Saturday, December 24, 2011

My Christmas Wish

 My wish is that you all have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy & Healthy 2012!

Keep it Simple & Enjoy the Day!
~ Dawn

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Little Show and Tell During This Busy Month

Wow, I just looked at the date of my last blog post ~ time is flying by this month!  I have been busy designing, and I've done some more repair work, but other than that I've been mostly busy with I mention shopping)... I've even had some doctors appointments and a little oral surgery thrown in the mix :(  But I wanted to take the time and stop in for a little show and tell.  This is my Jungle Buddies Quilt made with the cute Jungle Buddies fabric collection from Wilmington Prints.  On top of being made of the cutest kid fabric I've seen in a while, the design makes up really quick and easy using a panel as the main focus with some borders and simple piecing, so it's perfect for a quick kiddie quilt :)

The pattern for the quilt can be found in the current issue of Quilt Magazine on news stands now, and I have kits available for it Here!  I also have the fabrics available as yardage on bolts Here (While supplies last.) 

I pieced the sample quilt, and my good friend Sheri Thompson of Pieceful Completion machine quilted it for me with a really cute all over swirl pattern that I thought was the perfect touch :)

And I made this bonus coordinating pillow that's large sized and just right for TV watching.  You can get the pattern for the pillow as a free download Here from the Quilt Magazine website!

I love the modern look of this cute kid fabric, and I combined it with some traditional block piecing ~ I love combining the old with the new :)  I think it makes a great gift quilt for a favorite little guy (works for girls too, but I had little boys in mind when I designed it because it's harder to find cute quilts for the little guys).  Hurry to buy any kits and fabrics though if you're interested, they are selling out quick! 

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Friday, December 9, 2011

What's Been Keeping Me Busy...

This baby has lived on my dining room table for months now.  I've been repairing her for a customer off and on between other projects ~ I had to do it that way to keep it affordable for the customer, and to keep my sanity :)

The old girl needed lots of work.  Where it had been folded in storage is very evident.  Take that as a lesson for anyone with quilts in storage ~ make sure the folds are "soft" and not sharp folds by making rolls using wadded up archival tissue paper* and placing them inside the folds of the quilt...and rotate the quilt every now and then: Take it out of it's storage box, let it spread out on a bed for a while and "breath", and then when you are ready to re-store it make sure the folds fall on different areas of the quilt. 

*Also, fold rolls can be made by cutting a foam pool noodle (floating device) to the lengths that you want, and wrapping them with archival tissue paper or batting and placing them in the folds of the stored quilt.

...And it's a good idea to make a "pillow case" for the quilt out of muslin to protect the outsides of the quilt.  At the very least, use scrap batting to lay between the quilt and the vessel it's being stored in. 
 ...Ok, I'll hop off the soap box now :)

Some of the damage on this quilt is just from really thinning fabric.  Some areas are just shredding.

Since all of the fabrics are so thin, it was decided that I would try to preserve the quilt by adding tulle netting over the worst areas to minimize future tearing.  But first I hand stitched some stabilizing stitches on the torn areas.  (You can click on the pictures to get a better view of what I'm talking about.)

Then, where I could I appliqued new fabrics over patches that were completely gone.  (All of my work is "removable" and the original quilt wasn't permanently altered to maintain any value it may have as an antique heirloom.) 

So after (probably millions of) stabilizing stitches, replacing missing patches in the rings, and applying tulle netting over the major damaged areas, and around all the edges she is finally ready to head home to her owner.  Even though she has some wear, I think she's still sweet :)

Then I shifted gears and spent some time this week quilting this little Chirstmasy wall hanging for a customer.

This one was a quick, short and sweet project :)   I love the colors in this one ~ it's put me right in the Christmas spirit, so I think I'll take some time today to "deck some halls" at the Stewart house :)

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Quick Little Project for the Holidays

I'm so excited, I got my Create & Decorate Magazine in the mail yesterday, and look what's on page 40!  It's my Baltimore Applique Tablemat ~ and it looks so cool in the magazine's photography :)

I designed it in a Folksy Baltimore Applique style, and used wool on a homespun background.  The shapes were machine appliqued, as I like to do, over a little doily, and in this picture I was previewing little accent medallions for the center ~ this is the one that won out. 

The little medallion is nice and flat, so I can still set a candle on it on my table :)   The mat has some sturdiness to it because instead of using batting, I used Timtex stiff interfacing in the center.

It makes up quick and easy ~ so it can be made to decorate for Christmas, and with the little hearts and doily it's still appropriate through Valentines Day :)

The pattern can be found in this issue of Create  & Decorate Magazine on news stands now...and how stinkin cute is that cover snowgal!  It's so adorable, I'm using the magazine as a Christmas decoration on my coffee table :)

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Little Down Time = A Finished DJ Block!

I was able to capture a few minutes for myself this weekend for little hand stitching, and I finished a Dear Jane block!  This is my version of B-3.  This can be pieced, but you know me...I appliqued mine.  (I just made two Four-patch blocks, and used one of them to applique a circle on top of the other.)

That makes block number 13 for me on my Dear Jane Quilt.  I'm not moving at lightning speed, just fitting it in when I have the down time, and keeping it stress free.  I have two doctor appointments this week, so who knows ~ with all that waiting room time, I just may get another one done :)

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Friday, December 2, 2011

A Little TLC and a Bunch of Spray Paint

This is my "new" Hoosier Cabinet base that I picked up through my local Freecycle group this summer.  She's sitting  pretty in an upstairs bedroom now, but needed a little TLC to get here.  

This is how it looked when we hauled it home in July...

Inside there was no bottom, but there were plenty of spider webs.

A little scraping was in order.  After removing contact paper, at least four distinct layers of paint, and a bit of rust it was time for the spray painting to commence.

The original color of the cabinet was Ivory, so that's what I decided to go with for the cabinet, and I used white appliance spray paint on the porcelain top.  I re-used the original hardware, but because it was so marred up after removing the layers of paint, I painted that black. 

Hubby took pity on me and put a bottom in it so now I can actually use it to store things, and he even fashioned this cool shelf that pulls out :)  He did do a bit of joint repairing and tightening up too...because he's the best :) 
All in all I'm happy with how it turned out.  It only cost me a bit of elbow grease and the price of some stripper and spray paint.  Now I have to keep an eye out for a Hoosier Cabinet Hutch to go on top!

While I had the spray paint out I painted this little shelf that I had in a closet to match it.  I think it all looks good with this old mini quilt that I made years ago ~ I knew I was saving it for something :)

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Wow, I realized how long it's been since I posted to the blog!  I am here, and busy.  I'll have some new projects to show soon, I promise ~ And by the way, how do you like the new look here on my blog?  

So you see there have been quilty things going on here, but this past week was all about family and friends.  There was about a week of preparation leading up to Thanksgiving, and then the big weekend.  It took us two Thanksgiving dinners to get to see everyone this year...and the best part ~ I didn't have to cook either one of them!  How cool is that :)

First we spent Thanksgiving Day at Grandma Betty's in Delaware, and then Heather and Luke deep fried a turkey here at my house on Friday.  I had never had the deep fried turkey and it was wonderful, it made the whole neighborhood smell so good!

The kids told us to take it easy and they did all of the cooking!  It was like it was my birthday :)  I just spent the days playing with the little ones and snapping pictures.

Here we are at Grandma Betty's dinner, and I got a picture of Elsie taking a picture of me taking a picture of her ~ it's non-stop action at our get-togethers, what can I say :) much action that I think every picture I snapped of the kiddos was blurry!  (I'm obviously used to photographing stationary items, and have to work on my "action shots").  I think they're budding rock stars, they really do get into their "music" :)

We're so blessed that we could get together and celebrate with family and even some new friends this year.  I'm thankful for each and every one of them, and also the friends that I've met here on the blog and through Spring Water Designs throughout 2011.  I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Sunday, November 20, 2011

An Amazing Museum Trip

Last week I ventured down to Richmond, Virginia for a trip with the Baltimore Applique Society to visit the Museum of the Confederacy for what I thought was going to be a little tour of a museum and a chance to view a couple of antique quilts.  Talk about an understatement!   

We started out touring the White House of the Confederacy with a tour guide that was nothing short of amazing!  Abdul was a retired Seargent-Major of the Army who was born and raised in the Richmond area, and knew his history like no one I've met before.  The House has been restored to as it was when Jefferson Davis and his family lived there, and our guide shared facts and told us stories that brought it to life for us.  It was a fascinating tour. 

Then we went next door to the Museum where we had been pre-scheduled to meet with Cathy Wright the curator in charge of the textile collection, and go behind the scenes to view some of the antique quilts in the museum's collection.

We were asked not to publish any pictures of the quilts, so here you can't see the quilt, but you can see how we all gathered around and viewed several wonderful Civil War era quilts in two different conservation rooms of the museum that included some gorgeous embroidery, a really cool hexi quilt, some beautiful pieced quilts, a couple of wonderfully preserved crazy quilts, and a down right amazing hand-quilted trapunto whole cloth quilt.  Cathy was so gracious, and was very knowledgeable sharing the history of the quilts. 

If you want to view the quilts in the Museum of the Confederacy's collection, they have a great feature on their website were they've photographed the quilt collection, and you can even zoom in to see the fabrics up close.  Go to , sit back with a cup of tea and enjoy :)

Then after we walked through the museum's exhibits, we got a totally un-scheduled treat.  Teresa Roane who is in charge of the Archives at the Museum invited our group upstairs to tour their library and collection of wonderful letters and documents.  Teresa showed us some original letters from Civil War soldiers and Generals.  I was amazed at how people 150 years ago, even though we write a bit differently and have totally different life experiences, are so similar to people of today in their thoughts to their loved ones, rantings to their superiors, and even shared jokes between cousins.

The picture above shows us in our grand finale of the day after Teresa unscrolled the original Provisional Articles of the Confederacy for us to look over!

It was amazing to see history so up close and personal, and Teresa's enthusiasm was catching.  I was blown away at the hospitality of the people who run this museum and how much they thoroughly enjoyed sharing the history with us.  If you are ever visiting the Richmond area, I highly recommend a trip to the Museum of the Confederacy!  Don't you just love it when a little trip turns into such a delightful day!

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Friday, November 18, 2011

Need a Quick Autumn Hostess Gift?

Do you need a quick project for Thanksgiving?  Not making pies this week and want to whip up a quick hostess gift?  Well my Acorn Penny Runner pattern is now available as a downloadable pattern at AccuQuilt's website

It makes up super fast using the AccuQuilt Go! Cutter to cut out your applique shapes ~ but the pattern includes templates for all shapes if you want to cut them out the traditional way with scissors too. 

I made mine from wool, but it would make up cute with cottons too!  Use scraps that you already have on hand in your stash :)

It's super easy and quick, and the pattern is at a discounted since it's downloadable you get it instantly and with no shipping!

So hop on over to This Link and get your pattern, but hurry if you want it for Thanksgiving Dinner :)

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Are You a Janiac?

This is my A-1 block in my budding little Dear Jane collection.  I had started my Baby Jane several years ago, but tend to put it aside for long periods of time.  I have twelve blocks completed that I've done in my "spare time" ~ that means it's kind of slow going, because spare time is pretty scarce around here lately!

I'm excited because I found this cool blog group that will help to motivate me to keep preparing blocks that I can work on in my little stolen "spare" moments.  I shared a few of my finished Dear Jane Blocks on the Janiac's Blog in This Post.  Keep following for some great Dear Jane inspirations from all of the members of the Janiac's Unite blog group!

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Habitat Challenge Revealed

We had our big reveal on Thursday for our Habitat fabric challenge at the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild.  The first part of the challenge was to make a 12-1/2" block using some Habitat fabrics designed by Jay McCarroll for Free Spirit fabrics. This is my block and it'll go into a charity quilt with other blocks from the guild members.

These were the fabrics we started with.  We all received 6 fat eighths from the collection that Free Spirit donated for the cause.  They were quite diverse, and interesting to work with because they are not what I would normally pick for a project, although I did like all the dots...and hey it's free fabric right!

The second part of the challenge after we made our block, was to use the remaining fabrics and make a project of our choosing.  I added a bit of Kona Bone and purple, and here is the little quilt I made :)

It's basically my Chutes & Ladders quilt design, only made smaller.  I used the leftover fabrics in scrappy strips to accent the sashing bars and to create a scrappy binding.  Then I quilted it with circles in multiple sizes. 

I even used up more scraps of the challenge fabrics on the back :)

And since it was a challenge, and I was challenging myself to use up all of this free fabric, this is a pincushion that I made out of the cut away center of the circle that I appliqued on my block and offered up as a little door prize at the meeting.  I literally only had a few strings left of the free fabric when all was said and done...Challenge complete :)

You can check out more Habitat Challenge projects at this Flickr Group ~ they are all so diverse!

PS ~ Stay tuned later this week for the final installment (setting) for the Quick Mystery BOM Runner project (I'm running a little behind getting everything written and up after all of my traveling lately). 

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Show Quilts!

 There were beauties around every corner, it was so overwhelming...Enjoy!

 A Time Between Times, by Sara Madson


 All the quilting was amazing! 

 There were dolls...

 ...and doll quilts too :) 

My friend Polly Mello's amazing applique quilt called A Memory of Texas.  It was quilted by Illona Hull.

It's complete with lots of Texas critters, 

Including a big hairy spider :)

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn