I’ll give you a hint. It measures about 19″ x 25″ and folds into a three dimensional object that is both functional and pretty.
Once I show you the other side, you’ll have a better idea:
That gray fabric is a treated heat resistant fabric commonly used on ironing board covers. Aha. So this is a portable ironing surface, right? Yes, but that’s not all. Look what it becomes when folded just so:
It’s an iron caddy. How cute is that? Not to mention practical. It’s great for transporting a still-warm iron that was used in a quilt class.
The pattern is by Sisters’ Common Thread. I made one for myself three years ago with a few modifications that I wrote about here. My good friend and fellow Quister (Quilt Sister) Vickie admired mine and asked if I might make one for her birthday this year. Why yes, I might!
Since Vickie’s favorite color is purple, I chose fabrics from the purple colorway of Benartex and Kanvas Studio’s Dance of the Dragonfly line.
I also made a little 4″ x 4″ fabric box to go with Vickie’s iron caddy:
Here is the matched set:
Don’t they look good together?
Later this week I’m celebrating Vickie’s birthday with my fellow Quisters. Sure hope she likes her present!
I wish I could say that I have been quilting up a storm — but no, that happens to be the name of the raffle quilt I didn’t win:
Isn’t it a beauty? It was made by members of the Oregon Coastal Quilters Guild, inspired by the artwork of Dennis McGregor. The quilt was on display for the two full days of the guild’s 26th annual quilt show, Quilts by the Sea, held earlier this month in Newport, Oregon.
The next best thing to winning the raffle quilt was admiring it in person, along with the 235 or so other quilts on display at the show. Here are a few of the ones that caught my eye:
For Kennedy, made by Cindy McEntee and quilted by Lisa Taylor:
Flower Baskets, made and hand-quilted by Toni Brodie:
Mistletoe & Holly, made and quilted by Deborah Cagle:
Deborah is one of my fellow Quisters (Quilt Sisters). She made this quilt as a gift for our friend Peggy, also a Quister, and then made a second version for herself — all in the space of one year!
This quilt, Thirty-Something Shades of Red, was made by Velma Freudenthal, the guild’s featured quilter:
Endless Chain, also made by Velma Freudenthal:
Prairie Sweets, made by Nancy Terhaar and quilted by Lisa Taylor:
Roses are Red . . . and White, made by Nan Scott and quilted by Lisa Taylor:
Detail of Roses are Red . . . and White:
Prints Charming, made and quilted by Jean Amundson:
Detail of Prints Charming:
Koi in the Garden, made by Sue Clark and quilted by Lisa Taylor:
Gennifer Flowers, made by Nancy Terhaar and quilted by Lisa Taylor:
Soldier’s Waltz, made by Maureen Gallant and quilted by Lisa Taylor:
Detail of quilting on Soldier’s Waltz:
Star, also made by Maureen Gallant and quilted by Lisa Taylor:
Carpenter’s Square, made by Judy McCoy and quilted by Jennifer Rinehart:
View from the Lighthouse, made by Jacque VanDamme and quilted by Cindy Young:
Did you recognize the lighthouse in the center of the quilt? It’s the same panel by Dennis McGregor used in the Oregon Coastal Quilters Guild’s raffle quilt. The original painting was commissioned by the guild for its 25th anniversary show last year.
The guild had a display of mini quilts that included these charming ones:
Here’s a close-up of Flower Pot, made by Lorna Myers:
Rounding out this post are a few more of the quilts I liked:
Breaking Amish, made by Marge Hoyt and quilted by Lisa Taylor:
My Butterfly Collection, made by Betty Wilson:
Ring of Fire, made and quilted by Linda MacKown:
and Royal Chanticleer, made and quilted (and beautifully embellished) by Linda MacKown:
It was a terrific show, beautifully organized and presented, and my Quisters and I enjoyed our brief getaway to the Oregon Coast. I have a feeling this will become an annual event.
The Dear Husband and I got back yesterday from a three-day trip to Seattle, occasioned by the Detroit Tigers coming to town to play the Seattle Mariners in a three-game stand. The DH, a Michigander by birth, roots for the Tigers. I root for the Mariners, but both of us appreciate a good play in baseball, regardless of which side makes it.
We boarded Amtrak in Portland Monday morning for the relaxing 3½-hour train ride to Seattle’s King Street Station. It’s been three years since the grand waiting room in King Street Station was restored to its original 1906 glory but I never tire of taking in the view:
Here’s a close-up of the ornamental plaster ceiling . . .
. . . and the fluted Corinthian columns:
Did you happen to notice the glass mosaic tiles on the column in the picture above? That design on the edge of the column would make a striking quilt block, don’t you think?
If the design shows up on a quilt of mine, you’ll know where I got the inspiration.
More quilt inspiration can be found at Union Station, right next door to King Street Station. Originally a train station, the building was restored about 15 years ago after sitting empty for three decades. It’s now the headquarters of Sound Transit, providing express bus, commuter rail, and light rail service in the region, but the grand hall can be rented out for weddings and other events:
What about that quilty inspiration? Look no farther than your feet:
On Tuesday we visited my best friend from college, who served us an elegant lunch in her gracious home. We were in a suburb of Seattle but I felt like we had stepped into a bistro in Provence:
Here’s a look from the other side of the room:
Isn’t that a beautifully set table? Sandy served an elegant cold spinach soup made from a Julia Child recipe. We sipped wine (Vouvray) and water from vintage glasses, which of course made them taste that much better. The roses on the table are from Sandy’s gorgeous garden.
No trip to Seattle would be complete without a stroll through Pike Place Market, so the DH and I did that on our last full day:
I always make it a point to visit Undercover Quilts, which recently moved to a new location at the north end of Pike Place Market:
Did I support my local quilt shop? Why, yes, I did.
A few blocks away I stopped in at AllSaints, a clothing store on Fifth Avenue — not to shop for clothes but to admire the décor. Over 500 vintage sewing machines line the exterior windows and interior walls of this store:
I was in my element!
Mindful that our sojourn to Seattle was for baseball, I took this picture of Safeco Field from our hotel room, directly across the street from the stadium:
On Thursday morning, we were homeward bound on Amtrak. It was a terrific little getaway, and we’ll do it again next year when the Tigers come back to Seattle to play baseball. Oh, by the way, the Mariners won all three games.
A couple of days before leaving for Seattle, I went over to the Oregon coast with my quilt group, the Quisters, to see the 26th annual Quilts by the Sea show presented by the Oregon Coastal Quilt Guild. In my next post I’ll show you some of my favorite quilts from that show.
On Sunday I’m heading over to Central Oregon with my quilt group, the Quisters, for a week of sewing, including taking classes at Quilter’s Affair.
Do you know about Quilter’s Affair? It’s the week of classes put on by the Stitchin’ Post quilt shop in Sisters, Oregon, leading up to the biggest outdoor quilt show in the world. The show is always held on the second Saturday in July; this year it falls on July 9.
For Quilter’s Affair, the Stitchin’ Post brings in teachers from the U.S. and abroad to join a group of talented local and regional experts. I’m taking a class taught by fellow Oregonian Karla Alexander of Saginaw Quilts. I’ve met Karla, heard her lecture, and admired her designs, so it’s high time I took a class from her.
She’s teaching five classes at Quilter’s Affair. I’m taking the one based on her pattern Rewind:
Many of Karla’s designs are made by cleverly stacking, cutting, and sewing fabrics. Rewind is no exception. I was attracted to this pattern because of its resemblance to the classic Greek key design. Whereas the traditional Greek key is dignified, with straight lines and symmetry, Karla’s key (if I can call it that) is quirky and lighthearted, thanks to free form cutting, a freewheeling color palette, and funky fabrics.
I decided to raid my batik stash for this quilt. Instructions were to start with a family of colors and pick an equal number of lights and darks. I started with green — no surprise there — and randomly pulled other colors that go well with it. After cutting my 12″ squares, I layered them so that each fabric looks good with its neighbor on either side.
Here is my fabric pull:
Most of these squares are doubles, with a few singletons. For the class project 48 squares are needed. I wound up with 60, which gives me some leeway. In some cases a fabric works as a light with one neighbor but as a dark with the other. It will be interesting to see if this affects the construction process.
Taking this class will be extra fun because my fellow Quister Deborah is taking it, too. I wonder what fabrics she chose. Quilter’s Affair, here we come!
Time for a progress report on the quilter’s tote that I’m making for my friend Deborah’s birthday. Known as the Junior Billie Bag, it’s a scaled down version of the tote designed several years ago by my teacher and mentor Billie Mahorney. I’m making Deborah’s bag alongside the students in my two Junior Billie Bag classes at the Pine Needle Quilt Shop. It really helps to have the individual components on hand so I can show my students exactly how a bag goes together. It will measure 14″ x 17″ x 7½” when finished.
The pockets on the inside and outside of the bag are customized to fit a quiltermaker’s favorite rulers and tools. I’m hoping that the pocket sizes I chose for Deborah’s bag will be a good fit for her. Here’s a look at the inside pockets on the side panels . . .
and the outside pockets on the side panels:
Both outside pockets are trimmed with the solid red French General fabric loved by so many quiltmakers.
Now have a look at the inside of the bag with the side panels pinned to one of the front/back panels:
All told, this bag has 20 pockets. That’s a lot of pockets!
When I first wrote about Deborah’s Junior Billie Bag (you can read that post here), I hadn’t yet quilted the second front/back panel. The original plan was to do some free motion quilting but I opted instead for a modified chevron that extends the lines of the star points:
It’s a nice counterpoint to the serpentine stitching on the first front/back panel:
I’m having a lot of fun working on this bag and am happy to report that I am entering the home stretch. Deborah won’t have to wait too much longer to claim her birthday present!
This quilter’s tote, a slightly smaller version of the one designed by Billie Mahorney close to 20 years ago, is a birthday present for my friend and fellow Quister (Quilt Sister) Deborah, who recently reached one of those milestone birthdays ending in zero. When Deborah opened her birthday present last week, it was in pieces but she was still happy because she’s seen mine and knows what hers is going to look like when it’s done.
I’m teaching two classes at the Pine Needle right now on how to make a Junior Billie Bag, and I’m using Deborah’s bag to show my students the steps in construction. That’s why her bag wasn’t completed before her big day. All the individual components have been made: front and back panels, side and bottom panels, pockets, long and short straps, and binding. My students can see exactly how it comes together before they take the same steps on their bags. And they can choose whatever designs they want for the front and back panels so each bag is truly unique.
The panel on the right in the photo above is ready for some free motion quilting in the outer strips of solid red. As you can see, the panel on the left was quilted with a simple serpentine stitch in the red fabric around the Churn Dash block. The red fabric, by the way, is some French General by Moda that’s been in my stash for a few years just waiting for the right project. I did use some of it a couple of years ago, along with some of the same fabrics you see above, when I made this sewing machine dust cover for Deborah:
At the time I had no idea I would be making her a coordinating Junior Billie Bag down the road. I’m so glad I had plenty of fabric left over from that first project.
If you’d like to see what a Junior Billie Bag looks like completed, click on this link to see the one I finished in January. Deborah’s Junior Billie Bag, which will measure 14″ x 17″ x 7½” when finished, should be in her hands by this time next month.
Last week came and went so fast my head is spinning. I did something quilt-related every day — but I spent no time at all in front of my sewing machine.
A quick recap: On Sunday, Wednesday, and Saturday, I taught at the Pine Needle.
On Tuesday I gave a presentation and trunk show to the Tualatin Valley Quilt Guild. As I was driving to Sherwood Tuesday evening through a torrential downpour, I couldn’t help but think, “Who’s going to venture out on such a dark and stormy night just to see my quilts?” Happily, the answer was: almost every member of the guild. (Thank you, TVQG members, for giving me such a warm welcome!)
On Thursday I had a lesson on my new Janome Horizon 8900QCP sewing machine. I say “new” but I actually bought the machine last July. It’s taken me this long to get that lesson scheduled. I’m so glad I did because some questions I had about using the machine were very well answered, and I can’t wait to try out some new feet I purchased.
On Friday I met my quilt group, the Quisters, at the Stitches in Bloom Quilt Show in Silverton, Oregon. The show is held every January at the Oregon Garden. One of my quilts has hung in the show every year since 2010 — until this year. I plum forgot to enter! We had a wonderful day together, including a celebratory birthday lunch.
Did I miss a day? Oh, yes. Monday was prep day for my classes and quilt guild presentation.
So what did I do today? I cleaned my house! Now I’m ready for the coming week, and I hope to spend lots of time in my sewing room. The first of four baby quilts in progress is back from the quilter so the very first thing on my list is to attach the binding using one of the new feet I bought for my Janome Horizon.
Then — and only then — I’m going to do something with this:
This beautiful little bundle of half-yard cuts is from the debut line of fabric by Mary Fons for Springs Creative. Called Small Wonders: World Piece, the complete line of fabrics includes small-scale prints inspired by six countries. I was especially drawn to the fabrics you see above, representing India.
In fact, as soon as I saw this bundle at the Pine Needle, I knew exactly what I was going to do with it. I hope you’ll stop back in a few days to find out.
This is Part Two of a two-part post on what I accomplished in my sewing room during 2015. Part One featured my finished quilts (unquilted tops don’t count) and can be seen here. Most everything else qualifies as a Pretty Little Thing, so let’s take a look at the Pretty Little Things I made in 2015:
This 9″ x 41″ reversible runner was made for my sister Diane’s living room to cover a “seam” created when two small chests were placed back to back to make a larger unit:
Here is the runner in situ in her living room in Atlanta:
To celebrate the spring birthdays of my friends and fellow Quisters (Quilt Sisters) Deborah and Peggy, I made these fabric baskets based on the 1 Hour Basket Tutorial from Hearts and Bees. The baskets measure about 9½” wide, 6½” tall, and 5½” deep.
Pillowcases! I make several every year. Here are cases I made as a hostess gift for my friend Anna in Paris . . .
. . . and a pair made for the Portland White House:
Of all the pillowcases I have made for my own home, these are the ones my husband likes best.
My sister Diane commissioned me to make a pair of pillowcases to give as a hostess gift to friends in Maine:
Her friends have a darling little terrier named Lucy who got her own little pillowcase (and pillow). It measures 6″ x 12″ and goes in her doggie bed:
This sewing-themed fabric became a singleton pillowcase for me to take to Quilt Camp:
I drew my sister Diane’s name in our annual sibling draw for Christmas. When I asked her for ideas on what I could get her, she said, “Dawn pillowcases, of course!” I made her these king size pillowcases from my batik stash:
For the annual fall Open House at the Pine Needle, the quilt shop where I teach, I made these Cozy Flannel Armchair Coasters, inspired by coasters bought at a craft sale 30 years ago:
The coasters are reversible. Below are the backs of the coasters you see above. Just for fun I changed orientation of the herringbone weave:
The coasters were a big hit so I made some more as gifts. My friend Beth got these for her birthday in her favorite colors . . .
. . . and I tucked in this set of four as part of my sister Diane’s Christmas present:
My last non-quilt project for the year isn’t small and didn’t get made in my sewing room but I’m including it here anyway. It’s the two-fabric tablecloth I made for my sister Diane’s dining room while visiting her over Thanksgiving:
The tablecloth goes with the 16 mitered-corner napkins I made for her a couple of years ago out of the same large floral print used in the border. Here’s one of those napkins in a place setting:
Earlier this week I relinquished my temporary custody of Lee Fowler’s Pickle Dish quilt. It was the last quilt Lee made, finished just a couple of weeks before she died in 2013, and I was one of 25 friends who helped her make it. I wrote about it here. At the memorial service, Lee’s husband Rick LePage announced that each person who helped with the quilt would get to have it in her home for a few weeks.
In July this year, while I was in Sisters, Oregon with my quilt group, the Quisters, Lee’s quilt was passed on to me. As a member of the Pickle Dish Gang — the name Rick gave to the group of quilters who worked with Lee on the quilt — I had been waiting patiently for my turn.
As soon as I got home I put it over the couch in my living room . . .
. . . and can honestly say that I looked at it several times a day the entire time it was here. It was a vivid reminder of Lee’s friendship and of the love that the members of the Pickle Dish Gang had for her.
A handmade book accompanies the quilt as it makes its way from one member to the next, so that each of us can write a personal message. At the end of the quilt’s journey, it will be returned to Lee’s family along with the quilt. In my entry I included this photo, taken at Creekside Park in Sisters in July:
Everyone who knew Lee knew how much this quilt meant to her. It means a lot to me, too, and I am so glad I got to be a part of its creation.
I made these fabric baskets a few months ago for Deborah and Peggy, my fellow Quisters (Quilt Sisters). Their birthdays are in March but they didn’t receive their baskets until very recently, which is why I held off posting pictures. (The Quisters try to meet every month but this spring and summer our schedules have just not been meshing. We’re working on that.)
Kelly of kelbysews, one half of the design team Hearts and Bees, posted a tutorial in the spring for the 1 Hour Basket. The tutorial is available as a pdf digital download from Craftsy. In no time at all photos began popping up everywhere on Instagram. When I saw them, I knew right away I wanted to make birthday baskets for Deborah and Peggy.
I made one change in the tutorial directions: I lined the handles with the same fabric used for the basket lining. Here’s a close-up of Deborah’s basket:
On Peg’s basket, I turned the handles inside out because I liked the look of the contrasting fabric on the outside:
The baskets are perfectly sized to hold a bundle of fat quarters, so of course I tucked some into each basket before wrapping it up.