2014-09-30 19.48.16

Mini Snail House: Free FPP Pattern

When Laura from Adventures of a Quilting Diva asked for volunteers to design itty bitty mini paper pieced houses for her Mini House-Along, I thought it would be fun. Little did I know exactly how much fun! I had such a blast sketching out and piecing this little Mini Snail House, and I’m a bit afraid I may be hooked on mini houses!

mini snail house foundation paper piecing pattern freeThis mini house block finishes at 5″x5″ (5.5″x5.5″ unfinished) and was super fun to piece. I think it was the smallest block I’ve ever made, and being comprised of five foundation pieces made the itty bitty fun even more extreme! Next time I think I will use a smaller print pink scrap, or maybe even sketch or solid for the snail, but overall I kind of love it! I honestly didn’t think I’d be all about the itty bitty paper piecing, but it was so fun. These mini house blocks are a fabulous way to use up those tiny scraps you know you’ve been saving.

This block is available for free in my Craftsy shop, as the October block for the Mini House-Along. While typically one might think of haunted houses being more fitting for October, I think this works perfectly: it’s a snail dressing up as a house. Or maybe a house dressing up as a snail? Either way, we’ve got Halloween covered.

You can download the previous blocks in Laura’s Mini House-Along here:

September: Download the free Dog House pattern.
August: Download the free Jessica’s Cabin pattern.

or visit Laura’s blog for more details about the inspiration and design of the previous blocks in the Mini House-Along.

Design Inspiration

This block was heavily inspired by Suzy Ultman‘s fabric collection Suzy’s Dollhouse for Robert Kaufman. Once I agreed to design a miniature house, I started looking for house styles, sizes, shapes, and features everywhere. I found my inspiration right in my very own fabric stash!

Suzy Ultman Suzy's Dollhouse inspiration for block
Suzy Ultman fabric line Suzy’s Dollhouse was my inspiration for this mini snail house block.

 

magenta flower color palette

Color Inspiration Thursday {20}

This past weekend we were treated with a surprise, hot, summery day. We took advantage and spent the day in Bar Harbor, enjoying the warm sun, gorgeous late summer flowers, and wading barefoot in tide pools left on the sand bar bridge to Bar Island. Today’s color inspiration palettes are a fleeting last glimpse at summer. I am saving two more for next week, after which the more earthy, subdued tones will appear (or maybe fiery autumn hues!?)

sandy quilt lines color palette

 Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Steel, Rafia, Coal, Lilac, Pepper, Iron

I love the wavy quilt lines left on the sandbar by the retreating tide. Speckled by bits of shell and stone, the little troughs make for fun exploration for both the eye and little hands and toes.

magenta flower color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Purple, Magenta, Pepper, Cerise, Violet, Thistle

I couldn’t resist this last burst of color. Do you ever tire of gorgeously colorful flower photos? I don’t. I sure hope you don’t either!

Here are a few more shots from our sand bar adventure in Bar Harbor:

IMG_5989 last summer dayslast summer days

I am holding onto the last hot days of summer (when the rare treat day above 70 happens), but I do love the crispness of autumn, too. The other day my four year old daughter went outside and said, “I love this season, mom.” I replied, “Oh, you do? Why do you love it?” and she said, “It smells so fresh outside! Do you remember this season, mom? Do you remember?”  I do remember, and as much as I love summer, I’m happily anticipating the turning leaves, crisp, fresh air, and earthy-root veggie stew season that’s upon us!

What’s your favorite season?

Molli sparkles people palette feature photo

Color Inspiration Thursday {19}

I’m always on the lookout for color inspiration, and last week inspiration struck hard while I was browsing my Instagram feed. The source of color inspiration was new and unexpected: a selfie taken by one of the most colorful quilters I know. Meet Molli Sparkles, star of the very first People Palettes, a special edition of my weekly Color Inspiration Thursday.

molli sparkles color people palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Jamaica, Breakers, Oasis, Charcoal, Prussian, Tomato

Go ahead and try to tell me that’s not the most gorgeous color palette you’ve ever seen. The red and teal combination always strikes a chord in me, and this is no exception. Add Molli… and well, how could you resist creating a new color inspiration feature: people palettes, a way to feature the rockstars of the quilting world in a colorful, aesthetically pleasing and ever-inspiring way.

If you aren’t yet familiar with Joshua Helms, known as Molli Sparkles in the glittery quilting world, head on over to his corner of the quiltiverse. Prepare yourself for fabulous color combinations, a deep rooted ability to create gorgeous aesthetic, and entertainingly sassy yet brutally honest blog posts showing off his stuff and stirring up controversy over the hot issues in the quilting world. Molli’s signature drink–Truth Tea–flows deep and hot. And oh, how it glitters! At the very least, you need to check out his platinum post No Value Does Not Equal Free.

molli sparkles kimonos ablaze quilt
Kimonos Ablaze, just one of the gorgeous quilts created by Molli Sparkles

Before I go on a total fangirl tizzy, let’s get back to Molli. I asked him to answer three short questions to help the world get to know the color inspiration rockstar of the week a little more intimately:

Where do you fit into the worldwide family tree of quilting?
Take the irreverence of Madonna, the cray-cray of Mariah, and the sweetness of Kylie, throw in the quilting skills of Grandma Sparkles, and you have quilting pop-star, diva extraordinaire, Molli Sparkles! I’m a self-taught, quilting child of the Internet, and consider all the amazing Glitterati my closest quilting family.

What are the top three most played songs in your iTunes?
1. H.A.T.E.U. (Jump Smokers Remix) – Mariah Carey
2. Aphrodite Megamix – Kylie Minogue
3. Revolver (Tracy Young’s Shoot to Kill Remix) – Madonna

What would you name the autobiography of your life?
Molli Sparkles: Glitterbomb

In our emails exchanged in planning this post, Molli did suggest one edit to the color palette:

I have to say though, that I’d be combining some Kona Snow (referencing my face) into that colour palette, and then it would be spot on! But otherwise, gorgelicious!

So for you, Molli… here’s your Kona Snow included, rockin’ awesome, first-ever people palette. Gorgelicious, indeed!

molli sparkles from IG- color palette with snow

I know I’m inspired to go pull all of the turquoise left in my stash, a bit of Kona Snow and Charcoal, and of course a splash of red for a new project.

Are you a quilter, fabric designer, or other pillar in the quilting world? Do you like to take colorful selfies? Would you like to be a color inspiration rockstar? If you answered yes to any of these questions, drop me a line or tag me @nightquilter on Instagram with your selfie! People Palettes will pop up every so often in my Color Inspiration posts from now on. Thank you for the inspiration, Molli!

- – – – – – – – – – – – -

All color palettes are created using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1.

 

Anna Maria Horner and Denyse Schmidt fabric bundle

Build Your Stash: LNQC Milestone and Giveaway

Do you remember a few months ago (less than 4, to be exact), when my quilting friends Stephanie and Michelle and I decided to launch a new Facebook community for fellow late night quilters, since we were getting so much out of our own nightly conversations? Late Night Quilters Club (LNQC) was born of necessity by midnight oil-burning moms who sew to maintain sanity, and desperately wanted to connect with others in the same position. We knew that there were many others doing red-eyed stitching as silently as possible while little ones (and maybe hubbies) sleep, as well as those sewing at night out of habit or necessity unrelated to little ones, but we had no idea the community would take off the way it has.

late night quilters club

Yesterday, Late Night Quilters Club reached a giant milestone: 1,000 members!!  The group has been a wonderfully supportive, drama-free, inspiration-generating group thus far and we are thrilled to be the creators. Since its inception, our club has added Stash Swap Tuesdays and Flaunt it Fridays (when members have a chance to toot their own small-business horns), and administration has grown to include Mandy Leins, who has been a most invaluable addition. We four are excited to see where the next few months or years take us!

To celebrate reaching 1,000 members, we admins are hosting five days of giveaways, starting today! This weekend, Stephanie is giving away 3 yards of the brand new Mint Condition collection by Jackie for Camelot Fabric. Leave a comment on her post on the LNQC Facebook page to be entered.

Here’s a sneak peek at what I will be giving away on Monday:

Anna Maria Horner and Denyse Schmidt fabric bundleIt’s a fabric bundle including half-yards of Migratory Lace Aquatic and Coordinates Plum from Anna Maria Horner’s Field Study Collection and fat quarters of Cross Square in Red, Bleeding Hearts in Red, and Ladder Dot in Fuschia from Denyse Schmidt’s Chicopee Collection.

Anna Maria Horner and Denyse Schmidt fabric bundle

Here’s your chance to build your stash. If you aren’t yet a member of Late Night Quilters Club, just click here to request membership. Enter Stephanie’s giveaway, enjoy the inspiration and advice given by the other members, share your projects and questions, and stay tuned for my giveaway on Monday.

Anna Maria Horner and Denyse Schmidt fabric bundleSince it’s Sunday and this is a good chance for you to build your stash, I’m linking up with Molli’s Sunday Stash. ps. You don’t have to be a momma to join Late Night Quilters Club! You don’t even have to sew at night. Just bring your quilting, stitching, cutting, seam-ripping, sparkling (?) goodness!

7d5d3-molli_sparkles_sunday_stash_button

IMG_5554

Friday Finish: Fishies FPP Panel Pattern

Wow, that’s a mouthful!! Friday Finish Fishies Foundation Paper Piecing Panel Pattern. If you can say that three times fast, you can have the pattern for free! Thank goodness for abbreviations. (FPP stands for Foundation Paper Piecing, for those who don’t have a full arsenal of quilting jargon).

Fabric pull for testing out my new paper pieced pillow pattern.
Fabric pull for testing out my new paper pieced pattern.

This pattern began as a pillow pattern (in the fabric pull above, the bottom fabric is intended as binding and the second-from-bottom is the backing fabric), but as I pieced it and envisioned it more, I realized it would make a great center panel for a baby quilt or underwater nursery wall hanging, too. I decided to offer the pattern simply as a panel pattern so that the end product can be left to your creative desires. The pattern includes foundation paper piecing patterns for three different sized fish, finishing at 2″x9.5″ (large), 1.5″x7″ (medium), and 1″x4.75″ (small), as well as cutting instructions and a piecing diagram for a full 16″x16″ finished panel (16.5″x16.5″ unfinished).

fishies foundation paper piecing quilt panel

I can see this pattern being created with any number of fabric color and pattern vs. solid combinations, as well as different layouts. For color, I’m itching to make a version with a scrappy low volume background and rainbow fish. I could also see using the fish individually for other smaller projects, maybe fabric bins for a playroom, kids’ place mats, or even at the bottom of a little girl’s dress.

paper pieced fish pattern

foundation paper pieced fish patternWhile the specific instructions for making this panel into a pillow or baby quilt are not included in this pattern, I included a “project inspiration page” with different color possibilities and a rough sketch of one way this panel would work in a baby quilt.

fishies baby quilt schematic

Yes, I said it was rough! It’s in creating patterns like this that I really wish I had EQ! It gets the idea across, though, which is what matters… right? On IG, @onceuponadonkey suggested cutting this finished panel into a fishbowl shape to be used on a baby quilt panel. How adorable would that be?!

foundation paper piecing fish panel pattern

This Fishies Foundation Paper Piecing Panel pattern is available in my Craftsy shop. I plan to list additional patterns with step-by-step instructions for making the panel into a pillow and perhaps for making the baby quilt shown above in the near future. What would you make with the pattern?

I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday & TGIFF, and I’m joining the Paper Piecing Party for the first time!

tgiff-button-blog

 

sunny yellow flowers

Color Inspiration Thursday {18}

Today’s color inspiration is noticeably autumnal, as the garden shifts from colorful abundance to the muted tones of the tail end of the growing season. Palettes, as usual, are created using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 and my photographs.

apple pastel color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Peridot, Pewter, Geranium, Coal, Titanium, Slate

To be honest, this color palette surprised me. It seems so soft and pastel, when I was expecting a more bold, red and green-led palette. I debated playing around with the color dots to change the palette to fit my expectations, but decided to leave it as is. It’s a very gentle, soft palette that would work well in just about any quilt.

yellow autumn color palette

 Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Citrus, Wasabi, Palm, Bonsai, Kelly, Yarrow

Here’s another sunny palette created from some lingering flowers. I love the combinations of yellow and green paired with a pop of blue and orange. I’m not sure how accurate the Kelly kona match would be; I think Everglade would match better. It’s fun that the Wasabi kona cotton makes an appearance here, though!

autumn color palette

I absolutely love the fact that the Palette Builder 2.1 matches the corresponding kona cottons for each palette. It’s always fun to see where each kona color appears in the photograph. I think the time is nearing for me to choose one of my palettes and create a quilt from it and its kona cottons.

Which color palette (of all of the ones I’ve created since the very beginning) would you choose?

 

rural maine nightquilter

Around the World Blog Hop

Welcome to rural Maine, your next stop on the Around the World Blog Hop! Stephanie from Late Night Quilter tagged me last week, and as she explained, the hop is like a giant blogosphere tag game where those tagged can share a bit about their creative process as well as what they are working on. Sounds like fun!

I met Stephanie less than a year ago, but I already feel like we’re sewing soul sisters. To start, we have completely unplanned, practically identical blog names that pretty much describe our lives. Since meeting Stephanie, we’ve teamed up (with Michelle, too!) on a number of fun ventures, such as starting up the Late Night Quilters Club on facebook, opening a Late Night Baby Etsy shop, and planning an awesome time at QuiltCon in February 2015! Stephanie is an awesome writer and quilter, and recently started a longarm quilting and pattern design business with her other half, Michelle.

Now, back to the hop!

What am I working on?

I’ve been finding ways to make more sewing time, and have actually been making decent progress on some projects. I recently completed two quilt tops: the rainbow jellyroll quilt for my daughter, and a pink and grey baby plus quilt that will be listed in the Late Night Baby shop.

helpful kids and a rainbow jellyroll quilt
Rainbow jellyrolly quilt top.
pink and grey baby plus quilt top finish
Pink and grey baby plus quilt.

I’ve also been making some (secret) progress on my July Supernova Swap blocks, but can’t show you any more than this tiny peek:

supernova swap block peek
Sneak peek at my July Supernova Swap blocks.

In my pattern design world, I’ve finished the sketch out phase of a new pattern, completed the fabric pull for the testing phase, and then realized I forgot to make the paper piecing pattern a mirror image before printing. Oops!

Fabric pull for testing out my new paper pieced pillow pattern.
Fabric pull for testing out my new paper pieced pillow pattern.
paper piecing pattern test fish
My IG post when I realized I had forgotten to mirror-image my pattern before testing. Fishie swimming against the current… oops!

As is my nature, I am working on quite a few projects in addition to these, including my first foray into English Paper Piecing (to be a table runner one day), a couple other paper piecing patterns in the early design phases, the very first quilt I’m making for myself, and about five+ projects that I’m itching to begin but haven’t truly started yet.

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

This is such a tricky questions, since no two quilts or quilters are the same. How do you define a quilt’s genre? There is so much debate about what makes a modern quilt, and honestly I’d rather be sewing than debating whether I’m sewing a modern quilt or not! I’m not sure I’ve decided on my quilting style just yet, and perhaps I never will. I definitely am drawn to more “modern” quilt designs, and I LOVE modern fabric. I still feel like a lot of my work embraces the traditional, and my paper piecing patterns are inspired by nature and my love of aesthetic flow. It reminds me of what my brother said about me in high school: You’re a jock, nerd, geek who listens to punk music and wears preppy clothes. Basically, I’m me. And my quilts are mine.

Recent quilty works, from top left to right: 1. Lupine paper piecing pattern, 2. Buoys 1 & 2 paper piecing patterns, 3. Circling gulls paper piecing pattern, 4 (bottom left). Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses, 5. My first quilt made for myself... still in progress!
Recent quilty works, from top left to right: 1. Lupine paper piecing pattern, 2. Buoys 1 & 2 paper piecing patterns, 3. Circling gulls paper piecing pattern, 4 (bottom left). Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses, 5. My first quilt made for myself… still in progress!

As for my blogging, my love of nature and photography can been seen weekly with my Color Inspiration Thursday posts, where I create a color palette from some of my photographs. Nature geek photographer, meet quilting.

bright pink peony color palette
An example color palette from my weekly Color Inspiration Thursday posts.

I’ve also started having fun blogging about my forays into pairing wine and fabric. You know you want to check out those posts! There are many more to come, don’t you worry.

pairing wine and fabric
Find the perfect fabric for this wine? Don’t mind if I do…

 

Why do I write/create what I do?

My Let’s Get Acquainted blog post from a few months ago answers this question fairly well. The bottom line is that I’m a stay at home mom of a two year old and a four year old, and I’ve discovered that I must create something each day in order to stay sane (at least somewhat sane). Taking time to sew and blogging about it forces me to take a little bit of time for myself, even if it’s only 20 minutes a day. Thank you, blogosphere, for holding me accountable for doing something for me: quilting.

How does my writing/creative process work?

I have a rapid fire mind that is constantly thinking of new ideas of fun projects, things to make, patterns to design, etc. I’ve always been a creative person, and quilting is just one more outlet for that creativity. As far as pattern design, I start off with inspiration, which can come from literally anywhere–a pattern on a building, a sight along a walk, a burst of color–, it becomes an idea in my head, then I sketch it out in my grid notebook, tweak it a bit until I’m satisfied with it, scan it, pull it up in Inkscape, and turn it into a pattern. I usually have fabric already in mind in that original vision, so that part’s all taken care of from the get-go, too (for better or for worse, as you’ll see below).

Inspiration for my buoy 1, 2 & 3 patterns.
Inspiration for my buoy 1, 2 & 3 patterns.

As for making quilts, I’m very drawn to the aesthetic flow of a quilt, especially relating to color. Usually it’s a color combination or flow that draws me to a pattern, and then I go from there. I’m really bad at following patterns to their fruition, and usually just use them as a jumping-off place. Choosing fabrics for a project is the hardest part for me, I think in part due to the fact that I typically already have the “perfect” fabric in mind before heading to the quilt shop. Maybe I need to just design fabric, too?

Now that you’ve visited my design space in rural Maine, I’m tagging these three awesome bloggers. Go check them out!

Laura from Adventures of a Quilting Diva: Laura is my partner for the Supernova Friendship Block Swap, and a fellow paper piecing and quilt pattern designer. She’s also the mastermind behind the #quiltspiration365 group of bloggers with a mission to provide inspiration every day of the year.

Anne from Play Crafts: I use Anne’s Palette Builder 2.1 every single week to create my Color Inspiration Thursday posts. She’s a computer programmer AND a quilt designer, and creates some awesomely beautiful stuff. Anne is one of my quilting superstars, who I’ve been following from my very first foray into quilty blogging.

Yanic from Family, Faith, Food, and Fabric: While not a strictly quilting blog, Yanic blogs from the heart about many things I relate to and enjoy reading about. Her blog name sums it up well.

To check out more of the stops in this wild, world-wide blog hop, here’s an easy link to a google search for posts: Around the World Blog Hop blog posts. Enjoy hopping!

 

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