Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Finds

Some quilting tools have many uses. Take the Gypsy Gripper ~ Yes, it's a great handle to put on your rulers, and it's removable and can move to different rulers in your collection. It's especially nice when you are cutting fabric all day and can lean on the ruler a little differently to help with hand fatigue, not to mention keeping your fingers up safely away from the rotary blade...

...but did you know it makes a great telephone? (sorry for the grainy photo, it was snapped quickly on my daughter's phone camera) As soon a Elsie spotted the Gypsy Gripper when she came to visit me at the quilt shop, she immediately picked it up and started holding a conversation with her Uncle Bobby. I don't know why she was calling Uncle Bobby, but she kept saying, "Hello, Bobby, Hello...I can't hear you". I guess the calling network for Gypsy Grippers aren't quite as good as Verizon or Sprint :)

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Thursday, October 29, 2009

For These I Give Thanks...

I finished quilting a customer quilt this week. It is called Many Thanks from a book of that name by Nancy Halvorson of Art to Heart.

We had offered this little quilt as a block of the month in our shop a few years back. This customer did the fusible applique and stitched the words, but had me do the machine blanket stitch around all of the applique.

She must have liked my work, because she brought it back for me to do the quilting :)

I wanted to make sure that I got it finished for her in time for Thanksgiving. I think it's the perfect quilt to have around this time of year.

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Patterns are Up at!

Two of my quilt patterns are now available for purchase on! You can click here to see the Spring Water Designs Quilts.

The first couple that have been picked up is my Rootin Tootin Cowboy quilt pattern...

That also includes bonus pillow patterns and the zippered toy/pj storage bag pattern.

And My Heart's Content quilt is now available. As of now, both of these patterns are listed on QuiltWoman's front page as New Items (exciting!). This is a great opportunity because wholesale orders can be placed for my patterns so much easier, and QuiltWoman has a relationship with major distributors. The people at QuiltWoman have been so wonderful to work with, they have a great website, and a very interesting blog that you can visit. Check it out...send all your friends...and your local quilt shop :)

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Winterthur Country Estate Museum

This weekend I took an amazing trip with the Baltimore Applique Society to the Winterthur Museum in Wilmington DE. The picture above was taken from their website because it rained the whole day we were there and we really didn't explore the grounds. I will definitely be going back in the Spring to check out the many acres of gardens (including an enchanted garden!).

Our trip was primarily to visit the Conservation Lab and see the quilts in the behind the scenes storage, which was fascinating! Marylou McDonald had arranged for Linda Eaton, Curator of Textiles and author of Quilts in a Material World, to give us a talk, and show us quilts in the vast Winterthur collection. I was in awe of the phenomenal set up of the Conservation Lab and seeing up close how they go about cleaning and restoring the antique textiles. We all met up for lunch in the cafe, and Linda Eaton joined us along with Jan Whitlock who was the recipient of two quilt blocks made personally by Marylou McDonald and Margo Cramer, the current BAS President, and given to Jan in appreciation of all that she has done for the Baltimore Applique Society over the past couple of years in conjunction with the making and selling of the Elizabeth MacCullough Hervey Quilt patterns.

Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take pictures behind the scenes or in the Period Rooms, so my camera remained locked in the locker. We did have time to explore the Period Rooms with some incredibly knowledgeable Docents, view the exhibits on our own, and of course shop in their wonderful bookstore and giftshop. I bought the Winterthur pattern set that I didn't have in my collection and did a little Christmas shopping. If you have the chance to visit this wonderful country estate museum, it is definitely worth a day!

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The end of last month I was making little hearts to applique.

I used them to make this heart wreath. Don't look at it too closely, it's a little crooked and the spacing is not perfect. I kind of drug my feet on making this block, it wasn't my favorite. I almost substituted another block for this month's, but in the spirit of participation I started making the little hearts. Then during this month I had a friend who had major surgery, and another one with a recurrence of breast cancer. The little hearts took on a different significance. As I stitched each one down, I said a prayer for my friends. I kind of made it my own little heart rosary.

Hand work for me, is done during my evening quiet time, so it's the perfect venue for prayer and contemplation. It can be very therapeutic too. Last October when I had my own lumpectomy (wow, has it been a year already?), I had just begun this Baltimore Applique class/adventure, and what a blessing that was ~ working on these blocks helped me stay sane/in denial throughout the whole biopsy and surgery process. Having a project to stitch gave me something tangible to focus on during stressful times, and helped to keep things in perspective. Even though this little heart block is not "perfect", it will definitely have a special place in my finished quilt.

Enjoy the day,
~ Dawn

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Knitting...Just Because

My latest little obsession...I'm taking a knitting class at our shop. We're working out of The Sweater Workshop book by Jacqueline Fee.

I'm making this contraption. Everyone asks what it is, and I have to explain that it's absolutely nothing. The author calls it a sweater sampler.

While working my way up the sampler, I'm learning different types of ribbing.

I've learned to change colors, add a little sweatshirt style pocket, and do different types of increases and decreases (all things I did not know how to do before this class).

This last week I learned to do two color work in a pattern. I don't know if I'll be making a sweater when I finish the class, but I do feel confident that I can do a wider variety of knitting projects than just the knit/purl scarves that I've made in the past.

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Let Heaven and Nature Sing

This is a cute little Christmas angel that I made as a sample a few years back, and just now got around to quilting it.

It is from a Nancy Halverson Art to Heart Book called Happy Holidays To You.

I machine pieced, appliqued and quilted it. Then it's embellished with hand stitched words and twigs, and buttons were added for the berries. I've looked at this one for quite a while, so I decided to put it in my Etsy store :)

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Monday, October 19, 2009

We Interupt this Weekend for a...

...Move! This weekend was Heather's big move ~ her first real apartment (she doesn't count dorm rooms at college). Our day started early at Ikea. You know it's early when the parking lot at Ikea is empty. We grabbed some breakfast, ordered a bed frame to be delivered, and hit the road (well, after we meandered the show room and shopped a little).

Someone told Heather that rain on her moving day was good luck. Heather should go out quickly and buy some lottery tickets ~ we got rain, cold rain, the whole weekend.

But at least it wasn't hot. The apartment is on the top floor and we got well acquainted with these, but the cool day made it not so bad. (I remember a super hot 4th floor dorm move Heather and I did all by ourselves a few years back that just about did me in).

Bobby was a willing truck driver, so after his classes ended He, Heather & I got most things moved in the first day. Then Bob got off work, I went to work, and he took over another truck load.

After doing this many times, Heather (and Maddie her cat) are all moved in. Now I'm sitting here (not as stiff as I thought I'd be by the way) getting used to being able to open the door without worrying about the cat running out, making my own tea, and wondering who I'll watch "The Big Bang Theory" and eat popcorn with tonight. I guess I'll have to adjust.

"The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails." ~ William Arthur Ward

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Friday, October 16, 2009

Some Warm Wishes Coming Our Way

At the Jo Morton Club meeting we had a lot of show and tell. First Val, Peggy & Phyllis shared their Warm Wishes beginnings. These will really be coming together by next month!

Then Dawn Burchett came in with a package from the post office to open with us. She had participated in the Cake Stand block exchange with Jo Morton's Yahoo Group, and opened the package with us at the meeting. We all got to ooh and ahh over the blocks and see the different locations from where they all came. It was fun to do that together and so nice of Dawn to think to share the moment with us!

And of course we showed some of the other projects that have been keeping us busy. Phyllis Miller made this really cute Christmas quilt using charm packs for the center...

This adorable soft baby quilt from Beatrix Potter fabric (put out I think by Quilting Treasures)...

And this Autumn themed wall hanging from Gobble Gobble by Sandy Gervais for Moda. She of course had them all finished, quilted and bound. (Phyllis is my hero)

Karen Gladfelter had this really cute tablerunner that she did. She quilted it with a decorative machine stitch which is a really nice touch on this project, and I liked the striped binding :)

Karen also had this huge quilt top that she's pieced from Jason Yenter's Floragraphix IV collection from In The Beginning Fabrics. It was stunning!

Finally, Dawn Burkett had another festive table runner done with this cute tree fabric that I've not seen before. Dawn has been experimenting with machine quilting, and getting a lot of projects finished. This one has some repeats of the swirly Christmas tree quilted in, which is a really nice touch!

I've also had a few others turn in some charm squares to swap, so we'll be busy sorting and swapping real soon :)

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Warm Wishes Center

Well the circles I made the other day got added to some leaves and a couple of stems and became this:

My center block of the Warm Wishes quilt in Jo Morton's Vintage Journey book. This is a fun little project. I'm working on piecing the other blocks, and will keep you posted as it starts to become a quilt.

Also for the Jo Morton Club people ~ last call for the 5" charm swap. Blocks are due to me today. If you intend to participate, but won't have your blocks to me by this evening's meeting, email me so I know to wait for your blocks to arrive before I do the swapping.

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Parade of Amazing Quilts

I'm jumping in a little late, but here is my humble entry in the Fall Blogger's Quilt Festival hosted by Park City Girl.
I chose to show "My Heart's Content" (even though I've posted it before here on my blog) because it's one of my original designs, and the one that kind of really jump started Spring Water Designs...and it has Prairie Points :)

It started out as a quilt that I was making for Heather, and evolved into one that I could use for teaching, then became a pattern ~ Soon to be available at!

I had designed this center applique section to use when I teach my beginning applique class because it covers many techniques using easy shapes to work with. From this one section I can teach inside and outside points and curves, freezer paper on top and behind, "perfect circles", reverse applique, and the back basting method with cut away applique.

Jean McDonald did the beautiful quilting on this quilt for me. It's just a happy quilt! If you want to enjoy a great online quilt show, click on the button at the top of this post to see everyone's entries ~ but one word of caution, be prepared to spend some time there, I think a cup of hot tea and a comfy chair are in order :)

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Have Circles Will Travel

I worked our shop's big Anniversary Sale today, and in between waiting on customers I got this done (kind of sad when all you get done all day long can fit in the bottom of a zip lock baggie, but at the time it seemed like a pretty big acomplishment). Here is what I did:

First I punched a bunch of 5/8" circles from a manila file folder.

Then I cut out some fabric circles roughly a 1/4" bigger than the card board circles, and did a little running stitch in the seam allowance close to the edge.

On a pressing surface, stab through the two circles with the needle (I got this tip from Mimi Dietrich in my Baltimore Applique Class)...

...and pull the thread to draw up the sides. I hit them with the steam iron and a little bit of starch.

...And made berries! (I need to do a bunch of purple ones for grapes for a Baltimore Album block I want to do soon) I usually take the cardboard circles out when pressing but this time I'm going to leave them in and take them out either as I applique them down, or after by cutting the background fabric and removing through the back.

I'm also piecing little blocks for this project (Jo Morton people might recognize this). I'll keep you posted on the progress.
~ Dawn

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I Quick Little Finish for the Day

My cute little finish from yesterday is this Presents Table Runner from Wooden Spool Designs (I just love their stuff). It is a cute little project that can be done up quickly if you do a machine blanket stitch, like I did. (But even by hand this wouldn't take too long).

It only measures 7" x 32" so it makes a cute little accent on the table. I used a combination of wool and homespun fabrics, and we have a kit for it on our shop website.
Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn