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

Thursday, November 3, 2011

My Little Market Trending Report

I went to Schoolhouse sessions all day Friday at Quilt Market.  I hit mostly business related topics that gave info on running my website and other such stuff (invaluable info to me, but boring to report to you about).  But my favorite quilty sessions were all from Andover Fabrics, at least that's were I seemed to snap the most pictures.
 From Jo Morton's new book Prairie Flowers Encore.  

...I loved the red & white bird toile from the Jo's Variety fabric collection :)

I went to Gail Kessler's Schoolhouse session where they show lots of different Andover designers' fabrics, and here are a few of my other favorite new collection quilts...

Batiks from Andover! 

Everyone's perspective is different at Market, but here's my take: There were plenty of traditional fabrics at Market (among others Marcus had some beautiful collections), but the trends were definitely leaning toward Modern.  Which is cool when you're a quilter like me who likes both styles :) Lots of bright, clean looks ~ I loved collections from Basic Gray & Cosmo Cricket for Moda, just about everything from Riley Blake Designs, and a cute new fabric company called Dear Stella...keep an eye out for them!  Licensed novelty fabrics were popular too, I remember seeing Cat in a Hat, Hello Kitty, Yo Gabba Gabba characters, Berenstain Bears, Peanuts (keep an eye out in Quilt Magazine for an upcoming design by me using the Peanuts collection), and of course Clifford (I showed you my sell sheet yesterday)

I find it really interesting that some of the "modern fabrics" I saw are prints very similar to some found in the vintage quilts I own :)  Hexagons were very popular at this Market too...everything old is new again! There were lots of fun ribbons and trims, and cottons are still being featured in clothing, but I do think there were less booths showing childrens clothing than in the past couple of Markets that I've attended.  Handbags are still very popular, and Clover had a new template from Nancy Zieman for making ipod/tablet covers that was very well thought out.  I thought the new cool gadgets were a camera for the long-armers to be able to view their quilt backs while they worked, and a neat lighted and magnified seam ripper (I can see great value in this as I get older!) 

So that's my "Off the Top of My Head" report from Market.  There are so many more things that I didn't mention, it's mind boggling.  Tomorrow I'll show you some of the show quilts that I could photograph :)

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Back Home From Quilt Market

Well I'm back home and finally catching up from my whirlwind trip to Houston.  I didn't take my camera (I know, I'm a bad, bad blogger), but I did manage to snap a few pictures on my cell phone.  This is looking down on the middle of the amazing Market floor.  I never tire of this view.

This is a picture of Houston while I was walking to the Convention Center.  It was a warm day with a beautiful blue sky, and back home they were getting the first snow of the season (They didn't get very much here in central Maryland, and I have to confess, I'm a little bummed that I missed the first snow ~ after all everyone knows the first snow is magical right?)...however, I'm sorry for you people in the Northeast who got blasted and are still without electricity :(

I did manage to snap this quick picture of Laurie & Polly (of Minik & Simpson fame) in their booth (I had to take the picture because I never catch the two of them together!)

I made it to the Modern Quilt Guild Meet Up on Saturday night, and met so many wonderful people!  This is a picture of Robin Woods and me.  Robin is an online friend of mine, one of the leaders of our Quiltsy Group on Etsy, and one of the coordinators of the evening's event from the Houston Modern Quilt Guild.  It was so nice to meet Robin in person for the first time, and we even attended a class together the night before this event. 

Even though I didn't get a lot of photos, I did manage to snap this little picture while visiting the Quilting Treasures booth.  I'm now doing some free lance work for Quilting Treasures and this is the Clifford Fabric sell sheet of the sample quilt that I designed for them!  It's so new that they're just showing the line on paper, no fabric yet (and I just got the finishing touches on the design to them a few days before Market!).  ~ Yes, I was that silly person taking a picture of her first sell sheet, and they were all nice and humored me :)

Market for me this year was about meeting up with a lot of people.  I made a bunch of connections (I'm definitely getting better at that), and spoke to several people about some upcoming work, and I did do a little shopping too :)  Even though I'm not good at taking booth pictures, I did take some quilt photos, but I'm still pulling pictures off of my phone.  I'll post some School House pictures tomorrow :)

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn