Category Archives: iron caddy

Farewell 2016, Hello 2017

Here’s to 2017! Specifically, here’s to lots of sewing and quilting in 2017. I’m already looking forward to several projects — and not just new ones. There’s a stack of UFOs beckoning that I am actually enthusiastic about tackling. But not today.

On this fresh new day of the year, I’m looking back on what I created in 2016. Rather than going in chronological order, I’m grouping my finishes by categories.

This was the year of the Junior Billie Bag, the quintessential quilter’s tote designed by Billie Mahorney. I made a bag for myself . . .


. . . and one for my friend Deborah . . .

Debeorah's JBB other sideDeborah's JBB one side
. . . and one for my friend Miriam:

Next category: baby quilts. This is the first of two incorporating a charming giraffe-themed fabric panel:

Abe's quilt
Abraham’s Quilt, 40″ x 49″ (2016)

Here’s the second one, using the same fabrics in a slightly different setting:

Malachi's quilt 1.2016
Malachi’s Quilt, 41″ Square (2016)

I didn’t use a pattern for these quilts, preferring to play with simple shapes (squares and rectangles) so that the giraffes on the fabric panels would be the focal point.

My third baby quilt of the year was this one using the pattern Just Can’t Cut It from All Washed Up Quilts:

Stefan’s Quilt, 46″ Square (2016)

All three were quilted by longarmer Sherry Wadley.

All by itself in the mini quilt category is Ring Toss, based on the pattern Mini Rings by Sew Kind of Wonderful:

Coco's quilt
Ring Toss, 32″ Square (2016)

Mini Rings was quilted by Karlee Sandell of SewInspired2Day. Oh, and that’s our new rescue kitty Princess Cordelia (Coco for short).

Lap quilts is the next category. Once again I used a Sew Kind of Wonderful design, adapting the pattern Chic Diamonds into this quilt I named Dragonfly Kisses:


It was quilted by Sherry Wadley.

The next quilt, Where It’s @, was started in July in a class with Karla Alexander of Saginaw Street Quilts. It’s based on her pattern Rewind. I really stepped outside my comfort zone with this quilt, and I absolutely love the result:

Where It’s @, 57″ x 72″ (2016)

The last quilt in this category is Stella by Starlight, a “kaleido-spinner” using the Spinners block by Heather Peterson of Anka’s Treasures:

Stella by Starlight, 51½” x 71″ (2016)

I call it a “kaleido-spinner” because the six equilateral triangles in each block were cut from identical repeats of the focus fabric, creating a kaleidoscope effect of sorts. The four small hexagon blocks are true kaleidoscope blocks.

Both Where It’s @ and Stella by Starlight were quilted by Karlee Sandell.

The next category is runners, both bed and table. I made one of each, using the same focus fabric in each (Wander by Joel Dewberry) and the same block design (Spinners by Anka’s Treasures) with completely different outcomes. Here is WanderLust I, the king size bed runner made with five blocks:

WanderLust complete
WanderLust I, 20″ x 88″ (2016)

I liked the focus fabric so much I made the bed runner reversible:

WanderLust back and front

It was quilted by Coleen Barnhardt of the Quilted Thistle.

Here is the same focus fabric made into WanderLust II, a “kaleido-spinner” runner converted into a wall hanging:

WanderLust II, 20″ x 53″ (2016)

This was quilted by Debbie Scroggy of All Quilted LLC.

The final category is a bit of a hodgepodge. I made a quilted cover for my stepmother’s new iPad Pro . . .


. . . and a cardholder for her bridge hands:

For my friend and fellow Quister (Quilt Sister) Vickie I made an iron caddy that doubles as a pressing mat . . .

. . . plus a matching 4″ x 4″ fabric box that she can use as a threadcatcher:

For myself I made some accessories to match my Junior Billie Bag: a rotary cutter coat made from my tutorial . . .

rotary cutter cut

. . . and a scissors case . . .

. . . and a sewing caddy that sits upright in a Lucite stand:

A 4″ x 4″ fabric box (yes, it’s a threadcatcher) completes the ensemble:



As you have surmised, I’m crazy in love with that fabric line (Paradise by Alisse Coulter for Camelot Cottons). I expect you’ll see more of it in 2017, as I bought a lot when it was released a couple years ago.

I’m sending a shout out to the talented longarm quilters who transformed my 2016 quilt tops into beautiful quilts — Coleen Barnhardt, Karlee Sandell, Debbie Scroggy, and Sherry Wadley — and to you, my loyal blog readers, for your continuing interest and support of First Light Designs.

A toast to you all on this first day of 2017!




Posted in 4-Patch Wonder, baby quilt, bed runners, Billie Bag, cats, faux-kaleido quilts, hexagons, iPad cover, iron caddy, Junior Billie Bag, kaleido-spinner, kaleidoscope quilts, QCR Mini, Quick Curve Ruler, Quilter's Affair, Quisters (Quilt Sisters), rotary cutter case, sewing tool caddy, tote bags, update, wall hanging, wonky Greek key | 7 Comments

Mystery Birthday Gift

Do you have any idea what this is?

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!




Posted in iron caddy, Quisters (Quilt Sisters), update | 6 Comments

Happy Birthday, Dear Viv!

My quilt group, the Quisters, got together yesterday to celebrate Vivienne’s birthday. Her birthday is not until next month, but finding a day when all six Quisters are free can be a bit of a challenge. Happily, we found a day and yesterday was it. I made Viv an iron caddy:

2013-5, Viv's iron caddy

The pattern is “Caddy Pad” from Sisters’ Common Thread. The caddy doubles as an ironing pad when opened up because the inside is covered with a heat-resistant lining.

The floral and dot print and the striped fabric on the inside of the handles are made from Mo Bedell’s Party Dress line for Blue Hill Fabrics. I’ve been saving this fabric for three years, waiting for just the right project. Here’s a close-up of the button and loop closure:

2013-5, detail of Viv's iron caddy

I found the vintage buttons (there’s one on the other side of the caddy, too) at the Button Emporium in downtown Portland. Oh my, what a lovely shop for button lovers!

The fabric for the bias binding was also from my stash. It’s from the Serendipity Sunflowers line by Debbie Beaves for RJR Fabrics. The date on the selvage is 2007, so I guess I’ve had it a while.

I made this pattern for the first time in March, when I was on a retreat with the Quisters. I made a few modifications to the pattern which you can read about here.

The Quisters had a wonderful time, all the more so because Deborah brought homemade strawberry shortcake and lots of whipped cream.




Posted in iron caddy, Quisters (Quilt Sisters), update | 1 Comment

Quisters’ Retreat

I’m at a quilt retreat in Central Oregon this week with three of my fellow Quisters (Quilt Sisters). Of course we all brought lots of projects to work on. Deborah was the first one to finish a project. She is embarking on a series of small Civil War quilts, and here is the first one:

Deborah with Crosses and Losses 31 x 37-001


The quilt, made of 4″ blocks set on point, measures 31″ x 37″ with borders. The block is called Crosses and Losses. I especially like this one:

Deborah's block, Crosses and Losses, 4 inches


Deborah found the design in Civil War Legacies: Quilt Patterns for Reproduction Fabrics by Carol Hopkins (That Patchwork Place, 2012). Carol Hopkins named her design “Grandpap’s Cards” because her grandfather kept his playing cards arranged in perfectly straight lines, much like the way the Crosses and Losses blocks are lined up across this quilt top.

The book is full of charming small quilts — the one Deborah chose is the largest one in the book — made with beautiful repro Civil War fabrics and sporting whimsical names such as “Mo’s Suspenders” and “Alexander’s Bean Pot.” I can’t wait to see which one Deborah chooses next!

My first finish of the week is this iron caddy, the perfect container to transport a still-hot iron after taking a quilt class:

iron caddy with vintage buttons


The caddy doubles as an ironing pad because the inside is lined with a silvery heat-resistant fabric like the kind you find on ironing board covers. When the tote is opened up, you have a nice little ironing surface measuring about 19″ x 25″. The pattern, “Caddy Pad,” was designed by Sisters’ Common Thread (

I bought the main body fabric a couple of years ago. It’s Wildflowers IV by Sentimental Studios for Moda. If you look carefully you can see a companion fabric from the same line on the inside of the handles. The binding fabric is more recent; it’s from the Ainsley line by Northcott.

Here’s the outside of the caddy, laid out flat:

iron caddy, outside


Here you can see the ironing surface on the inside:

iron caddy, inside


I departed from the directions by 1) adding a different fabric to the inside of the handles, 2) inserting the handles in the seam allowance before adding the binding, 3) rounding off the angled corners, 4) applying bias binding instead of straight grain binding (because of the rounded corners), and 5) fusing the binding to the inside with Steam-a-Seam-2. I finished the caddy with vintage yellow buttons.

With four of us sewing and crafting, there’s going to be a lot of show and tell this week. I hope you’ll come back for a visit!




Posted in iron caddy, Quisters (Quilt Sisters), update | 12 Comments