Category Archives: home dec

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

Four for Four

In baseball parlance, I’m batting a thousand! These are four products featuring artwork from “Capri,” Katarina Roccella’s new line of fabric for Art Gallery Fabrics. I recently ordered these items from redbubble.com, a global online marketplace for print-on-demand products based on artwork submitted by independent artists.

The socks arrived first, followed by the coffee mug and hot/cold travel mug. These three items feature Katarina Roccella’s lemons-on-stripes design while the mouse pad, which arrived today, features her rendering of hilltop houses on the Amalfi Coast. I love lemons and I love Italy; what more can I say? These two prints (and eight others) from the “Capri” line shown here . . .

. . . are in my fabric stash now. Someday (soon, I hope) they will make their way into a quilt. In the meantime, I can enjoy their loveliness by using the everyday items I purchased online.

I can’t speak to the quality of every print-on-demand product available at redbubble.com but I am very pleased indeed by the quality of the four products I bought. If you’re curious to see what kind of products are available featuring Katarina Roccella’s artwork — ranging from laptop sleeves to shower curtains — you can click here for her lemons-on-stripes design and here for her Amalfi Coast design. If you’re looking for a gift for a quilter, this is one place to explore.

Now I’m wondering how many other quilt fabric designers I admire have some of their designs available on things like t-shirts, backpacks, duvet covers, and smartphone cases. Could I be heading down a rabbit hole??

 

 

 

Posted in home dec, shower curtain, update | 4 Comments

“The Isle of Capri”

I’m bringing a little sunshine to the Portland White House with these pillowcases made from “Capri,” Katarina Roccella’s new fabric line for Art Gallery Fabrics. I fell in love with the line when I spotted it in Hawthorne Supply Company‘s weekly email newsletter a couple of weeks ago. It took a few days of daydreaming about it before I yielded to impulse and placed an order.

I was telling my students in a quilting class last week about my — ahem — rather large purchase, which I referred to as “a shopping accident.” One of my students said, “You didn’t have a shopping accident, you had a shopping adventure!” That sounds ever so much better, don’t you think?

I confess: I wound up ordering 10 prints from the line — and I may not be done yet! Just take a look at the fabrics:

Can you see why I fell in love with it? I have no earthly idea what I’m going to make with this luscious array but I did order enough extra of the aqua lemon print to make those pillowcases for the Dear Husband and me. (I used the burrito or roll-it-up method for the pillowcases, using my own tutorial which you can find here.)

I am lucky to have visited the tiny island of Capri several years ago on a trip to Italy with the DH. These pillowcases will be a fond reminder of that trip. They are a fond reminder of something else. When my siblings and I were little, our father used to sing to us. One of the songs he sang was “The Isle of Capri,” whose first two verses go like this:

“Twas on the Isle of Capri that I found her
Beneath the shade of an old walnut tree
Oh, I can still see the flow’rs blooming ’round her
Where we met on the Isle of Capri.

“She was as sweet as a rose in the dawning
But somehow fate hadn’t meant her for me
And though I sail with the tide in the morning
Still my heart’s on the Isle of Capri.”

According to Wikipedia, “The Isle of Capri” was a #1 hit in 1935, the year my father turned 12. The music was written by Will Grosz with lyrics by Jimmy Kennedy. The tempo is described as a tango foxtrot but my dad sang it like a ballad. I love those old romantic songs as much as I love pretty pillowcases.

I’m going to put the new cases on our pillows tonight. Maybe I will dream of Capri!

 

 

 

Posted in family, home dec, roll-it-up pillowcases, update | 12 Comments

All Buttoned Up

My little Dresden Neighborhood has been embellished with a quirky assortment of vintage buttons in place of windows. Not every house has a window and I’m fine with that. All of the buttons were attached the traditional way — with needle and thread — except for a green button on a red house. There are two on this quilt. If you think of the circle as a clock, you’ll find the house I’m talking about at approximately 8:00.

That button had a metal shank on the back that would have caused the window — er, button — to droop. Can’t have a drooping button on my Holliberry Circle quilt! The shank had to be removed with pliers so I could glue the button on. Did you know that Gorilla Glue makes a glue just for fabric? I didn’t but now have a tube of it in my sewing room.

On Monday I’ll take Holliberry Circle to Montavilla Sewing Center in Lake Oswego, where I teach. It will hang in the shop for a few weeks to advertise my upcoming class, “Wonky Dresden Neighborhood”, on Saturday, April 23.

The lighting in the shop is great for taking photos of quilts so I’ll update the photo you see above with a better one next week. I just couldn’t wait till then to show you how cute this quilt is with the buttons on it!

 

 

 

Posted in appliqué, home dec, table topper, update, wall hanging, wonky Dresden neighborhood | 13 Comments

First Light Designs: Best of 2021

For the sixth consecutive year, Cheryl at Meadowmist Designs is hosting a “Linky Party,” inviting quilt bloggers to share their top five posts of the year. It’s a fun way to look back on the past 12 months and identify some of the high points as well as see what marvelous things other quilters are creating. So thank you, Cheryl. I’m delighted to join the 2021 party!

Clicking on the links below will take you to the original posts where you can read more about the finishes and see more photos.

Number 1. Best Tutorial:  Oven Mitts that Fit

I’m still waiting for the quilting and crafting world to discover my tutorial on quilted oven mitts. I worked really hard on writing this tutorial and loading it with pictures. So much so that the tutorial is in two parts with a prequel!

Oven Mitts that Fit: the Prequel gives the background for my taking on this project and shows you how to make your own pattern based on the size of your hand.

Part 1 covers fabric requirements, instructions for downloading and printing the pattern, assembling the layers, and quilting the resulting “quilt sandwich.”

Part 2 covers the sewing of the mitt and contrasting band around the cuff edge as well as the final step of tacking the band down before turning the mitt right side out.

These mitts make great gifts for friends and family. I invite you to take a look!

 

Number 2. Best UFO Finish

Okay, I confess:  This is the only UFO (UnFinished Object) I busted this year. It’s an updated version of the traditional pattern Grandma’s Surprise. I started working on this quilt in 2015 in a class taught by Joyce Gieszler. Her book Then and Now Quilts (Kansas City Star Quilts, 2014) had come out the year before and Grandma’s Surprise was one of the quilts featured in the book. My version of this design is called Currant Affairs (there’s a pun in that name).

 

Number 3. Best Quilt Made for a Car

You read that right. I made this quilt for my 2019 Subaru Forester aka the Green Goddess. I’d been wanting to make a car quilt for some time and was prompted to do so when I discovered the line of “Jungle Paradise” fabric designed by Stacy Iest Hsu and the free (and very easy) pattern State Fair by Melissa Corry. This is my Green Goddess Car Quilt.

 

Number 4. Best Quilt Made from a Jelly Roll

I don’t use precuts very much, mainly because I like to prewash my fabrics. But in my stash was a Jelly Roll (2½” strips) of “High Street,” a line of fabrics by Lily Ashbury for Moda Fabrics. I used the Jelly Roll in a free pattern called Tea Time in Bali and wound up with a quilt I named Tea Time on High Street.

 

Number 5. Best Red and Green Quilt

It’s a tie! I made two quilts this year using red and green fabrics. First up is ‘Tis the Season:

It’s actually my first quilt finish of 2021 but I saved it for the fifth slot because we’re still celebrating the season. ‘Tis the Season was made using the Missouri Star Company’s pattern Quatrefoil and Corey Yoder’s fabric line called “Holliberry.”

My second red and green quilt of 2021 is the very recently finished Winterwood, based on my pattern Season to Taste:

It can be a wall hanging or a table runner. I gave it to my sister Diane for Christmas so now we know: it’s a table runner:


With five days left in the year, there’s a good chance I’ll be able to add a third red and green quilt to the mix. (You may see it in next year’s Linky Party.)

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 2021 Linky Party, too. The link is open until January 2. Thank you for visiting First Light Designs. All the best in 2022!

 

 

 

Posted in home dec, kaleidoscope quilts, oven mitts, Quatrefoil, single-fold binding, State Fair quilt pattern, table runner, tutorial, update, wall hanging | 8 Comments

An Early Christmas Present

Winterwood, the winter version of my Season to Taste table runner/wall hanging series, has a new home:

My sister Diane seemed quite taken with it when she read my previous posts about it so I decided to surprise her and send it to her for Christmas, with instructions to open the package upon arrival rather than waiting till Dec. 25. It arrived yesterday and Diane has already found the perfect place for it. The runner fits the table in the main entry hall perfectly. It was meant to be!

 

 

 

Posted in family, home dec, kaleidoscope quilts, table runner, update, wall hanging | 7 Comments

Under Construction: A New Wonky Dresden Neighborhood

My current work-in-progress is a second version of the delightfully whimsical pattern Dresden Neighborhood by Kim Lapacek of Persimon Dreams. I’m using scraps from Corey Yoder’s “Holliberry” line from last year plus a few other red and green fabrics culled from my stash:

As you can see, progress was interrupted by the arrival of Princess Cordelia (Coco for short), who did her thing:  flopping down on top of whatever project happens to be on my ironing board. When she finally deigned to depart I was able to sew the dresden blades together:

Having blades of different lengths topped off by lopsided roofs, windows, and doors is what makes the Dresden Neighborhood so delightfully wonky as you can see in my first version, Uptown Funk:


I love the idea of a holiday version. The “Holliberry” fabric I’m using made its first appearance in my quilt ‘Tis the Season, currently on rotation on the back of our couch because — of course — ’tis the season:

In spring next year I’ll be teaching “Wonky Dresden Neighborhood” at Montavilla Sewing Center’s Lake Oswego store and also for the Oregon Coastal Quilters Guild. Making a second version is part of my preparation. It will refresh my memory on what I learned the first time around and allow me to try out some different ideas in customizing my neighborhood. What fun!

 

 

 

Posted in cats, home dec, machine applique, update, wall hanging, wonky Dresden neighborhood | 5 Comments

Cue Vivaldi

Imagine you are hearing the strains of Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” as you view all four versions of my Season to Taste table runner/wall hanging design:

Four versions of Dawn’s pattern Season to Taste

Aligning with Vivaldi’s concerti, the presentation begins with spring, followed by summer, fall, and winter. The winter version, named Winterwood, was the last one to be made:

Winterwood (2021)

When I started working on this quilt using fabrics with a holiday vibe (red and green prints, though not overtly Christmas-y), I thought about making a second winter version that is weather-related, i.e. not associated specifically with the holidays. The other day I found a piece of fabric in my stash that may just fill the bill. I’m not sure when work will begin on it but I’m giving myself until winter 2022 to finish it. (Do you think that’s enough lead time??)

The 45-degree triangles in the spring and winter versions were made with a selection of fabrics while the summer and fall versions, seen below, were each made with one focus fabric for a true kaleidoscopic effect:

Sun Flowers (2015) and Autumn Reflections (2014)

The fabric I have in mind for the second winter version would yield this kind of design.

I’m happy with the way all of of these turned out but I confess I have a favorite. It’s my spring version, Under Paris Skies:

Under Paris Skies (Sous Le Ciel de Paris) (2014)

The quilt contains fussycut images of street scenes of Paris that always make me smile (in addition to which spring is my favorite season). Here are a couple of those street scenes:

So . . . what about you? Of the four quilts pictured here, do you have a favorite?

 

 

 

Posted in free motion quilting, home dec, kaleidoscope quilts, Paris, table runner, update, wall hanging | 6 Comments

Welcome . . .

. . . to my sister Diane’s glamorous garage! This is the last of three posts devoted to the new window treatments I made while visiting her over Thanksgiving. To hide the brackets, Diane added tassels:

Such an easy fix, and it ramps up the glam factor considerably. Here’s a close-up:

Over the 20 years Diane and her husband have lived in this house, the garage has undergone a gradual transformation. Since guests enter their home mainly through the garage, it’s important to her that it look nice. She is fortunate to have found a very talented handyman who not only installed the wainscoting but also built the large storage cabinets on the left side of the garage:

Among other things, the cabinets hold her Christmas decorations. No more hauling them down from the attic!

A longer view of the right side:

If you didn’t see part of the garage door on its track above, you might think this was an interior room. I swear, I could live in this garage!

 

 

 

Posted in family, home dec, update, valance | 9 Comments