2014 in Review & VATmess Transition

{I’m still on vacation until mid-January! This is just a quick pop-in with some fun 2014 analytics and some important info on my pattern shop transition due to the new VAT tax laws. Happy New Year, and see you in a couple of weeks!}

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog. It’s pretty fun to read since this was my first year of blogging. I think it went well, and I know I sure enjoyed the ride!

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 19,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

In other news, I’m shutting down my Craftsy pattern shop for now due to the new VAT tax laws coming into effect January 1st. I’m slowly transitioning my patterns to Payhip, which takes care of the VAT tax for its sellers (SCORE!). I’m only just finding my way around it, but I’m excited at the prospect of having a selling platform that allows me to continue to sell digital download patterns to customers all over the world. I’m still on vacation for a couple more weeks (lucky me!), so the full transition won’t occur until mid to late January, but I’ve got a start!

I love the range of selling options on Payhip so far. They allow sellers to create coupon codes, set up systems where buyers can get discounts by sharing the pattern link on social media sites, and even create shop affiliates. For now, I’m offering 10% off any patterns up on Payhip with the coupon code “vatmess”. This sale will run through January 15, 2015. I get vacation, and you get a sale! Here are the patterns up so far (click the photo/link to go to the selling page or click HERE for the main page):

14195766085_90bc4ff5f5_hBuy Lupine Pattern

IMG_5304Buy Fish Rainbow Row Pattern

Please spread the word, and have a wonderful, happy, healthy new year! 2015 is going to be a great year! All my best, and see you in a couple of weeks!

A Modern Hexies Mini Finish

I’m sneaking in one last post before I disappear for a few weeks on a much needed vacation & blogging break. I finished the mini quilt I’m making for my partner in the Schnitzel and  Boo Mini Quilt Swap, and I just have to share! I have loved working on this quilt, and I’m pretty certain my partner will love it, too! Nicole at Modern Handcraft has a wonderful tutorial on this short-cut hexagon quilting method. I’ve done some blogging (and a lot of Instagramming) about my progress on the quilt, which you can read here and here.

Are you ready for a total photograph color explosion? Okay, good. I took a LOT of photos of this baby, and in my usual style I can’t choose just one.

modern hexies mini quilt finish
I took the quilt to the city (Bangor, ME) to find a good brick wall on which to photograph it. I wanted to mix it up a bit from my usual shed/barn side backdrop. I love the effect!

modern hexies mini quilt finish

modern hexies mini quilt finish

modern hexies mini quilt finish
A little angle from the left…
modern hexies mini quilt finish
A little angle from the right…

modern hexies mini quilt finish

modern hexies mini quilt finish
I decided to bind the quilt in one of my favorite low volume prints from Carolyn Friedlander’s Botanics collection. I used light grey aurifil to quilt it, and the grey on this print ties it together nicely without distracting the eye from the colorful hexies.
modern hexies mini quilt finish
Oh how I love depth of field!
Finished quilt stats:

Name: Modern Hexies Mini Quilt (for Schnitzel and Boo, Round 3)
Size: 24″ x 18″
Fabric: Hexies are primarily Anna Maria Horner’s True Colors collection, with supplements from my stash (including but not limited to Carolyn Friedlander’s Botanics, Timeless Treasures Sketch, other Anna Maria Horner fabrics); backing Kona Snow; binding is Carolyn Friedlander’s Leaves in Charcoal from Botanics.
Quilting: Straight-line quilted through each hexagon, lines 1″ apart
Thread: Aurifil 50wt 2615 – Aluminum (light grey) and 28wt 2000 – Light Sand in the bobbin
Finished: December 2014
Related blog posts: Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt Swap: I’m in!, A Mini Sneak Peek, Modern Hexies Mini Progress

I’m linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts’ Finish it up Friday!

Color Inspiration Thursday {32}

Thursday has come and gone, and here I am without a color inspiration post up yet. I spent the day yesterday sewing up a storm while my mother-in-law played with my son and my daughter was in preschool. After school was full-on family time. It’s the time of year where family and holiday projects and deadlines come first, and I’ve decided I officially will be taking a little break from this blog after today. Between my daughter’s birthday, Christmas, traveling, and other obligations, it’s just the right thing for me to do. I plan to return the week of January 12th, 2015, refreshed, renewed, and with a stockpile of fabulous photographs for posts in the new year. Wild! I still will be posting to Instagram (probably, although with less regularity and probably more random content), so I’d love to see you there. I wish you all a wonderful holiday and happy new year, and look forward to returning to this amazing and supportive blogospheric quilt guild!

With that, here is the color inspiration for the week! Hopefully it will hold you over for the next few weeks. Palettes are made with Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 and my photographs.

ice color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Slate, Charcoal, Baby Blue, Stone, White, Parchment or Limestone

This amazingly intricate and fractured ice palace was on top of a mud puddle in our driveway. Yes, a mud puddle! Nature is amazing, and these little pockets of icy beauty are no exception! I began with a plan to post another frosty-filled color palette post, since we have had some wonderful frosty and icy days. But then I decided I really wanted to add in some color. Thinking about where I see the most color these days, I realized the answer was probably my sewing projects! So the next two palettes are pulled straight from some of my sewing sneak peek photographs.


Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Coal, Burgundy, Crimson, Pewter, Wine, Espresso

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
1158 – Med Grey
1130 – V Dk Bark
2468 – Dk Wine
2562 – Lilac
2355 – Rust
5024 – Dark Brown

This gorgeous palette of reds and pinks and the glisten of the clover clip make me think of Christmas. So pretty!

IMG_7482-palette (1)

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Graphite, Dresden Blue, Titanium, Olive, Ivy, Avocado

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
1126 – Blue Grey
2815 – Teal
5008 – Sugar Paper
2910 – Med Olive
1318 – Dk Sandstone
4173 – Dk Olive

A bright sweet pea palette ranging through teals and lime greens, a sneak peek at a secret holiday project. Oh, I have so much to show you when I return from my little vacation! Have wonderful holiday and new year!

Modern Hexies Mini Progress

This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share a commission.

One of the secret projects I have in progress is actually not entirely secret. It’s for the Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt swap. I suppose I can share all of my progress photos, I just can’t say for whom the quilt is being made! We’ve had a long string of uncharacteristically dark days here in midcoast Maine (it usually snows every few days with lots of sun in between), so I’m sharing photos taken with my iphone. Instagram has a wonderful array of filters and adjustments that help bring out the light and color in an otherwise dark space. Many (all?) of these are repeats from my Instagram feed, so I apologize to those of you who also follow me on IG. Just think of it as an inspiration flash-back de ja vu color explosion!

After I finished making English Paper Pieced (EPP) hexies out of the Anna Maria Horner True Colors fabric line, the foundation and inspiration for this Modern Hexies mini quilt, I decided I needed some supplementation.

evolution of a modern hexies mini quilt
Fabric pull for supplementary hexagons.

I cut out my chosen ones, and was all ready to EPP some more gorgeous hexies.

evolution of a modern hexies mini quilt

evolution of a modern hexies mini quilt

Next, I played around with layout and decided upon an Instagram-approved arrangement. It was decided that the bottom right dark blue-white hexagon would be best removed. I had been struggling with it already, upset that I didn’t have the perfect transition fabric to make it “work” in the flow, but hearing other IG friends and quilters suggest removing it helped me make the final decision. Out it went.

evolution of a modern hexies mini quilt

Next, it was time to start actually gluing! Yipes!

evolution of a modern hexies mini quilt

Nicole at Modern Handcraft’s pattern is fantastic. This is such a simple and “easy” method, yet the outcome is so fabulously gorgeous. I love the aesthetic of the borders between each hexagon, and the range of possibilities is endless. I didn’t have the suggested Aleene’s Fabric Fusion glue (Get yours here–affiliate link), so I used Fabri-Tac, which I had already. Boy was it a stinky and stringy experience! The glue would bubble up on the tip of the bottle by the time I got the next hexagon trimmed and de-papered, so it was quite a sticky process. Next time, I will definitely try Aleene’s, since I love the all-purpose glue for just about any other craft project. Sticky stink aside, I finally got all 44 hexies glued down, in a little over two hours.


I layered, basted, and was all ready for quilting! I only got a few passes done with the quilting before my sewing window ended for the day, but I’m very happy with my progress. I can’t wait to see this quilt completed, and I definitely will be making another one (or ten) in the future!


Update: I have finished the quilting and I’m getting ready to bind! I will show the quilt in its full completion after the recipient has received it (most likely… maybe sooner if I just can’t wait!).

Question for those of you who have participated in mini quilt swaps before: Do you stitch on a hanging sleeve, or leave it as is in case the recipient would prefer to clip it or hang it in a different way?

I’m linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced’s WiP Wednesday!

Much to Sew, About Nothing (to Blog)

This is a tough time of year for me in terms of blogging. I mostly like to share photographs of my progress and projects, but this time of year I’m spending every free second frantically trying to get projects done (and not very many free seconds blogging). On top of that, I’m currently working on two secret projects and three Christmas gifts, so there’s not a whole lot I can really share in full. I’m considering taking an official “Christmas vacation” from my blog, but also don’t want to miss all of you too much.

For now, I decided to take some crazy close-up photographs of some of my works in progress to share with you in an aura of mystery. Here are some of the things I’ve been working on. Go ahead and guess what they are, if you want! It reminds me of the backs of Ranger Rick magazines I read as a child, where they had a grid of super macro photographs of everyday objects and you had to guess the object. Have fun!

secret sewing peek

secret sewing peek

secret sewing peek

secret sewing peek

secret sewing peek

I also have to include this process shot, completely unedited. This was my first time using my new Massdropped pink clover clips, and this one glows in the dying light. I think it’s such a cool photo!

secret sewing peek glowing clover clip

If you’re a quilter-blogger who also has a lot of holiday and family obligations this time of year, what do you do to ease your stress levels? Take a break from blogging? Let go of obligations or personal expectations? I’d love to know!

Color Inspiration Thursday {31}

Shortly after the inaugural People Palette post featuring a colorful selfie by Joshua Helms of Molli Sparkles, another Instagrammed quilty selfie caught my eye. It’s high time it take center stage for our second-ever People Palette, a special edition of my weekly Color Inspiration Thursday. Without further ado, here’s the luminous Zoe Ingram, in her gorgeous and bright selfie.

zoe ingram from instagram people palette

 Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Shadow, Coffee, Taupe, Latte, Honey, Peony

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2600 – Dove
5034 – Dark Brown
1140 – Bark
2315 – Pale Flesh
2335 – Lt Cinnamon
2410 – Pale Pink

Can you totally see why I had to make this photo into a color palette!? The resulting palette is so smooth, yet bright, and a wonderful combination of taupe and ranges of brown–with delicious Kona cotton names like Coffee, Latte, and Honey–and a splash of Peony pink!

I first became aware of Zoe Ingram when I won a bundle of her gorgeous fabric line Carried Away. I quickly blogged about my fortuitous stash building and not long thereafter, Zoe contacted me asking if she could use my photographs of her fabric on her blog. It was an absolute star-struck moment, and of course I agreed. I love photographing fabric and all things fiber (and all things in general, actually), and would LOVE to expand my repertoire to “fabric photographer” or something along those lines. This was a fun peek into that world.

My photograph of Zoe's fabric on Zoe's website. *starstruck*
My photograph of Zoe’s fabric on Zoe’s website. *starstruck*

Anyway, back to Zoe. Since my first introduction, I’ve been following Zoe’s Daily Journal (visual diary) posts on Instagram, as well as her newest endeavor, Project Adelaide. Project Adelaide is a year long collaboration between Adelaide artists, Kate Mason & Zoe Ingram in which they are capturing hidden gems of beautiful Adelaide, Australia through their drawings.  As someone who heavily finds inspiration in visual things, I have loved watching these daily drawings by Kate & Zoe emerge. In addition to designing fabric, Zoe creates gorgeous, fresh works of art and recently has added some of her daily journal works to her shop in the form of prints, bags, note cards, and even pillows.

One of my favorite's: A tote bag featuring Zoe's original artwork, available in her Etsy shop.
One of my favorite’s: A tote bag featuring Zoe’s original artwork, available in her Etsy shop.

I asked Zoe to answer three short questions to help the world get to know the color inspiration star of the week a little more intimately:

Where do you fit into the worldwide family tree of quilting?
I design bolt fabric for the quilting industry with Robert Kaufman Fabrics.

What is the #1 most played song on your iPod?
At the moment it’s Budapest by George Ezra

What is your least favorite mode of transportation?

If you could choose anyone, who would you choose as your mentor?
Lilla Rogers

You can follow Zoe and see more of her work here:

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

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

Ready to Go Anywhere: My First Bag!

I did it! I made a bag! It’s definitely not perfect, but for my first bag, I am SO happy with it. I followed Anna from Noodleheads pattern for the Go Anywhere Bag, and it was quite easy to follow, even for an absolute beginner like me.

go anywhere bag by noodlehead first bag

Going into making this bag, I was extremely, unnaturally scared of the whole process. I was seriously terrified! A huge thank you goes out to Sarah Fredett from Smiles too Loudly, for being there as real-time support on Instagram when I first got started on the pattern. Sarah walked me through the tangled mystery of interfacing, and helped me gain that first bit of confidence to forge ahead. Thank you SO much, Sarah!

go anywhere bag detail

Anna’s pattern was very clear and specific, going as far as to suggest little triangles at the tops of each pocket to reinforce the opening (genius!?). The images in the pattern were a great help for me, a visual learner. The steps were clear and well sequenced, and I feel like I was able to follow along without too much reading ahead or back-tracking to make sense of it all. It is my first bag ever, but most definitely not my last! (I’ve already bought a bit of the coveted Anna Maria Horner Field Study Feathers-Parenthetical Linen in the Deep colorway for my next bag. Shhh!).

inner pocket and snap in go anywhere bag

While this bag did not include the installation of a zipper, I’m proud to say that not only did I create pleats for the first time, but I also installed two magnetic snaps and sewed inner pockets (not to mention taming the dreaded interfacing). Go me!

go anywhere bag top view
Top view of the Go Anywhere Bag. Pleated pockets!

I think of myself as a very practical person, so choosing a white-based fabric for the outside was initially a hesitation. Before making the bag, I figured since I loved the fabric so much, I would go ahead and use it for the front and back pockets (aka the feature fabric), but would only use the bag for special occasions. Now that the bag is complete, I can’t help but use it as my everyday purse. Sure, it probably will get dirty, but it’s pretty fabulous in the meantime!

Like I said, since it’s my first bag, it’s far from perfect. I had quite a bit of difficulty maneuvering the whole thing in a smooth manner through my domestic machine, so there are wiggle waggles in the stitching here and there. All you expert bag-makers extraordinaire (Hillary, you’re on the top of this list!)–how do you smoothly finagle thick layers of bag under your machine?! I am clearly in need of some tips!

imperfections in sewing bag
Wiggle waggle stitching.

I also made the executive decision to create two impromptu pleats in the back pocket to ensure that the front and back pocket tops lined up with each other. The alternative would have been a smooth back pocket, but completely unaligned pockets on one edge (shudder).

Extra impromptu pleats on back pocket.
Extra impromptu pleats on back pocket.

go anywhere bag ready to go anywhere

All in all, making this bag was a really fun activity. I’m proud of myself for biting the bullet and trying something new, and I’m excited to try making more bags! Next up will be a zip pouch–small, but with a (dun dun DUN) zipper!

I didn’t get very many great photos of my bag, since I had my usual helper with me. He’s pretty cute, though, huh? It’s worth the bit of blur, and he certainly seemed ready to go anywhere with my new bag! (I’m leaving out the photos of him actually taking off running with my bag, since I realized post-photo that our messy house litters the background!)

my bag photography helper

I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday. Bag #1: done and done!

Color Inspiration Thursday {30}

Sometimes, just sometimes, your iPhone photo comes out better than the ones you take with your “real” camera. This week was one of those times. I had a blast outside photographing beauty after an ice storm, and put up a quick Instagram photo just for fun. I came home and uploaded the photos from my camera, and while I got some shots I’m happy with, the particular photo I posted on Instagram wasn’t even close to rivaled. And so, this week, the final photo is indeed an iPhone photo. C’est la vie.

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

icy evergreen color palette

  Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Graphite, Evergreen, Black, Old Green, Dresden Blue, Blue Bell

This palette elicits peace and stillness. Maybe it’s the fact that the fine pine needles are trapped, frozen still in the ice. Maybe it’s the presence of calming light greens and blues. Either way, I could see this palette in a little boy’s baby quilt, or a lap quilt for a rustic living room.

red osier dogwood color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Steel, Crimson, Iron, Brick, Cayenne, Sky

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2625 – Arctic Ice
2245 – Red Orange
2845 – Lt Juniper
2345 – Raisin
2355 – Rust
2710 – Lt Robins Egg

The botanist/naturalist in me loves this photo, since it is such a classic example of red osier dogwood (Cornus sericea) in winter. The opposite branching and bright red bark are dead giveaways to the species. I also love the shades of red paired with light blue and greys that appear in the resulting color palette.

icy queen anne's lace color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Steel, Charcoal, Coal, Windsor, Amethyst, Shale

This is my favorite from my Canon Rebel XT photos of this particular ice-bejeweled Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota) remnant. I love the movement and the muted, subdued tones. But lo, the photo I took with my iPhone captures the light better and thus shines even brighter:

Instagram icy blues color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Dresden Blue, Blue, Charcoal, Indigo, Amethyst, Regal

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
5008 – Sugar Paper
2560 – Iris
2606 – Mist
2785 – V Dk Navy
4140 – Wedgewood
2783 – Med Delft Blue

This photo glistens, doesn’t it? I love the resulting palette, too, although it is no secret that I’m a blue girl. Okay, and a magenta and turquoise girl. So maybe I’m just a color-in-general girl. Either way, I love this palette. I think I may actually use this palette for a future quilt. I need to make a Storm at Sea quilt one day, and these blues and stormy grey might be just the perfect shades.

What color do you find the most in your quilts?