Thursday, December 2, 2021

In Memory of Dawn Hayes

Nearly 2 weeks ago I lost my quilting friend, Dawn. I was shocked and saddened to learn of her untimely death. Dawn was an incredible quilter, an animal lover, gardener, knitter, and a dear friend. Through the years I took photos of some of her prize-winning quilts and wanted to share them with you today.

Dawn, Rita and Rachel all lived in the same town and we became friends at Garden State Quilters monthly meetings. Every year the four of us would go on a road trip to the Quilters Heritage Celebration in Lancaster, PA (above in 2008). Our routine was always the same: I would drive, Rachel was navigator, and Dawn and Rita sat in the back. We'd arrive in Lititz and have lunch at Glassmeyers then to buy fabric at Weavers. On to Bird-in-Hand to the Quilt Shack, Zooks, and The Country Store. Family-style dinner was at Good & Plenty, where else?? Often we'd stay at Smoketown Motor Lodge and on the way home stopped at Blue Mountain Family Restaurant in Shartlesville, PA where we'd order burgers and fries. No pickles for Dawn :)

Dawn's The Cutting Garden won Best in Show at GSQ's show in 2013 in addition to First Place in the Hand Pieced, Hand Quilted category. It is made of silk.

At the same show, Sandy won Best Hand Quilting and 1st Place in the show's theme "Sounds Like New Jersey." Sandy, of course, being the horrific storm that decimated NJ in 2013. 

Tropical Fruit, won 1st Place in the Appliqued, Hand Quilted category . . .  Doesn't it remind you of a theorem painting?  

In 2018, Dawn, Rachel and I were part of an Invitational Historical Perspectives exhibit at the GSQ show. The stars in Dawn's Millennium Celebration are from Carol Doak's book, 50 Fabulous Paper Pieced Stars and are made of silk decorator fabrics. It is hand quilted and the edges are embellished with embroidery. 

Dawn's other quilt, Christmas at Kelmscott Manor is William Morris-inspired and beautifully hand-appliqued. The pattern is by Michele Hill in Down Under Quilts magazine. 

Dawn's Bandana Challenge was made to celebrate GSQ's 25th Anniversary in 2006. 

Baby Bella won 2nd place in Best Workmanship, Hand Quilting at the Warwick Valley Quilters Guild Show in Warwick, NY in 2016. 

Every month, Dawn and I exchanged emails chatting about our challenges making the Ella Maria Deacon quilt blocks offered by Gay Bomers at Sentimental Stitches. Dawn re-drafted this group to look just like the originals and they remain my favorites.

I will not only miss Dawn's beautiful quilts but also the stories she shared about her pets and her constant battle to keep critters out of her vegetable garden.

But more than anything, I will cherish the times we spent together :)

Please take a moment to read Dawn's obituary here


Copyright 2021 Barbara Schaffer  


  1. The creativity and skill of other quilters never ceases to astound me. Dawn was truly a master. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  2. Oh Barbara, I’m so sorry for your loss... your dear friend was an incredible and talented quilter.
    My most sincere condolences ❤️

  3. Dawn was an extremely talented quilter and obviously a wonderful friend. I also lost a close quilting blogger friend earlier this year and know the sadness you're feeling now. Our condolences, and may the happy memories long outlive today's sadness.

  4. So sorry for your loss of your dear quilting friend. Wow, what a wonderful array of fabulous quilts. Thank you for sharing those.

  5. Oh I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing her beautiful quilts and her obituary. What a remarkable woman.

  6. Thank you for sharing your dear friend's beautiful work. Dawn's quilts look incredible. I'm so sorry for your loss.

  7. I am so saddened to hear this news. Dawn was such a lovely and gentle lady. Her quilts were always done with such artistry and excellency. I'm so sorry for your loss.

  8. Beautiful. Thank you Barbara.❤️

  9. I am devistated as well as saddened to hear that miss Hayes passed.Me and her son Julian shared a long friendship in our youth. Miss Hayes was a wonderful woman, So kind. She was almost like a second mother to me.I remember her dog Hazel who use to get on our nerves a lot 🤣. I knew miss Hayes knitted and did tons of gardening, but I did not know she was this talented when it came to quilting. Rest in Paradise Miss Hayes.Thank you for the lasting memories.