Bean Sprout: FPP Pattern Release

Today I am excited to release my newest foundation paper pieced (FPP) pattern, Bean Sprout. Today is arbor day, so for now I’m thinking of it as more of a tree sprout, but regardless of which species you’re growing, this block pattern is ready to roll!

bean sprout foundation paper pieced pattern nightquilterTo me, the bean sprout is the epitome of spring, new life, and the wonder of discovery. I have watched my children’s excitement over the first sprout of newly planted seeds, and wanted to capture that fresh promise. This block is perfect for the gardeners among you, and I can see it as a focal block in a quilt, or even turned into pillows, tote bags, wall hangings, or table runners.

grow bean sprout pillow finishYou may remember my first iteration of this Bean Sprout block, which I turned into a pillow and donated to my daughter’s school for their annual fundraiser auction/raffle. Since then, I made a few tiny tweaks to the pattern to make it a bit more versatile, easier to piece, and clearer to follow. The block finishes at 8″x12″, but can easily be made into a 12″x12″ finished block by adding two side strips, which is explained in the pattern.

pattern piecing diagram bean sprout fppThe pattern includes clear piecing diagrams, sewing tips, and templates for the 8″x12″ finished block, with various shading to help with accurate fabric placement. Quarter inch seam allowances are included on all pattern pieces to help ensure easy piecing, and a 1″ reference square is on every printable page so that scale can be confirmed. Full foundation paper piecing instructions are not included in the pattern, but I have a thorough paper piecing tutorial HERE. Lee Heinrich from Freshly Pieced also has a fabulous tutorial on the Bernina We All Sew blog HERE, which will ensure you will never miss corners again. Knowing all of the information in these two tutorials will help demystify FPP, or at the very least will GREATLY reduce seam ripping.

bean sprout block bring spring no matter the weather
Sew up the bean sprout block to bring spring no matter the weather!!

Bean Sprout is available for sale in my Craftsy and Payhip (if you’re in the EU, please purchase through Payhip!) shops, at an introductory price of $2.50 through the weekend. Tuesday morning EST, it will go up to its standard price of $4.50.

bean sprout foundation paper piecing pattern nightquilterI pushed spring into summer with my latest version of the block, using Cotton + Steel teals and coral that remind me of watermelon. I wanted to show the versatility of the color possibilities with this true-to-life block. While my brain initially goes to the greens and blues true to real life bean sprouts and summer sky, there are many other combinations that could work well to make the block shine! (For the avid gardeners among you, yes, I know the seedling shown is a brussel sprout plant, not a bean!)

There’s not much more exciting than seeing what others create with my patterns, so if you make this block, please use the tag #beansproutblock on social media and tag me @nightquilter. Sending an email would also work! Enjoy, spread the word, and go grow some quilts!

I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday, Needle and Thread Thursday, and Let’s Bee Social.

Colour Block Challenge Hosted by Gnome Angel

Those who know me know I love color, the brighter and bolder the better! I also love quilt photography and fun styling of process photos, and continuously aim to improve the clarity and aesthetic pull of my photographs. So when Angie at Gnome Angel announced a fun little challenge called the Colour Block Challenge (yes, colour with a ‘u’!) that includes bright color and fun photo styling, I immediately wanted to play. With a to-do list a mile long and only wee bits of time in which to complete it, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to squeeze in making a block for it though. Then, Angie gave me just the gentle nudge I needed–she tagged me on Instagram saying she was personally challenging me, since she knew how much I would LOVE to play. Then and there, I knew I was going to make time to play and participate no matter what–don’t you love when quilting friends really know you and help encourage you to have some extra fun!?

Take a colour themed quilt block photo and win! Find out more at www.gnomeangel.com
Take a colour themed quilt block photo and win! Find out more at http://www.gnomeangel.com

I read through Angie’s fabulous tutorial on how to make awesome color (er,… colour) flat lay photos, selected fabrics that I felt complimented the block well but also would lend themselves to some fun color scavenger hunts around the house, and went wild.

I took a full Finn nap-time (a serendipitously long one at that!) to make a new Farmer’s Wife block with the colour challenge in mind. This was doubly great, since I’ve been wanting to make more Farmer’s Wife blocks, but they always seem to drop to the bottom of my list. This project has jump-started my desire to catch up with some blocks, AND has reminded me how much I love foundation paper piecing (FPP)! I plan to FPP more of my future Farmer’s Wife blocks, since I was able to make the entire block during the span of one nap time. Knowing that I can accomplish something like making an entire block during one nap helps me feel like I’m set up for success and ready to dive in. Everyone loves a finish, even if it’s a single block!

colour block challenge by gnomeangel turquoise Once my block was complete, I wandered the house in search of colorfully turquoise objects. As Angie suggests, I gathered a lot and generally laid them out around the block on a big white foam board.

colour block challenge by gnomeangel turquoise I arranged and rearranged, and rearranged some more. Without sharing all her secrets (you can go and read her awesome tutorial on how to succeed with these colour flat lay photos here), Angie was so right that the magic happens as you get closer and closer with your photo.

colour block challenge by gnomeangel turquoise I think I spent more time rearranging the items than making the block, and remembering where they all went when I was done was another interesting challenge. I honestly had such a fun time laying this out. I already have another idea I want to try, which almost ALWAYS happens when I divert from my project to-do list to play, but I have to get one deadlined tutorial finished before I play more with this idea. I have a feeling my kids will love helping me with these photo flat lays, too. I made this one while the big kids were away on their grand adventure with my parents, so they didn’t get to help this time around. Just one more reason to make the time to play juuuuuust one more time *wink* (we all know I’m not finished with these color block flat lays!)

colour block challenge gnomeangel nightquilter entryThe challenge is being held on Instagram, so here was my final entry (above). Looking at it again, my camera photos look brighter than the one I took with my phone. Note taken for next time! You have two more days to post your entries, so if you are on Instagram, I definitely recommend you play, or at least check out the hashtag #colourblockchallenge to feast your eyes upon a gorgeous world of quilty color (you can view the tag online, even if you don’t have a smart phone or an Instagram account).

Since I love close up detail photos, here is a little tour of the silly items I found for this challenge. Who knew that we had so many turquoise bits and bobs around the house!?

colour block challenge by gnomeangel turquoise frogZippers and frogs, and pencils, oh my!

colour block challenge by gnomeangel turquoise ribbon boyntonChecking the kids’ bookshelf was a great tip by Angie. Sandra Boyton’s Hippos Go Berserk is a must read, especially when you love turquoise, math, and silliness (like I do!).

colour block challenge by gnomeangel turquoise sharkThis smiley shark had as much fun as I did, I think! Legos are an immediate win, and the little bobbin minders that Sarah from Sarah Goer Quilts sent me a few months ago kicked off my color hunt. No turquoise lay would be complete without an Elsa shoe, too, glittering in the background.

So much fun! Thank you, Angie, for the push to play. I had SO much fun with this!

 

Make Earth Day Every Day: Grow Pillow

Earth Day has always been one of my favorites days. I strive to fully embody the “Earth Day is Every Day” ideal with my day to day life, from adopting a whale in third grade and frequent stream clean ups as a child, to majoring in environmental science in college, to aiming to instill a love and respect for the earth and all its creatures and functions in my children. The earth is our home, and it is our responsibility to help nurture and care for it. Today seemed like the perfect day to share my newly finished pillow featuring my bean sprout foundation paper pieced pattern.

grow bean sprout pillow finishI’m calling this pillow “Grow” and it will be donated to a fundraiser auction/raffle at our local school. The theme for the fundraiser is “Growth & Gardening” so it fits perfectly!

grow bean sprout pillow finishI used my coveted Carolyn Friedlander bright green Architextures fabric (Robert Kaufman) for the sprout, with little leaves of lime linen leftover from a previous project and a dotty dark green that was in my stash, but has no selvedge. A light turquoise modern Indah batik by Me + You (Hoffman Fabrics) makes a perfect summer sky for the background. Alison Glass Sun Prints 2016 Sphere (Andover) as the border rounded out the pillow nicely. It’s bound in the remainder of the lime linen blend and backed in that same mystery, beautiful dark green fabric. I quilted the pillow front with coordinating 50wt Aurifil thread in 2800-Mint Ice, since it blends right in with both the background and the green bean sprout.

grow bean sprout pillow finishI was hoping to release the Bean Sprout Pattern today, too, but lo… life got in the way and it’s not quite ready yet. Soon, hopefully. The pattern finishes at 12″ square so I added 2″ borders all around to bring the pillow to 16″ square.

grow bean sprout pillow finishgrow bean sprout pillow finishI also inserted my very first hidden zipper in the back of this pillow, which is SO exciting! I used a fabulous tutorial by S.O.T.A.K. handmade and it worked like a charm. I am definitely installing hidden zippers in the backs of all of my pillows from now on.

grow bean sprout pillow finishNow that this pillow is finished and photographed, it will be delivered to my daughter’s school for their annual fundraising auction/raffle. Last year’s donated project taught me a lot about the art of giving, and this year’s gift seems no less serendipitous. A quilted item was needed for a growth-themed fundraiser, right as I had tested my bean sprout pattern–perfect! I’m curious to see what next year brings, and I hope this pillow is able to raise some money for our local school!

I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts, Needle and Thread Thursday, and TGIFF, since a finish ALWAYS warrants celebration! Now, off I go on a hike to celebrate this gorgeous Earth Day! Head on outside and love your mama!

 

Color Inspiration Thursday {69}

This past weekend, my husband and I sought out a new trail to hike, and aimed to find one that we would not be able to tackle with a 3 and 6 year old in tow. Our big kids had just left for a grand adventure–a week in NJ with Grandma & Pop Pop, flying solo for the first time ever. With Finn in a carrier, we were aiming to hike up a mountain and get some much desired fresh air, burning muscles, and a view. We found exactly what we were seeking in the Mansell Mountain Trail in Southwest Harbor, Maine. We found it by watching 1 Minute Hikes with Aislinn, and you can watch her video of the hike here (watching it again, I’m realizing we hiked the trail backwards). It’s a pretty neat tool for those looking for new hikes in Maine (although I don’t really know why it’s called “1 minute hikes” since the hike certainly didn’t take us one minute, and the video is longer than a minute… but still, a useful tool!) This week’s color inspiration hails from photos I took along the hike. Color palettes were made using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1, and the matching Kona cotton and Moda Bella solids and Aurifil threads are my favorite perk of using the Palette Builder.

sand dune colors color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Chocolate, Bella Stone, Bella Etchings Slate, Kona Scone, Bella Snow, Bella Paper Bag

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
1140 – Bark
5011 – Rope Beige

2625 – Arctic Ice
5010 – Beige
2311 – Muslin
2335 – Lt Cinnamon

The climb up Mansell Mountain was very steep, so my gaze was often on the ground right in front of my face, finding hand-holds in some cases. I marveled in the variations of texture and color as we climbed up the mountain, and this one spot in particular caught my eye. I love the play of shadow in the crevasses, and could even see this transcribed into a full quilt. It reminds me of barren desert cliffs, and without the tiny twig for perspective, I’d almost think I were overlooking some barren landscape.

stone ground color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Graphite, Kona Coal, Kona Charcoal, Bella Zen Grey, Bella Snow, Kona Cobblestone

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
5004 – Grey Smoke
1158 – Med Grey
2785 – V Dk Navy
2600 – Dove
2311 – Muslin

2375 – Antique Blush

I love this photo and palette since it’s a perfect example of the benefit of taking a *really* close look at the world around you. These tiny almost crystalline bits of lichen could have easily been tromped over without a second glance. Looking closely, though, you see it’s a beautiful little varied world full of greys, beige, and a hint of peach. Call me weird, but I think it’s quite beautiful.

To give you some perspective, here is a series of photos showing you a lengthening view of what you see in the color palette above. If you take a step backward, you see this:

black lichen one step back
Take one step back…

Take another step back and you see:

black lichen two steps back
Take two steps back….

With one more step back, here’s what you would see as you’re hiking along the trail:

black lichen three steps back
Three steps back…

It’s amazing how the appearance of the world changes as you take a closer look! This “dirty rock” is actually a tiny world of beauty. Amazing!

overlook color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Cotton Candy Blue, Bella Admiral Blue, Bella Washed Black, Bella Etchings Slate, Bella Fig Tree Olive, Bella Evergreen, Kona Moss

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2770 – V Lt Delft
1310 – Med Blue Grey
2630 – Pewter
2325 – Linen
5010 – Beige
2887 – Olive
2905 – Army Green

We were seeking great views, and we found them indeed. Photos don’t do the hike justice at all, but I’ll include some more below. A mountain face of stone stairs, wooden slats across wet areas, pristine babbling streams winding along next to the path, sun on our backs, and a view that just cannot be portrayed. It was a lovely day!

climbing up mansell mountain
Climbing up Mansell Mountain with a baby on his back. He’s a keep-ah!
view from Mansell Mountain
The view from one of the lookouts on Mansell Mountain.
top of mansell mountain
It was THIS gorgeous!
metal ladder trail
I love trails with actual metal ladders!
stone stairs on mountain
Pretty much the entire trail down the mountain consisted of these gorgeously crafted stone stairs. 900+ foot elevation traversed on stairs!
sweet hiking buddies
My sweet and handsome hiking buddies!

Maine Quilt Shop Hop 2017: Rockland Shops

I have officially kicked off this year’s quilt shop hop in the state of Maine! While I don’t anticipate hitting any impressive number of shops with kids in tow, I love that having an official state quilt shop hop month gives me the incentive to visit some of the more distant among my favorite Maine quilt shops, and to try to visit new ones.

maine quilt shop hop 2016 clementineLast week, I had an errand to run down in Rockland, so I decided to make a day of it and visited the quilt shops down there: Quilt Divas and Clementine. Quilt Divas stocks more traditional and cute novelty fabrics, so I stopped in for a stamp and a walk around but didn’t stay too long, especially since I had three year old Max AND mobile Finn in tow.

maine quilt shop hop 2016 clementine kid areaWe spent a bit more time in Clementine. It’s a gorgeous shop that focuses strongly on garment sewing, but also has a great selection of modern quilting cottons, as well as notions, patterns, thread, wool, zippers (do they count as notions?), and more.

maine quilt shop hop 2016 clementine kid areaAs a huge added bonus, they have a gorgeous and spacious kid play space, which actually succeeded in keeping my busy 3 year old occupied for a good 15-20 minutes (which is unprecedented and amazing, trust me). A quilt shop that can somehow cater to kids in tow is an immediate win in my book!

maine quilt shop hop 2016 clementineI bought a few zippers for upcoming projects, some crushed walnut shells to use for stuffing pincushions, and the most adorable tiny Merchant and Mills Baby Bow Scissors ever. I am itching to sew something teeny tiny for a scissor intro photo shoot! As part of the shop hop, Clementine gave some jelly roll strip swag, which I’ll happily add to my stash.

clementine rainbow wall of zippers and perle cottonFor those of you looking for more information about the Maine quilt shops in the hop, I did a thorough run-down of many of the shops I visited two years ago. This year, I will most likely be less formal with my reviews since I don’t plan to visit many shops, but I’ll be sure to show you where I go anyway! Here are links to reviews from two years ago:

Fiddlehead Artisan Supply & Nancy’s Sewing Center, Belfast, ME
Z Fabrics, Portland, ME
Cotton Cupboard & Choppin Cotton, Bangor, ME
Waterville, Augusta Area Shops

The official State of Maine Quilt Shop Hop website has more information, too!

I’m linking up with Molli’s Sunday Stash, since there’s nothing like a Quilt Shop Hop to help bolster little gaps in a stash!

Kittens at Play: First Commissioned Quilt Finish

Today I am excited to share my first commissioned quilt with you! This quilt was a long time in the making, but has finally been finished, mailed, and happily received. It was a project for my father-in-law (GrandDude to my kids), who wanted to commission a secretly-made quilt for his adored wife (Grand Princess). The quilt features their two kittens Gina and Rascal, and incorporates many of my mother-in-law’s favorites. At 80″x74″, it was the largest quilt I’ve made to date, and lots of fun!

j quilt kittens at play finishWhen my FIL first suggested the idea of making a quilt for J, I asked him what he had in mind. He wanted a kitten quilt and suggested a mauve color palette. I showed him a few examples of kitten quilts with a modern aesthetic, and we decided on a quilt inspired by Luke Haynes’ Silhoucat quilt and tutorial found on Bernina’s We All Sew blog.

Mock up with kittensI sketched out a few versions with one kitten, but then he decided it would be really fabulous if I could show Gina looking out the window at a butterfly and Rascal looking out the door at a mouse. He sent a photo of the “green room” in their home since it is where the kittens often lounge, and asked if I could make the quilt look like the room. Since they live hundreds of miles away, matching the green would have been near impossible, so I grasped the mauve color palette suggestion and came up with a final layout.  My thought was that it is reminiscent of the green room in layout and kitten position, but the color would coordinate with either the green room or the living room, so the quilt could be an all purpose snuggle quilt. I sent him a rough mock up, created in EQ7 and paint–don’t you love my scribble kitties?–which amazingly came really close to looking like the finished quilt (little did we know at the time). He gave me the go-ahead to take artistic license and make the quilt, and so I began!

silhouette cat window butterfly quiltThe windows are made up of an assortment of light teal, blue, and grey half square triangles (HST), since I wanted it to look like dappled light through the windows. I’m definitely happy with the outcome, and think that it worked well! The walls and window/door frame are Interweave chambrays in colors sorbet and boysenberry, and the cats are Moda bella black, fused and raw-edge appliqued in place during quilting.

silhouette cat window mouse quiltNot having cats myself, I had to do some research into cat posture and the meanings behind different stances. Many thanks to Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl and Stephanie at Late Night Quilter for their input and cat positioning feedback. I think the playfulness of Rascal came across well as he eyed a mouse in preparation of pouncing!

finished folded quiltThe binding and backing were a step outside of my comfort zone, but I think they work well. J’s favorite color is lime green, so I knew from the start that I wanted to work some into the quilt. After considering many options (and confirming with my FIL), I made a bold choice to go with a solid lime green lawn for the backing. Lawn is super soft, so it is perfect for a couch snuggle quilt, and the solid lets the quilting shine on the back. I used Anna Maria Horner’s Spotted in the Crowd in Amelie from her Field Study line for binding, since I know J loves animal prints. Plus, the binding has both bits of lime green and teal/light blue, which helps tie the windows from the front into the lime green back.

lime green quilting detailI had lots of fun and tried new things with the quilting for this quilt, and I’m really happy with the outcome. I used coordinating 50wt Aurifil thread, changing colors for each section so that the quilting created texture without detracting from the design. I first quilted straight lines to frame the windows and keep the quilt squared (thank you, Stephanie for the pro tip!). Next, I raw edge appliquéd around the cats, butterfly, and mouse. I echo quilted inside of the cats to secure them while still keeping the shape apparent. For the walls, I free motion quilted a large mod flower pattern to give the walls texture and softness at the same time. I free motion quilted a large orange peel into the windows, using the HST grid as my base. As is my style, I didn’t mark the quilt at all and just went for it! Every time I free motion quilt, I begin terrified and quickly get into the rhythm, grinning and loving the process. I really need to do this more often!

kittens at play quilt commission finishAside from finding the necessary time to piece, layer, trace, fuse, and cut applique, baste, quilt, and finish this commission, the trickiest part was photographing the finished quilt. This quilt was too wide for even my tall 6’2″ husband to hold fully extended, although he did his best. He even tried to jump to get his feet out of the photo, but lo it only resulted in laughs. After washing and drying the quilt, I gave photographing it in full another go, trying the pant-hanger on the shed trick. Still not my favorite quilt photos, but they show the full quilt, so I’ll concede. The quilt is cute and loved, and that’s what matters!

always sign a quilt labelJ with her quilt happy recipientJ is happy with her quilt, so I’m thrilled!

Quilt Stats

Pattern: My own design, method inspired by Luke Haynes’ Silhoucat Quilt and fashioned after the recipients home and kittens

Size: 80″x74″

Fabric:
Front: The windows are an assortment of MANY teal/light blue/grey prints including but not limited to: Firefly Jar Mint from Curiosities by Jeni Baker (Art Gallery), Shimmer 2 fabric by Jennifer Sampou (Robert Kaufman), Mini Pearl Bracelets in Petal by Lizzy House (Andover), Full Circle in Robin’s Egg from Full Circle by Eloise Renouf (Cloud 9), Hilltop Mint Hearts for Wee Gallery (Dear Stella), Geo Mist in Mist from Anna Elise by Bari J (Art Gallery), Flirt Spring Branches on Grey (Dear Stella), Grey Mini Confetti from Confetti Dot (Dear Stella), Net in Smoke and Mint (Dear Stella), Crosshatch in Lake from Architextures by Carolyn Friedlander (Robert Kaufman), Chasing Butterflies in Blue by Lizzy House (Andover), Flowers on Blue by Pippa Moon (Studio E), The Sweet Life by Cori Daitini (Blend), Three French Hens by Pearl Louise Krush for Riverwoods Collection (Troy Corp), Glitz Flower in Aqua from Glitz Garden (Michael Miller);
The walls are Interweave Chambray in Sorbet (Robert Kaufman), and the door and window frames are Interweave Chambray in Boysenberry (Robert Kaufman); the cats and creatures are Moda Bella black.
Back: Cotton Lawn in Lime
Binding: Spotted in the Crowd in Amelie from Field Study by Anna Maria Horner (Free Spirit)

Batting: 100% cotton Soft n’ Crafty batting

Thread: Aurifil 50wt in 2600 – Dove for piecing and Aurifil 50wt 2800- Mint Ice, 5003-Wine, 4030-Plum and, 2692-Black for quilting

Quilting: Both straight line and free motion quilting on my Bernina 560 and a walking foot/open fronted darning foot

Time:
Piecing the top: 12 hours
Tracing, cutting, fusing applique: 4 hours
Piecing the back: 35 minutes
Squaring, layering, and basting: 1 hour 40 min
Quilting: 9 hours 30 min
Finishing (squaring & burying threads): 2 hours
Binding: 3 hours
Total: Approx. 32 hours 45 min

Related Blog Post: Slow and Steady

I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday, Needle and Thread Thursday, and TGIFF. I’m so excited to have my first commissioned quilt under my belt, and I’m so grateful to my FIL for not only seeing the value in handmade, but insisting on supporting the business side of what I do, too!

 

Color Inspiration Thursday {68}

I’m breaking one of my big blogging rules today and sharing color palettes created from photos I took with my phone, but I had to–they are photos of the first flowers of spring! Yesterday we finally had a warm and sunny day, so the boys and I walked to meet Maddie after kindergarten. As we began to walk home, I spotted something tiny and blue in the grass. We all immediately went to investigate and found a bunch of tiny grape hyacinths and Siberian squill.  I had my phone but not my camera since we were traveling by foot with only a stroller. We watched a honey bee buzz around them for a bit and I flattened to my belly to capture the moment (as is my style). Camera phones are pretty impressive these days, though, so I think the photos turned out alright. I think I have an iPhone 6, but tech details are not my forté. Color palettes were created using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1, as per usual, and the springy matching Aurifil thread and fabric solids (a mix of Kona cottons and Moda Bella solids) are one of my favorite perks of the Palette Builder tool.

grape hyacinth color palette spring maineCorresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Flax, Bella Leaf, Kona Avocado, Kona Nightfall, Kona Royal, Kona Cornflower

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
5011 – Rope Beige
2888 – Fern Green
5018 – Grass Green
2780 – Dk Delft Blue
2525 – Dusty Blue Violet
2770 – V Lt Delft

These little grape hyacinths were tiny, but I’m glad my ever-color-seeking eyes spotted them! I love how everything changes when you get really close and take a detailed look. Tiny bulbous bells, happily visited by an early bee, were exactly what I needed to see! The bee was flitting a bit too quickly for me, so I didn’t catch him this time. No worries; there will be a next time.

siberian squill color palette maineCorresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Bunny Hill Blue, Kona Laurel, Kona Palm, Kona Grapemist, Kona Copen, Kona Royal

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2600 – Dove
2890 – Dk Grass Green

5021 – Light Grey
2770 – V Lt Delft
2725 – Lt Wedgewood
2775 – Steel Blue

Siberian squill are one of my favorite flowers, most likely due to their rich and gorgeous color. I also love their dainty overhanging splay, which I would imagine to be a fabulously cute umbrella for the resident fairies. You can get a really fabulous look at these flowers in bulk in my post from a year or so ago HERE (seriously, it’s worth a visit!).

finn for scale spring flowersTo give you a bit of scale for these spring beauties, here is giant Finn sitting next to them, more focused on the leaves and grass that those tiny pops of blue. I’m so excited that the flowers have begun to bloom, since the forecast promises a few more warm days of sun. Surely by next week, the flowers in our yard will begin to show! Spring has finally arrived in Maine!

Stash Building: Low Volume Loves & 3K IG Giveaway

I recently hit a pretty big milestone over on Instagram when I surpassed 3K followers, so to help celebrate that (and the fact that it was my birthday yesterday), I’m hosting a pretty epic giveaway over on Instagram. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out my feed @nightquilter and enter to win! The giveaway will close tomorrow (Monday) night at 9pm EST.

Giveaway nightquilter 3K IGI figured I couldn’t go wrong giving away some of my all-time favorite fabrics and threads, and I’m so very grateful to my sponsors for donating the prizes. The prize package contains (from left to right): a fat quarter bundle of Endpaper from Sun Prints 2016 by Alison Glass (Andover) donated by Fiddlehead Artisan Supply; a low volume bundle of 14 gorgeous quilting cottons curated my yours truly donated by Fat Quarter Shop, and the Simply Color by Vanessa Christensen large spool set of 50wt Aurifil thread donated by Alex Veronelli at Aurifil. Many, many thanks!!

fat quarter shop low volume bundleFat Quarter Shop also sent a low volume bundle for me to keep since I curated it, so I’m super excited to be restocking my low volumes! The low volume bundle is available here. Go check it out, and if you love low volumes as much as I do, I hereby give you permission to treat yourself!

low volume bundle fat quarter shop nightquilterI included a little bit of everything in this bundle, including Cotton + Steel basics, Modern Background Paper, Lizzy House mini pearl bracelets, prints from Anna Maria Horner’s newest line, a print from Wonderland by Katarina Rocella, those adorable scissors from Maker Make by Art Gallery fabrics, and more. You’ll have to visit the post on Fat Quarter Shop to see the full list of included fabrics, but I can tell you I’m loving every one and already plotting the next low volume + rainbow Alison Glass fabrics project (are you surprised?).

As always, I’ll be sure to show you once I start putting these fabrics to use. In the meantime, head over to Instagram to enter for a chance to win your very own stash building prize package! I apologize to those of you who don’t have Instagram, but there’s sure to be another great giveaway here on the blog, too. Surpassing 3 thousand followers needs some celebrating!

I’m linking up with Molli’s Sunday Stash, since my low volume stash grew in a fabulous way this week, and one lucky follower will be REALLY building his/her stash soon! Best of luck!

Upward: 10 Months

It’s hard to believe that my baby will be a year old in less than two months. They don’t lie when they say “babies don’t keep”. Finn is in the final stretch, as is his milestone quilt. I’ll warn you now: I took a LOT of photos this month. If you don’t feel like seeing far too many cute baby photos, you may want to just stop here. The rest of you may want to get a beverage and find a comfortable seat! 

finn 10 months milestone quiltFinn is itching to run around with his older siblings, and that motivation is clear in his movement and development. A few days before 10 months, he took his first few (three, to be exact) small, tentative steps. Were they to mommy or daddy? No! They were to big sister Maddie, with whom he really wanted to play. He has been mastering climbing down as well as up stairs, and absolutely loves to dance. His solo standing is now quite steady.

finn 10 months milestone quiltHis quilt is growing, too. Creating the blocks has become second nature, and with the extra precut strips saved from previous blocks, the new blocks go together quickly. As anticipated, the toughest part about this quilt now is the monthly photo shoot. Finn was *really* helpful this time!

finn 10 months milestone quiltWhile I taped the blocks to the wall as quickly as I could, Finn was helping me sort the project box for this milestone quilt. In baby terms, this means pull everything out of the box then proceed to mix around as much as possible. Oh, and taste all the things!

finn 10 months milestone quiltTaking the blocks off the wall is also a really well known and delightfully entertaining game. This month’s photo should really look like the photo above. As Finn adorably revealed. I’ve been hiding an outlet behind the blocks all these months! In a house with a million outlets and hardly any clear walls, you have to make do! He’s so proud of himself.

finn 10 months milestone quiltFinn now has four teeth, and his top two grow bigger daily. You can barely see them peeking out in this photo. Such a sweet mug!

finn 10 months milestone quiltPlaying throw and catch is another favorite of 10 month-old Finn. Here we are playing with my newly made repurposed denim ball.

finn 10 months milestone quilt
I caught this gem action shot with the ball in the air!

He actually has quite an arm already, and almost always throws the ball forward instead of behind him!

finn 10 months milestone quiltHe’s just SOOOO big! There are those top teeth!

finn 10 months milestone quiltWith teeth comes the ability to eat more adventurous things. Toward the end of the photo shoot I discovered one of the reasons Finn was so intent on taking the blocks off the wall.

finn 10 months milestone quiltfinn 10 months milestone quiltfinn 10 months milestone quiltHe was aiming to eat the blue painter’s tape right off the wall! Must be delicious!

Finn 10 months milestone quiltSo there we have it. Ten months old!

For those of you new to this project, you can see the full quilt layout plan, HERE in the 3 month post. You can see the full progression of Finn and his quilt’s growth so far HERE or by clicking the “Milestone Quilt” tab at the top of my blog. Thank you for joining me on this journey!

Inviting Ancestors to Tea: A Mug Rug Gift

A few months ago, my brother-in-law posted the coolest picture on Instagram of what appeared to be a little metal pin or charm. My first thought (of course) was, “That would make a cool paper pieced pattern!” His caption read: “Our ancestral emblem dates back to the 1800s.”  That sealed the deal. This HAD to be made into fiber art of some sort. How awesome is it to have an ancestral emblem!? I’ve been prodding my artist brother to design one for our family, since you’ve gotta start somewhere, right?!

ancestral emblem IG postWhen I got the reminder from my mom that his birthday was in early March, I decided it was time for this ancestral emblem creation to become a reality. I drafted a foundation paper pieced pattern, decided a mug rug would be the perfect doable yet useful gift, and set to work.

finnish ancestral emblem mug rugI’m very happy with the result!

This gift was a surprise for my brother-in-law, so I had to do some secretive research into favorites. He and my brother both have a very distinct style and I wanted to be sure to make a gift he’ll sincerely love (for more than just the fact that I made it for him). First up was to do some research to figure out a favorable color scheme. Word back from my brother was that colors were tough, and the safest bet was to go with grey, black, or white. Since Robert Kaufman’s Essex yarn dyed linen in charcoal is one of my all-time favorite fabrics, this color scheme sounded perfect to me!

finnish ancestral emblem progressWith Kona white and Essex yarn dyed in charcoal, I pieced the top using my newly created foundation paper pieced pattern. I made some binding with my go-to Carolyn Friedlander text on black from Architextures and decided the whole thing needed an accent–just a pop of color in the binding to round it out. I sent my brother the photo above for his opinion, and I’m glad I did! The texty print was vetoed and orange and black apparently are a favorite color combination (you know me–I was leaning heavily toward turquoise).

hand stitching binding relaxationI easily switched in Kona black instead of the Architextures (I’ll save that for another project!) with three narrow bits of Kona Persimmon and before I knew it, I was relaxingly hand stitching the binding to the back to finish it up.

finnish ancestral emblem mug rugI am really happy with this mug rug, and I hope that my brother-in-law loves it and better yet–uses it ALL the time! He can now invite his ancestors to tea whenever he wants.

architextures ledger perfect backing fabric straight quiltingThose of you who follow me on Instagram most likely already saw my secret trick to perfectly straight quilting lines, but I’ll share it here for those who missed it. I used Ledger from Carolyn Friedlander’s Architextures line for the backing and quilted straight lines with the backing facing up. This project was small enough that I could easily line up the backing with the front, so the lines were perfectly straight, evenly spaced, and horizontal on the front. I used 50wt Aurifil 2600-Dove thread for piecing, quilting, and binding (of course).

finnish ancestral emblem mug rugThis was mailed off yesterday (better late than never!), so it should be arriving soon.

Project Stats – Mug Rug

Pattern: Finnish Ancestral Emblem foundation paper pieced pattern designed by me, inspired by a photo of a metal pin.

Size: 6.5″x11″

Fabric:
Front: Kona White (Robert Kaufman), Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Charcoal (Robert Kaufman)
Back: Ledger in Ivory from Architextures by Carolyn Friedlander (Robert Kaufman)
Binding: Kona Black with three accents of Kona Persimmon (Robert Kaufman)

Batting: 100% cotton Soft n’ Crafty batting

Thread: Aurifil 50wt in 2600 – Dove for both piecing and quilting

Quilting: Straight line quilting using the lines in Ledger as a guide, with my Bernina 560 and a walking foot

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I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it Up Friday. I have a lot of finishes to share in the coming weeks, which explains my relative quiet here on the blog. Time to show you what I’ve been making!