Blazing Sun

Dawn's Quilting Room
a quilt happy blog


Saturday - March 17, 2018

National Quilting Day - Projects

Today is National Quilting Day. I've also seen it called Worldwide Quilting Day. This is a perfect time to reevaluate those New Year's quilting resolutions. Are you on target?

One thing that helps keep my goals focused is my list from the All People Quilt UFO Challenge. It is never too late to join! The object is to pick 12 unfinished projects, and to finish one project a month. By the end of the year you will have potentially completed 12 projects … a great way to clear space in the sewing room.

I allow myself creativity when it comes to writing my list. Some projects are UFOs. Other items on the list are quilts with deadlines, and even a few new projects. And I also added a knitting project to my list since I don't want to lose sight of it.

So far I am on schedule. My first project is done. Five of us agreed to swap handmade items to celebrate our friendship. I crafted mug rugs for each of them. One friend wrote to say she is hanging hers on the wall.

Candy Box Heart
(Candy Box Heart - Paper Pieced)

I also have three quilts on my list that I am finishing for a quilt show. One is done, and two are in process.

Feels good to check things off the list!


Monday - March 12, 2018

Grand Illusion - UFO

I am determined to finish some lingering projects. This is my Grand Illusion quilt from the Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt 2014 project. Feels good to be working on a UFO!

At the start, I knew that my project would be a wall hanging instead of the larger quilt she designed. I finished the blocks … but then I stalled on the setting. I did not care for (what looked to me) to be a chaotic combination of fabric when the blocks were set with the checkerboard sashing.

Grand Illusion - Suggested Setting
(Suggested setting for the Grand Illusion quilt.)

After much thought (okay, lots of thought since it's been over three years!), I opted to not use the green-and-white checkerboard sashing. Instead, I placed black sashing and aqua blue corner stones between the nine blocks. I really love the look.

Grand Illusion being quilted
(Grand Illusion being quilted.)

Now I am in the process of machine quilting. I am using my domestic Bernina for the job. Can't wait to tick this project off the list.

Hope you are enjoying a great day!


Wednesday - March 7, 2018

Red, White, Blue

Back and forth I go, trying to settle on a color scheme for my Dear Jane quilt. Do I go all scrappy? Keep it to two color groups? Use all one type of material, such as batiks? To help my decision making process, I did an internet search for Dear Jane quilt images. Several color combinations leapt out at me. But one quilt resonated.

Here is my inspiration image:

Inspiration Quilt - Dear Jane
(I could not locate the name of the quiltmaker.)

Red, white and blue. I am going to keep the white fabric consistent in each block. I bought a white-on-white print. The red and blue fabrics will be a scrappy combination.

This is going to be a fun project!


Thursday - March 1, 2018

Pondering Jane

Ready, set, go! Here I come Janiacs (the fond name for Dear Jane Quilt enthusiasts). I feel I'm joining a sisterhood.

Of course, in the back of my mind, I wonder how many people have embarked on this odyssey of sewing 225 different quilt blocks. How many of these quilts have drifted into UFO territory ... unfinished, perhaps (gasp) gathering dust?

I'm not falling into the trap of promising myself I will finish every single block. For one thing, applique is not a favorite technique, and some of these blocks do require applique. Still, never say never. I could reach that magic threshold and actually finish all those blocks. How many years will it take? No, I refuse to do the math. I'm clutching my rotary cutter and ready to leap toward the fabric.

Before starting, though, I did research and prepared myself with useful website material. In case you are also diving into Dear Jane territory, here is some of what I discovered:

Dear Jane: 225 Patterns from the 1863 Jane E. Stickle Quilt
A paperback book several of my friends own.
They are also using the book to keep a journal of their progress.

Dear Jane Quilt Software from Electric Quilt
Quilting friends who use Electric Quilt software have told me they are happy to use this program for the Dear Jane quilt. Our quilt guild even had a demo of this software during a meeting.

Susan Gatewood's website
Susan has the Dear Jane quilt blocks free on her website as paper piece patterns. If you use them, she asks a donation be sent to the Bennington Museum in Vermont. I love paper piecing and have decided to assemble my blocks this way.
(I donated through the museum website.)

Spreadsheet courtesy of
This helpful Excel spreadsheet lists all the blocks and border pieces. I'm glad to have this spreadsheet to keep track of finished blocks. It also tallies how many pieces are in each block. I'm looking forward to seeing the number grow.

Have fun creating!

Dawn's Books

300-Plus Quilting Tips, Tricks & Techniques

The Quilt Guild Companion - For Every Quilter

101 Quilt Challenge Projects & Inspirations

Visit my Facebook & Pinterest pages

Subscribe to receive monthly updates

Coming Soon!


Books by Dawn Lesley Stewart

Harriet's Horrible Hair DayMist-Seer300-Plus Quilting Tips, Tricks & Techniques
The Quilt Guild Companion101 Quilt Challenge Projects & Inspirations 

Copyright 2018 Dawn Lesley Stewart