Mini Masterpieces Book Hop {& Giveaway}

Greetings, oh patient and dedicated friends! It’s been an age since I’ve last blogged, but what better to kick start me back into it than a fun Book Hop celebration!? Today I’m excited to share all about my friend Alyce Blyth’s new book Mini Masterpieces with Lucky Spool publishing, and what’s more–there’s a giveaway sponsored by Aurifil as well!Mini Masterpieces Alyce BlythTo introduce you to Alyce’s fun new book, this Book Hop will take you through all of the different lessons included in the book with examples sewn by a slew of fellow quilters & pattern designers. Today we’re all about Lesson 3: Snowball Blocks. To be honest, when Alyce first asked me to sew the Snowball Block lesson and mini quilt, I was sorta wishing for foundation paper piecing, or English paper piecing, or curves or something a bit more complex.

Abacus quilt from Mini Masterpieces by Alyce Blyth. Photo by Page + Pixel for Lucky Spool

But then I saw the mini quilt pattern called Abacus included with the Snowball Blocks lesson and I was absolutely smitten! It’s such a fun and cool aesthetic, and made with the simplest of blocks. I’m excited to play with color to see how I can make it my own.

Mini Masterpieces Alyce BlythFor now, here’s the snowball block I made for today. I used some precious Tula Pink Pinkerville Unicorns and meticulously cut them so that they are facing off. Snowball blocks are great for incorporating fussy cuts of your favorite fabrics!

Mini Masterpieces Alyce BlythHere’s a closer look at those swirly twirly unicorns. A subtle but fun touch, don’t you think?

Beginning in early January, Alyce will be hosting a Sew Along where you’ll be able to sew your way right through the Mini Masterpieces book, creating a mini quilt per month, so be sure to follow Alyce’s blog at Blossom Heart Quilts and order your book now (affiliate link) so you’re ready to roll!! Mini quilts are a great way to try out new skills, stretch your design style, play with color in unexpected ways, and simply have fun with a fast finish.

Giveaway

To get you started in your sewing endeavors, Aurifil Thread is generously sponsoring a giveaway of two large spools of 50wt thread, selected from Alyce’s Mini Masterpieces thread set. On this stop, you can win a spool of 2865-Emerald and 2000-Sand.

To enter the giveaway today, let me know your favorite classic quilt block. Leave a comment and make sure I’m able to get ahold of you if you win. For an additional entry, follow me @nightquilterAlyce @blossomheartquilts , and Aurifil @AurifilThread on Instagram. Leave a separate comment once you complete each entry.

This giveaway is open worldwide. The giveaway will be open for one week, until November 27th when I’ll select the winner randomly with random.org. The winner will have 48 hours to reply or I will select a new winner. Good luck!

*Please note that comment moderation is on, so if you do not see your comment right after posting, do not be alarmed! I try to respond to each and every comment I get on my blog, but with giveaway posts the numbers are usually too great to do this. Follow me on IG @nightquilter or my Night Quilter Facebook page to stay fully in the social media loop.

Mini Masterpieces Book Hop

Be sure to check out all of the stops along the Mini Masterpieces Book Hop. There’s much fun to be had!

November 18 – Simple Squares

Sarah from Sarah Ashford Studio @sarahashfordstudio

Janice from Better Off Thread @betteroffthread

November 19 – Strip Piecing

Molli from Molli Sparkles @mollisparkles

Sarah from SariDitty @sariditty

November 20 – Snowball Blocks

Ali from Arabesque Scissors @arabesquescissors

Kitty from Night Quilter @nightquilter         <–YOU ARE HERE

November 21 – HSTs

Andrea from 3rd Story Workshop @3rdstoryworkshop

Caitlin – @caitlinpolden

November 22 – Flying Geese

Kirsty from Bonjour Quilts @bonjour_quilts

Karen from Karen Lewis Textiles @karenlewistextiles

November 23 – HRTs

Jemima from Tied With A Ribbon @tiedwitharibbon

Rebecca from Bryan House Quilts @bryanhousequilts

November 24 – Simple Curves

Nicole from Modern Handcraft @modernhandcraft

Ava & Neve @ava_and_neve

November 25 – Complex Curves

Elisabeth from Elisabew Quilts @elisabew

Samantha from Aqua Paisley @aqua_paisley

Christopher from The Tattooed Quilter @the_tattooed_quilter

November 26 – Improv Curves

Aurifil @aurifilthread

Nicholas from Quilts From The Attic @quiltsfromtheattic

November 27 – Applique

Lauren from Molly And Mama @mollyandmama

Sedef from Down Grapevine Lane @downgrapevinelane

November 28 – EPP

Sharon from Lilabelle Lane @lilabellelane

Jodi from Tales of Cloth @talesofcloth

November 29 – FPP

Kristy from Quiet Play @quietplay

Pinnacle: OLFA 40th Anniversary Quilt Along

Today I’m excited to share the release of Pinnacle, the block I designed for OLFA’s 40th Anniversary Quilt Along! It’s been quiet over here on this blog lately, with summer adventures and family time filling my days. Now that school has begun, perhaps that will provide some space to write here more often. I’m hoping that this space is like an old friend–there may not be posts every week, but when there is one, it’s just like jumping back into the conversation, comfortable as ever.

OLFA 40th anniversary pinnacle blockLet’s start with this fun block! When OLFA invited me to design a block for a Quilt Along for their 40th Anniversary of inventing the rotary cutter, I jumped at the opportunity to help celebrate with this great company. Just think about it—40 years ago, quilters were tracing out quilt pieces using templates and pencil, and cutting out each square with scissors!! The rotary cutter is such a key invention in helping with accuracy and speed of cuts, and I’m grateful for OLFA’s giant contribution to the quilting world. I also happen to love using OLFA products and have come to trust the quality and reliability of their rotary cutters, rulers, mats, and other tools. I also kinda LOVE the multitude of colors they offer for their Splash rotary cutters! OLFA certainly makes my life easier, both by their reliably sharp tools and the ready-to-roll photo props!

OLFA requested that we create a block with OLFA rotary colors (at the time, the colors included yellow, pink, aqua, and purple), with celebrating 40 years as a focus. I chose to name my block Pinnacle, combining a celebration of a high point of achievement for OLFA—40 years since the invention of the world’s first rotary cutter!! and my love of the sharp points that result from foundation paper piecing, with an added nod to the mountains upon which I love to hike. A fairly simple foundation template is jazzed up with the use of a pre-sewn panel of fabric as the peaks, creating a fun block that will look slightly different every time you sew it.

I decided to use the purple shade and chose a small gradient of fabric in the magenta-purple fade I love so much. I chose three Alison Glass prints, which most likely comes as no surprise! The darkest purple/magenta is SunPrint 2018 Compass in Jam, the middle tone is an old one from Alison Glass SunPrint 2014 called Bike Path (I believe it was also printed as part of her Lucky Penny fabric line, so googling or Etsy searches may find some left!), and the lightest is a fabric from her Insignia 2019 fabric line. I love the way the bike path dots add fun tracks of snow down these pinnacle points! Paired with a white solid background, this block is simple and graphic and provides lots of fun for experimentation.

This block includes a fun twist to foundation paper piecing, since you premake a panel of fabric that is used to to fill each mountainous space. This means that every block you make will be slightly different, which to me equals fun! To find the instructions for this block, head over to the OLFA Quilt Along Gallery HERE.

I also was honored to be asked to photograph the full OLFA 40th Anniversary quilt, where you can see how the finished Sew Along Quilt may look. Isn’t it fun!? Do you see my block?

Be sure to check out the OLFA Quilt Along Gallery page as well as the OLFA blog to find out more about this sew along, and please tag me @nightquilter on social media if you make this block–I’d love to see yours!

 

My Typecast of Characters Blog Tour: U is for Unicorn

Today I’m excited to be joining the My Typecast of Characters Blog Tour with Sheri at Whole Circle Studio with the ubiquitous yet uplifting, uniquely utilized U is for Unicorn! When Sheri asked if I would sew up an English Paper Pieced letter with curves and landed on U, I knew immediately that it was a perfect project to showcase Tula Pink’s Pinkerville fabrics and the fabulous U-nicorn.

my typecast of characters epp UThough it’s subtle, I meticulously cut the background so that the unicorn is continuous and the fabrics all line up (mostly). The coordinating Tula Pink solid in Limeade made the perfect coordinating yet stand-out pop for the U. I used coordinating 50wt Aurifil thread to sew up my block, and between the 1231-Spring Green and 1148-Light Jade the stitches blended right in.

my typecast of characters epp U backsideTo conserve fabric with the fussy cutting, I opted to keep a few of the paper shapes together, as you can see if you inspect the backside of my letter. Can you see where there are perforations but no fabric seam? That’s where I condensed my shapes. If you’re new to EPP, basting and stitching smaller shapes may be easier, so do what’s comfortable for you.

One of the really cool aspects of these Typecast letter patterns designed by Sheri and produced by Paper Pieces is that they arrive completely assembled, with perforations where you’re to separate each piece, as you can see above. This means that not only is it easy to know exactly where each EPP pieces goes (especially if you label them before tearing the individual pieces apart–hint hint!), but it also gives you the option to condense pieces easily if you so desire and are fairly comfortable with EPP. I’m all for saving time and fabric! The Typecast Pattern Guide and paper packs are all now available, so be sure to check out details at Whole Circle Studio HERE so that you can stitch up your own EPP sentiment.

I’m pretty happy with how my fussy cutting went, and was able to give the impression that the U was just set right down on top of the continuous unicorn fabric, Frolic Imaginarium from Pinkerville by Tula Pink.

I could see this U framed in a shadowbox or stitched down onto a background fabric and wrapped around a canvas in a child’s room, or of course stitched into a pillow for a Unicorn-loving friend.

You can see the full Typecast of Characters Blog Tour schedule below, so be sure to check out all of the other letters that have been stitched up, and visit Sheri’s website to check out the weekly giveaways.

What would you spell with EPP?

TYPECAST OF CHARACTERS BLOG TOUR hosted by Whole Circle Studio:
• Wednesday, March 27: Tour Introduction by Whole Circle Studio
• Monday, April 1 — A: Kate Brennan of Aurifil
• Tuesday, April 2 — B: Mathew Bourdreaux of Mister Domestic
• Wednesday, April 3 — C: Tara Curtis of Wefty Needle
• Thursday, April 4— D: Leah Day of Free Motion Quilting Project
• Friday, April 5 — Week 1 Wrap Up featuring A-D and GIVEAWAY at Whole Circle Studio
• Monday, April 8 — E: Jess Finn of Paper Pieces
• Tuesday, April 9 — F: Sylvia Schaefer of Flying Parrot Quilts
• Wednesday, April 10 — G: Giuseppe Ribaudo of Giucy Giuce
• Thursday, April 11— H: Hilary Jordan of By Hilary Jordan
• Friday, April 12 — Week 2 Wrap Up featuring E-H and GIVEAWAY at Whole Circle Studio
• Monday, April 15 — I: Kim Soper of Leland Ave Studios
• Tuesday, April 16 — J: Yvonne Fuchs of Quilting Jetgirl
• Wednesday, April 17 — K: Karen O’Connor of Lady K Quilts
• Thursday, April 18 — L: Kristy Daum of St. Louis Folk Victorian
• Friday, April 19 — Week 3 Wrap Up featuring I-L and GIVEAWAY at Whole Circle Studio
• Monday, April 22 — M: Molli Sparkles of Molli Sparkles
• Tuesday, April 23 — N: Nicole Daksiewicz of Modern Handcraft
• Wednesday, April 24 — O: Scott Hansen of Blue Nickel Studios
• Thursday, April 25 — P: Pat Sloan of Pat Sloan
• Friday, April 26 — Week 4 Wrap Up featuring M-P and GIVEAWAY at Whole Circle Studio
• Monday, April 29 — Q: Joanna Marsh of Kustom Kwilts
• Monday, April 29 — Q: Lindsay Széchényi of Lindsay Széchényi (and Patchwork Threads)
• Tuesday, April 30 — R: Andrea Tsang Jackson of 3rd Story Workshop
• Wednesday, May 1 — S: Sarah Thomas of Sariditty
• Thursday, May 2 — T: Rachel Rossi of Rachel Rossi
• Friday, May 3— Week 4 Wrap Up featuring Q-T and GIVEAWAY at Whole Circle Studio
• Monday, May 6 — U: Kitty Wilkin of Night Quilter <–YOU ARE HERE
• Tuesday, May 7 — V: Jenn McMillan of Fabric, Ink
• Wednesday, May 8 — W: Jenny Meeker of Bobbin Roulette Studio
• Thursday, May 9 — X: Stephanie Kendron of Modern Sewciety
• Friday, May 10 — Week 5 Wrap Up featuring U-X and GIVEAWAY at Whole Circle Studio
• Monday, May 13 — Y: Debby Brown of Debby Brown Quilts
• Tuesday, May 14 — Z: Nisha Bouri and Kim Martucci of Brimfield Awakening
• Wednesday, May 15 — Week 6 Wrap Up featuring Y-Z, Tour closeout and GIVEAWAY at Whole Circle Studio

Aura Blog Party: Pollen Pillow Fight!

aura fabric blog partyI’m excited to be joining in the fun with Mathew aka Mister Domestic’s Aura Blog Party celebrating his Aura fabric line for Art Gallery Fabrics (AGF). Fridays are always reason to party, but when you add Mathew’s energy and enthusiasm for life, the party is impossible to resist! I figured I’d throw a pillow into the ring since a pillow fight seems like a great addition to any party, right?

aura fabrics misterdomestic art gallery fabricsWhen I first saw Mathew’s Aura fabrics, of course I immediately dreamed of meticulously cutting them for days. I decided that a Pollen Pillow would be the perfect project to showcase these gorgeous fabrics while maintaining a tropical vibe that does the Hawaii-inspired fabric line justice. The Pollen Pillow is the EPP pattern that is included in the 2019 Quilter’s Planner magazine, and is a baby version of my Pollinate Quilt, distributed by Karen the DIY Addict.

pollen pillow aura fabric epp misterdomestic art gallery fabricsI’m so thrilled with how it turned out!! AND pillows are hard to photograph! I just solved that issue by taking lots, and hope my single monstera potted plant can help bring a bit of tropical vibe to the mid-winter Maine photos.

With fussy cutting on my mind, my initial plan was to meticulously choose individual flowers from the Laki Island Daylight fabric, using 5 individual flowers in the center and then a radiating spiral of each individual flower in the outer piehex shapes. However, the scale of the flowers on the fabric were a *bit* too big to make that happen (or maybe my templates/pattern is too small?), so I had to come up with Plan B.

pollen pillow epp aura art gallery fabrics misterdomesticLooking at the varied and gorgeous flower bundles on Laki Island Daylight, I really didn’t want to chop them up tooo much, so I decided to go wild and fussy cut the fabrics so that the piehex looked like it was an uninterrupted flower bouquet, but with a blue section radiating from the center. I taped 3 templates together for the top half, and fussy cut the bottom 3 so that the fabric pattern was continuous when stitched.

pollen pillow epp aura fabric mister domesticThey aren’t all perfect, but I’m mighty happy with the result! I also love how the blue section emphasizes the center star, while also helping blend into the Endless Paradise AGF denim background. One of my favorite aspects of the Pollen Pillow & Pollinate quilt patterns are how incredibly versatile they are.

pollen pillow epp misterdomestic aura art gallery fabricsHere’s a look at the pillow top after it was pieced and quilted, but before it was stuffed as a pillow, so that you can see the fabric placement details a bit better.  Here are the Aura fabrics I used: Laki Island Daylight for the center star and outer piehexies, Hawaiian Honu Dusk (turtles!) and Hula Dolphins Ocean (tiny dolphins circle around this one) for the star, Loulu Fans Sand for the outermost triangles, Hawaiian Honu Dusk for the turtle diamonds around the outside edge, and AGF Denim in Endless Paradise for the accent pieces in the outer piehexies and the background.  I LOVE the fabric names, too!

pollen pillow epp stitching on the goI used coordinating 50wt thread to hand stitch the full Pollen Pillow design, stitching during travel to QuiltCon, in cafes, or in the car while waiting for preschool pickup. I adore the portability of English Paper Piecing (EPP)! When the Pollen Pillow design was fully stitched, pressed, papers removed, etc., I then stitched it to the backing using 50wt thread in 2000-Light Sand and 1320-Bright Teal. I quilted the pillow with some minimal quilting to secure the pieces while still letting the fabrics shine. I quilted a fun geometric echoey pattern in the background using the walking foot on my Bernina 560, and making it up as I went along. I love using the wide width of my walking foot as a gauge when quilting, since I avoid marking fabrics whenever possible!

zipper pillow pollen pillowEven having made multiple pillows, the insertion of a zipper still gives me the willies a bit before diving in. This time I used this fabulous tutorial by Suzy Quilts and am incredibly happy with my zipper! Mental note for next time, though: when creating a side zipper pillow, you need a zipper that is at least 2″ shorter than your pillow panels. I bought a bunch of 18″ zippers, one of which is shown in the progress photo, and none of which were used for this pillow because they were too long. I settled for a 14″ turquoise zipper, which coordinates enough to seem intentional (shhh).

turtle detail on pillow epp pollenThose of you familiar with my Pollen Pillow pattern may have noticed that I included some extra diamonds on this pillow. The sea turtles just begged to be included more, so I borrowed the center diamonds after stitching the pillow center down, and made a few more sea turtles to swim outward around the edges. I love the effect!

maddie pillow holder extraordinaireHere are just a couple more photos to round out this post. The first is of my daughter Maddie, who really wanted to be a pillow holding model (so helpful!). You can see the most pattern details in this photo, I think, so I’m glad she wanted to help!

pollen pillow fightFinally, here is a photo of my original Pollen Pillow duking it out with this newbie for the prime spot. It’s so fun to see both of these pillows next to each other, since it’s a perfect example of how different fabric choices and color placement can result in very unique aesthetics with the Pollen Pillow pattern.

Thank you for swinging by to help celebrate this Friday finish, and be sure to check out the other stops on Mister Domestic’s Aura Blog Party. The projects are all stunning!

MISTER DOMESTIC’S AURA BLOG PARTY

Sew Tiny Sampler Pattern Release

Today is an exciting day! My Sew Tiny Sampler pattern, a foundation paper piecing pattern that includes foundation templates for 16 of the most-oft used blocks from my 100 Days of Sew Smaller project, is now available for purchase from my Payhip shop.sew tiny sampler fpp patternDuring my 100 Days of Sew Smaller project, quite a few people asked about the patterns I was using to make my tiny blocks. Many of my blocks were based upon well-loved traditional blocks, but I created foundation paper piecing templates in Inkscape as I went along. After many requests, I’m happy to finally be able to make the templates and pattern available publicly.

sew tiny sampler pattern fpp quilting tinyThe pattern includes foundation templates for the 16 blocks shown on the cover, plus assembly instructions for putting them all together into a mini mini sampler that finishes at a whopping 7 1/2″ square. Each block measures 1 1/4″ square finished, and 1 3/4″ unfinished. The pattern includes tips on tiny piecing in general, links to resources on foundation paper piecing (FPP) basics and using fussy cutting in your FPP blocks, as well as a long list of project ideas for your tiny blocks. To help conserve paper when making LOTS of blocks, I also included bulk printing pages for each block design.

quantum fabric by giucy giuce andover fabricsI had fun playing with Quantum fabric by Giucy Giuce for Andover Fabrics for my cover blocks, and of course used meticulous cutting in every possible location. I stitched all of the blocks using 50wt Aurifil thread in 2600-Dove, which is pretty much always in my machine for piecing.

sew tiny sampler quantum fabric fussy cuttingsew tiny sampler quantum fabric fussy cuttingsew tiny sampler quantum fabric fussy cuttingI highly recommend reading my tutorial HERE and using the fussy cutting FPP tips in your tiny blocks. As you can see, it really adds a special touch!

sew tiny sampler fpp pattern quiltingI’m looking forward to seeing all of the tiny blocks created by all of you, and will be sharing some of the blocks some of my friends are making to help celebrate the pattern release soon. In the meantime, you can head over and read about Yvonne’s blocks and what she made out of them here, or check out the hashtag #sewtinysampler on Instagram to witness the miniaturization of March.

sew tiny sampler angleHead over and get your Sew Tiny Sampler pattern here to join the fun. I can’t wait to see what block you make first!!

 

Splendid Sampler 2: Adventure Abounds

splendid sampler 2 adventure aboundsToday I’m excited to reveal the block I designed for the Splendid Sampler 2 book: Adventure Abounds, found on page 122.  Those of you who know me are most likely not surprised by this block one bit! For those of you who are new, welcome! I’m Kitty Wilkin, aka Night Quilter, and I’m so glad you’re here! I am a full time mom of three kiddos in rural Maine, but I’m also a pattern designer (EPP, FPP, traditional piecing–I love it all!), quilt and product photographer, teacher, social media manager for the Quilter’s Planner, AND an avid fussy cutter, which I prefer to call meticulous cutting. I’m often inspired by the natural world around me, and when Pat and Jane asked me to design a block reflecting my best quilty life, I knew it had to include family adventures in nature tied together through the creation of a quilt. With strong influence from my Summer Adventure quilt pattern, this block has a bit of everything–sea, trees, and lots of love!

If you’re new to the Splendid Sampler books curated by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson, find out more about the Splendid Sampler 2 book and sew along HERE.

splendid sampler 2 adventure aboundsToday I am going to share 3 tips for using fussy cutting in foundation paper pieced blocks, using my Adventure Abounds block from the Splendid Sampler 2 book. If you’re new to foundation paper piecing (FPP), read my beginner basics FPP tutorial HERE first to make sure you know all of the key components and basic tips. Then let’s dive in!

splendid sampler 2 adventure abounds fppThere are a few things you should remember before beginning FPP: First, the templates are a mirror image of the finished block, so when planning your fabric placement, visualize the right side of your fabric on the back of the template. Second, I highly recommend color coding your paper templates before starting so that you know exactly where each fabric should be. Third, don’t forget to use paper scissors to cut out and trim the templates! Your fabric scissors don’t want to go there!

color code foundation paper piecingOnce your fabrics are selected, your templates are cut out along the 1/4″ seam allowance line and color coded, you’re ready to dive in. Here are three tips for using fussy cutting in FPP:

1. Place your fussy cut on piece 1

One of the easiest ways to use fussy cutting with FPP is to position your fussy cut fabric on the very first piece placed. With this method, simply hold your fabric up to a light source on the wrong side of the paper template, aligning the fabric motif you want to feature. Use a little dab of washable glue stick to hold it in place, and then continue piecing the rest of the block as you normally would. Your fussy cut can be perfectly positioned with very little effort. Depending on the block you’re creating, even this little use of fussy cutting can create quite an impact.

positioning fussy cut fppAs an example of this for my Adventure Abounds block, I decided to position a subtle bird in the sky above the ocean, and held it up to a window to make sure it was positioned exactly how I wanted it. With a white on white background for my blocks, this example is subtle, but sometimes those subtle details are my favorite!

2. Create templates

Another way to make fussy cutting a bit easier while foundation paper piecing is to create a template for the pieces you wish to meticulously cut. You can use template plastic for this, or can even repurpose clear plastic lids to food containers. You want to use something that you can see through or at least trace through using a light source.

creating templates fpp fussy cuttingTo create a template, first trace the shape from the paper foundation template onto the plastic. Be sure to label your piece, AND make note of directionality since the paper template is a mirror image.

creating templates fpp fussy cuttingOnce I trace the shape, I flip over the template plastic and write my notes on the opposite side, so that when I cut the fabric for that piece, I know that my notes should be legible on the right side of the fabric.

creating templates fpp fussy cuttingNext, using a quilting ruler with 1/4″ measure, draw seam lines 1/4″ outside all the edges of your drawn lines.

creating templates fpp fussy cuttingCut out the template along that seam allowance line.

Repeat for all of the shapes you want to fussy cut. You can use the clear templates to be sure you’re cutting your fabric piece exactly as you want it. Note that you will want to use all of the tips outlined in this tutorial when piecing so that the perfectly cut piece of fabric gets sewn in exactly how you want it.

creating templates fpp fussy cuttingFor my block, I decided to fussy cut the heart so that the fabrics for the two pieces of the heart look continuous despite consisting of two fabric pieces. I decided to make a third reference template of the full heart and traced the pattern from the fabric onto the template, which I used as a reference when cutting out each individual part.

creating templates fpp fussy cuttingOnce you have your template positioned over the exact motif you want, carefully trace around the template with a fabric marking tool and cut out the fabric, or very carefully use a rotary cutter to cut around the template. Note that with planning templates made with template plastic or repurposed food lids, using your rotary cutter contains a good level of danger–so either purposefully live on the wild side, or use the trace and cut-with-scissors method!

creating templates fpp fussy cuttingYour perfectly planned fabric piece is ready to carefully stitch onto your growing foundation paper pieced section.

Because this piecing is quite meticulous, you’ll want to be sure to align this next piece perfectly before stitching.

fpp fussy cuttingfpp fussy cuttingFolding along the seam on which you are about to stitch and trimming the overhanging fabric to 1/4″ will help you line up the next piece accurately.

fpp fussy cuttingYou can also fold over the piece you are about to stitch along the seam line to see how it looks before actually stitching.

Note that meticulous cutting is exactly that–meticulous. Be sure to be meticulous in all phases of this process to get the best results. Also, be gentle with yourself. This is not easy! Use a stitch length that you are comfortable ripping out if needed to get those first fabrics lined up. I give myself a Rule of 3 when stitching any block: I’m allowed to use my seam ripper to rip out progress and make it align better 3 times during the stitching process for any block. Once I hit my 3 times, I need to just accept the imperfections and move on. We are human, after all. But don’t be afraid to try! As with anything, the more you practice, the easier it will get.

fpp fussy cuttingOnce your fussy cut pieces are cut and stitched as desired, continue piecing your non-fussy cut pieces as you would any other FPP block.

3. Focus on the joining seam

A third tool to use while fussy cutting in FPP is to pay close attention to the edge of the motif you want to feature. This works particularly well for lining up directional prints along the seam line, or for less precise fussy cuts.

This method is used for any piece AFTER the first piece placed. If your fussy cut is the first piece, use Tip 1!

splendid sampler 2 adventure aboundsIn the Adventure Abounds block I made for the original Splendid Sampler 2 quilt, I used this tip when piecing the text on the tree, specifically the word “love”, since the word “listen” was the first piece placed, and was therefore easy to simply glue in place and piece around. Knowing that I wanted the top of the word love to be juuust below that darker top piece, when I cut the square of fabric I carefully cut just a tad bit more than 1/4″ from that top edge of the word love. I left the rest of the rectangle of fabric a bit larger and less specific, since as long as that edge lined up properly, the rest didn’t matter.

With the Adventure Abounds block I’m making for my own Splendid Sampler 2 quilt, I am not using as finicky or directional of fabric for the tree, so there is no need for fussy cutting. However, I wanted to control the directionality of the fabric in a few of the waves, so that the dots on the Cotton and Steel basics and the wavy paths on the bike path fabric by Alison Glass ran parallel to the seam line. The piece is not the first one placed, so I couldn’t use Tip 1. All I want to control is the directionality of the fabric, so making a template seems like more work than is necessary. Enter Tip 3: Focus on the joining seam.

 

fussy cutting with fppWhenever employing any type of meticulous cutting in your FPP, it’s always a good idea to trim your 1/4″ seam allowance before positioning and stitching your fussy cut shape. To do this, simply fold back the foundation paper along the line you are about to sew on, and using a quilting ruler with 1/4″ measure, trim the fabric 1/4″ away from the fold. (Obviously use a cutting mat underneath! This photo shows without the mat for aesthetic consistency). Once your fabric is trimmed, you have a clean line with which to line up your next meticulously placed piece.

This also helps facilitate another key FPP tip, which I originally learned from Lee Heinrich of Freshly Pieced, and which has saved me countless brain-scruntches trying to be sure a fabric piece would align properly on wonky angles in FPP.

fussy cutting with fppWhen your paper is folded along the seam-to-be-sewn, you can place it on your next fabric (right side up) and the paper shape as folded will be exactly on top of the fabric that will end up in that space once you sew along the line. Be sure to visit Lee’s tutorial for a perfectly clear and in depth explanation–it’s truly life changing when it comes to FPP!

https://weallsew.com/how-to-make-paper-piecing-easy/What that means for us is that with that clear 1/4″ seam line showing us the direction we want our print to go, simply lining up the folded seam line with the directional print will ensure the pattern runs in exactly the direction we want. Fold up the edge a bit to peek under and make sure the pattern is positioned the way you want it, then without changing the position of the fabric, fold the paper back up and sew along the line.

https://weallsew.com/how-to-make-paper-piecing-easy/You will end up with your directional fabric meticulously positioned along the seam line, just how you wanted it. Paired with that fun bird flying over the ocean that we placed using Tip 1, these tips can help take your foundation paper piecing blocks to a whole new, intentional level.

splendid sampler 2 adventure aboundsHere’s the block I made for my slowly growing Splendid Sampler 2 quilt, about which I’ll show you more soon! I’m creating monochromatic blocks and using an alternate rainbow layout I sketched out in my Quilter’s Planner. This Adventure Abounds block will be positioned in the teal row, but as you can see, it is transitioning to the green. I made a compromise from my monochromatic-rule for this block, since I make the rules around here anyway! ha!

the splendid sampler 2 night quilter quilters plannerOkay, just one peek at my planned layout and a few of my blocks so far. A full look will come in its own blog post soon, so be sure to follow this space!

Thank you so much for joining me today–I hope this tutorial is helpful and entices some new fussy cutters to try adding some meticulous cutting to their foundation paper piecing! Please show me what you’re making and either comment with a photo, or tag me on social media @nightquilter . Most of all, have fun!!

If you’re sewing along with the Splendid Sampler 2 excitement, be sure to head over to the Splendid Sampler website, and post your completed Adventure Abounds block. There is a fun Martingale book giveaway for one lucky person picked from the blocks shared on their website.

splendid sampler 2 adventure aboundsHave fun with your Adventure Abounds block, and may your adventures abound!

A Stitch in Time EPP Book Tour: Mummy Rosie Mouse

Today I’m excited to join Sharon Burgess of Lilabelle Lane Creations in celebrating her new book, A Stitch in Time: English Paper Piecing published by Tuva Publishing. I had so much fun making the Mummy Rosie Mouse pincushion from Sharon’s new book, and when it came time for the photoshoot, I just couldn’t stop at one. Was this part of what motivated me to get my “back to blogging” post up yesterday? Yes, absolutely. Whatever it takes, right!?

a stitch in time book and blog tour sharon burgessA few months ago when Sharon asked me to be a part of her book tour, I didn’t hesitate to say yes. I had made Sharon’s block for the Splendid Sampler 2 and loved it, and English Paper Piecing (EPP) is quickly becoming my go-to style of quilting because of its portability and versatility.  A Stitch in Time is a fun book including 18 small  projects that combine EPP with vintage linens, embroidery, appliqué, patchwork and quilting. It’s a great resource for hand-stitched gifts that won’t require a year’s worth of stitching.

mummy rosie mouse a stitch in time sharon burgessAs I flipped through the beautiful book trying to decide what project to make, I fell in love with the mousie pincushions immediately. I opted to make the larger of the two, and thus my Mummy Rosie came to be.

mummy rosie mouse a stitch in time sharon burgessI used a bunch of turquoise/teal scraps to piece Rosie’s back, and realized that this project would make SUCH a great scrap buster. I might just start making 3/4″ hexies and throwing them in a jar to make mousies!

Any project that involves cutting through a hand-stitched panel always is painful, but I forged ahead with gritted teeth and it was worth the pain of trimming. As you can see, I marked the template plastic with guides around some of the hexies so that when I cut each panel, they would be symmetrical.  It worked well!

scissor pocket rosie mouse a stitch in time eppI love how so many of the projects in Sharon’s book include little embellishments with embroidery, cute ribbon, and vintage lace. Rosie not only has a scissor pocket on the bottom, which makes use of a pretty coordinating ribbon I bought from my local quilt shop Fiddlehead Artisan Supply, but it also calls for some embroidery on Rosie’s head.

alison glass iron on embroideryI decided to pull out the Embroidery Iron-on Transfers designed by Alison Glass and found a sweet little flower from her Diving Board Set. This was my first time using these Iron-on Transfers, but they worked SO well and were super easy to use! Now I’m itching to figure out what else I can add a bit of embroidery to!

alison glass embroidery iron on transferHere’s a peek at the process. You can see how well the lines transfer onto the fabric. It’s reallllly easy to use, too. I used a selection of Aurifil 12wt thread to embellish Rosie’s head with the Alison Glass flower and some surrounding french knots. I used 4182-Dark Turquoise, 5006-Light Turquoise, and 5007-Light Grey Blue and they were perfect complements.

rosie mouse pin cushion a stitch in timeI think it’s a good look, don’t you?

rosie mouse pin cushion a stitch in timeThe pattern calls for attaching 2 1/2″ scissors, but I opted to attach my 4″ Warm Crochet scissors since I use them often. Plus, when you are a mouse living in a jungle of turquoise that is prowled through by a cat and three kiddos, you need all the protection you can get!

rosie mouse pin cushion a stitch in timeRosie’s ready for action, don’t you think?

Be sure to check out the rest of the folks participating in Sharon’s book tour. There are so many great projects! You can check the hashtag #astitchintimeepp on Instagram to get a peek of quite a few of them. There’s sure to be one you fall in love with!

Irons on the Fire & Return to Blogland

Heading into the summer, I had too many irons on the fire, as the saying goes. I began writing this post back in June, and not only did it not get published, but I haven’t blogged since. This past summer was full of so many fun things, and between a summer of family adventures, big projects, and exciting opportunities, I just didn’t have the time to dedicate to blogging about them. I take pride in the quality of the posts that I share, which means that each blog post requires forethought, a photo shoot, photo editing, writing, formatting, and of course the sewing part! With all of the deadlines I had on top of an already full summer with all three kids home and ready to rumble, blogging needed to take a back seat. I needed to let it fall off my mental (and written) to-do list.

Fast forward through summer, then back-to-school, then how are we already past Thanksgiving?! I’ve been thinking about returning to this space and I figure now is as good a time as any! I will certainly need to reevaluate the frequency and depth at which I share, but I do hope to be sharing something here with more regularity.

I thought it might be fun to return with just a few peeks at what I accomplished over the summer, some complete and some still in progress. For those of you who want to be sure to stay in the loop, you can opt in for my emails (which are nearly as infrequent as blog posts), follow me on Instagram @nightquilter, follow my Night Quilter Facebook page (which is mostly another place to view my IG posts and fun announcements), or join my Pollinate EPP Garden Party Facebook group, where there’s a fun group of stitchy friends gleefully hand-stitching my Pollinate EPP quilt (there’s so much I haven’t shared here!).

Anyway, here are some highlights of my past few months:

Quilter’s Planner 2019 Photography

quilters planner 2019Once again I was honored to have the task of doing the quilt photography for the 2019 Quilter’s Planner, and it was loads of fun this year! I’ve learned a lot each year as I have tackled the monumental task of photographing 12-15 projects out in the wilds of Maine with the help of my strong, tall, patient husband, usually in a fairly short timeframe.

quilt photography karie jewell quilters planner 2019This year, we were definitely a lot more relaxed and peaceful during the photoshoots, which I’m sure Garrett appreciated!

pollen pillow epp quilters plannerWith projects photographed all through Maine, next year’s planner is sure to inspire, and if you haven’t ordered yours yet, I definitely recommend doing so!  As an added bonus (and added irons on the fire) I also contributed a pattern to the Quilter’s Planner 2019 Companion Magazine (the Pollen Pillow, which is shown above and is a baby bite from my larger Pollinate EPP pattern, which I’ll talk about soon!), and I wrote an article with the basics for English Paper Piecing (EPP). There’s so much value to the package you get with the Quilter’s Planner, and I’m grateful to have been able to contribute so much to it this year. See more and order yours HERE.

Summer Adventure Quilt Pattern

In the beginning of the summer, I released my Summer Adventure Quilt Pattern, which was a project I realllllly wanted to get out before the summer months hit. It was actually my very last blog post on here before I began the summer juggle, so you can read more about it HERE. With everything else on my plate, I wasn’t able to do as much with the Summer Adventure Quilting with Kitty Wilkin group on Facebook, but there’s always next summer! The pattern is out and available in both my Craftsy and Payhip shops, which are linked in the blog post.

Pollinate EPP Pattern

Perhaps the most exciting and monumental project I tackled over the course of the summer was the design of my very first English Paper Piecing pattern with Karen the DIY Addict!  My pattern is called Pollinate and it’s absolutely wonderful (yes, that’s a proud mama’s take on it, but from what I’m hearing, a lot of others agree!).

pollinate epp patternPerfect for both beginner and experienced EPPers alike, Pollinate is a diverse pattern that has endless possibilities for design and color play.  Plus, the “filler” sections look like bees!! You can see the many different Pollinate quilts taking shape on Instagram by checking out the #pollinatequilt hashtag (you don’t have to have an Instagram account to see them, I don’t think). There are 3 finished quilt tops so far, and each completely different! I will definitely share more about that here soon.  In the meantime, you can read more about the pattern and order yours (if you want to join in on the Garden Party fun) HERE.  Join the Pollinate EPP Garden Party on Facebook for more inspiration, a joyful group of stitching cheerleaders, and a community of help! Or you can watch my totally amateur videos on YouTube. Yes, I have finally created a channel, and with my phone taped to a tripod, I’ll slowly add video tutorials all about EPP and anything else you want to know!

Aurifil Photography

aurifil thread product photographyThis summer I was honored to work with Aurifil to update the photographs on their website. As you all surely know, I love photography, and combined with my favorite quilty notion, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity.

aurifil thread product photographyI photographed all 9 different weights of thread offered by Aurifil in a variety of stagings, and truly enjoyed the process. You can scroll through the photos on the top of the Aurifil Thread website to see a selection of my photos, and I’ve included a couple of my favorites here. There’s also a fun interview with me on the Auribuzz blog HERE.

aurifil thread product photography

100 Days of Sew Smaller Challenge

100 days of sew smallerThis summer I also tackled the 100 Day Project, and chose to go with 100 Days of Sew Smaller. My goal was to sew a teeny tiny quilt block that finishes at 1 1/4″ square each day for 100 days. I created foundation paper piecing templates as I went, stretched my comfort zones in both minuscule piecing and fussy cutting at a tiny scale, and really had a great time. AND I actually finished all 100 blocks!! The progress photos and finished mini quilt will be exhibited in the special exhibit at Quilt Con in Nashville in February of 2019, so be sure to check it out if you’re planning on attending QuiltCon!

The Splendid Sampler 2

I’m excited to be one of the contributing designers to the Splendid Sampler 2 book by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson, and have been sewing along as much as I could fit in. They released 20 free blocks to kick off the Sew Along beginning in June, and now we are diving into sewing the book! My block will appear somewhere along the course of the sew along, but you’ll just have to wait and see which one it is!

splendid sampler 2 nightquilterHere is a screenshot showing some of the blocks I’ve made so far. You can see all of them on Instagram HERE, and I’ll aim to share updates here as I make more!

Phew! There’s surely so much more that I’ve forgotten to share, but this is a pretty decent start on catching up! What have you been up to this summer?

Let the Summer Adventures Begin! (Pattern Release)

The summer solstice marks the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, as well as the start of summer. What better way to celebrate than with the release of my long awaited Summer Adventure Quilt pattern!?

summer adventure quilt patternToday I’m excited to share my Summer Adventure Quilt pattern, a 30 page pattern complete with 14 foundation paper pieced blocks, traditionally pieced blocks, clear assembly diagrams, and instructions for two different methods of construction. You can choose to either sew the cover quilt, which finishes at 60″ x 70″, or you can choose your own adventure and create your quilt in the same way I created my original summer adventure quilt–by earning one block per adventure you take. I walk you through both options in the pattern.

summer adventure quilt block tree
I am making my summer adventure quilt out of Alison Glass fabrics for Andover Fabrics, since their bright and vibrant colors help the blocks to really pop! Aurifil 50wt thread is my go-to for piecing and quilting!

The pattern is available on Payhip for an introductory price of $15 through the end of June. On July 1st, the pattern will return to its normal $25 price. With 14 FPP block templates, traditional block instructions, and more, this is a steal!

Summer Adventure Quilting with Kitty Wilkin on FacebookI also created a Facebook group called Summer Adventure Quilting with Kitty Wilkin, where I hope you’ll share your summer adventuring–both in the sewing room and out in the world! It will be a platform where I will be able to answer questions, and where we can all celebrate in each other’s adventures and share inspiration. One of the biggest reasons I create patterns is to help share inspiration with the larger quilting community. The community is what makes me tick!

blue hill mountain summer adventure quiltYou probably remember the improv, make-it-up-as-I-go Summer Adventure quilt I made last summer (you can see the finished quilt top HERE), which inspired this pattern. I had such a fun time documenting our summer family fun with that, that I wanted to be able to share it with you. Bring on my favorite foundation paper piecing, some quilt math puzzle solving, and I think that this pattern meets that goal! I’m hoping that this Summer Adventure Quilt pattern inspires you to get outside and enjoy the natural world around you a bit more, and tie your love of quilting and sewing together with a love and appreciation of nature. Enjoy the journey, and adventure often!

If you’ve opted in for Night Quilter emails, be sure to check your email for an additional 20% off coupon code good on Payhip through the end of the month. If you *want* to opt in for Night Quilter emails, click here to get in the know.

Happy adventuring!

 

The 100 Day Project: Sew Smaller

Well, I did it again. While I knew I couldn’t commit to another 365 days of stitching like last year’s One Year of Stitches embroidery project, I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to jump on another daily creativity bandwagon.

#100daysofsewsmaller tiny sewing quiltingI’m officially 11 days into The 100 Day Project, and my focus is on sewing smaller. So far I’ve sewn 11 tiny quilt blocks that will finish at 1 1/4″ square. I’m using the hashtag #100daysofsewsmaller on Instagram and aiming to share my progress daily.

Here is a closer look at each of my blocks thus far!

#100daysofsewsmaller tiny sewing quilting1/100

#100daysofsewsmaller tiny sewing quilting2/100

#100daysofsewsmaller tiny sewing quilting3/100

#100daysofsewsmaller tiny sewing quilting4/100 (which was also the day when I created a foundation paper pieced template for my day 11 block. I didn’t sew that one until today, but the idea was born on day 4!

#100daysofsewsmaller tiny sewing quilting5/100

#100daysofsewsmaller tiny sewing quilting6 & 7/100 – Day 6 was the day of my daughter’s First Communion & Confirmation and my family was visiting all weekend, so I got a self-granted “bye” on posting. I caught up on my birthday, day 7!

#100daysofsewsmaller tiny sewing quilting8/100

#100daysofsewsmaller tiny sewing quilting9/100

#100daysofsewsmaller tiny sewing quilting10/100

#100daysofsewsmaller tiny sewing quilting11/100

I’ve been sharing updates on both my @nightquilter feed and also @thequiltersplanner feed, since I’ve been using my Quilter’s Planner to track each block.I am making blocks that fit perfectly in each daily column on the weekly planning pages, so it works wonderfully. My planner is always open to the weekly planning pages, so it is a great way to get a visual of my week’s blocks together. Maybe for my next post I’ll show you a photo of my blocks on my personal in-use planner instead of the nice neat, clean one I have for staging photos!

I’ve been having fun taking summary photos for the QP feed, since I love creating rainbows in any way possible.

#100daysofsewsmaller tiny sewing quiltingDays 1-3

#100daysofsewsmaller tiny sewing quiltingThe first week of blocks

#100daysofsewsmaller tiny sewing quiltingThe first 10 days

Going into this project, I first imagined making the same block for 100 days, but once I started stitching them, I started to think about how many different blocks could be sewn in miniature. So then my plan morphed into 10 different blocks sewn 10 times each, alternating color and background like the first 10 blocks. It would allow me to mix up the blocks sewn, still play with color and tiny stitching, and have a pretty predictable finished 12″x12″ mini at the end of the 100 days.

Then my friend Sharon of Sharon Holland Designs shared some really wise advice:

I love how your challenge is going Kitty and how it relates to you as a quilter but also think you should let it be organic and use the 100 days to explore if needed and push yourself also if needed. Don’t get locked into a direction.

How wise is that!? What better activity than a 100 day project to use as a springboard for experimentation and stretching the limits and bounds of my creativity!? It is so ingrained in my habit to be able to visualize the end product before I begin a project, and I really think it would be a great growing experience for me to let go, give myself some very loose guidelines, and just allow myself to experiment.

So, that’s the plan. My “rules” are:

  • I am only allowed to use scraps from my scrap bin, and will aim to make them using a colored scrap with a white or low volume scrap.
  • I will do my best to stay current, but am allowed to work ahead up to 5 days. This (I’m hoping) will allow me to stick with it even when there are days when I know I won’t be able to get to a sewing machine. It’s my attempt at being gentle with myself while still pushing myself to stick with a habit of making.
  • I have to have fun with it. If it becomes a stress or source of self-deprecating thoughts, I will stop and try again next year. The last thing I need is another “I should be able to…” thing to beat myself up over.
  • and recently added: I will try NOT to plan at all, will experiment as desired, but will try to keep at least one dimension of each block at 1 1/4″ finished size.

That’s it! So far, all of my blocks are 1 3/4″, which will be 1 1/4″ finished.

#100daysofsewsmaller 100 day projectI’ve worked ahead twice (once when my entire family was visiting for the weekend for my daughter’s First Communion, and once today since I know weekends are often filled with family time and not necessarily sewing time), but have stuck with the block per day format.

Most importantly, I’m having FUN! I had forgotten how giggly-fun it is to sew on a teeny tiny scale, and with lots of exciting big (albiet secret) projects going on behind the scenes, it’s really fabulous to have a little project I can sew and share daily.

#100daysofsewsmaller 100 day projectI’ll leave you with a cheeky peek at the backside of my latest block, since one of the big questions I’ve gotten so far over on Instagram is “How big is your seam allowance?”.  My answer: 1/4″ seam allowance, just like always. Note that so far I’ve created blocks with mostly straight joins, and I might scale a few seam allowances down to 1/8″ to decrease bulk as I experiment further, but for the most part, the 1/4″ seam works just fine!

If you’re on Instagram, you can follow my daily progress both in my Night Quilter feed or updates in The Quilter’s Planner feed. You should also be able to see my latest Instagram posts over on my right sidebar -> so keep an eye on that as well!

Until next time, I hope you have a *little* stitching fun this weekend!

I grab a needle and thread once the kids are in bed