|Dawn's Quilting Room
a quilt happy blog
Saturday - March 16, 2019
It's Worldwide Quilting Day ... perfect timing for finishing this baby quilt.
Thankfully I didn't attempt trying to make a baby quilt in time for the shower since it would have been in gender-neutral colors. (I didn't receive the shower invitation in time to sew.) For baby shower gifts, I always give a copy of the book I wrote, Harriet's Horrible Hair Day published by Peachtree Publishers. And I include the promise of a baby quilt to follow if I didn't have enough time to make one to bring.
Saturday - February 23, 2019
I volunteer quite a bit in my local quilt guild. I've helped with publicity, hospitality, acted as photographer, worked on the programs committee, conducted mini workshops, organized challenges and block-of-the-month activities, worked in every quilt show, and have managed the guild's website for eleven years.
As a "thank you" to all those who donated items, we include their names on our website for a time, and also list their businesses in the show program. It's a win-win situation for the community: Introducing people to local businesses, and the money we earn flows back into the community through the quilts we make for those in need.
Saturday - January 26, 2019
I finished sewing the two turkey blocks. Yay! (I still need to add eyes and embroidery for the nostrils.)
While regretting the fact that I couldn't feed the fabric birds to make them larger, I pondered ideas of how to make the wall hanging grow. I didn't want to sew more turkey blocks.
Monday - December 31, 2018
Last Call for 2018
Wrapping up another year in the sewing room. I've done a partial purge to make way for new projects. My featherless turkey wall hanging is one project I intend to finish. I've already changed the setting I planned to use, so it feels like a new project.
My last sewing project for the year is a draft-stopper for the front door. I used upholstery fabric remnants to make a large bolster. Since the fabrics are dark colors against a dark entryway rug, it didn't photograph well, so here is a photo of the quilt currently hanging on the inside of my front door. A dear friend made it for me many years ago.
Happy New Year!
Friday - November 30, 2018
It's a Turkey
Life does have a way of throwing curve balls. My goal was to finish a wall hanging for Thanksgiving since I don't have one. I saw this cute paper pieced block of a goofy turkey, and it called to me. So far I have two center panels for two blocks finished. I was about ready to begin sewing feathers on the birds when life side-railed my project for a bit.
Enjoy the holidays!
Friday - October 19, 2018
Organizing Fabric Leftovers
After my quilting marathon of finishing quilts for the quilt show and assorted gifts ... I took one look at what once was a fairly tidy room, and decided to reclaim the space happily littered with colorful fabrics.
Enjoy a wonderful day!
Friday - September 28, 2018
Today I donated 18 knitted hats to a warm clothing charity. It's a good feeling, and they were delighted to receive the variety of hats. Some were solid colors, many two-tone or two-color, and I started experimenting more with stripes.
Enjoy a colorful, creative day!
Saturday - September 15, 2018
Quilt Show this Weekend
Finally! The Marathon Quilters Quilt Show is here. A lot of work by very enthusiastic and talented people have gone into this event.
The show is in Hopkinton, Massachusetts at the Hopkinton Center for the Arts at 98 Hayden Rowe (Route 85). Saturday and Sunday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm.
And I can't resist a close up of my quilt "Fabulous Friends" (below) . A fun project with lots of overlayed applique.
Drop by the show and say "hi"!
Friday - August 31, 2018
My four quilts are done and submitted for the guild quilt show. Over 100 quilts are being displayed! Click here for the show information if you are in Massachusetts on September 15 & 16, 2018.
My method of making a 4-inch quilt sleeve is to cut a piece of fabric a bit longer than the width of the quilt (to accommodate turned under edges). I also cut the fabric 9-inches wide. First I turn under one of the short ends so that it is a finished edge and sew it with a straight stitch. I pin baste the second short edge, and lay the sleeve along the back of the quilt to make sure the width is correct. Once happy with the size, I sew a straight stitch along the short end to create a finished edge. Turn the sleeve so that the right sides are together, and stitch along the long edge using a half-inch seam allowance. Turn the sleeve right side out. I press the seam so that it is centered on the back of the sleeve, and hand-sew to the back of the quilt at the top with the seam-side facing the quilt back.
Saturday - August 25, 2018
Twin Baby Quilts
My neighbor had twin boys. At first I debated whether to make matching quilts, or perhaps quilts that were the same but mirrored designs. Then my need for individual expression butted into the internal discussion. A friend chimed in by helpfully giving me cute alphabet fabric in which the elephants formed the ABCs. Plus, I had fabric that featured work people building houses, which worked well with the truck, and construction-theme prints in my stash.
The boys' mom and dad loved receiving the quilts. They also were pleased they didn't match.
Tuesday - July 31, 2018
Finishing & Beginning
It's been a busy July! I finished binding two baby quilts and have another one in the planning stages. All my guild quilt show entries are complete with labels. I now need to add sleeves for hanging. And a friend challenged me to make a Christmas quilt ... I have a collection of holiday fabrics that I've wanted to sew into a wall hanging. So we are now trying to decide which pattern to make.
Hope everyone is enjoying their creative time!
Sunday - July 8, 2018
A terrific vacation is winding to a close. I want to grab onto time with both hands so that I can stretch the fun. Visiting with friends and family, writing a new novel, baking, gardening, reading, learning a new card game ... and, of course, quilting.
I enjoy free motion quilting. The quilting tool in this photo is one I love to use. It is the Quilt Sew Easy by Heavenly Notions. Make sure the fabric and batting layers are flat, hold onto the "ears" of the Quilt Sew Easy and begin stitching. The hoop-like tool keeps the fabric from shifting during free motion quilting on my domestic machine.
Monday - June 11, 2018
Who Made This?
I am a firm believer in labeling quilts. That way, future generations know who made the quilt and when it was finished. At a minimum, a quilt label should list the maker and the year the quilt was finished. If the quilt has a name, feel free to include it along with any other details you wish to share.
There are all types of ways to create quilt labels. In the above photo, the label at the left is a pre-printed design, and I used a permanent black fabric marker to write on it. The blue border label is also a pre-printed design, and the label at the right with a cat on it is a pre-printed design given to me by a quilting friend. The label at the top of the photo is one I made by using fabrics that appeared on the quilt top. The smallest label (photo center) was designed using a computer and printed on fabric. The darkest label, (bottom center), I machine embroidered. The label featuring the bunny holding a heart is one I made using the main fabric from the quilt top ... This is my newest label and needs to be sewn onto the quilt.
Have fun labeling your quilts!
Saturday - June 2, 2018
Running the Border
The cat once again helped me to wake up early. (Hello, Kitty, it's the weekend; no need to swat me at 5:00 a.m.) Oh well ... since I was wide awake, I cut fabric for borders and sewed them to one of the baby quilts I've been working on. Bird song outside the window and the cat curled near the sewing machine kept me company.
I raided my stash for fun fabrics that worked well in a construction-theme quilt. There are prints featuring trucks, tools, men building a house, road work signs, and I used fabrics resembling wood, brick, and concrete. Next step is to iron the quilt top, select a backing, and layer it. Then off to the sewing machine to quilt it.
Enjoy a wonderful, creative day!
I enjoyed a terrific time at a quilting retreat. A great weekend of dedicated sewing. One of my friends was working on her project for our guild's version of the Kona Challenge. She utilized the Creative Grids Pineapple Mini Trim Tool to create roses using Kona cottons.
This pineapple ruler allowed her to cut and sew blocks with precision and minimal fabric waste. It took her one day to create a gorgeous wall hanging depicting a modern style rose garden.
I'm inspired by her fun and creative twist to this block!
Saturday - May 19, 2018
Stitch One ... Stitch Two
It seems lately I've spent most of my sewing hours binding quilts. I am currently hand sewing the binding on the fourth and last quilt entry for our guild quilt show.
Sometimes it is the little things in life that bring happiness!
Monday - April 30, 2018
This past weekend, Our quilt guild met for an open sew. We brought our sewing machines, supplies and enthusiasm. I also baked a loaf of pumpkin-blueberry bread to share.
A few of us also worked on our own projects. A friend delivered twin boys, so I began assembling one of two baby quilts. I cut the fabric and started sewing nine-patch blocks, which form part of the design.
I'll sew more bookmarks at home using some of my fun prints. Click here for info about our quilt show.
Saturday - April 21, 2018
Closer to Done
Last night I finished hand sewing the binding on my Grand Illusion quilt. So this morning, I visited the sewing machine to stitch the binding on the Simply Colorful Sampler quilt. This is the last quilt I need to finish for our guild quilt show in September.
I debated with myself, and finally decided a free-motion meandering pattern worked best for this quilt. I used a medium gray thread.
The weather is finally more spring-like today, so I'm off to do a bit of yard work before going with a friend to a craft show.
Enjoy a terrific day!
Tuesday - April 10, 2018
Dear Jane A-01
My biggest obstacle to this Dear Jane block was myself. I'm not sure what happened to my usual sewing finesse, but it was vacationing when I attempted to sew the corner triangle sections of this block. Three times in a row, I incorrectly sewed the fabric to the paper pieced pattern. This is a relatively easy block to sew, too.
Monday - April 2, 2018
Seam Ripper Woes
The other day I exercised the seam ripper. I sewed a portion of a Dear Jane block three times ... and three times incorrectly sewed the pieces together. At least I was original and sewed the pieces uniquely wrong each time. No duplicating mistakes for me!
After the third time, I slowly backed away from the sewing machine. Sometimes you have to bow to fate and take a few deep breaths before returning to a problem project.
Sunday - March 25, 2018
I followed the sage advice of: When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. And it's delicious!
What could have been a miserable few days regretting a cancelled retreat transformed into several excellent days of playing with fabric and enjoying the company of friends through 21st century magic.
Wishing you a creative day!
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?
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.
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.
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.
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:
(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.
Thursday - March 1, 2018
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
Dear Jane Quilt Software from Electric Quilt
Susan Gatewood's website
Spreadsheet courtesy of Janiac.com
Have fun creating!
2018 Dawn Lesley Stewart