Two for Tuesday

This morning I stitched up my second embroidery finish in two days. Yesterday I finished the 8th of 10 blocks for Vintage Tin:

That's a whole lotta stitchin', let me tell you. It's still not the largest of the blocks, however. That one will be next up.

With all that stitchin', I gave myself a little reprieve this morning by stitching up this little cutie. This is the February block for the latest free BOM from Jenny of Elefantz, called The Vintage Kitchen. These will be trimmed to 3 1/2 inches, and so they can be stitched up on an hour or so.

Here it is with January's block:

Last night was my guild meeting, and we were treated to a trunk show by Dawn White, a Portland quilter who blogs at First Light Designs.

Dawn was an easy-going speaker who makes beautiful quilts. She told us that her mother taught her to sew in 1963 when their family was given a treadle sewing machine. She has been quilting since 1983, but only started teaching in 2010 when she designed her first pattern. She started her blog in 2012.

Her quilts are characterized by symmetry, strong diagonal lines, controlled use of colors and fabrics (most often in the form of kaleidoscope blocks), precise stitching and piecing, pieced backs, and quilts with meaningful names. In fact, she states that her quilting was transformed with the discovery of techniques for the 4-patch kaleidoscope block, inset circles, and the kaleidoscope block. 

She brought a number of her beautiful quilts, made from beautiful fabrics. Here are some of the standouts:

Most of the quilts we saw last night featured kaleidoscope blocks made from one focus fabric. It's always delightful to see how one fabric can create so many different looks. Then, she uses the focus fabric to create a pieced back.

Dawn told us this focus fabric was one of her favorites of all time.

She likes bright colors, but usually avoids solid fabrics, preferring tone-on-tones instead. The one exception is her love of black. She says that is one of the few fabrics she purchases by the bolt.

Look at how pretty the quilting is on the back of this one.

She brought a large selection of table runners. Yardage requirements and some instructions for some of these patterns can be found on her website.

She uses a compact disk as a template for her circle labels.

This is her four-patch wonder with a twist. The yardage requirements and instructions are available on her website.

She often replaces the center of a traditional block with a kaleidoscope, bringing new imagination to old favorites.

This next quilt is a bed runner. When it turned out to be too short for her bed, she added the end panels to make it longer. Dawn feels the bed runner is destined to take the quilting world by storm once quilters discover the usefulness of this size quilt.

She will be teaching a class for our guild on this technique for inset circles adapted from Dale Fleming in Dale's book, Pieced Curves So Simple. The class will be on June 20th and run for six hours. The morning will be devoted to learning the technique, and then the afternoon will be a time for creating a project from one of her patterns, or of our own design. I signed up for the class and purchased her pattern (below) for Full Moon Rising. With my apparent penchant for quilts featuring moons, I can see all sorts of possibilities for using this technique in my own quilting.

Dawn has created this quilt in several different color ways designed to match the seasons of the year.

She has also created another version called Full Moon Rising II. Her website does not feature full patterns, but they are available from our local quilt shop, The Pine Needle, as well as other quilt shops across the country. I suggest The Google if you are not a Portland local.

Here are some placemats using the same inset circle technique, although these have a fussy cut bird in the center.

She also showed us a collection of table runners and quilts that were created using the Quick Curves Ruler from Sew Kind of Wonderful.

Another of Dawn's favorite fabrics are gradient fabrics and she has used them very effectively in her quilts.

Look at how pretty this one is. Be sure to notice the mitered border AND the reverse mitered binding!

This is the back of the quilt above. She originally purchased the dress form back to be used in kaleidoscope blocks, but then thought better of it when she feared the blocks would end up looking like spider webs. And lucky us, because it meant that she used it in this pretty back.

Here's another happy little quilt. I believe this one also used the Quick Curves Ruler.

So those are all the quilts I have to show you, but I still have one more surprise. I planted my tomato seeds last Wednesday. Usually, they take a full week to germinate, but yesterday when I peeled back their plastic cover to check their moisture, I was delighted to find that most of my cups had sprouting seeds. Yay! Go little seeds! You rock right out loud!

It's a beautiful day today. We are certainly making up for last week's darkness with days and days of beautiful sunshine and temperatures in the low 60's. I think some high temperature records are going to be broken. We're so excited that we're planning a trip over to the Oregon Coast this weekend to ride our ATV's. 

I need to go into town today to mail a package. A friend who lives in Colorado is going to be the happy recipient of the Aspen Tree quilt. 

I kept thinking of her while I was making it, and so I decided the quilt needed to be hers. She told me it reminded her of their state's motto, Colorful Colorado, and so I changed its name. Sometimes it's hard to part with a favorite, but I know my friend will enjoy it, and that's enough for me. 

It's such a beautiful day that I'm going to go for a walk after I mail my package, and then I'll have time to do some more sewing this afternoon. 

Before I go, do you want to see something pathetic?

Oh, your flash is so bright! [Whine, whine, whine]

These sunny days, Smitty's morning starts with a hunt for an hour or so, and then a many-hours-long nap on my sewing chair. My sewing chair is the best part of me, in Smitty's opinion.

14 comments from clever and witty friends:

Diane Wild said...

Those are some incredible quilts. Beautiful. I've been away so have missed your daily adventures. Warm and sunny in AZ. Back to below zero temps in MN. Good to be home, however.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Lovely quilts and thank you for sharing them with us. We had sunshine today, but the temp was single digit.

Sue G Johnson said...

Your embroideries and Aspen Tree quilt are lovely! I'm sure your friend will love the quilt. Dawn's quilts are inspirational. Smitty is cute as usual!!!! I love seeing the pics you post of him.

Kate said...

Thanks for sharing the trunk show. She's made some gorgeous quilts and I love her pieced backs.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Your friend will appreciate your generosity and friendship with her new quilt.

quiltzyx said...

Attempted to correct comment bouncing problem - we'll see...
You're zooming right along with Vintage Tin, and the kitchen ones are so cute!
I think trunk shows & Show & Tell are some of the best parts of quilt guild meetings!! Dawn White's was wonderful! Thanks for sharing it with us.

ipatchandquilt said...

Hello Barbara!
Lovely pictures of the trunk show. There is no local quilters group where others come and show their work.

Dana Gaffney said...

Nice quilts, I've seen that black and white one all over pinterest, it makes me want to buy black and white fabric :)

Jacque said...

Jenny's stitcheries are so much fun! Thanks for the lovely show!

Anonymous said...

I love the back of her quilts as much as the front. Thanks for sharing the pictures. I am jealous of your weather. We are currently at 11 degrees Fahrenheit with wind chills below zero with a winter weather advisory in effect until tomorrow night!. Good day to stay inside and work in the kitchen--running the oven helps keep us warm and the pipes under the sink from freezing.

liniecat said...

Im going to link this blog post to a Facebook group that I'm a member of if that's okay?
So you may get afew more visitors and Smitty could become even more famous lol
Im doing the Katja Murak, 'The New Hexagon' Millefiori BOM and since starting in January there are now 1500 + members on FB doing this free BOM.
Its all about kaleidoscopic effects and honestly, its SO much fun!
Ive posted my Feb rosette on my blog if you want an idea what its about.

We are using EPP but afew are using invisible thread and weeny zig zag stitching on their machines.

Lyndsey said...

The stitchery is looking great. Looking forward to seeing the next block to be done. Those quilts are beautiful. I must find out more about kaleidoscope effects. Not sure what the temperature is here in London but the blue skies of the last few days have been replaced with gray.

sophie said...

What a lovely body of work. I love Dale Fleming's 6 minute circle technique ... have fun in the workshop.

Brown Family said...

I attempted a One Block Wonder, using one focal fabric, but mine did not have enough contrast. It may never be finished nor see the light of day!