Category Archives: Giveaway

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

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

Giveaway Winners!

Are you ready to learn who the winners are of my Oven Mitt Giveaway? If you entered, the odds were in your favor: 1 in 13. That’s good for the winners but bad for my hundreds of blog subscribers who may not have seen recent posts. I learned a few days ago that subscribers to First Light Designs have not been receiving email notifications of my posts since early January. I’m still working behind the scenes with my blog platform folks to figure out why. I may need to offer another Giveaway just for my subscribers when the issue has been rectified.

But let’s move on to find out who the lucky winners are of this Giveaway. After counting the valid entries (39 — two family members were taken out of contention), I used a Random Number Generator to draw the numbers 17, 2, and 23 in that order.

Number 17 is Elizabeth H., who won these mitts:

Number 2 is Amy M., who won these mitts:

And Number 23 is Pam B., who won these mitts:

Congratulations, ladies! I will email you to find out your mailing addresses. The mitts will come with washing instructions and additional info. Remember, if the mitts are totally the wrong color for your kitchen, let me know. I’ll make you a custom pair in the color of your choice and we’ll throw the mitts you won back into the drawing pool.

My thanks to all who entered!

 

 

 

Posted in Giveaway, home dec, oven mitts, update | 7 Comments

Oven Mitt Giveaway!

That’s right, friends. I’m giving away a set of oven mitts to three lucky winners. Will you be one of them?

I made these oven mitts in preparation for writing a tutorial. The shape of the mitts is the same on all of them — it’s the binding I’ve been tinkering with. I’ve been trying different widths and finishing techniques. Now that I’m finally satisfied, I can get to the tutorial — but now I have to make one more set of mitts to photograph for the tutorial!

The mitts you see above were made of four layers:
⦁ the outer fabric is 100% cotton
⦁ the second layer is 100% cotton batting
⦁ the third layer is Insul-bright, an insulated lining material specifically made for hot pads and oven mitts
⦁ the fourth layer (the inside of the mitt) is cotton with an aluminized coating, commonly used to cover ironing boards. This fabric is not essential but I had some on hand and decided to use it because one of my old oven mitts happened to be lined with it.

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 kind of food?” If you wish, name a dish you especially like in your favored cuisine. How simple is that? 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).

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. (Don’t feel too sorry for them; all they have to do is let me know they want a set and they’ll get one!)

The giveaway will remain open through Friday, January 29. On Saturday, January 30, I’ll use a random number generator to pick three winners. Winner #1 gets the red mitts on the left with the flowers; winner #2 gets the set in the middle with the cherries; and winner #3 gets the set on the right with the poodles.

But wait — there’s more! It it happens that you are a winner and the mitts are totally the wrong color for your kitchen, you can let me know when I contact you and I’ll make you a custom set in the color of your choice. If that happens, I’ll draw a fourth winner for the set that didn’t work for you.

Good luck, everyone!

 

 

 

Posted in family, Giveaway, home dec, oven mitts, tutorial, update | 46 Comments

The Oven Mitt Quilt

Is this not the oddest looking quilt you’ve ever seen?

Actually, it’s not a quilt at all.

I’m gearing up to make a few sets of oven mitts as gifts and I didn’t want to take the time myself to quilt the four layers needed for a well insulated mitt. So . . . I made a “quilt top” using three suitable prints from my stash that could all be quilted with the same color thread and asked Karlee of SewInspired2Day to quilt it for me. The result is what you see above. The quilt motif is “Modern Waves,” one that Karlee has used on another of my quilts, Where It’s @.

Here’s a closer look at those three fabrics, pictured with my oven mitt pattern to give you an idea of the scale of the prints:

I think they’re going to make pretty cute oven mitts!

You may remember the mitts I made last month for my sister Diane. I quilted the fabric for those using a cross-hatch design:

After I published the post I had a few requests for a tutorial. Good news! A tutorial is coming.

And maybe even a giveaway. Stay tuned!

 

 

 

Posted in family, Giveaway, home dec, tutorial, update | 3 Comments

And the Winners Are . . .

Time to announce the winners of my Rotary Cutter Case giveaway. First, here’s a look at what’s up for grabs:

Rotary Cutter Cases
Rotary Cutter Coats: Free to Good Homes!

 

I used a Random Number Generator to draw three names. And the winners are:

          Bill Volckening

          Janet Boundy

          Jayne Emsdem

Congratulations, folks!

In their comments, Bill said he liked the rotary cutter coat in the middle best, Janet liked the one on the left, and Jayne said she would be happy with any one of them, so she will get the one on the right. How perfectly providential! Winners, please email me your mailing addresses and I will get them in the mail to you this week.

Didn’t win? Sorry! But you can make a rotary cutter coat for yourself or perhaps one for a friend. Directions are available as a one-page handout or as a full step-by-step tutorial with lots of pictures.

Thanks to everyone who checked out my Giveaway post and to those who left comments. Have a great week!

 

 

 

Posted in Giveaway, rotary cutter case, update | 3 Comments

Rotary Cutter Case Giveaway

Rotary Cutter Cases
One of These Could Be Yours!

 

Would you like to win one of these rotary cutter coats? I’m hosting a Giveaway and will send one of these cases to three lucky winners. To enter all you need to do is add a comment at the bottom of this post answering one of two questions:

1) which case do you like the best and why (fabric? buttons? color combo? something else)?

or

2) how did you find out about my website/blog?

The Giveaway will remain open through this week. I’ll draw three names using a random number generator and announce the winners early next week. I will mail anywhere in the world so international readers are welcome to enter.

A tutorial for making one of these rotary cutter coats can be found here.

Good luck, everyone, and thank you so much for visiting First Light Designs!

 

 

 

Posted in Giveaway, rotary cutter case, update | 29 Comments

Around the World Blog Hop

Today’s my day to post in the “Around the World Blog Hop.” It’s like a chain letter passed from one blogger to another. What a fun way to meet new quilters and discover new quilting blogs! My assignment is to respond to four questions and then tag another quilter who will post on the same questions a week later.

I was tagged by Debbie Scroggy of All Quilted, LLC. Debbie is a local award-winning professional longarm quilter whose clients keep coming back because she does beautiful work. She takes care to bring out the best in every quilter’s project. I know this because she has quilted two quilts for me — and they will certainly not be the last. I’ve seen examples of quilting Debbie has done for other people as well as quilts she has made herself.  You’ll see for yourself when you click on the link above. And when you do, you’ll find a link to the blogger who tagged her. This blog hop takes you backward as well as forward.

Moving forward, you will hop from Oregon halfway across the North American continent to visit Jennifer Gwyn of Seams Crazy. Jennifer lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and two young children. Despite the demands of working and raising a family, she still manages to get a lot of quilting done. Jennifer’s fabric choices are always pleasing to the eye. I especially admire her ability to go scrappy when the quilt calls for it. I have Jennifer to thank for the project you see below. She wrote about it on her blog late last year and got me hooked.

On to the assignment at hand.

1. What am I working on?
Ah, the easy question first. I always have several projects underway. One is my series sampler quilt, Reach for the Stars:

2014-10-11 02.40.46
Reach for the Stars Border Puzzle

I’ve been working on this quilt since the beginning of the year, and the end is tantalizingly in sight. At the moment I’m trying to solve the puzzle of how to make the borders match in all four corners, something the original design does not do. The math doesn’t work out, and I’m trying to figure out a creative way to make it work.

Another work-in-progress is this Bow Tucks Tote, designed by Penny Sturges of quiltsillustrated.com:

2014-10-11 01.13.43
Tote Bag in Progress

I’m currently teaching a class on this bag at the Pine Needle and need to make a tote along with my students to demonstrate the steps. In the photo above, that’s the lining you see on the left. The green strip turns into pockets that go around the entire inside of the bag. Clever!

Yet another project is this Rotary Cutter Coat, one of my own designs:

2014-10-11 02.49.42
Rotary Cutter Coat in the Works

Look closely at the fabrics in the unfinished project above: those are zipper pulls and zipper teeth on the front and straight pins on the back. So cute! (I posted a tutorial a few days ago that includes a link to the free pattern; perhaps you’d like to make a rotary cutter coat yourself.) As soon as the zipper pull coat above is finished, I’m going to give all three away. I hope you’ll come back later this week for my Giveaway.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I would be hard pressed even to identify what genre my work fits in. I’m all over the map in terms of the kinds of quilts I like — and the kinds of quilts I like to make. Am I a traditional quilter? Absolutely. Non-traditional quilter? Yes. Modern quilter? Yes. Art quilter? That too. I tend to make what pleases me, and most of the time my work pleases others. That’s satisfying on both fronts.

3. Why do I create what I do?
It’s all about the fabric. I love fabric! I love to make things with it. My mother taught me to sew when I was 12 years old, and I honestly can’t remember a time I didn’t have some kind of sewing project underway. I made all of my own clothes well into the 1980s (past the time when it was cheaper to make clothing than to buy it), along with pillows and curtains and other “soft furnishings.” By then I had also discovered quilting, which became a creative outlet and antidote to an intense work schedule. When I retired six years ago, quilting — and then teaching quilting — took over my life. Oh, and sewing for my sisters, who think I’m the Home Dec Queen.

4. How does my creative process work?
Often an element in a quilt — a block, perhaps, or a border — will catch my eye, and I will think about how I might incorporate it into a quilt of my own. Or I will look at a traditional block and ponder how it might be jazzed up a bit. I will look at a design element and think, “What if I did this or that to it?” Some of my best ideas have come from asking myself, “What if . . .?”

Some of my work is frankly derivative. Case in point: the rotary cutter coats pictured above. A couple of years ago I saw a pattern in a magazine for a quilted eyeglasses case. I was instantly transported back to the age of four, when I got my first pair of glasses. I came home from the optician with glasses on my nose and a faux-leather case to store them in when I wasn’t wearing them. The case was cut along the same lines as the one in the magazine. I examined the eyeglasses case in the photo and said to myself, “What if . . .?” The result was a case (or coat, as I like to call it) designed specifically for a rotary cutter, though it could certainly double as a case for a pair of large eyeglasses.

I find inspiration everywhere: not just in books and magazines but also in nature, the work of other quilters and crafters, designs in fabric, a sidewalk, a coffee cup. I study quilts I like — and quilts I don’t much care for — to understand what appeals to me and why. Straying from the familiar path and trying something new are parts of the creative process, so I take classes whenever I can.

***

Jennifer’s “Blog Hop Around the World” post is due Oct. 20, one week from today. But you don’t have to wait till then to visit her blog. Go there now and see what she’s working on. Not only will you get a glimpse of her Reach for the Stars fabrics, you’ll be able to check out the size of her stash. Oh my!

 

 

 

Posted in Giveaway, Reach for the Stars sampler quilt, rotary cutter case, tote bags, tutorial, update | 2 Comments

It’s Tutorial Time! Rotary Cutter Coat

1
Rotary Cutter Coats

What quilter wouldn’t love one of these quilted cases to hold her rotary cutter? The buttons and contrast trim make the cases look like little coats — so that is what I am calling them. A finished coat measures about 3¾” x 8″.

This tutorial guides you step by step. You can also download a one-page handout.

Fabric and notions
One piece of fabric 9″ x 10½” for outside of coat
One piece of fabric 9″ x 10½” for inside (lining)
One piece of fabric 18″ square for bias binding
One piece of lightweight batting trimmed to 9″ x 10½”
One piece of freezer paper about 10″ x 11″
¼”-wide Steam-a-Seam 2 (double stick fusible web)
Two buttons 7/8″ – 1¼” in diameter

Supplies
Sewing machine with walking foot
Standard sewing supplies (scissors, pins, measuring tape, seam ripper, etc.)
Rotary cutting equipment (mat, rotary cutter, rulers)

The free pattern is available here as a pdf file: Dawn’s rotary cutter case pattern.

1. Download and print the pattern. The bottom edge of the pattern should measure 9½”. If the measurement is less than that, enlarge the pattern slightly. (If the bottom edge measures 9¼”, the pattern will still work just fine. All you need to do is alter the flap measurement in Step 10 to 2-5/8″.)

2. Trace the pattern onto the flat (not shiny) side of the freezer paper. Cut around the outside edges of the pattern. Set pattern aside.

2
Paper Pattern at Left, Freezer Paper Pattern at Right

Are you wondering what that blue and white plate is doing in the picture above? I thought it would amuse you to know that’s what gave me the shape for the rounded part of the pattern.

3. Lay the lining fabric wrong side up on a flat surface. Lay the batting fabric on top. Lay the outside fabric right side up on top of the batting. You now have a quilt sandwich. Baste and quilt as desired.

You can quilt any motif you desire. Free-motion quilting is an option but I usually take the easy route and quilt straight lines or random curved lines using my walking foot. With straight lines I often stitch on the diagonal about 1″ apart. In the example below I used straight lines at right angles to form a chevron design:

2014-08-25 16.53.57
Straight Line Quilting (on the Diagonal)

In the two rotary cutter coats pictured at the top of my post, I quilted random wavy lines horizontally in both, although vertical lines would look good too. In the one with the black background I used a 40-wt thread in a contrasting color. Here’s a close-up of that one (after I had cut the pattern out):

2014-10-07 02.07.38
Random Wavy Quilted Lines

In the other one (pictured in the rest of this post), I wanted the thread to blend so I used a 50-wt thread in pale grey.

4. Center the freezer paper pattern (shiny side down) on the right side of the quilt sandwich and press with a dry iron:

3
Pattern Ironed to Quilt Sandwich

 

5. You could cut the pattern out with scissors but using your rotary cutter is faster and more accurate. Align the rotary cutter and ruler along the bottom and sides of the pattern and cut. Use the rotary cutter and ruler to cut the beginning of the curves as shown below:

4
Five Straight Cuts with the Rotary Cutter

Use scissors to cut the rest of the curve:

5
Remainder of Curve Cut and Sides Rounded Off with Scissors

Peel off freezer paper pattern for repeated use. Use scissors to round off the side edges on the quilt sandwich.

6. Cut 18″ square of binding fabric corner to corner on the diagonal. From each piece cut a strip 2-1/8″ wide along the bias edge. Sew strips together using an angled seam. You need a length about 34″ long. Fold strip in half lengthwise and press.

7. With the walking foot still on your machine, attach binding to the right side of the case as you would for a quilt, starting and ending along the bottom edge. Leave a tail 5-6″ long and begin stitching 1-1/4″ away from the first corner:

6
Binding Has Begun!

Gently guide the bias binding around the curve of the quilt sandwich, stitching a scant 1/4″ seam. When you get to the other side of the bottom, end your stitching 1″ in from the edge.

8. Use your favorite method of joining the ends of the binding. This is the method I use:

7
Joining the Ends of the Binding Strip

See the red vertical line marked on the binding strip? When I trim the strip there, the two edges of the binding will overlap 2-1/8″, the exact measurement of the binding strip width. (That’s a scrap of the binding fabric at the bottom of the photo, placed there to show you that it’s the same width as the overlap of the two strips.)

Open up the binding strips and join them right sides together at a 90 ° angle, being careful not to twist the strips. See the red line? That’s my stitching line. I’ve got the ends pinned to the ironing board to give you a good look:

8
Joining the Binding Strips

Stitch the binding seam, trim to 1/4″, press open, and finish stitching the seam along the bottom edge, beginning and ending a few stitches beyond the original stitching lines:

9
Binding is Stitched in Place

9. Turn the binding toward the inside (lining) of the case — it will cup nicely around the curve — and press in place. If the folded edge of the binding doesn’t completely cover the stitching line, trim the seam a bit. I find I usually have to do this around the curved edge.

10
The Bottom Edge Awaits Pressing

At this point you could stitch the binding down by hand — but if you can find Steam-a-Seam 2, why not give it a try? It’s a double-stick fusible webbing product made by the Warm Company that makes fast work of finishing a binding. It’s sold by the yard but also comes in rolls ¼” and ½” wide. If you can’t find it on a roll, buy about a half yard and simply cut off ¼” strips as needed.

Using the ¼” wide roll, cut off a strip about 4″ long and peel off the release paper:

11
Steam-a-Seam 2, Up Close and Personal

The Steam-a-Seam 2 is sticky on both sides but not so sticky that you can’t manipulate it. It goes around curved seams beautifully. Lay the strip of Steam-a-Seam 2 along the seam line, with the edge right next to the stitching:

12
Putting the Fusible Webbing in Place

Draw the binding over the seam allowance so that the folded edge just covers the webbing. Hold in place on the ironing board with pins:

13
Pinning Webbing in Place Before Steam Basting

After you have two or three lengths of webbing in place, press the binding briefly to baste the webbing to the fabrics. Leave about an inch of webbing unpressed so that you can lift up the binding and see where the next strip needs to go. When you have worked all the way around, sandwich the rotary cutter coat between a press cloth and steam fully, following the directions on the package of Steam-a-Seam 2. In a very few minutes, your rotary cutter coat will look like this from the front and back:

Camera Uploads36
Front and Back, Binding Done

 

10. Fold case along fold lines, lapping one side over the other in front. (It doesn’t matter which side you lap first.) Both flaps should measure 2¾” from fold to outside edges of binding. Adjust this measurement slightly if necessary so that the finished case measures 3¾” wide. Cut a strip of Steam-a-Seam 2 the same measurement and insert it along the inside bottom edge. Fuse flap in place.

16
First Flap, Ready to Fuse

Fold second flap in place, making sure it also measures 2¾” from the fold to the outside edge:

17
Second Flap, Ready to Fuse

Use another strip of Steam-a-Seam 2 to fuse the bottom of the case completely closed (or whipstitch securely by hand).

11. Now it’s time to sew on the buttons, which serve no function other than to look beautiful. And they are what makes this little rotary case a coat, so do add them. Sew them in place on the outer flap; no need to sew through both layers.

The bottom of the lower button should be 1-1/8″ or so from the bottom of the case:

18
Buttoning Up Your Overcoat

Let your eye and the size of the buttons guide you.

The last step: tacking the binding in place about 1″ down from the point where the bound edges meet:

19
Tacking Binding in Place Near the Top

 

Now tuck your rotary cutter into its elegant new coat:

20
What the Well Dressed Rotary Cutter Wears

 

Have fun with this tutorial! If you have any questions or run into a problem, let me know, and I’ll do my best to help you out.

 

 

 

Posted in Giveaway, rotary cutter case, update | 33 Comments