Author Archives: Dawn

Ready for the Next Dimension

The Junior Billie Bag I am currently working on is slowly taking shape. I’m pacing myself on the construction so I can show my current group of students at the Pine Needle how this quilter’s tote goes together step by step. The bag is a gift for a friend with a November birthday so the timing is perfect.

In the photo below you see most of the individual elements — front and back panels, handles, side panels, inner and outer pockets:

This particular bag is going to have plenty of pockets — 21 to be exact. The pockets have been carefully sized to hold everything a quilter might need, from file folders to acrylic rulers to rotary cutters. The Junior Billie Bag was designed by Billie Mahorney to be customized — makers of the bag decide how many pockets they want and what size they will be.

Now that the second panel on this bag has been quilted and the handles attached, you can see what the bag is going to look like from front and back:

Which is the front and which is the back? It doesn’t matter! The front/back panels are totally interchangeable. The front of the bag is whichever side the owner turns to the outside on any given day.

And you can quilt the panels very simply or be very creative with free motion quilting. I’ve done both on previous bags. On this one I opted to stitch in the ditch in the central part of the panels and to use a serpentine stitch on the strips around the center blocks. I used the same decorative stitch on the handles:

The next step is sewing the front/back panels to the side panels and bottom unit. I’ll demonstrate this in Friday’s class. My students are almost ready for the third dimension!

 

 

 

Posted in Billie Bag, Junior Billie Bag, tote bags, update, windmill block | 1 Comment

Mini Mod Tiles: A Double Finish


Recognize the pattern? It’s Mini Mod Tiles from Sew Kind of Wonderful. The aqua and yellow quilt was made with the QCR Mini — the smaller of the two Quick Curve Rulers designed by Sew Kind of Wonderful — and finishes at 34½” square. SKW offers this pattern as a free download on its website.

The bigger quilt? I “supersized” SKW’s design to make a larger block using the original Quick Curve Ruler, resulting in a lap quilt measuring 63″ square. Why two sizes? I had chosen Mini Mod Tiles as the pattern to teach at the Pine Needle’s summer 2017 quilt retreat and wanted to offer my students two options.

Both quilts have been back from the longarm quilter for several weeks but it took me a while to get them bound and then labeled. Now I get to show the finished quilts together.

Let’s start with the larger of the two, named Terrazzo Tiles:

Here it is from the back:


I used every bit of the leftover focus fabric on the back, even piecing scraps to make the ring around the label:

Since the bigger quilt is called Terrazzo Tiles, it made perfect sense to name the mini quilt Piccolo Terrazzo Tiles:

My first inclination was to bind this one with the yellow tone-on-tone fabric you see above, but I had used a different yellow on the back and they just didn’t look good together. The solution was to bind the quilt with the aqua and yellow focus fabric so it provided a frame for the quilt as seen from the back:


The hand-guided quilting (by Karlee Sandell of SewInspired2Day) is so lovely I hesitated to add a label, loving the look of a whole-cloth quilt. But it needed a label — to identify the designer, the maker, and the quilter. Sometimes all three are the same person but more often than not the result is a combination of efforts, and it’s important in my book to give credit where credit is due:

Next week the Pine Needle is planning a reunion for the retreat participants. It will be fun to see the students’ finished projects — both mini and supersized!

One more thing: the talented women of Sew Kind of Wonderful have kindly given me permission to show you how I supersized the mini version. Coming very soon: a new tutorial on my Tutorials page.

 

 

 

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

Northwest Quilting Expo 2017: Reach for the Stars

Among the many special exhibits at last week’s Northwest Quilting Expo (held in Portland, Oregon) was a small one called “Reach for the Stars” featuring quilts made using Minnesota quilter Terri Krysan’s design of the same name. The quilts were made by Portland quilters who had seen my version on display at the Pine Needle and wanted to make their own.

Here is Maxine’s bold and beautiful quilt in black, white, and blue:

Blue Giant, Made and Quilted by Maxine Borosund

Joie’s quilt is a vision in green and purple, one of my favorite color combinations:

Made by Joie Lattz, Quilted by Debbie Scroggy

Lana’s lovely quilt was made as a fundraiser for her grandson’s school (it sold for over $2000!):

Made by Lana Kamerer

The owners of the quilt graciously loaned it to Lana so it could be part of the special exhibit.

Andrea’s quilt was made from the same line of fabrics as Lana’s but with a more limited palette of blues and greens:

Star Bright, Made by Andrea Hinderhofer, Quilted by Kazumi Peterson

So serene! Did you notice the different border treatment? Andrea opted not to carry the checkerboard blocks to the outer borders so she put the unused ones on the back:

Back of Andrea Hinderhofer’s Reach for the Stars Quilt

You can see some of the lovely motifs that longarmer Kazumi Peterson used.

Sharon R.’s scrappy checkerboard border cleverly pulls together all the colors used in her blocks:

Made by Sharon Ripley, Quilted by Melissa Hoffman

Sharon S. used the bright colors in her butterfly focus fabric to great dramatic effect, then calmed it down with her earthy brown and black checkerboard border:

Made by Sharon Schaper, Quilted by Melissa Hoffman

This is my version, also displayed in the exhibit:

Catch a Falling Star, Made by Dawn White, Quilted by Loretta Orsborn

Andrea was out of town during the quilt show but the remaining six of us gathered for group shots in front of each quilt. Here we are in front of Maxine’s:

Left to right: Sharon Schaper, Sharon Ripley, Joie Lattz, Maxine Borosund, Dawn White, and Lana Kamerer. With us in spirit: Andrea Hinderhofer.

 

 

 

Posted in 4-Patch Wonder, Northwest Quilting Expo, Reach for the Stars sampler quilt, update | 7 Comments

Bonus Binding

I found the perfect fabric in my stash to bind this sweet baby quilt:

It’s a random blue on blue polka dot that picks up on the shades of blue on the birdies scattered across the focus fabric. I really like how the blue binding frames the quilt on both front . . .

. . . and back:

One more look:


Now freshly laundered, this quilt is ready to be wrapped up and sent to its new owner, Baby Alira.

Alira’s Quilt measures 44″ square. The pineapple blocks were made using the Four Triangle Method described in Karin Hellaby’s book Pineapple Plus (Quilter’s Haven Publications, 2010). Sherry Wadley quilted it edge-to-edge with a delightful cloud motif.

I have enough fabric left to make another quilt. I’m going to add another round to make the pineapple block bigger and make a quilt for a young mother of three little boys who needs a feminine lap quilt to snuggle up in. Luckily, I have enough left of that wonderful polka dot fabric to bind a second quilt.

 

 

 

Posted in baby quilt, family, pineapple quilt block, update | 7 Comments

Back to the Billie Bag

The first week of October already! September came and went in a flash. It was a very busy month, just not one devoted to much sewing. I’m finally back at work on that wonderful quilter’s tote designed by Billie Mahorney known as the Junior Billie Bag. I’m teaching an upcoming class at the Pine Needle so I need to get a move on.

Here’s the second of two panels in my JBB-in-progress:

The block you see above was inspired by a block in a quilt called Christmas in July designed by Thelma Childers of Cupcakes’n’Daisies:

Christmas in July, 88″ square (2017). Designed and made by Thelma Childers. Photo used with permission.

Click here to read Thelma’s post about the making of this quilt. In July Carrie Nelson of Moda wrote about Thelma’s quilt on the Moda Cutting Table blog and created a pattern for it called Hometown Stars, available as a free download.

Thelma’s quilt is very scrappy. Working with far fewer fabrics, I simplified the block somewhat and made one change that made a big difference in the outcome. Here is my block as it was first laid out . . .

. . . and here it is ready to be sewn:

Do you see the difference? Turning that center square on point reinforced the angles in the Friendship Star blocks in the four corners. Had I made an entire quilt, I would have followed Thelma’s design to a T because the square in the center of the block is central to her overall design:

To minimize the seam lines I opted to construct the center section like a classic bow-tie block using Y-seams:

Thelma’s original finished block size is 17½” square. Carrie resized it to finish at 14″ square, although she included directions for both sizes in the pattern. I had to resize the block to 12¾” square to get it to fit my panel size. That means the half-square triangles finish at 1¾” square and the center bow-tie block finishes at 5¼” square. Good thing I like the challenge of quilt math!

Here are the front and back panels side by side:

Since this Junior Billie Bag is being made for a friend, incorporating the Friendship Star block is a meaningful addition. Thank you, Thelma and Carrie, for the inspiration!

 

 

 

Posted in Billie Bag, bowties, Junior Billie Bag, tote bags, update, windmill block | 4 Comments

It’s a Winner!

Where It’s @, 57″ x 72″ (2016)

I got a phone call last night from one of the organizers of Northwest Quilting Expo (coming up later this week in Portland, Oregon) that my quilt Where It’s @ won a second place ribbon. I am thrilled!

If I remember the rest of the phone call correctly (I was a bit dazed), winners will be announced Thursday at 1:30 pm at the quilt show. That was the day I was planning to visit the show with my quilt group, the Quisters, so the timing is perfect.

I started this quilt in July 2016 in a class with Karla Alexander of Saginaw Street Quilts and finished it late last year. The name of her quilt pattern is Rewind. Karlee Sandell of sewinspired2day.com quilted it for me.

Quilters who enter their creations at Northwest Quilting Expo can opt to have their quilts judged. I chose to have mine judged, as I’m always interested in what the experts have to say, hoping I can learn from their remarks.

In 2011 I won a ribbon in a non-juried show. Here’s a look at that quilt:

Midnight in the Garden quilt by Dawn White at First Light Designs
Midnight in the Garden, 66″ x 80″ (2010)

The venue was Quilts in Bloom, a small quilt show held at the Oregon Garden in Silverton, Oregon. Much to my surprise and delight, this quilt won the viewer’s choice award for Best Traditional Quilt. I’m sure that the beautiful custom quilting by Melissa Hoffman contributed to that award. (You can see other examples of Melissa’s beautiful work on her Instagram page, fiddlestitches.)

This quilt is very special to me. It was made from my own pattern 4-Patch Wonder, published in 2010. I originally called the quilt Carmen, after the name of the fabric line from Timeless Treasures, changing it later to Midnight in the Garden. I don’t have it anymore but it’s still in the family. I gave it as a gift to my twin sister Diane as a 60th birthday present. It’s on display in her home in Georgia and I get to enjoy it on my annual visits.

The Northwest Quilting Expo runs Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 28-30, at Portland Expo Center, 2060 N. Marine Drive. Maybe I will see you there!

 

 

 

 

Posted in 4-Patch Wonder, faux-kaleido quilts, kaleidoscope quilts, Northwest Quilting Expo, Quisters (Quilt Sisters), update, wonky Greek key | 13 Comments

Junior Billie Bag #3

My third Junior Billie Bag of the year is in progress. I’m teaching a class at the Pine Needle next month and need to have the individual components of this quilter’s tote on hand to show my students how the bag is constructed.

Here is the first component, one of the front/back panels:


I’m sure you recognize that windmill block. I like it so much I made a quilt out of it earlier this year and also put it on my most recent Junior Billie Bag.

This JBB is a birthday present for one of the friends in my small quilt group known as the Quisters (a mashup of Quilt Sisters). She knows I’m making her a quilter’s tote and she doesn’t read my blog so I think I’m safe in posting progress pictures.

You can guess what her favorite color is. I don’t have a huge stash of purple fabrics but I do have an ample array. These are the ones pulled for consideration:

My friend’s Junior Billie Bag will have somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 pockets so an abundance of fabric choices is a good thing. One thing I knew right away: that striped fabric, cut on the bias, would be perfect for the binding.

Guess what happened right after I took that photo. Coco jumped up on the ironing board to see what I was up to. It seems she approves of my selection:

 

 

 

 

Posted in Billie Bag, cats, Junior Billie Bag, Quisters (Quilt Sisters), update | 2 Comments

Mini Mod Tiles — Quilted!


Isn’t that a lovely sight? You’re looking at a detail of the beautiful custom quilting by Karlee Sandell of SewInspired2Day.com. The quilt is Mini Mod Tiles, made using Sew Kind of Wonderful‘s free pattern and the smaller of the two Quick Curve Rulers.

The mini quilt measured 36″ square when I handed it over to Karlee. After quilting it measures 34½” square. Here’s a look at the entire quilt:

I don’t like my quilts too densely quilted. This is exactly the look I was going for. I especially like the contrast between the quilted grid in the background and the curves in the aqua and yellow floral print.

Here’s a look at the back:

Regular readers know that I almost always make pieced backs on my quilts using multiple fabrics. This quilt was so small that I opted to use one solid piece — a bright yellow with white dots. I love the wholecloth quilt effect.

Did you happen to notice the color of the carpet in the last two photos? It’s the same carpet. The photos were taken seconds apart from the same angle. I’m at a loss to describe the difference in color. Could the colors in the quilt cause the light to be reflected so differently?

 

 

 

Posted in QCR Mini, Quick Curve Ruler, update | 12 Comments

Pineapples, Birds, and Clouds, Oh My!

Just back from the longarm quilter: this baby quilt using Karin Hellaby’s method of making pineapple blocks:

Longarmer Sherry Wadley and I decided a fluffy cloud motif would be the perfect match for the focus fabric, a delightful print featuring parasol-toting birdies. Here’s a better look at the quilting and one of those fussycut birdies in the sashing strips:


For the back I used leftover strips of fabric sewn together randomly, with angled seams for added interest:

After trimming the quilt measures 45½” square.

The next big decision: what color to use for the binding. I’m leaning toward a medium blue, the same color as the birdies, but I’m open to suggestions.

 

 

 

Posted in baby quilt, pineapple quilt block, update | 6 Comments

Big Block Star, Take Two

Here’s my second Big Block Star, made using Victoria Findlay Wolfe’s pattern of the same name and her large diamond ruler:


Don’t you love that bold beautiful print? It’s from the “Black, White & Currant 5″ line by Color Principle for Henry Glass Fabrics. I bought a few pieces from the line a couple of years ago. I find it hard to resist Jacobean floral prints and I rarely see them printed on a true red background.

I don’t have enough of the Jacobean print to make three more Big Block Stars — each star finishes at 41″ square — but I do have enough to play around with 4-Patch Wonder blocks (my name for faux-kaleidoscope blocks made from four identical patches). Here’s a test block that measures 8” square:

Do I have a plan for this quilt? Not yet. I could keep it simple, surrounding my Big Block Star with one wide border, perhaps using 4-Patch Wonder blocks as cornerstones, or I could surround the entire Big Block Star with faux-kaleido blocks. No need to decide now. I’ll sleep on it.

And what of Big Block Star, Take One? After not looking at it for a few days, I have come to really like it. Comments from readers who saw my blog post about it or saw it on my Instagram have given me a fresh perspective.

 

 

 

Posted in 4-Patch Wonder, faux-kaleido quilts, kaleidoscope quilts, update | 4 Comments