The Dawnland Quilt Pattern | Joyful Modern Quilts

The Dawnland Quilt sprang up from the need for something simple and joyful. I had just finished piecing and quilting a quilt that was a bit more intricate and I wanted something bold, loud, and easy to piece. I actually think that's been more than 6 months ago now! Time is crazy and pregnancy is crazier.

I actually haven't been able to quilt lately at all. My pregnancy has had some complications leaving me posted up on the couch most of the day. So thinking back to the start of Dawnland is giving me all the feels! The original quilt was sold before it was finished, and I've been dying to make it again to keep something with this level of happy in the house.

The fabrics I used in the original quilt are all from Cloud9 (which is a wonderful place to source GOTS certified organic cotton fabric)! The colors from bottom to top are:


Check out the Dawnland Quilt Pattern here!

As I was making this quilt, a happy memory hit me of an accidental morning run up Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park. Apparently this is where the sun hits the US for the first time every morning. Acadia is one of those parks for me. It just holds the right memories and mixes the right amount of mountains with salty air. I love it there.

Reading more about Acadia, however, I uncovered the unsurprising but disappointing history of the land. What is now know as Mt Desert Island and the surrounding area, where Acadia is located, is the homeland to the Wabanaki people. They refer to their homelands as the "Dawnland." And so instead of highlighting colonization in the name of Mt Desert, I thought Dawnland might be more appropriate.

I want to honor the beauty of the place, but I want to be mindful of why I even get to experience it in the first place. Would love to hear your thoughts on this.

Pattern testers + a bit about them:

I asked them: How did you start quilting and what about it brings you joy?

Genna from @wetmountainquiltco : My Granny was an accomplished hand quilter and I value my memories of receiving her beautiful quilts as gifts growing up. She passed away a few weeks before my wedding, but finished a wedding quilt for my husband and myself just before, making it my most treasured possession. Her work and years of bestowing tangible forms of her love on her family is what inspired me to take up the craft. Now that I've developed my own style, creating and sharing my quilts with others and connecting with women both past and present brings me profound joy, just as it did her. Quilting has become a creative outlet, a beloved form of self-expression, and an avenue to articulate my care for others, all of which are meaningful to me.

Kate from @campfirequiltco: I started quilting (like many people) back in March of 2020. I had been following a few quilters and a few fabric shops on instagram, but hadn't really thought about actually making a quilt. Then I impulse bought an FQ bundle from Cottoneer and was like "well...I guess I'm making a quilt now". Needless to say, it ended up being an excellent decision, although I still haven't finished that first quilt! I've always loved historical sewing, and the history of quilting is part of what drew me to it, so I had planned on hand piecing the entire quilt top (just like would have been done for hundreds of years before sewing machines existed). I severely underestimated how much time that would take, especially since all my hand sewing experience comes from embroidery, which is a very different skill set. Maybe I'll finish it one day, but until then I'll remain eternally grateful for the speed my machine allows me to sew at.

The thing about quilting that brings me the most joy is the creativity involved. I've never considered myself an artistic person, but I've always enjoyed making things. I like that quilting allows me to create something beautiful without needing to be able to draw or paint. Historically, "crafts" like quilting and embroidery have been valued by society less than so called "art" (and I don't think it's a coincidence that these crafts have historically been done by women). But I think that conception is changing thanks to all the remarkable things being created by the quilting community right now. There are true works of art being created by quilters, and while my quilting may be nowhere near that caliber I feel proud to be able to participate in the community nonetheless.

Carly from @sunstitchedstudio: After many years of sewing, staring at lots of quilts others had made, and even collecting quilting fabric, I finally gave quilting a go in early 2020. It was so much less scary than I thought it would be, and also I immediately knew I had found a passion. The first quilt I ever made was a gift for my Mom, and I haven't stopped since! 
I love that quilts bring people together. Whether that's snuggling under one with people you love, or connecting with other quilters, it brings me a lot of joy to know that something I create is going to help foster human interactions. 

Becca from @quiltystitchstitch: I learned to quilt with my grandma, I used to spend one afternoon a week at her house doing all sorts of crafts! She’s always been a big quilter and taught me one year around the holidays when we made a Christmas quilt! Over the next 20 years I didn’t do much quilting but always have had something crafty in the works! I picked quilting up again right before the pandemic hit, with a baby quilt for my nephew and haven’t stopped since! I love quilting because it forces me to slow down (and get off my phone!) and at the end is a beautiful quilt that can be cherished for years to come!!

Shannon from @ford.and.friends did an amazing job with the king sized Dawnland! I didn't have a story or photo from her, but you should definitely go check her out!


Leave A Comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published