Dawn Piasta, Dewpoint Arts

Quilt Along with Dawn Piasta

Leslie Van Patter


February 1, 2023


Dawn Piasta is the fibre artist and creative enthusiast behind this year’s Quilt Along, Sea You in Nova Scotia, featuring favourite highlights of Atlantic Canada. We had a great chat with Dawn about her inspiration (see the full story in the Spring 2023 issue of Canadian Quilter) .

The design is influenced by Dawn’s fascination with the graphic arts.

“The quilt along pattern is quite graphic, it’s folksy, it can be interpreted in lots of different, playful ways.”

That’s why she was so excited when CQA/ACC described what was needed: Maritime-themed vignettes with classic scenes from Atlantic Canada. So many things came to mind. In fact, she had been to Halifax on a family vacation with her husband and sons at one time, and had many memories of the sights of Nova Scotia, such as an excursion on a lobster boat in Peggy’s Cove.

“Those images came back vividly, and sketches just started coming.”

The colours in the quilt reflect the impact that folk artist Maud Lewis’s work had on Dawn when she first learned of her.

“I fell in love with her colours and took inspiration from that.”

Sea You in Nova Scotia by Dawn Piasta

The vivid colours and graphic style of Dawn’s design was inspired in part by the works of Maud Lewis.

The colours in the quilt reflect the impact that folk artist Maud Lewis’s work had on Dawn when she first learned of her.

“I fell in love with her colours and took inspiration from that.”

The other request from CQA/ACC was that the quilt use appliqué, which Dawn loves, but realizes is not everyone’s favourite method. So, the design of the quilt along blocks is fairly easy, and can be made in a variety of different ways.

“The shapes are mostly large, so if you aren’t as nimble as you used to be, you can still do these shapes.”

Dawn loves using Apliquick® rods to make appliqué quicker and easier, for both small and large pieces. “If you have challenges with mobility, these rods extend your hands, and work really well.”

Essentially, the design of the rods helps turn the fabric under, so you don’t need to use your fingers. This is really helpful especially with very small pieces. Dawn has even used Appliquick to make quarter-inch dots.

“I am a gadget queen. I love technology, and I love tools that make things more efficient.”

Sea You in Nova Scotia CQA/ACC Quilt Along 2023 designed by Dawn Piasta

Dawn uses an iPad for almost everything, including sketching, and has it with her all the time. She uses Photoshop to manipulate images (based on either sketches or her own photographs), and Illustrator to trace shapes, reduce complexity, and create solid shapes for appliqué. Then she imports the image into EQ8, imports specific fabrics, calculates yardage, and creates a precise pattern. (She teaches a workshop for learning how to use an iPad as a quilting tool.)

The quilt along pattern also has some piecing in it, as well as one small area of paper piecing (behind the lighthouse), which is easy for beginners.
The design is based on Kona solids, which almost everyone has easy access to, but quilters can use any fabric in appropriate colours. The fabric list was released in January with the first block.

There are five units in total, which will be shared once per month until June. The pattern pieces are full size, and templates are supplied for everything.

Dawn encourages everyone to give this quilt a try, even if appliqué is not your forté. The design is perfect for both beginners and experienced quilters, and is available to members and non-members – everyone is welcome to join the fun!

Please be sure to share your progress in the CQA/ACC Quilt Projects group on Facebook!

Dawn Piasta designer of CQA/ACC's Quilting Along 2023

Dawn refines her sketches in Photoshop and Illustrator before creating patterns in EQ8.

Quilt Canada 2023

Quilt Canada 2023

Quilt Canada 2023, June 8-10, Halifax, NS