December 20, 2009

Doll quilt with gems

I just finished a doll quilt which will be a Christmas gift for my co-worker's daughter. I'm really pleased with how this one turned out because I tried a couple new techniques and they worked! It's always easier to stick with what you're used to, but it's fun to try new things, especially on small doll quilts. Instead of my usual free-motion quilting, I did a cross hatch design using the walking foot. I also added some little flower gems which I think are so cute! I have a tutorial on my blog that will get you started if you are interested in making your own doll quilt. They are perfect for any size doll but especially American Girl Dolls which are a little bit larger. This time I used 4 1/2 inch squares instead of 2 1/2 because I had a short amount of time to complete the project.

A full shot of the quilt- it measures about 20"x20"


A couple close-ups of the flower gems


A good view of the quilting pattern

A close-up of the cute backing/binding fabric I used

December 7, 2009

Baby quilt for sale


I mentioned in my last post that my mom and I were working on starting a business that sells quilts for babies and young kids, and it came to fruition last night! We started our Artfire page and listed our first item. We have several more in the works that will be posted for sale very soon! A baby quilt makes a wonderful Christmas gift that has the potential to become a keepsake item for that child. If you're interested in taking a further look, click on this link: http://www.artfire.com/users/DawnsQuilts



December 1, 2009

What I've been up to

It's been way too long since I have posted anything on this blog! It's not that I haven't been doing anything- quite the contrary. My mom and I are starting a little business in which we will be selling quilts for babies and kids. (or at least trying to sell them). We have already sold one and we have 4 more in the works. So hopefully before the holidays I will have something to show you. :-) We are planning on posting our finished quilts on artfire since etsy seems to have a huge amount of inventory for sale. We just hosted 16 people for Thanksgiving so my quilting table was moved downstairs to the living room. Once it gets moved back upstairs I will be sewing again and trying to get some things done. I promise I will have some pictures soon. Blogs without pictures aren't as fun!

September 26, 2009

Maverick Star

I finished my first maverick star today so I could send it off to Amanda Jean for her Quilts of Valor Project. It was pretty easy to make and now that I've made one, I think it would be a lot easier to make a bunch more. The fact that all the star points are different sizes is fun, and I like that every star you make can turn out looking different. If you want to read a tutorial on how to make your own Maverick Stars, click here. I'm honored that I was able to help Amanda Jean for such a wonderful cause. All of the wounded soldiers that receive these quilts have made such a sacrifice for our country, and I hope whoever receives this one feels lots of love whenever he/she uses it.

September 6, 2009

How to make a doll quilt - a tutorial

I just finished making doll quilts for my friend's little girls and it was so fun, I thought I would post a tutorial on how to make them. This tutorial will focus on using fat quarters but you can make them out of any measurements of fabric that you have in your stash. This tutorial results in a doll quilt that measures about 20"x20".


The first thing you need to do, of course, is to pick out the fabrics you will use. I used 5 different fabrics but you can use as few as 2 fat quarters and end up with enough squares to make the doll quilt. I don't pre-wash, but I always iron my fabrics before I do anything else.

From each fat quarter, cut seven 2 1/2 inch strips. You should be able to get eight 2 1/2 inch squares out of each strip, resulting in 56 squares per fat quarter.


Cut 100 squares total out of a combination of as many fabrics as you'd like to use. I cut over 200 since I was making 2 quilts. Some of the fat quarters I used only yielded 48 squares because of the way they were cut, but I still ended up with more than enough squares.


A close-up view of all the squares I cut.


When you are finished cutting, arrange the squares in a way that is pleasing to your eye. If you use multiple fat quarters, it ends up looking like the picture below. Sew the rows together as you would for a large quilt. After sewing each row together, I alternated which direction I pressed the seams on each row so there wouldn't be as much bulk. I didn't press the seams open because I wanted them to be very sturdy and last a long time.


Choose your backing fabric and cut it so there are a couple inches of wiggle room on each side of your quilt. Make your "quilt sandwich" by layering the top with the batting and the backing. I always use quilter's 80/20 batting in my quilts. (80/20 means 80% cotton, 20% polyester) Baste the quilt sandwich together using safety pins every few inches. Make sure you use the small safety pins so the layers don't shift while you are quilting.


Quilt your layers together in any way you choose. I use the free-motion foot to quilt most of my quilts, so these doll quilts were no different. I used a meandering stitch with white cotton thread. Since the doll quilts are so small compared to regular quilts, this is a good time to try out some new kinds of quilting. Be creative and don't be afraid to try something new!


Next, cut two 2 1/2" strips out of regular sized fabric for the binding. I used a white polka dot fabric to show off the colors in the quilt.


Stitch the binding onto the front of the quilt with your sewing machine. Then, fold it over the back and hand stitch the back of the binding. I love to use the hair clips they sell at fabric stores as clips to hold my binding in place while I hand sew. I tend to get a lot of pin pricks if I don't use this method. :-)


This is a picture of my finished product- two cute doll quilts for two cute little girls!


I thought I should also show you the backing I picked. It was a pink fabric with a large floral pattern on it. If you'd like to enlarge the photo, just click on it and it will be easier to see. It would have also been fun to piece the backing since it was such a small quilt. Happy sewing!

August 16, 2009

Doll quilt top finished

I finished the first of two doll quilts that I am making for my friend's little girls. Well, I actually just finished the top, but to me that seems pretty close to finishing. I am making them identical so there is no reason to disagree over who gets which one. So my next task is to lay out all the squares for the next one, using this one as my guide. It was a little harder than I thought to get all the little squares to line up. I think part of the problem is that one of the fabrics is a lot stretchier than the others, so when I was sewing them together, it caused a little bit of shifting. I don't think the girls will mind. :-) I can't wait to get these done and send them off! I'm already late for one of their birthdays... oops.

August 9, 2009

And the winner is...

Melissa! She actually picked the exact number of squares! There were 132 squares in that pile of fabric. Thanks to everyone who guessed and stopped by my blog! Thanks also to Brent who set up the MckLinky giveaway. It was a lot of fun. :-)

August 6, 2009

Fabric Giveaway!

I am hosting a fabric giveaway! Just guess the number of fabric squares in the picture below and you can win some wonderful fabric. Leave a comment with your guess and how I can reach you if you don't have a blog. If you also sign up to follow my blog you can have two guesses! :-) The deadline for guessing is Sunday night at 9pm pacific time. After you're done guessing, then you can click around and see what other great giveaways are happening on the MckLinky blog hop! Good luck and happy blog hopping!

A sneak preview of the prize you're playing for!


MckLinky Blog Hop

August 2, 2009

Doll quilts


I'm starting a new project! I'm making two doll quilts for one of my best friend's kids. She has two adorable daughters and both of their birthdays are coming up so I thought that might be a fun gift for them. Once I'm done, I plan to post a step by step guide to making a doll quilt. I think this is going to be fun! I'm using the "Simplicity" fabric line by Moda for the quilts because they both like pink, as do I. :-) The above photo shows the squares I have cut so far. I really love these fabrics.

July 31, 2009

Basting a quilt with spray adhesive

I have a question for all you quilters out there. Do you have experience using spray adhesive to baste your quilts? If so, what brand is the best? I've heard some of them don't work as well and that the expensive ones work better. If any of you could lend your opinion, I would greatly appreciate it! :-)

July 29, 2009

Pictures from the Long Beach Quilt Festival

Last weekend was the International Quilt Festival in Long Beach, CA. My mom and I went on Saturday and spent the whole day shopping and looking at all the beautiful quilts. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and thought the show was very well put together. The only thing that was a little different from last year was that they had a lot of sections where photos weren't allowed. So I was only able to capture some of the marvelous handiwork of the quilters represented there. From what I was able to take, you should be able to get a taste of how amazing the quilts were and how much we are looking forward to going again next year. :-)


"Colonial Stars" by Charlene Seifert (Arlington, Texas)

"Glass Beach" by Desiree Habicht (Riverside, CA)

"My Happy Quilt" by Carol Taylor (Beaumont Texas)

"Triple Four Patch" by Susie Andersen (Connecticut)

"Red Owls" by Karen Peirce (Belmont, Maine)

I loved this one so much, I had to take a picture of the owl detail :-)

"I Didn't Know I Liked Yellow" by Janet Ferguson Thompson (Spring, Texas)

I wanted to include this last picture to show what a lot of men do while their wives shop at the Quilt Festival. :-) I don't know these guys but couldn't resist the photo.

July 23, 2009

Long Beach International Quilt Festival

The International Quilt Festival comes to Long Beach, CA this weekend! The show lasts from Friday July 24th until Sunday July 26th, and it's must see! With hundreds of amazing quilts on display and over 450 venders, there's something for everyone. And the locale couldn't be nicer. Who wouldn't want to take a trip to Long Beach, CA on a nice summer weekend? The hours on Friday and Saturday are 10am-7pm, and Sunday's hours are 10am-3pm. If you want to get a sneak peak you can even venture out there tonight from 5-9pm. Admission is $10 for adults, and $8 for Seniors and students. Kids under ten get in free with a paying adult.

July 18, 2009

Southern California Quilter's Run - Weekend 2

This is the second weekend of the Southern California Quilter's run!  It's not too late to participate if you're interested in getting out there and getting your stamps and lots of chances to win prizes.  My mom and I ventured out to zone 2 yesterday and had a wonderful time.  We went as far south as Laguna Hills and as far north/east as Upland!  It was a lot of driving and we did end up in traffic a couple times. It took us about 10 hours  to drive to and explore all 11 shops in zone 2, and to get back home. It probably would have been a lot quicker without traffic, but it's Southern California and traffic is a pretty routine experience here. :-)  I wasn't as good with my picture taking this time- I started getting tired toward the end of the day and kept forgetting to take pictures. 

Luella's Quilt Basket is the first shop we visited and we really enjoyed it! It's in redondo beach and I would definitely go back. They have a great variety of fabric and tons of quilting accessories and gadgets to buy. 


The Quilter's Garden in Placentia was another highlight. A very fun shop with tons of great fabric. My mom posed in front of the shop wearing her beads from the shops we had visited earlier that day. 
All in all, I visited 20 shops in the past two weeks. I did end up making the trip to Lancaster and visited Bolts in the Bathtub.  It's a great store and worth the trip! It was about 110 degrees when I got there but when I walked in, it was well air conditioned and they even had food for everyone!   
I will be turning in my passport tomorrow and hoping to win a prize. Even if I don't win, it was lots of fun and I highly recommend it!  To all those quilters who made it to all 42 stores, I'm not worthy. ;-) See you at the Long Beach International Quilt festival!!

July 12, 2009

2009 Southern California Quilter's Run- Weekend 1

This weekend was the beginning of the Southern California Quilter's Run and this was my first year to participate.  I had a lot of fun visiting the stores in zone 1 and look forward to possibly doing zone 2 next weekend.  It's quite an experience and almost feels like a scavenger hunt, because all you've got is your car and your map and quite possibly a love for fabric as well. :-)

The most important thing to have is your passport, because it's your key to winning prizes!  You can pick one up at your first stop on the run, and each store gives you a stamp when you get there.  Once you are done visiting stores, you can turn in your passport at your final store location and that store will turn it in for you.  You are then eligible to win prizes from each store you visit and each zone you complete as well.  If you are one of the hard core Quilt runners and visit all 42 stores you can win a trip!  I visited 8 out of 9 stores in my zone this weekend. 

My first stop yesterday was "Quilter's Country Cottage" in Simi Valley. I had a hard time finding the store because all I had was an address and it was hidden from view from the street. Had I already picked up a pamphlet with a map and directions to each store, it wouldn't have been as difficult.
The "Quilter's Country Cottage" was a cute store and the employees were very nice. I was offered water and given my free pattern and my mardi gras beads. (The theme this year is mardis gras so each store gives you some colorful beads)  It's fun to see the participants of the quilt run with all their beads around their necks.  When you pull into a parking lot and see people with beads, you know you've found the right place!  I also picked up some fun green polka dot fabric while at that store. 


The second store I visited was the "Loving Stitches Quilt Shoppe" in Santa Clarita. It was a bit of a drive from the 5 fwy but very easy to find.  When I walked in I wasn't sure where to go and I was told I "looked lost" and was then directed to the back room where they had their table set up. 
Their goodie bag included a package of peanut m&m's which I ate during my travels so they are not shown here. :-)  I also got my pattern, beads and a coupon to come back. I purchased some fun 1930's fabrics and then hit the road. 


The next stop on my journey was the cute town of Montrose and the equally cute store 
"Quilt'n' Things".   I really enjoyed visiting this store and they had a large variety of wonderful fabrics.  The way the store is set up makes you want to buy fabric and stay a while. :-)
I picked up my pattern, beads and coupon and also signed up for their mailing list. It's a little bit of a trek from where we live, but I think it would be worth going back. I bought some more 1930's fabrics and a couple fat quarters, but I definitely could have bought a lot more. :-)

Leaving Montrose, my next stop was not far at all. Only about 10 minutes down the street was the "Patchwork Penguin"  located in Tujunga. 
I arrived right before a group of vanpoolers so I got there just in time to miss the rush. :-)  I was given a penguin charm since it was my first quilt run, some penguin gummies, a sample of hand lotion, and some games, in addition to my free pattern and beads.  I didn't end up buying any fabric there but left with my hands full of free goodies. :-)

I left Tujunga and drove back to the San Fernando Valley.  "Candy's Quiltworks" is in Northridge and was one shop I had visited in the past looking for fabric. I love their store because it's gigantic and they carry pretty much everything you would ever want in terms of fabric and quilting.  When I got out of the car I was approached by a palm reader who kind of startled me a little, but as soon as I told him I wasn't interested he left me alone. I then headed inside to look for some fun fabrics and get my stamp. 
This store had a pretty big setup for the quilt run and I was given a handy tote bag along with my free pattern, some free fabric, some candy and beads. I also got a stamp card that I can use when I go back to the store to get some free fabric down the line. I bought two Mary Engelbreit fabrics which I looooove and had to resist buying more.  There were a lot of quilt runners there when I was there and everyone was discussing the challenge it would be to get to all 42 stores. 

From Northridge, it was only about a 15 minute drive to the "Quilt Emporium" in Woodland Hills.   I had visited this store once before and bought some civil war fabrics. They have a great selection of fabrics from that time period as well as other fun stuff. They had a nice room set up in the back for the quilt run and were even serving jambalaya! Pretty fancy!

I picked up my pattern and beads and bought a few pieces of 1930's fabrics.  I think I'm ready to make my 1930's quilt now! :-)


I have to confess I was a little bit of a quilt run wimp and only visited 6 stores yesterday, but today I got to two more stores! My husband even came with me which was a treat. :-)   The first one we went to was the "The Quilters' Studio" in Newbury Park.  I really like this store and the fabrics they choose to carry.   They had a room in the back set up nicely for the quilt run.
They were giving free samples of fusible webbing along with the pattern and beads. They had a huge selection of 1/2 yards and I picked up two that I really like. It was nice and easy to shop there because they had a whole separate pre-cut section set up for the quilt runners. 

My weekend at the Quilter's Run ended at "Cotton and Chocolate Quilt Company" in Thousand Oaks.   


There were several quilt runners there when we got there and one woman had already visited 40 of the 42 stores!!  I am definitely a novice compared to her!  I picked up my pattern and beads and coupon for the Long Beach Quilt show and headed home. I didn't buy anything there but they do carry a nice selection of fabrics. 

There is one remaining store in zone 1 and it's located in Lancaster. It's a bit of a drive but I will probably go next weekend so I can complete the zone. My mom and I might venture down to zone 2 to see what's happening down there and get some more stamps... and probably more fabric... hehehe.   Overall I had a great time and would recommend this to all the quilters out there who aren't afraid to drive a little. It's fun to see what's out there and see new parts of Southern California too.