Category Archives: Quick Curve Ruler

Hitting the Jackpot

That shipment of Garden Pindot fabric by Michael Miller that I’m using as the background for my Mini Rings quilt finally arrived today. It shipped out 10 days ago, and I’d been wondering if it would ever arrive.

I think the wait was worth it:

2016-05-31 15.59.37
That sticker was on the plastic bag my fabric was packed in. I ordered five yards — and received 11½ yards instead.

But that’s only part of the story. All I needed was a small amount of this white-on-white dot to finish my Mini Rings quilt:

2016-05-31 16.00.05

I couldn’t find it locally so I decided to shop online. When I discovered that had 11½ yards of this fabric available, I impulsively ordered it all, reasoning that it would serve as background for a great many quilts and I would never be in a situation where I would be using noticeably different dye lots in the same project.

Then notified me that the yardage was not one continuous piece of fabric but rather several pieces in 1 yard, 1.5 yard, and 2 yard cuts. Did I still want the fabric? I decided to rein in my impulse purchase and modified my order to three pieces totaling five yards. The fabric shop altered my order and refigured the price.

When the box arrived today, I lifted it and thought, “Gee, this is awfully heavy for five yards of fabric.” Inside were eight cuts of fabric totaling 11½ yards. Talk about hitting the jackpot! Thank you,!

Interestingly, two of the eight cuts are noticeably creamier than the others, so I will set them aside and make sure I don’t unwittingly combine them with the snowier ones.

Guess I won’t be running out of Garden Pindot anytime soon.




Posted in QCR Mini, Quick Curve Ruler, update | 5 Comments

Mini Rings Update

I thought I would have my Mini Rings quilt top (pattern by Sew Kind of Wonderful) assembled by now, but I still have two blocks to go:

Mini Rings in progress

I’m making a square quilt of nine blocks; the blocks finish at 11″ so the quilt will finish at 33″. My plan was to make a block a day but alas, I have fallen behind. Too many other things going on at the Portland White House. Plus, I’m still waiting on that shipment of my background fabric (Garden Pindot by Michael Miller).

Still, my top will be finished soon. I’m going to keep it borderless and bind it in that acid green.

Speaking of binding, I’m halfway done sewing the binding on a baby quilt you’ve seen come together recently:

Stefan's quilt, binding detail

I am really liking the narrow border, using a pale lime Fairy Frost from Michael Miller for both border and binding.

It’s an absolutely beautiful day here in Portland, Oregon. The delicious aroma of something cooking on a neighbor’s barbecue is wafting in the open windows, the DH is happily working outside in the garden, and our new cat Coco is stretched out on a chair in the TV room. It’s been a lovely three-day weekend.

I hope you have had a lovely weekend, too!




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

A Quartet of Mini Rings and a Thank You

Mini Rings four blocks

Four of nine blocks for my Mini Rings quilt, made using the QCR Mini (mini Quick Curve Ruler), are done.

I’ve run out of background fabric, a white-on-white Michael Miller pindot. I could make more blocks using one of several other white-on-white prints in my stash but I am  holding out for having all my blocks the same. A little obsessive-compulsive, perhaps? Now I have to hope that the fabric I ordered on line is from a similar enough dye lot that no one can see the difference between the old and the new. You would be surprised, even with white and black fabrics, how much dye lots can differ.

Working on these blocks has helped take my mind off the loss of my little cat Theodora, subject of my previous post. Thank you so much to those of you who wrote consoling comments on my blog. I cried the entire time I was writing that post, and I cried while reading the comments.

In the 35 years my husband Charlie and I have lived in this house, we’ve never been without a cat. If one of our cats died, there was at least one still at home to help ease the grief. Not so now, since Theo’s last feline companion, Elfie, died three years ago.

Charlie and I are going to the Oregon Humane Society next week, hoping to bring home a cat (maybe two) in need of a “forever home.” Although it seems a little disloyal to Theo’s memory, I’ve already been on the OHS website looking at pictures and descriptions of available cats. There are some very sweet looking ones! We’ll choose an adult cat, since the older ones are not considered as adoptable as kittens.

By the time of my next post, there may be a new resident of the Portland White House.




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

Doodling Around

Remember this block?

Mini Rings block 800 11.5 in

It’s the test block I made back in January using the mini Quick Curve Ruler — known as the QCR Mini — and Mini Rings pattern designed by those Sew Kind of Wonderful sisters. I’ve been wanting to make a Mini Rings quilt since the ruler and pattern were introduced last fall. I’m using the fabrics you see above in another quilt so that one block was as far as I got.

Time to try another one. For my second test block, I did something different. Instead of making the rings from four fabrics in a strip set, as the pattern instructs, I used one large print, a wonderful black and white and yellow floral I found last summer at a quilt shop in Central Oregon. Having bought the fabric for its possibilities in a kaleidoscope quilt, I was reluctant to cut a chunk out of it just to test my theory that it might look good in something else.

So I didn’t cut into it. Not at first. I placed the fabric on my printer screen and took a color photo of it:

fabric Studio 8 for Quilting Treasures-001

Then I cut the paper into rings, just as if it were fabric, using the QCR Mini:

Mini Rings test paper

I liked what I saw so I went ahead and cut enough fabric to make one block. Here it is:

Mini Rings test block yellow

I liked the block . . . but not quite enough to make an entire quilt out of it.

I tried again, this time using a fabric from the Doodle collection designed by Alice Kennedy for Timeless Treasures:

Mini Rings test block green

I liked this block. A lot. Enough to make an entire quilt out of it?

Mini Rings fabric cuts

Why, yes!




Posted in QCR Mini, Quick Curve Ruler, update | 9 Comments

Quick Curves, Large and Small

3 test blocks qcr
Dawn’s Quick Curve Ruler Test Blocks


In preparation for teaching a recent class called “Secrets of the Quick Curve Ruler,” I made several test blocks, including the ones you see above. One block was made with the original Quick Curve Ruler from Sew Kind of Wonderful and two were made with the new QCR Mini.

The idea of successfully sewing concave and convex curves together without pins was what compelled me to try out the Quick Curve Ruler a few years ago, and I quickly became a fan. The original ruler produces curves based on a 15″ circle while the Mini makes curves based on a 9″ circle. Can you tell from the photo above which blocks were made with which ruler?

The talented women behind Sew Kind of Wonderful (founder Jenny Pedigo and her sisters Helen Robinson and Sherilyn Mortensen) launched the QCR Mini a few months ago along with new designs for the original ruler and a new book as well. Too many choices! But isn’t that what makes the quilting world go ’round?

The directions that come with the QCR Mini include a pattern for a table runner. The block for that design also makes a mini version of the free Fun Poinsettia pattern offered on the Sew Kind of Wonderful website. The first test block I made with the QCR Mini was the mini Fun Poinsettia:

Mini Fun Poinsettia block
Mini Fun Poinsettia Block, 14″ Square Finished


I knew right away this block would find its way into a quilt. I’ve since made four more blocks, including the one at the top of this post, and have an idea for a unique setting.

The second QCR Mini test block, cropped in this photo to look like its 11″ finished size, is from the new Mini Rings pattern:

Mini Rings block 800 11.5 in
Mini Rings Block, 11″ Finished


I will definitely make this pattern, although not in the fabrics you see above. I have plenty of strips left over from the black and white fabrics I used for the full size pattern, Metro Rings, in this quilt (Honeymoon in Paris) made in 2013:

2013-12, Honeymoon in Paris
Honeymoon in Paris (56″ x 75″), 2013


I’ll cut the strips down for the size needed for the Mini. My Honeymoon in Paris quilt went to a good friend who actually did honeymoon in Paris (a charming story — I’ll tell you about it sometime) so I am motivated to make another one to keep.

Of the test blocks, the last one was from the new pattern Chic Country, based on the traditional Winding Ways block:

Chic Country test block
Dawn’s Chic Country Test Block, 9″ Finished


The Chic Country block finishes at 9″ square, making it the smallest of the Sew Kind of Wonderful blocks I’ve experimented with.

While I love the look of this quilt and have seen a few smashing versions on social media, I didn’t find the process of making the block enjoyable. Since quiltmaking, for me, is all about fun — and fabric, too, of course — I’ll stick to the blocks I do enjoy making.

Here’s a collage of the quilts I’ve made so far using the Quick Curve Ruler:

mug shots

I trust there are many more in my future!




Posted in QCR Mini, Quick Curve Ruler, update | 7 Comments

Playing with the QCR Mini

Mini Fun Poinsettia block
This is the test block I made using the new QCR Mini by Sew Kind of Wonderful.

QCR Mini? That’s the new mini version of the Quick Curve Ruler that Jenny Pedigo introduced in 2011. I’m a huge fan of Jenny’s and have made several of the patterns she designed to go with her ruler. You’ve seen the results in my blog posts over the last four years.

Now joined by her sisters Helen Robinson and Sherilyn Mortensen, Jenny introduced the QCR Mini and several new patterns late last year, along with a new book, One Wonderful Curve: 12 Contemporary Quilts (Landauer Publishing, 2015), featuring designs by all three sisters.

I ordered the book, the QCR Mini, and two new patterns from the Sew Kind of Wonderful website the first day they became available. I was so excited when my package arrived that I took a picture of the goodies:

SKW book and patterns
The first block I made using the QCR Mini is the one you see at the top of this post. It’s the mini version of the Fun Poinsettia block introduced on Sew Kind of Wonderful’s blog in 2013 with a free tutorial. The original Fun Poinsettia block measures 20″ square finished whereas the block made with the QCR Mini finishes at 14″ square. That’s still a good-sized block. I’m planning to make an entire quilt with this design.

See the Mini Rings pattern in the photo above? That’s the next test block I made:

Mini Rings block 800 11.5 in

This block measures 11½” square, which means it will finish at 11″ square in a quilt.

Both test blocks were made with fabrics from the Paradise line designed by Alisse Courter for Camelot Cottons. The background in both blocks is Shadow Play in navy by Maywood.

These blocks will be on display Friday and Saturday (Jan. 15 and 16) at the Pine Needle, the quilt shop in Lake Oswego, Oregon where I teach, in conjunction with Winter Festival, the shop’s annual January Open House. I’ll be demonstrating the original Quick Curve Ruler and the new QCR Mini. If you’re in the neighborhood, please stop by.




Posted in QCR Mini, Quick Curve Ruler, update | 3 Comments

Summer Sew-Along: Good Day Sunshine

Good Day Sunshine, my version of the new Dancing Churndash pattern, is ready for Show and Tell:

2014-8, Dancing Churndash, front 2
Good Day Sunshine, 43″ x 57.5″ (2014)

More accurately, it’s ready for Thelma’s Labor Day Parade. You see, at the beginning of summer Thelma of Cupcakes’n’Daisies started a Sew-Along, inviting quilters to make any quilt they wished using the Quick Curve Ruler (QCR) designed by Jenny Pedigo of Sew Kind of Wonderful. The only requirement was that the quilt be ready by Labor Day for a parade on Thelma’s blog.

I chose Dancing Churndash, one of three new patterns Jenny and her sister Helen Robinson designed for Cut Loose Press. I got a late start, as the pattern wasn’t available till late July, but the quilt went together quickly, and then I was lucky to find a long-arm quilter who could start working on it right away.

Good Day Sunshine, which gets its name from the Beatles song, was quilted by Jolene Knight of Good Knight Quilts. I met Jolene through the Portland Modern Quilt Guild and have seen examples of her fine work. I asked Jolene to quilt straight lines in the churn dash blocks and a not-too-dense free-motion fill in the white background. She chose one of my favorite quilting motifs, the spiral. Here’s a close-up:

2014-8 Dancing Churndash, quilting detail 2
Quilting Detail

I love the way the spirals play against the curves on the churn dash blocks and the straight lines in the center of the blocks. The quilting is playful, like the design itself.

The medium-dark grey binding, a close match to the fabric in the center of each churn dash block, frames the quilt:

2014-8 Dancing Churndash detail
A Few Shades of Grey


The back is pieced from leftover fabrics used on the front:

2014-8, Dancing Churndash, back
Scrappy Back


Last but not least: the label.

2014-8 Dancing Churndash label
Important Last Step


My little quilt is finished ahead of schedule. I’m ready for the parade!




Posted in Quick Curve Ruler, Sew-Along, update | 11 Comments

Dancing Churndash aka Good Day Sunshine

My “entry” in the summertime Quick-Curve Ruler Sew-Along organized by Thelma of Cupcakes ‘n’ Daisies is coming along nicely:

Dancing Churndash 12 blocks
Top measures 45″ x 60″


The pattern is Dancing Churndash by Cut Loose Press. My plan was to make 20 blocks in a 4 x 5 setting but I’ve decided to stop with these 12 blocks. The reason? I’ll be teaching a class on this pattern at the Pine Needle in the fall, and I need to get my sample quilted and bound as soon as possible.

I considered adding borders but changed my mind after auditioning several different fabrics. Because the medium dark grey strips in the center of each block are so strong, I’m going to bind my quilt in the same shade and value of grey for balance.

Although there’s a lot of grey fabric in this quilt top, it’s offset by the bright and cheerful yellow prints. Each block makes me feel like I’m looking out a window on a sunny day. That’s what led me to name this little quilt Good Day Sunshine, after the 1966 Beatles song.




Posted in Quick Curve Ruler, Sew-Along, update | 7 Comments

“Dancing Churndash” Progress Report

2014-07-29 21.58.13
Dawn’s First Four Blocks

Dancing Churndash
is the name of a new pattern from Cut Loose Press designed by Jenny Pedigo and Helen Robinson of Sew Kind of Wonderful. The pattern requires the Quick Curve Ruler, which I’ve used on several projects. The ruler is in play right now because I’m participating in a summertime Quick Curve Ruler Sew-Along organized by Miss Cupcake.

I am loving how easily these blocks come together. The blocks finish at 15″ so four of these with a border around them would make a nice-sized baby quilt. Wouldn’t a scalloped border be a nice touch?

I’m going bigger with this quilt, though. I have a stack of rectangles already cut, waiting their turn with the Quick Curve Ruler. Back to work!




Posted in Quick Curve Ruler, Sew-Along, update | 3 Comments

Joining the Quick Curve Ruler Sew-Along

I’m late to the party. At the beginning of summer Thelma of Cupcakes ‘n Daisies started a Sew-Along in which participants could make any design using the Quick Curve Ruler (QCR) by Sew Kind of Wonderful. No rules, only the goal of completing the project by Labor Day.

I knew right away that I wanted to join Thelma’s Sew-Along. I’m a huge fan of Sew Kind of Wonderful patterns, designed by sisters Jenny Pedigo and Helen Robinson. They recently designed some patterns for Cut Loose Press, and this one, Dancing Churndash, caught my eye:

dancing churndash quilt
Dancing Churndash. Pattern by Jenny Pedigo and Helen Robinson for Cut Loose Press.
(Photo used with permission.)

Do you recognize the classic churn dash block? Helen and Jenny gave it a playful contemporary spin. I couldn’t wait to make it. The only problem was that the pattern wasn’t yet available when the Sew-Along began in June. Last week the patterns came in at the Pine Needle and I quickly scooped one up.

Like Thelma, I always make a test block before embarking on a project. Here is my test block:

dancing churndash test block
Dawn’s test block, 15 1/2″ square

I’m using several fabrics from the Gray Matters line by Camelot Cottons plus some other greys and yellows in my stash. I reversed the values in Jenny and Helen’s version; my background is white and the narrow center strips are dark.

For the narrow center strips I used a Daiwabo cotton sateen that gradates from medium dark grey at the selvage ends to very pale grey in the center. The strips are a little too dark, I think. I may replace them with strips cut a bit farther away from the selvages, hence lighter.

Even so, I’m happy with my test block. The pattern calls for a 3 x 3 grid of 15″ blocks, with the quilt finishing at 45″ square. I’m thinking about making a 4 x 5 grid so that my quilt finishes at 60″ x 75″ — a nice lap size. I might even put borders on it to make it larger.

Thelma has already finished her Quick Curve Ruler quilt top, and so have a few others who joined her Sew-Along. Despite my late start I should be able to get my quilt top done before the deadline. After all, Labor Day is still five weeks away!




Posted in gradated fabric, Quick Curve Ruler, Sew-Along, update | 2 Comments