Author Archives: Dawn

Hazel’s Diary Quilt: Year-End Progress Report

When I started working on Hazel’s Diary Quilt at the beginning of the year, my goal was to end the year with nine blocks completed. That may not seem like a very ambitious goal but these nine blocks came with a significant challenge: a lot of hand appliqué. Not just a different appliquéd floral design in the center of each pieced block but also a scalloped frame around each block applied using reverse appliqué. As if that weren’t enough, I set myself the additional challenge of using the needleturn method of hand appliqué.

I’ve shown it before but you really have to see Shelly Pagliai’s gorgeous quilt to understand what I have taken on:

Hazel’s Diary Quilt, designed, pieced, appliquéd, and quilted by Shelly Pagliai of Prairie Moon Quilts, 95″ Square

You can see from looking at Shelly’s quilt that once those nine blocks are completed, there’s a lot more piecing and hand appliqué required to finish the quilt.

As of today I have all nine blocks pieced but only three of them have their red scalloped frames in place. You’ll see those in just a bit. For now I want to walk you through the nine pieced blocks, set on point per Shelly’s design.

Block 1, Missouri Farm Girl

 

Block 3, Canasta

 

Block 4, Coal Miner’s Granddaughter

 

Block 5, Corn and Beans and Other Things

 

Block 6, Best.Christmas.Ever

 

Block 7, Aunt Ruby’s Choice

 

Block 8, Domestic Bliss

 

Block 9, Fancy Farm Girl

 

Block 10, Fair Weather

These blocks measure 12½” unfinished. Once they have white border strips added and  the red frames appliquéd on top they will measure 18½” unfinished. Set on point, they will finish about 25½” wide.

As dramatic as the blocks are above, see how much more striking they are framed. First up, Block 4, Coal Miner’s Granddaughter:

Next, Block 7, Aunt Ruby’s Choice:

And third, Block 3, Canasta, which I finished framing just yesterday:


Seeing these three blocks framed makes me eager to get started on the fourth frame!

Thank you so much for following along with me this year. I hope you’ll follow along in 2019 as I work to complete my version of Hazel’s Diary Quilt.

Speaking of 2019, it is mere hours away! Have a safe and Happy New Year, friends, and I’ll see you next year.

 

 

 

Posted in appliqué, Hazel's Diary Quilt, needleturn appliqué, update | 11 Comments

Fair Weather, Friend

Presenting Fair Weather, Block 10 of Hazel’s Diary Quilt:


I am so in love with this block! Here it is on point, as it will be in the finished quilt:

I think it may be my favorite of the nine pieced blocks that go into Hazel’s Diary Quilt, the lovely sampler quilt designed by Shelly Pagliai of Prairie Moon Quilts.

Tomorrow I’ll post pictures of all nine blocks. One of them will go in the center of the quilt as part of a medallion, and Fair Weather may be the one. I’ll wait until all nine blocks have their red scalloped frames before making a final decision.

I hope you’ll come back tomorrow for a look.

 

 

 

 

Posted in appliqué, Hazel's Diary Quilt, needleturn appliqué, update | 7 Comments

Junior Billie Bag #8

I finished this quilter’s tote, the one and only Junior Billie Bag, last month and plum forgot to post pictures. Better late than never!

The bag, a scaled down version of the original tote designed by Billie Mahorney, measures 14″ across, 17″ high, and 7½” deep. You’ll notice the bag is wide enough for a 6½” x 24″ ruler. That’s my favorite feature of Billie’s wonderful design because it’s an awkward size ruler to carry around.

Here’s a look from the other side:


Every time I make a Junior Billie Bag (or JBB, as I like to call it) I have a lot of fun picking out fabrics and deciding what 12″ blocks to incorporate on the front and back panels. The inset circle shown in the first photo is a favorite design; this one was made from an octagonal kaleidoscope block. A more recent favorite is the windmill block shown above. I fussycut the bloom in the center into a square and added a ¼” strip around it.

Take a peek inside the bag, where you can see layers of pockets on all four sides:


Flat items like file folders, books, and patterns fit nicely in the larger pockets, and the smaller pockets hold a plethora of smaller items. There are outside pockets, too. All told, this Junior Billie Bag has somewhere around two dozen pockets. Anything too big too fit into a pocket can go in the center of the bag.

This JBB bag is currently hanging as a class sample in Montavilla Sewing Center‘s Lake Oswego store. In February and March I will teach a three-part workshop so experienced quilters can make their own versions. (Incidentally, in January I will teach a class called “Going in Circles” that highlights the no-pin freezer paper method of making inset circles, a variation of Dale Fleming’s method. More on both classes here.)

After the class is over I’ll have the pleasure of giving the JBB to a very dear friend.

This JBB is the eighth one I have made. If you’d like to see the first seven bags, you’ll find them here.

 

 

 

Posted in Billie Bag, Junior Billie Bag, update | 6 Comments

Hazel’s Diary Quilt: Fair Weather (Block 10)

What a busy month this is turning out to be! The result: not much time spent in my sewing room. I did manage to finish piecing Fair Weather, Block 10 of Hazel’s Diary Quilt:

This is the second version. I didn’t like my first attempt, which had a different print where the blue squares are now. This version is much more pleasing to my eye.

Shelly Pagliai, designer of Hazel’s Diary Quilt, started with the traditional Weathervane quilt block and added an original appliqué design in the center:


That’s quite a bit of appliqué!

Before embarking on the handwork for this block I decided to test my choice of fabrics by photocopying them and cutting the shapes out of paper. Here’s my mock-up:

You have to imagine the red polkadot petal and black semicircle on all four flowers. The dollar coin in the center is a stand-in for what will probably be a solid red circle.

I’m eager to get started on this one! Then it will be back to work on those scalloped red frames. . .

 

 

 

Posted in appliqué, Hazel's Diary Quilt, needleturn appliqué, update | 5 Comments

Sunday Sewing

Fancy Farm Girl, Block 9 of Hazel’s Diary Quilt, is complete with the addition of the appliqué in the center:

I’m happy to report the appliqué process went well today. A good thing, as a couple of weeks have passed with no appliqué at all. Maybe I just needed a little break.

I departed from designer Shelly Pagliai’s design by rotating the leaves a quarter turn and enlarging the motif by 20%. When the block is set on point, as it will be in the finished quilt, the leaves form an X rather than a +:


Coco kept me company:

 

 

 

 

Posted in appliqué, cats, Hazel's Diary Quilt, needleturn appliqué, update | 4 Comments

Great Expectations

I was so sure I would get lots of hand appliqué done on my Hazel’s Diary Quilt blocks during my two-week visit to my sister’s home over Thanksgiving. Instead I found myself occupied with other things. Fun things, to be sure. We experimented with new recipes and baked and went shopping and watched Poldark on Masterpiece Theater and decorated Diane and Ed’s home for the holidays. And we played endless games of Scrabble.

It’s that last thing that kept me from getting more handwork done. My husband and my sister share this obession. Many times the three of us could be found sitting in the living room with our noses in our iPads, playing Scrabble with each other and not uttering a word. Diane’s husband Ed — who does not play Scrabble — looked on, bemused.

I did manage to complete one red scalloped frame (pictured in this post) and got started on another one:

Since returning home almost a week ago, I’ve picked it up a couple of times but keep putting it down. It may look fine from a distance but I’m not at all happy with some of the points and curves. I don’t know whether to keep going or rip it out and start over.

Best to put it away for a while. Not the entire project, though! I still have one more block that needs appliqué in the center (and I still want to remake the last block I pieced since I don’t like my original fabric choices). Maybe needleturning some small shapes will get me going again on those red scalloped frames.

I know: the more I do it, the easier it will become. I need practice — and patience.

 

 

 

Posted in appliqué, family, needleturn appliqué, Scrabble, update | 3 Comments

In the Lap(kin) of Luxury

Many years ago my sister Diane and I found a set of four oversize napkins at a vintage linen shop in Portland. The proprietor told us they were called “lapkins.” Measuring around 27″ square, each lapkin is beautifully monogrammed with the initials KMG and has a lace insert and faggoting around the edges. We imagined them tucked away in a hope chest as part of a young bride-to-be’s trousseau or laid out at an elegant dinner party where splendidly clad ladies and gentlemen sipped champagne from crystal goblets.

We split the set. My two napkins are still neatly folded away in my linen closet. Diane’s, however, are part of an updated window treatment in her dining room. That window treatment was my home dec project during this two-week visit to her home over Thanksgiving:


As projects go, it seemed simple: all I had to do was make two squares of fabric that could be draped on point over a curtain rod before the napkins were added. But Diane wanted the fabric seen from the outside to be yellow to match the paint color on the exterior of the house. (Does this sound a little obsessive-compulsive? Like something I would do? It’s a twin thing.)

The solution was a two-tone square:

I had brought these fabrics with me — part of my stash of quilting cottons — thinking the colors would work well in Diane’s dining room. Isn’t that a gorgeous paisley? Although most of the paisley print is covered by the lapkins, enough can be seen to tie the window treatments in with the rest of the dining room decor:

The dark print is also a good foil for the detail on the lapkins:


Here’s a look at night, with some sparkly Christmas decorations reflected in the windows:

Now I’m inspired to get my lapkins out of my linen closet and transform them into a window treatment in my own home.

 

 

 

 

Posted in family, home dec, update | 10 Comments

Making and Baking

Friends, I wish you could smell what I am smelling now. My sister’s home is redolent with the yeasty smell of cinnamon rolls that just came out of the oven. We wasted no time in seeing if they tasted as good as they looked. (Boy howdy, did they ever!)

And guess what? Diane and I made them together. It was a first for me. I’m not much of a baker, although I surely do love baked goods. We began the process last night by making a sponge of flour, water, and sourdough starter she received from a dear friend in Maine:

By morning the sponge had doubled in size. Our proofing station was a stack of cutting boards arranged close enough to the undermount cabinet lights to get the necessary warmth for the sponge to rise.

This morning, we got the baking center prepped . . .

. . . and proceeded to transform the sponge into a ball of dough by adding flour and kneading . . .

. . . and kneading some more:


After 25 minutes of kneading, the ball of dough was finally glossy. We rolled it out into a 12″ x 24″ rectangle . . .

. . . and started to embellish it:

Here it is ready to roll. Rolling, rolling, rolling:

Once we had a 24″-long log, it was time to cut it into 12 pieces — with string! Take a look:

Then it was time for a second rising under the warm light . . .

. . . until they were ready for the oven:


And finally, this beautiful sight:

So that’s it for the baking.

And what about the making? Well, between countless games of Scrabble and Diane’s and my discovery of the PBS series Poldark, progress on home dec for Diane and appliqué for my Hazel’s Diary Quilt has slowed. Not to a standstill, however. Look for an update in a couple of days.

 

 

Posted in family, update | 5 Comments

Grateful

What a lovely Thanksgiving feast we had yesterday! Although my sister Diane and her husband Ed have hosted upwards of a dozen people at Thanksgiving in previous years, it was just the four of us this year. My husband Charlie and I look forward to our annual trip to Atlanta which has stretched to a two-week visit since I retired 10 years ago.

Diane sets a beautiful table. She got out the Rosalie Spode that belonged to her mother-in-law and some vintage glassware that could have come directly from the set of Downton Abbey:


Normally the Christmas decorations don’t come out until after Thanksgiving but a few days ago Diane and I were shopping in downtown Norcross and she spotted a gorgeous one-of-a-kind Christmas tree at a home and garden shop called Good Things. The tree had to come home with us. Diane couldn’t wait to try it out on the built-in buffet in the dining room:

It made our Thanksgiving dinner extra festive.


I’m so thankful Charlie and I were able to spend this holiday with my family in Georgia. For those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you also got to spend it with loved ones.

Now, 24 hours later, I am looking forward to the second best thing about Thanksgiving: leftovers!

 

 

 

 

Posted in family, home dec, update | 7 Comments