Category Archives: baby quilt

First Light Designs: Best of 2022

It’s that time of year again. Cheryl Brickey of Meadow Mist Designs is inviting bloggers to share their top five posts of the year in her “Best of 2022 Linky Party.” This is the eighth consecutive year Cheryl has hosted this linky party and my fifth year participating.

Clicking on the links will take you to the original posts where you can see more photos and read about my creative process.

Number 1. Isabella’s Quilt

Isabella’s Quilt, 40″ x 44″ (2022)

Isabella’s Quilt, made for a new great grandchild, was adapted from the pattern Star Stream Quilt by Sally Davies of Chasing Tigers.  I chose to make only a portion of the original design, using just two stars and enlarging them for maximum graphic effect. Instead of using one fabric for the background, I used several greens from my ample stash to create a low volume effect.

Number 2. Arctic Stars  (I liked Isabella’s Quilt so much I made a second version!)

Arctic Stars, 50″ x 63″ (2022)

Made to be a throw size, the quilt features two additional stars, with each star containing a fussycut image from the “Icy World” line by Gareth Lucas for Windham Fabrics. Here are a couple of close-ups:

8″ Star Block in Arctic Stars
16″ Star Block in Arctic Stars

 

Number 3. My Eleventh (!) Junior Billie Bag (JBB)

Dawn’s Latest Junior Billie Bag, the Essential Quilter’s Tote (2022)

I teach other quilters how to make this tote, making one myself in the process. That’s why I’ve made so many. To see earlier versions, click here.

I’ve also been making accessories to accompany each JBB. Here’s my latest suite:

Dawn’s Junior Billie Bag Accessories (2022)

You’ll find tutorials for the rotary cutter coat and scissors case at these links to my website:
 Rotary Cutter Coat (Oct. 10, 2014)
 Scissors Case from First Light Designs (Sept. 5, 2018)

Number 4. Pillowcases to Make You Dream of Italy

Pillowcases for the Portland White House (2022)

I love sleeping on pillowcases made from beautiful cottons. These cases were made using the “Capri” line designed by Katarina Roccella for Art Gallery Fabrics. (I used the burrito or roll-it-up method for the pillowcases, using my own tutorial which you can find here.)

Number 5. Holliberry Circle

Holliberry Circle, 25″ in diameter (2022)

My very first finish of 2022 was this mini quilt using the delightfully whimsical pattern Dresden Neighborhood by Kim Lapacek of Persimon Dreams. I used scraps from Corey Yoder’s “Holliberry” line from 2021 plus a few other red and green fabrics culled from my stash. I embellished the quilt with a few strategically placed vintage buttons. The link above the photo will take you to the post in which I explained (with lots of photos) how I converted my little quilt from a square to a circle.

Thank you so much for visiting First Light Designs. And thank you, Cheryl, for getting the party going. Be sure to check out the top five posts of the other quilting/blogging partygoers. If you’re a quilter, you can join Cheryl’s Best of 2022 Linky Party, too. The link is open until January 2.

All the best in 2023!

 

 

 

Posted in baby quilt, Billie Bag, home dec, Junior Billie Bag, roll-it-up pillowcases, rotary cutter case, sewing tool caddy, tote bags, tutorial, update, wall hanging, wonky Dresden neighborhood | 7 Comments

Now You Know . . .

. . . where I’m going with this latest project.

Remember Baby Isabella’s Quilt, the one I made earlier this year based on the pattern Star Stream Quilt by Sally Davies of Chasing Tigers? Here’s a reminder of the finished baby quilt . . .

. . . and the original pattern that inspired my version:
Ever since making the baby quilt, which finished at 40″ x 44″, I have wanted to make a throw-sized version. It will finish at 59″ x 72″, a great size for tossing across your lap. To make it that size I am using one large star supersized to 18″ from the original pattern’s 8″ star and three smaller stars measuring 9″ as opposed to the original pattern’s 4″ stars. Those are the blocks you saw in my last post.

I should have the completed quilt top ready to show you by tomorrow, which also happens to be Halloween. Boo!

 

 

 

Posted in baby quilt, update | 3 Comments

In Praise of Pink and Green

If you’ve ever wondered about the timeless appeal of pink and green quilts, you have only to look to Mother Nature:

I snapped this photo on May 24, the day the first peony on our three bushes opened up. Since then all three bushes have exploded with blossoms.

This peony is from the darkest of the three bushes:

It’s the Dear Husband’s favorite but it’s the lighter shade I’m swooning over:


The dogwood trees this spring were the loveliest in recent memory. Everyone I’ve spoken to agrees. This shot was taken from our front porch one recent morning when the sun lit up the dogwood belonging to our neighbors two doors down:


Even the lilacs in our backyard, which are actually light purple, looked pink the morning in late April when this photo was taken:


Then there is this unusual succulent growing in a pot in our backyard:

I’m reminded of the most recent pink and green quilt I finished, the one for Baby Isabella . . .


. . . and this kaleidoscope quilt, made for a great niece in 2013 from a fabulous hydrangea print:

This is the back of the quilt, so you can see what the focus fabric looked like before I turned it into kaleidoscope blocks:

And this is my first pink and green quilt, completed 10 years ago, made from my pattern Four-Patch Wonder:

I named the quilt Framboise, the French word for raspberry. You can read more about the making of it here. Here’s another shot of Framboise au naturel, surrounded by even more green:

Speaking of raspberries, the vines in our backyard will be producing those small deep pink edible jewels in a month’s time, adding to my continuing enjoyment of pink and green.

Do you find the combination of pink and green as irresistible as I do? In nature as well as in quilts?

 

 

 

Posted in 4-Patch Wonder, baby quilt, faux-kaleido quilts, kaleidoscope quilts, update | 12 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

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

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

Love Is in the Air . . .

. . . and on my design wall. Take a look:

 

The pattern is Love Rocks, from the brand new book Text Me by those talented sisters at Sew Kind of Wonderful. The curves were made with the Wonder Curve Ruler, also by Sew Kind of Wonderful, which made its debut last fall:

The book was just released at the end of January. Being a huge fan of Sew Kind of Wonderful’s other rulers and designs, I ordered Text Me as soon as it was available. And even though I couldn’t possibly justify starting a brand new project, I absolutely couldn’t wait to try out the new ruler and one of the designs in the book.

I already had the perfect fabric in my stash: a pair of positive/negative prints in red and white from the “Blossom” collection by Christopher Thompson for Riley Blake Fabrics. Here’s a close-up of the print:

To give you some perspective, the block above is 4″ square. The letters L, V, and E in my quilt top measure 17½” tall! The quilt finishes at 35″ x 40″. (Mine will be a little larger because I cut my borders a bit wider.)

Here’s a photo of the Love Rocks quilt on the back cover of Text Me:

As you can see, I reversed the red and white fabrics in my version. Doesn’t have to be red and white, of course. Wouldn’t it be a darling baby quilt in just about any combination of fabric and colors?

The book has instructions for making letters and numbers in three different sizes. Also included are directions for five quilts plus two bonus quilts made with leftover blocks. And there are 16 fun emoji blocks. The sisters even included an alphabet made from half square triangles (HSTs) in case you want to create letters without sewing curves.

Gosh, my post sounds like a commercial endorsement, doesn’t it? I’m not being sponsored by Sew Kind of Wonderful. I just love their designs and enjoy sewing curves using their rulers and no-pin method of sewing them.

And I have an idea in mind for the back of my quilt that may just involve some letters . . . and maybe an emoji . . .

 

 

 

Posted in baby quilt, update, Wonder Curve Ruler | 3 Comments

Throwback Thursday: Marta’s Quilt (2012)

Continuing my look back at quilts I’ve made over the last 10 years, we come to Week 3 and this baby quilt I made in 2012 for my great-granddaughter Marta:

This is the first of 11 quilts I’ve made using the Quick Curve Ruler designed by Jenny Pedigo of Sew Kind of Wonderful and one of her very first patterns, Urban 9-Patch. The fuchsia diamonds in the interior of the quilt were my additions to Jenny’s design.

Three of the fabrics are from the “Party Dress” line, Portlander Mo Bedell’s debut line for Blue Hill Fabrics. Lucky me, I still have a few pieces from the line that I’m saving for other projects.

Marta’s quilt finished at 47″ square. I quilted it myself and bound it in the same fuchsia fabric (polkadots!) used in each block:

Did you happen to notice one of the blocks is different from the others?

 

 

 

 

Posted in baby quilt, family, Quick Curve Ruler, Throwback Thursday, update | 4 Comments

Throwback Thursday: Dianthus (2010)

First things first:  Happy New Year!! Can you believe it’s 2020?

I’m taking a look back at some of the quilts I’ve made over the last 10 years, starting in 2010. (I got the idea from Thelma at Cupcakes’n’Daisies who posted on Instagram yesterday with photos of 10 gorgeous quilts she made between 2010 and 2019. Check out her beauties at instagram.com/thelmacupcake.

For 2010 I chose this quilt, Dianthus:

Dianthus, 57″ x 67″ (2010)

The pattern is 4-Patch Stacked Posies by HD Designs. I had recently discovered the four-patch kaleidoscope block and was having great fun investigating the possibilities with other fabrics and other settings. Here you see a large strip of the focus fabric as well as the blocks that didn’t make the cut for the front of the quilt:

I quilted this one myself and I don’t mind telling you I was a bundle of nerves during the process. Here are a couple of close-ups:

I used a variegated thread of green and lavender. The color variation is very subtle, which is just what I wanted.

Why the name Dianthus? The fabric is a gorgeous melange of blossoms including tulips, hydrangeas, and carnations. Dianthus is the Latin word for carnation. The quilt wound up at the home of my twin sister, Diane. ‘Nuff said.

When Diane’s grandson Edward was a baby, the quilt was used in his bedroom at her home:


Edward is now 10 years old. (How did that happen?) He’s still a frequent overnight visitor but as you might imagine his room looks very different today. The crib has been replaced with a trundle bed, for one thing.

And the quilt? Nowadays it’s folded at the bottom of the bed in the first floor guest room and is often pulled into service for a lap quilt while watching TV. The 57″ x 67″ size makes it a good candidate for that.

Thanks for stopping by on this second day of the New Year. Do come back for next week’s Throwback Thursday to see a quilt I made in 2011.

 

 

 

Posted in 4-Patch Wonder, baby quilt, family, faux-kaleido quilts, free motion quilting, home dec, kaleidoscope quilts, Throwback Thursday, update | 4 Comments