Wildlife Coloring Class

February 23rd, 2016

Last Friday afternoon was such a special time! I wish more of you could have joined us for the first session of the gathering to color and commence the  embroidery of the Wildlife of Yellowstone National Park Quilt. The blocks I am using in my quilt were colored (yes, with Crayons, like our kids use) by Elizabeth, an artist friend from Ennis, MT. I asked her to give them a light touch so that the quilt would have the feeling of an old book. It was so much fun to learn from Elizabeth all the tricks she used for blending the colors. She took clues from the wonderful watercolor art in the book illustrated by Rose Toth. Elizabeth's instructions on how to color can be found below.


Color Tinting Fabrics for the Yellowstone Wildlife Quilt

Crayons used for the sample quilt (please have fun and experiment). My goal was to match the original artwork as closely as possible. I have the current box of 96 crayon colors. There may be other colors that I used sparingly.

White, applied lightly as a base layer

Black, (be cautious as too much pressure while coloring will deposit a lot of pigment)

Browns; sepia, raw sienna, tumbleweed, brown, tan, burnt orange, burnt sienna, mahogany (used for fox)

Gray, timber wolf, silver (used with moonlight on the wolf block)

Pacific blue, blue, cornflower, cadet blue

Olive green, asparagus, pine green, granny smith apple, yellow green

Yellows; dandelion, goldenrod

Violet, blue violet

I used the internet to find a picture of both the antelope and red fox

All colors and white were lightly applied in a circular motion. This helps to blend color and keep an even value where needed. Darker color values were used for dimension, for example the hind leg on the moose. The artist has skillfully completed this with watercolors in the book. That was a great guide.

Since our crayons won’t match her watercolors think about choosing the predominant shade of the animal. For example pick the predominant brown and then find a brown crayon a shade lighter and one darker to help with shading and depicting the form of your animal. 

When pressing your finished artwork I used a paper towel (like Viva) that wasn’t embossed. I enjoyed seeing the pressed quilt block as the pigments seemed to blend. My coloring was light enough that I did not have much pigment residue on the paper towel.

Have a great time coloring! Remember to de-stress and enjoy the process.

One of the reasons I am so thrilled with the quilt is that it is an original from Quilting in the Country. I think the finished quilt along with the book, Gramma  and Grampa’s Adventures in Yellowstone National Park by my friend Jack Day, will make a wonderful gift for anyone who loves the West—especially Yellowstone National Park. The book was written for young people but is by no means limited to that audience. 

Another reason I’m pleased is with the gathering of people coming together to stitch and enjoy each other’s company.  The enthusiasm and comradery reminded me of the early days of Quilting in the Country when I originally started it in 1992 and we gathered in my home. For this new beginning I made an ice cream dessert and we celebrated being together.

You’re all welcome! If you don’t live in the neighborhood you can start your own group wherever you are.  Just let me know when you would like to start and I’ll get the kits to you in time for your first meeting. The gals at last Friday’s meeting wondered about the cost and how many sessions we would be meeting. My answer was--- there is no charge for the gathering and we’ll meet until the quilt is completely finished---embroidered, pieced and sent off to the quilter! Sound good? You can email me to let me know of your interest or call me at my home 406-587-8213.


Kits are available though we don't have a picture of the final quilt (we can email you a picture once it is finished!). You can order by following this link. The finished quilt is 57" X 64" and costs $134.99. Kits include pattern with 12 line drawings, fabric for stitching (including stabilizing muslin), piecing and binding, Cosmo embroidery thread, two Micron tracing pens and embroidery needle. Also includes the book, "Gramma and Grampa's Adventures in Yellowstone Park".

Plan on making an heirloom for someone really special to you-- an adult or child.  

Here is the recipe for the dessert we enjoyed on a winter afternoon.
Chocolate Crumb Crust:
2 C. (9 oz. pkg.) chocolate wafer cookies, crushed
6 T. unsalted butter, melted
Chocolate Sauce:
7 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 T. vegetable oil
Ice cream Pie:
1 qt. chocolate ice cream
1 qt. peppermint ice cream
1 C. peppermint candy, coarsely chopped.

Preheat oven to 325’. Mix melted butter and cookie crumbs in a 9” spring form pan. Use fingers to press crumbs evenly over the bottom and sides of the pan.  Bake crust for 6 minutes. Cool crust completely.  Meanwhile, allow ice cream to soften in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

In a medium bowl, microwave chocolate chips and vegetable oil until melted; stir until smooth.
Spread softened chocolate ice cream over crumb crust. Sprinkle half of the peppermint candy evenly over ice cream. Drizzle half of chocolate sauce evenly over peppermint candy. Spread softened peppermint ice cream evenly over chocolate coating. Sprinkle remaining candy evenly over peppermint ice cream.  Drizzle remaining chocolate coating in thin, crisscrossing lines over the candy.
Cover pie tightly with plastic wrap, then aluminum foil.  Freeze at least 6 hours or up to 2 weeks. Remove ice cream pie from freezer 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
*You may not be able to purchase peppermint ice cream out of season. Be creative! Pick another flavor you’ve been wanting to try.

I’m closer to getting the garage completely cleared out!  I discovered more items I think you might enjoy purchasing. For several years we chose one book to work from at our staff retreats. We would unbind (is there such a word?) and have pages put together, notebook style, so that each staff member could have the directions for the project they planned to make. These binders are neat because they stay open. You can loan certain pages with directions to a friend. I think they are too good to throw away and who better to use them than you? You may remember the kits we had available. All the projects were very popular and are easy and quick. I think the project I worked on was the only one that required a template and I noticed it is clipped to the pattern page.  One is even autographed by my friend Mary Etherington at Country Threads. Respond quickly—there is only one copy of each book. You can click on the picture of each book to order.

We found another copy of the 2nd Edition. Once again it's used but these are out of print!

This week we did get all the insulation around the garage doors removed and now have new openers for the doors. All that was disengaged 20+ years ago when the garage take-over occurred! It might seem like a small detail but it seems pretty special to us. We had planned to purchase new garage doors too but eventually decided we might enjoy using the $$$’s in different way. Come spring, we’ll repaint the doors the same welcoming red color. I read somewhere, long ago, that the best combination of welcoming visitors to your home is with a red door and red geraniums planted nearby. The person who told me this told me no evil could be lurking at such a place—something about choosing a bride from such a family home!

I’ve noticed that at least one person a day stops by. I think the quilter must be quite disappointed when they read the sign on the door. A couple of ladies did catch me in the very cold garage while readying some kits for the mail. They spotted the Barn Quilt and the kits. They loved the Barn Quilt and said it was so much better in person than the photo they had seen in our e-letter.   Notice! We have a taken a new photo to entice you! I was thinking that this quilt would be really fun to make as a group also. You could personalize it by substituting some of your favorite quilt blocks. The commercial kits from RJR are gorgeous!! I knew they would be nice but think they are much better than “nice”.  Remember when I wrote to you about the meaning over use of the word “nice”?


 Order kit by following this link or clicking on the pictures.


2016 Retreat Dates at Nine Quarter Circle Ranch have been set!   June 12-14 and September 15-18. Prices for the retreat are $399 for two nights and $525 for three nights. Call or email to reserve your spot. 406-487-8213.

Project details to follow. Join us in this beautiful setting in Gallatin Canyon for a three days of delicious food, quilting and wonderful comaraderie.


Olfa Folding Mat

 We introduced these mats before Christmas and we can still order them for you if you would like. 20% OFF! Order by following this link.

Remember Morley? We've ordered more of his patterns and we would like to send one your way. Follow this link to order.

Snow Happy

 We saw this new book from Robin Kingsley of Bird Brain Designs and knew we had to have it and offer it to you. Order by following this link


We have just one "Oh So Sweet"  kit left. The quilt combines beautiful giclee prints and simple embroidery for a wonderful quilt. Get this keepsake now for 50% OFF! Order by following this link




Do you get together with a group to sew charity quilts or other projects? We have found many rotary cutters in our cleaning and wondered if you might like this assortment for a great deal. You can have all four for $14.99. Order with this link.