Author Archives: Dawn

Bound for Retreat

You can take the title of that post two ways.

The first meaning: I am bound for a quilt retreat. Yes, tomorrow morning I head north to Hood Canal in Washington State to teach at a retreat center outside the tiny town of Union. I’ll be gone a week.

The second meaning: Terrazzo Tiles, my retreat quilt, is bound and (almost) ready to go with me. The (almost)? It’s still lacking a label, which may have to wait till I get home. I finished binding the quilt last night at midnight and took this photo at the Pine Needle  this afternoon:

Terrazzo Tiles, 63″ Square (2017)

 

I’m calling it my retreat quilt because that’s the design I’m teaching there. The pattern is Mini Mod Tiles by Sew Kind of Wonderful. The original MMT quilt finishes at 35″ square; you can see my unquilted version here. The quilt you see above finishes at 63″ square after quilting because I “supersized” the block. My retreat students get to pick from two sizes, one made with the original Quick Curve Ruler and the other made with the QCR Mini.

The beautiful quilting you see was done by Karlee Sandell of sewinspired2day.com, and I couldn’t be happier with it. It may look like a digitized quilting motif but Karlee did every bit of it with a ruler. Isn’t that amazing? Every stitch was hand-guided on her longarm machine.

I took several pictures in natural light earlier this week but found the light too bright to put the quilting in strong relief. Still, these close-ups do show some detail:

I encourage you to visit Karlee’s blog to see her post on this quilt. In addition to more photos, she describes how she settled on the quilting design. Karlee has quilted several quilts for me and I trust her to take my general guidelines and come up with a great design.

Look for a post after I return from retreat but while there I’ll be posting on my Instagram account, dawn_at_first_light_designs. You can find me here.

Now if you’ll excuse me: I need to go pack!

 

 

 

Posted in QCR Mini, Quick Curve Ruler, update | 4 Comments

It’s a Wrap: Dutch Treat

I finished binding and labeling Dutch Treat yesterday. The rain held off just long enough for a few shots taken in the back yard:

Red and green look so good together, don’t they?

Here you can see the entire quilt:

The windmill blocks measure 12″ square and the pinwheels in the center of each block measure 4″ square. The block is a variation of the classic Winding Ways quilt block usually made with curved seams. These seams are straight but the overall design of the quilt gives the illusion of overlapping circles.

On the back of the quilt I used leftover blocks:


I know what you’re thinking: “Wow, that’s a lot of leftover blocks.” You’re right — and I didn’t even use all of them. I confess: those extras resulted from a miscalculation on my part. At least I was able to put most of them to good use.

Here’s a close-up of the label:

I made the label round using a compact disc for a pattern (described in my tutorial) and then set the label inside a larger circle of red fabric so it would stand out against the backing fabric.


I’m so pleased with the quilting of longarmer Debbie Scroggy. You can see close-ups of Debbie’s quilting in this earlier post.

Dutch Treat (named for the windmill-shaped block)
48″ x 60″
Adapted from the pattern A Mid-Winter’s Night by Cottage Rose
Fabrics: a mix of reds and two light background prints, all from my stash
Quilted by Debbie Scroggy of All Quilted LLC

To read older posts about the making of Dutch Treat, click on the category “windmill block” at the bottom of this post.

Thanks for stopping by. It’s always fun to share a finish!

 

 

 

Posted in quilt labels, update, Winding Ways quilt block, windmill block | 10 Comments

Mini Mod Tiles Mania

Presenting . . . Mini Mod Tiles from Sew Kind of Wonderful:

Mini Mod Tiles, 35″ Square

The curves were cut with a specialty ruler called the QCR Mini — the smaller version of the Quick Curve Ruler from Sew Kind of Wonderful — and sewn with a pins-free technique. SKW has great patterns for sale on its website — and several free patterns, including Mod Mini Tiles. You can find all the free patterns here. The link to Mini Mod Tiles is here.

Using the original Quick Curve Ruler I made a “supersized” version of Mini Mod Tiles that I showed you in my last post. The quilt, named Terrazzo Tiles, is at the longarmer being quilted as I write this. Look for a reveal post in just a few days!

I’m teaching both sizes of this design at a quilt retreat coming up in a few days. A couple of my students are interested in making a wall hanging or table runner so I decided to play around with possible border treatments. Since a finished block of the original Mini Mod Tiles is 10½” wide, a border is clearly called for.

A plain border would certainly work but I thought it would be fun to incorporate the sashing design. This is a mock-up made by cutting up a photo of  Terrazzo Tiles:

Mini Mod Tiles Border Test 1

I used a gluestick to add cornerstones in each corner.

Then I wondered how it would look without the periwinkle squares along the outer edges so I covered them up:

Mini Mod Tiles Border Test 2

Hmmm. That’s a little stark for my taste but the effect might be completely different if a lighter fabric were used where the black is used here.

Next I wondered how the edges would look if they were trimmed to match the curves in the focus fabric:

Mini Mod Tiles Border Test 3

I am loving this! I think I’m on to something here. . .

Since I covered up the periwinkle squares in the second test, I restored them (sort of) with colored pencils to get a fourth test version:

Mini Mod Tiles Border Test 4

Which do you like better, 3 or 4? Whether those border squares stay or go, the curved edges are definitely staying. A three-block runner like my mocked up version would finish at 13½” x 38″. A four-block version would finish at 13½” x 50 and a five-block at 13½” x 62″.

I’m eager to try this out with some holiday fabric that’s been in my stash for a few years. My Mini Mod Tiles mania continues!

 

 

 

Posted in QCR Mini, Quick Curve Ruler, table runner, update, wall hanging | 6 Comments

Terrazzo Tiles

Ah, how satisfying it is to see about 300 pieces of neatly cut fabric transformed into a quilt top in just a few days. Here we are at the outset . . .


. . . and here we are with a finished quilt top:


This is my “supersized” version of Sew Kind of Wonderful‘s free quilt pattern Mini Mod Tiles. The original MMT block finishes at 10½” square whereas my supersized block finishes at 17½” square. Once my curves were sewn and trimmed, I was surprised at how quickly this quilt top went together.

After the blocks were joined I took the top outside to photograph it:

The cornflower blue in the focus fabric is so much more vivid in natural light, isn’t it?

Looking at the quilt from above (I was standing on a chair), I decided I wanted to add a border to make those blocks float. I was back a few minutes later for another shot:

Yes, that’s much better. And there’s Coco, the feline photobomber, doing her thing:


Coco hung out in my sewing room while this quilt top was under construction . . .


. . . so it’s only fitting that she be around at the end.

I am going to call this quilt Terrazzo Tiles for its resemblance to Italian floor tile. Terrazzo is a composite material made by exposing marble chips on the surface of concrete and then polishing until smooth. I like to think that my focus fabric, from the Eclectic Garden line designed by Jason Yenter for In the Beginning Fabrics, gives that same impression. Besides, doesn’t everything sound better in Italian?

 

 

 

 

Posted in cats, QCR Mini, Quick Curve Ruler, update | 6 Comments

What A Treat

My quilt Dutch Treat is back from the longarm quilter and trimmed, ready to be bound and labeled. I was going to wait till the quilt was completely done before posting pictures but then I decided I couldn’t wait to show it off. Debbie Scroggy of All Quilted LLC did a beautiful job.

I was considering custom quilting when I first met with Debbie but after some consultation we decided on this edge-to-edge design that made me think of crop circles. The swirling circular motion of the quilting motif achieves two things: it softens the angles of the quilt blocks and reinforces the illusion of overlapping circles.

Do you see the circles? Let your eyes travel around the outer edges of the photos below. You should be able to see a dark circle . . .


. . . and a light one:


Now go back to the very first photo of the entire quilt and see how they overlap.

Here’s a look across the surface of the quilt:

I used leftovers on the back: the leftover “V” blocks and the remainder of the two red-on-white prints from the front. You can really see the “crop circles” on the left side of the quilt back:

Measuring 48″ x 60″ after quilting, Dutch Treat will be bound in one of the reds, chosen because it was the only piece left among the ones I used that was large enough to cut the number of binding strips needed. I think it will frame the quilt nicely.

I’ll post more photos when I can officially declare Dutch Treat a “finish.”

 

 

 

Posted in update, Winding Ways quilt block, windmill block | 7 Comments

“Mini” Mod Tiles?

Here’s my second test block made from Mini Mod Tiles, one of several free patterns from Sew Kind of Wonderful:


Except for the fabrics, it looks identical to my first test block (shown below), doesn’t it?


Ah, but there’s a difference. Here are the two blocks side by side:


That second block isn’t a mini at all. I supersized it!

The original mini block finishes at 10½” square and is made with the QCR Mini ruler. My supersized version finishes at 17½” square and is made with the original Quick Curve Ruler.

Since I’m teaching this design at a retreat on Hood Canal in Washington State next month, I decided to give my students the option of choosing which ruler they want to use and which size block they want to make.

Vive le difference!

 

 

 

Posted in QCR Mini, Quick Curve Ruler, update | 2 Comments

Back in the Saddle Again

Three weeks without a post! That’s the longest gap in the five years since I started this blog. What could possibly account for such a lapse? Two back-to-back trips followed by a fun-filled week of family visiting from out of town.

The first trip was to Paducah, Kentucky with my quilt group, the Quisters. Yes, Paducah — home of the National Quilt Museum and site of the American Quilter’s Society’s Quilt Week the last week of April. What a thrill! More on that in a future post.

Home for one day, then off to Central Oregon for a family reunion that my twin sister Diane and I were responsible for planning. It was a great success, with 83 family members coming from as far away as Texas, Virginia, and Florida. Most of the relatives are in Oregon, remaining in the state where our common ancestor settled after emigrating from Switzerland in the 1880s. This reunion has rekindled my interest in family geneaology, which I hope to pursue in between quilting projects. I could use a few more hours each day to accomplish that.

While my relatives were here last week, I squeezed in a bit of sewing time to make a sample block of the quilt design I have chosen for the Pine Needle Quilt Shop’s retreat on Hood Canal in June. I’m teaching two sessions back-to-back at a beautiful retreat center in Washington State.

As my regular readers know, I am a huge fan of the Quick Curve Ruler and the designs created by those talented sisters (Jenny, Helen, and Sherilyn) at Sew Kind of Wonderful. For the retreat I chose one of their free patterns that call for the QCR Mini Ruler. The pattern is called Mini Mod Tiles and looks like this:

Isn’t that fabulous? This wonderfully scrappy quilt was made and quilted by Jenny Pedigo of Sew Kind of Wonderful, finishing at about 34″ square. (Photo used with permission.)

My sample block, finishing at 10½” square, is made from one focus fabric, a Dena Fishbein print from the Painted Garden line for Free Spirit:


That fabric was in my stash just waiting to be picked for this project. I chose a vibrant yellow tone-on-tone print for the connector pieces and couldn’t resist the temptation to add a square of color in the center of the block. My background fabric is a white-on-white dot.

It’s good to be back in the saddle with blogging and sewing.

 

 

 

Posted in family, QCR Mini, Quick Curve Ruler, Quisters (Quilt Sisters), update | 8 Comments

Another Finish: Another Junior Billie Bag

Ladies and gents, I have another finish to report: Here is my latest version of the quintessential quilter’s tote known as the Junior Billie Bag:


I just finished teaching a class at the Pine Needle on making a JBB. I started the class (and this bag) in January; you can read about my fabric choices here.

In the photo above, you see the longer of two sets of handles; these are worn over the shoulder. In the photo below you see the shorter set of handles, allowing the bag to be carried like a satchel:


Notice the custom outside pockets in both photos.

Now look inside the Junior Billie Bag, where you’ll find many more pockets, all sized with specific items in mind:


After those pockets are filled, there’s still room to tuck in bundles of fabric or batting — or even a sack lunch. Now you know why I call the Junior Billie Bag “the quintessential quilter’s tote.”

The original Billie Bag was designed by Billie Mahorney and measured 21″ x 21″ x 7½”. This version is smaller, measuring 14″ x 17″ x 7½”. Billie never wanted to write a pattern, preferring to teach her design in a classroom setting. Now that she has retired from teaching, I have the pleasure of teaching the class. How glad I am! It’s been so much fun sharing her design with other quilters, and in the process I have made myself a JBB or two and given others as gifts.

When Coco saw me taking photos of the JBB this morning, she trotted right over to investigate. Before I knew it, she had crawled inside and made herself very much at home:

It seems the Junior Billie Bag is perfectly sized for a cat. Who knew?!

 

 

 

Posted in Billie Bag, free motion quilting, Junior Billie Bag, tote bags, update, windmill block | 9 Comments

Finally, a Finish

The year 2017 has gotten off to a slow start in terms of finished projects. I have several projects in the hopper and a few are close to being done; does that count?

At least today I can claim a bona fide finish. Here is Baby Selene’s Pineapple Plus quilt, started in a class taught by Karin Hellaby:

Selene’s Quilt, 47½” Square

Notice the binding? I made it to finish at ½” wide (rather than my usual ¼”) so it would provide a strong frame for the quilt and pick up the tiny bits of red found in three of the four prints used in the quilt:

Picking Up on the Red

The binding strips were cut on the bias so the cross-hatching would be oriented on the diagonal just like the centers of the blocks, which were cut on the bias because I liked the effect.

I had fun playing with leftover blocks for the back of the quilt, using two regular blocks and one larger one, all set on point to make them even bigger:

Supersize Me!

I love how the red binding pulls it all together.

The label is a simple square-in-a-square block that echoes the larger on-point blocks:

On-Point Label

After the label was stitched in place by hand, I realized I had forgotten to put my last name on it. I’m sure Baby Selene won’t mind.

As usual, Coco insisted on claiming the quilt (temporarily, of course):

Coco the Photo Bomb

 

After these photos were taken, the quilt went into the washer and dryer. Here it is now in all its puckery charm:

Pucker Up!

 

Selene will receive her quilt in person at a family reunion in Central Oregon coming up in a couple weeks. In the meantime, I get to enjoy it in its temporary location on my quilt wall:

Dawn’s Ever-Changing Quilt Wall

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in baby quilt, family, Quilter's Affair, update | 7 Comments