Search Results for: square dance

Throwback Thursday: Square Dance (2014)

Throwback Thursday already?? It seems impossible but we are in the final week of January, Week 5 (and Year 5) of my 10-year-lookback at quilts. I started with 2010 at the beginning of the month and now I’m up to 2014.

In Square Dance you see my interpretation of the classic Twist block. Every Twist quilt I’ve ever seen features a solid fabric in the center of each block and two fabrics for the lattice. My version incorporates a lovely folk art floral in the center of each block and 12 fabrics in the lattice — four each of rose, green, and purple:

Square Dance, 55½” x 64½” (2014)

It was quite a challenge getting the balance of fabrics just right but I was very pleased with the outcome.

The beautiful quilting by Melissa Hoffman of Fiddlestitches is hard to see so here’s a close-up:

I remember Melissa telling me she had to wear a headlamp to stitch the free-motion filigree design in the interior of the quilt. Black thread on solid black fabric: what a challenge that must have been!

Square Dance is one of my quilts in rotation on the back of the couch in our living room. In fact, it’s there right now, and I managed to get a shot just now while the sun was briefly shining:





Posted in free motion quilting, home dec, snowball blocks, Throwback Thursday, update | 4 Comments

Blogger’s Quilt Festival Entry: Square Dance

PrintIn for a penny, in for a pound. I’ve decided to enter a second quilt in the Fall 2014 Blogger’s Quilt Festival, hosted by Amy Ellis at Amy’s Creative Side. (You can read about my first entry in yesterday’s post.)

Billed as “the biggest quilt show online,” the festival accepts entries Oct. 24-31 in 11 categories. Viewers can nominate a quilt in any category for the Viewer’s Choice award and, beginning Nov. 1, vote for their favorites in all the other categories. This is my first experience entering the festival, and already I’ve seen dozens of fabulous quilts and discovered some new blogs I absolutely must follow.

I’m entering Square Dance in the Small Quilts category:

Square Dance (2014)

It’s an original design based on the classic Twist block dating back to 1870. Square Dance measures 55½” x 64½” and was quilted by Melissa Hoffman. I wrote about it in this post.

Linking up to Amy’s Creative Side for the Blogger’s Quilt Festival. To see some of the other small quilts entered in the festival, check out this link.




Posted in Bloggers Quilt Festival, update | 3 Comments

Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show 2018

Here, without further delay, are just a few of the quilts that caught my eye at the 2018 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show on the 14th of July. On that day the tiny town of Sisters in central Oregon filled with 10,000 quilt lovers and other sightseers who strolled around town on a very hot day looking at the quilts displayed on the outside of buildings along the town’s main and side streets. With 1300 quilts on display, it was impossible to see every single one but we all did our best.

The first 10 you see below were made by quiltmakers who taught during Quilter’s Affair, the five days of classes and special events preceding the Saturday show. These quilts were on display in the Teachers Tent.

Lollipops, 42 x 52, made and quilted by Tonye Belinda Phillips of Camp Sherman OR
Arrival, 54 x 60, made and quilted by Kathy Doughty of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Folk-Tails, 37 x 43, made by Sue Spargo of Uniontown OH, quilted by Janet Joelin
Detail of Folk-Tails by Sue Spargo
Pretty Spool, 42 x 50, made and quilted by Laura Wasilowski of Elgin IL
Pincushion, 42 x 45, made and quilted by Sally Frey of Fortuna CA
Tree Farm, 49 x 66, made by Karla Alexander of Salem OR, quilted by Loretta Orsborn
Detail of Tree Farm by Karla Alexander
Maha Surya (Major Sun), 72 x 72, made by Robin Long of Poulsbo WA, quilted by Wanda Rains
Accidental Fruit, 72 x 77, made by Sarah Bond of Philadelphia PA, quilted by Carol Heisler
Bromiliad, 20 x 32, made and quilted by Katie Pasquini-Masopust of Fortuna CA
Embracing Moss, 38 x 44, made and quilted by Hilde Morin of Portland OR

That’s quite an eclectic group of quilts, isn’t it? The quilts outside the Teachers Tent were just as varied in design and technique. Take a look:

Spin, 79 x 93, made and quilted by Kim Graham of Boise ID
Welcome to My Neighborhood, 67 x 84, made and quilted by Darlene Wheeler of Nampa ID
Zoo It Yourself, 56 x 60, made and quilted by Patty Roberts-Hasenbalg of Salem OR
Leaf 2, 56 x 47, made and quilted by Lou Ann Smith of Goleta CA
My Octopus Life, 85 x 85, made and quilted by Monica Dixon of Sequim WA
Peppermint Pinwheels, 745 x 84, made by Jean Wells of Sisters OR, quilted by Julia Jeans
Detail of Peppermint Pinwheels by Jean Wells

The Portland Modern Quilt Guild had a special exhibit of word quilts, the result of a challenge the guild issued to its members. My favorite was this one:

SMILE on Your Brother, 52 x 58, made and quilted by AnnMarie Cowley of Hillsboro OR

My photo of the label identifying the following quilt was too fuzzy to read. If anyone reading this post knows who made and quilted this quilt, please let me know, and I will update the information:

Maker Information To Come
Square Dance, 50 x 50, made and quilted by Donna Cooper of Portland OR
Detail of Square Dance by Donna Cooper
My Village @ Midnight, 94 x 94, made by Yvonne Black of Bellingham WA, quilted by Nikki Crisp
House Warming Party, 64 x 74, made by Brenda Daniels of Elverta CA, quilted by Michele Simes
Tangerine, 90 x 90, made by Jill Huntington of Portland OR, quilted by Nancy Stovall
Sugar Pine, 60 x 68, made by Nancy Hoff, quilted by Laura Simmons

This next quilt has a special story. It was made by Jane Humphrey of Escondido CA, who lost her home — and a lifetime of fabric and quilt projects — in the 2007 Witch Creek Fire in San Diego. In her own words, “I naturally had to start rebuilding both. A pretty daunting task at 81. So much new, pretty fabric to buy! When I saw this pattern in the May/June 2010 issue of Quiltmaker, I immediately knew it was the quilt to make with all my new fabrics. That was the most fun, choosing the fabrics that would look delicious together! It was a difficult pattern for me but rewarding. At 92 now, I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. I have too much new fabric!”

Here is Jane’s lovely — and lively — quilt:

Amorosa Asterisk, 63 x 69, made by Jane Humphrey of Escondido CA, quilted by Barbara Vanice

The last quilt I want to show you wasn’t in the quilt show. In fact, it’s not quite finished but it’s so spectacular I just had to share it with you — with the permission of its maker, Frances Barnes of Portland OR:

Work in Progress by Frances Barnes of Portland OR

I first saw this quilt in June, when I was teaching at a quilt retreat in Washington State. Frances brought it along to work on. She’s quilting it by hand using a utility stitch. I didn’t get a picture of it at the retreat so when I ran into Frances during a Quilter’s Affair class and saw she had the quilt with her, I jumped at the chance to take a photo.

The quilt was inspired by Sujata Shah, author of Cultural Fusion Quilts: A Melting Pot of Piecing Traditions (C&T Publishing, 2014). Sujata was a guest speaker at last year’s Quilter’s Affair, and both Frances and I bought her book after hearing Sujata speak and seeing a selection of her colorful quilts made using free-form blocks.

Then last fall Frances saw the cover of Issue #10 of Simply Moderne magazine, featuring a quilt called Paper Beads designed by Sujata Shah:

Paper Beads is composed of free-form string quilt blocks. Frances combined Paper Beads with blocks from the Cultural Fusion Quilts book and came up with the vibrant quilt you see above. Who knows? Maybe it will be in next year’s Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show!




Posted in Portland Modern Quilt Guild, Quilter's Affair, Sisters OR Outdoor Quilt Show, update | 11 Comments

First Finish of 2014

“First finish of 2014.” Ah, it feels good to say that. May I present Square Dance:

Square Dance, 55½” x 64½”

Just 18 months from conception to completion. Not bad for me! To read about the inspiration for this quilt and how it evolved, see my first post about it and a follow-up.

Square Dance was quilted by Melissa Hoffman, one of many talented longarm quilters in the Portland metropolitan area. Here are a couple of close-ups:

2014-1 Square Dance quilting detail
Quilting Detail


2014-1 Square Dance quilting detail 1
Feathers and Filigrees

Don’t you love the way quilting adds texture? The filigree motif in the inner black background was free-motion quilted.

The back of the quilt:

Leftover Blocks on the Back


Just for fun, the label is a square in a square:

2014-1 Square Dance label
Final Task: the Label

Square Dance
will hang in the Stitches in Bloom quilt show at the Oregon Garden next week (Jan. 24-26). If you happen to be in the neighborhood of Silverton, Oregon then, I hope you’ll stop by.




Posted in free motion quilting, update | 7 Comments

Grab Your Partner

My newly finished quilt top has a name: Square Dance. Something about those interlocking lattice strips made me think of arms joined at the elbow — “allemande left and do-si-do” — and that was before I added the border of squares:

2013-9, Square Dance top 57 x 67

The quilt top measures 57″ x 67.” To read more about the making of Square Dance, click here.

Thanks for stopping by!




Posted in update | 2 Comments


September Song

My first finish of 2023 is this breezy rendition of the pattern Forest Floor by the Pattern Basket. I say “breezy” because the quilting motif (“Curlicue” by TK Quilting & Design II) is so evocative of falling leaves caught in an updraft and swirling in circles to the ground.

September Song (2023)

The name of my quilt comes from a ballad dating back to 1938. Frank Sinatra made a famous version appearing in 1965 on an album called “September of My Years.”

Click here to see close-ups of the quilting, beautifully done by Karlee of SewInspired2Day.

• 53″ x 68″

• quilted by Karlee Sandell

• 2023


Arctic Stars

This is the second of two quilts made in 2022 inspired by the pattern Star Stream by Sally Davies of Chasing Tigers. I supersized two sizes of blocks and spaced them strategically to achieve balance. The centers of the Sawtooth Stars feature fussy-cut images of arctic animals: seals, whales, polar bears, and penguins, to name a few.

Arctic Stars (2022)

Karlee of SewInspired2Day quilted Arctic Stars with a design called “Bubbles” by Lorien Quilting. Click here to see close-ups of the star blocks and the quilting.

• 50″ x 63″

• quilted by Karlee Sandell

• 2022


Sea Star Sampler

This 59″ square sampler quilt includes two blocks from a very informal Block of the Month quilt designed by Kristin at Montavilla Sewing Center in Lake Oswego in 2021 during the time in-person classes were suspended because of the Covid pandemic. I veered from the BOM path and added several other blocks of my own choosing to complete the quilt. The fabrics I chose happened to include starfish and swimming fish. A host of other fabrics in my stash were suggestive of things like anenomes, seaweed, and waves — enough to give this quilt its Sea Star Sampler name.

Karlee of SewInspired2Day quilted my Sea Star Sampler with a design called “Embelllish” by Quilts Complete. Click here to see close-ups of the quilting, which makes me think of swirling waves.

• 59″ square

• quilted by Karlee Sandell

• 2022


Isabella’s Quilt

Isabella’s Quilt (2022)

This unabashedly feminine quilt was made to celebrate the arrival in April of my great-granddaughter Isabella, who has three older brothers. I supersized two blocks in the pattern Star Stream by Sally Davies of Chasing Tigers and used a variety of light to medium-light green tone-on-tone prints to create a low volume background.

Isabella’s Quilt was quilted by longarmer Karlee Sandell of SewInspired2Day using a favorite edge-to-edge design called “Sashay” by Anne Bright. Click here to see close-ups of the quilting.

• 40″ x 44″

• quilted by Karlee Sandell

• 2022


Holliberry Circle

Holliberry Circle (2022)

Holliberry Circle is my second version of Dresden Neighborhood by Persimon Dreams. (You can see Uptown Funk, my first version made in 2020, by scrolling down this page or you can simply click here.) I made this second version to refresh my memory of tips and techniques I discovered the first time around because I’ll be teaching the pattern in a workshop shortly. My fabrics of choice were pieces left over from Corey Yoder’s Holliberry line for Moda fabrics that I used in another quilt made in 2021 called ‘Tis the Season. My wonky little neighborhood quilt was embellished with a quirky assortment of vintage buttons in place of windows. To see some of those buttons up close, click here. The original design is square but I turned my mini quilt into a circle.

• 25″ in diameter

• pieced and quilted by Dawn White

• 2022


The Green Goddess Quilt

The Green Goddess Quilt (2021)

This 48″ square quilt has a permanent home in my car. It was made for my Subaru Forester, affectionately known as the Green Goddess. I used Melissa Corry’s free pattern State Fair and a layer cake (10″ squares) of the charming “Jungle Paradise” line by Stacy Iest Hsu.

The Green Goddess Quilt was quilted by longarmer Karlee Sandell of SewInspired2Day using an edge-to-edge design called “Sashay” by Anne Bright. Click here and also here to see close-ups of the quilting.

• 48″ square

• quilted by Karlee Sandell

• 2021


Currant Affairs

This kaleidoscope quilt was started six years ago in a class taught by Joyce Gieszler, author of Then and Now Quilts (Kansas City Star Quilts, 2014). This year it was time to finish it. I added a border of background fabric (a very pale grey) to float the image. Then I added a second border (the black print) to make the quilt larger, finishing it with a flange and binding treatment that visually extends the outer border:

Currant Affairs (2021)

The quilt gets its name from the “Red Black and Currant 5” line of fabric by Color Principle for Henry Glass & Co. Fabrics and a riddle, which you can read about here.

Currant Affairs was quilted by Sherry Wadley using an edge-to-edge design called “Bordeaux” by Urban Elementz. For close-ups of the quilting, click here.

• 66″ square

• quilted by Sherry Wadley

• 2021


Tea Time on High Street

My second finish of 2021 is Tea Time on High Street, adapted from a free pattern by Larene Smith called Tea Time in Bali. It was made from a Jelly Roll (2½” strips of fabric from a complete line of fabric, in this case “High Street” by Lily Ashbury for Moda).

Tea Time on High Street (2021)

Karlee Sandell of SewInspired2Day quilted it with an edge-to-edge design by Urban Elementz called “Soho.” To see close-ups of the quilting, click here.

• 54″ square

• quilted by Karlee Sandell

• 2021


‘Tis the Season

‘Tis the Season (2021)

‘Tis the Season is my first holiday-themed quilt. Based on the Missouri Star Quilt Company’s pattern Quatrefoil, it features fabrics from Corey Yoder’s “Holliberry” line for Moda Fabrics. It was quilted for me by Sherry Wadley using an edge-to-edge design called “Retro Heart.” To see close-ups of the quilting, click here.

• 57″ x 71″

• quilted by Sherry Wadley

• 2021


Lilacs in September

My fourth quilt finish in 2020 was actually begun in 2008 with some blocks left over from another project. Planning back then to quilt it myself, I sandwiched the layers, stitched in the ditch along one inner border, and then — for reasons I don’t remember — set the quilt aside. For 12 years. A few weeks ago I pulled my UFO out of the closet. After removing the line of stitching and making a new backing, I turned everything over to a professional longarm quilter.

Lilacs in September (2020)

Karlee at SewInspired2Day quilted an edge-to-edge motif called Abundant Feathers, a design we both thought was the perfect choice for this very traditonal quilt. Click here to see close-ups of the quilting and to learn why I decided to name this quilt Lilacs in September.

• 50″ x 56″

• quilted by Karlee Sandell

• 2020


Scattered Stars

Like many of my quilts, Scattered Stars began without a pattern in mind. I was inspired to make it when I saw Jenifer Gaston’s Churning Stars quilt in her book Primitive Style: Folk-art Quilts and Other Finery. I knew the basic block — a Churn Dash inside a Sawtooth Star — would set off my collection of cheddar and indigo fabrics beautifully. Using a variety of block sizes ranging from three inches square to 18 inches square, I created this twin-size quilt:

Scattered Stars (2020)

Scattered Stars was quilted by Karlee Sandell of SewInspired2Day using a motif called Woven Wind, a modern version of the classic Baptist Fan motif. Click here and here to see more photos of the front and back as well as close-ups of the quilting.

• 66″ x 88″

• quilted by Karlee Sandell

• 2020



Uptown Funk

What fun it was to make this little quilt! Its title was inspired by the Bruno Mars song. The pattern is Dresden Neighborhood by Persimon Dreams. The houses are machine pieced and the roofs, doors, and windows (and that one little chimney) are fused in place. Rather than put windows in every house, I fussycut some fabric from my stash that had actual windows printed on it and used it on only five of the 20 windows. I quilted it with straight lines of differing lengths and added a very narrow lime green flange to complement the zebra print binding .

Uptown Funk (2020)

I like to make pieced backs but this is such a small quilt that I let the whimsical fabric chosen for the back stand on its own:

Back of Uptown Funk (2020)

• 24″ x 26″

• quilted by Dawn White

• 2020


All You Need Is Love

My first finish of 2020. This little quilt came together quickly with Sew Kind of Wonderful’s pattern Love Rocks from the new book Text Me (also from Sew Kind of Wonderful), featuring letters, numbers, and emojis created with the Wonder Curve Ruler.

All You Need Is Love (2020)

I continued the message on the reverse of the quilt:

Back of All You Need Is Love (2020)

(This isn’t the first time I’ve named a quilt after a Beatles Song. Scroll down to see Good Day, Sunshine, made in 2014, or click here.)

• 38″ x 44″

• quilted by Sherry Wadley

• 2020


Give Me the Simple Life

The pattern is Hazel’s Diary Quilt from Shelly Pagliai’s book A Simple Life: Quilts Inspired by the ’50s. I took this project on to learn needleturn appliqué.  As you can see, I had ample opportunity to practice that skill:

Give Me the Simple Life (2019)

I started working on this quilt in January 2018 and completed it in September 2019. Give Me the Simple Life was quilted by Kazumi Peterson. Click here to see more photos of Kazumi’s exquisite quilting, all free motion and ruler work.

• 95″ square

• quilted by Kazumi Peterson

• 2019


Checkerboard Curves

I’ve made many quilts using Sew Kind of Wonderful’s Quick Curve Ruler but this one, made from the pattern Dancing Churndash, may be my favorite:

Checkerboard Curves (2018)

Measuring 44″ square, it’s a simple study in black and white using the same prints in positive and negative, with the addition of a small amount of lime green to kick it up a notch.

Checkerboard Curves was quilted by Karlee Sandell of SewInspired2Day Click here to see more photos of the front and back as well as close-ups of the quilting.

• 44″ square

• quilted by Karlee Sandell

• 2018



Spokesong (2018)

Based on the pattern Idyllic by Corey Yoder of Coriander Quilts, Spokesong is named after the play by the Irish playwright Stewart Parker that takes place in a bicycle shop in Belfast during the Irish troubles. Do you see bicycle wheels and spokes when you look at the blocks with radiating star points?

Spokesong was quilted by Karlee Sandell of SewInspired2Day using a motif called Serpentine. Click here to see more photos of the front and back as well as close-ups of the quilting.

• 53½” x 67″

• quilted by Karlee Sandell

• 2018




Bluebirds for Bethany

Bluebirds for Bethany (2018)

This 57″ x 58″ lap quilt was made for one of my six granddaughters, a young wife and mother of three little boys. I wanted her to have a decidedly feminine quilt. The block design is from Karin Hellaby’s book Pineapple Plus. I added an extra round of triangles to increase the block size and added sashing between the blocks. The quilting motif is Baptist Fan, quilted by Karlee Sandell of SewInspired2Day. For more about the making of this quilt, click here.


Terrazzo Tiles and Piccolo Terrazzo Tiles

Mod Tiles — Mini and “Supersized” (2017)

Here are two versions of the free pattern Mini Mod Tiles from Sew Kind of Wonderful. The smaller of the two was made with the QCR Mini ruler. I resized the original design in order to make a larger version using the original Quick Curve Ruler. Both rulers are made by SKW. (You can find the tutorial for my supersized version here.)

The smaller of the quilts finished at 34½” square:

Piccolo Terrazzo Tiles (2017)

I added a border to the larger version to float the tiles and make the quilt a bit larger. It finished at 63″ square:

Terrazzo Tiles (2017)

Both quilts were quilted by longarmer Karlee Sandell of SewInspired2Day. The quilting is all hand-guided ruler work. For more photos of the backs of the quilts and quilting details, see this post.


Dutch Treat

Dutch Treat (2017)

Dutch Treat was begun during a January 2017 snowstorm that kept me inside for several days. The pattern is A Mid-Winter’s Night by Cottage Rose. I saw the quilt made up in aboriginal prints in a quilt shop in the fall of 2016 and knew immediately that I wanted to make a two-color version.

The main block — a reworking of the classic Winding Ways block — features a pinwheel inside a windmill. The block design and the strong contrast of value in the fabrics create the illusion of overlapping circles even though all the seams are straight. I resized the block from 9″ to 12″ and made a change to the position of light and dark fabrics in half of the pinwheels.

Back of Dutch Treat

Leftover “V” blocks went on the back.

Longarm quilter Debbie Scroggy of All Quilted LLC quilted a circular motif reminiscent of crop circles to emphasize the illusion of overlapping circles. To see close-ups of her work, see this post.

• 48″ x 60″

• quilted by Debbie Scroggy

• 2017



Selene’s Quilt

The pineapple blocks in this quilt were made using a fun and unusual method devised by Karin Hellaby, whose book Pineapple Plus contains the instructions. I had the pleasure of taking a class from Karin herself in 2015 in Sisters, Oregon:

Selene’s Quilt (2017)
Back of Selene’s Quilt

I incorporated leftover blocks on the back, setting them on point and enlarging them. You can see the supersized block on the far right has an extra round of strips.

The edge-to-edge quilting motif incorporates loops and swirls that echo one of the prints in the quilt. Click here for a better look at the quilting details.

• 47½ ” square

• quilted by Sherry Wadley

• 2017



Stella by Starlight

Stella by Starlight (2016)

The name of this quilt was inspired by the 1944 song (music by Victor Young, lyrics by Ned Washington). I started with the Spinners block by Heather Peterson of Anka’s Treasures, using fabric repeats instead of different fabrics in the triangles surrounding the center hexagons. I called the result “kaleido-spinners.” The four hexagons in the outer part of the quilt are true kaleidoscope blocks. Inspiration for the setting came from Heather Peterson as well.

Back of Stella by Starlight

The stars are not just in the design. The background fabric on the front looks like stars swirling in a night  sky, and I used starry fabrics on the back as well.

I was delighted with Karlee Sandell’s free motion quilting. For close-ups of her work, click here.

• 51½” x 71″

• quilted by Karlee Sandell

• 2016




Where It’s @

Where It’s @ (2016)

This is my version of Karla Alexander’s pattern Rewind. The wonky Greek key block reminds me of the @ sign on a keyboard, hence the name.  I started this quilt in July in Karla’s class at Quilter’s Affair 2015.

Back of Where It’s @

The gentle curve of the quilting motif softens the hard angles of the blocks.

For the back I used one large leafy batik print and made a wonky Greek key block for the label.

• 57″ x 72″

• quilted by Karlee Sandell

• 2016

This quilt was awarded a second place ribbon in the intermediate quilt category at the 2017 Northwest Quilting Expo.





Dragonfly Kisses

Dragonfly Kisses is my simplified version of Sew Kind of Wonderful’s Chic Diamonds pattern. Most of the fabrics are from a new line called “Dance of the Dragonfly” by Kanvas Studios for Benartex. I paired them with three aqua batiks and floated the blocks on a pale mint background.

Dragonfly Kisses dh aug 2016
Dragonfly Kisses (2016)


Dragonfly Kisses, back
Back of Dragonfly Kisses (before binding and label)

Longarm quilter Sherry Wadley and I chose a simple edge-to-edge motif that echoes some of the curves and circles in the fabrics. I bound the quilt in the background fabric so the blocks would continue to float rather than be framed.

Leftover strips of fabric went on the back for a simple pieced backing.

•  50″ x 59″

•  quilted by Sherry Wadley

•  2016




Ring Toss

2016-6 Ring Toss, cropped
Ring Toss (2016)

Ring Toss
, based on the double wedding ring block, was made using the mini Quick Curve Ruler (QCR Mini) and the pattern Mini Rings, both by Sew Kind of Wonderful.

2016-6, Ring Toss front and back
Back of Ring Toss

Instead of sewing four fabrics together in strip sets to make the rings, I used one piece of fabric, a lively print of overlapping circles that makes me think of ferris wheels and fireworks, common sights at carnivals. Those images are what led me to the name Ring Toss.

This little quilt was expertly quilted by Karlee Sandell of SewInspired2Day. To see close-ups of Karlee’s quilting, click here.

• 32″ square

• quilted by Karlee Sandell

• 2016




WanderLust complete
WanderLust (2016)
WanderLust back and front
Back of WanderLust

This king-size bed runner was made using the design Spinners from Heather Mulder Peterson’s book On the Run Again (Anka’s Treasures, 2014). I increased the blocks from three to five and added to the width of the runner to make the blocks float.

The name comes from the fabric line, Wander, by Joel Dewberry for Free Spirit Fabrics. I used three prints from that line in the triangles that spin around the center hexagon. I liked the floral fabric so much I put a big piece on the back and made the runner reversible.

WanderLust was beautifully quilted by Coleen Barnhardt of the Quilted Thistle. To see close-ups of her work, see this post.

• 20″ x 88″
• quilted by Coleen Barnhardt
• 2016


Loose Leaf

big leaf, nov 2015
Loose Leaf (2015)

This little quilt is the result of a workshop I took with Pat Pauly, a renowned fiber artist from New York who came to Portland in the fall of 2015 to teach her “New Big Leaf” design using freezer paper templates. To read my posts about the making of Loose Leaf, enter “new big leaf” into the SEARCH ME box on the sidebar to the right of your screen.

• 24½” square
• designed by Pat Pauly
• pieced and quilted by Dawn White
• 2015


Simply Dashing

The irresistible urge to make some 4-Patch Wonder blocks — four fabric repeats cut into squares and rotated to make faux kaleidoscope images — out of an exotic purple and orange floral print resulted in this quilt, Simply Dashing. I was delighted that it was chosen for the cover of the Pine Needle Quilt Shop’s fall catalog:

800 pixels
Simply Dashing (2015)

Do you recognize the classic Churn Dash block set on point? I added some alternating blocks that also have 4-Patch Wonder blocks in their centers and floated all of them on a plain background.

Simply Dashing Aug 2015 back of quilt
Back of Simply Dashing

The addition of the 4-Patch Wonder blocks — each one unique — adds sophistication and complexity to what is essentially a simple quilt design.

The back of the quilt shows off the focus fabric as well as a test block I made of another pattern (Cosmic Delight by Freckled Whimsy).

Longarm quilter Debbie Scroggy of All Quilted, LLC quilted an all-over swirly design that did its job: softening the sharp edges and angles of the blocks.

• 58″ x 74″

• designed and pieced by Dawn White

• quilted by Debbie Scroggy

• 2015



Billie’s Star

Billie's Star
Billie’s Star (2015)

I call this a “just for fun” quilt, started because I had some focus fabric left over from my previous project (Olivia Twist, below) and wanted to use it in the center of a large star block. One block became four, and soon I had a finished quilt.

Billie's Star, back
Back of Billie’s Star

Do you see the secondary star in the center of the quilt? I added a little faux-kaleidoscope block in the very center to call attention to it.

The quilt is named after my mentor and quilt teacher Billie Mahorney, well known for her love of star motifs in quilts.

Nancy Stovall of Just Quilting quilted undulating waves across the horizontal surface. For close-ups of Nancy’s quilting and information about the making of this quilt, see this post and this one.

• 56″ x 55″
• designed and pieced by Dawn White
• quilted by Nancy Stovall
• 2015


Olivia Twist

Olivia Twist bv 2
Olivia Twist (2015)
Olivia twist back bv 2
Back of Olivia Twist

My first (but not my last) bedrunner quilt, Olivia Twist was adapted from my pattern 4-Patch Wonder with a Twist. I fell in love with the floral focus fabric, A Garden for Olivia, designed by Lida Enche for In the Beginning Fabrics, and wanted to create some four-patch kaleidoscope blocks with it. (See my Dec. 26, 2014 post “Updating an Old Favorite.”)

Olivia Twist gets its name from that floral fabric and from the venerable twist block, which made its first appearance in 1870.

The name is also a nod to one of my favorite authors, Charles Dickens. When I discovered that Dickens died in 1870, the same year that the twist block was first published, the name seemed even more fitting.

I asked Jolene Knight of Good Knight Quilts to quilt this bedrunner using her free-motion quilting skills and was delighted with the results. You can see details of her quilting in this post.

• 31″ x 76″

• designed and pieced by Dawn White

• quilted by Jolene Knight of Good Knight Quilts

• 2015



Toile Story

Toile Story bv photo 800
Toile Story (2015)

Who can resist a beautiful toile, especially in the classic color combination of blue and white? This quilt is based on Alex Anderson’s Checkerboard Square pattern and features fabrics from her Never Enough Romance line for P&B Fabrics. The pattern and the fabrics came out in 2008.

Toile Story, back, bv 800
Back of Toile Story

On the back of the quilt I created a large (37″ square) Goose in the Pond block, positioning it above and to the left of center.

To see close-ups of Debbie’s beautiful quilting, see this post.

• 73″ x 89″

• quilted by Debbie Scroggy of All Quilted, LLC

• 2015






Catch a Falling Star

CAFS front BV photo 800
Catch a Falling Star (2015)

My most ambitious undertaking to date, Catch a Falling Star is based on a design by Terri Krysan called Reach for the Stars that was offered in Quilter’s Newsletter over the course of seven issues, beginning with Oct./Nov. 2013 and ending with Oct./Nov. 2014. I replaced three blocks and made a few changes to some of the other blocks. I also challenged myself to incorporate a fussy-cut image into every block and redesigned the border to make it symmetrical.

CAFS back BV photo 800
Back of Catch a Falling Star

The two Jacobean floral prints on the back of the quilt were the source of most of the fussy-cut images on the front.

Many of my blog posts in 2014 were about the creation of this quilt. If you are interested in seeing how it came together, block by block, type Reach for the Stars into the Search box on the upper right side of the home page; the posts will come up in reverse chronological order.

• 84″ x 105″
• Quilted by Loretta Orsborn of Orsborn Specialty Quilting
• 2015

To see close-ups of Loretta Orsborn’s beautiful quilting, see this post.

Good Day Sunshine

churn-dash-2[1] (2)
Good Day Sunshine (2014)
This little quilt was the product of a summertime Quick Curve Ruler Sew-Along organized by Thelma of Cupcakes ‘n’ Daisies. The pattern, Dancing Churndash, was designed for Cut Loose Press by sisters Jenny Pedigo and Helen Robinson of Sew Kind of Wonderful.

I knew immediately that I would make this quilt using fabrics from the Gray Matters line by Camelot Cottons. I’ve loved the combination of gray/yellow/white ever since my mother made me a wool plaid skirt in those colors when I was in high school.

• 43″ x 57½”
• Quilted by Jolene Knight of Good Knight Quilts
• 2014

To read more about the making of Good Day Sunshine, see this post. To see close-ups of Jolene Knight’s beautiful quilting, see this post.


Banana Split

Banana Split (2014)

Another quilt featuring the 4-Patch Wonder Block (my name for blocks made of four repeats yielding a faux-kaleidoscope effect). With Banana Split, I centered the 4-patches in Sawtooth Star blocks and added simple sashing with cornerstones. Then I added 4-Patch Wonder blocks in the corners offset with narrow black accent strips.

Back of Banana Split

On the back of the quilt I incorporated some of the original focus fabric — those are clusters of bananas — and added an 18″ star block. The circle in the center of the star started out as an octagonal kaleidoscope block made with eight 45° triangles. You see? Banana splits on both sides of the quilt.

• 40 1/2″ x 50 1/2″
• Designed and pieced by Dawn White
• Quilted by Debbie Scroggy of All Quilted, LLC
• 2014

To read more about the making of this quilt, see this post. To see close-ups of Debbie Scroggy’s quilting, see this post.



Square Dance

Square Dance (2014)


Back of Square Dance
Back of Square Dance

An original design, based on the classic twist block dating back to 1870. In terms of piecing, Square Dance was not difficult to sew. The challenge came in arranging (and then keeping track of) the 12 different fabrics — four roses, four purples, and four greens — used to make the lattice strips.

The straight lines of the lattice strips and border squares offset the swirls, curves and curlicues in the floral focus fabric.

• 55½” x 64½”
• Designed and pieced by Dawn  White
• quilted by Melissa Hoffman
• 2014

To read more about the making of this quilt and to see close-ups of Melissa Hoffman’s quilting, see this post.


 Honeymoon in Paris

2013-12, Honeymoon in Paris
Honeymoon in Paris (2013)
2013-12, Honeymoon in Paris, back
Back of Honeymoon in Paris

Honeymoon in Paris gets its name from the Paris-themed fabric (two prints on the front and the Eiffel tower on the back) and the double wedding ring block design. The fleur-de-lis motif in the quilting adds a bit more French flavor. The pattern is “Metro Rings” by Sew Kind of Wonderful.

• 56″ x 75″
• Quilted by Debbie Scroggy of All Quilted, LLC
• 2013

To read more about the making of this quilt, including the quilting by Debbie Scroggy, see my post here.


Lyra’s Quilt

2013-11, Lyra's quilt
Lyra’s Quilt (2013)

Lyra’s Quilt, #7 in my series of kaleidoscope quilts. After making Cosmic Kaleidoscopes (see below) in early 2013, I wanted to make a smaller version using just three oversize kaleido blocks. This quilt, a gift for my new great niece, was the result.

2013-11, Lyra's quilt, back
Back of Lyra’s Quilt

Click on the picture at right to get a better look at the hydrangea focus fabric. That circular flower in the upper left was made from a leftover kaleido block.

To read about the making of this quilt and Nancy Stovall’s quilting on it, see my post here.

• 44″ x  51″
• Designed and pieced by Dawn White
• Quilted by Nancy Stovall of  Just Quilting
• 2013





2013-09-04 23.03.49
Hunky-Dori (2013)

Hunky-Dori was made using the pattern “Urban Tiles” by Jenny Pedigo of Sew Kind of Wonderful. The name comes from the expression “hunky-dory,” meaning “fine and dandy,” but incorporates the name of the focus fabric I used, Dori by Mitzi Powers for Benartex. For more details about the fabrics I used, see my post here.

  • 57″ square
  • Quilted by Janis Hays
  • 2013


Day for Night

2013-9, Day for Night, front
Day for Night (2013)

Black and white — such a timeless combination. Day for Night is based on “Silhouette,” a design by Kari Nichols that was introduced in the March/April 2012 issue of McCall’s Quilting magazine. The pattern calls for pairs of prints that are positive/negative. I had a few in my stash and found some additional fabrics in the Night and Day line by Exclusively Quilts.

I modified the design to reduce the number of seams in the triangles and squares. To read about the making of Day for Night, see my post here. Note that the quilt is bound in the same two fabrics used in the outer borders — but with the opposite value. To read more about the binding treatment, see my post here.

On the back: a whimsical black-and-white print featuring dress forms, spiced up with a jolt of fuchsia.

2013-09-16 02.24.22
Back of Day for Night







Cosmic Kaleidoscopes

Cosmic Kaleidoscopes
Cosmic Kaleidoscopes (2013)

Cosmic Kaleidoscopes, #6 in my series of kaleidoscope quilts. To me this quilt represents a juxtaposition of traditional and modern sensibilities. I used a traditional Jacobean floral fabric in the kaleidoscope blocks and then floated those blocks on a borderless background. Nancy Stovall of Just Quilting quilted wavy lines that simply flow off the edges.

Back of Cosmic Kaleidoscopes
Back of Cosmic Kaleidoscopes

Click on the picture at right to get a better look at the focus fabric. I inserted a strip of it on the back and added some half-kaleido blocks made from the leftover fabric. Nancy used a lighter thread for the kaleidoscope blocks, creating an almost lacelike effect on the back.

  • 60″ x 76″
  • Designed and pieced by Dawn White
  • Quilted by Nancy Stovall of Just Quilting
  • 2013

To read more about the making of Cosmic Kaleidoscopes, please see my post here.



Sunrise Bow-tique

Sunrise Bow-tique, 33.5" x 42"
Sunrise Bow-tique (2013)

Sunrise Bow-tique started as an exercise in making bowtie blocks using raw-edge applique fused with Steam-a-Seam-2. It ended as an exercise in using a gradated ombre fabric in the alternating blocks — simply because that was the only fabric I could find that I really liked with the bowtie blocks. Serendipity!

To read more about the making of Sunrise Bow-tique, please see my post here. To read more about Nancy Stovall’s quilting on it, please see this post.



framboise august 2012
Framboise, 69″ x 84″ (2012)

Another version of my 4-Patch Wonder pattern. This one was made from Lakehouse Dry Goods fabric (Hydrangeas and Raspberries by Holly Holderman). The border fabric, Sweet Dreams by Robyn Pandolph for SSI, is so soft it feels almost like flannel.  It features scrolls and vines and leaves, which led me to the quilting motif.

back of Framboise

Click on the photo at right to see a close-up of the original focus fabric.

  • 69″ x 84″
  • Designed and pieced by Dawn White
  • Quilted by Melissa Hoffman
  • 2012

To read more about the making of Framboise, please see my post here.

Pattern available: 4-Patch Wonder. Two sizes included: 52″ x 66″ and 66″ x 80″



 Ode to Spode

Ode to Spode quilt by Dawn White of First Light Designs
Ode to Spode (2012)

Ode to Spode, #4 in my series of kaleidoscope quilts. My inspiration for this quilt was Judy Johnson’s “Cascading Kaleidoscopes” design, but in addition to the 6” and 12” blocks of Judy’s design, I added some 9” blocks to the mix. There are close to 1,000 pieces in this quilt. I had made only a few blocks when their similarity to the dozens of blue and white china patterns made by Spode jumped out at me, hence the name.

Back of Ode to Spode

You can see the original focus fabric on the back of the quilt.

  • 67” x 72”
  • Designed and pieced by Dawn White
  • Quilted by Melissa Hoffman
  • 2012





Tiffany’s Garden

Tiffany’s Garden (2012)

Saw the fabric (Deco Delight by Fabric Freedom). Had to have it. But – what to do with it? A friend suggested I make a quilt using my own 4-Patch Wonder pattern. The overblown poppies were way too big to be contained in a 6” block, the measurement in the 4-Patch Wonder pattern, so I made a new pattern with a 9″ block and named it (and the quilt) Tiffany’s Garden because the blocks and setting triangles reminded me of the stained glass work of artist and designer Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933).

  • 72” x 90 ½”
  • Designed and pieced by Dawn White
  • Quilted by Melissa Hoffman
  • 2012

Pattern available: Tiffany’s Garden. Two sizes included: full (72″ x 90 ½”) and queen (90 ½” x 109″).

A version of this pattern using 6” center blocks is available under the name 4-Patch Wonder. See Framboise, Marrakesh Express and Midnight in the Garden in this gallery.



I Love Paris

I Love Paris (2011)

The heart-shaped design, the Eiffel tower, Paris map and French poodle fabrics . . . what else could I call this quilt but I Love Paris? Even the white background fabric has hearts on it, and there are different heart motifs in the quilting.

Like many of my quilts, I Love Paris started out as an experiment. I wanted to make tessellating pinwheels that finished at 6”, so I transferred the markings from the small Lil’ Twister tool by CS Designs to a 6½” square ruler and made my own template. I decided to float the heart with no border treatment, but after the heart was done I could see that it needed something extra. How about a shelf for the heart to sit on? The small Lil’ Twister tool gave me a row of 3” finished pinwheels, the perfect proportion for the larger blocks and the perfect resting place for the heart.

Directions for making this quilt are available as a tutorial.

  • 58” x 64”
  • Designed and pieced by Dawn White
  • Quilted by Melissa Hoffman
  • 2011


It’s All in the Twist

It’s All in the Twist (2011)

Everything old is new again. It’s All in the Twist is a happy union of the traditional twist block dating back to 1870 and the contemporary kaleidoscope block. I came across a picture of the twist block with a solid octagonal center and thought, “Wouldn’t a kaleidoscope block look great there?” I couldn’t wait to try it out. So much so that I tried it out first with my favorite faux-kaleido block – the 4-Patch Wonder, of course. Paired with red and green ribbons against a solid black background, the gorgeous Jacobean floral fabric (Bellagio Road by RJR Fabrics) translated into wonderfully varied faux-kaleido blocks. Click on the the photo of the back to see a larger image of the focus fabric.

Back of It's All in the Twist by Dawn White
Back of It’s All in the Twist

As an Audrey Hepburn fan, I am especially fond of one of her earlier movies, Sabrina (1954).Do you remember the scene in Paris where Sabrina is in cooking school learning how to crack an egg properly (i.e. one-handed) under the unnervingly stern glare of the French chef?  “It’s all in the wrist,” he says. That’s where the title of this quilt came from.

  • 57” x 65”
  • Designed and pieced by Dawn White
  • Quilted by Melissa Hoffman
  • 2011

Pattern available: It’s All in the Twist.



Midnight in the Garden 

Midnight in the Garden quilt by Dawn White at First Light Designs
Midnight in the Garden (2011)
Midnight in the Garden back
Back of Midnight in the Garden

There is just something about Jacobean florals; almost without exception they make the most beautiful faux-kaleido 4-Patch Wonder blocks. I teamed this gorgeous fabric, Carmen by Timeless Treasures, with a metallic celadon green and flat black, and was thrilled with the result. Click on the image at right to get a better look at the focus fabric.

Carmen, as the quilt was originally named, was exhibited at the 2011 Stitches in Bloom quilt show in Silverton, Oregon, where it won the viewers’ choice award for best traditional quilt. I’m sure Melissa Hoffman’s outstanding quilting had something to do with that award. Later I renamed the quilt Midnight in the Garden.

  • 66” x 80”
  • Designed and pieced by Dawn White
  • Quilted by Melissa Hoffman
  • 2011

Pattern available: 4-Patch Wonder. Two sizes included: 52″ x 66″ and 66″ x 80″


Marrakesh Express 

Marrakesh Express by Dawn White at First LIght Designs
Marrakesh Express (2010)
Back of Marrakesh Express
Back of Marrakesh Express

The rich colors of paprika, pepper and ginger in this fabric (Marakesh by Maywood Studio) bring to mind exotic spices traded centuries ago along the Silk Road. I knew the print would yield simple but striking 4-Patch Wonder blocks. Click on the photo of the back to see a larger image of the focus fabric.

  • 52” x 66”
  • Designed and pieced by Dawn White
  • Quilted by Carol Parks
  • 2010

Pattern available: 4-Patch Wonder. Two sizes included: 52″ x 66″ and 66″ x 80″




V8 Quilt by Dawn White at First Light Designs
V8 (2010)

V8, #3 in my series of kaleidoscope quilts. Inspiration for the name came from the focus fabric (Variegated Garden by Martha Negley for Rowan Fabrics), which reminded me of red ripe tomatoes and leafy green vegetables, ingredients of a certain tomato juice beverage. Then it occurred to me that each kaleidoscope block contains eight V-shaped wedges.

In this quilt I turned the octagons into circles and floated them on green backgrounds, then added tomato red diamonds at the corner of the blocks for an extra pop of color.

Back of V8

I got a little carried away using leftover blocks on the back. Click on the photo at right to see a larger image of the focus fabric.

  • 55” x 64”
  • Designed and pieced by Dawn White
  • Quilted by Janis Whitman
  • 2010






Wonderful Town 

Wonderful Town (2010)

I couldn’t bear to use too much of this charming retro New York fabric from In the Beginning Fabrics, so I made a small 4-Patch Wonder quilt. I wasn’t crazy about some of the blocks as 4-Patch Wonders so they became “sliders,” i.e. four-patch blocks with the images right side up. The cornerstones are New York Beauty blocks, a nod to Lady Liberty’s crown. I am sure I spent more time making those corners than I spent on the rest of the quilt.

Back of Wonderful Town and detail

I think I like the back of the quilt almost as much as the front.

Wonderful Town gets its name from lyrics from the 1949 movie On The Town with Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra: “New York, New York, it’s a wonderful town . . . ”

  • 36” x 36”
  • Designed and pieced by Dawn White
  • Quilted by Pat Roche
  • 2010


Ramblin’ Rose

Ramblin’ Rose (2009)

Based on Judy Johnson’s “Cascading Kaleidoscopes” design, Ramblin’ Rose is #2 in my series of kaleidoscope quilts. The fabric is from the line Barefoot Roses by Tonya Whelan for Free Spirit Fabrics. That fabric can be seen on the back of the quilt, along with my original flowerpot design using halves of leftover kaleidoscope blocks.

  • 53” x 59”
  • Made by Dawn White
  • Quilted by Lee Fowler
  • 2009


Back of Ramblin’ Rose with detail of flowerpot


Sandy’s Rose Garden

Sandy's Rose Garden by Dawn White at First Light Designs
Sandy’s Rose Garden (2009)

Have you ever found a fabric so beautiful you almost couldn’t bear to cut into it? Such was the case with this fabric in Tonya Whelan’s Barefoot Roses line for Free Spirit. Fortunately, I bought a lot of it. I used it first in Sandy’s Rose Garden, shown here. It has since made its way into another quilt (see Ramblin’ Rose), a bathrobe, and a pair of pillowcases. Who knows where it will show up next?

Sandy's Rose Garden back by Dawn White at First Light Designs
Back of Sandy’s Rose Garden

Sandy’s Rose Garden is based on the pattern “Four-Patch Stacked Posies” by HD Designs. I departed from the design by adding a narrow strip in the sashing, a flange around the outside, and corner blocks in the outer border. The cornerstones in the interior of the quilt were fussy cut from a piece of vintage checked fabric.

Leftover blocks went on the back. Click on the photo at right to see a larger image of the focus fabric.

  • 50” x 60”
  • Made by Dawn White
  • Hand quilted by Julie Riggs, with some machine quilting by Dawn White
  • 2009



Fiesta (2009)

This is Fiesta, the quilt that got me hooked on the kaleidoscope block and inspired a series of kaleidoscope quilts. Based on Maxine Rosenthal’s book, One Block Wonder, and Judy Johnson’s “Cascading Kaleidoscopes” design, it’s made up of 6” blocks with a scattering of 12” blocks thrown in the mix. I picked a wild floral print – in this case “Kirman” by Kaffe Fassett for Rowan Fabrics  – because I figured it would produce blocks with great variety in color and form. I could hardly wait for each block to reveal its own unique design. The profusion of warm and hot colors, the original motifs in the focus fabric, and the finished kaleido blocks all contribute to a distinctly southwestern feel, which led to the name Fiesta.

Back of Fiesta

Unused blocks went on the back, along with a piece of the original focus fabric. Click on the photo at right to see a larger image of the focus fabric.

• 54″ square

• Made by Dawn White

• Quilted by Lee Fowler

• 2009




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Sashaying Around

Who’s doing the sashaying? That would be moi, doing the happy dance because my latest quilt is just back from the longarmer. Karlee at SewInspired2Day quilted it with an edge-to-edge design called “Sashay” by Anne Bright. Take a look:

For such a small quilt (48″ square), there’s a huge amount of negative space — so much so that any quilt motif was bound to stand out. I was looking for a design with loops and swirls that would provide a pleasing counterpoint to all of those straight and diagonal lines in the print fabrics. “Sashay” fits the bill nicely. I asked Karlee to match the quilting thread to the pale green background fabric so the quilting would compliment the quilt design without overpowering it. I’m delighted with the result.

Here are a few close-ups for your viewing enjoyment:

If you’ve just tuned in, those fabrics are from the “Jungle Paradise” line designed by Stacy Iest Hsu for Moda Fabrics. The quilt pattern is a freebie from Melissa Corry called State Fair.

Here’s a look at the back of my quilt:

When I turned the quilt over to Karlee I asked her to extend the quilting about a half-inch beyond the edges of the quilt top. The reason? With no border on this quilt, I knew I’d have to be very careful when trimming the excess batting and backing fabric to leave enough so that no points are cut off the triangles when the binding strip is added. Having the quilting stitches go all the way to the very edges of the fabric (and beyond) helps keep the edges flat, making it easier to trim the quilt and add the binding.

If you look at the top photo you’ll notice I didn’t trim to the very edges of the quilt. I left a half-inch margin all around. Now that I’ve measured and know that the quilt is square all around, I’ll trim most of that extra off, leaving just an eighth of an inch because I’m going to make my binding finish at 3/8″ instead of my usual quarter inch.

This is actually the second time I’ve chosen “Sashay” for a quilt. Back in 2017, longarmer Sherry Wadley used that motif on a baby quilt I made for my great niece Selene. You can see Selene’s quilt here.

With all of the Major League Baseball playoff games under way, I’m eager to get the binding sewn to the front so I can settle down in front of the TV with the Dear Husband and handstitch the binding to the back while watching to see which teams continue their advance to the World Series.




Posted in State Fair quilt pattern, update | 6 Comments

That Toddlin’ Town

Now that I’ve finished making this traditional Chicago Star quilt block, I can’t get the song “Chicago (That Toddlin’ Town)” out of my head. It reached the pop charts in 1957 when Frank Sinatra released his version but the song is much older than that. The sheet music was published in 1922, with music and lyrics by a fellow named Fred Fisher.

Nobody seems to know what “toddlin'” means. Apparently a dance called the Toddle was popular at the time the song came out but to toddle can also mean to saunter. No matter. Sinatra sings it well.

The quilt block is even older than the song. Directions for the Chicago Star were published in the late 1800s by the Ladies’ Art Company, a mail order catalog for quilt patterns. I was amazed to learn the company was in business from sometime around 1895 until the 1970s. If you happen to own the third edition of Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns published in 2020 by the Electric Quilt Company, you’ll see a version of Chicago Star on page 203.

When I saw the square-in-a-square design in the center of the block, I knew I’d put a fussycut image in the center. I especially like how well the image plays with the background fabric, a print from Victoria Findlay Wolfe‘s 2017 “Light Work” collection for Marcus Fabrics.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this block but I’m having fun.




Posted in Block of the Month (BOM), sampler quilt, update | 7 Comments

Back from the Quilter!

Checkerboard Curves, my quilt made from the pattern Dancing Churndash, is back from the quilter and I’m doing a happy dance:

I’ve been watching the Instagram feed of longarmer Karlee Sandell (SewInspired2Day), who has quilted several quilts for me. “Swan Song,” a quilting design she used recently, was on my short list for this quilt. After consulting with Karlee, it moved to the top of the list.

Can you see how the curves and circles in the quilting design mimic the curves and circles in the prints? The effect is so lighthearted and whimsical. Let me show you  a couple of close-ups. Here’s a positive block (black print on white background) . . .

. . . and a negative block (white print on black background):

You may not realize it but the thread I picked isn’t white, it’s a very pale grey. I knew it would give definition to the quilting on the white background without being too strong. Likewise, I knew the grey thread would slightly soften the impact of the quilting on the black background. Perhaps you can see that if you go back and look at the two blocks above.

I’m pretty tickled with how the quilting looks on the back of the quilt as well:

Just enough quilting to provide texture without interfering with the playful print:

Originally I was thinking about custom quilting for Checkerboard Curves. I would have gone with black thread in the five negative blocks and white in the four positive ones. Know why I didn’t? The back of the quilt! I liked the print so much I didn’t want to cover it up with dense patches of black thread.

When trimming the quilt I left a quarter-inch margin all around. That’s because I’m going to frame the quilt with half-inch binding in solid lime to match the half-inch wide strips in the center of each block. With the binding added Checkerboard Curves will measure about 44″ square.

I may go with a lime green label, too, just for the fun of it.




Posted in Quick Curve Ruler, update | 8 Comments

Dragonfly Kisses, Quilted

Dragonfly Kisses is officially a quilt. Longarmer Sherry Wadley delivered it to me last night, just a week after I finished piecing it. I’m always amazed at how much lovelier — and livelier — a quilt top is after it’s been quilted. It goes from being flat to having instant dimension.

In the case of Dragonfly Kisses, I wanted an allover design scaled on the spacious side, as I wanted the focus to be on the quilt design (my variation on Sew Kind of Wonderful’s new Chic Diamonds pattern) and on the gorgeous metallic-tinged fabrics from the aptly named Dance of the Dragonfly line by Kanvas Studios and Benartex.

The quilt has a lot of background space (negative space, in modern parlance), and I do think that some fairly dense custom quilting would have resulted in a beautiful quilt, but that wasn’t the look I was going after on this one.

Sherry and I chose a quilting motif whose circles and swirls are reminiscent of gentle ripples in water. I also chose a pale green thread that would almost vanish into the background fabric, providing just a touch of texture. Mission accomplished. (Thank you, Sherry!)

Here’s a look at the front of the quilt . . .

Dragonfly Kisses, quilted
. . . and a close-up of the quilting:

Dragonfly Kisses, closeup
The basic block, made with the Quick Curve Ruler, finishes at 9″ square so the four blocks above measure 18″ square. That should give you a better idea of the scale of quilting. Before I sent Dragonfly Kisses off to be quilted, it measured 51″ x 60″. The quilting process drew it up an inch all around, so now it measures 50″ x 59″.

Here’s the back of the quilt, with five of the six fabrics from the Dragonfly line spliced with the three batiks I used . . .

Dragonfly Kisses, back
Here’s a close-up of the beautiful lily pond fabric, where you can actually see those dancing dragonflies:

Dragonfly Kisses, close up of back

Now it’s on to the finish work: attaching the binding, sewing it down, and adding a label. My goal is to have this done by the end of the week. This could well happen if I don’t get too distracted by some of my other works-in-progress.




Posted in Quick Curve Ruler, update | 8 Comments