stitched. It was a pretty easy process as my new star corners matched the size well.

Here is the amended quilt top.

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Delectable Mountains with star corner blocks. Unquilted top. Approximately 61″ square.

I think it’s better. It is brighter, and there is more to look at. But I still don’t think it’s very interesting.

Either way, I’m done with the top now. And I don’t plan to make the design again in red and white.

Mountain Top

Well, my Delectable Mountains quilt top, in  pink and brown, is done.

20170207_114451

Delectable Mountains design, most popular in the 1840s – 1870s. Color combination of double pink and brown popular during same years. Unquilted top. Approximately 61″ square.

My purpose in making it was to learn how to make it, having been inspired by photos of antique quilts in similar designs. I think it is very pretty, and will be more so once quilted and edged with a brown binding.

I do not, though, think it is very interesting. My original plan was to make this version as a lesson, and then make it again in red and white. Now I’m not sure if I want to do that.

Honest opinions? If you had done it, would you have done things differently? As long as you’re not mean (and I trust you won’t be,) you won’t hurt my feelings.

Mountains Coming Into View

My Delectable Mountains quilt is coming along well. I have the “mountains” pieced for the second set. Next is trimming those half-blocks and filling outside of them with the double pink setting fabric. Then I can trim the center to size and attach the DM borders with corner blocks.

What is “double pink”? From the Quilt Index Wiki page:

Double pinks, sometimes called ‘cinnamon’ pinks, feature tiny prints in a dark, cinnamon-like pink, on a light rosy pink ground. Both of these hues have warmer undertone than bubblegum pink, which emerged as a quilt fabric, often as a solid rather than a print, in the twentieth century. Double pinks were most popular in the 1860s, ‘70s, and ‘80s, though double pinks are common in quilts through the 1920s. At the height of their popularity in the mid-nineteenth century, double pinks were often paired with madder or chocolate browns in quilts.

In the image below, the dark pink triangles on the outside edge are double pink. The center of the center block also is considered a double pink, even with its more complex pattern.

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Half blocks set in place but not sewn on yet. They need their double pink setting fabric first, as well as corner blocks.

The color combination, as it says above, was most popular in the mid-1800s. Most of the images of Delectable Mountains medallion quilts in the International Quilt Study Center & Museum index are from before 1850. So the colors are slightly anachronistic, but I think they still suit.