Stash Building: Botanics, Two Ways

I finally, finally have the full line of Carolyn Friedlander’s Botanics, in two forms!

Botanics fabric, two ways.
Botanics, two ways.

I have two secret sewing projects in the works, which is fairly new for me. Normally, I may have a sort of secret sewing project since it’s a gift for someone, but these are two entirely new experiences. One is my Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt for the swap. It’s fun since it’s quasi secret, but peeks are allowed (and there are lots of them on Instagram). The second is a completely secret project, which you’ll get to see mid to late January. (intrigued? ;))

Either way, these fabrics came into my stash for my secret sewing. They are technically on standby, but I figured having them would NEVER hurt, since I’ve been wanting the full Botanics collection since it came out. As much as I’d love to buy a bolt of each, charms and layer cakes will have to do for now.

botanics fabric love

botanics color gradient

Look at those gorgeous colors! Oh, I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to have these fabric packs in my possession, and I can’t wait to make something fabulous!

I also added little bits (a fat quarter and scrap piece) of these awesome fabrics to my stash. I gave in to an instagram destash by my Schnitzel and Boo group momma, Sandra at Small Town Thread.

bicycle and typewriter fabric

I’ve been in love with the typewriters since seeing this mini made for Holly at Bijou Lovely. The bicycles are just too cute to pass up. I can see bits of both of these making their way into smaller projects, or as feature bits in larger quilts. I’m already plotting my first little project with them.

I’m linking up with Molli Sparkles’ Sunday Stash. What’s new in your stash?


Color Inspiration Thursday {29}

Happy Thanksgiving to those of you in the US (belated, since I spent yesterday with family instead of at the computer)! I have so much to be thankful for this year, and always. Top on my list is always family, immediate and extended, near and far. I am so blessed to be supported and loved by all of my family and wish we all lived closer together. Yesterday I was also particularly grateful for the gorgeous snow AND the fact that we didn’t lose power! Coming into a warm, well-lit house after playing in the snow is so very comforting.

This week’s color inspiration comes from some snowy scenes around our house, since we accumulated a good foot plus of snow overnight.

snow in maine
BEFORE: View down our driveway Wednesday afternoon.
snow maine
AFTER: View down our driveway Thursday morning.

Color palettes are made using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 and my photographs.

snowy red berries color palette

 Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Titanium, Shadow, Mushroom, Mocha, Mahogany, Cinnemon

I love the smooth flow of colors in today’s palettes. Whites and greys fade to the little pops of color that poke through the snow.

blue sky icicles color paletteCorresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Slate, Titanium, Cloud, Cadet, Pepper, White

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
4140 – Wedgewood
5008 – Sugar Paper
2560 – Iris
1248 – Grey Blue
2785 – V Dk Navy
2024 – White

Another smooth flow of color with the gorgeous blues of the sky, both reflected in these dripping icicles and in its own fluffy clouded beauty. I love cold, sunny, snowy days. The sun makes everything glisten and glimmer!


A Mini Sneak Peek

I finally chose the pattern I am going to use for my Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt swap quilt for my partner, and boy am I excited! My inspiration is a quilt I’ve been drooling over since its unveiling by Nicole at  Modern Handcraft, and I’m excited to give a go at recreating it.

modern handcraft modern hexies quilt

modern handcrafts modern hexies

As much as I was tempted to use Carolyn Friedlander’s Botanics to recreate this stunning quilt exactly, I decided to be a *little* original and use a fabric line by another one of the designers listed as a favorite of my secret partner: True Colors by Anna Maria Horner. I’ve made a little bit of slow progress.

hexagon mini quilt progress anna maria horner
I took my photo shoot outside on a cutting board, since we have yet another cloudy, overcast day and a winter storm brewing. 8-14″ of snow forecast for tonight!

At first, I wasn’t sure about these fabrics and how they would work in a modern hexies mini quilt, but once I put them together and took a photo, I’m a lot more encouraged. For some reason, when looking at the fabrics in a stack, they don’t seem to flow as well as I’d like. Looking at them arranged like so and through the eye of a camera, it definitely “works”. Woo hoo!

modern hexies anna maria horner

I ordered a small pack (100 pieces) of 1″ hexagons from Paper Pieces, but I got a little antsy waiting for them to arrive, since my charm pack of Anna Maria Horner arrived first. Rather than wait, I pulled out some card stock and printed off a page of adorable Happy Hexies by Mollie Johanson of Wild Olive. I had bookmarked these a few months back, and was thrilled to finally use them. I mean, how cute are these little guys peeking out the back!?

happy hexies by mollie johanson

Now that my Paper Pieces hexies have arrived, I can go to town on this project, but I’m so grateful for these cheerful little guys and Mollie’s free download since they allowed me to get a little head start on the mini. Hopefully, we will see this cute little stack of hexagons grow and grow and GROW over the next couple weeks!rainbow stack of hexagons


I’m linking up with Lee’s Work in Progress Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Color Inspiration Thursday {28}

Today I am taking a trip down memory lane for our color inspiration. I admit, I was waiting for the perfect frosty morning to take photos for today’s color inspiration and the day simply did not come; it was cooooold but no gorgeous frost. So, I headed to my photo archives and found a few suitable seasonal nature photos from a family camping trip in November of 2010. My husband and I took our baby Maddie camping in a yurt in Jefferson, Maine, and had a lovely time. Here are some snapshots. Color palettes are made using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 and my own photographs, as per usual!

see the world in a drop of water color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
O.D. Green, Sky, Iron, Steel, Evergreen, Palm

See the world in a drop of water. I love the smooth grey-green of this palette, and the reflections dancing in the raindrops.

drip drop leaf brown color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Coal, Sable, Black, Medium Grey, O.D. Green, Titanium

Another raindrop photo; can you tell I like to take photographs of water showing off its awesome surface tension tricks? This palette holds all of the muted earthy tones found in mud. Mmmm!

colorful yurt color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Chestnut, Black, Slate, Ochre, Paprika, Mahogany

A warm and cheery scene from inside the yurt. My husband holds my peacefully sleeping daughter during nap time, and our hunter-beware clothing dries above the wood stove. This was a cozy camping trip for sure! I like the range of colors in this palette, and I think they play well together.

slime mold color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Moss, Black, Caramel, Spice, Gold, Cinnamon

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
5013 –Asphalt
2692 – Black
2930 – Toast
2385 – Terracotta
2930 – Toast
4012 – Copper Brown

I love this palette. I don’t think I will tire of the bright pop of fungi growing on a tree. The flow from black-greeny-grey to the range of coppery yellows and reds creates such a smooth aesthetic. This might be my favorite palette from this group.

night time lantern fun

Just one more photo to complete my trip down memory lane: my husband and daughter enjoying an awed experience with the lantern at night. I can’t believe this baby girl is almost 5 years old! We definitely will need to think about another yurt camping trip, maybe this winter!

Getting Brave with a Bag

I’m going to do it. It’s official, now. I’m going to attempt to a) follow my first non-quilt pattern and b) make my first bag! I bought all of the fabric, interfacing, and notions needed so now there is no turning back.

fabric and pattern for making my first bag by noodlehead

I recently stopped in my local (really local this time at 20 minutes away) fabric shop Fiddlehead Artisan Supply in Belfast, with a bag in mind and was taken by their colorful linen blend selections. Initially, I had in my mind that the feature fabric for my first bag would be linen blend, but I decided on a cotton print (the butterflies-“Flutter” by Laura Gunn for Michael Miller Fabrics) for the large front feature pocket for the bag. The main body of the bag will be the teal linen blend, then handles and inner pocket will be the lime green linen blend, and the inner lining will be the dark blue fireflies (from Water Garden by Jane Dixon for Andover Fabrics).

fabric for first bag

I bought the necessary interfacing, pattern paper, and a magnetic snap closure, so I think I have everything I will need. I opted for the Go Anywhere Bag by Noodlehead, for many reasons:

  • I’ve seen so many awesome bags made with Noodlehead‘s patterns,
  • Noodlehead was also recommended by the woman at Fiddlehead,
  • Fiddlehead had the patterns for sale, so it was one-stop-shopping,
  • The bag is BIG! which means it should fit all of my crap valuable items,
  • There are no zippers, so I don’t have to face that challenge yet, and
  • I feel like the pattern really highlights the fabric choices.

I can’t wait to begin!

butterfly fabric for my first bag

I am hoping (planning?) to have a chunk of time tomorrow to sew, and that’s when I plan to tackle this bag. Sure, I have other projects that could use some progress made, but I’m ready to sit down, bite the bullet, and MAKE a BAG! I’ve read through the instructions a couple of times and have been thinking about this project a LOT, so I’m counting it as a work in progress and linking up with Freshly Pieced’s WiP Wednesday.

WIP Wednesday

Any tips for a first time bag-maker?


Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt Swap: I’m in!

When I first began quilting, I had no idea about the vast network of social quilting that happens over the internet. Now that I’ve been quilting and “in” the quilting blogosphere, Facebook world, Instagram, etc. for a while, I’m realizing that there are SO many ways to quilt socially over the internet. Just to name a few of the social quilting modes I’ve seen so far beyond the network of conversation and support found on blogs and Facebook, there are quilting bees, round robins, mystery quilts, friendship quilt swaps, and mystery quilt swaps. I’m sure there are many more to which I’m not yet privy. But this week, I did it: I joined my very first quilt swap!

schnitzel and boo mini quilt swap round 3

Very early in my quilting days, I saw Instagram posts about the first two rounds of the Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt Swap, and have to say I was a little bit jealous of the fun back-and-forth, inspiration sharing, progress peek photos, and of course the gorgeous finished mini quilts being mailed around the world to unsuspecting recipients. When I saw people begin to post about joining in on Round 3, I bit the bullet and signed up! Now I’m proud to say that I am among the Makers of Awesome, and have already started plotting the quilt I will be making for my secret partner.

I’ve also put together a mosaic of quilts I love to help the secret partner who will be making a mini quilt for me.

mini quilt swap inspiration board
Inspiring quilts by (from top left to right): 1. Carolyn Friedlander 2. Modern Handcraft 3. Brooke from Pitter Putter Stitch, 4. Modern Cozy, 5. The Sewing Chick, 6. Simple Sewendipity, 7. Jen from Bettycrockerass, 8. Shape Moth, 9. The Charming Needle

I’m building up my inspiration board as I see more quilts I love, so you can see it as it grows by following the board on Pinterest.

Most of the communication with this swap is happening on Instagram, which is really fun since it’s such a visual platform. It’s a bit confusing to me (so far) to be addressing a mystery partner, and half of the time in reference to the person for whom I’m making a quilt, and the other half of the time be referring to the person who is making a quilt for me. I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it eventually, though. I’ve already decided what quilt I will be making for my partner, and I’ll show a few sneak peeks along the way. If you want to follow along with my (and almost 1,000 other quilters worldwide) progress, follow me @nightquilter on Instagram, or browse the hashtags #schnitzelandboominiquiltswap and #makeaquiltmakeafriend.

This is going to be fun! Any advice for a newbie quilt swapper?

Stash Building: Alewives Greens

A couple weekends ago, I traveled to one of my favorite “local” fabric shops, Alewives Fabrics, about an hour and a half drive away. I went primarily for the Color for Quilters Class and my first ever Maine Modern Quilt Guild meeting, but also, of course, for the fabric. I knew that in a store like Alewives, I could easily buy enough fabric to fill my trunk, so I went to the class intentionally with the idea of building the greens in my stash, but without a giant fabric shopping list. (If anyone wants to fund my fabric buying budget, I’ll be happy to give you my paypal email address and you can direct deposit as much as your generous heart desires–haha)fabric stash building

fabric stash building

I couldn’t resist the feathers on blue or the yellow newsprint fabric, so I let those slide into the mix. I also bought my first ever (gasp) Cotton and Steel. Here’s the (mostly green) fabric goodness I took home with me (from left to right):

  • 1/2 yard of What a Gem by Allison Cole for Eugene Textiles
  • 1/2 yard of Wee Wander by Sarah Jane for Michael Miller Fabrics

and fat quarters of:

  • Collage “Newspaper Stripe” by Carrie Bloomston of SUCH Design for Windham Fabrics;
  • Unknown (but awesome) Fibonacci Fabric in green;
  • Vagabond Parquet Moon Dial by Parson Gray for Free Spirit Fabrics; and,
  • XOXO in Picnic Gold by Cotton and Steel House Designer for Cotton and Steel

fabric stash building

While I was looking through Alewives’ awesome fat quarter bins, I stumbled upon the amazing Fibonacci fabric. Not only was it green (my color of choice for the day) but it is totally math-geek friendly. As a complete closet–or maybe not so closeted–math and science geek, there was no way I was going to leave that shop without buying the Fibonacci Golden Ratio fabric.

Fibonacci fabric green golden ratioI have no idea what I will do with the fabric yet, but I sure am happy to have it in my stash! If anyone knows any of the designer/manufacturer information for this fabric, please let me know.

I’m linking up with Molli’s fabulous Sunday Stash.


A Perfect Pair: Wine and Fabric {Tremolo}

It’s been a while since my last wine and fabric pairing post, and there’s a good reason for it: I’m expecting baby #3 and therefore haven’t been drinking any wine! Now that the cat’s out of the bag, you will understand my relative blogging silence the past few months. The first trimester is exhausting, meaning my late night quilting was replaced by sleeping!

This past week, though, my parents came to visit, and when I saw one of the bottles of wine my dad brought along, I immediately was inspired to make a quilt. Or, in this case, a small pincushion for starters.

Tremolo wine  inspired pincushion quilting

Tremolo wine  inspired pincushion quilting

My first thought when I saw the 2013 Tremolo Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina (other than “Man, I wish I could have some wine”) was how the sound waves would make a cool quilt.

Tremolo definition from google
Tremolo definition from google

I did a bit of googling to see if I could find any existing sound wave quilts, and then decided to make my own practice version in the form of a pincushion. At first I was going to make it longer with gradating colors from dark to light, but due to time and resulting size I limited myself to just one sound wave.

tremolo sound wave quilt pincushion

I used almost entirely scraps, but needed to cut one more 3/4″ strip of Carolyn Friedlander’s beloved botanics fabric for background. I’m mostly happy with how this turned out, but I feel like the strips should could be skinnier. Perhaps on a larger scale (think: pillow or quilt), the strips could be wider and still have the right sound wave generating effect. As it was, 3/4″ strips (finishing at 1/4″) were pretty tiny, and still look too wide for my taste.

tremolo sound wave quilt pincushion

I do love the quilting, though!! I jumped right into free motion quilting a sound wave zig-zag right on top. I intentionally bumped out into the background a bit, mimicking the fluctuations of an actual sound wave. I used Aurifil 2810 – Turquoise 50 wt thread, which coordinated with the sound wave, but contrasted enough so that the stitches are very visible (and audible?)

tremolo wine inspired quilted pincushion

My dad reported that the Tremolo wine is very good, and nice and smooth. The label description says: French-born winemaker Didier DeBono crafted this 100% Malbec from grapes grown on two special, high-elevation vineyard sites in Mendoza. A Tremolo is an aurally pleasing musical effect we were reminded of upon tasting this harmonious, balanced wine. It sounds like my dad agrees, and that the inspiration can be extended visually, to music-inspired quilting!

tremolo wine inspired quilted pincushion

There you have it: another perfect wine and fabric pairing. Drink Tremolo while you work on your musically-inspired quilt, whether it be a tiny pincushion or a king sized quilt!

The perfect pair:

Any music or sound wave-inspired sewing
My mini tremolo pincushion included:

Front (Collection/Designer/Manufacturer):
Scraps of:
*  Botanics/Carolyn Friedlander/Robert Kaufman Fabrics – background
*  Plum Rose/Blank Quilting – sound wave

Back (Collection/Designer/Manufacturer):
*  Tree of Life/Chong-a Hwang/Timeless Treasures Fabrics

Varietal: Malebec
Producer: Tremolo
Vintage: 2013
Location: Mendoza, Argentina

Tasting notes from website: Rustic, earthy and even a bit restrained at first, after some air this wine will reveal excellent fruit concentration with notes of dark cherry and blackberry, plus a hint of vanilla and a meaty, earthy finish. It finishes dry and will leave you thirsting for more – especially if you’re having it with grilled meat.

Or if you’re in the middle of an aurally and visually pleasing quilting project. A perfect pair, indeed.

Here are two of my favorite sound wave-esque quilts I found during my google search:

Piano Keys quilt by Avis Collins Robinson
Piano Keys by Avis Collins Robinson

This beauty was found on the November 1, 2009 tumblr post on  It’s a photo taken at the African American Quilts exhibit at the Nelson Gallery, of a quilt called Piano Keys by Avis Collins Robinson.

tuning forks quilt by heather preggers
Tuning Forks #11 by Heather Preggers

I absolutely love this quilt by Heather Preggers. Visit her blog to read more about her thought process and creation of this quilt. She also has many other variations of this tuning forks quilt, since she’s admitted she is somewhat obsessed with them! They are all gorgeous and resonate with sound and movement.

I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday, since I finished my pincushion and paired a nice wine!

Color Inspiration Thursday {27}

Flash back to fall! All color palettes are created using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 and my photographs.

pumpkin ladybug autumn color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Biscuit, Earth, Forest, Ivy, Spice, Gold

While I’m resigned to the fact that winter is here, I’m still cherishing the little bits of life that still brighten our garden. This little ladybug was relaxing on one of our almost-ripe pumpkins a couple weeks ago. The muted tones of the resulting color palette speak volumes of fall. Many of the corresponding Kona cotton colors also scream fall: ivy, spice, gold… Yum!

flower autumn color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Evergreen, Gold, Coal, Paprika, Pickle, Ivy

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
5013 –Asphalt
2330 – Lt Chestnut
1246 – Grey
4012 – Copper Brown
2910 –Med Olive
1318 – Dk Sandstone

While beginning to put my gardens “to bed”, I was overjoyed to see a few last Calendula flowers holding on, with bright sun-ray petals dancing circles around them. Those last flowers in fall make me so happy! There’s something about the intricacy and color play that naturally occurs in flowers that makes me marvel at the ever-present beauty in nature. Color is everywhere!


Secret Garden Quilt: Attalie’s June Garden

Finally, here is the reveal of my secret garden quilt: Attalie’s June Garden.

garden quilt finish butterfly flower
Attalie’s June Garden: A finished quilt, without all of the butterfly pins.

Last weekend, I was doing some hurried slow stitching, trying to get the binding sewn down on this quilt before the baby shower at which it was to be gifted. I finished sewing the binding just in time for the shower to be postponed due to the swiftly blowing and accumulating snow, and shortly thereafter we lost power. For over three days. But I finished the quilt!

free motion quilted words garden quilt
“Attalie’s June Garden”, free motion quilted into the bottom of the quilt’s border.

This quilt has a definite story behind it. First, to decipher the name for you. Attalie is the in utero baby for whom I made the quilt. June is the name of my husband’s Grammy, the quilter of the family, and the collector of all of the butterfly pins that live in this garden quilt. Grammy June died less than a year ago. When she died, all of the family had the emotional task of going through her things before the estate sale. In looking at her jewelry, I discovered a large number of butterfly pins. “I didn’t know Grammy collected butterflies!” I said. As it turns out, neither did any one else in the family. Either way, I immediately envisioned them living forever in a quilted garden wall-hanging, so I asked if I could take them. Everyone, of course, said yes.

paper pieced star butterfly quilt garden
One of Grammy June’s butterfly pins, flitting peacefully by the glittering sunburst I paper pieced especially for this quilt.

Flash forward a few months. Our cousin Molly, who was the one who took care of Grammy June during her last days, and who now lives in Grammy June’s old house, announced that she was pregnant. Flash forward a few more months: Molly shared that they were having a girl, naming her Attalie, and that the nursery theme would be “Garden”. The butterfly garden quilt was asking to be created, finally. With a little over two weeks before the baby shower, I got started. I designed, pieced, and free motion quilted the entire quilt, which finishes at 27″ x 20″, and stitched on the binding just in the nick of time. The quilt is mostly comprised of fussy-cut 1- and 2-inch squares (1 1/2″ and 2 1/2″ before sewn together).The process was a lot tougher than I imagined, and there were definitely some face-palm, seam ripping moments (which I will go into in a later post), but I am very happy with how this quilt turned out. Here are some detail photos:

flower free motion quilting
I used a wild, make it up as I go free motion quilting pattern, sometimes mirroring the flowers, and sometimes adding features. I love how this particular FMQ turned out!
butterfly garden quilt
The finished quilt, complete with flitting butterflies. The butterfly pins were all collected by Grammy June, who would have been (and always will be, in heaven) baby Attalie’s Great Grammy.

Here are some detail shots of the beautiful butterfly pins on different parts of the quilt. I tried to balance the overall color flow by putting the blue/green pins on the pink flowers, and the other pins in and around the blue and purple flowers. I think the butterflies look quite happy on this quilt!

butterfly pins garden quilt

Attalie's June Garden

butterfly pins on garden quilt
I think this little copper butterfly is my favorite.

butterfly pins on garden quilt

butterfly pins on garden quilt

butterfly pins on garden quilt
As I photographed this quilt after the storm had subsided and during our first somewhat bright day, the sun began to shine with earnest.
flower garden quilt
Even after a blizzard, there were still a few flowers in the garden. This one came out to play with Attalie’s June Garden quilt.
Quilt back with corner label.
Quilt back with corner label.
quilt corner label
My first corner label. I will fill in Attalie’s middle & last names once her middle name has been chosen!


Finished quilt stats:

Name: Attalie’s June Garden
Size: 27″ x 20″
Fabric: Assorted flowers from RJR Fabrics, Andover, and Studio E
Quilting: Free motion quilted with mostly Aurifil and some other hand-me-down threads
Finished: November 2014
Related blog posts: A Garden {Quilt} Full of Florals

I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday.