Dawn's Quilting Room
a quilt happy blog

Sunday - July 14, 2024

Handbag Finished

This was a fun project to sew! So happy with how the handbag turned out.

I have a zipper pull to add to the zipper. I just need to locate it. Why do things vanish when you want them?

(Great handbag project. The fusible foam adds excellent support.)

I found the fusible foam easy to work with. For me, the most challenging part was the zipper tabs (a piece of fabric is sewn to each end of the zipper). Just a tiny bit of the zipper tab is visible on my bag, so I need to work on the technique for the next bag.

(Construction: Pockets sewn to lining; handles sewn to bag body.)

I'm going to make a second bag in an autumn print. Tiffany says she can whip one of these bags out in an hour and a half. She has also sewed many of them, and she is a seriously fast sewer. Once I had all the pieces cut and interfaced, it took me about a half day to sew the bag. I'm sure the second one will go together more quickly now that I'm familiar with the process.

Looking forward to sorting through my autumn-themed fabrics!



Wednesday - July 10, 2024

Working on the Handbag

One of the YouTube quilting channels I love to watch is Tiffany's Quilting Life. She primarily works on quilts (and is super speedy!). Occasionally she dives into other projects. I stumbled across an older video where she demoed making a handbag. I fell in love with the bag's shape and size.

The bag is called the "Tiffy Bag Size 2". Dimensions are 14" wide at the top and tapering to 9" wide at the bottom, stands 10" tall, and is 6" wide (front to back).If you are curious, the Size One bag is smaller, more of a cosmetic size.

The YouTube link is: Tiffy Bag Size 2. If you click on the "More" button in the description, Tiffany includes the fabric requirements and cutting instructions. She demos how to create the template for the bag's body (easy to make). The other cutting instructions are for the bag handles, interior pockets, and zipper tabs.

Tiffy Bag Size 2 - straps and pockets
(The two straps and two interior pockets, cut and pressed.)

I did make a few adjustments to the design. A) I wanted the straps longer so that the bag would easily hang from my shoulder. I cut them 33" long, and kept the same width. B) Tiffany has two interior pockets: one is divided into two equal size sections, the other has a larger section and a pen holder area. I didn't want the pen holder, so I created two of the other pockets. C) Tiffany uses two different fabrics for the body of her handbag. I chose to keep it simple and use one fabric that I loved. D) I opted not to quilt through the foam/bag body since I did not want the quilted look.

All of the cut fabric pieces are prepped with interfacing and fusible foam as instructed. Tiffany did say that the foam lends more body to the bag, but if you prefer not to use foam, she suggests some alternative interfacing solutions.

Can't wait to begin sewing!



Saturday - July 6, 2024

Houses and Puzzles

I started sewing early today. My goal is to catch up on sewing houses for the temperature quilt. I'm almost current and happy to see the colors beginning to shift as the temperatures warm. It's fun to see the different fabrics in the houses.

Temperature Quilt - Six more houses www.dlstewart.com
(Six more houses in the neighborhood.)

And I'm ready to place the last piece in the jigsaw puzzle I'm working on. The crafting/sewing puzzle themes are fun. In case you are interested, I use the Jigsaw Collection HD app by Veraxen on my iPad. They offer a free puzzle each day with free access to the older puzzles. There are a wide variety of topics and images (architecture, landscapes, pets, floral, food). The app plays a short ad when opening a puzzle, but there are no ads while working on the puzzles. You can also choose how many pieces are in the jigsaw.

Jigsaw Puzzle with sewing theme
(One puzzle piece left to place!)

I kept the wooden spools from my grandmother's and mother's sewing boxes. The look of the spools is so different from the plastic ones we use today. I also have a few buttons that are almost identical to the one's in this puzzle.

Time to return to the sewing machine. Enjoy the day!



Tuesday - June 25, 2024

Another Hat Done

I must be anticipating the Fourth of July weekend. I hadn't realized I subconsciously selected Americana colors for my latest hat.

During my knitting group meeting at the library, a stranger walked into the room and placed a bag filled with skeins of yarn on the table. They had been given to her, and since she didn't use that kind of yarn, she brought the bounty to us. I adopted a skein of pretty variegated yarn in autumn colors: rust, brown, dark green and gold. Can't wait to use it for the next hat.

Knitted Hat in red and blue www.dlstewart.com
(Loom knitted hat with a patriotic vibe.)

Hope you are having some creative fun!



Thursday - June 20, 2024

Border Love

I've been seeing stars! It always pleases me when a project comes together ... especially if it's been a challenge every step of the way. This began as The Mystery Star Sampler sew along offered by The Jelly Roll Club.

I decided to focus on three of the star patterns:
Friendship Star (6-inch blocks: quantity 6)
Twinkle Star (6-inch blocks: quantity 6)
Variable Star with a 9-Patch Center (12-inch blocks: quantity 6)

Mystery Stars Quilt 2024 www.dlstewart.com
(The border really frames this quilt well.)

Don't be afraid to switch-up a project if it's not working for you. And sometimes veering from the intended design works even better. You never know until you experiment.

This quilt chewed through my rose and teal fabrics. I have some small pieces left, but no real yardage. Some fabrics I completely used and even had to piece scraps together to eke out enough to finish the blocks. (I thought I had more of these colors for this project, but was surprised to see my stash wasn't as bountiful in these colors as I thought.)

Looking at my project list, I see I need to catch up on the houses I'm sewing for the temperature quilt. I also cut out and started prepping pieces for a handbag. The pattern calls for fusible foam, which I've never used before, so this will be something fun to play with.

Stay cool! The temperature here in Massachusetts will flirt with the high 90's today with a "feel like" temperature of 103F. Remember to hydrate!



Wednesday - May 29, 2024

The Stars Shine Bright

Have you ever worked on a project that fought you every step? This star quilt is one of those projects. Every time a problem happened, I calmly placed my sewing to one side, took a step back, and did something else for a while. Well, the end is finally in sight!

Mystery Stars Quilt www.dlstewart.com
(The star blocks are finished. Next, sewing them together.)

This is the Mystery Star Sampler sew along quilt that I began working on months ago. First, I thought the sampler blocks would have a paper piecing option. (Not sure why I leapt to that conclusion.). Then as the blocks were revealed, I decided I didn't like some of them. So I opted for Plan B and examined the sampler blocks already posted and picked the few I liked best and converted them to the paper piecing technique. Once I decided to change the block layout, I also decided to change the quilt size ... so Plan C. I reduced the size of the quilt (60x66 inches) to a smaller 36x36 inches.

The next setback was that the large piece of teal fabric I selected for half of the stars went missing. I still haven't found it. Over to Plan D: Use an assortment of teal fabrics for a scrappy vibe. Which went well with Plan E because I didn't have the assortment of rose fabrics I thought I had, so an even scrapper look evolved as I mixed and matched rose fabric bits and pieces. (I tried to keep the fabrics as tone-on-tone as possible for a harmonious blending of color.)

Then I began running out of the neutral background fabric. Plan F included scrounging every fabric scrap and sewing a few together to make larger pieces. I barely had enough to finish the star blocks. Two small pieces measuring about 2x4 inches remain. And since there is no more neutral fabric, the first border I had planned around the quilt can't happen. Plan G involves scouting out alternate border solutions.

And there were the unusual (for me) missteps while sewing the blocks. The one that had me almost knocking my head against the sewing table was when I trimmed a block and accidentally cut off the piece I had just sewn on. And, of course, that chopped piece involved precious neutral background fabric.

But ever the optimist, I see a bright side. This quilt, with its many evolutions, looks better than the one I initially envisioned.

Enjoy a terrific day!



Wednesday - May 22, 2024

Loving This Color Combo

I wasn't sure what to expect from this multicolor yarn "cupcake", color Mango Tango by Caron. I picked the yarn up at a local craft swap. It was a fun event sponsored by the public library. People donated crafting materials they no longer wanted (everything from yarn and fabric to card making supplies to sewing notions and craft kits). The library chose a day for people to browse and select items ... no charge either. Such a fun event!

I combined this multicolor yarn with a 3-ply gold yarn. I used a round 48-peg knitting loom. There were two of the same color "cupcakes", and I only used part of one skein for this hat. I'm curious to combine this multicolor yarn with a different solid color to make another hat to see how different the two hats look.

Loom knitted hat. www.dlstewart.com
(Finished. Adult hat knitted on a loom.)

I'm really happy with how the two different yarns worked together. The multicolor yarn is thinner than the 3-ply yarn I usually use. So the knitted stitches are a bit looser than the other hats I've made, but the hat looks great. The Caron multicolor yarn is so soft! Someone will love this donated hat.

Hope the day is smiling for you!



Saturday - May 4, 2024

I Did It Again

I need to stop joining sew- and quilt-alongs. Just kidding! I love exploring patterns and ideas I normally would not do. Some of them are out of my comfort zone (good to stretch those creative muscles), and other projects are too cute or fun to resist.

My latest venture is the Back to Nature foundation paper-piecing quilt along. It is running through June 17, with a new pattern delivered for free via email each Friday. It's okay to join now since the block patterns are also being posted online while the event is happening.

Back to Nature Quilt Along
(A sample of the quilt with low volume background.)

I love paper piecing and have been using the technique for years. I notice that quilters are diving into the Legit Kit paper piecing experience. Those designs are gorgeous! Here is a link to the Giraffe Kit on Amazon if you want to check it out. I've also found several quilters on YouTube who have constructed the Legit Kits in videos if you enjoy virtual companions to sew with (and they offer sewing tips along the way).

Much as I love the Legit Kit designs, the kits are pricey ... but they do include the pattern, detailed instructions, and the fabric for the quilt top. Project size is also a consideration for me. The Giraffe Legit Kit finishes at 60x80 inches.

The Back To Nature quilt along is a nice compromise. There are nine different quilt patterns. The blocks finish at 6-inches. A nice bonus is that the patterns are free, and I can pull fabric from my stash.

I wonder which block is your favorite. I love the snail!



Wednesday - April 24, 2024

Seeing Stars

I switched gears and returned to working on the Mystery Star Sampler sew along. I finished three of the six Twinkle Star blocks. The pattern shows the stars in two colors, but I am keeping these 6-inch stars in either rose or teal.

Star blocks for Mystery Star quilt www.dlstewart.com
(Three out of six stars completed.)

I started sewing the larger 12-inch blocks and decided I wasn't in love with the block patterns (now that many have been revealed). So I've reduced the size of this quilt and am limiting the number of stars I am sewing. There will be twelve stars that finish to 6-inches, and six stars finishing at 12-inches. They will be in a staggered layout.

At this point, all six of the Friendship Star blocks are sewn. I need to sew three more of the Twinkle Star blocks, and five of the 12-inch star blocks.

Did you see the full moon last night? Gorgeous!



Wednesday - April 10, 2024

A New Pincushion

I was itching to test drive the new Jazz II sewing machine. I decided the machine deserved a new dedicated pincushion. I searched the internet for patterns ... so many fun pincushions out there!

Then I saw the Perfectly Pieced Pincushion tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Company on YouTube. I really liked the rectangular shape of the pincushion. Plus it has a fabric tab along the front that is designed to hold Sewing Clips. I really like that added feature. This was a quick, fun project.

Perfect Pincushion www.dlstewart.com
(Easy to make ... pincushion with clip strip.)

I decided to make four pincushions; some for gifts. To make the four pincushions: The center rectangle is strip-pieced using four 5-inch charm squares. I chose two different prints. Then the center section is framed; I selected a teal print. Fusible fleece is adhered to the back of the top piece, and the top is quilted. I cut the pincushion bottom from the same teal fabric. Another two charm squares are needed for the tab that extends from the side, and the tab also has a piece of fusible fleece inside it. Once the top and bottom are sewed together, print sides of the fabric facing each other (with the tab facing inside), invert the pincushion. Add a bit of Poly-fil (for body; but not to stuff the pincushion); and I completed the stuffing with Poly Pellets (a weighted poly bead). Then I hand-stitched the opening closed.

Here are links to the materials on Amazon if you are interested:
Poly Pellets
Fusible Fleece
Poly-fil Fiber Fill
Sewing Clips
Sewing Ruler
Fiskars Micro-Tip Scissors

The fabric is from my stash

Four pincushions www.dlstewart.com
(Great for gift giving!)

I'm keeping the pincushion with the pins in it. I am going to attach Sewing Clips to the other pincushions and give them as gifts to fellow quilters. And one of them is going to a friend who shared some of her Poly-fil with me since these pincushions didn't need much, and I didn't have any.

Enjoy time creating!



Monday - April 1, 2024

I Surprised Myself

Not an April Fool's Day joke ... I bought a new sewing machine! I've been eyeing the Baby Lock Jazz II sewing machine for over a year. A friend has one and loves it. The $1,399 price tag was daunting though. But I really wanted the longer 12-inch throat space for easier machine quilting. (A nice compromise since I did not want a longarm machine.) And then the Jazz II went on sale!

Baby Lock Jazz II sewing machine
(Shipping this week - Baby Lock Jazz II.)

I discovered the Baby Lock Jazz II on sale at several stores. I compared the different sites and their sales incentives. Sewing Machines Plus was offering the Jazz II at about half price, plus I had an additional ten percent coupon. The site also offered a free package of 12 sewing feet, and a walking foot was included in that special bundle (the walking foot alone retails for $60). And Sewing Machines Plus had free shipping.

When I phoned the store to ask some questions about the machine, they were knowledgeable. Sewing Machines Plus said that they recommended size 110/18 sewing machine needles to reduce thread breakage during free motion quilting. They also shared info not in the manual -- After finishing the free motion quilting, in order to raise the lowered feed dogs, follow these steps: 1) Raise the presser foot, 2) Turn the hand crank three times toward you, 3) You will hear a click, 4) Slide the feed dog lever at the back of the machine to raise the feed dogs.

My last major sewing machine purchase was my Bernina in the 1980's. I love that machine and plan to keep using it. Very excited to welcome the new Jazz II to my sewing room. Can't wait to quilt with it.

Do something special for yourself!



Wednesday - March 20, 2024

New Clip Art Designs

If you are interested in quilt block clipart, I just posted new clip art designs on my website. The images are available as free downloads for personal use. My gift. https://dlstewart.com/clipart.htm

Free Quilt Block Clipart images at www.dlstewart.com
(Sample of the clip art images I created.)

I enjoy creating the clip art and sharing it. If you wonder how to use clip art images, here is a helpful suggestion list. https://dlstewart.com/using_clipart.htm

Enjoy a terrific day!



Sunday - March 10, 2024

Nine Houses and Counting

My temperature quilt is progressing. This morning I sewed two more house blocks, and now have nine of them. As you can see, with our New England winter temperatures, blue is so far the dominant color. But the temperatures are gradually warming. Looking forward to a color shift.

Nine House Blocks - Temperature Quilt www.dlstewart.com
(The neighborhood is growing.)

It's a dark day here for photography, even with the lighting I have at hand. The "sky" fabric is a mottled green to mimic leafy trees. The ground is a brown print. All fabrics for this project are from my stash.

Each house represents a week of temperatures. I record the temperatures for each day, and then take an average of the high and lows for each week. The roof and door show the high temperature, and the house body is the low temperature.

Hope you are working on a fun project!



Tuesday - March 5, 2024

Borders or Just Binding?

Love this Petit Four wall hanging! Thank you to the Fat Quarter Shop for hosting this quilt along event.

I decided not to sew the Sparkle Star blocks for the backing. I may add a fun element and label to a quilt back, but I'm not one to piece essentially a second quilt top to place on the back of a quilt. I would do it if the quilt was hanging in an open area where both quilt sides could be seen. But this quilt will hang against the wall.

Undecided whether to add borders or just finish the quilt with binding. I raided my stash for all the fabrics. So I dipped in the stash again for some options.

Petit Four Quilt - Auditioning Binding www.dlstewart.com

The dark blue fabric at the bottom is the same fabric as used in the center block above it. I've been staring at this for over a day and am leaning toward no borders and using the top dark blue fabric to bind the quilt.

If you are interested in sewing the paper pieced Sparkle Star block, the foundation paper is available at the Fat Quarter Shop and Amazon. Amazon sells the foundation paper for the 6" block and 12" block sizes.

Enjoy a fantastic day!



Friday - February 23, 2024

Snail Trail Blocks

The Snail Trail is one of my favorite quilt blocks. I once sewed a giant Snail Trail block as a baby quilt in blue and yellow fabrics and gave it as a gift. This time I sewed 12 Snail Trail blocks that measure 4 1/2 inches unfinished. These blocks complete all the blocks I need for the Petit Four Quilt Along quilt top. Guess what I'm sewing together this weekend!

Snail Trail quilt blocks www.dlstewart.com
(Twelve Snail Trail Quilt Blocks.)

All the blocks in this quilt are paper pieced. The Fat Quarter Shop sells the foundation paper for the Snail Trail block in two sizes: 12-inch blocks and 6-inch blocks.

The Snail Trail block goes together a bit differently than the other paper pieced blocks. The center of each block is a small four-patch square. The four patch is sewn first and centered on the foundation paper. I carefully centered and aligned the four-patch piece and used four pins to anchor it in place. Then I was able to add the remaining fabrics in the typical paper piecing style. The blocks were surprisingly quick for me to sew.

I press and trim the blocks as I go using a wooden pressing roller and rotary cutter on a small cutting mat beside my sewing machine. I also have a bag nearby to hold all the scrap trimmings.

Recycle/Reuse - Instant Scrap Bag
(Recycle/Reuse - Instant Scrap Bag.)

This is a 15.77 ounce Ghirardelli Premium Assorted Chocolate Squares bag with the top cut off. I treated myself during the holidays, and when the chocolates were gone, I thought the metallic gold candy bag would make a glitzy scrap container. The flat bottom sits well on the sewing table, and one side of the bag has a clear window so I have a quick glance to see how full the bag is with scraps. The wide opening at the top makes for easy emptying too. I love it when I can reuse or upcycle items.

Enjoy a fantastic day!



Thursday - February 15, 2024

Another Knitted Hat

So glad I discovered loom knitting. I started another hat. The brim is done, and I'm now working on the body of the hat. I selected a bright yellow yarn and paired it with a butterscotch color. The butterscotch tones down the very bright yellow. Love how this hat is turning out.

The supplies I'm using:
Ergonomic Loom Knitting Hook
Stitch Counter
48-peg Knitting Loom (I don't see my exact loom listed)
The yarn is from my yarn collection

Loom Knitting a Hat www.dlstewart.com
(Hat on the loom.)

In case you are wondering: For an adult hat, I knit 12 rows, and fold the rows in half for the brim. Then I knit another 30 rows. When done, I sew the top of the hat closed. I opt not to add a pompom since these hats are donated, and I don't know who will be wearing them. (Here is a link to detailed instructions from Loom A Hat for loom knitting a basic hat.)

Stay crafty happy!



Wednesday - January 24, 2024

Almost There

I finished sewing the eight Pineapple Log Cabin blocks for the Petit Four Quilt Along. (Amazon link to the Pineapple Log Cabin foundation paper 6-inch size block. Or if you prefer a larger block, the 12-inch size.) For me, each one took about an hour to sew. Love the precise, sharp corners. These blocks look great. Next up are the Snail Trail blocks.

Pineapple Log Cabin blocks paper-pieced www.dlstewart.com
(Eight Pineapple Log Cabin Blocks.)

Want a sneak peak of how this quilt is looking? Here is a photo of all the blocks I've assembled. Only the Snail Trail blocks are missing. This quilt is looking beautiful. So glad I joined this quilt along!

Petit Four quilt - partial layout www.dlstewart.com
(Partial Layout of the Petit Four Quilt.)

A few paper piecing tips in case you need them:

1. Take a ruler with a slanted edge, and lay it along the printed lines on the foundation paper. Fold the paper against the ruler, creasing the paper. Having each line on the foundation paper creased makes it easier to line up the fabric as it is sewn.

2. If the block has lots of pieces, and you need to stop in the middle of construction, circle the number you need to sew next. It's a good visual reminder of where you left off. For instance, if the block is numbered 1 through 22, and you stop sewing after adding piece number 11, circle the number 12 to remind you where to start when you return.

3. I keep a wooden presser bar on my work area. After every seam I sew, I trim the seam allowance, fold open the fabric, and then press the fabric pieces along the seam line (on the right side) using the wooden presser bar. I have two different styles I use (here are examples): flat wooden pressing bar and a wooden pressing roller. Both styles work well.

4. A simple thing, but always use a shorter stitch length when paper piecing. Such an easy thing to forget to check! The shorter stitch length makes it easier to remove the foundation paper once the block is completely sewn.

Enjoy a wonderful day!



Friday - January 19, 2024

Brrrrr ... Where's the Heat?

It's cold outside with more snow expected this afternoon. I'm keeping up with the temperature quilt. Here is a photo of my first two house blocks. The unfinished blocks measure 4 1/2 inches square. The blocks are paper pieced with the roof and door representing the average high temperature of the week, and the house body shows the average low temperature from the week. One of my friends is crocheting a temperature afghan. This is a photo of one of the granny squares she crocheted. Her squares are about the same size as my house block. She is crocheting one square for each day in the year.

Temperature Quilt and Afghan www.dlstewart.com

I've also been playing with yarn. I have two finished hats for January so far. This is the latest hat, done in two shades of heather blue. I've already started hat number three, using a variegated green and white yarn paired with a beautiful mint green yarn.

Loom knitted hat made by Dawn Stewart www.dlstewart.com

Stay cozy!



Friday - January 12, 2024

Quilting YouTube Channels

While I am sewing, I love to watch YouTube videos of others quilting. If the YouTube channel is doing a live broadcast, it's even better. It feels as though I'm at a quilting retreat. People chat in the comments as well as the show host keeps up engaging commentary. Often useful tips are shared while the host is working on a project. It's also fun to see new products and fabric lines and how they are being used.

Here are some of the YouTube quilting channels I follow (in no particular order):

Sew Becca - Becca often does live streams. She works on a variety of quilting projects, including intricate paper-pieced quilts.

Power Tools with Thread
- Live each day (Monday through Friday) beginning at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time. If you miss the live event, the program is recorded. Becky excels at quilting and machine embroidery. She is very knowledgeable.

Off Kilter Crafter Ian
- He is a quilter with a quirky sense of humor. Ian embraces the learning process while sewing. He's made bags to quilts, including challenge and mystery quilts.

The Fat Quarter Shop - Kimberly always works on interesting projects and quilts. She also hosts quilt-along events.

Jelly Roll Club - As the name implies, the quilts feature jelly roll fabrics. Ivonne offers quilt-alongs and detailed sewing instruction.

The Questioning Quilter - Brita is a master of Disappearing Quilt Blocks. Her videos are short and pack a ton of info in an easy-to-understand format.

Brita Nelson - The Questioning Quilter - Piece 'O Candy Quilt
(Piece 'O Candy - Disappearing Quilt Blocks by Brita Nelson.)

I love the scrappy version of this Piece 'O Candy quilt. It is on my To-Do List. I watched Brita demo this on YouTube. If you subscribe to her free email newsletter, each issue contains a new Disappearing Block pattern. She includes step-by-step instructions with photos as well as different colorways for construction.

Have fun quilting!



Monday - January 8, 2024

The Stars are Shining

I finished sewing the first three stars for the Mystery Stars Sew-Along. Every other week, a YouTube video is posted where assembly of the that week's stars is demonstrated. The next star being released is the Blazing Star as well as two more mini-star blocks.

In case you are interested, here are links to the first set of videos.
Friendship Star blocks (6-inch finished size)
Variable Star block (12-inch finished size)

Star blocks assembled by Dawn Stewart www.dlstewart.com
(Friendship and Variable Star blocks.)

And ... would you believe that the day I posted the photo of the finished lion baby quilt that the baby was born the same day! A boy with a full head of hair. He arrived early, eager to take on the world.

Enjoy a beautiful day!



Saturday - January 6, 2024

The Lion is Roaring

WhoooHoo ... the baby quilt is finished. I love the way it turned out. The mom-to-be will like the playful lion print. Unfortunately, the baby shower was canceled since mom-to-be is delivering early. Can't wait to meet the little one!

Lion Baby Quilt by Dawn Stewart www.dlstewart.com
(My first finished quilt in 2024.)

A snow storm is moving my way, due today and will last all day tomorrow. Good thing I have lots of projects to tackle. First up is to sew the two Friendship Stars and the Variable Star blocks in the Mystery Stars Sew-Along quilt. Then I'm sewing the eight Pineapple Log Cabin blocks for the Petit Four Quilt Along. I also want to make the first house block in the temperature quilt. (I am taking the average temperature for the week so that the quilt will consist of 52 houses rather than 366 blocks - it's a leap year).

I'm excited to sew and am wearing the t-shirt my family gave me for Christmas. They know I enjoy my time playing with fabric. I love this shirt! If you are interested, the t-shirt came from Amazon: Cats I'm OK Quilting T-Shirt!

(Love this kitty. Such a fun shirt!)

Hope you enjoy the day doing something you love!



Monday - January 1, 2024

Let the New Year Begin!

I'm already immersing myself in quilting projects.

My fabrics are selected for the Mystery Stars Sew-Along sponsored by the Jelly Roll Club. I'm working with a teal and rose palette and going for a scrappy look. Last night I watched the intro video on YouTube, and tonight I viewed the second installment. First the quilt layout was discussed, and so far two different Stars demonstrated: Friendship Star and the Variable Star blocks. I'm really looking forward to seeing this quilt come together.

Today was a multimedia day for me. I viewed live on YouTube Rob Appell and Tiffany Hayes as they constructed their 2024 New Year's Day Mystery Quilt. My intent was to sew along with them, but I didn't have time to do the prep work, so I opted to watch the fun while hand sewing binding onto the baby quilt that I need to finish for a baby shower. I saved the instruction handout for later. I must say that Tiffany's colorway using batiks is gorgeous. During their breaks, I downloaded the Merry Mayhem Mystery Quilt instructions as they were released. I knew I wouldn't be able to sew with Merry Mayhem, but had fun peaking at their progress. Of course, I also had to watch several New Year's parades on television while sewing. Sound was muted during the YouTube events. Love the parades!

I'm moving forward on the baby quilt. In the homestretch now. I woke up early and started hand sewing the binding. So happy with how this quilt is turning out.

Lion baby quilt by Dawn Stewart www.dlstewart.com
(The baby quilt is almost done. Sewing on the binding.)

I spoke with my friend who challenged me to make a temperature quilt while she crochets one. She has her yarn picked out and has crocheted a sample block to test for size. I decided to sew 4-inch finished paper-pieced houses for my quilt. I printed all the patterns and am ready to rumble.

Have fun creating!



Friday - December 29, 2023

Looking Ahead - 2024 Projects

I cannot wait to dive into the fun projects on my list for 2024.

Online quilt-alongs are so much fun that I've been on the prowl for new online adventures. The Petit Four Quilt Along by The Fat Quarter Shop continues, ending in April. Next up are sewing the Pineapple Log Cabin blocks.

I've also enrolled in the 2024 New Year's Day Mystery Quilt Along through the Stitchin Heaven website. There are two colorways to follow: Rob Appell is using patriotic red, white and blue fabrics while Tiffany Hayes is using blue, pink and black batik fabrics. I opted to join Team Rob and use fabrics from my stash.

Also on New Year's Day is the Merry Mayhem One-Day Online Mystery Quilt-Along. During January 1st, they release the steps, one each hour. There is a Facebook group to join to chat and share progress. Since I am participating in the Stitchin Heaven event on New Year's day, I plan to download the steps for this mystery quilt so that I can make it later. The website is keeping the instructions for the quilt posted for free until the end of January 3, then they will charge for the pattern. Currently, the fabric selection and pre-assembly steps are posted: Part One and Part Two.

The Heart of the Home Quilt Along announced from All People Quilt begins on February 29 (2024 is a leap year), ending in April. This one also features log cabin blocks, but the blocks have pictures in their centers. There are not many details posted yet, but it sounded like a fun twist by Sherri McConnell and sponsored by Electric Quilt.

And if that wasn't enough to keep me busy, I am participating in the Mystery Stars Sew-Along from the Jelly Roll Club. This is a longer event, running from January 1 to October 6. There are live-stream events scheduled throughout the year. The first one is on December 31 at 6:00 pm Eastern time. The quilt layout shows an array of staggered star blocks in different sizes, but the star blocks themselves are not revealed. The Getting Started Handout is posted.

All of the Quilt Alongs are free, and I'm busting my stash to join the fun (though most of the Quilt Alongs offer kits for sale if you prefer).

A friend challenged me to make a Temperature Quilt for 2024. I am going to quilt one, and she is going to crochet one. Bella Rose has a fun idea to use House blocks: the roof and door would be the daily temperature "high", and the house body the daily temperature "low". I can use paper piecing for the houses, too. My current plan is to take a weekly temperature average, and construct one block for each week (52 blocks), and add blocks of seasonal trees to separate the months.

(A sample of the Temperature Quilt from Bella Rose.)

Plus, as time permits, I want to continue working on my Dear Jane quilt. I've hardly made a dent in the number of blocks needed. And I must save time for the summer challenge quilt offered by my quilt guild. And ... I want to sew some of the projects from the 2023 Missouri Star Christmas Box.

Wishing you a very happy and creative New Year!


Dawn's Books

300-Plus Quilting Tips, Tricks & Techniques

The Quilt Guild Companion - For Every Quilter

101 Quilt Challenge Projects & Inspirations

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Books by Dawn Lesley Stewart

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

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