Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Little Wooly Baskets BOM

Wow! What a response! Little Wooly Baskets BOM is a go.
Later this week I will post fabric requirements as well as some info on wool and threads. A bit of a info will be added for those new to wool as well. The pattern will launch next week. I will post everything here on the blog and then a link on Facebook so that the followers on Facebook will know to look here for each pattern. 
I am so excited to share this project with all of you! 
Happy Quilting,
Dawn

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Thank You and a Free BOM

I wanted to take a moment to say thank you to everyone who left a comment or sent me an email regarding my dad. I did not have time to send a note to each of you personally so I hope you don't mind a group thanks. It was comforting to know so many of you were thinking of us and we were not alone. After a very tough struggle we said good bye to my dad. As much as he will be missed, and as hard as this was for all of us to let him go, I think it was even harder to see him suffer. He had a big personality and was full of life. Thank you all again for your thoughts and prayers.

I got to thinking that I haven't done a free project for a long time. As a thank you to all who have read my blog over the years, bought books and patterns, invited me to your guild/shop, taken my workshops etc. I would like to offer a Free BOM.
This is a sneak peek and a little info to see if there is enough interest. 
The quilt is called Little Wooly Baskets. I will offer two 6" blocks each month. Every block will be a little basket of flowers. The applique is done in wool on cotton. Because these are so small and wool is so fast I think two blocks a month is doable. They are really fast and fun. The program will run for six months and at the end you will have 12 blocks and the setting instructions. If you think you would like to participate, please leave a comment so I know that there is enough interest. With all the sew -alongs available, I am not sure that there will be many who want to do this.  I will be back next week with all the particulars. 
Happy Quilting,
Dawn




Friday, January 29, 2016

Quick Heads Up

Just a quick note-
We have my dad at home in hospice and are caring for him. If you have ordered patterns, they should be on their way. I am a bit behind as my time is pretty full. Also, I don't want anyone to think I am neglecting the blog again. I will be back soon!
Thanks to all who follow and read!
Happy Quilting, Dawn

Friday, January 22, 2016

Primitive Quilts and Projects

The new issue of Primitive Quilts and Projects has hit the stands. If you make primitive or folk art quilts be sure to check it out. Not only is it a great magazine but this issue has details about submitting your quilt for the Primitive Quilt Exhibit in Houston this fall. Last year was the first time for this long overdue exhibit. Often primitive style quilts are not included in shows but this is not the case anymore! The girls at PQ&P have set up this showing just for those of us who love the primitive style. Pick up an issue and enter your quilts!
And just in time for Valentine's, they are offering Kathy Cardiff's "Hearts and Vines" as a pattern for only $4.99. This was featured in the Spring 2013 issue and it spoke to me. I love the softness of this piece and being made from wool makes it quick to stitch up. I am tempted to pull out some wool and get started on this. I really love it. If only I didn't have deadlines looming. 
However, I did take the final stitch in the binding of this yesterday. This is a tiny peek at my quilt "Harvest" that will be in the fall issue of PQ&P. Soooo maybe I will reward myself with a little break and stitch Kathy's wool piece.

Happy Quilting, Dawn


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Block of the Months

I have been fortunate to have many of my quilts used for Block of the Month programs. Because I often have multiple blocks of applique, they are easy to break down into monthly installments. This is my Rhapsody quilt. I designed and set up the pattern to make it really easy for shops to do as a monthly program with each block having it's own page. Often when shops do a quilt as a BOM, they stay close to the same colorway as the original. Homestead Hearth offered it in almost the exact same fabrics that I used. Le Jardin de Woolens in France offered it in wool applique but the colors were the same.



I am always honored to see my quilts in shops and used in programs. But it is even more amazing when the shop does something totally different with the colorway. I often have more than one idea for fabric choice but because I am a one woman show I only make one version. It is so cool to see a new colorway used. I tend to work with pretty muted fabrics and generally lean to a low contrast style. No particular reason, just the way my mind creates. I have only used batiks once in designing and that was for Pathways and the batik lovers tell me that doesn't count since the batik is a stone color and super subtle. 
So imagine my awe when I saw Painted Pony-n Quilts' batik version they are offering. It is simply amazing and so totally different. Don't you love it? They are calling their program Little Brown Bunny and if you love batiks they may still have some openings.
And then there is this, which has absolutely nothing to do with me except the fact that I have loved everything Blackbird Designs since forever.

I am in LOVE and ENVY with this quilt. It is The Raven from Barb and Alma of Blackbird Designs. Common Threads is offering it as a BOM. I love everything about this quilt. I haven't participated in a BOM in years but boy do I keep considering this one.....

Happpy Quilting,
Dawn



Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Pins for Applique

As much as I love piecing, applique is my thing. I do some sort of applique every single day, maybe wool, maybe needle turn with cotton. This makes applique pins a very important part of my daily routine. Long ago I found that Clover applique pins were a great choice for me. I buy tons of them. Usually when I teach a class there will be one or two folks who don't have the right pins and I need to supply them with ones that work. 
I don't baste my applique shapes onto the background, too lazy, and don't care for glue so pins are crucial. When I start a block I like to cut out all my pieces and pin them in place. This allows me to grab my block, needle and thread and go. I can stitch anywhere and I do. 
The Clover pins are great because they are SHORT. This is key because when I applique, my block gets all bunched up in my hand and the short pins don't poke. There are other brands that make short applique pins but I have found these to be superior. The pin itself is a little thicker so it stays in and holds the pieces nicely. Also,the head of the pin is an oval so it is less likely to snag your thread when stitching. The pins come in this little snap close box that is handy and there are about 150 pins in a pack.
I am not one to buy a lot of gadgets or notions. If I find something that works I usually stick with it. But........
I kept seeing these Karen Kay Buckley Perfect Pins and being a fan of the Perfect Scissors I thought I would give them a shot.
So they come in this little test tube type container which I love just because I am a geek and love unique packaging. There are around 45 or 50 pins in a pack. So I was a bit hesitant to buy a pack of pins that held a third of what I normally buy because I go through a lot of pins in my classes but I decided I would just keep these for me.

First thoughts- these suckers are the finest, thinnest pins I have ever seen. I love that about them, They have the teeniest little heads on them so absolutely no thread snagging.Big win! I don't know how they are made so thin and flexible - think acupuncture needles. Not that I have actually ever seen an acupuncture needle in real life but these are how I imagine them to be.
Second thought- "Oh man, these are really stinking long". "Not a win" I am thinking but Karen K. Buckley is something of an applique guru so who am I to question her wisdom. I decide to give them a shot. 
The skinny is- I really love the fineness of the pins and that super tiny head. (extra points for cool packaging) I have a love/hate relationship with the length. The long, fine pins hold your applique in place very securely. There is no slipping and things stay nice and flat but, they are super, super sharp. You pair the super sharp point with the extra long length and you get super stabby hands. They were miserable to work with. Constant jabbing resulting in some less than proper language on my part. As much as I want to love these pins they are just too painful to work with. I work on big blocks with lots of pieces and I could not find a way to handle the blocks with out being constantly jabbed. So for now I will stick with the Clover pins. 
Happy Quilting,
Dawn




Monday, January 11, 2016

Fresh Start

The worst thing about being absent from your blog is getting back to it. It seems like the longer the time between posts, the harder it is to get back in the groove. So... I have decided to just start fresh, not worry about what time has passed and just begin. 
If you look around the internet this time of the year you will see a lot of talk about resolutions and lots of folks choosing a word for the year. My plan is to be present! Show up! Not just on my blog but in my business and life too. This may sound silly to those of you who have your crap together but I am pretty sure there are some out there who know what I am talking about. The year 2015 was a pretty good year for me, don't get me wrong. I strengthened my working relationship with Quiltmania and several other magazines. I released several new designs that I am pretty proud of and did a ton of travel to speak and teach to name a few. But, I could have done so much more. I let some hard situations with my personal and family life drag me down and paralyze me. Instead of using hard work to keep me moving, I focused too much on the negative situations and that slowed me down and held me back from doing all I could have done. So, without further speculation I will be present in 2016 and I will show up! So look out, I have a lot planned for the year.
After being absent from my local guild for a year,  I made the decision to get involved again. I am now six months into my term as the president for the evening chapter. I am doing a block a month exchange with them.. (forgive the bad photos, it's very dreary here and my phone takes awful pictures) My hope is to pass along my love of applique to everyone. So the deal is- every other month I offer an easy applique block as a free pattern. Everyone is asked to make a block and turn it in to me the next month. Then we do a drawing from the names of those who participated and someone wins the stack of blocks. Instant quilt top! We have done a Scotty Dog and Sunbonnet Sue and now for February we are doing Hearts. By keeping it simple I hope to increase participation especially among those who are not confident in their applique skills. A heart is an excellent shape for learning applique, it has points, valleys and curves. Everything you need to know and even a simple block can make a dynamic quilt.

I am using a grey print from Art Gallery for the background of my block and French General reds and pinks. Here is a simple mock up of what the blocks would look like set on point with black sashing and borders.
How about no sashing and a red border?
Easy peasy! Participation grows as folks feel more confident in their skills and isn't that what quilting is really all about? Building each other up?
Happy Quilting,
Dawn



Friday, June 26, 2015

QUILTmania





In case you are new to Quiltmania or even if you are not, I thought I would share this video. This gives you a little background in the company. Popularity in the U.S. is growing due to the fact that it is a spectacular magazine. For those of you who aren't familiar, in addition to the regular issue they also produce Simply Vintage and newly released, Simply Modern.
Simply Vintage is full of folk art and vintage/primitive style quilts and projects. That is my strawberry block on the cover. My Done By Me quilt is broken into 2 parts and the second part is in this issue.The first part was in the spring issue.
The photography in all the magazines is outstanding and Simply Vintage is really more like a bookazine.



Simply Modern is the same format but features quilts and projects with a modern style from designers like Victoria Findlay Wolfe and Jen Kingwell.
There is something for everyone. Both of these issues are hitting the newstands, so take a moment to check them out.
Happy Quilting, 
Dawn



Tuesday, June 16, 2015

A Bountiful Life

Sooo I didn't make it to post last Tuesday. I had some things come up and couldn't get to the computer. I planned to write the post on Thursday but I slammed my fingers in the car door first thing that morning. The blog was forgotten. 
Fingers are now yellow and purple but working. So all is well.

I rarely work on anything that is not related to my design work but I have always loved the Bird of Paradise quilt from the American Folk Art Museum.
Last year a small group of us decided to make the quilt. We would meet once a month for 4 hours to stitch and share. We can only work on the quilt when we meet- no other stitching. For me that one day a month is the only time I work on mine. Because of my travel schedule I have missed several months and am way behind. We actually meet next Monday but I will be in Arkansas doing a trunkshow presentation and last month I was in Minneapolis for market. Hopefully in July I will be able to join the girls.
We are working from the late Karen Mowery's book  A Bountiful Life. 

Here are my six finished blocks so far. I have found that my designs that I create are waaay more simple, primitive, chunky than I thought. I have simplified some of these blocks as you can see. I have a hard time following a pattern but it is nice to have it all done for you. 

This is my bride block in progress. She is finished but I still have to do all the flowers and leaves. It is so fun to work on these and see how different all of our blocks look. When we finish no two quilts will look alike. I am doing this quilt just for me which is a very nice change. I have also started stitching Blackbird Designs' Anniversaries of the Heart in counted cross stitch just for me. I will share when I have enough that you can tell what it is. The "just for me" projects are always on the back burner but so worth it. Since I have very little time to dedicate to these you would think I would choose projects that weren't so involved, wouldn't you?
I will be away from home still on Tuesday next week, so barring any personal injury I should have a post up on Thursday.
Happy Quilting,
Dawn