Category Archives: needleturn appliqué

Linda’s DWR Quilt

Greetings! We’re one week into the official start of summer. Hope yours is off to a good start. I’m popping in to show you how well the pillowcases I made for Linda, one of my 10th Blogiversary Giveaway winners, go with her stunning Double Wedding Ring quilt. See for yourself!

Linda was kind enough to send me a photo and she gave me permission to post her photo here. In addition to the pieced wedding rings, the quilt contains appliqué in the borders that she did using the needleturn method. And she hand quilted it herself!

Linda made this beauty to celebrate her 40th wedding anniversary. I’m so happy that the pillowcases I made for Linda are keeping company with her heirloom quilt!

Posted in appliqué, Giveaway, needleturn appliqué, roll-it-up pillowcases, update | 3 Comments

Susan’s Star, Embellished

I didn’t think the block I made last month called Susan’s Star could get any better but I embellished it today by appliquéing a round fussycut flower in the center square, and I’m so happy with the result:

Credit for this idea goes to my quilting cousin, Patricia, who follows my blog and suggested the addition after reading my post of March 3. Good call, Patricia!

Susan’s Star is one of three 18″ blocks in a sampler quilt I’m working on that also features 6″ and 12″ blocks. The other two 18″ blocks have a blossom in the center, one pieced and one appliquéd:

Patricia thought my third 18” block would benefit from having a flower in the middle as well. For the block on the right I used a method other than needleturn applique. For Susan’s Star, though, I decided the time had come to give needleturn appliqué another go. If you are new to my blog, you may not know I learned needleturn appliqué in 2019 making this quilt.

Because three years had passed since I’d done any needleturn appliqué, I approached this task, simple and small though it be, with some trepidation. To be honest, I’m not sure I did everything correctly but it turned out just fine.

I started by drawing a dotted circle (my stitching line) on the fabric using a jar lid as a template and cutting a scant quarter inch away from the stitching line. After finger-pressing the stitching line I pinned the piece in place:


Stitching has commenced! Off to a good start:

After the first few stitches I felt like I had found my rhythm. Do you suppose doing needleturn appliqué is like riding a bike?

Halfway there:

And here we are where we started, with the finished block:

I haven’t been spending nearly enough time in my sewing room lately so getting this little project completed felt very good. It was my way of celebrating National Quilting Day.

 

 

Posted in appliqué, Hazel's Diary Quilt, needleturn appliqué, sampler quilt, update | 6 Comments

A Pearl of a Quilt Guild

One week ago today I was in the small town of Dayton, Oregon (population 2,668) giving a presentation to a brand new quilt guild, the Willamette Valley Quilters. My talk was about the making of this quilt, Give Me the Simple Life:

Give Me the Simple Life, made by Dawn White, quilted by Kazumi Peterson (2019)

It’s my version of Hazel’s Diary Quilt, designed by Shelly Pagliai and featured in her book A Simple Life: Quilts Inspired by the ’50s. The making of this quilt, including my struggle/journey to become proficient at needleturn appliqué, was well documented in my blog during most of 2018 and 2019 so no need to revisit it here. I got to revisit it, though, while preparing for my presentation. It was great fun to go back in time, so to speak, to tell the guild members the story behind the quilt.

The Willamette Valley Quilters held its first member meeting last month, that’s how new the guild is. Here’s a photo of the founding members from the guild’s website:

And here’s a photo of most of them at last week’s meeting:

There’s something special about this photo. Do you see it? In addition to wearing tee-shirts with the Willamette Valley Quilters logo on it, everyone in the picture is wearing pearls! Peggy Gelbrich, the guild’s first president (she’s third from the left), told me the board hopes to make it a tradition. Isn’t that a lovely idea?

The leaders of the guild could not have been kinder or more welcoming when I arrived to set up for the meeting, and it was a delight to interact with them and their members. So thank you, Willamette Valley Quilters!

 

 

 

Posted in appliqué, needleturn appliqué, update | 4 Comments

A Gift Beyond Compare

I received the most wonderful gift in the mail last month, this striking quilt made in 2004  by Lee Fowler:

Lee was an incredibly talented quilter and crafter who was only 54 when she died of cancer in 2013. I didn’t meet her until 2009 so I had the pleasure of knowing her for only four years but she touched my life in many ways. I greatly admired her intellect and talent, and I loved her goofy sense of humor.

The quilt you see above is named Rolling Star Revisited. It was designed, pieced, appliquéd, and quilted by Lee. Here are a few detail shots, starting with a single rolling star:

Each star measures 15″ from point to point; the entire quilt measures 58″ square.

Lee was an accomplished longarm quilter. She did hand-guided quilting without a stitch regulator. Here you can see some of her beautiful free-motion quilted feathers:

The circles in the center of each star are hand-appliquéd using the needleturn method as is the reverse-appliquéd border:

You must be wondering how I came into possession of this treasure. Well, in early December I received an email from Lee’s husband Rick, now remarried and living in another part of the state. Rick wrote that he and his daughter Liz were on a mission to send Lee’s quilts out into the world where they could be “loved, cherished, and above all used,” and asked if I would like to have one. He included photos of 16 quilts. I replied immediately, telling Rick I would be thrilled to own one of Lee’s creations and that it had taken me all of two seconds to identify the quilt I would love to have.

Rolling Star Revisited arrived a few days later. Doesn’t it look wonderful on the back of my couch?

This is actually the second quilt Lee made using the Rolling Star block (hence the Revisited part of this quilt’s name). Her first version, made with Depression-era reproduction fabrics, was featured as a pattern in the September 2005 issue of Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine:

Lee had found a circa-1930s newspaper clipping of the block and drafted her own pattern. It’s a challenging project with curves and set-in seams; the directions include sewing the curved pieces by hand or by machine. One of these days I might make a single block just to test my skills.

By the way, this isn’t the first time one of Lee’s quilts has graced my couch. I was one of  two dozen friends who helped Lee complete her last quilt, a magnificent version of Pickle Dish. I wrote about that here. Rick dubbed us “the Pickle Dish Gang.” The quilt was displayed at Lee’s memorial service and afterward it was circulated to each member of the group to have in her own home for a month. It was my turn in 2015:

2015-08-07 13.20.25

I wrote about that here. It was such an honor to have one of Lee’s creations in my home, however temporarily. And now! Now to have one of her quilts as my very own . . . You can understand why I consider Rolling Star Revisited a gift beyond compare. It will be loved, it will be cherished, and it will be used.

 

 

 

Posted in appliqué, free motion quilting, home dec, needleturn appliqué, update | 5 Comments

Signing On

A few weeks ago Shelly Pagliai of Prairie Moon Quilts made a request on her blog for signature blocks for a quilt she is planning. She wants to make a very large quilt out of very small blocks — they will finish at only three inches! Here’s my block:


I’ve never met Shelly but I’m a big fan. In some ways I feel like I know her. She is the author of this book . . .

. . . which includes the instructions for Hazel’s Diary Quilt, pictured on the cover.

I was lucky enough to see Shelly’s original quilt on a trip to Paducah, Kentucky in 2017:


Her quilt inspired me to make my own version, Give Me the Simple Life, completed in 2019:

While working on this quilt I was struggling with a particularly difficult needleturn appliqué shape — if memory serves it was a very small five-pointed star — so I dashed off an email asking for advice. Shelly answered my email quickly and offered a suggestion that helped immensely. I’ve always been grateful.

Since I’ve made one of her quilt designs I thought it would be fun to make a block for her signature quilt. Other than the size of the block, Shelly’s only requirements are that the background fabric be a bright color and the signature portion be solid white.

I chose one of the bright yellow prints I used in Give Me the Simple Life for the background fabric. I don’t have a solid white in my stash so I used the wrong side of a very tiny white-on-white dot fabric for the signature portion. It happens to be the same white fabric I used for the background in Give Me the Simple Life (although I used the right side!). I’m pretty sure it will pass muster.

Soon my little block will be winging its way from my home in Portland, Oregon to Shelly’s home in Wien, Missouri 1,863 miles away. And who knows? Maybe in a post-pandemic world I will get to meet her.

 

 

 

Posted in appliqué, Hazel's Diary Quilt, needleturn appliqué, update | 9 Comments

Love Rocks

Always has, always will!

May I present my latest quilt finish? It’s called All You Need Is Love based on the pattern Love Rocks from the new book Text Me from Sew Kind of Wonderful:

The book features several sizes of alphabets made using Sew Kind of Wonderful’s new Wonder Curve ruler. I like to piece the backs of my quilts so I decided to have some fun with the alphabet and carry a message from the front of the quilt to the back:

My little quilt — 38″ x 44″ — sports an edge-to-edge quilting design. I wanted something modern and was attracted to this design that looks a bit like doodling:

“Modern Ties” is a whimsical design that offers a pleasing counterpoint to the precision of the letters. Sherry Wadley did such a nice job on this for me. The quilting enhances the design of the quilt without overpowering it, just the effect I was going for.

A lot of quilters I know don’t enjoy binding their quilts but I do. Stitching down the binding on this quilt was a breeze both because the quilt is small and because I used a nifty little “sticky thimble” to push the needle through the fabric:


The thimble is called a Poke-a-Dot — how cute is that? — and comes in a little round tin containing 24 dots. Each thimble can be used multiple times so I probably have a lifetime supply. I could have ordered just the small tin of Poke-A-Dots but I treated myself to a bigger tin — the full Appliqué Set from Jillily Studio — several weeks ago:

Having learned how to do needleturn appliqué last year in the making of Give Me the Simple Life, I’m interested in learning other approaches. And I do confess that the tin this appliqué set comes in influenced my decision to purchase it. (This is not a paid endorsement, by the way; I just happen to like these products.)

Another confession: I jumped the gun in showing you my latest quilt. It’s not quite finished. Still to come: the label.

 

 

 

Posted in appliqué, Hazel's Diary Quilt, needleturn appliqué, update, Wonder Curve Ruler | 5 Comments

Throwback Thursday: Give Me the Simple Life (2019)

It’s time for the tenth and final installment in my Throwback Thursday series looking at quilts made in the last decade. Coming up with my choice for 2019 was easy: it was the only quilt I completed last year! Here is Give Me the Simple Life:

Give Me the Simple Life, 95″ square (2019)

The pattern is Hazel’s Diary Quilt by Shelly Pagliai of Prairie Moon Quilts. Regular readers followed the making of this quilt from my very first block (and post) in January 2018 till its completion in September 2019.

I’m very proud of this accomplishment, as I made it my goal to become proficient in needleturn appliqué during the making of the quilt. It certainly provided ample opportunities for practice! Longarm quilter Kazumi Peterson did the amazing quilting.

Approved by Coco the Cat Inspector

Give Me the Simple Life will be on display later this month at Northwest Quilters’ 46th annual show, “A Festival of Quilts,” in its new venue, Camp Withycombe, in Clackamas, Oregon. Dates are Friday and Saturday, March 20 and 21. If you are in the neighborhood, please stop by. There’ll be over 300 quilts on display and lots of vendors selling wonderful things (like fabric).

Thank you so much for joining me in this 10-week lookback at some of my favorite quilts!

 

 

 

Posted in appliqué, cats, free motion quilting, Hazel's Diary Quilt, needleturn appliqué, Throwback Thursday, update | 6 Comments

The Judges’ Comments

Give Me the Simple Life (95″ square), made by Dawn White, quilted by Kazumi Peterson, 2019. Design: Hazel’s Diary Quilt by Shelly Pagliai.

Give Me the Simple Life, my version of Hazel’s Diary Quilt, is home again after hanging for three days at last week’s Northwest Quilting Expo. I entered my quilt for judging in the traditional category and received the judges’ comments when I picked my quilt up this morning.

Here’s what the judges said:

“A very compelling combination of a primary color palette. Presentation inside scalloped sashings is so appealing and beautifully executed.” Credit is due Shelly Pagliai of Prairie Moon Quilts, who designed Hazel’s Diary Quilt and cheered me on every step of the way as I posted my progress on Instagram and on this blog.

“Hand appliqué stitch is very well done.” This comment means a lot to me because I took on the challenge of making this quilt to become proficient at needleturn appliqué.

“Machine piecing is precisely done.” Thank you, judges.

“Quilting motifs are well chosen to fill the spaces.” Kudos to Kazumi Peterson, whose free motion quilting skills and precise ruler work greatly enhanced the finished product.

“Outside edge of quilt should be straight and corners square.” This comment caught me by surprise. Were the corners really not square? I used a square ruler to trim my quilt before attaching the binding.  Of course I got out that ruler and checked the corners. The first three were perfectly square. But guess what? The fourth corner was an eighth of an inch off!

I know there are many other imperfections in this quilt but all in all, I am very happy with how it turned out. Most of all, I am glad that it’s done!!

 

 

 

Posted in appliqué, free motion quilting, Hazel's Diary Quilt, needleturn appliqué, Northwest Quilting Expo, update | 7 Comments

Hazel’s Diary Quilt: Finished!

I hope I’m not overloading you with pictures of Give Me the Simple Life, my version of Hazel’s Diary Quilt. All you saw in my last post was the folded quilt because it’s too big to photograph on any wall at home. Here it is pinned to the wall at Montavilla Sewing Center’s Lake Oswego store:

I’m so excited it’s finally finished! I started working on this quilt in January 2018; my first post about it shows the original quilt designed by Shelly Pagliai.

The last thing to do was sew the buttons back on that had to be removed before longarm quilter Kazumi Peterson could work her magic. Buttons? Yes; three of my nine pieced blocks have buttons in the center of the appliquéd flower.

Coco was very interested in what I was doing:

Fortunately, I got that last button sewn on before she could bat it off the quilt and have a little frolic with it.

A word about my backing fabrics, neither of which appears on the front:

My goal was to find fabric that looked like it belonged on the front and was light enough on the back side that it wouldn’t show through. Guess I was a little nervous about all that white fabric on the front of the quilt. The light red paisley print was a lucky find but I couldn’t get enough in one continuous piece of yardage to cover the entire back. I could have ordered the rest online but feared the dye lot would be different so I filled in with a green print that complements it nicely.

Give Me the Simple Life has been accepted in Northwest Quilting Expo’s big quilt show coming up in Portland Sept. 26-28. If you are anywhere in the vicinity, please come and see my quilt in person!

 

 

 

Posted in appliqué, Hazel's Diary Quilt, needleturn appliqué, update | 6 Comments

Hazel’s Diary Quilt: Bound and Labeled


It didn’t take forever to bind my version of Hazel’s Diary Quilt; it just felt like it. This quilt is big. After trimming and binding, it measures about 95″ square. That’s 380″ inches of binding to tack down. I take about three stitches to the inch so I figure there are close to 1200 stitches in my binding.

This quilt is also heavy. Think about it: queen size to begin with, it contains eight blocks with lots of little pieces (which means lots of seam allowances on the back side), appliqué in the center of each block, reverse appliquéd scalloped borders around the blocks, and more appliqué in the center medallion. Even with wool batting, which I specifically chose because it’s the lightest of the batts, the quilt packs quite a heft.

I usually hand print my quilt labels but this time I printed one on my inkjet printer using instructions from a fellow quilt guild member. (Thanks, Marcia!) Here’s the label ready to be tacked down on the lower right side of the back . . .

. . . and here it is stitched in place:

I named my quilt Give Me the Simple Life, though the making of the quilt was anything but simple. As the label indicates, the quilt pattern is from the book A Simple Life: Quilts Inspired by the ’50s by Shelly Pagliai of Prairie Moon Quilts. The name I gave my quilt is both homage to Shelly’s mother Hazel Ilene, who was the inspiration for Shelly’s book and the quilts and projects in it, and a nod to the 1945 song of the same name, with music by Rube Bloom and lyrics by Harry Ruby. For you music trivia lovers, the song was first recorded by Bing Crosby singing with Jimmy Dorsey and his orchestra. To hear it, click here.

 

 

 

Posted in appliqué, Hazel's Diary Quilt, needleturn appliqué, update | 8 Comments