Announcing the Giveaway Winners

I’m popping in to announce the three winners of the giveaway connected to my 10th Blogging Anniversary aka 10th Blogiversary. I asked people entering the giveaway to tell me about their favorite color combination. Using a Random Number Generator found online, I was able to identify the the three winners very quickly. And here they are . . .

Linda B., who wrote, “What a lovely and generous way to celebrate your blog’s anniversary! So hard to pick a favorite color combo, but pretty much any combination of blues and greens is hard to beat.”

C. Cullen, who commented, “I love blue and white. Congratulations on 10 years!”

Bridget, who said, “Ten years and I have loved so many of your posts! Congrats! I am not sure how this happened, I hate orange but right now I am liking orange and cream combos or maybe orange and yellow…um 😉 Oh, hey, maybe it is a lack of sunshine this spring! lol”

Ladies, I will email you to find out which giveaway item you would like me to make for you — a pair of standard or kingsize pillowcases, a rotary cutter coat, or a pair of quilted oven mitts. I’ll also ask you to give me an idea of your color preferences for your item of choice so I can send you photos of some fabric combinations to consider.

My thanks to each and every person who left a comment on my blog. It was fun to read about your favorite color combos. And many of you wrote such nice things about my blog! I am so very grateful for your interest and support. You all are the reason I reached my 10th blogiversary.

In my post announcing the giveaway, I noted that family members could leave comments but would be ineligible to win. My sister Reigh left this comment: “I wanted to win oven mitts in blue and yellow! First time it’s ever been a disadvantage to be your sister! Oh well, I wouldn’t change a thing. Love you!” Dearest Reigh, your wish is my command. You couldn’t win the giveaway but you’ll still get your oven mitts. Love you, too!

 

 

 

Posted in family, Giveaway, home dec, oven mitts, roll-it-up pillowcases, rotary cutter case, tutorial, update | 6 Comments

Giveaway Extended!

I’ve decided to extend the giveaway celebrating my 10th blogging anniversary (aka my 10th Blogiversary) through Saturday. I’ll be out of town for a few days so it makes sense to wrap things up after my return. If you meant to register for my giveaway (announced on my blog on May 1) and let it slide, you have a second chance.

I’m in Portland, Oregon so you can enter up until midnight Saturday, May 14, Pacific Daylight Time (PDT). Winners will be announced on Sunday. The giveaway is open to both domestic and international visitors to my blog.

I’m giving away three prizes made by me – a rotary cutter coat (pictured above), a pair of oven mitts . . .

. . . and a pair of standard or king size pillowcases:

But wait – there’s more! The winners get to pick the item they prefer — and the fabrics. I’ll find out what colors they like and give them some choices. If the handmade items I’m offering don’t appeal to you, think about them as gifts for friends or family members. Oven mitts, in particular, make great gifts. There’s even a hashtag for that: #ovenmittsmakegreatgifts.

To enter the giveaway, all you have to do is go to this post and respond in the comment section to the question: “What is your favorite color combo?” It’s been fun to see the responses so far, many of which mirror the color combos near and dear to my heart.

I’m sorry to say I’ve spent precious little time in my sewing room of late. What could possibly take me away from My Happy Place? The answer: the White House Garden. I have been helping the Dear Husband get our front and back yard ready for planting. I have to be honest: spending time in the garden is at the very bottom of my list of things I want to do. But we’ve had such a cold and soggy spring in Portland that I feel I have to help the DH take advantage of the (fairly) dry and (partly) sunny days to make up for lost time.

My DH moves a bit slower than he used to so I’m stealing time away from my sewing room to help him do the thing that makes his heart sing. I will always be a reluctant gardener but . . . I must confess:  there is a great deal of satisfaction to be gained from getting a few feet of land freed of weeds, an overgrown bush trimmed back, a lawn and leaf bag filled and hauled to the curb. I just don’t want to make a habit of it!

I’ll be back on Sunday with the names of the winners. Good luck!

P.S. Instructions for all three prizes are included in the Tutorials page on my website, which you can find at this link.

 

 

 

Posted in family, Giveaway, home dec, oven mitts, roll-it-up pillowcases, rotary cutter case, tutorial, update | 3 Comments

Presenting . . . Baby Isabella’s Quilt

Isabella’s Quilt, 40″ x 44″ (2020)

Not only is Baby Isabella’s quilt finished, Isabella herself has arrived! She was due around May 8 but was born on April 27, weighing in at a robust 9 pounds, 3 ounces. Mama and baby are doing fine; Papa and brothers are over the moon. I was able to deliver Isabella’s quilt this afternoon so now I can show you the entire quilt rather than the sneak peeks of the last few weeks.

See the big shooting star on the front of the quilt? I love that effect! Isn’t it amazing how a few strategically placed half-square triangles can convey an image?

Here’s a look at the simple pieced back:Isabella’s Quilt was adapted from the Star Stream Quilt pattern by Sally Davies of Chasing Tigers:

I saw a different version online that had been kitted by a quilt shop, with the quilt called Shooting Stars Quilt. It took a little sleuthing to identify the original designer. I wound up buying the pattern from the quilt shop as well as from Chasing Tigers since the latter contained additional information.

I knew right away I would make only a portion of the original design, using just two stars and enlarging them for maximum graphic effect. My fabric selection didn’t occur until I found out my granddaughter Bethany was expecting a girl this spring. The two pieces of cherry-themed fabric from an older line by Holly Holderman for Lakehouse Dry Goods were the perfect choice.

My original plan was to use a white-on white print for the background but as I pulled light and medium light greens from my stash to audition for the two star blocks . . .

. . . I was inspired  to incorporate several of the prints to create a low volume background for a subtle patchwork-y effect. I think it makes the quilt much more interesting — and probably more practical in the long run.

I find the color combo of pink and green so fresh and appealing. It speaks to me of spring, my favorite season of the year. Right now our Portland, Oregon neighborhood is alive with pink and white dogwood trees and azalea bushes in every shade from palest pink to deepest rose. This was the view from my front porch a couple of days ago:

The sunlight on the dogwood blossoms surrounded by the lush greenery reminds me so much of the colors in Isabella’s Quilt.

Here’s a close-up of the quilting:

Karlee Sandell of SewInspired2Day did a beautiful job on the quilting, using a pale green thread and an edge-to-edge design called “Sashay” by Anne Bright Designs. This is the third quilt I’ve chosen to have quilted with this design; the loops and swirls are such a pleasing counterpoint to all of the straight and diagonal stitching lines.

I had a bit of good fortune when it came to the bias striped binding. I had no idea if the pattern would match when it came time to join the two ends of the binding. Alas! It did not. However, with a bit of gentle but very persistent tugging on the two bias strips, I was able to stretch them to the point I could join the seams in the center of the pale pink section. If you look at the binding on the bottom of the quilt . . .

. . . you will see that the center pink section in the very middle is a bit longer than the others. But it’s almost undetectable. Serendipity!

Now for a look at the label:

As usual, I made a label using a compact disc as my pattern.

The last thing I do before delivering a baby quilt is throw it in the washer and dryer. There’s nothing like the puckery goodness of a freshly laundered quilt:

Welcome to the world, Baby Isabella!

 

 

 

Posted in baby quilt, family, update | 9 Comments

A Blogiversary — and a Giveaway!!

Tomorrow is a big day for First Light Designs. Ten years ago — on May 2, 2012 — my very first blog post was published. (You can read it here.) What better way to celebrate my 10th blogging anniversary than by having a giveaway?

I’m going to pick three winners at random and offer each winner her (or his) choice of three prizes:  a rotary cutter coat, a pair of standard or king pillowcases, or a pair of oven mitts — all made to order by moi. Examples are shown above but they are not the giveaway items. I’ll find out fabric preferences and give each winner a choice of combinations curated from my (ahem) rather extensive stash.

To be entered in the giveaway, all you have to do is write a comment at the bottom of this post responding to the question, “What is your favorite color combo?” No need for you to subscribe to my blog or follow me on Instagram (though I would be delighted if you chose to do either. To subscribe, enter your email address above the SUBSCRIBE button on the top right side of the First Light Designs home page. To find me on Instagram, click here.)

One entry per person. I will mail anywhere in the world so international readers are welcome to enter.

Family members are invited to leave comments but are not eligible to win.

The giveaway will remain open through Wednesday, May 11. On Thursday, May 12, I’ll use a random number generator to pick three winners who will be notified via email.

Good luck, everyone! And thank you for keeping me on my blogging toes for the last 10 years. Seven hundred posts later, I’m still going strong.

P.S. If you are not one of the lucky winners, you can make your own version of these items. All are available as free tutorials on my website:

8. Perfect Pillowcases (Oct. 23, 2013)

11. Rotary Cutter Coat (Oct. 10, 2014)

21, Oven Mitts that Fit: Prequel to the Tutorial (April 13, 2021)
21, Oven Mitt Tutorial from First Light Designs, Part 1 (April 18, 2021)
21, Oven Mitt Tutorial from First Light Designs, Part 2 (April 19, 2021)

 

 

Posted in Giveaway, oven mitts, roll-it-up pillowcases, rotary cutter case, tutorial, update | 45 Comments

Another Sneak Peek

I can’t help myself! I’m giving you another sneak peek of Baby Isabella’s quilt. I attached the binding last night and I have to pose this question:  Is the binding fabric not a match made in Quilt Heaven with the other fabrics in the quilt? You be the judge:

The striped fabric from my stash has the very same colors as Baby Isabella’s quilt but it’s from a completely different line. I cut my binding strips on the diagonal because I love the look of diagonal stripes on quilt binding. On this quilt the binding will finish at 1/2” wide (rather than my usual 1/4”) because I really want to call attention to it. In my view it frames and finishes the quilt beautifully.

You’ll be able to see what I mean at the final reveal. Soon, I hope!

 

 

 

 

Posted in baby quilt, family, update | 9 Comments

I Cannot Resist . . .

. . . giving you a sneak peek at the quilting on Baby Isabella’s quilt:

It’s just back from the longarmer and I can’t take my eyes off it.

In the foreground you see one of two star blocks I previewed a couple of posts ago. The final reveal will be saved until after the quilt has been delivered to the expectant parents, my granddaughter Bethany and her husband. Baby Isabella is scheduled to make her appearance in the next few weeks.

If I weren’t doing my final prep for a quilt workshop tomorrow, I’d be up in my sewing room this very minute trimming the quilt and getting the binding ready. All in good time!

 

 

 

Posted in baby quilt, family | 5 Comments

Four for Four

In baseball parlance, I’m batting a thousand! These are four products featuring artwork from “Capri,” Katarina Roccella’s new line of fabric for Art Gallery Fabrics. I recently ordered these items from redbubble.com, a global online marketplace for print-on-demand products based on artwork submitted by independent artists.

The socks arrived first, followed by the coffee mug and hot/cold travel mug. These three items feature Katarina Roccella’s lemons-on-stripes design while the mouse pad, which arrived today, features her rendering of hilltop houses on the Amalfi Coast. I love lemons and I love Italy; what more can I say? These two prints (and eight others) from the “Capri” line shown here . . .

. . . are in my fabric stash now. Someday (soon, I hope) they will make their way into a quilt. In the meantime, I can enjoy their loveliness by using the everyday items I purchased online.

I can’t speak to the quality of every print-on-demand product available at redbubble.com but I am very pleased indeed by the quality of the four products I bought. If you’re curious to see what kind of products are available featuring Katarina Roccella’s artwork — ranging from laptop sleeves to shower curtains — you can click here for her lemons-on-stripes design and here for her Amalfi Coast design. If you’re looking for a gift for a quilter, this is one place to explore.

Now I’m wondering how many other quilt fabric designers I admire have some of their designs available on things like t-shirts, backpacks, duvet covers, and smartphone cases. Could I be heading down a rabbit hole??

 

 

 

Posted in home dec, shower curtain, update | 4 Comments

Two New WIPs

I have a new Work-in-Progress to report:  a baby quilt! Granddaughter Bethany is expecting her fourth child in a few weeks — and it’s a girl! Baby Isabella — yes, she already has a name — will be joining three older brothers. We are all so excited to be welcoming a girl (although a boy would be equally treasured).

One thing I knew for sure in planning this quilt: it would not be “gender neutral.” Baby Isabella’s quilt will be decidedly feminine, meaning: Think Pink! I pulled out a treasured piece from my stash, “Cherry Baby,” a lovely pink and green print from Holly Holderman for Lakehouse Dry Goods, and discovered a companion print, “Cherry Toss,” tucked in with it. I’ve had these fabrics for — oh, a good dozen years. I must have been waiting for the perfect project.

I won’t be showing more until the quilt is done. Bethany follows my blog so I want to keep part of the quilt a surprise for her. I do hope she likes what she sees so far!

I titled this post “Two New WIPs.” I’ve described the Work in Progress underway in my sewing room. And what of the second WIP? Why, it’s Baby Isabella, of course!

 

 

 

Posted in baby quilt, family, update | 4 Comments

Sock It To Me!

You must be wondering what on earth a pair of socks has to do with quilting. Let me explain. The pattern on these socks is one of the prints from designer Katarina Roccella‘s new line, “Capri,” which is in quilt shops right now. If you missed my recent post about it, here’s a look at the line of quilting cottons from Art Gallery Fabrics:

(You don’t see the lemons-on-stripe print in the photo above because it’s one of two designs in the line that were printed on fabrics other than cotton.)

If you’re a regular reader you know that I ran off in high spirits last month and bought 10 prints from the line. So far I’ve only made a pair of pillowcases using three of the fabrics. I’m still dreaming about what to do with the remainder.

In her March 27 post on Instagram (instagram.com/katarinaroccella), Katarina mentioned that several designs in the “Capri” line, including lemons-on-stripes, were available on a huge range of products through a website called redbubble.com. I was intrigued. Following a link in her profile, I visited the website and learned that Redbubble is a global online marketplace for print-on-demand products based on artwork submitted by independent artists. An image isn’t printed on an item until an order comes in so there’s no waste from overproduction. When someone orders a product, the artist gets a portion of the proceeds.

I decided to give Redbubble a try, ordering a pair of socks and two coffee mugs with the lemons-on-stripes design. My socks arrived six days later! (The mugs are supposed to be delivered tomorrow.) I’m very pleased with the quality of the socks, which are made from a blend of recycled polyester, nylon, cotton, and spandex. They’re super soft and fit very nicely. Based on the quality of the socks, I placed an order today for a travel mug with the same lemons-on-stripe design — you know I have a thing for lemons! — and a mouse pad with the main fabric in the “Capri” line, a landscape of the Amalfi Coast.

If you are intrigued, too, you can click here to see Katarina Roccella’s designs on everything from leggings to smartphone cases to shower curtains to journal covers. It’s pretty amazing! By the way, I don’t have a financial interest in Redbubble nor do I accept any sponsorships on my website/blog. I’m writing about this because I believe making purchases that support artists like Katarina Roccella is a worthwhile thing to do and the items are things I will enjoy using.

I made another purchase recently that benefits a different but infinitely worthy cause. I saw the March 18 post on Instagram of Pat Sloan (instagram.com/quilterpatsloan) wearing a t-shirt featuring a beautiful sunflower image designed by Kate Spain. The tees are for sale on Kate Spain’s website, with proceeds going to support Chef José Andrés and the World Central Kitchen for relief efforts in Ukraine and Poland.

Kate’s design is called “Sunflowers in My Heart” and quilters who purchased t-shirts were encouraged to post photos on Instagram wearing theirs. Here’s the photo I posted:

Kate Spain herself commented on my post! You can check it out here.

Thank you for stopping by!

 

 

 

Posted in roll-it-up pillowcases, update | 4 Comments

A Sea of Stars

I made another 12″ block in my ongoing Sea Sampler project today. Before I show you the finished block, take a look at the fabric I used for the star points:

Is that not swoonworthy? It’s an ombre from Maywood (from a few years ago) that I pulled from my stash when I noticed how much the print looks like phosphorescent waves. While I was checking the proper spelling of “phosphorescence,” I came across another word for it: “bioluminescence.” Water bioluminescence resembles a sea of stars suspended in the waves. Yes, that’s exactly what I see in this fabric!

The block came together in an odd way. Normally I decide what will go in the center of the block and work outward. This time, I started from the outside in, making the star points first:

I used the darker value of the ombre fabric, which is darkest on the selvedge ends, moving to lightest in the center. You can see what I mean here, where the fold line marking the middle of the fabric width is very visible:

While I was pondering what to put in the center, my eyes fell on my current Junior Billie Bag, which sits by the door to my sewing room. As it turns out, both sides of the bag served as inspiration for the center. Here are the two sides during construction so you can see both at once:

The one on the left features a Churn Dash block inside a Sawtooth Star. I was thinking about making a Churn Dash block when it dawned on me that the fabric in the center of this particular Churn Dash has ferns that look like they’re under water. That small square — 2″ finished — is from the same piece of fabric as the circle on the right side.

I had actually auditioned that fabric when I was going through my stash for the Sea Sampler project and had rejected it because it didn’t look watery. But when I pulled out a piece and got a better look at the fern fronds, I saw an image that reminded me of an underwater garden. Even better, the image would fit really nicely in the 6″ x 6″ space I needed to fill.

I fussycut a piece slightly on the bias so the ferns would point toward a corner, as if it were gently undulating under water. This is the result:

See the bubbles?

Behold my finished block:

As you can see, I added small triangles to the corners of the center block as well as the inside corners of the four outer squares. Why? Because I wanted more green in the block and I wanted to add some visual interest to the basic block design. I love how the green triangles form little hourglasses on the diagonal.

Here is the new block (second row, center) with the other five 12″ blocks made thus far:

They join three 18″ blocks, which you can see here, and a smattering of 6″ blocks. This quilt is evolving slowly but surely. My sewing time is somewhat limited these days so I’m just coasting along, making a block here and there. But I do have what I think is a great idea for a layout.

 

 

 

Posted in Billie Bag, sampler quilt, update | 10 Comments