Friday, January 30, 2009

Dear Janes & Civil War Sundays

On the first Sunday of each month we have a group that meets at the shop for "Civil War Sunday" where we work on anything Civil War or Reproduction themed. I've been working some on my Civil War Sampler that I started at the class that Karen Witt of Reproduction Quilts taught last summer ~ I'm piecing it all by hand, so it'll be a while before it's actually a quilt! Some of us are also doing Dear Jane blocks. Here are the blocks I have done so far:
These are patterned after an 1863 quilt by a lady named Jane A. Stickle and can be found in the book Dear Jane by Brenda Papadakis. They finish 4 1/2". The original quilt has 169 of these little guys in the body of it, 52 triangle blocks that make up the pieced borders, and 4 pieced corner blocks (that's 225 pieced blocks) ~ It's quite stunning! We'll see how many I make, it's a modest start, but right now I'm just enjoying the process. They are fun to do, and you can finish one in a short period of time (at least most of them).
To help with the process in making these blocks, I found this great blog called That Quilt, all about Baby Janes and has great step by step directions of block construction. I'll keep the button here on my blog for future linkage. Check it out!
RoseMary Swartwood who attends our Jo Morton group shared with us her Dear Jane quilt so far. It is beautiful! As you can see, she is doing it in all blue and white fabrics, and each block is a different blue/white print, not one repeats. She is quilting each little block as she makes them, so she is able to put rows together and they are complete! I've been watching it grow and it's just amazing!
Come to And Sew It Goes if you can for Civil War Sunday group, it's informal, drop in and free! Just a time to stitch and share with like minded quilters. Definately bring show & tell! First Sunday of each month from 1:00 - 3:00. If you can't come, send me pictures of your Dear Jane blocks or other Civil War projects!
Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Thursday, January 29, 2009

"Sloanies" Club Show & Tell

The Sloanies group that meets once a month at And Sew It Goes didn't meet yesterday because we had some icy weather here ~ but because of the snow day, I was able to finish some projects including this little Cafe Banner from a Pat Sloan Pattern that I made for my daughter, Heather. It's quick and easy, we have some kits made up for it at our quilt shop.

And for your viewing pleasure, here are some show & tell pictures I took at the last Sloanies Club meeting. We had done the Times Remembered Quilt one block at a time along with Pat Sloan's Yahoo Group. Times Remebered can be found in Pat's Folksy Favorites book and as a stand alone Pattern. This is Ruth Green's all quilted, labelled and everything! She added rick rack, wool and buttons here and there to make it really sweet.

Ruth also did the Calendar Stitchery quilt which was a free pattern Pat released once a month on her website. (There are other free patterns up on Pat Sloan's Free Pattern page now, like Farmer's Market and 5 o'clock Somewhere, check them out!) Ruth did hers with applique and stitchery. I have some of the blocks done ~ this really makes me want to go back and finish mine!

And we finished our I Believe Quilts! I Believe is also in Folksy Favorites and a a stand alone pattern. This is Peggy's quilt top. Everyone used some different fabrics, so they all came out a little different which was really fun!

And finally Ruth Kirkpatrick's I Believe. She added extra borders, so it was too big to photograph well in our space. She made some of her own changes like adding a wreath instead of the words I Believe, and adding several embellishments that are so fun to look at up close!

Ruth Green has her I Believe all finished and quilted up now too. I hope to get a picture of that one to share in the future ~ and maybe I'll get to quilting my I Believe and Times Remembered sometime soon too!
Next we are going to work on Pat's A Walk in the Moonlight that's found in her Learn to Applique book, the ongoing Calendar Quilt Challenge, and those of us that did the Farmer's Market quilt plan to finish that one up too! We'll keep you posted on our progress, email pictures of your Sloanie quilts, so I can share with our group!
Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Another Great Free Block of the Month!

This is from Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs (I love all her stuff!). I think I'll definately try to keep up with this one! Starlyn has shared with me that the group at the And Sew It Goes that meets twice a month to work on the Baltimore Bunnies blocks are also going to do this one! So join in on your own, or stop by the shop for some stitching support and show-n-tell ~ it's free!

Here are the particulars ~ Anne has designed a mystery quilt with a new block being released around the 5th of each month on her Bunny Tales blog. At the end of 12 months you can put these little blocks together for a surprise quilt! Block One is cute and uses some wool ~ which I love to add to applique. The little buttons she used are from Hillcreek Designs and we carry them in our shop.

I'll keep the link on my sidebar so you can always get there from here! I'm almost finished with my Baltimore Album block for this month, so I think I can just squeeze in some stitching on this one! I'll show you my block when I get it done. Email me with pictures of your blocks and I'll post a show and tell here!

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Monday, January 26, 2009

Look Out Disney World!

I spent a very enjoyable evening last night with my son Bobby's girlfriend, Nicoll embroidering T-shirts for her dance group's upcoming trip to Disney World. Nicoll is a member of Hammond High School's Jr Dance Company, and along with the Sr Company, they are going to perform in Disney World in February. In the past, the girls who are grouped as roommates have made shirts to set themselves apart and to remember the event. I haven't used the embroidery machine much lately - just for little things like I recently did on the Calendar Quilt, but we had her cooking last night!
Nicoll bought black T shirts and some Iron on Letters, and each girl chose their favorite Disney Character (I have a Brother machine and these were all built ins). I embroidered the character and their name in the center front of the shirts.

Nicoll then did the layout and the Iron ons to spell out Disney and J Co. I did get her on the embroidery machine too though and in no time she was changing colors and doing the stitch outs. I don't think she realized how long it would take to do them all!

We had a good time making the shirts and hopfully they'll have fun wearing them! Good Luck dancing in Disney World Nicoll, Ashley, Chantel, Fatmata & Rachel! I want a picture of you all at the Castle! ...and remember not to lean on the wall during costume changes! :)

What do you plan on making today? Play a little and Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Friday, January 23, 2009

An Elsie Post

Well, I learned to knit in 2008 ~ very basic knit & purl ~ so I of course made scarves! Here is the first little tiny scarf I knitted being "modelled" by my granddaughter Elsie (17 months old). Actually, she is taking it off. That's what she does, her mom puts it on ~ and she takes it off...Lisa has to snap the picture really quickly!

I plan to learn to do more with the knitting this year as we are now carrying Cascade yarns and knitting books and supplies at And Sew It Goes. The beginning knitting classes and Great American Afghan block of the month begins this Saturday at the shop. I think I'm going to take the beginning knitting because she is teaching how to increase and decrease and I don't do that yet. Who knows maybe later I can make a sweater for Elsie to take off :)

And for some extra eye candy, here is Elsie and her mom (my daughter Lisa) playing with the web cam. (You'll have to forgive me, I just can't get enough!)

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Little Warm Weather Dreamin'

Even though I am a Spring time kind of gal, I do like the change of seasons that we have here in Maryland. I love Fall and the Holiday season, and I do like a good snow day here and there (which we still haven't had yet this year) ~ it doesn't get any better than a fire in the fireplace, a cup of hot tea and the excuse to just sit and do handwork in my comfy chair for as long as I want. Usually I don't get really tired of winter until late February, but this year for some reason I'm pretty done with winter. This morning it's 10 degrees out ~ 10. Now I know to my friend Leslie in MN that doesn't sound so bad, but I'm getting pretty done with it!

Yesterday, I turned on my favorite "vintage rock" radio station and they were playing Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl" and that just made me feel the warm weather (don't you just love it when a song does that for you!). So in honor of a little warm weather dreamin' here are a few pictures of Spring time in my little piece of the world.

This is the wishing well in my backyard that Bob built for me. I need to take a new picture this spring, the plants have grown a lot bigger, and we now have a gazebo in the spot where the kids playset was. I modeled my Spring Water Designs logo on it, and I do use it for wishing ~ and it works! :)

Here is a picture from spring time of my trumpet vine up close and personal. The Hummingbirds love this bush, and there are usually wild morning glories that grow up in it.
Here's to getting out in the garden and feeling that sun on your face, but for now I'll settle for a hot cup of tea, some gardening magazines and a little warm weather dreamin.
Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Calendar Quilt Update

Here is an update of my calendar quilt. I have 20 strips, one for each day of the year so far. I used this weekend to get that caught up. So far each strip does correlate with a project that I had been working on at the time ~ you can see some of my Cowboy fabrics, including one strip from the original "old" Cowboy quilt, some Thimbleberries fabrics for the January block of the 2009 Club quilt since I am leading that club at the shop, and several Pat Sloan fabrics from the Cafe project that I'm working on for the Sloanies Club that meets next week. The little white strips are for snowy days.

The first strip of the month will be a little larger each month and I'll applique a shape that is representative of that month. I plan to embroider on special days each month, like Bobby's birthday on January 3rd.

...And special days and holidays will be acknowledged. So far it's been an easy project to keep up with as there is always a strip left over when you are working on something. Let me know how you are doing on your Calendar Quilt!
Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sneak Peek Pictures!

Hey everybody! I'm Dawn's daughter Heather, and we are so excited about this design ("Root-N-Toot-N Cowboy") that she's going to have in Quilt Magazine. I'm actually here to post a little sneak peek for you before we ship it off for the photo shoot!

What's in that box? She made three decorative pillows, a pajama bag, and a quilt out of the the coordinating fabics from Maywood, and these fabrics really made her design come alive! This is just the teaser pic though! :)

To see the full display, as well as the patterns, you'll have to check out Quilt Magazine. Don't worry! We'll be sure to keep everyone updated and let our beloved readers know which issue Mom is going to be in.

Even Maddie (my kitten) wants to see what's going on!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Jo Morton Club Off to a Good Start!

I've been asked to post pictures of our Jo Morton show & tells so that each group can see what the other is sharing, so here you are:

Kathy's Mini Baby Rose (she sized the center block down to 6"!)

This is Kathy's Jamestown (the online pattern for it), again sized down.

And some Holiday Inn Centers. This is Mitzen's, she has fused it and will machine applique it.

Yuki's is finished in hand applique.

Karen W. has sized her's up and is trying some hand applique.

Dawn B. has her's underway in hand applique and is using Karen K. Buckley's "Perfect Circle" method.

Anne has fused her's and is trying machine applique.

...And for some of our "non-Jo" projects that we like to share!

RoseMary's Dear Jane done in different blue and white prints. She is doing it the Quilt as you Go method.

Phyllis shared her Lucky Stars quilt from Atkinson Designs, done in batiks and her great longarm quilting.

Karen G. made this little topper from Thimbleberries prints for a friend at work.

More to come next month as more people get their Holiday Inn center block done. I'll keep you posted!
Enjoy the day!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

For the Love of Stitchery

I've found two more adorable, FREE block of the months out there in Blog Land! These are especially for those who love to do stitchery, or they can be adapted to applique. The first one is a Noah's Ark stitchery BOM from Lynette Anderson Designs ~ I love just about all of her designs, check out her site!

The next one is a Country Calendar FREE Block of the month from Ellie's Quilt Place. They are really cute and perfect for any seasonal projects. I got this link from the Calendar Quilts blog, where one member is stitching one for each month on their Calendar Quilt ~ Cute, cute idea!
I'm leaving both links on my sidebar for ease of finding them later!
~ Dawn

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Feed Your Soul!

I'm doing something this year that I've wanted to do for a long time. Once a month I'm taking a class with Mimi Dietrich on Baltimore Applique ~ yes, THE Mimi Dietrich! This is a year long class and we are making one block a month. We are working out of the book, Baltimore Beauties and Beyond by Elly Sienkiewicz. Now if you know me, you know I love to make quilts, and working at the quilt shop I get to do that a lot. But many times we are sewing like crazy people trying to make a deadline and then moving on to the next one. So my favorite thing to do, the thing that really gets me to relax and feed my soul, is hand applique. It doesn't get any better on a winter evening than a hot cup of tea, my favorite chair and a hand applique block to work on. It makes me slow down ~ I have to, and I make the block come alive one stitch at a time. I'm very fortunate to live close to Mimi so that I can take this class. I've appliqued for a long time, but there are so many tips that I'm picking up from her, and I've always admired her work and books. I have Mimi's book, Easy Applique Samplers (now out of print) on the Quilting Book page of my ebay store, along with a great book by Darlene Christopherson called A Perfect Union of Patchwork and Applique (my first ever applique class was with Darlene making a block from this book). They are great books to start out with! The picture above is a cluster of some of the class blocks that were brought in yesterday (mine is on the bottom right).

Here is a close up of my block. It is block two and I will be adding little strawberries, tendrils and tiny dimensional white flowers later on.

This is block one that we did before Christmas, done in my rebel directional paisley. For the most part I'll be making my blocks in somewhat traditional Baltimore Applique colors.

I am also a member of the Baltimore Applique Society, and have added that link to my sidebar, check us out!

Enjoy the day, and do something today to feed your soul!
~ Dawn

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Homemade Christmas in 2009

Here's another great link to a blog called Freda's Hive that is sharing Great Ideas for a handmade Christmas 2009. The idea is that if you start now, you can do a little bit each month to have handmade gifts for your loved ones by next Christmas. Check it out, I'll keep the link on my sidebar here for future reference.

Another great link for getting ready for Christmas in a non-stressed way is Organized Christmas. They have great suggestions and plans for breaking down all the many tasks that are needed to do (mostly by Mom) to make our wonderful Christmas traditions come together. By breaking things up and working on it throughout the year, things are less stressful in December. This site as well has a great plan to follow to keep the housekeeping under control thoughout the year, and has a focus on simple living and gift giving that I like.

I know I'd like to give some handmade gifts this year, I haven't done that in a few years (probably since starting to work at the quilt shop ~ you gotta love deadlines). My mom often gives things that she has made herself, and they are always so thoughtful and from the heart to each individual. The ceramics that she did this year were really personalized to each person and their interests, which made them so special. To me that's what Christmas is all about!

"When you give yourself, you receive more than you give" ~ Saint-Exupery, Antoine De

Enjoy the Day!
~ Dawn

Friday, January 9, 2009

Thimbleberries 2009 Begins!

Well last night we kicked off the Thimbleberries Club for 2009 at And Sew It Goes with the January Blocks. Each month we will make one 12" block and three 6" blocks in the Light Colorway that will scatter around the quilt (plus there are extra bonus projects). We had a great turn out for the meeting ~ All seats were full ~ but we can make room for more! I can't wait until next month for the show and tell that we'll see! Check out Thimbleberries website and sign up for Lynette Jensen's free monthly newsletter full of tips, free patterns and recipes.

I'm working hard to get the whole Thimbleberries quilt top done. Right now I'm on block set number 9, so I am ahead of the class, but so many people are coming in the shop asking to see the finished quilt, that I want to get it up on the wall. We have the Beautiful Maryland BOM quilt in the shop now (it's really there this time) for a limited time as Maria may need to take it somewhere else at some point. Mary has finished the quilt top for the Buck-a-Block BOM, and Carolyn is working hard on the Centennial BOM. Lots of exciting new things going on there!

I've started working on the Cowboy Quilt for the magazine, but I haven't gotten much sewing time in as I had a funeral to attend. Yesterday we layed to rest my Aunt Marie. It was a windy day at the cemetery, but very appropriate for such a whirlwind of a lady. It was my Aunt Marie who introduced me to the ocean, taking me along on their family trips to Nags Head to hang out with my cousin Jill, but the deal was this picky eater of a kid had to taste the seafood while we were there. She was always challenging me, which could be a little scary but always interesting - she definitely kept me on my toes! She is the one who finally got me to stop biting my nails, even getting out a microscope to show me what was under them - and it worked...eventually :) My Aunt Marie was a great presence in my growing up years and I know I'm a better person for having her touch my life. I think I'll go out and see who I can touch today!

~ Dawn

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

My Box Arrived!

This is my big announcement...drum roll please...

I've been waiting so patiently for this box of the Cowboys and Indians fabric collection from Maywood Designs because I am going to be remaking my "Root-N-Toot-N Cowboy" quilt in this fabric for publication in Quilt Magazine! This will be my first publication, and so far it has been wonderful to work with both the magazine and the fabric company. I will keep you posted on my progress and of course let you all know when I know the issue that my quilt design will appear in.

Calendar Quilt Challenge

Join me in the Calendar Quilt Challenge for 2009!

Rachel Griffith has started the Calendar Quilt Challenge over on her blog, and I thought the Sloanies Group at our shop would like to join in since it's based on the Calendar Quilt Idea that Pat Sloan developed in her book Favorite Techniques. I joined Rachel's blog team and I'll be using the challenge to work on my Calendar Quilt this year, so work along with me! Check out the link (I'll keep it on my sidebar) to see all the particulars, but basically you make a no-rules quilt, a strip a day throughout the year using your stash. Add a strip for each day using a fabric from something that you're working on at the time, something seasonal, or maybe from your vast fat quarter collection (winking at you Heather). I'm going to leave spaces to journal and embroider on significant days, but other than that, I'm not thinking it through at all. It will become what it becomes ~ I think that will be the fun of it! I'll post some pictures as I get mine going. Pat Sloan's book is available at her website (also a link on my sidebar), and thanks to Rachel for organizing the whole project!

~ Dawn

Monday, January 5, 2009

Not a Creature Was Stirring, Not Even a Mouse...

...Well maybe a mouse was stirring because
that darn cat was sleeping with the dog again!
(This is Maddie, Heather's cat & Butters, Bobby's dog - They're real characters!)

Now that the holidays are over and the New Year is here, it's time to start something fresh. I don't make New Year's Resolutions, I just try to learn something new each year. Last year was knitting and a new job. I'm kicking off 2009 with a new blog, and yes, I finally joined Facebook (so friend me!). Check back here often as I'm just learning to add things and I'm sure I'll get better at it as I go! We'll have lots of quilty stuff of course, along with family and friends, and just plain fun stuff. My daughter Heather may post some as well (she's my "Vice Pres. in charge of Marketing and IT" ~ and is helping me to keep things rolling!)

For you Jo Morton followers and JLW Club members, here is a sneak peek at my Part 2 of Holiday Inn that I completed last night. Two more parts to go, I'll keep you posted on the progress!

I Lead a Jo's Little Women Club at And Sew It Goes Quilt Shop in Savage Mill in MD ~ check out our website for information on the club:

Check out my ebay store ~ at any given time I almost always have some Jo patterns, books or fabric:

I'll leave you with a little tease, I'm waiting for a box to be delivered any day now, and I'll be making an exciting announcement about that soon! Leave me lots of comments, and check back often!
~ Dawn

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Welcome to Spring Water Designs!

This is a very exciting time for us, and we hope that you will continue to check back on a regular basis as we continue to grow. It is here that we wish to show our unique quilting designs as well as connecting with fellow quilters across the country! Please be sure to check back and share in this exciting time!