Monday, December 23, 2013

My Favorite Gifts...

I got a box in the mail this week from my Mom, and along with packages for me and the little ones that we won't open until Christmas morning, it had a batch of cookies, and a bunch of these crocheted ornaments that she made :)

Abby and I immediately put them all over our tree.  I'll share and let my daughters and son choose some for their own trees when they come over on Christmas day, but right now they're all gracing my tree...

 ...I'm thoroughly enjoying them, and smile every time I look at them ~

Don't you just love a handmade ornament :)

Peace to you and yours, and I hope you have a Merry Christmas!

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Thursday, December 19, 2013

My Quilted Kite Made the Sew-It Today Cover!

There was a Joann's newsstand sighting of the February/March issue of Sew-it Today magazine...and what's on the cover?  My quilted Kite!  (Doesn't it look stinkin' cute with that quilt and sweet hexi pillow on the bed?) 

Here is a photo of the kite without the Magazine title words on it :)  It has appliqued stars, and stars are quilted into it too. 

They're fun to make, and we may just have to have a class on making them in the new shop ~ How about February, so we have them finished for March decorating? 

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Spackle, Spackle, Sand & Paint...

Whole lot of this going on in the last week here...We'll keep you posted on the progress for the new shop! 

In the meantime, there's still space in this Saturday's Long Arm Rental Class.  Contact me to sign up ~ in case you want to avoid the malls :)

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Big Happenings At Spring Water Designs!

So this is what's moved into my re-arranged studio from This Blog Post (as you see, we're still in process, but almost there!)
 We still have the original Avante set up

 ...and My Sweet Sixteen.  So why all the machines you ask?
Our Long Arm Rental Program is Starting Now!
Don’t have room to fit a 12 foot long arm frame in your home, or think you might want to try long arm quilting before purchasing?  Then try our Long Arm Rental Program!
First ~ Take the Training Class…
The Beginning Long Arm Classes are $60 per person** and have only two people on each machine, in a hands-on, four-hour class. Payment is required at registration.
          Upcoming class dates are:
                    Tuesday, December 17 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
                    Saturday, December 21 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
                    Monday, December 30 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
                    Monday, January 13 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

** Limited Time Special ~ Receive Discounted Prices for upcoming 2014 reservations if pre-paid in December 2013 ~ So call us and get registered now!

(Experienced long arm quilters can take a Certification class in lieu of the full Basic class.  Certification fee is $35, and classes are set up by appointment.  You will learn the policies for renting our machines, and be asked to demonstrate that you know how to use them.)

Then ~ Rent a Long Arm & Get Those Quilt Tops Finished!
Once you’ve taken the Beginning Long Arm Class, we invite you to rent a long arm machine by the hour and get those quilt tops made into quilts! The machines rent for $15/hour with a 4 hour minimum rental period. The fee includes thread and use of our edge-to-edge pantograph patterns. Machine rental is by appointment and the hours are flexible.
Let us help you make the quilt yours from start to finish!

 …And Because we are Growing…This little guy and I are going way out on a limb…

I’m excited to announce that Spring Water Designs will be moving in the New Year!  
We’ve signed a lease to move out of my home studio into a retail space in Columbia Maryland!  We’ll have more room for lots of fabric, notions, batting & supplies, a room for machine rentals, tons of Machine Quilting Gadgets and Accessories, and a great classroom space!  We have some painting to do, and a little build out, but I’ll do some blogging to keep everyone posted on our progress as we get the space ready and have a firm move in date. 

Here's a little sneak peek at one of the rooms in the new shop :)

…But in the meantime, while we’re still in the Home Studio, we’re excited to invite you to a Studio Holiday Open House & Pre-Moving Sale! 
Take a break from your holiday preparations on Saturday, Dec. 14th to come on by and bring a friend!  We’ll have demos, treats to eat, and lots of products on sale ~ 20% Off HQ Gadgets, other notions, and selected fabrics & kits!  Bring your Christmas Wishlist and treat yourself!

And we still have some spaces available in our HQ Club Classes ~ Check out our current Newsletter for upcoming dates and details!

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

From a Holiday Star Bundle...

Today I was cutting, cutting, folding and tying...

 ...and binding...

 ...after piecing and quilting this tree skirt yesterday from the above Star Fat Quarter Bundle.

The Star Bundles are now available in my shop, and with the purchase of a Star Fat Quarter Bundle, you will receive a Free Pattern to make the Christmas Tree skirt!

The fabrics are from the Holiday Classics fabric line just like the Kits for the Holiday Classics Quilt that Mary made in This Post. (These projects all make up really quickly ~ so there's still time to get them done before Christmas!)

...and it's Maddie approved :) 

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Holiday Classics Quilt Sample!

A while back, I shared that my Holiday Classics pattern is on Quilting Treasures' website, and that I have the fabrics & quilt kits now available in my Shop ~ but I hadn't had a chance to make up a sample in these fabrics yet.

So my amazing friend Mary made this one for me to use! 

And, as usual, her quilting on it is amazing too!

It makes up really quick and easy, so there's plenty of time to get one for the holidays ~ and don't forget the matching Table runner too!

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Some Empty Floor Space in the Studio...

So I've been busy in the wee hours this week re-arranging my sewing studio.  I'm finally getting everything put away, and I have a little extra floor space...

I do have plans for it...What do you think I'm going to put there?...

Check back later this week, my goal is to get everything finished over the holiday weekend.

...We'll see...

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Monday, November 18, 2013

Blog Hopping Winners!

First I want to say thank you to everyone who stopped by my little corner of blogland, and left a sweet comment during the Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Blog Hop last week!  I enjoyed reading about everyone's favorites and getting all the great feedback that you left me. helped me choose some random numbers, and...Congratulations to the winners from my turn on the Hop!

Becky will receive a copy of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks magazine:

Becky said...
Stars Across the Quilt and the apron pattern were the patterns that I liked. I do like your block in the 100 Blocks magazine. Love that there are many different designs options. Many thanks!

Deborah & Madeline will receive their favorite Spring Water Designs pattern: 

Love your block. I really Hearts Content pattern

Madeline said...
I like the Minneapolis tote pattern. Need one with lots of pockets.

Contact me with your shipping information ~ and we'll get your items out in the mail to you!

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Some Bloggy Hoppin Fun!

My exciting news for the week is that I have a block appearing in Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks vol. 8 that's hitting news stands this month!

This is my little block called Citrus Rainbow.  It's Block #753 and can be found on page 50 of volume 8 (Right in the middle of the issue conveniently located by the pattern pull-out page).

It's pretty easy to make ~ wedges are cut from strip sets either by using a wedge ruler, or the wedge templates are included in the pull-out pattern section of the magazine.

I thought I'd share one of the things I like to do to play with layout design choices using a single block.  This can be done easily by anyone, even if you don't have design software on your computer...or like me, you don't want to take way more time to learn how to load this block in the software than it would to actually play with designs...or like me you once knew how to do that, but would need to take an entire day to figure out how to do it again...

...So anyway, first you just copy about 16 copies of the little block shown in the magazine.  (You can either copy it multiple times, or scan it once and plop 16 of them on one page and print that page out).  Then you cut them out so you have 16 little paper quilt blocks to play with like the ones shown above.   

Now you have what my grand daughter calls quilt puzzle pieces, and it's time to play...

By just laying them out in different orientations you can easily experiment with different looks...

...and combinations of row and column settings.  These are just a few ideas.  Try laying them out on colored paper and leave gaps between blocks to get an idea of how sashings and/or borders would look with the block. 

**Don't forget to snap a photo of any combinations that you like, especially if you're changing them around to a lot ~ it's easy to forget that really cute design that you liked, but now can't remember what you did (ask me how I know that). 

Then when you're done with them, the kiddos will spend hours "designing" with their quilt puzzle, allowing you time to actually start cutting out your fabrics...Win - Win!

Now for some Bloggy-Hoppin fun!  Head over to the Spring Water Designs website and peruse the   patterns.  Then come back and leave a comment on this blog post letting us know which is your favorite Spring Water Designs pattern (Hint: you can view some pattern designs on the home page, or the patterns, or kits pages on the website).  On Sunday the 17th, one name will be drawn from the comments to receive a copy of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks vol. 8 magazine, and Two more winners will be drawn to receive a copy of their favorite Spring Water Designs pattern :)

Don't forget to follow along on the 100 Blocks Blog Tour daily November 11th - 15th at The Quiltmaker Blog to see other great blocks, ideas, and even more give aways!

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Monday, November 11, 2013

100 Blocks Blog Tour Starts Today!

I'm excited to share that I'm taking part in the Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Blog Tour that runs this week ~ My day is Thursday, so stop back by here then to see my block and get in on my give away!
The magazine hits the news stands by November 19th, but if you can't find it, you can also get a copy Here in my web store...that is if you don't win one in a give away :)

Make sure you hop on over to Quiltmaker's Quilty Pleasures Blog to see today's Blog Hop Hosts and see all their wonderful blocks and inspirations ~ and enter all the give aways!

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Friday, November 8, 2013

Another Rootin Tootin Version

It makes my day when someone takes one of my original patterns (like my Rootin Tootin Cowboy quilt pictured above) and makes it their own ~ and then shares photos with me!
Janell Roberts from Colorado sent me these photos of how she used the appliques from my pattern and made her version of the Rootin Tootin Cowboy quilt.  She made it for their Undersheriff who is expecting a baby.  Mother-to-be's hubby is a rancher, so she went with the cowboy theme.

Both parents-to-be are volunteer firemen, so Janell used this cuddly flannel on the back that has dalmatians and fire hydrants ~ her fabric choices are so well thought out, and just perfect ...and I need to find some of this flannel for my firefighter son :)

Janell shared with me that she has inherited over 1500 yards of fabric that she's using in the quilts she makes, which I think is so special in carrying forward our craft.  (It beautifully illustrates the value of our fabric stashes and the legacy that lives on through them.)  Thank you Janell for sharing your sweet quilt, I know it will be loved :)

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

PS ~ You can go to this past Blog Post if you want that shows a different version of my Abby's Owl quilt that another quilter friend shared with me :)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Confessions of a Simple Meandering Quilter...

We spent an afternoon the week we were in Houston walking through the amazing quilt show at the International Quilt Market, and as my photos like the one above will attest, I was in awe of the quilting.  The hours and talent that were poured into those quilts resulted in some magnificent pieces of art and certainly classifies them as what we think of as heirlooms.  It really humbled me and reinforced the thought I had that I'm not an "heirloom quilter".

So when I returned home and went back to work on the pile of quilt tops that I have in line for my Handi Quilter ~ all of which are receiving a simple allover meander quilting design ~ I was feeling less than inspired, and questioning my quilting talents.  (...Not that I don't do more custom quilting treatments occasionally, but frankly most of the time a simple allover meander is what I'm doing to get a quilt finished.)

...While working on my next quilt that was one of two that I pieced and was now quilting for my cousin to gift to her grandsons for Christmas, I was muttering about my lack of "heirloom" quality quilting on these simple quilts ~ then I happened to glance over at my little granddaughter who was cuddled up on the floor of my studio to take her afternoon rest, with her favorite quilt that she has claimed (a simply pieced and allover quilted quilt)
...and I teared up. 
(...yes, I'm a little menopausal ~ but I don't think that totally discounts my point)

I started to realize that these humble, yet I think beautiful quilts may just be destined to become heirlooms.  These quilts are being given as gifts to two young boys from their grandmother who carefully chose the fabrics to coincide with the interests of each boy.  These aren't quilted in such a "fancy heirloom" way that they will be stored away in a closet because they are "too nice" to use.

...No these are the quilts they might...
Cuddle under when they are sick...or pull up tight around their necks when they are afraid at night.
These are the quilts that they will wrestle on with their favorite TV on...and cry under when they are jilted by their first crush one day. 
...And when they grow up, they will always, always remember their Grandma's love when they see them.

...So after standing there pondering all these things, and feeling a little renewed and somewhat inspired, I decided I wouldn't get them done in time for Christmas if I didn't get back to work ~ so I wiped my teary eyes and got back to work's heirloom quilts.

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

PS ~ As I write this blog post, the cat and I are now curled up in my comfy chair, sitting under the quilt that lives draped over this chair in my living room... and yes, it's simply quilted with an allover meander :)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Congrats :)

The winner of my little Post Market Give Away is...

I'm emailing you Leanne.  Send me your address and I'll get your goodies out in the mail to you :) 

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

Saturday, November 2, 2013

When going through my photos from walking the show quilts at Quilt Market, I realized that most of my pictures are actually like this one ~ up close and personal of the quilting. 

 I took some pictures of entire quilts when they really struck me like this one.

Or grabbed me and left me in awe, like this one (that left me amazed at the math involved in making the illusion happen).

But now that I'm focusing more on my machine quilting these days...

...By and large my photos were close ups of how the quilts were quilted...

Quilt shows are truly amazing :)

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

PS ~ Last Call to go to This Post and leave a comment to get in on the running for my little Post Market Give Away, I'm drawing a lucky winner tomorrow!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Handi Quilter News from Quilt Market

One of the main reasons Bob and I attended Quilt Market is because we are Handi Quilter Reps, and wanted to see all of the new items being introduced this Fall in person at the Handi Quilter Booth ~ Bob stayed me with like a trooper through all of the fabric and notions at Market, but it really was the machinery that he was there to see...and of course to go to the Handi Quilter party on Saturday night :)

One of the great new Fall introductions that I didn't get any photos of is the new feature on the Pro Stitcher where you no longer have to walk around and drop levers on the carriage to engage the gears when you want to use the Pro Stitcher, this is now a button built into the Pro Stitcher!  Very cool for all the Stand Up Frame quilters. 
I don't need any photos of this because I ordered a new Avante with Pro Stitcher and will have it in my Studio shortly for you to see!

But for the Sit Down quilters, here I'm checking out the new table option for the Sweet Sixteen Sit Down machine!  It offers a wonderful new choice for the  Sweet Sixteen (Can you tell I'm really a "kick the tires" kind of gal?)

There's lots of surface space without having to add any extensions and there's storage underneath.  The table has an automatic built in hydraulic lift that will lower and raise the machine, so it can be stored inside when the machine is not in use...

...and the feature that's totally worth the cost of the table (which is very reasonable considering all it does and how heavy duty it is) ~ with the push of a button, it will also raise the machine up three inches above the table to access the bobbin area ~ no more bending to look underneath!
Yea ~ I'll be ordering this in too :)

This picture better shows the space inside where the machine can drop down into, and the sides close in to completely contain and store the machine away when it's not in use.  A great feature for people who have limited space or are quilting in a spare bedroom.  Notice it also comes on casters so even though it's heavy, it's easy to move around.  When closed up the table is a great size for another cutting or work surface in the sewing studio.

Another exciting introduction this Fall that works with all HQ machines is the conversion kit to be able to easily change the feet on your Handi Quilter machines from closed toe to open toe hopping foot.  This makes it easier to change feet when you want a closed hopping foot for ruler work, but want to quickly change to and open foot for microquilting, much like changing feet on a regular domestic sewing machine.  And there is also a set of three Couching Feet available for some exciting embellishing ideas.

I watched Helen Godden demonstrate how easy it is to couch a pretty yarn or fiber onto your quilt while you're quilting it!  I sat down and played with it myself, and it really is easy!

There are some more items coming out like new video sets including some featuring Debby Brown, some ruler gripper strips, and this Bobbin Box for your larger M size bobbins :) 

All the new items are starting to ship this month (the new Pro Stitcher is shipping now along with many of the smaller items), and the new Sweet Sixteen table starting to ship by December 1st.  I'll be carrying everything, and will have them up on our Website soon, so contact me if you have any questions, or would like to place your orders!

Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn