Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sugary Sweet Baby Quilt

Voting is up for the last entry for this season's Project Quilting challenges!  This is my Sugary Sweet Baby Quilt.  The challenge involved using a large print fabric, and at least one stripe or plaid fabric.  I chose to use large prints in several ways.  First I used the big focus print as a large section of the quilt, just a little off centered.

Then I used some small and large prints in the pieced nine patch blocks that I then cut on a slant using the X-Block ruler.  I like the movement that the tilted nine patch blocks give to the piece, and the little pinwheel effect that is made where the blocks come together :)

I also cut a larger print up to make the narrow pink sashing strips; and the bright yellow binding is also a large print.  The striped fabric I used as accent sashing strips on either side of the large print.  

Go on over to Kim's blog to check out all of the other Large Print entries and to vote.  Leave a comment to be in the running for a cute little fabric bear for the giveaway!

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Friday, March 25, 2011

Just One Star

Do you need a quick little project to play with this weekend?  This one is quick I promise, I made this block in less than half an hour at 5:30 this morning before heading to Virginia for the day.  It's a tiny little project that can make a huge impact on someone...

Moda Fabrics is sponsoring the Just One Star initiative, where volunteers at Moda are piecing 100 quilts in 100 days made from star blocks like the one above that I'm donating.  The finished quilts will ultimately go to comfort a wounded soldier.  Download the free block pattern and criteria at this link:

Sign your name, add your state, and mail it out before the May 1st deadline.  The goal is to have the quilts finished by Flag Day on June 14th ~ I thought that was a cool touch :)  A bunch of ladies on my Quiltsy Team on Etsy are making blocks, do you have a group or guild that can participate?

In case you also want to make your own quilt using the star blocks, here is the quilt pattern designed by Minick & Simpson that the donation blocks are being used for:
Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Kind of Like Designing a Quilt

Yesterday we started the process of picking out the tile for the remodel of our master bathroom that has been planned for some time now.  We're just now getting around to it because after our kitchen remodel last year, I was so tired of making choices and decisions that I just had to take some time off.  Now we were ready to go again and my heart was not really in it, until while standing there in the tile shop for the hours that it took us to make all of our choices, it struck me how much this was like picking out fabrics for a quilt. 

We started out with our little sample of granite and the door sample from the vanity that we already have, and we laid out floor tiles that we have picked out (kind of like a focus fabric to coordinate with in a quilt).  Then we started pulling tiles that would become the walls, floors and accent borders in the shower.  It was like pulling bolts of fabrics in the quilt shop to pick out sashings, borders, bindings for a quilt ~ which is my favorite part of quilt making :)

We even had to lay out these little pieces (the ones that look like square chalk) to determine the color of grout that we wanted.  A seemingly small thing, but I can't tell you how many times I've laid out strands of thread to determine just the right shade for the quilting stitches.  By the time we were all finished making choices and placed our order, I was excited and ready for it to come in to get started on our new project...and the tile guy had quite a mess of things to put back on the shelves ~ just like with quilt making :)

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sometimes You Just Need a Simple Little Project

Aren't these just yummy!  They are easy-peasy to make, and a great way to use up extra fabric from other projects or left over charm squares ~ and because sometimes you just need a simple weekend project...just for fun!  The ones shown above were made by my daughter Lisa! 

And they were photographed for this new magazine publication ~  have you seen it yet?  It comes from the editors of Quilt Magazine and it's chocked full of fun projects and ideas for quick quilting and sewing (and great ideas for using scraps).  It's a special issue that can be found on the news stands now. 
Here's another one that I made.  They're fun and make great gifts ~ kind of like toys for quilters...and you can find some already made here in my Etsy store :)

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Monday, March 21, 2011

My Little Bunch of Goodies

So after playing catch up at the end of last week, and then having to take a quick unplanned trip to Virginia on Saturday to help out with my grandbabies while both of their parents recover from an impromptu bout of food poisoning (yes, they were both really sick at the same time), I'm now back and finally getting to go through my little bunch of goodies from the Lancaster quilt show. 

I was actually really well behaved.  I suppose I'm pacing myself for all of the upcoming shows :)  I did get a wonderful bundle of cheddar fat quarters (because you can never have enough cheddar), and these little bundles of wool that I already have plans for.  I picked up the X-Block ruler and a book.  I loved some of the samples in their booth, and am playing with the ruler now ~ It looks like it'll be fun to use it with different fabrics for different effects.  I also picked up some more Bernina bobbins (I never have enough of them), and I ordered a little something from the Bernina dealer that'll be coming in the mail that I have plans for...I'll show it to you later if it works out ~ and no, it's not a new machine :(

I didn't take a bunch of show quilt pictures at this show, because I was just wandering and wasn't taking the time to watch signs as to which quilts I was allowed to photograph and which ones not (I just have to be in the mood to deal with all that sometimes, sorry), But here is a picture of a panel that I purchased from the Mary Koval Baltimore Album reproduction fabric from Windham...kind of like a quilt. 

...And just so you get a picture of a real quilt, here is my humble little Cathedral Window quilt that I made that holds my quilt show pins, complete with my new Lancaster 2011 pin :)

More quilt show fun this weekend with the Southern Comforter's Guild Show happening Saturday and Sunday, March 26 & 27th!

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Quilt Show Season Begins!

Don't you just love the sights and sounds of a quilt show?  Last weekend I visited the Baltimore Heritage Quilters Guild show called Quilt Expo 2011 held at Goucher College in Baltimore MD. 
It's been a long winter without any quilt shows, but Spring is almost here, and so the shows begin. When walking a quilt show, there are always the moments of awestruck beauty,

 ...Random inspirations, 
...and downright "yumminess" :)

And sometimes I run into my friends!  This striking Dear Jane was made by my friend Rita Clark.

This Dear Jane beauty was made by my friend Dawn Burckett of The Straw Needle blog.

And I remember when Joan Zelinka was lovingly stitching this wonderful piece at some of our Civil War Sunday meetings.  It's so neat when walking the isles of a quilt show, I spot a friend's quilt that I recognize :)

Hope Springs eternal with many more quilt shows.  The other day I ran up to Lancaster to the AQS Quilt Show with a friend of mine and we had a wonderful time!  The show's going on through Saturday, and if you're in the area and have the chance check it out...all I can say is wow!  I have a bunch of goodies to unpack...it's not my fault ~ the vendors were fantastic :)  and I'm still catching up from taking the day off, so I'll post more on Lancaster soon.

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Geese of Gettysburg

Ok, I did go "out of my box" for this week's Project Quilting entry.  The criteria for this challenge was to use a traditional Flying Geese block as inspiration but to do something different with it.  I wanted to try the curved Flying Geese that I've seen in some art quilts at shows, but I'd never made them before, so this attempt was completely different for me.  And while I'm most comfortable with reproductions, home-spuns, and some brighter cottons, I rarely use batiks ~ which I used here to piece the background. 

I wanted the geese to curve and graduate in size, so I figured that paper piecing would be the way to go with this.   I drew out my curves and drafted the geese in a larger "life size" form, and then traced the geese unit in four sections to make them easier to handle. 

Then I paper pieced the geese, and sewed the units together.  

Since my first love is hand applique, that's how I decided to attach my geese to my background.  I basted under the edges, appliqued it in place, and then cut away the background from behind and removed the paper backing from the geese. 

The other criteria of the challenge was to use two complimentary colors on the color wheel in our piece.  I used 13 different shades of blue and orange to compose the flying geese, graduating the shades from dark to light to dark again.  Blue and orange because my inspiration for the project are the geese that converged on my daughter's college campus every year at Gettysburg College ~ and blue and orange are Gettysburg school colors.  After quilting, I stretched and mounted the quilt over a 16" x 20" artist canvas. 

The machine appliqued geese silhouettes in a smoky brown color are to depict the actual geese roaming the campus around my daughter's dorm ~ thus the title of the piece...The Geese of Gettysburg.  Although with that title I feel like it needs a cannon silhouette or something ~ I'm not sure I've ever seen a Gettysburg inspired quilt that wasn't done in Civil War Reproduction fabrics :)

The voting is up now for this week's Project Quilting challenge and you can go here to cast your vote for your favorite entry.  It's really cool to see what everyone comes up with, and to read what their inspirations were.  Don't forget to leave a comment to be entered in the give away too!

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Sunday, March 13, 2011


This is the closet of my Sewing Room Annex/Design Studio (aka Heather's old bedroom).  I usually leave the door of this walk-in closet closed because it usually looks like a tornado has gone through it. 

But today, my lovely daughter came over, shared her wonderful organizational skills, and helped me go through it all.  We did a lot of sorting, moving, and a little tossing...(yes I was very good!)

The closet is definitely furnished on the cheap.  This unit was built out of plywood to hold paper and supplies in an old office closet, now it's holding scrap booking papers and supplies pretty effectively. 

I can actually get to my fabrics now (there used to be piles on the floor in front of these book case units).   And No, this is not all of my fabric stash.  I have to admit, I do have another closet full of yardage in my original Sewing Room next door. 

...and more piles used to be in front of this bookcase where I'm now keeping works in progress and current projects that I'm gathering. 

These storage bins and drawers have been gathered from all over the house to complete the final wall of the closet.  Here I'm keeping future projects, kits and yarns.  Note the labels on the bins/drawers :)

It's not really attractive, or anything special, but now it's organized and functional, and all I can say when I look in the closet now is, "Ahhh!".

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Little Inspiration Trip

So the other day I took a little creative excursion to Ikea.  I love walking around there and checking out the displays and fun finds, and this trip was no exception.  I always snap pictures of things that inspire me.  It was funny that on this trip I saw some others taking pictures too :)

As soon as I move some things around and make a few adjustments, I'm going back for this piece.  I have the perfect place for it in my sewing room annex (aka Heather's old bedroom).

And this cool bed frame is going to be a new addition to my guest room (aka Lisa's old bedroom).  ...Much to Bobby's chagrin, I'm also making plans on what will one day be known as Bobby's old bedroom!

...Ikea has fabric too, and of course some of this had to come home with me!  This is heavy upholstery weight fabric and will make some great cushions.

I was also surprised to find that Ikea carries thread.  I bought some to try out and see if I like it...I'll keep you posted on that.

I found a couple other cute things (that of course had to come home with me) that I'll show later when I get the time to put them together :)

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Learning Something New

Yesterday I had a fun afternoon (after a not-so-fun morning at the dentist) hanging out spending some much needed time with my sewing buddies.  After mentioning to my friend Mary that I'd like to learn how she puts zippers into her little bags and pouches that she makes, she commenced to show us with an impromptu demo. 

Starlyn (who was hosting our little sewing day), pulled out some squares of pre-quilted fabrics, and a drawer full of various zippers from her amazing stash, and in minutes Mary had us making these cute little bags. 
I've never done zippers quite this way, and I love it, no more catching the fabric in my zipper!  I like how she showed us to add the little pull tabs on the ends too.  I can see that I'm going to be making more of these little bags in the future...in various different sizes!  This one has become my new camera case ~ it's bigger than my old case, and can hold my camera cord as well as my camera (which I usually forget to pack when I'm traveling!)

By the way, today is Shrove Tuesday, Lent starts tomorrow, and that means Easter is on it's way!  With Easter comes Peeps ~ both Peeps Bunnies and Peeps Chicks!  Anyway, for anyone who is a Peeps fan, the 5th Annual Peeps Diorama Contest sponsored by The Washington Post is underway (contest submissions are due by March 14th).  You can find out about this fun and creative contest here, and see pictures of past contest winners...I guarantee a few chuckles!

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Monday, March 7, 2011

Another Abby's Owl

This is what I've been working on this past week.  Another Abby's Owl quilt.  This one is a special order for a customer who is having a new little baby :)

I love this bright and happy quilt, so it's been a pleasure to make another one.  I think I'm going to cut out a couple more and make a few to sell in the Etsy shop. 

I had been out of some of the fabrics but have gotten more in, so the kits are now ready and available again here in my web store :)

...And the winner of my little National Craft Month give away from Friday is:
     Peaceful Piecer!
I'm sending you an email for your address to send your box out :)

Keep watching, we may have to have a little fun with National Quilting Day coming up soon!

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Friday, March 4, 2011

Sending the Babies Out Into the World

This is my newest finish.  I'm so excited ~ today I boxed her up and shipped her off to be photographed. I'm a little apprehensive too, It's always hard to trust the Post Office and send my babies out into the world.

I can only give you a little sneak peek right now.  She's being photographed to make her debut in Quilt Magazine, I think the August/September issue.  Don't you just love these fabrics?  It's Anneke's Collection designed by Jennifer Chiaverini for Red Rooster Fabrics...due to be in quilt shops (and my web store) later this month!

Here you can see a little of the great feathery (is that a word?) machine quilting that Mary did on her for me.  I just love the all over design that she chose to do.  When my baby returns home from her big trip, she'll be my new bedroom decor ~ I can't wait :)

On another note,  in honor of National Craft Month (going on right now), I thought it was time for a little blog give away!  I'm offering this grouping of craft supplies:  Some Pat Sloan fabric scraps, little foam hearts, Paper Piece Hexagons, a metal shelf sitter that says "create",

...A hanging pocket organizer, a zippered pencil pouch, Pincushion push pins, A box of Adornments fibers, and an Adorn it pin.  Just a little grouping of fun stuff to play with :)

Leave a comment on this post for a chance in the give away.  Also, for a bonus entry, "Like" my Spring Water Designs Facebook Page (and tell me here that you did).  If we get to 150 followers on our FB page, there just might be a little bonus drawing ;)

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn