It was nice that I didn’t have to count TOO far into that group of comments, since counting backward from 385 wasn’t too strenuous, although I wish I could send a planner to every one of you! the 367th commenter was lucky Alisa, @astitchinbetween on Instagram. She’s been contacted and this prize is going all the way to Taiwan!
Alisa, I will be mailing out the Quilter’s Planner and Alison Glass fabric in the next day or so. I hope the planner helps you feel uber organized and efficient, and look forward to seeing your twinsie planner cover.
For those of you who did not win, be sure to sign up for email updates on quiltersplanner.com, where you can download the project planning pages as printable pdfs so that you can begin your organization now, AND you will be the first to know when the 2017 planner is available for preorder.
The tutorial for how to piece the outer panel for a Quilter’s Planner Cover like this one will be available soon on quiltersplanner.com, too. I sent the first draft to Stephanie last night, so as soon as it’s finalized it will be available.
Many thanks to all of you for entering the giveaway, and of course to Stephanie for sending me an extra planner so that I could pass on the quilty love. Have a great night!
If I thought Finn was on the move last month, this month takes it literally to another level. A few days ago, I was helping Max get his socks on in the morning and casually glanced over to make sure Finn wasn’t eating anything he shouldn’t. I am so glad I did, since Finn was three steps up, headed gleefully up the stairs! He can crawl, pull up to stand, walk along with movable items, eat solid foods, and now climb stairs. I think he’s beginning to explore communication more, too, since he clearly understands the words and signs for “milk” and “food”, and anytime he sees his brother, he says, “bop!” I’m hoping he starts to sign back soon, since then the fun really begins! This kid is amazing!
As we know, as Finn grows, so does his quilt. With the eighth block finished, this is really beginning to look like a quilt!
Every month when I’m writing this post and looking at the quilt, I think perhaps I should up the ante and make two blocks per month to make it a bit larger when finished. But then, when the monthly milestone comes (and sometimes goes before a block is complete… ahem, this month), I remember that the reason I am keeping this project small is that it is meant to be attainable and fun, NOT stressful.
I’ll keep it to one block per month and will focus on the fun. At 36″x48″ finished dimensions, I think it will be the perfect drag-around size for Finn. Plus, this way if he feels like he outgrows his quilt, it can go right into the memory box (in tatters, hopefully) and I will make another one!
As you can see, Finn enjoyed helping with this month’s photo shoot. All predictions related to the complexity of successfully photographing a fully mobile infant were absolutely correct! All part of the fun!
Who knows what kind of new explorations he’ll be tackling next month! Maybe he will be able to help me tape the blocks UP onto the wall instead of just pulling them off?
If you want to see the full quilt layout plan, I showed it HERE in the 3 month post. You can see the full progression of Finn and his quilt’s growth so far HERE or by clicking the “Milestone Quilt” tab at the top of my blog. It’s wild to see how he’s grown in such a seemingly short time. Four more blocks to go! Thank you for joining me in creating Finn’s milestone quilt.
Sure, it’s February and the silly groundhog just predicted an early spring, but as far as I’m concerned, Christmas has finally arrived! In the past few days we not only got our first solid snow of the year, but I also received my Christmas gift from Santa–fat quarter bundles of Alison Glass‘s full Sun Prints 2016 collection for Andover. I’m so glad I had the foresight (and patience) to preorder these Sun Prints, since even though I didn’t have them to unwrap under the tree, they are well worth the wait.
The Sun Prints 2016 collection includes new lines Sphere, Grow, and Endpaper. It probably comes as no surprise that I love them all.
I took them all out into the fresh snow for a photo shoot with a new camera lens, a 50mm 1.8f lens that was a Christmas present from my awesome husband. While I love this lens, I definitely should have taken these photos with a deeper depth of field. I’m still getting a feel for it. For now, here are the way up close, pinpoint focal point photos of these gorgeous fabrics.
I’m not typically a polka dot fan, but there’s something about Sphere that grabs me. Perhaps it’s the fact that these dynamic little bulbs remind me of the earth with latitude and longitudinal lines. Perhaps it’s the fact that the sphere colors help blend the fabric lines together subtly and flawlessly. Either way, it joined the ranks in my AG stash.
Grow is a design that also appears in Abacus, with charcoal on white. It was one of the first Abacus prints I bought and I cannot wait to embroider on it. The Grow Sun Prints let us use the gorgeously sketched botanical design in a full spectrum of colors.
Endpaper is the epitome of my favorite types of fabrics. I love tone on tone blenders, and endpaper nails those categories. The colors are rich and deep, and include my favorite tertiary colors.
These three new collections blend beautifully together when combined. I love the subtle flow that emerges between fabrics and colors. Every time I finish another rainbow project, I think maybe it’s time I explored other color combinations. But really, how could I not create with these? I have a feeling you will be seeing quite a few more rainbows in the not too distant future!
I also recently saw that my local quilt shop Fiddlehead Artisan Supply is stocking the full Sun Prints 2016 collection, and has it all shelved with some of Alison’s older Sun Prints and other fabric lines. It’s glorious! If you’re local (or an online shopper), you can get your rainbow fill, too! I’m sharing a screenshot I took of Fiddlehead’s Instagram feed so that you can revel in the rainbow gradient beauty, too. Sooo good.
I’m linking up with Molli’s Sunday Stash. It’s been a while, but I have a lot of stash additions to share. It seemed only right to begin with the newest and most gorgeous fabrics!
I have spent the past three months or more psyching myself up for the Quilter’s Planner designed by Stephanie at Late Night Quilter. I’ve dreamt of a year during which I’m organized, on time, and actually accomplishing my goals in a somewhat planned and consistent way. One month into using the Quilter’s Planner and I’m excited to report that it has helped me create a life that fits my vision! I also finally finished sewing the cover, which adds even more color and cheer to the year ahead. To celebrate, I’ll be giving away a Quilter’s Planner! Now is your chance to get one since they are sold out everywhere else! To be clear, the giveaway is for a planner and fabric only. The planner cover shown in this post is mine… BUT there will be instructions on how to make one just like this available soon, and I’m including the fabric needed to make the outer panel in the giveaway!
Ever since Stephanie announced that she would be teaming up with Amanda at What the Bobbin to provide a tutorial for sewing a personalized planner cover, I’ve been planning to finally cut into my cherished Art Theory panel from Ex Libris by Alison Glass. I am absolutely smitten with the result, and am planning to create a tutorial and piecing instructions for the outer panel in case you would like to make an Alison Glass-themed outer cover, too. (I’m hoping to have it to Stephanie some time next week and she will make it available on the Quilter’s Planner website.)
The cover has the Art Theory panel as the center focal print, with Essex linen in charcoal and coordinating Sun Prints 2016 on the sides. Sun Prints 2016 are arriving in stores now, but Alison was kind enough to send a bit my way in advance for this project. I love how all of her fabric lines coordinate and compliment each other so well!
Here’s the full outer cover, without the planner in it. As you can see, I chose cool colors for the front and warm for the back, complete with the appropriate Sun Prints 2016. As I mentioned above, cutting and piecing instructions for recreating this outer panel will be available on the Quilter’s Planner website soon. I absolutely love it!
Here is the inside without the planner so that you can see the Bookplate in Charcoal (Ex Libris) pockets paired with the Sticks and Twine in Charcoal (Abacus) lining. I added two ribbons; one marks the current weekly calendar page, and one marks the page on which I’m currently sketching new ideas.
I used a bit of Artifact in Charcoal from Abacus as a pen/scissor holder, too. It fits perfectly! Realistically, I most likely will keep my pencil and micron pen in the zip pocket and my scissors in my sewing kit, but I know I have an option to carry them along if need be. Plus, BEAUTY!
I found a perfectly coordinating zipper and some fun eggplant colored elastic at my local quilt shop Fiddlehead Artisan Supply. The elastic is designed for bra straps, so it’s sooooo silky smooth.
I love how the elastic holds the planner together when it’s closed. I have big plans to make a coordinating Super Tote (a Noodlehead pattern) and carrying my planner with me everywhere (scheduled for sometime in the future! LOL).
As you can see, I absolutely love my planner and am very excited to have this finished cover to show to you. I am a big list person, so making the decision to set goals and write out my lists at the beginning of each week and again every morning has been monumental. Not only am I improving at setting and staying on top of realistic sewing and blogging goals, I’m also keeping my house nearly completely clean for the first time ever. The change? A switch from “I should do…” to just doing it. Instead of looking at the dishes and saying “I need to do the dishes” I just put on my dish gloves and dig in. I also space out tasks so that laundry is done in manageable steps instead of left until it’s a mountain with no end in sight. Did the planner work some magic over me? Who knows. Either way, knowing that I have a paper planner with actual listed items I need to cross out each day has made me much more accountable for actually doing the things on my list.
Now, for the giveaway! Stephanie was nice enough to send me an extra planner and I want to share it with YOU! I’m also going to include a charm pack of Alison Glass’s Sun Prints 2016, one Art Theory panel in charcoal, and a bit of Robert Kaufman’s Essex linen in charcoal–in other words, all of the fabric needed to create the outside panel for a planner cover just like mine!
To enter the giveaway today, tell me your favorite feature of the Quilter’s Planner, OR a feature you’d like to see next year. You can read all about this year’s Quilter’s Planner and can sign up for email updates here. Leave a comment and make sure I’m able to get ahold of you if you win. If you’re a follower of Night Quilter, leave a second comment telling me how you follow for a second entry.
For those of you who want to be in the loop for next year regardless of whether you win this planner, I definitely recommend signing up for the mailing list at http://quiltersplanner.com/. When you sign up, you’ll also immediately receive a PDF of the Individual Project Planning Page. Stephanie will periodically email you new PDFs as she develops them to thank you for your support, and you will be the first to know when preorders open for next year’s planner.
This giveaway is open to US and international participants. The giveaway will be open until 8pm Wednesday 2/10 when I’ll select the winner randomly with random.org. Good luck, and spread the word! This giveaway has ended. The winner will be announced shortly!
Please note that while I usually try to reply to every blog comment by email, due to the volume of comments during giveaways I will not be able to reply to all comments on this post. Know, though, that I read every one and appreciate all of your kind words!!
All Night Quilter love-themed patterns are on sale through Valentine’s Day on Craftsy and Payhip. Sew up some hearts for your home!
We have walked to school more times this winter than we have gotten snow, which is just one clue that our Maine winter weather is definitely out of whack. Despite the lack of fresh powder, last weekend we decided to have a family fun day out in what little snow there is. I pulled Max and Finn around the yard in a sled, we all played on the snowy swing set, we sledded down hills, and Finn had his first roll-around in the white stuff. Even without our typical couple feet of snow, we had fun and enjoyed some winter beauty all together. The photos in today’s color palettes were taken during our fun afternoon outside. Color palettes were made using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 and my photos. Matching solids are a combination of Robert Kaufman’s Kona cottons and Moda’s Bella solids. Matching solids and Aurifil threads is one of the awesome perks of using Play Crafts’ tool!
Corresponding solids from left to right: Kona Pewter, Kona Hibiscus, Bella 30’s Blue, Bella Amelia Blue, Kona Regal, Kona Leprechaun
Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right: 2605 – Grey
2465 – V Dk Brown
4140 – Wedgewood
2730 – Delft Blue
2745 – Midnight
2890 – Dk Grass Green
There is not much color to be found outside these days, except that of the brightly colored snowsuits of my children. I couldn’t resist turning this one into a color palette, and the resulting color combination is bright and bold.
Corresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Soft Finish Black, Kona Coal, Bella Blue, Bella Periwinkle, Kona Ash, Bella Sienna
Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right: 4241 – V Dk Grey
1158 – Med Grey 5008 – Sugar Paper 4140 – Wedgewood 2600 – Dove 2372 – Dk Antique Gold
During my sled rounds, I was searching for any bits of color other than the ubiquitous browns, greys, subtle blues, and whites in the winter environment around me. This milkweed pod caught my eye with its hint of orange, and with the blurry blues of the background, it makes a fun palette. While the color reads more like a brown here, I swear in real life if felt like a radiant pop of orange in an otherwise barrenly brown landscape. Feel free to take poetic license and orangey-up that Sienna! I definitely could see a successful quilt in these colors.
Where is your favorite place to find color inspiration during the bleak days of winter?
February is here! For the next month it will be impossible to buy candy that isn’t pink, red, or at least heart-shaped, and ubiquitous hearts are sure to have permeated every commercial establishment. While I’m not a fan of Hallmark holidays, I am very much a fan of love. In our house, February is a month of extra baking, hearts in everything, and of course, arts and crafts.
Today I’m going to share a tutorial for how to make a simple yet festive garland. I used my Sizzix fabi die cutting machine to cut the shapes, but you could also cut them with scissors. We hang our garlands from the beams in our kitchen, but you could hang them from a tree branch, along a mantle, or just along a wall for a fun and festive pop of color. I’ve also included affiliate links to products that I use and love. If you click through and purchase with these links, I will receive a small commission that will go toward funding all that goes into creating these tutorials and keeping my blog up and running.
4-8 sheets of felt in coordinating colors (I used 100% wool felt from Fiddlehead Artisan Supply and it was sooooo dreamy to work with!)
Chocolate!! (okay, you don’t REALLY need this I suppose)
Once you have all of your materials gathered, go ahead and have a chocolate. Now, let’s get started!
First, we will cut the shapes. I like to precut the felt into squares and rectangles so that I can layer it smoothly. Especially with the thickness of felt, the cut squares made cutting super smooth. I was in awe with how perfectly these felt shapes came out of the Sizzix. It gives me renewed desire to try some wool felt applique (but that is a project for another day!)
I found that layering five (5) layers of felt was the ideal number with this 100% wool felt. Note that the top photo shows six (6) layers, and that I did successfully pass the 6 layers through the machine; however, 5 went through much more smoothly so I decided to stick with 5. Either way, you’ll be cutting 5-10 shapes at a time with each pass!
Make your Sizzix sandwich: bottom cutting pad, die with the blades facing up, felt centered over the proper blades, and top cutting pad. I used the largest heart on the Primitive Hearts die and the 2″ and 3″ circles on the Circle die. Pass it through your Sizzix die cutting machine and admire your smooth, perfect shapes.
If you are cutting by hand, you can use the bottom of a glass, bottle lid, or any other small approx 2″-3″ item to trace a circle before cutting. For this project, I used two different sized circles for some visual interest. Either by hand or by Sizzix, once you have a good pile of shapes, it’s time to sew them together! I ended up using 33x 2″ circles, 16x 3″ circles, and 6 hearts but depending on how many garlands you want and your desired aesthetic, those numbers may vary.
Sewing these together is *really* easy. Thread your machine with a coordinating color thread. I used some Aurifil 50wt variegated 3660-Bubblegum that I had left over from a previous project, and it was perfect! Pull out the top thread and bobbin thread so that you have 3-4″ of excess thread held off to the side before you begin sewing (shown above). This excess thread will be simply knotted and used to hang the garlands when they are finished!
Now, just start sewing! Sew right down the center of each shape, backstitching at the beginning of first piece and alternating colors and sizes until you have a garland approximately 18″-24″ long.
I made each garland different by making a point to vary the shapes by size, shape, and color as I added them to the machine. Once you get to the last shape in your garland strand, sew about 1/2″ into the shape, then backstitch to secure your stitches. Simply trim the threads and you’re finished!
I used the hearts only on the bottom of each strand, but you are welcome to include them in the centers, too. I made two “feature” strands with a heart overlaid on a contrasting 3″ circle at the end. This resulted in a fun organic set of garlands that cheer up our kitchen tremendously! Since our kitchen is so dark, I am sparing you photos of the garlands hanging from the beams, but I just attach them with a little piece of coordinating washi tape or painter’s tape. Tie the thread ends at the top of each strand in a knot about 1-2″ above the top felt circle. Put the washi tape through the loop made and hang wherever you want! (Of course, as is the case with any adhesive, always test a bit in an inconspicuous place to be sure no residue or damage is done when the tape is removed.)
If you have little helpers, be sure to guard your snacks!
My little helper absolutely delighted in snatching a snack here and there during my project photo shoot. Gotta love him!
I’ve been quiet here, not for lack of sewing, but for lack of *shareable* sewing and computer time. I’ve been working on my first commissioned quilt, and I’ve been buckling down to try to get it finished. I’m having fun with it, but as is the case with just about every project, it’s taking me a bit longer to get together than I had hoped.
Perhaps one day I will learn that “I’ll just make a background of half square triangles (HSTs) and then I’ll just appliqué on top…” really is equal to cut, sew, press, trim, sew, cut, sew, press, trim, sew, on repeat for days, and while aesthetically “simple”, it is far from actually simple. The just is deceptively dismissive, but resides heavily in my planning process. I think part of my nurture goal for the year should include eliminating some “just” and being more realistic with my goals. In the meantime, I’ll continue making slow and steady progress, and enjoying the journey.
I can’t share much, since who knows if the recipient may be reading this, but here are a few peeks at my progress, and at the awesome project that has been filling most of my sewing time as of late.
I promise to show the final quilt once it is finished, gifted, and received. All I can say is that the half square triangles are “just” a canvas for something greater.
Love is always the key. We know that. But now we can also SEW that! Those who know me know that I am a sap for hearts and I see them literally everywhere. One of my proudest moments was the first time my daughter brought me a heart she found in nature. It was a dirty old dried up piece of orange peel that she had found in the gravel driveway, and she was filled to the brim with excitement that she had found a heart. Since then, Maddie and I (and now Max, a bit) have found countless heart rocks, heart sea glass, heart snowballs, heart leaves, and more… since truly, love is everywhere. Reminiscent story aside, today I’m excited to release my newest pattern: Love is the Key.
Love is the Key is a foundation paper pieced pattern that measures 9″ square, but with an option for a 4.5″ wide by 9″ tall version. It features a heart-topped key and is a very easy, beginner-friendly paper piecing pattern. Believe it or not, this pattern was first conceptualized and sketched almost a year ago, on my flight home from QuiltCon. It’s a mash-up of my Unlocked and Love Struck patterns, since who doesn’t need more heart-filled pattern options?
To help celebrate the month of love, this pattern release is also kicking off a pattern sale of all of my love-themed patterns, today through Valentine’s Day. That gives you ample time to sew up some love for your partner, your kids, your parents, or hey–even for yourself!
Grab Love is the Key for only $3 while you can! The prices have already been reduced in my Craftsy and Payhip shops. After Valentine’s Day, all patterns will return to their standard prices of $4.50 (but my love will still be there).
I’m also excited about a few add-on pattern features I’m hoping to release soon. Most likely not by Valentine’s Day, but soon you will be able to stitch up a flying heart key, and will have top and bottom options for a “create your own adventure” key. So much fun. So much love.
It’s been ages since my last color inspiration post, but I’m determined to get them going again. Maine has been thoroughly drab and colorless this winter, and not even with the pristine blanket of snow so common this far north. We finally experienced our first good snow a week or so ago, and I knew it was a great time to get out and take some photos. These color palettes were created using my photographs and Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1.
Corresponding solids from left to right: Kona Silver, Kona Stone, Kona Medium Grey, Bella Glacier, Bella Cloud, Kona Cloud
Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right: 2615 – Aluminum
2325 – Linen
2524 – Grey Violet
5008 – Sugar Paper
2612 – Arctic Sky
2560 – Iris
As much as my mind calls snowscapes white, when I look closely I discover that there actually are quite a few colors hidden in the soft scene. Blues, lavenders, and browns abound. This creeping thyme looks much different now than it did when it appeared in THIS color inspiration post a few months ago!
Corresponding solids from left to right: Kona Cloud, Kona Pewter, Bella Blush, Bella Tomato Soup, Bella Indigo, Bella Wisteria
Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right: 2560 – Iris
2606 – Mist 2445 – Victorian Rose 2245 – Red Orange 2468 – Dk Wine 2524 – Grey Violet
Leave it to Mother Nature to provide some pops of color even during the bleakest season. Red berries paired with fresh snow create a quintessential winter scene and a color palette I’d surely use in a quilt!
Where have you found your latest color inspiration?
I’m certainly testing this question lately! I’ve written about the mini mini quilt swap craze, and while it seems to have died down a bit on Instagram, I’m still plugging along working to complete the many mini minis I have promised to swap. Such is life when sewing gets done 20 minutes at a time! One such mini mini has morphed into a true test of “how small can you go?”
I designed a tiny foundation paper pieced geometric feather for the mini mini I’m making for Renee at Quilts of a Feather, since I wanted to create a purple feather (her favorite color is purple and feather is probably a clear choice), but I also wanted it to be unique. The tiny pattern crazy me developed has 60 foundation paper pieced pieces in block smaller than 3″x4″.
Believe it or not, the foundation paper piecing part went smoothly. That’s one of the wonders of foundation paper piecing–you can literally sew ANYthing.
I’ve only removed the papers from half so far, but even that isn’t too bad. I quite enjoy it, actually. When foundation paper piecing, I set my stitch length to 1.2 so the paper basically melts off. I encouraged some of the teeny tiny smaller than 1/16″ bits to come off using a cute stiletto I received as part of a swap last year. (Aside–did you know that a stiletto in quilting is a skinny tool that is thicker and a bit more blunt than a pin, and is used to help feed your fabric through your sewing machine, hold down little corners while sewing, or any other task you can derive? I *just* learned what a stiletto was and so I’m trying to use it more!)
Joining the two halves, on the other hand, was where the challenge truly arose. I broke a needle trying to get through all of those layers, and eventually settled on hand cranking my machine through the thickest part.
Needless to say, this baby does not lay flat, nor can I hope to press it flat no matter how much Flatter I use. But no worries! I plan to use a double layer of batting, perhaps only under the feather (I think it’s called trapunto) so that at least it won’t seem too out of place. But it appears I have my answer: this is as small as I can go, at least with this pattern!
I originally planned to trim the outer edge and needle turn appliqué the feather to the background fabric, a gorgeous glimmering square of Anna Maria Horner’s Loominous. After requesting some tips/advice from Carolyn Friedlander via email, I am approaching it in a different way per her advice; instead I’ll do reverse appliqué, where I’ll cut the hole in the background fabric, place it on top of the feather, and stitch it down around the feather’s edge. While it will be my first time trying reverse applique, I think I have a much better chance at success using this method. Thank you, Carolyn!
I’ll be sure to keep you posted on how this mini mini turns out!