A Secret Finish {Still Secret}

I did it! I set my goal to finish this quilt in January for A Lovely Year of Finishes (ALYoF), thinking it would be quite an accomplishment if I met it by the end of the month. But lo, here we are on January 30th (with still one more day to finish burying those last threads and defluffing) and I have a finished quilt!

Doe Secret Quilt Peek
I can’t show you any more than this tease of a peek at the binding and folded back, but I promise the full reveal will be soon. Since my tardy goal-setting post on January 14th, I’ve pieced the quilt back–including my first ever needle-turn applique–, layered and basted, quilted on my domestic machine–both straight line quilting with a walking foot and free motion quilting–, and bound this quilt. For slow sewing me, that is quite an accomplishment. Enough of an accomplishment, in fact, that I felt the need to take the quilt out into the snow to take some sneak peek photos so that I could post them here as proof–it’s finished!

doe secret quilt peek
Everyone takes their newly finished quilts out into a snowstorm to take photos, right?

doe secret quilt peekI can’t wait to show you more of this quilt. But I will. I’m planning an epic whole-family quilt photo shoot this weekend, weather and toddler willing, so you will get to see every detail. Soon.

For now, I’m linking up with ALYoF to document my January success, and Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday.

Off I go to bury some more threads!


Color Inspiration Thursday {35}

The landscape here is pure white, after Juno dropped about two feet of snow early this week. It’s sunny  today, so it’s glistening and glimmering like only a huge blanket of fresh snow can. With more snow coming this weekend (forecast says a foot or more, potentially) and temperatures in the single digits, I thought it would be a fine time to revisit the tropics. Today’s color inspiration palettes feature palm trees (sigh) and beach life. You can’t go wrong with a reminiscent trip to the hot sandy beach! Palettes are made using Play Crafts’ Palette builder 2.1 and my photographs.

palm tree texture color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Forest, O.D. Green, Charcoal, Snow, Dresden Blue, Blue

I have to include another detail of the texture found on palm trees. Just look at that texture!! If there’s anything in nature that is reminiscent of fabric, this is it. I love the subdued resulting color palette, too. Those blues are so soothing.

palm tree color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Forest, Avocado, White, Seafoam, Sprout, Steel

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
5021 – Light Grey
5023 – Medium Green
2024 – White
2845 – Lt Juniper
2908 – Spearmint
2625 – Arctic Ice

Put the lime in the coconut and drink it all up! No palm tree photo collection is complete without some of those delicious coconuts. We were able to drink coconut water from a coconut in Belize, which was a memory I really wanted to create for my kids. I remember a few very clear moments from my trip to Puerto Rico when I was four years old, and one of those is drinking out of a coconut!

tropical water color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Graphite, Niagra, Sage, Glacier, Teal Blue, Everglade

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
1126 – Blue Grey
2810 – Turquoise
2815 – Teal
4093 – Jade
1310 – Med Blue Grey
4182 – Med Turquoise

“The color of the ocean in the tropics” has long been my favorite color. Sure, you could call it turquoise if you want, but that one word, as eloquent and beautiful as it is, just doesn’t fully express the gorgeousness of the tropical ocean. This color palette grabs all of the subtle differences that make the ocean as blissfully beautiful as it is.


Key to a Cyclist’s Heart

Despite 18″-24″ of snowfall over the past 48 hours, we managed to keep our power!! Huzzah! That means I was able to sneak some sewing time in between the outdoor snowy play and the indoor snuggly game playing and movie watching time. I’ve been working on a second version of my Key to My Heart pattern (only $2 on Craftsy and Payhip), with the plan to make them into another seasonal tea cozy for my mom. I’m fairly certain my mom doesn’t read my blog, so I think the gift surprise is safe. If I’m wrong and my mom is reading this, —hi, Mom!!– I hope to get it in the mail so that she gets it before Valentine’s Day.

key to a bicyclists heart
I love matching thread! Aurifil hasn’t let me down yet!


key to a cyclists heart quilt

I can see myself making this block with MANY different fussy-cut centers. This one will become another reversible tea cozy, using Yvonne’s tutorial on Quilting Jetgirl. I was toying around with the idea of making one side both hearts, and the other side solid, but I think I’m going to mix it up. One side of the tea cozy will be the pink heart and pink solid fabric, and the other side will be the bicycle and teal fabric. That way, this tea cozy will be seasonally appropriate throughout the spring and summer, too! Key to my heart tea cozy progress

I’m linking up with Freshly Pieced for Work in Progress Wednesday.

Preparing for a Snow{Sew} Day

This Storm Could be HISTORIC… New England: “No Town will Escape the Storm”… Powerhouse Storm: When Will the Heaviest Snow Hit? 

Blizzard warning

With headlines like that, there’s no question what we’ll be doing tomorrow: hunkering down and waiting out the blizzard, hoping our power stays on. Honestly, I love snow. I’m excited that our forecast calls for 18-24 inches of the white stuff, as long as our power stays on. We have a generator now, so even without power, we can run the circulator for the wood boiler (heat), and the water pump (water), and power a little electricity for the refrigerator and a light or two. Note that my sewing machine is not high enough in the hierarchy to warrant generator power. But as the Boy Scouts always say, “Be prepared.”

So, today I’ve been preparing. Preparing for snow: the chickens are fully stocked with food and water, the dishwasher has been run, laundry is going all day, jars of water will be set out later tonight just in case. But also preparing for sewing, just in case we keep our power and I get some sewing time after the kids’ bedtime. My biggest work in progress these days is my secret sewing Doe quilt. I still can’t show you, but I can promise the reveal will be soon! I’ve almost finished the quilting, so next up is squaring, binding, and the dreaded thread-burying. I cut the binding strips and am all ready to make the binding.

cutting binding stripsI’m using Architextures Crosshatch in Cadet with a splash of Poppy for my binding. This quilt will be all-things Carolyn Friedlander, so her Architextures fabric line had to have a role somewhere. These fabrics make the perfect binding! If I can make the binding and get it sewn onto the quilt tonight, then I will be SEW prepared in the case that we lose power–hand stitching, baby!

architextures fabric in cadet and poppy

I’ve also been planning and pulling fabrics for my next version of my Key to My Heart paper piecing & applique pattern (only $2 until Valentine’s Day!). I’m loving this bicycle print, which is Bluebird Park by Kate and Birdie Paper Co., for Moda, and the colors that coordinate just happen to be my favorite color.

key to my heart bicycle fabric pull

teal bicycle fabric pullI’m actually contemplating making an entire quilt of hearts, with various things I love in the middle of each heart, and of course in a rainbow of colors. How cool would THAT be?! I’ll add it to my ideas list under “selfish sewing”. Perhaps one day!

What’s your favorite thing to do on a snow day?

I’m linking up to my first Monday Makers! Maybe I’ll have my heart (and secret quilt!?) finished by next Monday for the next link-up.

The Four Agreements

I’ve never reblogged anything before, but this blog post is worth reposting. It really gets you thinking about the way we approach the world, both quilting/blogging and otherwise. Thank you, Yvonne (Quilting Jetgirl) for getting my philosophical quilty wheels turning! I’m going to focus on these agreements from here on out!

Finishes New and Old

Remember back before Christmas, when I only showed you tiny peeks at most of my projects since they were to be given as gifts? Well now that the holidays are long over, now that I’m back and getting into the groove of home life, now that I finally have a free minute to blog about them,  now I can show you the full gifts!

I also have finalized and posted another Valentine’s Day themed foundation paper piecing pattern, which goes live in my Craftsy (for US buyers) and Payhip (for international buyers) today! It’s a day full of finishes, both new and old. A picture is worth a thousand words, so without further ado…

Open Wide Zippered Pouch by Noodlehead

I made this pouch for my sister, since her favorite colors are teal and lime green. The zipper installation was my FIRST ever zipper, and I think it came out quite well. I used linen blend fabric leftover from my Go Anywhere Bag, and I think my sister loved it! Anna from Noodlehead has the best tutorials, and this one was a perfect first-zipped pouch tutorial.

noodlehead wide open zipper pouch teal lime greennoodlehead wide open zipper pouch teal lime greennoodlehead wide open zipper pouch teal lime green

One thing I learned while making this pouch, though, is that when the directions say to “align… the side/bottom seams” while boxing the corners, you really need to line them up perfectly. The bottom and side seams for mine (as you can see in the photo above) did not line up perfectly, since I flew past that little bit of instruction, but now I know for next time! I’m hoping that the chocolates inside the pouch distracted my OCD sister from this slight misalignment! (Love you, Lucy!)

Reversible Tea Cozy

When talking to my mom about quilting about a year ago, she made it clear that she thought making a quilt was too much work and too time consuming, and therefore she did not want me to make her a quilt. She instead requested “a tea cozy for every season”, since it’s a quick project that can be completed in a couple hours. She also drinks tea from her tea pot every afternoon, so it will be well used and loved. It has taken me a while to get this first one made, but I don’t think the next one will be far behind. I used the fabulous tutorial by Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl. I definitely will be using her tutorial again, since the tea cozy fit my mom’s large teapot quite well. Here are the two Christmas-themed sides of the tea cozy I made for my mom.

Reversible tea cozy christmasReversible tea cozy christmasReversible tea cozy christmas

A New Paper Piecing Pattern!

And finally, a recent finish: a new paper piecing pattern called Love Struck. Special thanks to Julie from That’s Sew Julie for her awesome pattern testing! This pattern includes printable foundation paper piecing templates including two “printer pages” to help save paper when printing multiples, clear assembly instructions, a coloring sheet on which you can try out color schemes before beginning, and sewing tips along the way. You can find in on Craftsy here (for those in the US) or on Payhip here (if you’re international). Both this and my Key to My Heart pattern are on sale for $2 until Valentine’s day!

Love struck pattern

We’re getting lots of snow this weekend up here in Maine, so I know what I’m doing all weekend–sewing (and playing with my kids in the snow). If you’re looking for a good weekend project, turn this block into a festive table runner or pillow. Here’s the pillow Julie made from four blocks. AND she says she “whipped up this whole thing in a week while taking care of five kids, one sick, and getting a double crochet hat order together.” Holy smokes, Julie! You’re amazing!!

love struck pillow by julie schloemer

Get the pattern here:

Craftsy (if you’re in the US)
Payhip (if you’re international)
…or go to Julie’s blog and comment to enter for a chance to win a free copy of the pattern!

If you do decide to make this pattern, share the love and tag me @nightquilter on IG or twitter, and use #lovestruckpattern. I’d love to see!

I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday and TGIFF. Happy weekend sewing!

Color Inspiration Thursday {34}

Are you ready for another fantasy trip to the tropics?! I know I am! It’s still hovering in the single and barely-double digits here in Maine, so I am going to savor these tropical palettes today. As per usual, color palettes are created with Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 and my photographs. Matching Kona cottons and Aurifil thread are awesomely provided with the palette builder. Today’s photographs were taken in Cozumel, Mexico.

palm tree texture color palette

 Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Charcoal, Mushroom, Pewter, Fog, Sky, Spring

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
4241 – V Dk Grey
2370 – Sandstone
2605 – Grey
6720 – Slate
2710 – Lt Robins Egg
2850 – Med Juniper

I’ll start off with another palm tree photograph since I’ve already established my love of palm trees. I love the texture in this photographic study of the alternating bark pattern on the trunk of a palm tree. The splash of blues and green paired with the color gradient of grays is just icing on the cake. Thinking about texture and quilting makes me think about Doe. I was recently reflecting on Carolyn Friedlander’s new fabric line Doe, and realized that one of the big reasons I love her fabrics so much is the diverse and intense texture in each one. Texture and color play so well together, and Carolyn manages to design fabrics that convey a strong texture, either while playing delightfully with color or in the wonderfully all-purpose low volumes for which she is so well known.

catamaran sail boat color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Titanium, Coal, Silver, Cadet–or–Charcoal, Ruby, Taupe

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2610 – Lt Blue Grey
1246 – Grey
2615 – Aluminum
2606 – Mist
2230 – Med Poppy
4012 – Copper Brown

Since we are voyaging to the hot and sunny beach in the tropics. it only seems right to include a catamaran to take us out snorkeling–or just sail us around on a breezy, sun-bathing booze cruise–at least those of us who are not currently with-child (come pick me up in July)!. The color palette resulting from this photo is a quintessential nautical palette, in my opinion. You’ve got your blues and grays, with those shining stars navy blue and a pop of red. Go ahead and sail away… but come back soon!

I’m linking up with #ThankfulThursday on Yvonne aka Quilting Jetgirl’s blog since I’m ALWAYS thankful for the color all around us, and that I can see it. I’m also thankful for the hot memories from Cozumel to help warm me on this frigid winter’s day!



Rainbow Thread Eye Candy

I have a confession to make: I’ve never made a quilt for an immediate family member. There, I said it. Yes, I have two kids and another on the way. Yet, I’ve never made a baby quilt for one of my own babes let alone myself or my husband. Well, that’s finally about to change! I’ve been working on a Rainbow Jelly Roll quilt for my daughter Maddie since early July of last year (as seen HERE and HERE), but it always seems to get shoved to the back burner behind projects for other babies, baby showers, and other family members. Finally, on Maddie’s birthday right before Christmas, we laid out the quilt and matched some threads to help psyche myself up for quilting and hopefully finishing her very first quilt.

matching rainbow thread

I decided that I wanted to quilt this with simple seam-echoing straight lines in coordinating thread, but that would require a rainbow gradient of thread (awww, darn! I have to buy a spectrum of Aurifil!?). I had a couple of spools of organic cotton Scanfil and one 50wt spool of Aurifil that already matched, so I went onto the Hawthorne Threads site and ordered the supplementary colors. I opted for 40wt since I had never tried them before and the website said they were good for machine quilting. I figured a little bit thicker than 50wt wouldn’t hurt, so these 40wt beauties were added to my stash.

rainbow aurifil thread

I’ve since then started and almost finished quilting this Rainbow Jellyroll Quilt, so I think my eye candy photo shoot worked! Here are some more gorgeous photos from my photo shoot with my adorable five year old, her rainbow jellyroll quilt, and the matching Aurifil thread.

matching rainbow thread

matching rainbow thread
Most of the time, Maddie had fun giving me a smile for these photos.

I think she may have been a bit bored during some of it, though! LOL!

matching rainbow thread
Bored Maddie

I seriously love Aurifil thread. It shines, has never broken once, and doesn’t fuzz up my machine NEARLY as much as other hand-me-down threads I use upon occasion. I’m excited to be slowly growing my supply of Aurifil.

rainbow aurifil thread gradient

rainbow thread gradient

It’s a bit of a motley crew, but I think the resulting quilting is going to be gorgeous!!

Here’s an Instagram selfie I posted while quilting. It’s my first-ever quilting selfie! See!? I’m making progress!

quilting IG selfie

I’m linking up with Molli’s Sunday Stash and Lee’s WiP Wednesday. Building my stash to move a work in progress forward a bit more is always fun!

Key to my Heart: Pattern and Tutorial

Since returning from vacation, my design wheels have been turning and cranking out ideas faster than I can create them and turn them into patterns. I did manage to finish this pattern, though, complete with a tutorial. Key to my Heart is a pattern that combines foundation paper piecing and applique to help you create a perfect log cabin-style heart on a 9″x9″ block (or a background block of your choice. The heart measures approximately 8″ wide by 7″ tall). The log cabin pattern is paper pieced for quick, “perfect” stitching, and then the heart shape is cut out and appliqued onto the background of your choice. The heart is shown on the paper piecing template so that your block is perfectly centered and ready to go.

KEY TO MY HEART paper piecing and applique pattern

This block would be perfect for a variety of Valentine’s Day gifts, or even just to show your love any day of the year. I plan to make my block into a tea cozy using Yvonne’s great tutorial here, but you could make yours into a mug rug, mini wall hanging, table runner, or even add it to a larger quilt.

The pattern is for sale in my Craftsy shop for those in the US, or in my Payhip shop for international folk. It is on sale for only $3.50 until February 1st, when it will be listed at the usual $4.50.

Since this pattern combines paper piecing and applique, I decided to provide a tutorial to help explain and show each step more clearly. Once you’ve printed your pattern template, you are ready to go!


Step 1

Paper piece the log cabin portion of the block until fabric extends at least 1/4″ beyond all edges of the heart.

Key to my Heart paper piecing and applique tutorial


*Shorten your machine’s stitch length to 1.2 to make paper removal easy.
*The center square is perfect for fussy cutting! Find key fabric to share the key to your heart. Or, be creative! Do you love cats? Fussy cut a cat for the center. Love tea? Fussy cut a teapot for the center. Whatever you or the gift recipient loves can be fussy cut for the center of this heart.
Tip: Hold the paper and your fussy cut square up to a bright window or lightbox to be sure your fussy cut feature is centered before sewing.

Step 2

Using a long basting stitch (2.5 or larger), sew around the outside of the heart, approximately 1/8″ from the line (this distance does not need to be perfect, nor do the stitches need to be perfect. The purpose of these stitches is to hold all of your fabric flat while cutting out the heart shape.)

key to my heart paper piecing and applique tutorial

Step 3

Using scissors appropriate for cutting both fabric and paper, carefully cut along the dotted heart line.

Key to my Heart paper piecing and applique tutorial

Step 4

Remove paper piecing foundation paper.
Jump for joy at how easy it is since you shortened your stitch length to 1.2 before paper piecing!

Step 5

Applique your heart to the center of your background fabric using your preferred applique method.


*To accurately center your heart, fold your background fabric in half and press lightly. With the fold running top to bottom, line up the center top and bottom of the heart with the pressed center line of the background fabric. Either measure the distance from top and bottom of the background fabric until it’s equal, or position your heart as desired.

Key to my Heart paper piecing and applique tutorial
Step 6

Find gorgeous matching thread. (I love Aurifil, and there’s almost always a perfect match!).

Key to my Heart paper piecing and applique tutorial aurifil

Step 7

Quilt and finish as desired.

key to my heart tutorial

I would love to see if you create this block. Photos of your finished block can be posted in my Night Quilter Creations group on Flickr found HERE, or can be added to the Craftsy page HERE. The first three (3) people to buy, complete, and upload a photo of a completed block to either the Flickr group or my Craftsy page will receive a full refund OR choice of another pattern from my shop. How about that for sharing the love!?

Want to share the love some more? Instagram your blocks and tag me @nightquilter.

I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday. Share the love ❤

Color Inspiration Thursday {33}

Weather in Maine this past week has varied between -20 degrees F and a balmy 20 degrees, but I’m still dreaming of the hot 88 degree sun in Cozumel. This week’s color inspiration is your first little taste of the tropics, care of my vacation photographs and Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1. No worries; If you don’t get your fill of the tropical warmth with these palettes, I have enough to last through all of the frigid northeast’s winter month of January.

Take a little trip with me. Imagine you’re here, just getting off your catamaran to spend the rest of the morning on a soft, warm beach…

cozumel beach mexico

beach cozumel mexico

Ah, the warm, white sand!

beach cozumel color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Ash, Medium Grey, Coal, Sky, Sand, Taupe

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2600 – Dove
2625 – Arctic Ice
1158 – Med Grey
2024 – White
2205 – Flesh
2335 – Lt Cinnamon

The beach at Cozumel was so glorious. Between the warm white sand, the huggable green palm trees, and the perfectly turquoise water, I was in heaven. After getting off the boat, it seemed it was only right to flop down in the sand and get a closer look. This rope tied around a piece of driftwood seemed like a perfect place to start with the warm color inspiration. The combination of textures paired with the soft, soothing colors makes this a lovely palette that makes me dream of the beach in the summertime.

palm tree cozumel color palette

 Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Evergreen, Coal, Titanium, Ivy, Black, PFD Bleach White

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
5021 – Light Grey
1158 – Med Grey
5008 – Sugar Paper
4173 – Dk Olive
2692 – Black
2843 – Lt Grey Green

Who doesn’t love to hug a palm tree? Seriously. Is it just me, or is it literally impossible to walk by a palm tree without hugging it? Maybe it’s just me, but either way, the view up the trunk into the tropical fronds is worth the extra hug. No coconuts fell on my head during the taking of this photograph, so no worries!

maddie hugging palm tree cozumel mexicoAt least my girl Maddie agreed with me. She’s a girl after my own heart!

So seriously, you hug palm trees, too, right?!