Over the past few months, I’ve been growing my stash here and there but haven’t had a chance to adequately photograph everything so that I can share it with you. Now that I’ve actually completed all of my pre-baby sewing goals (and still no baby), it’s time to remedy that, and what better way to start than with some winnings! Around my early April birthday this year, I was lucky enough (literally!) to win a few giveaways. One of them was an Instagram giveaway by Renaissance Ribbons, from which I won some of the new Tula Pink ribbons.
I’ve worked with Renaissance ribbons only two times before (I made a zipped pouch, and a thread catcher and pin cushion), and they are SO gorgeous and easy to work with! The colors are bright and bold, you can pin the ribbons during sewing and not a single sign of the pin hole remains once the pin is removed, and they are wonderfully thick and sturdy, not to mention the wide variety of patterns and designs, some of which coordinate with fabric designers’ fabric lines. What’s not to love?
I don’t have a specific project idea in mind yet; what would you make with these gorgeous ribbons?
I’m thrilled to introduce you to my very first sponsor, my local quilt shop located in Belfast, Maine–Fiddlehead Artisan Supply. Fiddlehead Artisan Supply is a family-owned sewing, quilting, and craft-supply shop in beautiful midcoast Maine. In addition to a great selection of modern quilting cottons, patterns, thread, and notions, Fiddlehead offers a wide range of other craft supplies all within one of the most aesthetically pleasing shops I’ve visited. It’s a haven for makers. Just for my readers, Fiddlehead is offering 15% off anything in their online shop with the code nightquilter15%.
To kick-off our partnership, Abby at Fiddlehead invited me to curate a bundle of low volume fabrics, AND is offering a bundle as a giveaway to one of my readers. I love low volume fabrics, since they are so versatile in quilting and just about anything. There’s nothing like a scrappy low volume background to help colors pop.
This bundle of eight (8) fat quarters includes (clockwise from top):
– XOXO Cotton + Steel basics by Rashida Coleman Hale
– Dotti’s Cousin in Natural, Mochi by Rashida Coleman Hale for Cotton + Steel
– Prisma in Honeycomb, Minimalista by Art Gallery Fabrics
– Hello Bear by Bonnie Christine for Art Gallery Fabrics
– Cotton + Steel basics by Alexia Marcelle Abegg
– Passport Parchment Paris Map by 3 Sisters for Moda
– Music in Neutral by Tim Holtz Eclectic Elements
– Passport Charcoal Etchings by 3 Sisters for Moda
Just for fun, and since I have a baby shower to attend this weekend, I decided to whip up a quick project using this bundle. I made a one hour basket (free pattern by Kelby Sews) using the fabrics from this bundle and some scraps of Alison Glass’s Sun Prints Grove.
The recipient of this basket hasn’t found out the gender of her baby, so I thought the sleek low volumes and pops of color were the perfect combination.
The basket is the perfect size to hold diapers and wipes, or just about any other newborn essentials.
To enter the giveaway today, simply share what you love about your local quilt shop. If you don’t have a local quilt shop that fits your style, tell me what you look for in a fabric shop. 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. Like Fiddlehead Artisan Supply on Facebook or subscribe to their newsletter and tell me how you followed them for a third entry.
This giveaway is open to US and international participants. The giveaway will be open until 8pm Wednesday 5/27 when I’ll select the winner randomly with random.org. Good luck!
If you just can’t wait to get your hands on this low volume bundle, it can be purchased HERE. And, if you’re like me and like to support family run small businesses, feel free to take a virtual vacation to midcoast Maine and visit Fiddlehead Artisan Supply’s online shop: Fiddlehead is offering 15% off for all of my readers through June 21st–use code nightquilter15%. Of course a vacation in person is preferred–if you do that, let me know and I’ll meet you for coffee and fabric shopping in Belfast!
I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday, since I’ve got this adorable one hour basket finish ready for the baby shower this weekend. Many thanks to Fiddlehead Artisan Supply!
The blues found in nature are among my all-time favorite colors. Forget-me-nots, delphiniums, hyacinths, the sky, the ocean… all the most gorgeously varied shades of blue! Today’s color palettes are created from some photographs of grape hyacinths found at a local park–Belfast City Park.
Color palettes are created with Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 and my photographs. An awesome feature of the palette builder is that it matches fabric solids and Aurifil thread, too. This week I discovered that we could use more variety in our fiber blue-voilets–the matches are not entirely accurate–or maybe mother nature wins the hand when it comes to color. That doesn’t mean we can’t soak in the gorgeous colors and feel inspired!
Corresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Deep Blue, Bella Terrain Iris, Kona Hyacinth, Kona Dahlia, Bella Clover, Bella Stone
Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2735 – Med Blue
1248 – Grey Blue
2520 – Violet
2520 – Violet
2908 – Spearmint
2605 – Grey
This palette captures the lighter blues and purples, while the next one focuses on the darks. Seeing this sea of hyacinths, I had to take a little detour to photograph them. Now THIS is spring!
Corresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Night Sky, Kona Bright Periwinkle, Kona Laurel, Kona Coal, Kona Lavender, Kona Hyacinth
Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
1248 – Grey Blue
2775 – Steel Blue
4173 – Dk Olive
1158 – Med Grey
2520 – Violet
1128 – Lt Blue Violet
Perfect little grape bells dance around a hundred stalks. This palette reads more purply, catching the darker and denser flowers. As I mentioned above, the solids and thread color matches are not as accurate as they usually are.
As you can see, the actual fabric matches read a lot more on the side of either straight blue or straight purple. The flowers are a lovely blend of blue-violet in a variety of shades. Isn’t the aesthetic variety in nature amazing!?!
Twice a year, Amy from Amy’s Creative Side hosts a Bloggers Quilt Festival, an online quilt show where peers vote for their favorite quilt in each category. It should come as no surprise that I am entering a quilt into the ROYGBIV category, given my penchant for rainbows. As my first-ever entry into the Bloggers Quilt Festival, I’m entering my Alison Glass Prismatic Medallion mini quilt. Yes, this quilt will soon be mailed off to my swap partner, but that’s one of the huge benefits of this Quilt Festival–you don’t need the quilt in hand to enter!
Without further ado, I give you Alison Glass Prismatic Medallion:
I finished binding this quilt earlier this week. It’s created with primarily Alison Glass fabrics, most of which come from her newest 2015 Sun Prints Mercury and Grove. The pattern is the Prismatic Medallion pattern offered for free on the Robert Kaufman website.
Alison’s Sun Prints offer such a gorgeously saturated and bright color palette, perfect for ROYGBIV quilting creations. I decided to quilt this mini in coordinating Aurifil thread, both 40 and 50wts, depending on what weight I had in my stash. I used a fun prismatic quilting pattern, which really brings out the angularity of the design.
The quilt is bound in Yarn Dyed Essex linen blend in Charcoal by Robert Kaufman. Here are the final quilt stats:
Alison Glass Prismatic Medallion Mini Quilt
Completed May 2015 Pattern: Prismatic Medallions by Robert Kaufman Fabrics Size: 23″ x 20″
Fabric: Assorted fabric from Alison Glass’s 2015 Sun Prints, Mercury and Grove (Andover Fabrics), with other Alison Glass fabrics: Feathers in Dahlia and Black, Bike Path, Handcrafted, and some others, including but not limited to Carolyn Friedlander Architextures Crosshatch in Tangerine, Cotton + Steel basics in yellow, magenta, and green, and some Timeless Treasures Sketch.
Binding is Yarn Dyed Essex Linen blend in Charcoal (Robert Kaufman Fabrics).
Quilting: Prismatic straight line quilting with my walking foot
Thread: Aurifil 50wt 2600 – Dove for piecing
Assorted color coordinating Aurifil for quilting:
I don’t write on my quilts. I have yet to find a pen or pencil that I trust enough, so I just avoid it as much as possible. I use a Clover Hera Marker* for marking straight lines, which is fabulous since it creases the fabric without actually leaving a mark. (*Affiliate link) But when it comes to complex designs or words, I either have to eye it or just wing it.
When I thought of the idea to write baby Reagan’s name in the heart speech bubble of her Pinkalicious Hazel Hedgehog quilt, I knew there must be a way to get her name to show up accurately but subtly among the matchstick quilting I had planned within the heart. Enter: Freezer Paper. I’ve had freezer paper in my sewing space for over a year, since Grammy June told me it was a must have for paper piecing back when I was first learning. Since I really enjoy foundation paper piecing using plain old copy paper, I have yet to touch the freezer paper. Until today.
Here’s a quick little tutorial on how I used freezer paper to help quilt words in negative space.
Relief Quilting Words in Negative Space
Gather your materials. You will need:
Freezer Paper (I’ve read high quality brands like Reynolds work better than Costo-type brands)
Thread for quilting (I used 50wt Aurifil variegated thread)
Optional: printer paper and printer
Print a sample of the word you want to quilt, scaled to fit in the proper space. Trace onto the dull side of the freezer paper (shiny side away from you). Alternately, you could just draw the letters onto the dull side of the freezer paper–entirely up to your desired look.
Cut out the letters carefully, using paper-cutting scissors (not your special fabric ones!)
Arrange on your quilt as desired.
(Note: before ironing your letters to your actual quilt, always test the freezer paper on a scrap of the same fabric. The freezer paper should stick to the fabric, and after cooling should be easily peeled off without leaving any mark or residue.) Iron your letters to your quilt. The shiny side of the freezer paper will stick to the fabric.
Matchstick quilt around the letters. I used Aurifil 50wt variegated Bubblegum-3660 to match the background fabric, since I wanted the name to be subtle. Use contrasting thread to make the name stand out more.
Here is a *rough* sketch of the path I took while quilting. I used my walking foot to matchstick quilt the entire background, stitching two stitches in the ditch along the outsides of the heart to travel from line to line, rather than having a *million* thread ends to bury. I actually stitched every other line backwards, holding down the “sew in reverse” button for the entire line of quilting. This was easier to me than maneuvering my entire quilt back and forth, and worked just as effectively.
Note: After using your walking foot to matchstick quilt the background (around the periphery of the letters), some of the freezer paper letters may have come unstuck.
Iron them on again, using the little indents (if your letters had any) as a guide.
Next, free motion quilt the matchstick quilting within and between the letters, since the space is so small and back and forth quilting is much easier free motion style (you don’t have to twist and turn your entire quilt like you would using a walking foot!). Be sure not to quilt onto the freezer paper.
Peel off the freezer paper letters. Bury any threads.
Around this time last year, after blogging for a few measly months, I was fortunate enough to find the New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop hosted by Beth at Plum and June, which was a program led to help new quilt bloggers learn the ropes of quilt blogging, get involved in the online quilting community, and make connections with others in the same situation. After realizing that many of my favorite “big shot” quilt bloggers had participated in previous years, I signed right up. I am SO grateful that I did. Not only did I learn a lot about the nuances and lingo related to quilt blogging, but I made some fabulous connections that have forged into strong friendships in just one year. You may remember that I even met some of them at Quilt Con!
A fabulous team of alumni are hosting this year’s hop, and sign-ups are officially open. I am hoping to be a resource and mentor on the sidelines, since I have a new baby arriving any day now. The talented team of mentors for this year’s hop are: Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl, Stephanie @ Late Night Quilter, Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs, and Terri Ann @ Childlike Fascination.
Here are the details on how to sign up to participate in this year’s 2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog hop.
2015 New Quilt Blogger Blog Hop Sign Up
If you are interested in participating in the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop and have been blogging
mainly about modern quilting*,
for less than 2 years,
writing at least 4 posts a month,
are willing to agree to be actively involved in the blog hop through visiting and commenting on the other blogger’s hop posts,
and have or are willing to open a Facebook account to participate in the group discussions,
Note that they will accept up to 100 participants for the blog hop this year. The sign up form will be available until May 31, 2015, or until 100 participants have signed up.
They are also gathering advice from any experienced bloggers who wish to share, so let them know if you are interested in adding a post to their Advice for New Bloggers link-up (look for my posts there!)
When the blog hops begin, each of the mentors will be hosting a group of blogs and I’m very much looking forward to following along and meeting the new members of our online community. Will I see you there?
Blog sponsorship, where a company or shop compensates a blogger for promoting them, is an idea that I’ve been wrestling with for a while. For some reason, the thought of seeking sponsorship for my blog initially dredged up uncertainty. My number one goal with this blog is to share excitement, inspiration, and project ideas, as well as to create community among us like-minded quilters. I value the relationships and conversations that happen here greatly, and do not want to compromise that in any way. There are a lot of great reasons why quilty bloggers choose not to accept sponsors or participate in affiliate marketing, but after reading them and reflecting on myself as a quilty blogger, I’ve decided that seeking sponsorship was the way I want to go. Who wouldn’t want to get paid for doing what they love to do? Here’s a great reflection on why one crafter chose not to do affiliate marketing and her reflections on choosing not to accept sponsorship, and here’s a post on why affiliate marketing is not as scary as some people think.
I am confident that as I partner with new sponsors, I will NOT lose my authenticity. In fact, having sponsorship will help me devote more time toward participating in the quilting community. I’m not a salesperson. I’m an excited and eager quilter who loves to share helpful tips, ideas, and reactions to new tools, products, and fabrics that I find exceptional. I will not compromise my dedication to being true to myself and honest with you. If I love a product or shop, I want to share that with you. And if that product or shop wants to compensate me in some small way for doing so, then that’s okay with me.
Personally, when I’m trying to decide what brand or style of product to buy, I ask my friends and family for recommendations, especially those who I know have used the product or who have similar taste. One thing I can promise to you, as I head into this next phase of my quilting and blogging, is that when I say a product or fabric is awesome, I mean it’s AWESOME. I will have put the product or service to the test, and decided that it is good enough to recommend to my readers & friends. My opinions and ideas are my own, and they cannot be bought. At the same time, if I can help pay for groceries by sharing my honest opinions with you, I’m there.
What kinds of products and services do you want to hear about? Do you enjoy reading product reviews on the tools I find key to my quilting? Giveaways from awesome fabric shops and companies? Coupon codes?
If you are interested in being a sponsor of Night Quilter, contact me at thenightquilter(at)gmail(dot)com for rates and more information. Selection is made with great consideration to this site’s content and focus in mind.
Ahh, spring! Color is everywhere, sun is slowly warming the soil, and the world is coming back to life. Spring is my favorite season, until summer comes along… and then fall with the crispness and the gorgeous leaves, followed by that first gorgeous snow that makes me love winter. I guess I’m just grateful to live in a place with clearly defined and vastly different seasons. The constantly changing environment keeps the wonderment fresh.
Today’s color inspiration is again from my garden, with color palettes made using Play Crafts‘ wonderful Palette Builder 2.1. The matching Kona & Bella solids and Aurifil thread is also a perk of the palette builder–if you haven’t tried it, I would definitely suggest taking a moment to make palettes out of your favorite photos. It might change the way you see the world–or do you already see the world in fabric and thread?
Corresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Dusty Jade, Bella Betty’s Teal, Kona Graphite, Bella Christmas Green, Kona Jungle, Bella Sprout
Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2845 – Lt Juniper
2850 – Med Juniper
1246 – Grey
2892 – Pine
2890 – Dk Grass Green
1114 – Grass Green
On a whim, I did a quick google search for green after creating this palette. I felt like this photo and resulting palette said so much, yet I couldn’t quite put it to words. An interesting website on color psychology pretty much nailed my sentiment. Green…
As much of the quilting world prepares for Quilt Market, urgently pushing to complete those finishing touches on booths, accessories, new bags, business cards, etc., I share that energy as I try to get a few last projects from my work in progress pile into the “finished” pile. My deadline is not the impending Market, however. I am entering the final week(s) before having a baby. Amazingly, I’m feeling pretty hopeful that I will be able to complete the quilting projects that need to be finished before baby arrives (let’s not even talk about the projects around the house, though–priorities, right?), and I’m trying hard not to take on more projects in the meantime.
Thankfully, I’m on the final binding phase for the Prismatic Medallion mini quilt. I’m binding it with my new favorite: Robert Kaufman Essex Yarn Dyed Linen blend in Charcoal, with coordinating 50wt Aurifil 1246 – Grey. I used straight-grain binding and next time will use bias binding, since I’m finding that the backs of the corners are a bit off kilter. Since the front corners line up perfectly and look nice and crisp, I’m not worrying about it, but I’m still searching for that secret tip to making perfect corners on the front andback when binding a hexagon. I’m in the process of setting up a skype date with Carla from Granny Maud’s Girl way over in Perth, Australia, since she says she knows the secret to binding hexagons–how awesome is this technological world and the quilting community within it!?
I’m hoping to have a mini finish to share soon!
I also need to finish quilting Hazel. I ordered the coordinating Aurifil from Hawthorne Threads, and now that it’s here, that can go back into my project circulation. I’m planning to do simple outline echo quilting on Hazel’s face and body with Aurifil 2423 – Baby Pink, since it is just a *little* bit pinker than her face and will add the texture without detracting from her features. The lighter pink color will be a fun addition to her bright pink legs and body. I ordered 40wt this time, since I love the added thickness that helps the quilting pop.
I’ve decided to try my very first matchstick quilting in the heart, since it’s a small enough space I don’t think it will be too crazy to complete before baby. Plus, I am going to try to quilt the baby’s name–Reagan–into the heart via negative space. For this, I’m going to use Freezer Paper for the very first time! I bought a big roll over a year ago when my late quilting Grammy said that it was an absolute must for paper piecing. I’ve never used it for paper piecing since I strongly prefer the foundation paper method, but I’m hoping to cut out freezer paper letters spelling Reagan, iron them onto the heart, and then matchstick quilt within the heart, but NOT on the letters. Is that as clear as mud? I promise I’ll take photos of the process, and fingers crossed that it works the way I envision!
I ordered my very first spool of variegated thread for the heart matchstick quilting, and I think the color is perfect–it’s Bubblegum variegated 3660! I ordered 50wt this time and very well might keep my panacea Dove thread color in the bobbin since with matchstick quilting, I’m afraid of running out of thread before I’m finished.
I also have another project, a pattern I’m developing, which I’m trying to finish before baby comes. For now, I can’t show you much, and the progress is not nearly as close to complete as these first two projects. Getting Hazel and the Prismatic Medallion into the finished pile will certainly help me focus on the new pattern, though, so little steps it is!
Finally, I thought I’d share my last and greatest work in progress, heading to the “finished” pile at an unknown impending date.
Here I am between 38 and 39 weeks pregnant with my third baby, a boy. He’s still in progress, but should be joining us on the outside world (aka finished cooking) in the coming weeks. Makers gotta make!
Inspiration is everywhere. It is clearly decided that we creative folks pull our inspiration from just about anywhere.
There were 478 comments on my Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day post, and I truly wanted to respond to them all. I asked you to share what inspires you to create, and the answers were inspiring in and of themselves! Thank you so much for sharing your inspiration. Many of the inspiration sources resonated deeply with me, since I, too, seem to find inspiration just about anywhere. I’ve decided to share some of the top sources of inspiration, as shared by you, my readers.
But first, a winner! Mr. Random chose comment 362 as the winner of the fabric bundle and two patterns of choice from Quilting Jetgirl. Congratulations Amanda! Please check your email and get back to me with your mailing address and patterns of choice!
Here are some of the top sources of inspiration pulled from your comments:
Blogs, Instagram, Pinterest, and other online inspiration
Many of you find inspiration in the beautiful things that others have made. Our extensive online community of creative souls makes it possible for us to draw inspiration from such a wide world of creativity!
Color and Texture
Color and texture is literally EVERYwhere, and you creative folks can see it! Many of you said that color, either in nature or in general, and texture were top sources of inspiration for you.
Patterns in Life
Whether a gorgeous miracle found in nature, or a man made structure, patterns in life inspire many of you to create. Some of the top sources are:
People in our lives inspire much creativity. Some create for charity, so the knowledge that someone in need will be gifted a quilt filled with love drives the sewist’s inspiration. Some create for their family and friends. Children, especially, seem to be a big source of inspiration. Sometimes, it’s the people in our lives who have passed, or the one who taught us how to quilt who inspires us most.
Learning New Techniques
Some of you are inspired by the desire to learn new techniques, or experiment with different mediums.
Peace & Quiet
The ability to escape to a place of silence and peace is inspiration for some. I can certainly relate to this as a mom of two-soon-to-be-three rambunctious and spirited children. Life is busy, loud, and often chaotic. Moments of silence and peace are inspiring indeed!
The amazing quilters of the past, and the creativity of the ones who first began to sew scraps of fabric together to create quilts are inspiration.
The materials themselves are a source of inspiration for many. “A lovely hand-dyed yarn or fetching pattern on fabric are my starting points and then I go from there to find a pattern to use them with.” shared Laura aka aprilshowers.
The NEED to Create
This is my favorite, and also a strong source of inspiration for you creative folks. Many of you mentioned that the root of your inspiration is simply a need to create. Afton from Quilting Mod nailed it with her comment:
I’ve discussed this feeling before, and agree that for me, while inspiration truly comes from everywhere–family, friends, nature, texture, color, blog and IG posts, people who need or request quilts, architecture, pattern, fabulous fabrics and threads–my sewing is driven by an innate desire to create.
Thank you for sharing your sources of inspiration, and most of all, thank you for creating. Each of you makes the world a bit more beautiful with every stitch!
I grab a needle and thread once the kids are in bed