Color Inspiration Thursday {70}

**Note: I wrote this post four (4) weeks ago and between other scheduled tutorials and family sickness, it has yet to be posted. I’m finally scheduling it to post so that it goes up no matter what goes down on the homestead. Spring is in full swing here in Maine, now, so just pretend it is a month ago while reading this!**

Warm, sunny, peeks-at-summer days are popping up here and there, intermingled with some below freezing nights and a bout of snow a couple of days ago. Ahh, spring in Maine! We were able to escape on one last grand adventure as a family of three before my big kids returned from their vacation two weeks ago, and today’s color inspiration comes from our adventures at Popham Beach in Phippsburg, Maine. It’s a bit of a drive away at just over 2 hours, but somehow the stars aligned and Finn slept the entire drive down, making our day joyful and smooth. And such, “beaching it” is the theme of the week; color palettes were created using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1.

dune grass beach color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Pewter, Bella Bunny Hill Blue, Bella Prairie Green, Bella Pistachio, Kona Parchment, Bella Etchings Charcoal

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2606 – Mist
2560 – Iris

5010 – Beige
5016 – Olive Green
2326 – Sand
1140 – Bark

As soon as we began along the path to the beach, I was drawn to the sea grasses that grew along the dunes. Such perfect little spikes of green popping up through the fine sand, it’s amazing to think that they alone hold the shifting sands in place during the strongest storms. Yet another reminder of Mother Nature’s simple complexity. The soft greens of the grasses and beige tones of the sand give a quiet feel to this palette.

beach grass sand dune popham beach maineThis grass-covered dune was gorgeous as a whole, too, and I was happy to see a nice solid fence and signage clearly explaining the importance of looking without touching (or walking).

rusty lobster trap color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Peacoat, Kona Pewter, Kona Medium Grey, Bella Nautical Blue, Kona Spice, Kona Latte

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2785 – V Dk Navy
2605 – Grey

1126 – Blue Grey
1310 – Med Blue Grey
4012 – Copper Brown
5010 – Beige

Great color combinations can be found in the most unexpected of places, like this old, rusty lobster trap that was washed up on the beach and almost entirely covered by sand. I am wishing I took a photo of this from further away, since you might not notice the intricacies of texture and color unless you take a closer look. Lovely rust! I actually have a quilt in the wayyyy beginning phases of planning using a rusty color palette like this. It might become a reality in a year or two!

Here are a couple more photos from our expedition, just for fun:

amazing driftwood
Check out that amazing driftwood!!

baby crawling on beach

baby crawling on beach


Here’s to another color inspiration post next week, featuring some of the gorgeous spring flowers that are finally filling our gardens! Enjoy your week!

Make Modern Mini Mini Quilt Challenge: Finally, Mini Minis

Remember that mini mini quilt craze that spread like wildfire among quilty bloggers about eight months ago? Yeah, me too. The fun news is that with the recent feature in Make Modern magazine, the mini mini quilt spark is being fanned back into life with a Mini Mini Quilt Challenge. You can see a fun inspiration gallery of mini mini quilts in the recent issue of Make Modern (Issue 11), including a couple made by yours truly, and there’s a community wide challenge running now through June 20th to help inspire more mini mini madness. Read more about the challenge here, or check out the hashtag #MMminimini to see what creative mini mini quilts have been created thus far (and add your own to the pool!).

mini mini quilts with aurifil for scaleI’d like to say the mini mini quilts I’m sharing today are newly inspired and whipped up in response to this fun challenge, but no. I’ll be honest. I began both of these many, many months ago, and they were worked on at a snail’s pace, off and on. I’m almost embarrassed to share these finishes, since they have taken me so ridiculously long to finally finish. But I know that you understand, and that you would want to see the finished mini mini quilts even if it took over 8 months (gah!) for me to finally buckle down and finish them. So, without further delay, my latest mini mini quilt finishes:

Slow Growth

slow growth mini mini quilt finishThis mini mini quilt was made for Allison at Campbell Soup Diary (you can see the amazingly wonderful mini minis she made me here and here). When we first decided to exchange mini minis, she offered this as guidance: “As for colors that I like… AG grove in grass green is THE perfect shade! I tend towards pinks, purples, oranges, yellows, but generally stay away from blues unless it’s a really nice royal. Turquoise is great, but red is the one color that is almost always left out of my color palette. (don’t ask me why, but I even avoid it in my garden and my wardrobe) If given the choice between straight lines and wonky, I prefer straight. I love natural and soft shapes, but I also realize that that cannot easily be pieced.

slow growth mini mini quilt finishFor some reason, I latched onto the AG grove in grass green (of course), paired with the favorite colors of pinks, purples, oranges, yellows. I wanted to create something with natural and soft shapes, so immediately thought of needle-turn applique. The rest of this mini mini just sort of happened as I stitched. The mod leaves and flowers are needle-turn appliqued, and then I used 12 wt Aurifil thread to embroider details on the flowers.

slow growth mini mini quilt finish snail detailThe snail was not initially intended to be part of this mini mini, but in fact was the result of a mini mini travesty: my three year old son found my little scissors and in playing around, cut a small hole right in the mini mini quilt!! After taking many deep breaths, probably yelling at least once and emphatically saying that it was NOT ok to cut mommy’s sewing, I decided to make lemonade out of lemons and needle-turn a little patch over the hole. With a bit of embroidery embellishment, a little slow growing snail was born. It ends up this snail was the perfect symbol of this project, and ultimately inspired its name: Slow Growth.

I densely hand quilted this mini mini with a variety of weights of Aurifil 2600-Dove (50wt, 28wt, and 12 wt), essentially hand-matchstick-quilting the 5″x5″ quilt. I improv-ed the quilting and included a few rows of X’s and one of little bubbly O’s for interest. I used a super thin binding for this (1″ strip to start, single fold), and although finicky to sew on, I really like the feel and aesthetic of the skinny binding. Even if it took ages, there are many positive, grateful, creatively generous thoughts stitched into this mini mini, Allison! I hope you like it!

Too Tiny

fpp feather mini mini quilt finishThis next mini mini quilt was an experiment in how small can you go, and I determined that I reached my tiny threshold, at least with this foundation paper pieced pattern. The intended recipient of this mini mini is a big fan of the color purple, and I also knew I wanted to make her a feather mini mini. I wanted it to be unique, though, so I designed my own teeny foundation paper pieced pattern of a geometric feather.

fpp feather mini mini quilt finishI absolutely love tiny stitching, mostly because of the giggles that reflexively bubble over while I’m piecing the ridiculously tiny pieces. This tiny feather was no different, until it came time to sew the two sides together. The seam was crazy thick; so thick, I had to hand crank my sewing machine to get the needle through it without breaking (I broke a needle trying the first time). With a seam that thick, you can guess how great my chances of pressing it flat might be–slim to none! My solution? I stuffed actual wool batt behind the feather and then quilted around it as best as I could. It’s not exactly trapunto; it’s more a stuffed feather!

fpp feather mini mini quilt finishMy reverse needle-turn applique skills have room for improvement, and the shaft of the feather didn’t work as well as I had hoped. I decided to embroider over it with 12wt Aurifil to try to give it a more intentional look, and I’m much happier with the result. The Anna Maria Horner loominous fabric was the perfect background, and I machine quilted horizontal lines with 50wt Aurifil 2560-Iris.

fpp feather mini mini quilt finishI used the backing as binding and folded over a larger portion on this mini mini quilt, since I felt it needed a stronger frame due to the visual weight of the 3-dimensional feather. Mini mini quilts certainly keep me humble, since every little stitch is visible, and the wobbles and less-than-perfect corners are part of the charm.

fpp feather mini mini quilt finishI signed the back with quick embroidered initials and date, since I feel strongly about signing all creations, no matter how small.

Both of these mini minis are going in the mail today. Once I finish a bit more of the projects on my to-do list, I am sure to revisit the mini mini quilt making scene. I still have one more promised mini mini quilt that is in progress for a friend who has already sent one in return (ages ago), and my very first mini mini swap for which I need to redo the binding. I think I agreed to swap with at least two others, but we left it open and relaxed and since I have not received a mini mini in return, I don’t feel *quite* so bad letting the creation of my mini mini quilt slide. All in good time, right?

make modern mini mini challengeHave you made a mini mini quilt yet? If you feel so inspired, I encourage you to post a photo on Instagram with #MMminimini to join the fun (and enter to win prizes!). I’d also love to see it, so tag me @nightquilter so that I can see your tiny beauty!

I’m linking up with Let’s Bee Social and will link with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday, and TGIFF, since community is fun!

Rainbow Hex Star {Sizzix Inspired Project}

Last night kicked off the International Quilt Market, spring edition, which is in Salt Lake City this year. Much of my Instagram feed is flowing with pictures of sample spree booty, gorgeous booths, and peeks at new fabric lines and products. One product that is being introduced at Quilt Market as we speak is a new Sizzix die called Hex Star designed by Victoria Findlay Wolfe.

hex star mini quilt sizzix inspired aurifilI got to play with this die in advance and I’m sharing the project I made with it over on the Sizzix blog today! It included my very first y-seams, rainbow hand quilting with 12 wt Aurifil thread, and a fun go at embroidery quilting (I may have invented that term myself–is it such a thing!?) I share a close look at my hand quilting, a tip for even stitches, and many more photos of the full project here.

hex star mini quilt sizzix inspired aurifilAlthough the mini quilt is bound and finished, I am 99.9% sure I am going to do more embroidery-quilting on the Alison Glass Endpaper outer border. I was debating whether to stick with the colors extending from each arm of the star or to mix it up in the outer border, but I think I’m going to stick with the same colors as the center. I shared more detail photos of the quilting and embroidery in my Sizzix post, so head over to see more!

Here are the 12 wt Aurifil colors I used, just in case you want to try some rainbow hand quilting, too:

5002 – Medium Red
1154 – Orange
2120 – Canary
1147 – Light Leaf Green
4140 – Wedgewood
2540 – Medium Lavender

I’ll be sure to show you when I finally decide it’s really finished. For now, I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts since this mini is technically finished (although is anything ever really fully finished when you have thread in your hand?)

Oakshott Lipari Blog Hop – Teaser

lipari blog hop imageWelcome to the Oakshott Lipari Blog Hop! For those of you who have been following along on this fantastic hop, you’ll notice that today is my scheduled day to share my project made from the newest Oakshott line, Lipari. Unfortunately, due to a week plus of family illness, I’m not quite finished with my quilt. Lynne was kind enough to move me to the end of the blog hop, so you’ll have to wait until June 2nd to see my project and tutorial.

oakshott lipariIn the meantime, here’s a gorgeous peek at the new Oakshott Lipari line. These woven fabrics have black warp, and gorgeously glowing weft, making them decidedly iridescent. I love how dynamic their colors are, and I’ve drawn from the inspiration for the fabric line itself as inspiration for my quilt (the only hint you’ll get for now!)

I definitely recommend checking out the projects that have been shown already, and be sure to visit the rest of the talented bloggers in the coming weeks to see what they’ve been creating!

5 May     Allison Dutton
10 May   Nicholas Ball 
12 May   Helen Purvis
17 May   Lynn Harris  
19 May   Kitty Wilkin  <— YOU ARE HERE
24 May   Jessica Skultety 
26 May   Karin Jordan 
31 May   Elisabeth Vaughan
2 June      Kitty Wilkin 

See you on the 2nd of June! I can’t wait to show you what I’ve been working on. Back to the sewing machine I go!

Digging Out & May is for Makers Update

Remember that full plate I have for the month of May? Well it has all been pushed way back to the back-burner since my last post, as a nasty stomach bug made its way through our family like a tidal wave. My daughter and I got it first, 48 hours later my youngest two children got it, and as a nasty sneak attack after we all thought we were in the clear, 72 hours later, my husband got it. All creating, sewing, blogging time has been fully replaced by sickness, recovery, tending sick beloveds, and cleaning/laundry catch up. My husband is still recovering today, and the deep cleaning continues.  Needless to say, I don’t have much to show!

Since May is flying by, though, and I wanted to check in, I thought now would be a perfect time to share the patterns I’ve been purchasing for the May is for Makers initiative started by Lindsey at LR Stitched.

Maker May Week 1 Libs Elliott Rebel QuiltI kicked off the month by buying the Rebel Quilt pattern by Libs Elliott. Ever since my husband first started “following” my quilting and getting more into the quilting world, Libs Elliott has been his favorite designer. I can’t even tell you how many times he has tagged me on Instagram on a post (that I had already liked, by the way) just to make sure I saw the awesomeness. Since I have yet to make a quilt for him, we decided that the Rebel Quilt would be perfect. He selected a color palette of red, black, grey, white, and a bit of turquoise (yay!), and I’m itching to get started. This is going to be SO much fun to see come together! All in good time, of course.

Maker May Week 2 Terrazzo Lee HeinrichThe second week I bought the Terrazzo Quilt pattern by Lee Heinrich of Freshly Pieced. This is one of those quilts I loved the moment I saw it, but have not yet had the right opportunity to make one. Recently Fat Quarter Shop asked if I would want to make a quilt using both of their Alison Glass Sun Prints bundles and blog about it if they sent me the fabric, and this quilt pattern popped to mind. Yes and yes!! I plan to create this quilt in the coming months; an all time favorite pattern with my all time favorite fabrics–I’m in love already and I haven’t even cut the first piece!

Stitchy Pie Cover - Charm About YouFor the third week, I’m sharing a pattern I bought *just* before May began, but I’m counting it anyway. Stitchy Pie is a sweet needle organizer pattern recently released by Lucy at Charm About You. I had just been thinking about how I needed some system for keeping all of my hand stitching needles organized and in one place (it’s never fun when I can’t find my self-threading needles and it’s thread burying time), and this pattern popped up in my Instagram feed. I plan to make mine…. wait, can you guess?…. out of an Alison Glass Art Theory panel! I will never tire of Alison Glass fabric projects! I don’t know when the time will present itself, but when it does, I’m excited to make this handy little project.

I have not yet decided what patterns I’ll be purchasing for the last two weeks of May. Do you have any suggestions? Any innovative projects that you find yourself returning to again and again? I’m soooo close to crossing into the black hole (so it feels) of garment sewing, and I want to begin with a simple cotton tank. Do any of you garment sewists have suggestions? Thank you in advance, and I hope you’ve been having fun with May is for Makers, too!

Back to cleaning up and possibly sewing for just a tiny bit, since Finn is napping. Here’s to good health, sunny skies, and speedy and efficient catch-up!

The Final Stretch: 11 Months

I’ve been here every day, experiencing  every moment, yet still it’s hard to believe my baby is nearly a year old. Finn is walking more and more, beginning to talk a bit (he clear as day said “yes” when I asked him if he wanted more milk last night, and “mama” is a regular), he’s learned how to tell me when he doesn’t like something, and his wonder of the world around him only grows. I know that he has a lot more growing and developing to do, but his milestone quilt is nearly finished. finn milestone quilt 11 monthsI had to laugh to myself a bit a few weeks ago when Finn threw his first fit. You know the kind, where he gets his hands on something he really shouldn’t have (in this case, a pony bead that he surely would try to eat), you take it away, trying to distract him with something else, but still he whines, arches his back and makes it known that he is NOT happy. My first thought was, “Awww cute! Finn learned how to throw a fit!” True tale sign he’s my third child. While it’s still a bit cute when he throws a fit, I’m sure it will get old long before he outgrows it. But still, he’s such a blessing. Looking at these photos, you’d never think he’d be capable of throwing a fit. finn milestone quilt 11 monthsNow that walking and moving is old hat for Finn, this photo shoot was quite a feat. Just about as soon as I set him down standing, he’d start to walk toward me. Adorably cute, yes, but jolting movement doesn’t bode well for clear photos. Still I managed to get a few good ones, and of course I’ll be sharing them here. finn milestone quilt 11 monthsThis month, we had some friends over during his photo shoot (which actually happened this morning!), so his friend Ronin joined him for the photos. Ronin is a few months younger than Finn, but it was fun to see them interact. finn milestone quilt 11 monthsHere I was asking and signing to Finn, “Where’s your friend?” I’m trying to sign all the time to Finn and it’s slowly starting to show. He finally signed “more” while eating eggs the other morning, and I think is beginning to sign “milk” and perhaps “all done”. He seems much more interested in verbal communication, and it sounds to me like he says: mama, milk, more, Maddie, Max, water, yes, and perhaps a few more. The development of a human brain blows my mind. finn milestone quilt 11 monthsfinn milestone quilt 11 monthsOnce again, the highlight of the day was ripping the blocks off the wall. Here Ronin looks on as Finn takes the first block down, and turns to check with Emily (Ronin’s mom) to make sure it’s ok. finn milestone quilt 11 months

finn milestone quilt 11 months
How happy do they look!?

Once I gave them the go ahead, it was a quilt block grabbing, tasting, throwing free-for-all. finn milestone quilt 11 monthsRonin especially enjoyed the tactile-oral quality control job. Such adorable kids.

stof fabrics to back the milestone quiltAs you may have noticed in some of the photos above, I recently found potential backings for Finn’s milestone quilt. While doing a bit of quilt shop hopping during Maine’s April quilt shop hop, I spotted two prints that stuck with me at Mainely Sewing. After walking through the shop, I found myself coming back to these two.

stof fabrics to back the milestone quiltThey are by Stof Fabrics, which is a fabric company unfamiliar to me before now. The fabric feels sturdy and smooth, and based in Denmark, I anticipate high quality. After much deliberation, I bought a couple yards of each print, just in case. I haven’t seen them elsewhere, so I thought it was a wise purchase.

stof fabrics to back the milestone quiltTo be honest, the print that looks like birch trees was the one I thought I’d use for the backing, until seeing them hanging next to the quilt. Looking at the photo above, I’m leaning strongly toward the print on the left. I love the pops of gold in both of them, since some of the fabrics I used in the quilt blocks for the front have gold details, and the square geometric pattern reflects the log cabin structure. I can see this quilt coming together, and it’s such a fun sight!

milestone quilt finn 11 monthsI deliberated over which photo of Finn to use for his 11 month block photo, since this one of him carefully standing is pretty adorable, but I ultimately chose the one with him leaning over, peeking out into the kitchen where Emily and Max were talking.

milestone quilt finn 11 monthsThis photo seems relevant to his stage of life right now–wanting to get into the mix, discover everything, and communicate and run with the big kids. He’s getting awfully tall, too! One more month before he’s a one-year-old! I’ll check in again next month to share the celebration.

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!

Farmer’s Wife Sew Along – Block 31 Eva Tutorial

Today is my day to share the Block 31 Eva tutorial for the 1930 Farmer’s Wife Sew Along, hosted by Angie at Gnome Angel and sponsored by Fat Quarter Shop and Marti Michell.

Farmers Wife 31 Eva TutorialAs with Autumn, a first look at block 31 Eva may cause you to balk: 37 pieces in one 6″ block, and many of them are tiny squares!? But with a creative look at the block construction,  Eva can come together smoothly and without too many teeny pieces. This sew along continues to show me that there is nearly always a faster and easier way to approach block construction than purely cutting out all of the pieces and sewing them together. With a few shortcuts and piecing tricks, Eva comes together quite smoothly. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to use strip piecing to save a bit of time and create larger, more manageable pieces, and fill in the gaps using Marti Michell templates (Set A) or rotary cutting to help make putting Eva together smooth and enjoyable.

Note: Exact measurements for the pieces needed to construct this block will not be provided in this tutorial in order to protect copy write. It is a prerequisite of making this block that you have a copy of the book, The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt: Inspiring Letters from Farm Women of the Great Depression and 99 Quilt Blocks That Honor Them. All measurements can be found in this book and its associated media. That said, even if you aren’t sewing along with us, I think you will find some really helpful tips in this tutorial that will help you look at all block construction more creatively!

Reflection on the Letter – Two Little Sparrows

The letters in this book continue to move me in their honesty and relevance in my life today. It’s amazing how similar the worries of today are to those of the farmer’s wives back in the 1930s. Losing sleep over financial stability seems to me to be part of the human condition. Especially at our current stage of life, growing a young family, recently having bought our first home, and working hard as a one-income family of five so that I may be a full time mom raising our children, my husband and I unfortunately do not escape the worries of making ends meet. Mrs. P. G.’s dream of two sparrows drawing nearer together when faced with the winds of adversity really resonated with me, and gives me renewed hope that “every little thing, is going to be alright” (thanks, Bob Marley, and Mrs. P. G.).


For this block, I specifically chose fabrics with small or nondirectional prints, so that I could quickly strip piece the components without worrying about fussy cutting or directionality. Note that I am arranging my final layout on-point, but for the purposes of being consistent with the diagram in the book, this tutorial pieces the block squared. If you plan to set your blocks on-point, be sure to account for that with any directional fabric placement.

Farmers Wife 31 Eva TutorialWhen broken into more manageable pieces, this block is composed of the center 9-patch, two pairs of mirror image blocks, and 8 surrounding triangles, cut with templates and/or a rotary cutter. I first made the blocks using strip piecing to speed up the creation of the components, and then sewed them all together. Let’s break it down.

Making the Center 9-Patch

In the book, the cream and yellow fabrics were used to make the #31E 9-patch. Choose your coordinating fabrics (I used black and orange and will refer to the fabrics as black and orange throughout).

farmers wife 31 eva tutorialCut one (1) 1 3/16″ x 19″ long strip of your cream equivalent fabric (I used black). Subcut two (2) 4″ long pieces. Set the remainder of the strip aside.

Cut one (1) 1 3/16″ x 16 1/2″ long strip of your yellow equivalent fabric (I used orange). Subcut one (1) 4″ long piece and one (1) 1 3/16″ square. Set the remainder of the strip aside.

*Measurement tip: 3/16″ is halfway between 1/8″ and 1/4″. Since the 1 3/16″ measure was used so often in cutting for this block, I marked it with painter’s tape on my ruler to help avoid confusion. 

farmers wife 31 eva tutorialSew black strips to orange center as shown. I prefer to press my seams open for ease of matching seams and reduction of bulk. Feel free to press open or toward the darker fabric.

farmers wife 31 eva tutorial
Ruler marked with 1 3/16″ measure.

Cut into three (3) 1 3/16″ wide strips as shown.

farmers wife 31 eva tutorialNext, carefully unsew one of the black squares. Sew the orange 1 3/16″ square to the other side to make the center strip for the 9-patch.

farmers wife 31 eva tutorialThis is a great time to use a leaders and enders project to help smoothly sew these tiny pieces without the fabric getting bunched in the machine. If you don’t have a leaders and enders project in progress, sew through a scrap piece of fabric before sewing the tiny squares together. This will help your stitches stay smooth despite the tiny fabric size!

farmers wife 31 eva tutorialYou now will have your three strips for your 9-patch.

FW Eva front back 9 patchCarefully sew them together, pinning just after each seam join. Press seams open. Above shows my block, front and back. Note how nicely the pressed-open seams sit! Set your 9-patch aside.

Making the Mirror Image Blocks

In the book, the cream, yellow, and blue fabrics were used to make the remaining blocks, each comprised of a #31C and two #31D-#31E units. (I used black, orange, and yellow-orange fabrics and will refer to them as such throughout).

farmers wife 31 eva tutorialCut one (1) 1 7/8″ x 11″ piece from your blue-equivalent fabric (I used yellow-orange). Retrieve the fabric strips set aside during the 9-patch construction, and subcut one (1) 1 3/16″ x 11″ strip from the orange. From the black strip, subcut four (4) 1 3/16″x 2 5/16″ pieces. If you have the Marti Michell template set A, the A-3 template is exactly 2 5/16″ and can be used to easily cut the pieces.

farmers wife 31 eva tutorialSew the orange to the light orange as shown. Press seams open. Subcut the strip set into eight (8) 1 3/16″ segments. Using a ruler marked with painter’s tape as shown previously in this tutorial will help this step go quickly.

farmers wife 31 eva tutorial**MIRROR IMAGE ALERT** At first glance the blocks above may look the same, but notice that they are actually mirror images. The two on top are mirror images of the two on the bottom. Carefully arrange your pieces as shown above, paying very close attention to the direction of the orange bits: orange bit facing down on the left and up on the right for the top two; orange bit facing up on the left and down on the right for the bottom two.

farmers wife 31 eva tutorialVery carefully sew the blocks together, pausing midway to double check the alignment before sewing the second strip onto each center. Press seams open. Set these four blocks aside.

Cutting the Triangles

In the book, the cream fabric was used to make all of the triangles that comprise the background of this block. I used black fabric.

farmers wife 31 eva tutorialCut a 2″ x 18″ strip of black fabric. Using Marti Michell templates A-4 and A-6 or the templates provided in the media associated with the book, cut four (4) #31A and four (4) #31B pieces. The photo above demonstrates how to efficiently cut the pieces from the 2″ strip. One more #31A (the large triangle) and one more #31B (the smaller right triangle) remain to be cut in the photo above.

Assembling the Block

Farmers Wife 31 Eva TutorialNow you have all of the components necessary for piecing Eva! Grab all of your blocks and triangles and let’s lay them out. Here is where the mirror image blocks can get easily mixed up. Take your time, cross referencing with the picture in the book or the photo above to make sure that all of your pieces are heading in the proper direction.

Farmers Wife 31 Eva Alignment Diagram*Note: The orange squares all converge in a horizontal strip in the center of the block. If an oval is drawn horizontally across the center, it should contain all orange squares. 

Once you are sure you have your layout correct, I suggest that you take a photo with your phone for reference. Refer to it before each step, since it’s much easier to take a second look than to rip stitches to resew (ask me how I know! I began assembling the block before realizing that two of my orange bits were facing the wrong direction. Hello, bff seam ripper!)

Farmers Wife 31 Eva tutorial assemblyWe will assemble this block in diagonal strips. Begin by sewing the large #31A triangles to either sides of the top right and bottom left mirror image blocks, and the top left and bottom right mirror image blocks to the center 9-patch. Press seams open.

Farmers Wife 31 Eva tutorial assemblyNext, sew the #31B triangles onto each unit.

Farmers Wife 31 Eva tutorial assembly pinsFinally, sew the top right and bottom left units to the center strip. I find it helpful to pin just after each seam match for perfectly matched seams. Between the pressed-open seams and the pin *just* after each seam, my block comes together just how I like it!

Farmers Wife 31 Eva tutorialViola! There you have Eva, easy peasy! I love the look of this block set squared, but since my quilt blocks will be set on point, I decided to have her orange strip head uphill, since optimism makes the world a brighter place, and the letter encourages sticking together in the face of the winds of adversity. Chin up, here we go!

Thank you so much for joining me today and I hope you found this tutorial helpful!

Important Links Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt: Inspiring Letters from Farm Women of the Great Depression and 99 Quilt Blocks That Honor Them by Laurie Aaron Hird for Fons & Porter/F+W; RRP $28.99 – Click here to purchase.


Color Realizations {& Giveaway!}

Many makers have a signature style, a color palette they visit again and again, or perhaps an aesthetic that just makes their heart sing and their makes shine. We all know how much I love a rainbow, but recently I’ve felt the need to dive into other color combinations and experiment elsewhere. I’ve tried color combinations that have felt way out of my comfort zone, played with more monochromatic palettes, and have experimented with predetermined colors (paired with improv, no less!). While I do love the makes I’ve created through these experiments, I’ve realized that I truly love a rainbow gradient, but more specifically, I’m drawn strongly to tertiary colors.

color star tertiary wikipediaAs a refresher, the tertiary colors are the ones that fall between the primary and secondary colors, namely: Vermillion (red-orange), Amber (orange-yellow), Chartreuse (yellow-green, or lime), Teal (green-blue), Violet (blue-purple), and Magenta (purple-red). Thank you, Wikipedia for the great graphic! Even when a project isn’t a full rainbow spectrum, if it consists of tertiary colors it still makes my heart sing. Primaries? Not so much. Secondaries? Meh. Tertiaries? Oh, yesssss! All the colors? Even better!

I’ve decided that once a few last non-rainbow projects are completed, I am going to let go of my hesitancy to creating rainbow-everything. I will embrace my rainbow-loving self and create a rainbow-filled world! I have some really fun projects on the horizon and I can’t wait to share them with you!  Do you have a specific color combination that makes your heart sing and your eyes turn into hearts? Tell me about it in the comments and enter to win a great bundle of some of MY favorites!

Giveaway Time!

turn up the volume bundle for fat quarter shopToday’s giveaway is generously sponsored by the Fat Quarter Shop. When it was time to select the giveaway bundle for the month, this lovely Turn Up the Volume bundle curated by Rebecca Mae Designs caught my eye. Can you tell why? Tertiary colors!! It’s jam packed with vibrant, stash building tertiary colors. Now you have a chance to build your tertiary color stash in a big way (20 fat quarters-big… that’s 5 yards of fabric!).

To enter the giveaway today, let me know what colors you find yourself using again and again. Leave a comment and make sure I’m able to get ahold of you if you win.  If you’re a follower of Night Quilter, leave a second comment telling me how you follow for a second entry. Tell me how you follow Fat Quarter Shop (facebook, twitter, Instagramtheir blog Jolly Jabber, etc.) for a third entry.

This giveaway is open to US and international participants.  The giveaway will be open until Tuesday 5/10 at 8pm EST when I’ll select the winner randomly with Good luck! This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Delaine!!

Thanks again to the Fat Quarter Shop! Blog sponsors help me to keep this blog going by helping cover the costs of hosting, photography equipment, supplies, and of course time. Sweet, precious time. Many many thanks to all who support me!

May is for Makers

I don’t often post two blog posts in a day, but this topic warrants a double since it’s an idea that really hits home. I’m joining in on a month-long campaign started by Lindsey over at LR Stitched, and I encourage you to consider doing so as well. It’s called May is for Makers and it’s all about supporting indie designers (like me).

may is for makers lr stitchedLindsey’s reflection and description is great, so I suggest you visit her blog to read the details here.  Basically, her pledge for May is:

For the month of May, I am committing to support a different pattern maker each week…

I will purchase 5 patterns over the course of the 5 weeks and with each purchase I make, I will tell a pattern maker that their work matters.  My purchase will tell them that I am grateful for the time, effort and passion they put into their brand.  Validation.

Lindsey reflects on how “…the balance between what we expect for free and what we are willing to purchase is way out of whack.”  This made me stop and reflect for a minute, since while I’m a “starving artist” myself, trying to find a foothold in this industry so that I can help contribute to my family’s bottom line, I don’t always jump at buying patterns. Sure, I support my peers through friendship, collaboration, and sometimes commiseration, but as I know all too well, every penny helps. Selling patterns is often one of the few sources of actual monetary income for independent designers. So I’m pledging this month to buy one less special treat during an errands day, and instead will buy a pattern from a fellow designer each week.

I will share my pattern purchases on social media using #mayisformakers, and will give recaps here. I can’t promise a blog post every week, since I have an overflowing plate with many tutorials coming your way in May, but I will definitely write an update post or two sharing the patterns I’ve added to my library.

May Is For Makers |

I am looking forward to being part of the wave of love sent to the makers of our community, since I know well how much time, artistry, and love goes into making, creating, designing, and of course sharing it all! If you would like to join in, go ahead over to Lindsey’s post, grab the button for your blog, and support away!

Many thanks to all of you for your continued support, both through pattern purchases, blog comments and kind words, and spreading the inspiration!

Stash Building: Cotton Crates Subscription Box

Subscription services are all the rage these days, and who doesn’t love to receive packages in the mail? You can get boxes of stylish clothing in just your size (StitchFix), food ready to prepare healthy meals (Hello Fresh), science experiments ready for parents and kids to build together (TinkerCrate), wine curated to your tastes (Club W), and now fabric and sewing supplies, all mailed to your doorstep each month (Note, I’m not affiliates of any of these subscription boxes, simply stating one of many examples in each case). In the recent months, I’ve seen more and more fabric and sewing notions subscription boxes arise, so when Cotton Crates contacted me asking if I was interested in trying out a box in exchange for writing an honest review on my blog, I was intrigued. When they mentioned that the month’s box would contain 15 fat quarters of bright Riley Blake solids, I was sold. Full disclosure: Cotton Crates provided compensation in the form of product, a subscription box with fabric. All opinions expressed are my own. My excitement and heart eyes are also my own.

cotton crates subscription box fabricLet me tell you about my Cotton Crates experience. There’s something that comes from having a mystery box arriving in the mail that has a different feel than when fabric you specifically selected and purchased is delivered. Yes, any online fabric purchases arrive in your mailbox, but the cotton crates box held a bit of mystery that made the whole experience more exciting. My kids take turns getting the mail, and on this particular day it was my son Max’s turn. As soon as he opened the mailbox and saw the package he excitedly said, “Is it for me!?” I had to contain my glee when I said, “No, this one is for Mommy.”

cotton crates fabric subscription boxDuring the walk back to the house along our driveway, I was excitedly anticipating what I might see inside the box. Sure, I knew pretty specifically what it would contain, but still that excitement was there–specifically what colors would be included? What would it look like? Cotton Crates gives clues on social media (Instagram | Facebook) during the month to give you an idea of what types of fabric are included each month, but once you order it, it’s easy to keep it a surprise. Solids are such a versatile stash builder, since projects using all solids shine, and solids can also be a great compliment to the right print. In my humble opinion, one can never have too many solids in a stash.

cotton crates fabric subscription boxOpening the box was like opening a present, tissue paper, sticker, candy, and all.

cotton crates fabric subscription boxI love that Cotton Crates includes a card with a schedule of inspiration blog posts with projects you can make using the month’s box. You essentially have fabric and projects all in one box, with some candies, too, unless your kids grab them first!

cotton crates fabric subscription boxI captured the beauty of the fabrics, and then, true to my style, immediately put them into rainbow order.

cotton crates fabric subscription boxSigh… ahh, much better!

cotton crates fabric subscription boxI do have a thing for rainbows.

Now, how about some details? You can head over the the Cotton Crates website to read all about the subscription process, see or order previous boxes, and visit the blog for project ideas. Basically, the longer the time you subscribe, the cheaper the price you pay per box. For example, if you subscribe for one month, you pay $38 for the 12 (or in this case 15 solids) fat quarters, but if you subscribe for a full year, you only pay $34, which is a bit over $2.80 per fat quarter. I can definitely see the fun in fabric subscription services, and it is a great option for building a stash.

cotton crates fabric subscription boxMany thanks to Cotton Crates for the opportunity to try out their subscription box!

I’m linking up with Molli’s Sunday Stash since my solids rainbow grew in a beautiful way this week.