Dawn's Quilting Room
a quilt happy blog

Wednesday - November 29, 2023

Step 3: Log Cabin Block

Continuing with the Petit Four Quilt Along ... I finished sewing the twelve log cabin blocks. I'm really pleased with how they turned out. Paper piecing the blocks gives such accuracy and sharp edges. (Amazon link to the Log Cabin foundation papers for a 12-inch size block. I don't see another size listed.)

Log Cabin blocks paper pieced www.dlstewart.com

(Continuing with blue & white fabrics - 12 log cabin blocks.)

One of my first quilts was a log cabin design. I attended one of Eleanor Burns' demonstrations many years ago when she first introduced her quick-quilting techniques. I even have an autographed copy of her book, "Quilt-in-a-Day Log Cabin". I convinced my mother, who had sewed but never quilted, to go with me. What a fun day together, and we both made a log cabin quilt top the next day.

I admit that my fingers are itching to open the Jenny's Countdown to Christmas Celebration box. It's been tempting me for about a month now! Friday...I can wait until Friday...then I can open gift number 1.

Wishing you a terrific day!



Friday - November 17, 2023

A Different Look - Baby Quilt

I finished the quilt top for the second baby quilt. During the summer, I made the first baby quilt. Both are "I Spy" quilts. Both use similar but not identical fussy-cut picture blocks and the same purple corner stone fabric. The only big difference is the color sashing and border.

I Spy baby quilt top by Dawn Stewart www.dlstewart.com

(I Spy baby quilt with green-blue borders and purple cornerposts.)

The first quilt is pictured in my August 20 blog post (scroll down). Amazing how just one fabric change can alter the appearance of a quilt. I like both versions. And each quilt's colors are an ideal match for the loving grandmother and mom.

I also wrote a note for each quilt explaining how the quilts can be used as teaching and storytelling tools. For example, how many cats can you find? Or what things can you find that belong in winter? Or tell a story using images from the quilt.

The temperature is lovely today in Massachusetts, and I have ingredients ready to bake pumpkin-blueberry bread tomorrow when rain is suppose to move in. A cozy activity for a rainy day ... with quilting included, of course.

Enjoy the weekend!



Thursday - November 9, 2023

Step 2: Economy Block

I'm caught up now that I have the Economy Blocks sewn for the Petit Four Quilt Along. (Amazon link to the Economy foundation paper 6-inch size block.)

This set of blocks went together faster. Not sure if it was because I was in the paper-piecing groove, or if the blocks had fewer pieces. Maybe a combo! The block with the darker blue fabric is part of the center piece of the quilt. The other blocks will be placed elsewhere in the design.

Economy Quilt Block sewn by Dawn Stewart www.dlstewart.com

(Nine Economy Quilt Blocks.)

I'm enjoying sewing these blocks. Easy to do.

Now that I'm caught up with the Petit Four Quilt Along for the moment, I'm focusing on finishing a baby quilt. I cut out the sashing and corner stones early this morning and have half the sashing sewn in place. When you wake up at 4:30 a.m. and can't lull yourself back to sleep, playing with fabric is a temptation!

May your creativity sparkle!



Saturday - November 4, 2023

Step 1: Courthouse Steps Block

I finished sewing the Log Cabin Courthouse Steps blocks. If you are following along with this Petit Four pattern, the Fat Quarter Shop has posted the paper piecing of these blocks on YouTube. I love the paper piecing technique and found it simple to sew the blocks. (Amazon link to the Courthouse Steps foundation paper 6-inch size block.)

One thing I found helpful was to mark on the paper pattern which "logs" were blue fabrics and which were white fabrics. It's easy to grab a wrong fabric by accident.

Log Cabin Courthouse Step blocks by Dawn Stewart www.dlstewart.com

(Eight Log Cabin Courthouse Steps Blocks.)

It took me about a half hour to complete each block. I'd cut a piece of fabric, lay it on the pattern (using a lightbox if I needed to verify fabric placement), and then sew along the seam line using a shorter stitch length than usual. The shorter stitch length makes more perforations for easier tearing away of the paper backing. Once the seam is sewn, I trim the seam to a quarter-inch, being careful not to cut the paper pattern. Then I use a wooden pressing bar to "iron" the piece flat before sewing on the next fabric piece. After the entire block is sewn, I trim around the block with a rotary cutter, making sure to leave an accurate quarter-inch seam allowance. Then I press the square with a hot iron (no steam).

Have fun sewing!



Friday - October 27, 2023

Another Sew Along

Those ghosts were so much fun that I went hunting for another online sew along. I joined the Petit Four Quilt Along sponsored by the Fat Quarter Shop. The pdf is a free download from the Fat Quarter Shop. Lucky me discovered it not long after it started.

The project consists of five different traditional paper-pieced quilt blocks for the quilt top. (Log Cabin Courthouse Steps, Economy Block, Traditional Log Cabin, Log Cabin Pineapple, and Snail Trail.) You also have a choice of block sizes in the instructions. I like that there is about a month to sew each set of blocks. No racing to keep up.

There are several colorways to select from, but I opted for the white and blue look. Instead of purchasing the suggested fabric, I selected assorted light, medium and dark blue material from my stash. And I had a chunk of white-on-white print that will work well for the background. I'm on a mission to reduce my fabric collection by using it.

(Five different color options were suggested.)

Now to sew the Courthouse step blocks since I joined late. Zoooommm.

Enjoy the day!



Tuesday - October 24, 2023

Four Ghosts Floating

I'm so happy seeing this quilt come together. Such fun ghosts.

The dark blue, green and black fabrics work well as the background. Lots of contrast to make the ghosts pop. I also love the black fabrics with the gold metallic celestial print. The original pattern called for paper pieced stars, but I had shrunk the pattern quite a bit to make this quilt fit the door ... I didn't want to fuss with itsy bitsy paper pieced stars. I really like the effect of the metallic print.

Ghost Party wall hanging quilt top www.dlstewart.com

(A ghostly wall hanging.)

I chose a fun Halloween print for the backing. Next step is to baste the quilt layers. I'm keeping the quilting simple.

Happy Halloween!



Sunday - October 22, 2023

Casper the Friendly Cat

My surprise ghost in the Ghost Party quilt is a cat. I showed a friend the block, and she immediately named kitty Casper the Friendly Cat.

When I saw a fellow sew-along participant create a ghost cat, I knew I had to make one too. My cat is a bit different. Fun to make!

Ghost Party Quilt Cat www.dlstewart.com

(The 10th cat life is with a happy ghostie family.)

I debated embroidering cat whiskers and perhaps adding a tail, but none of the other ghosts in my wall hanging had embellishments ... plus space was a bit cramped for the type of tail I wanted to applique.

Next is to sew the four blocks together.

Meow Boo!



Thursday - October 12, 2023

More Knitted Hats Donated

It's been a busy year. Between finishing multiple quilts for our guild's quilt show, obtaining items for the raffle baskets, creating the show program guide, plus working on my writing and other must-do projects ... I didn't have as much time for knitting this year.

Still, I did finish ten hats, and the year isn't over yet!

Knitted hats by Dawn Stewart www.dlstewart.com

(Ten knitted hats for donation.)

I dropped the hats off at my local United Way. Among their many charitable endeavors, they collect clothing for those in need. They were so happy to receive the hats. With the weather colder at night, and winter moving our way, I'm sure the hats will find good homes.

I've already chosen yarn for the next one. Two shades of blue: a medium blue and a light blue. I enjoy loom knitting with two strands of different color yarn for a variegated look.

Wishing you joy!



Wednesday - October 4, 2023

Ghost Party Quilt Progress

I wanted control over how the four ghost blocks I'm sewing play together colorwise. So I haven't been following the due date steps in the quilt-along challenge.

All the background squares are cut. All the paper-pieced eyes are sewn. And I finished one of the ghost mouths. Next is to sew the remaining mouths. Then I begin on the half-square triangles and other triangular pieces to give the ghosts their raggedy look.

Ghost Party Quilt Progress www.dlstewart.com

(Ghost Party Quilt - Adding Personality.)

And I can't wait to add my surprise ghost. Another Ghost Party participant suggested it, and I knew I had to include this new ghost. (Not telling ... keeping it for a surprise.)

Hoping to finish this quilt before Halloween. I need to sew faster!

Enjoy a terrific day!



Saturday - September 30, 2023

I Did It - Jenny's Christmas Box

Do I, or don't I? I wrestled with the decision. Would it be worth the $179.00 (plus tax)?

I have never ordered a Christmas countdown package. There are a lot of choices out there, too ... I looked! ... socks of the day, small figurines, garden seeds, mini-jigsaw puzzles, cookies, other munchables, including hot cocoa or tea assortments. But I really wanted a variety of quilting and sewing goodies.

(Missouri Star Quilt Company - Christmas Surprises.)

I watched lots of unboxing videos on YouTube of many types of quilting-related Christmas countdown goodie boxes.
I finally decided to go for Jenny's Countdown to Christmas Celebration box.

Some deciding factors:
* It looks like fun!
* The gleeful anticipation
* I don't receive many holiday gifts; so treat myself
* 25 packages inside to open - one a day until Christmas
* Advertised as their biggest box yet with a $400 value

Plus, I was on Instagram visiting some online quilting friends, and I noticed some fun items in their sewing rooms. When I began watching the unboxing videos, I discovered where those fun items came from ... Missouri Star Quilt Company's previous countdown boxes.

I'm looking forward to the festivity!


Sunday - September 10, 2023

Ghost Party Quilt Sew A Long

I first saw this quilt almost a year ago. I even know the exact date because I saved a photo, September 26, 2022. I definitely wanted to make it, but had so many other projects to finish first.

(Ghost Party Quilt - regular sewing & paper-pieced options.)

Then woollypetals and CoolPeopleQuilt on Instagram posted their online sewing party to make this quilt. I immediately signed up!

(I joined the online Ghost Party Quilt Sew A Long.)

I'm using a Kona white fabric for the ghosts, and I've chosen a variety of dark fabrics from my stash for the background, including two gold metallic prints on black to mimic evening sky. Woollypetals gave permission to have fun with the pattern and to personalize it. I decided to shrink the blocks to a size that will fit the back of my door as a "wall hanging". And my quilt will feature four ghosts. I'm also changing the embroidered mouths to paper-pieced mouths for a cutesy spooky vibe.

Break out of the box and be creative!



Sunday - August 20, 2023

I Beat the Deadline

The baby quilt is finished! I'm visiting in a few days and will gift the quilt to the proud grandmother. The baby is due in a few weeks.

This was another fun project to work on.

"I Spy" baby quilt finished www.dlstewart.com

("I Spy" baby quilt finished.)

While I was selecting and cutting fabric for this quilt, I cut another set of blocks for a second quilt ... different prints. Simultaneously cutting fabric for the two quilts was a time-saver! The next "I Spy" quilt is for my cousin's daughter who recently had a baby.

Keeping busy!



Monday - August 7, 2023


I love this mini project. Since the challenge is to use only red, white or blue colors, I sifted through the button boxes culling only those colors. Then I had to narrow my selection and arrange the buttons.

Sewing 42 buttons on by hand was a bit time consuming. I listened to an audio book while I sewed.

Star quilt wall hanging with buttons www.dlstewart.com

(I had way too much fun selecting buttons for the quilt.)

This turned out to be a great memory quilt. I remember my grandmother cutting and sewing clothing, and I have her old Singer sewing machine, sewing box and button collection. My mom and I loved shopping together at craft and fabric stores. There were usually button bins with assorted buttons that we had fun poking through.

Another quilt done. Now to deliver the finished quilts to the quilt show organizer.

Wishing you a beautiful day!



Saturday - July 29, 2023

Another Challenge

My quilt guild announced a summer challenge so there would be more quilts in the show. I love participating in quilt challenges, but wow...can I squeeze in making another quilt?

The rules are very flexible: any size, any technique, and use only red, white, or blue fabrics.

I searched Pinterest and the internet for ideas. (You can view my Pinterest quilting pages here). And I discovered a cool idea. The person had created an embroidery sampler using her grandmother's buttons as decorations. I knew I could transform the idea into a quilted wall hanging, and I loved the idea of incorporating my grandmother's, mother's and my button collection into the quilt.

Red, white and blue quilt challenge www.dlstewart.com

(Playing with red, white and blue fabrics.)

First I constructed the wall hanging. I selected a simple star block and added strips of red and blue fabric above it, and a strip of red fabric below the block. Then I added vertical blue sashing along the sides before quilting. I bound the quilt in blue fabric. Next I need to raid the button boxes. I'm going to place rows of red, white and blue buttons along the fabric strips.

This is a fun project!



Sunday - July 23, 2023

Surprise Quilt

In the midst of finishing quilts for the quilt show...a very dear friend announced she was going to be a first-time grandma. She is soooo excited! Every bed in my friend's home is decorated with much loved quilts she has found and bought during her travels. When she told me she had turned a spare room into the baby's room (fully anticipating cherished grandbaby visits and babysitting), I knew I had to make her a baby quilt.

"I Spy" baby quilt www.dlstewart.com

(Auditioning sashing and cornerstones.)

Selecting and fussy cutting fabrics I knew would have meaning for her, I constructed an "I Spy" quilt. Each center block features a different star fabric. The squares finish at three inches. After much indecision, I finally chose a green sashing and a purple fabric with gold stars as cornerstones. I need to finish the quilt by August 23. My newest motto is sew faster!

Have a great day!



Sunday - July 9, 2023

Finishing the Inchie Quilt

Selecting the binding fabric was a tough choice. I auditioned a lot of fabrics. I knew I wanted a brown binding. This print is working out really well. I machine sewed the binding, and then turned the binding to the back of the quilt to hand sew it in place. Looking good!

Binding the Inchie Quilt www.dlstewart.com

(Sewing binding on the Inchie Quilt.)

If you haven't tried Wonder Clips, I highly recommend them for holding binding in place instead of using pins. No more pin-jabbed fingers for me.

Hope the day brings good things your way!



Thursday - July 6, 2023

Gardening Intermission

I had to share this photo of my lettuce basket. It is hanging from a sheperd's hook in the garden. The two lettuce baskets I planted turned out beautiful.

I planted Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce (bought from Park Seed). When I plant lettuce baskets, the lettuce grows cleaner than if planted directly in the garden. For some reason, there are fewer bug issues too. I also love the way it looks.

Hanging Lettuce Basket www.dlstewart.com

(One of the hanging lettuce baskets I planted.)

The lettuce is also easy to harvest. If you are unfamiliar with how to plant a lettuce basket, I wrote a how-to article (just click on the link to read/print it).

Happy gardening!



Monday - July 3, 2023

Back to Inchies

Enough procrastinating! The quilt show is in September, and I need to finish projects to display. I've committed, and now need to deliver.

I keep putting off quilting this larger quilt. I tend to not make big quilts because I enjoy quilting them and only have a domestic sewing machine (no long arm machine).

This is the "inchie" quilt with 800 squares (finished size of each square is one inch). I decided to free-motion quilt this on my domestic Bernina sewing machine. Free-motion quilting goes faster for me, and there is less fabric wrangling when I free-motion quilt.

Inchie Quilting www.dlstewart.com

(Free-motion quilting the Inchie Quilt.)

Working with all these different fabric prints has been fun. It's also a great memory quilt -- it reminds me of time spent with friends in my quilt guild (we all traded the 1 1/2" squares in a fabric swap). I still have a lot of spare squares for a future project.

I'm inching along! (Horrible pun intended.)



Tuesday - June 27, 2023

Something Different

The company I work for had a team building event. So much fun! We went to the Muse Paintbar. Our team leader selected a seascape for us to paint. I haven't painted since elementary school, so was a bit nervous. The painting instructor at Muse was terrific. She walked us through the painting process step by step: mixing colors, brush size and techniques. All of us enjoyed the experience. Lots of joking and laughter.

Seascape Painting by Dawn L. Stewart www.dlstewart.com

(My seascape painting.)

To sweeten the fun, our team leader announced a prize to the artist of the winning painting. I was astounded when the judge selected my seascape as the winner. The judge told me that he really loved the way I interpreted the sky. (I broke from what the instructor told the class to do. I thought the instructor's clouds too heavy for the composition.) Guess I can add artistic renegade to my list of accomplishments.

Enjoy a wonderful day!



Tuesday - May 30, 2023

Knitting Hats

I love the knitting group I belong to. We meet at a local public library once a week. It's fun to chat and see what everyone is working on. One of the women is knitting an insanely gorgeous red laced dress. She is almost done and ran out of yarn (one yarn skein shy). Thankfully, she found the yarn still available and is able to purchase it.

This is my latest knitted hat. I am the only one in the group to loom knit. They are astonished at how quickly I can finish a hat.

Loom Knitted Hat www.dlstewart.com

(Another Knitted Hat for Donation.)

One of the group brought in a bunch of yarn she was purging from her yarn stash. No one wanted this variegated yarn, so I adopted the skein. I enjoy using variegated yarn, and will often pair a variegated yarn with a solid, knitting with two different color yarn strands at the same time. This hat was knitted with the variegated yarn and a solid blue in a slightly different shade than the blue in the variegated skein.

Have fun creating!



Friday - April 21, 2023

Bird Joy

I had so much fun creating this bird wall hanging.

The flower stem is black cording that I couched in place. To add dimension, I knotted the cord at the end beneath the beak. Two buttons are stacked for the eye; the bottom button has an opalescent shimmer for interest.

I wanted to include butterflies on the quilt that had translucent wings so that the background would peek through. I stumbled across the perfect solution on Amazon. In case you are in need of butterflies, here is the Amazon link (50 butterflies in 2 sizes for $11.99 when I bought them).

Ode to Joy quilt - dlstewart.com

("Ode to Joy" wall hanging.)

Since the quilt challenge required words on the quilt, I added small square silver beads along the ground that spell "joy". This is my own quilt design.

Enjoy the day and some time in the sunshine!



Tuesday - April 4, 2023

A Very Red Hat

Having fun knitting. Just finished this bright red hat. I donate the hats I knit to those who need them. Hope someone doesn't mind glowing in the dark. Maybe someone who enjoys night walking or running? They will be seen!

Cheerful red knitted hat - dlstewart.com

(A cheerful hand-knitted red hat.)

I've also begun knitting an infinity scarf on my oval loom. It's easier than I thought it would be. The stitch is called a mock crochet stitch. Here is a YouTube video of the process if you are interested in trying to loom knit an infinity scarf. The video shows the scarf being knitted on a round loom, but I have an oval loom with the correct amount of pegs along one side ... so no going in circles for me. https://youtu.be/2B29MDn-qes

Hope the day is good to you!



Saturday - March 11, 2023

Bird Beginnings

Our quilt guild has a challenge that combines a memory with adding words to a quilt. I remember my father and I working in the vegetable garden when a bird landed atop his head .. and his surprised "Ouch!" when the bird yanked out some of his hair for its nest. He wore a hat outside after that encounter!

I pieced the background from assorted yellows from my stash. Then I started cutting shapes. I worried that the beak and legs might blend too much with the background, so I used a permanent fabric marker to add black dots to the beak and leg fabrics. I'll also outline stitch them in place, which will help define them.

Bird quilt in process - dlstewart.com

(Bird quilt in process. Playing with the layout.)

I'm thinking of layering two buttons for the eye. I also plan to add a curling flower stem and some butterflies. I spent a lot of joyful time in the garden watching nature as I worked. So the word "joy" is probably going to appear somewhere on the wall hanging.

Enjoy your creative time!



Thursday - February 16, 2023

Flower Basting

After wrestling with fabric choices ... blue won for the fourth flower. I now have flowers in red, purple, orange and blue. I didn't want to buy fabric, and these choices worked best from my stash.

I have some great fabric that looks like bricks, so I cut it to resemble a walkway through my fabric flower garden. I could have used the beige background fabric for the center square, but I opted for the green which adds to the garden vibe.

Flower crumb quilt - dlstewart.com

(Pin basting the wall hanging.)

I selected a green "leafy" fabric as the backing. The wall hanging is pin basted and ready for quilting. I'll keep the quilting simple, following the outline of the flowers, leaves and walkway.

Time to thread the sewing machine! Enjoy the day.


Saturday - January 21, 2023

More Flowers

I don't have enough scrap fabric in the color I need, so I must create some crumbs. Today I am ready to construct the fourth and final flower for my crumb quilt wall hanging. I pulled a bunch of yellow fabrics, but the brighter yellows did not show well against the pale background fabric. And the darker gold-yellows look too orange. So I raided the blue fabric stash to see what I can come up with. If I go with blue, I need to make sure they don't have a purple hue.

Yellow fabric choices for crumb quilt.
Blue fabric choices for crumb quilt.
(Piles of fabric. Now to see which shades work well together.)

In the meantime, here is a photo of the latest block. Love this purple flower.

Purple flower made from crumb fabric scraps. dlstewart.com

(This is going to be a pretty wall hanging when finished.)

Eager to return to the sewing machine. Enjoy a creative day!


Saturday - January 7, 2023

Time for Class!

What a fun day ... tiring but wonderful. The Zoom workshop worked out well. My quilting friends and I set up our computers to view the class, and the instructor had several cameras so that we could easily see what she was demonstrating. By the end of the four-hour class, I had one block completed and had begun piecing crumbs for a second flower.

Red flower pieced witj crumb fabric. dlstewart.com

(One block finished. I might make one adjustment.)

When sewing the greens to make the leaves, I didn't realize one of the green fabrics would appear much lighter than the others. I learned to be careful if a fabric crumb has white in the design (like the green fabric above). I'll construct the rest of the blocks and then lay them out. If the lighter fabric in these leaves is too distracting, I'll darken the white areas with a green fabric marker so that the fabric blends better. (I'll experiment on a scrap first.)

Onward! I have a garden to create.


Wednesday - January 4, 2023

A New Year & Workshop Prep

Can't wait for the workshop on crumb quilting. Part of the workshop prep is sorting scrap fabrics into color groups and then ironing the scraps. In the class, we are creating flower blocks using bits of fabric to piece the flower and leaf sections. The class goal is to complete one or two blocks. I want to make four different color flower blocks for a wall hanging. Other project options included potholders or a table runner.

Green fabric scraps
Colorful fabric scraps for flowers
(A selection of green fabrics for leaves & flower colors.)

I need one more flower color. I selected red, orange and purple fabrics. Debating between a blue or yellow flower for the fourth one.

The instructions called for white background fabric. I did not want a stark white background, so I went with a pale bone color. After cutting out the background pieces, I wasn't left with much fabric.

Background fabric remnants for crumb quilt

(I barely had enough background fabric. The leftovers.)

I also prepped my sewing area so that I had plenty of room for the sewing machine, cutting mat, ironing board, acrylic rulers and scraps ... plus room for the computer so that I could view the Zoom workshop instructor. Here is a link to the workshop supply list if you are curious.

Definitely looking forward to a creative year


Friday - December 30, 2022

It's Almost 2023!

Looking back on 2022...So many accomplishments and more things added to the to-do list. I participated in my first online Mood Board writing pitch, which required learning a few more tech skills. I visited Cape Cod during the summer. There were more Zoom meetings and workshops (quilting and writing). I joined a local knitting group. Added new quilt block clip art to my website for free download. Helped several friends gain a foothold in social media. Enjoyed celebrating a friend's first published picture book.

(The Tree in Dock Square by Jean Woodbury -- my friend's book.)

(You can view the book trailer on YouTube.)

So what's on the agenda for 2023? I've been eyeing my unfinished project pile while also adding new projects to my "want to make" list. Once again I am joining the All People Quilt UFO challenge. However, my list includes both unfinished projects as well as new things I really want to create.

(I'm joining the 2023 UFO Challenge from All People Quilt.)

My first project in 2023 is to take a Zoom class on crumb quilting in early January. What especially interests me is creating new "fabric" from scraps and incorporating it into a quilt design. As part of the prep work, I've been sorting my scraps into color piles and ironing them. I also need to select a background fabric.

As a precursor to the crumb workshop, this week I attended a great Zoom lecture on scrap quilting. I learned some interesting insights regarding color and saturation, helpful when selecting fabrics.

I hope you are filled with creative inspiration. Have fun in 2023!


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