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Dawn's Quilting Room
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Saturday - December 7, 2019

Table Topper #2

I had to sew my aunt more than one table topper. After all, aren't surprises fun when there are more than one? I had purchased a length of fabric that had a repeating print on it of an old-fashioned Christmas village scene. I knew it would be perfect for this project. My aunt loves decorating for Christmas.

Christmas Table Topper www.dlstewart.com
(Christmas Scene Table Topper.)

The only downside to this fabric was that it was narrow. So I raided my Christmas print fabric stash, and built up the size vertically and horizontally. The village scene is so charming that I hated to cover any part of it with quilting motifs. I opted to machine quilt the center portion by following the straight lines of objects in the print (ex: the lines in the buildings), and I used black thread to follow the meandering tree branches. Worked out great.

Enjoy the holidays!


Saturday - November 16, 2019

Exploring Table Toppers

I visited my aunt during the summer, and she commented that she was having a difficult time locating table toppers for her large dining room table. She could find table runners (long rectangular pieces), but nothing in the size she wanted. After some discussion, it turned out that the size table topper she wanted equaled the size of a wall hanging (roughly 32" x 50"). So when I returned home, I raided my stash and started planning.

Log Cabin Table Topper www.dlstewart.com
(Log Cabin Table Topper.)

I went for a scrappy look using autumn hued prints. For a modern take on the log cabin block, I added the bold forest-green diagonal stripe. The center of each block is the traditional red, indicating the home hearth. My aunt loved that this table topper was not only the perfect size, but it also could be used for multiple seasons.

Happy Thanksgiving ... hope you are sewing some fun projects!


Saturday - October 12, 2019

Two Turkeys in Autumn

Another completed project. Remember the turkey blocks I was paper piecing? I finally decided how to finish the quilt. I set a record for the number of times I changed my mind!

Two Turkeys in Autumn www.dlstewart.com
(Two Turkeys in Autumn - paper pieced.)

One of the most challenging finishes for the quilt was the eyes. I opted to use buttons. The white buttons have a pearlescent sheen, while the smaller black buttons have a shank to give the eyes dimension. I especially like how the turkeys are gazing in different directions. This quilt will appear in our quilt guild's 2020 show.

Have fun this autumn ... colorful leaves, apple picking and quilting!


Saturday - September 14, 2019

Finally Halloween

Well, I'm a bit early with Halloween, but it sure feels like it with all these spooky fabrics piled around me.

Drum roll please. This is the finished quilt with sashing and corner posts. I shipped the quilt to my cousin, and he loves it! The quilt is hanging on a wall in the stairway as a focal point.

Halloween Quilt Finished www.dlstewart.com
(Finished Halloween quilt with sashing and corner posts.)

A friend who saw the quilt commented that the central purple pieces in each block looked like bats flying. Not intentional on my part, but if someone sees extra spookiness, it's a bonus!

Enjoy a spooktacular day!


Saturday - August 10, 2019

To Sash or Not to Sash

The Halloween quilt blocks are finished for the Disappearing 9-Patch quilt. However, I'm not loving the large chunks of purple squares. So I decided to break up the design a bit with sashing.

Halloween Quilt Layout www.dlstewart.com

(Blocks flopped on the floor in quick layout -- no sashing.)

Too much concentrated purple. Sashing will give the purple some breathing room. I also like the idea of having larger pieces of Halloween fabric to better see some of the fun fabric designs. And I have the perfect fabric for corner posts -- skeletons with a bit of silver sparkle.

I'm feeling creative and hope you are too!


Sunday - July 7, 2019

It's Getting Spooky

I've collected Halloween fabrics for years with the intent of making a scrappy quilt. Since my cousin's favorite holiday is Halloween, I decided to gift him with a spooky treat. After seeing a demo at a quilt guild meeting (thank you, Colleen), I decided to create a Disappearing 9-Patch.

Here is a brief look at the block creation process. First, I sewed a lot of 9-patch blocks, which I then cut into quarters. I mixed and matched the quarters for a random look, and sewed the blocks back together.

Disappearing 9-patch Steps www.dlstewart.com

(Top row: two different 9-pach blocks.)
(Bottom row left: block sliced into quarters.)
(Bottom row right: block quarters recombined.)

Finished Disappearing 9-patch Block www.dlstewart.com
(A block sewn together. Poor lighting so the camera
is reading the purple fabric as brown.)

I'm enjoying the process of making a Disappearing 9-Patch quilt.

Are you thinking of a Halloween project?


Sunday - June 23, 2019

Reach for the Stars

Ta Da!  Another baby quilt is finished. The quilt is for a boy who was born four months early, and who is now out of the hospital and doing great. I wanted to make something special, so I bought some new fabric and raided my collection of celestial prints. The quilt features stars, moons, suns, and the cosmos.

Originally this quilt was going to be a disappearing nine-patch design.  But time became a factor. So I decided to make this a regular nine-patch quilt. But I like the fabrics so much, that I'm going to sew them into a Disappearing Nine-Patch for myself. It will be fun to compare the two different styles of quilts side by side.

"Reach for the Stars" baby quilt. www.dlstewart.com
("Reach for the Stars" baby quilt.)

Time for me to go to a cookout. The cookies are baked, and my appetite is ready!.

Have fun today!


Saturday - May 18, 2019

Almost Halfway

Well the year is almost half over if you can believe it. Curious to see how I was doing, I checked my All People Quilt UFO Challenge list. I have 12 projects on the list (one for each month). So far I have completed three of them. My list has one knitting item on it since I wanted to keep the goal of completing 14 hats for charity on my project radar. I currently have 16 finished hats!

Improv Quilt 2019 www.dlstewart.com
(Improv quilt from Timna Tarr workshop.)

I finished the quilted wall hanging from the Timna Tarr workshop I took with fellow quilt guild members. The goal was to use freehand cutting (no rotary cutters or rulers allowed). We were instructed to build the quilt around our three focus fabrics from the same color family. I chose a light, medium, and dark brown from my stash. Friends say my quilt has a Gees Bend vibe.

Enjoy a terrific day!


Tuesday - April 30, 2019

The Stars

Another baby quilt is underway. This one is for a boy, born four months early. He's a fighter and doing very well. He is expected home from the hospital in May.

I ran through several ideas before settling on a theme featuring fabrics with stars, planets and the cosmos. I wanted a scrappy look with one unifying color/fabric. My stash included lots of space-themed prints. And I found the perfect star pattern fabric with a purple background at a $2.00 a yard sale. Gorgeous, excellent quality fabric. (I had way too much fun at that sale!)

After seeing a demo of the disappearing block technique, I've been eager to make a quilt featuring the style. I really want to make a disappearing nine-patch, but time is a factor for me.

fabrics www.dlstewart.com
(Fabrics for the universe-themed baby quilt.)

The fabric pile above contains many different fabric prints. Some are literal "space" fabrics featuring stars, planets. moons, suns. Other fabrics in the pile contain movement I relate to the universe, such as spirals, twisted strings, starbursts. It will be fun to see how it all comes together.

Happy Spring!


Saturday - March 16, 2019

Girly Girl

It's Worldwide Quilting Day ... perfect timing for finishing this baby quilt.

At the time of the baby shower, the baby's sex was unknown. The mother-to-be received beautiful gifts in gender-neutral colors. Later, I overheard her speaking to someone, saying ruefully that she never wanted to see yellow and green again. And that if she had a girl, she wanted pretty girly things in pink.

She had a girl. So I dove into the realm of a pink, purple and white color scheme. I auditioned several patterns and finally came up with this one. The camera doesn't pick up the details, but the various purples are floral, the white is a tone-on-tone, and the three pink fabrics feature dragonflies, butterflies, and flowers. The back of the quilt is a pretty delicately striped floral with hummingbirds.

Girl Baby Quilt www.dlstewart.com
(A baby girl quilt for a first-time mom.)

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.

Today I am seeing mother and baby. It will be a fun visit.

Happy Worldwide Quilting Day!


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.

Even though our next quilt show isn't until September 2020, I am already gearing up to coordinate the raffle basket program. Our team collects donations of quilt related items as well as gift certificates and other products. We divide the items into gift baskets, create labels to show what is inside, and sell tickets for an opportunity to win the baskets. (Each basket has a lidded canister sitting in front of it where people can deposit their entry tickets.) This has become a huge part of our show fundraising activities.

(Some of our quilt guild's raffle baskets. A popular show activity!)

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.

A quilt guild can't survive without volunteers. Consider helping in your guild; it's a great way to make deeper friendships. And it feels good to contribute. To those who already share their time ... thank you

Enjoy a beautiful, creative day!


Saturday - January 26, 2019

Turkeys Revisited

I finished sewing the two turkey blocks. Yay! (I still need to add eyes and embroidery for the nostrils.)

Ummm ... the blocks are supposed to be big enough for a wall hanging. My brain must have skipped a beat when I was planning this project. Each block measures 7-inches (finished). Much smaller than the vision in my mind.

Turkey Blocks in progress www.dlstewart.com
(Turkey blocks in progress. Size makes a difference.)

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.

A friend suggested a solution. She said to bind each block, and then attach them together vertically with fabric loops, so that one hangs over the other. Good idea! Then I thought I could add some width and length to the wall hanging if I added borders to the blocks and created a third block to hang between the two turkeys.

So now I'm contemplating what to make for the third quilt block. I could continue with a Thanksgiving theme and create a pumpkin block. Or I could go with a lovely autumnal sunflower design.

Meanwhile, I finished sewing a quilt top for a baby girl. Her mother wanted something feminine and anything but yellows and greens. The top is is a lovely combination of pink, purple and white prints. Now to baste the layers together for quilting.

Wishing you a terrific 2019!


Dawn's Books

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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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