Tuesday, January 27

Delectable Mountains - Paper Pieced Miniature Quilt - Four Free Patterns and a Tutorial

A little bit of heaven on earth: My dog Pip, a pretty quilt, a good book, and a hot cup of tea.
The name for the Delectable Mountains quilt block comes from John Bunyan's Book "The Pilgrim's Progress".  This book was a bestseller for two centuries!  Traditional quilt blocks are wonderful and often have fascinating histories behind them.  Check out this article, written by Judy Anne Breneman, if you would like to learn a little more about The Delectable Mountains Pattern and Its History.  There are some terrific quilt layout ideas here and a free pattern too.  

I've always loved Bonnie Hunter's Scrappy Mountain Majesties and I wanted to try to make one in miniature.  She created them using the Delectable Mountains quilt block.  Bonnie's clear and easy-to-understand instructions work perfectly for making full sized quilts.
Have you ever made a quilt in miniature?  Some people make astonishingly tiny quilts and do them so beautifully.  In my experience, (vast as it is... not!)  I have found that when working in miniature, the smallest errors in piecing are comparable to large ones in a full size quilt.  I needed a way to increase the precision of my miniature piecing.  So I figured out how to make Scrappy Mountain Majesties with paper piecing.  Since my mountains are so small, I named my quilt "Scrappy Foothill Majesties".

First, I designed shorter blocks with six peaks, to use as a miniature border around a lovely cross stitch piece that I had purchased, which, as France Nadeau taught me, is called an abecedary.  Then I designed a more traditional block with eight peaks, to make a miniature quilt.

Paper Pieced Delectable Mountains Blocks in a Border & Quilt

You can have a lot of fun with the Delectable Mountains.  It is a lovely and very versatile quilt block:
  • It works beautifully as the only block in a quilt and by rearranging it, you can create interesting patterns.
  • It makes a very nice way to frame or highlight other quilt blocks.
  • It is the perfect block to make into a mini border. The pieces fit together in a way that reminds me of an Adirondack style twig frame.
Below are just a few examples of how a mini quilt could be laid out.  Each of these represents a 12” Square mini quilt that can be made with eighteen of the 2" x 4" Delectable Mountains paper pieced blocks.  I used thirty-two of these blocks for my quilt Scrappy Foothill Majesties.

Here is an example of what I mean about using Delectable Mountains to frame another quilt block:

Just in case any of you would like to add a miniature Delectable Mountains quilt to your bucket list, I'm sharing the pattern here on BuzzinBumble, along with a tutorial for those who would like to see full instructions. Altogether, there are 4 main patterns, but I have also included versions of them with reversed placement of the light and dark fabrics.  Here are mock ups of each of the four blocks and their finished sizes.
The four types of paper pieced Delectable Mountain blocks.

If you would like to have a copy of these patterns or the tutorial,  
Click these links for a downloadable PDF file:

PDF copies of the miniature Delectable Mountains quilt block patterns 
(Please note that there are multiple copies of each pattern on each page):

Two Sided Pattern Printing Instructions:

To get accurately scaled patterns: Save the pattern and then click on the printer icon.  Set up the page in portrait setting and select the “actual size” option, then print it out on lightweight paper. (Yup, I finally got the PDF file issue figured out.  Every step of every process I tried changed the final pattern sizes and it about drove me insane.  Now just you hush up about that being a short drive, LOL.)  But I digress...

It isn't often with paper piecing patterns that you have the opportunity to make a two sided pattern.  Since all of these pattern pages are symmetrical, you can print out the pattern on both sides of the paper.  With our printer, I just lift the page out without flipping it over to the other side, turn it 180 degrees (or end for end) and send it through the printer a second time.  This yields paper piecing patterns with the print exactly the same on both sides.  If you have paper pieced before, you know that this helps tremendously when lining up the fabrics and sewing them in place, because you can see all the lines you need on both sides.  No need to hold these patterns up to the light or hand mark lines.  

Terms of Use:

You are welcome to use these files for your own personal use or to make an item you wish to sell or give as a gift.  If you know someone who would like this pattern, please send them here for a free copy!   

If you like this tutorial and patterns, I would love it if you share the link to them on your blog or on social media websites.  I would also get a huge kick out of seeing photos of your own creations!  If you let me know about it, I will put a link here on my blog to your post so others can see what you made too!  
Wherever you share or post about them, I ask you to kindly mention where you found the pattern: BuzzinBumble.com   

Scrappy Foothill Majesties - Miniature paper pieced Delectable Mountains quilt
I just had to add one last picture of my sweet Pip. In this photo you can also see how I chose to quilt this quilt - by stitching diagonally just under the sawtooths of the mountain peaks.  I'm not sure if that was a good choice or not, because it kind of makes the mountains look like they were made with HSTs, which is one way the Delectable Mountains type blocks are sometimes pieced.  

I'd love to hear what you think.  Thanks for visiting!

PS - Did you notice what Pip was "reading"?  

Sunday, January 11

Miniature Delectable Mountains Border - Almost finished!

Just have to hand sew the binding to the back and it's done!
Gee, do you think I've used enough Wonder Clips?  ;)  I'm waiting for a time when Jim and Sam are sitting together and then I will sit with them and sew. Sam is only going to be with us for a few more days before he moves to New Hampshire... eight hours away.  (sniffle, sniffle)  He finished college early and is starting his first professional job next week.

After France's wonderful comment, where I learned that this is called an abecedary,  I realized that I forgot to say right away that I am not the maker of the cross stitched centerpiece.  It is a very beautifully done piece and Oh! how I wish i did remember who made it.  I have a vague recollection that I purchased it on eBay from a husband and wife cross stitching team.  If any of you know of a such a couple, please let me know.  I would like to contact them and give them credit where it is due.  

In  the meantime, I've been working on the tutorial and paper piecing patterns for making miniature Delectable Mountains quilt blocks.  It is going very well, except that I've hit a snag with how best to present the patterns here on BuzzinBumble.  Do any of you have favorite ways you do this on your websites?

Here are two possibilities:

1.  Upload an image of each pattern and put it directly in the post. Then people can click to enlarge, right click and "save as" and later print it out.  It would need a specific page setup to print true to size.  I can do this easily with the Paint program on my computer.  
     Would this work for everyone?  How do you generally save the image when you find a free pattern?

2.  Convert the files to PDF format, making it easy for people to download and save the tutorial and /or the patterns.  It took awhile, but I figured out how to set all that up.  
     My trouble starts then though.  When you open a PDF file and print it, there does not seem to be a way to custom set the margins, etc.  With a PDF file, it would be ideal if people could just print it out at "actual size".  The problem is when I do that, the patterns are no longer true to size.  (ie: the quilt block will not finish at the correct size.)  Argh!  It's going to take some experimenting to get this right.  

So if you notice a delay with this tutorial getting posted, it's because I m trying to figure all this out.  

I hope you all have a happy and creative week ahead of you! 
Thanks for visiting!

Monday, January 5

Delectable Mountains Mini Border - a failed attempt

Delectable Mountains is one of my favorite quilt blocks.  Have you ever seen Bonnie Hunter’s Scrappy Mountain Majesties?  I sure do love that quilt! Bonnie has excellent instructions on how to make it by slicing up half square triangles.  She also gives a few intriguing layouts for the blocks.  

A very sweet friend gifted me with a jelly roll of Paisley Park by Kansas Troubles.  I decided I wanted to use it to make a border and frame a beautiful cross stitch piece that was waiting for the perfect fabrics.  To do this I planned to make Delectable Mountains blocks in miniature.  

For my first attempt at a mini DM block, I did it the usual way: slicing up HSTs, rearranging them and sewing them back together.  Uh Oh!  Trouble.

My 1st failed attempt
Ugh!  Here is the thing:  No matter how careful I am, I'm no Sally Collins, aka the Queen of Precision Piecing.  On a miniature quilt block, my small mistakes show up a whole lot more.  You can see how wonky my block is: It tilts to the left, the strips don't stay the same width and those points are not 1/4" away from the edge.  Plus the size is too tall for my project.  I wanted smaller mountains.  Maybe I want Delectable Foothills.

Almost another inch long when stretched.
To make matters worse, I cut out my HSTs from two jelly roll strips, sewn together lengthwise.  This gave me an HST cut on the bias grain.  Well, I know not to do that again - my little block has a lot of stretch.  There would be Dueling Accordions playing in those mountains. Paddle faster Burt!       

At this point, I decided to paper piece these blocks.  As far as I could tell, after googling like crazy, paper piecing is not a normal way to sew a Delectable Mountains quilt block. At least, I could not find a pattern.  So, I puzzled over it and finally figured it out.  I made my own paper piecing patterns for miniature Delectable Mountains.  I'm pretty excited about it because it worked out really well!  Sometime before the end of the week I hope to get the project finished and will soon be posting the patterns with a tutorial.    

I hope you all come back soon to see it!

Thursday, January 1

Humorous New Year's Day Headline

Happy New Year everyone!  

I thought we'd start the year off with a little bit of silliness.  I had some fun this morning writing this up, with a little help from my hubby, Jim.  If you'd like to, you can create your own newspaper articles with The Newspaper Clipping Generator.  

Thanks for visiting and come back soon!