Category Archives: Hand Stitching

My Typecast of Characters Blog Tour: U is for Unicorn

Today I’m excited to be joining the My Typecast of Characters Blog Tour with Sheri at Whole Circle Studio with the ubiquitous yet uplifting, uniquely utilized U is for Unicorn! When Sheri asked if I would sew up an English Paper Pieced letter with curves and landed on U, I knew immediately that it was a perfect project to showcase Tula Pink’s Pinkerville fabrics and the fabulous U-nicorn.

my typecast of characters epp UThough it’s subtle, I meticulously cut the background so that the unicorn is continuous and the fabrics all line up (mostly). The coordinating Tula Pink solid in Limeade made the perfect coordinating yet stand-out pop for the U. I used coordinating 50wt Aurifil thread to sew up my block, and between the 1231-Spring Green and 1148-Light Jade the stitches blended right in.

my typecast of characters epp U backsideTo conserve fabric with the fussy cutting, I opted to keep a few of the paper shapes together, as you can see if you inspect the backside of my letter. Can you see where there are perforations but no fabric seam? That’s where I condensed my shapes. If you’re new to EPP, basting and stitching smaller shapes may be easier, so do what’s comfortable for you.

One of the really cool aspects of these Typecast letter patterns designed by Sheri and produced by Paper Pieces is that they arrive completely assembled, with perforations where you’re to separate each piece, as you can see above. This means that not only is it easy to know exactly where each EPP pieces goes (especially if you label them before tearing the individual pieces apart–hint hint!), but it also gives you the option to condense pieces easily if you so desire and are fairly comfortable with EPP. I’m all for saving time and fabric! The Typecast Pattern Guide and paper packs are all now available, so be sure to check out details at Whole Circle Studio HERE so that you can stitch up your own EPP sentiment.

I’m pretty happy with how my fussy cutting went, and was able to give the impression that the U was just set right down on top of the continuous unicorn fabric, Frolic Imaginarium from Pinkerville by Tula Pink.

I could see this U framed in a shadowbox or stitched down onto a background fabric and wrapped around a canvas in a child’s room, or of course stitched into a pillow for a Unicorn-loving friend.

You can see the full Typecast of Characters Blog Tour schedule below, so be sure to check out all of the other letters that have been stitched up, and visit Sheri’s website to check out the weekly giveaways.

What would you spell with EPP?

TYPECAST OF CHARACTERS BLOG TOUR hosted by Whole Circle Studio:
• Wednesday, March 27: Tour Introduction by Whole Circle Studio
• Monday, April 1 — A: Kate Brennan of Aurifil
• Tuesday, April 2 — B: Mathew Bourdreaux of Mister Domestic
• Wednesday, April 3 — C: Tara Curtis of Wefty Needle
• Thursday, April 4— D: Leah Day of Free Motion Quilting Project
• Friday, April 5 — Week 1 Wrap Up featuring A-D and GIVEAWAY at Whole Circle Studio
• Monday, April 8 — E: Jess Finn of Paper Pieces
• Tuesday, April 9 — F: Sylvia Schaefer of Flying Parrot Quilts
• Wednesday, April 10 — G: Giuseppe Ribaudo of Giucy Giuce
• Thursday, April 11— H: Hilary Jordan of By Hilary Jordan
• Friday, April 12 — Week 2 Wrap Up featuring E-H and GIVEAWAY at Whole Circle Studio
• Monday, April 15 — I: Kim Soper of Leland Ave Studios
• Tuesday, April 16 — J: Yvonne Fuchs of Quilting Jetgirl
• Wednesday, April 17 — K: Karen O’Connor of Lady K Quilts
• Thursday, April 18 — L: Kristy Daum of St. Louis Folk Victorian
• Friday, April 19 — Week 3 Wrap Up featuring I-L and GIVEAWAY at Whole Circle Studio
• Monday, April 22 — M: Molli Sparkles of Molli Sparkles
• Tuesday, April 23 — N: Nicole Daksiewicz of Modern Handcraft
• Wednesday, April 24 — O: Scott Hansen of Blue Nickel Studios
• Thursday, April 25 — P: Pat Sloan of Pat Sloan
• Friday, April 26 — Week 4 Wrap Up featuring M-P and GIVEAWAY at Whole Circle Studio
• Monday, April 29 — Q: Joanna Marsh of Kustom Kwilts
• Monday, April 29 — Q: Lindsay Széchényi of Lindsay Széchényi (and Patchwork Threads)
• Tuesday, April 30 — R: Andrea Tsang Jackson of 3rd Story Workshop
• Wednesday, May 1 — S: Sarah Thomas of Sariditty
• Thursday, May 2 — T: Rachel Rossi of Rachel Rossi
• Friday, May 3— Week 4 Wrap Up featuring Q-T and GIVEAWAY at Whole Circle Studio
• Monday, May 6 — U: Kitty Wilkin of Night Quilter <–YOU ARE HERE
• Tuesday, May 7 — V: Jenn McMillan of Fabric, Ink
• Wednesday, May 8 — W: Jenny Meeker of Bobbin Roulette Studio
• Thursday, May 9 — X: Stephanie Kendron of Modern Sewciety
• Friday, May 10 — Week 5 Wrap Up featuring U-X and GIVEAWAY at Whole Circle Studio
• Monday, May 13 — Y: Debby Brown of Debby Brown Quilts
• Tuesday, May 14 — Z: Nisha Bouri and Kim Martucci of Brimfield Awakening
• Wednesday, May 15 — Week 6 Wrap Up featuring Y-Z, Tour closeout and GIVEAWAY at Whole Circle Studio

Aura Blog Party: Pollen Pillow Fight!

aura fabric blog partyI’m excited to be joining in the fun with Mathew aka Mister Domestic’s Aura Blog Party celebrating his Aura fabric line for Art Gallery Fabrics (AGF). Fridays are always reason to party, but when you add Mathew’s energy and enthusiasm for life, the party is impossible to resist! I figured I’d throw a pillow into the ring since a pillow fight seems like a great addition to any party, right?

aura fabrics misterdomestic art gallery fabricsWhen I first saw Mathew’s Aura fabrics, of course I immediately dreamed of meticulously cutting them for days. I decided that a Pollen Pillow would be the perfect project to showcase these gorgeous fabrics while maintaining a tropical vibe that does the Hawaii-inspired fabric line justice. The Pollen Pillow is the EPP pattern that is included in the 2019 Quilter’s Planner magazine, and is a baby version of my Pollinate Quilt, distributed by Karen the DIY Addict.

pollen pillow aura fabric epp misterdomestic art gallery fabricsI’m so thrilled with how it turned out!! AND pillows are hard to photograph! I just solved that issue by taking lots, and hope my single monstera potted plant can help bring a bit of tropical vibe to the mid-winter Maine photos.

With fussy cutting on my mind, my initial plan was to meticulously choose individual flowers from the Laki Island Daylight fabric, using 5 individual flowers in the center and then a radiating spiral of each individual flower in the outer piehex shapes. However, the scale of the flowers on the fabric were a *bit* too big to make that happen (or maybe my templates/pattern is too small?), so I had to come up with Plan B.

pollen pillow epp aura art gallery fabrics misterdomesticLooking at the varied and gorgeous flower bundles on Laki Island Daylight, I really didn’t want to chop them up tooo much, so I decided to go wild and fussy cut the fabrics so that the piehex looked like it was an uninterrupted flower bouquet, but with a blue section radiating from the center. I taped 3 templates together for the top half, and fussy cut the bottom 3 so that the fabric pattern was continuous when stitched.

pollen pillow epp aura fabric mister domesticThey aren’t all perfect, but I’m mighty happy with the result! I also love how the blue section emphasizes the center star, while also helping blend into the Endless Paradise AGF denim background. One of my favorite aspects of the Pollen Pillow & Pollinate quilt patterns are how incredibly versatile they are.

pollen pillow epp misterdomestic aura art gallery fabricsHere’s a look at the pillow top after it was pieced and quilted, but before it was stuffed as a pillow, so that you can see the fabric placement details a bit better.  Here are the Aura fabrics I used: Laki Island Daylight for the center star and outer piehexies, Hawaiian Honu Dusk (turtles!) and Hula Dolphins Ocean (tiny dolphins circle around this one) for the star, Loulu Fans Sand for the outermost triangles, Hawaiian Honu Dusk for the turtle diamonds around the outside edge, and AGF Denim in Endless Paradise for the accent pieces in the outer piehexies and the background.  I LOVE the fabric names, too!

pollen pillow epp stitching on the goI used coordinating 50wt thread to hand stitch the full Pollen Pillow design, stitching during travel to QuiltCon, in cafes, or in the car while waiting for preschool pickup. I adore the portability of English Paper Piecing (EPP)! When the Pollen Pillow design was fully stitched, pressed, papers removed, etc., I then stitched it to the backing using 50wt thread in 2000-Light Sand and 1320-Bright Teal. I quilted the pillow with some minimal quilting to secure the pieces while still letting the fabrics shine. I quilted a fun geometric echoey pattern in the background using the walking foot on my Bernina 560, and making it up as I went along. I love using the wide width of my walking foot as a gauge when quilting, since I avoid marking fabrics whenever possible!

zipper pillow pollen pillowEven having made multiple pillows, the insertion of a zipper still gives me the willies a bit before diving in. This time I used this fabulous tutorial by Suzy Quilts and am incredibly happy with my zipper! Mental note for next time, though: when creating a side zipper pillow, you need a zipper that is at least 2″ shorter than your pillow panels. I bought a bunch of 18″ zippers, one of which is shown in the progress photo, and none of which were used for this pillow because they were too long. I settled for a 14″ turquoise zipper, which coordinates enough to seem intentional (shhh).

turtle detail on pillow epp pollenThose of you familiar with my Pollen Pillow pattern may have noticed that I included some extra diamonds on this pillow. The sea turtles just begged to be included more, so I borrowed the center diamonds after stitching the pillow center down, and made a few more sea turtles to swim outward around the edges. I love the effect!

maddie pillow holder extraordinaireHere are just a couple more photos to round out this post. The first is of my daughter Maddie, who really wanted to be a pillow holding model (so helpful!). You can see the most pattern details in this photo, I think, so I’m glad she wanted to help!

pollen pillow fightFinally, here is a photo of my original Pollen Pillow duking it out with this newbie for the prime spot. It’s so fun to see both of these pillows next to each other, since it’s a perfect example of how different fabric choices and color placement can result in very unique aesthetics with the Pollen Pillow pattern.

Thank you for swinging by to help celebrate this Friday finish, and be sure to check out the other stops on Mister Domestic’s Aura Blog Party. The projects are all stunning!

MISTER DOMESTIC’S AURA BLOG PARTY

A Stitch in Time EPP Book Tour: Mummy Rosie Mouse

Today I’m excited to join Sharon Burgess of Lilabelle Lane Creations in celebrating her new book, A Stitch in Time: English Paper Piecing published by Tuva Publishing. I had so much fun making the Mummy Rosie Mouse pincushion from Sharon’s new book, and when it came time for the photoshoot, I just couldn’t stop at one. Was this part of what motivated me to get my “back to blogging” post up yesterday? Yes, absolutely. Whatever it takes, right!?

a stitch in time book and blog tour sharon burgessA few months ago when Sharon asked me to be a part of her book tour, I didn’t hesitate to say yes. I had made Sharon’s block for the Splendid Sampler 2 and loved it, and English Paper Piecing (EPP) is quickly becoming my go-to style of quilting because of its portability and versatility.  A Stitch in Time is a fun book including 18 small  projects that combine EPP with vintage linens, embroidery, appliqué, patchwork and quilting. It’s a great resource for hand-stitched gifts that won’t require a year’s worth of stitching.

mummy rosie mouse a stitch in time sharon burgessAs I flipped through the beautiful book trying to decide what project to make, I fell in love with the mousie pincushions immediately. I opted to make the larger of the two, and thus my Mummy Rosie came to be.

mummy rosie mouse a stitch in time sharon burgessI used a bunch of turquoise/teal scraps to piece Rosie’s back, and realized that this project would make SUCH a great scrap buster. I might just start making 3/4″ hexies and throwing them in a jar to make mousies!

Any project that involves cutting through a hand-stitched panel always is painful, but I forged ahead with gritted teeth and it was worth the pain of trimming. As you can see, I marked the template plastic with guides around some of the hexies so that when I cut each panel, they would be symmetrical.  It worked well!

scissor pocket rosie mouse a stitch in time eppI love how so many of the projects in Sharon’s book include little embellishments with embroidery, cute ribbon, and vintage lace. Rosie not only has a scissor pocket on the bottom, which makes use of a pretty coordinating ribbon I bought from my local quilt shop Fiddlehead Artisan Supply, but it also calls for some embroidery on Rosie’s head.

alison glass iron on embroideryI decided to pull out the Embroidery Iron-on Transfers designed by Alison Glass and found a sweet little flower from her Diving Board Set. This was my first time using these Iron-on Transfers, but they worked SO well and were super easy to use! Now I’m itching to figure out what else I can add a bit of embroidery to!

alison glass embroidery iron on transferHere’s a peek at the process. You can see how well the lines transfer onto the fabric. It’s reallllly easy to use, too. I used a selection of Aurifil 12wt thread to embellish Rosie’s head with the Alison Glass flower and some surrounding french knots. I used 4182-Dark Turquoise, 5006-Light Turquoise, and 5007-Light Grey Blue and they were perfect complements.

rosie mouse pin cushion a stitch in timeI think it’s a good look, don’t you?

rosie mouse pin cushion a stitch in timeThe pattern calls for attaching 2 1/2″ scissors, but I opted to attach my 4″ Warm Crochet scissors since I use them often. Plus, when you are a mouse living in a jungle of turquoise that is prowled through by a cat and three kiddos, you need all the protection you can get!

rosie mouse pin cushion a stitch in timeRosie’s ready for action, don’t you think?

Be sure to check out the rest of the folks participating in Sharon’s book tour. There are so many great projects! You can check the hashtag #astitchintimeepp on Instagram to get a peek of quite a few of them. There’s sure to be one you fall in love with!

Irons on the Fire & Return to Blogland

Heading into the summer, I had too many irons on the fire, as the saying goes. I began writing this post back in June, and not only did it not get published, but I haven’t blogged since. This past summer was full of so many fun things, and between a summer of family adventures, big projects, and exciting opportunities, I just didn’t have the time to dedicate to blogging about them. I take pride in the quality of the posts that I share, which means that each blog post requires forethought, a photo shoot, photo editing, writing, formatting, and of course the sewing part! With all of the deadlines I had on top of an already full summer with all three kids home and ready to rumble, blogging needed to take a back seat. I needed to let it fall off my mental (and written) to-do list.

Fast forward through summer, then back-to-school, then how are we already past Thanksgiving?! I’ve been thinking about returning to this space and I figure now is as good a time as any! I will certainly need to reevaluate the frequency and depth at which I share, but I do hope to be sharing something here with more regularity.

I thought it might be fun to return with just a few peeks at what I accomplished over the summer, some complete and some still in progress. For those of you who want to be sure to stay in the loop, you can opt in for my emails (which are nearly as infrequent as blog posts), follow me on Instagram @nightquilter, follow my Night Quilter Facebook page (which is mostly another place to view my IG posts and fun announcements), or join my Pollinate EPP Garden Party Facebook group, where there’s a fun group of stitchy friends gleefully hand-stitching my Pollinate EPP quilt (there’s so much I haven’t shared here!).

Anyway, here are some highlights of my past few months:

Quilter’s Planner 2019 Photography

quilters planner 2019Once again I was honored to have the task of doing the quilt photography for the 2019 Quilter’s Planner, and it was loads of fun this year! I’ve learned a lot each year as I have tackled the monumental task of photographing 12-15 projects out in the wilds of Maine with the help of my strong, tall, patient husband, usually in a fairly short timeframe.

quilt photography karie jewell quilters planner 2019This year, we were definitely a lot more relaxed and peaceful during the photoshoots, which I’m sure Garrett appreciated!

pollen pillow epp quilters plannerWith projects photographed all through Maine, next year’s planner is sure to inspire, and if you haven’t ordered yours yet, I definitely recommend doing so!  As an added bonus (and added irons on the fire) I also contributed a pattern to the Quilter’s Planner 2019 Companion Magazine (the Pollen Pillow, which is shown above and is a baby bite from my larger Pollinate EPP pattern, which I’ll talk about soon!), and I wrote an article with the basics for English Paper Piecing (EPP). There’s so much value to the package you get with the Quilter’s Planner, and I’m grateful to have been able to contribute so much to it this year. See more and order yours HERE.

Summer Adventure Quilt Pattern

In the beginning of the summer, I released my Summer Adventure Quilt Pattern, which was a project I realllllly wanted to get out before the summer months hit. It was actually my very last blog post on here before I began the summer juggle, so you can read more about it HERE. With everything else on my plate, I wasn’t able to do as much with the Summer Adventure Quilting with Kitty Wilkin group on Facebook, but there’s always next summer! The pattern is out and available in both my Craftsy and Payhip shops, which are linked in the blog post.

Pollinate EPP Pattern

Perhaps the most exciting and monumental project I tackled over the course of the summer was the design of my very first English Paper Piecing pattern with Karen the DIY Addict!  My pattern is called Pollinate and it’s absolutely wonderful (yes, that’s a proud mama’s take on it, but from what I’m hearing, a lot of others agree!).

pollinate epp patternPerfect for both beginner and experienced EPPers alike, Pollinate is a diverse pattern that has endless possibilities for design and color play.  Plus, the “filler” sections look like bees!! You can see the many different Pollinate quilts taking shape on Instagram by checking out the #pollinatequilt hashtag (you don’t have to have an Instagram account to see them, I don’t think). There are 3 finished quilt tops so far, and each completely different! I will definitely share more about that here soon.  In the meantime, you can read more about the pattern and order yours (if you want to join in on the Garden Party fun) HERE.  Join the Pollinate EPP Garden Party on Facebook for more inspiration, a joyful group of stitching cheerleaders, and a community of help! Or you can watch my totally amateur videos on YouTube. Yes, I have finally created a channel, and with my phone taped to a tripod, I’ll slowly add video tutorials all about EPP and anything else you want to know!

Aurifil Photography

aurifil thread product photographyThis summer I was honored to work with Aurifil to update the photographs on their website. As you all surely know, I love photography, and combined with my favorite quilty notion, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity.

aurifil thread product photographyI photographed all 9 different weights of thread offered by Aurifil in a variety of stagings, and truly enjoyed the process. You can scroll through the photos on the top of the Aurifil Thread website to see a selection of my photos, and I’ve included a couple of my favorites here. There’s also a fun interview with me on the Auribuzz blog HERE.

aurifil thread product photography

100 Days of Sew Smaller Challenge

100 days of sew smallerThis summer I also tackled the 100 Day Project, and chose to go with 100 Days of Sew Smaller. My goal was to sew a teeny tiny quilt block that finishes at 1 1/4″ square each day for 100 days. I created foundation paper piecing templates as I went, stretched my comfort zones in both minuscule piecing and fussy cutting at a tiny scale, and really had a great time. AND I actually finished all 100 blocks!! The progress photos and finished mini quilt will be exhibited in the special exhibit at Quilt Con in Nashville in February of 2019, so be sure to check it out if you’re planning on attending QuiltCon!

The Splendid Sampler 2

I’m excited to be one of the contributing designers to the Splendid Sampler 2 book by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson, and have been sewing along as much as I could fit in. They released 20 free blocks to kick off the Sew Along beginning in June, and now we are diving into sewing the book! My block will appear somewhere along the course of the sew along, but you’ll just have to wait and see which one it is!

splendid sampler 2 nightquilterHere is a screenshot showing some of the blocks I’ve made so far. You can see all of them on Instagram HERE, and I’ll aim to share updates here as I make more!

Phew! There’s surely so much more that I’ve forgotten to share, but this is a pretty decent start on catching up! What have you been up to this summer?

Flying Geese Table Runner with the Cricut Maker

Today I’m happy to share a simple and fun Flying Geese Table Runner project I made using the Cricut Maker. With Easter approaching and my table bare, I wanted to put together a quick project that could brighten the room for Easter, and really all year long. This table runner was also one of the first things I designed in the Cricut Design Space, so I wanted to keep it fairly simple while also using as many Cricut Maker features as I could! You can read a full review of my new Cricut Maker here.

flying geese table runner cricut maker easterThis post is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. All opinions and text are my own. This Flying Geese Table Runner includes both traditional piecing and embroidery or hand quilting. If you don’t have a Cricut Maker, I’ve included cutting instructions and a pdf as well, so anyone can make it!

Let’s get started, shall we!? First, gather your materials.

Materials (My fabric details are in parenthesis)
  • Cricut Maker
  • Cricut Washable Fabric Pen
  • Cricut FabricGrip Mat 12″x24″
  • 3/4 yard background fabric (Kona cotton in Snow)
  • fat quarter focal fabric (Twinklestar in Berry from Garden Dreamer, by Maureen Cracknell for Art Gallery Fabric–from the blogger bundle I put together for Needle & Foot, here)
  • 1/2 yard fabric for backing and binding (Painted Desert Morning from Sage, by Bari J Ackerman for Art Gallery Fabric)
  • approximately 18″x44″ piece of batting
  • 50wt thread for piecing & quilting (I used Aurifil 50wt 2600-Dove for piecing and 50wt 2479- Medium Orchid and 2021-Natural White for quilting)
  • 12wt thread, embroidery floss, or perle cotton for embroidery (I used 12wt Aurifil 2435-Peachy Pink)
  • sewing machine
  • small embroidery hoop (6″ or smaller)
  • embroidery needle
  • rotary cutter and mat
  • iron and pressing surface

Note that if you do not have a Cricut Maker, you will also need a washable fabric marking tool, printer to print the embroidery template, and light box or other bright surface to facilitate tracing the embroidery template onto your fabric.

Now for the fun!

Using the Cricut Maker

Log into Cricut Design Space and get my Flying Geese Table Runner with Embroidery project here, and click “Make it!”

Prepare your mats as instructed, smoothly spreading your fabric onto your 12″x24″ FabricGrip mat. The Cricut Maker will lead you through the entire process, so simply follow the screen instructions and let the Cricut Maker work its magic!

Cricut Maker in action drawing and cutting The Cricut Maker will both draw the washable embroidery guide lines AND cut the larger rectangle for you!

Attaching elements in Cricut Design SpaceWhen I designed the drawn geese section, I designated the geese shapes as draw lines rather than cut lines and ATTACHED them to a larger cut background rectangle, about 11 1/2″ x 13 1/2″ in size so that they would be easier to embroider. For those of you designing for your Cricut Maker, this is key to remember when you want to combine both cut lines and drawn lines! Also, many thanks to Julie at Intrepid Thread for teaching me how to do this! If you’re a quilter getting to know your Cricut Maker, I highly recommend checking out Julie’s how-to resources both on her blog and YouTube channel!

Cricut Maker in action cuttingThe Cricut Maker will also prompt you to cut squares of your focal fabric, small squares of background fabric, and some background rectangles. Once the fabric is cut, carefully remove the excess fabric, revealing your perfectly cut shapes. Carefully remove the fabric from the mats, and then get ready to sew!

You will also need to cut a 19 1/2″ x 13 1/2″ rectangle of background fabric with your rotary cutter and mat for the center portion of the table runner. You can easily shorten or lengthen your table runner by adjusting the dimensions of this center panel accordingly. It should always be 13 1/2″ wide, but can be as long or short as needed to fit your table.

Preparation Instructions if you don’t have a Cricut Maker

If you don’t have a Cricut Maker, here’s how you can cut and prepare your fabric using a rotary cutter, mat, washable fabric pen, and lightbox or other light source.

First, do your cutting. From your background fabric, cut:

  • (1) 11″ x 13 1/2″ rectangle (onto which you will trace your embroidery templates
  • (12) 2 7/8″ squares
  • (2) 2 1/2″ x 13 1/2″ rectangles
  • (4) 1 1/4″ x 4″ rectangles
  • (1) 19 1/2″ x 13 1/2″ rectangle (as noted above)

From your focal fabric, cut:

  • (3) 5 1/4″ squares

We will use the backing of the table runner as the binding, so will keep the backing fabric as a whole 1/2 yard cut until after quilting.

Download the Flying Geese Table Runner Embroidery Template-Night Quilter Printable, print on your computer at 100% scale, tape the two pages together along the match line, and trace onto your 11″ x 13 1/2″ rectangle of background fabric using a washable fabric pen. Be sure to center the template so that there is at least 1/2″ of fabric on both sides of the geese and 1″ above and below the geese.

Once all of your cutting and prepping is complete, it’s time to get stitching!

Embroidering the Accent Geese

embroidering the accent flying geeseThe embroidered accent geese are meant to add some subtle accent interest to your table runner, since hand stitching of any kind (in my mind) adds a special touch. Especially with a project that will be seen often, those hand stitches can echo the sharp aesthetic of the pieced flying geese.

aurifil 12 wt thread for embroideryGather your embroidery hoop, background fabric with your flying geese drawn on, and a thick 12wt thread, embroidery floss, or perle cotton in a coordinating color. I chose to use Aurifil 12wt thread in 2435-Peachy Pink since it’s a subtle echo of the geese that pulls the beautiful coral color from the Twinklestar in Berry fabric.

aurifil 12 wt thread for embroidery running stitchYou can use the drawn embroidery guides to do any type of embroidery you want. I chose to do a simple running stitch around each flying goose, but feel free to get creative! Chain stitch would me another fun stitch to use to outline each goose, you could echo the stitching inside each goose as well, or even fill the geese with french knots!

Note that if you choose to use a more dense embroidery design, you may want to layer another piece of white fabric or use an interfacing stabilizer behind your panel.  Yet another creative option would be to wait on the stitching, assemble your table runner, and then use the drawn guide lines to hand quilt around each goose, stitching through all three layers of the table runner. If I make another one of these table runners, I will go this route, since I think the stitches would work really well as hand quilting, too.

trim embroidered geese panelsOnce you’ve finished embroidering your geese, carefully trim the panel into two rows of geese, cutting 1/2″ away from the side points of each row. Do not cut the top or bottom of each row of flying geese. You should now have two embroidered geese panels measuring 5″ x 13 1/2″.

Piecing Flying Geese Four at a Time

piecing flying geese four at a timeWith your fabric pieces cut perfectly by the Cricut Maker, or as specified above, piece your flying geese using the four at a time method. I used the Reference section of my Quilter’s Planner to piece mine, and you can also find a download of the page HERE as a little taste of the awesome that is contained in the Quilter’s Planner. (If you don’t have one already, go ahead and buy a Quilter’s Planner 2018 while they are still available!) Note that we are making flying geese that finish at 2″x4″.

flying geese strips for table runnerMake twelve geese total and sew them into two strips of six as shown above. See how they are mirrored by the embroidered strips? Note that your embroidered strips should be cut apart by this step.


Sewing Tip:

Perfect Points for Flying GeeseWhen sewing two geese together, position the point of the goose on top and make sure your stitch line passes exactly through the stitched point of your goose.

perfect points with flying geeseThis way, you will be sure to never chop off the point of a flying goose ever again!


sewing top and bottom sectionsOnce your flying geese rows of six are assembled, sew a 1 1/4″x 4″ piece of background fabric to the top and bottom of each strip. Align with your 13 1/2″ embroidered geese strips, and trim the pieced flying geese strips to 13 1/2″ if needed, being sure that your embroidered geese align with your sewn geese before trimming. There is a little bit of wiggle room included in the top and bottom background rectangles to allow for those who sew scant or generous 1/4″ seams, so trim as needed.

Assembling the Table Runner

flying geese panel of table runnerFirst sew together the flying geese panels of the table runner. I’ve arranged mine on top of my backing fabric so that you can clearly see the different pieces being sewn together. With geese facing the same direction, sew the embroidered flying geese section to the pieced flying geese section. Then sew to the 2 1/2″ x 13 1/2″ background rectangle. Make two.

assembling table runnerAssemble the table runner top by sewing the sections together as shown above: Note that the embroidered flying geese panels should be sewn to the center background piece on both ends.

choosing threadOnce your table runner top is pieced, position the runner top and batting in the center of your chosen backing fabric, right sides facing away from each other. In other words, layer and baste your table runner and prepare for quilting!

quiltingI chose to use Aurifil 50wt 2479- Medium Orchid to quilt my Flying Geese Table Runner with a dense free motion quilting pattern in the center, simple outlines of the pieced flying geese, and dense free motion quilted switchbacks in Aurifil 2021-Natural White between both the pieced and embroidered geese. I wanted the texture but not the visual distraction from my hand stitching.

detail of quilting on flying geese table runner cricut maker aurifil threadI’m certainly not a free motion quilting pro, but I am pretty happy with my over-all heart-flower free motion quilting motif! Plus, how fabulously do those tulips go with the BariJ Sage fabric backing!?

As you quilt your table runner, be sure to stay 1/4″ away from all edges with your quilting! This will help your binding look great from both the top and the bottom, since we will be using the backing fabric folded over the edges as binding.

fold back backing fabricOnce your table runner is quilted as desired, carefully fold back the backing fabric and trim the batting *just* outside the top of your table runner top. I gave myself a little less than 1/8″ around the edge of my table runner.

cutting batting square Be extra careful not to cut your backing fabric during this step!

Next, trim your backing fabric between 3/4″ and 1″ from the outer edge of your table runner quilt top. Fold the backing so that its raw edge meets the edge of your trimmed quilt top and batting and press. Fold again and top stitch in place, securing your binding to the front of the quilt.

binding close up flying geese table runnerA full tutorial for how to bind your quilt with the backing fabric can be found HERE on Cluck Cluck Sew’s blog.

binding close up flying geese table runnerI wanted my binding to be slightly slimmer, so I cut mine 3/4″ from the edge of the table runner top instead of 1″, but choose whichever you prefer.

flying geese table runner tutorial cricut makerTa da! Your table runner is nearly finished! All that remains is to wash out the washable fabric marker lines. I’ve found that the Cricut Washable Fabric Pen easily washes out with a bit of soap and cold water. Note that if you prewash your fabrics, you can wash out the fabric pen before trimming and piecing the embroidery panels into your table runner. I don’t prewash my fabrics, so I opted to wash it all at once after it was completely finished.

flying geese table runner cricut maker easterSet your Easter table and enjoy! I always love a good bundle of fresh flowers on a table, especially during these early days of spring when the snow is still thick on the ground outside.

flying geese table runner cricut maker easter

flying geese table runner cricut maker easterAfter giving my table runner its first wash, and in looking at these photos, I think I will go back and hand quilt within those embroidered flying geese to give them a bit more texture.flying geese table runner tutorial cricut makerEnjoy, and I hope you’ll share a photo of your Flying Geese Table Runner if you make one! You can tag me on social media @nightquilter or share a link here in the comments.

Happy stitching!

 

 

 

 

 

Stitching on the Go: EPP & Visible Mending

I don’t travel often, and when I do, I usually have three kids in tow who demand quite a bit of my attention, so traveling solo to and from QuiltCon early last month was quite a treat. Even with layovers, long flights, and all-day travel days, it seemed like I was on vacation traveling solo. Well, okay, I WAS on vacation… but you know what I mean! All the free time meant that I made a lot of progress with my hand stitching, which I want to finally share with you today.

travel stitching progress EPP mandolin quilt blockI headed off to QuiltCon with an English Paper Piecing (EPP) project–the Mandolin Quilt Block by Jodi at Tales of Cloth. I had gotten a bit further than my last blog update on this project, but I still had the entire outer ring to baste and stitch on, as well as some of the inner colored segments to attach. EPP is my favorite travel stitching project at the moment, since it’s compact, fun, and easy to pick up and put down. I also don’t seem to be tiring of rainbows and high contrast, so hopefully you’re not getting bored, either!

As you can see, I was able to completely finish stitching my Mandolin Quilt block during my travels, which means this is next in line to become an awesome pillow right behind its Moonstone brother. I used Alison Glass fabric in that saturated stunning rainbow for which she’s so well known, and threw in some fun meticulously cut Libs Elliott fabrics from her True Love line for Andover Fabrics for contrast. I stitched it together using Aurifil monofilament thread in smoke, which meant I didn’t need a headlamp for precision on the poorly lit plane, yet you still can’t see any of the stitches. Bonus!

travel stitching visible mendingWhile I was traveling, the mending on my most-worn jeans began to wear through, but fortunately I was able to pick up a mending kit from the Brooklyn Haberdashery booth at QuiltCon, and I stitched on a new patch during my travels home. I love the texture on this patch, and also am kind of loving the mending of mending layered play between the stitches on the original mending and the stitches on the new.

travel stitching visible mendingI used the 12wt Aurifil thread I had with me to stitch on the new patch, whip stitching the full edge in place and then used simple vertical running stitches to secure the patch further. These jeans contain a bit of stretch, which is part of why they are wearing through so quickly, but also means that there’s a good clear Kitty-knee worked into them. That knee mountain makes me laugh, but gosh are these jeans comfortable!

travel stitching progress EPP and visible mendingMy long flight back to NJ after QuiltCon allowed me to finish both of these hand stitching projects, which felt pretty amazing since I typically make progress at a snail’s pace.

I’m still working on my QuiltCon Reflections post, but hope to be sharing that soon. Spoiler: Finishing these projects was the icing on the cake of a wonderful trip.

Mandolin Quilt Block Progress, My Newest Rainbow EPP

I haven’t been able to escape the sew-in-rainbows bug, but I admit I haven’t been trying too hard to escape it! Now that my Moonstone Quilt pillow is in basting, quilting, and finishing mode, I’ve begun a new English Paper Piecing project to have on the ready for any travel stitching that might arise. The Mandolin Quilt pattern by Jodi at Tales of Cloth will be the next addition to my rainbow and black and white quilted pillow collection, and I thought I’d share my progress.

mandolin quilt beginnings alison glass rainbow eppI’m using *gasp* Alison Glass fabrics for the rainbow, with the center cameo from an Art Theory panel from her Ex Libris line and a couple of rounds of Sun Print 2018 before diving into her older lines. I’m also adding Libs Eliott fabrics as a black and white zap to the vibrant rainbow. Both Alison and Libs design for Andover Fabrics, so I feel like they can be buddy buddy quite happily in the same project. Plus, my husband’s favorite fabric designer is Libs Elliot, so this pillow will have both of our favorites included, and will coordinate wonderfully with my Alison Glass Moonstone pillow (once it’s finished) and Gare’s Libs pillow.

choosing fabrics alison glass rainbow epp mandolin quiltI have a highly technical approach to selecting fabrics when it comes to a project like this. I place my center on the floor, surround it with all of the Alison Glass fabrics I can find, and then play.

auditioning alison glass fabrics epp mandolinI audition fabrics not only in person, but also through the screen of my phone’s camera, since oddly, some fabric arrangements look different from afar. Alison makes it pretty easy since her fabrics are such a vibrant spectrum of tone on tone color that already transition so well through the rainbow. It’s still fun to decide where to put each bright little bit, and mixing fabrics from new and old fabric lines.

tales of cloth acrylics mandolin eppI love English Paper Pieced patterns that have acrylic templates, since I’m a big fan of meticulous cutting (aka fussy cutting). These Mandolin templates help me see exactly what section of each fabric will be showcased in the quilt and which will be included in the seam allowance. It makes the basting step a lot easier, since the work is done in the cutting!

meticulous cutting progress mandolin tales of clothEven with a project focused on the color flow and not so much the individual pieces, I still fit meticulous cutting in where I can. You *might* notice that the squares around the center are all meticulously cut from Compass from Sun Print 2018, alternating designs since I only had fat eighths of the fabric, which didn’t include a full repeat of the design. The triangles are also meticulously cut, alternating between Latitude from Diving Board and Link from Sun Print 2017.

Once I extended beyond those triangles, the meticulous cutting is less consistent, since I focused more strongly on color flow around the circle.

mandolin quilt beginnings alison glass rainbow eppI’ve been using Aurifil monofilament thread in smoke to stitch these together, which makes the process a little bit quicker since the thread is essentially invisible and I don’t take *quite* as long with my meticulously tiny stitches, since I’m less worried about it showing on the front. I can definitely see why so many folks stitch EPP together with monofilament. It’s a bit more fiddly in hand, and a bit tougher to sew with because of its invisibility, but I think the result is well worth the effort.

I made pretty consistent progress on this Mandolin block in January, stitching here and there, and taking advantage of rare quiet moments to stitch a bit. Early last week, though, QuiltCon prep began to overtake every free moment, and I’m admittedly still in the thick of it. I’m very excited to be co-teaching four classes with my friend Michelle Bartholomew (two each of Quilt Photography Basics, and two of Advanced Quilt Photography), as well as giving a lecture on Quilts to Mark Milestones Sunday morning at the event. I’ve been working hard to get everything perfect, and am very excited that in just over a week, I will be beginning my trek to get to Pasadena.

The one positive to my not being able to make much additional progress on my Mandolin block these past weeks is that now I will have a perfect hand-stitching project to take with me for the flights and any airport waiting time. Hopefully I will be returning from Pasadena not only with a feeling of class and lecture success, shared and gained inspiration, and a refreshed tank of quilty friend time, but also a nearly or fully finished Mandolin block!

Who will I see in Pasadena? If you’re headed to QuiltCon and see this bright thang in the airport or along your way, please do stop and say hi!

2018 Finish-A-Long Q1 Goals

It’s no secret I struggle to finish things. In fact, last year, I made it my yearly focus to finish what I started, but then got distracted by other fun ideas and didn’t actually succeed in finishing much of anything! Oops. Life happens and all is fair in love and creativity, right? This year I’m going to try something a bit different. I’m going to *try* to join in on the community link ups that focus on FINISHING projects completely, namely the 2018 Finish-A-Long hosted by a group of bloggers across the world, and One Monthly Goal hosted by Patty at Elm Street Quilts. In my style, I’ve already missed the link up for the January goal for One Monthly Goal, but perhaps I’ll get February’s posted in time! I’m sneaking in right under the wire for the Finish-A-Long Quarter 1 link up, but I made it!

2018 Finish A Long Logo 2

There is a lot going on behind the scenes here, between preparing for my QuiltCon classes and lecture, working for the Quilter’s Planner manning the Instagram feed and leading a January daily photo challenge as well as helping guide the 2018 Block of the Month Sampler sew along (so many fun things happening over in the QP community!), working on the development of a couple of patterns I hope to release before summer hits, and of course being a full time mom and wife, so I don’t imagine my lists will be long. But any progress is progress, and one more way to help keep me motivated can’t be a bad thing.

As seen in December when I joined the 31 Day Blog Writing Challenge, committing to a public community goal helps motivate me to meet my goals. While I didn’t post a blog post every day in December (note that I went into it not expecting to post every day), I did write or work on blog posts nearly every day and I published 8 posts for the month when my monthly average for the 6 months prior was 2-3 posts. That’s a marked improvement and I consider my goal met.

finish along 2018 q1 goalsSo here I go again, publicly announcing my goals so that maybe the thought that you or someone out there is eagerly anticipating my finish, cheering me on, and helping spark my fire even when I’m feeling heavily weighted with other responsibilities, will help me stay on track.

The first quarter of this year includes a good amount of travel and preparation for QuiltCon, which is in late February in Pasadena, California, so I know most of my time will be spent fine-tuning my classes, preparing handouts, and practicing my lecture so that I can share my knowledge, inspiration, and tips the best I possibly can (It’s not too late to sign up for the Advanced Quilt Photography classes I’m teaching with Michelle Bartholomew at QuiltCon, or to register for my Quilts to Mark Milestones lecture Sunday morning, so go register if you will be in Pasadena and haven’t already!).  The Finish-A-Long guidelines clearly encourage us to set high goals, but I also know I need to set myself up for success so I don’t get too overwhelmed or discouraged, so I’m going to start with four projects I hope to have completely finished by early April when Q1 ends:

1 – One Year of Stitches Embroidery hoop from 2017

may 1 year of stitches embroidery freestyle aurifil threadI still have about 14 days worth of stitches to complete to have fully finished the stitching for my 364 days of stitching, 1 year of stitches freestyle embroidery project I took on in 2017.  The photo included above is an old old old one from May 2017, so there is MUCH more stitched at this point (see the photo with the projects together to get a peek!)! I want to get the stitches finished and documented, post the fully updated post on IG at my @nq1yearofstitches account, publish a blog post with monthly updates that has been in draft form since May 2017, and fully finish the hoop so it’s ready to hang on my wall.

2 – Rainbow Moonstone Pillow

alison glass rainbow moonstone giucy giuce epp patternI want to completely finish my epically gorgeous (modest, aren’t I? haha) rainbow Moonstone pillow I made using Giuseppe @giucy_giuce’s Moonstone quilt EPP pattern and Alison Glass fabrics. Right now, it’s fully stitched together, stitched onto the backing, and most of the papers are removed.  I still need to finish removing the papers, trim the seam allowance edges of the backing fabric, layer, baste and quilt the pillow front, make the pillow back (I want it to have a zipper closure–I haven’t yet decided whether it will be a side seam zipper or a zipper across the backing yet–and finish the pillow. I’m using Aurifil monofilament thread to stitch and quilt this, and it’s an exciting new look (it really is invisible!).

3 – Secret Sewing Project

secret sewing fabric pullI’m doing some secret sewing for a book release blog tour in March, and unfortunately can’t tell you much more than that. I have my project chosen and fabrics pulled, but haven’t cut into it yet. I’m planning to use some thrifted leather and scraps of Oakshott Lipari red fabrics in this one, paired with Essex Linen in charcoal. It’s a small project, but I’m excited about this one! This project is my given, since the fact that I have a hard deadline means that I will finish this project no matter what. I don’t mind setting myself up for some success, though, so it’s included here.

4 – Max’s Eye Spy Picnic Plaid Quilt

rainbow eye spy picnic plaid quilt flimsy finishThis one is a stretch only because of the limited time I have this quarter, but I want to put this quilt at the top of my list. I began it back in 2016 during the Quilter’s Planner Sew Along and have the full quilt top finished and the backing pieced. I need to layer and baste the quilt (my brick wall when it comes to finishes!), quilt it, bind it, finish it, and finally gift it.  I’m thinking Max has most likely forgotten about it at this point, so it will be a fun surprise when (if?… no, WHEN) I finish it.

So there you have it. Think I can do it? I’m excited at the prospect of having a little extra motivation to finish these projects, and also hope this can get me back into the thick of the quilt blogging community. There’s so much inspiration to share! Here’s to fabulous finishes!

Flit and Bloom Blog Tour: Fussy Cutting Fun

Meticulous cutting is one of my favorite quilting past times, and with all of the new English Paper Piecing (EPP) patterns coming out, there’s ample opportunity for carefully cutting up fabric and piecing it back together in clever ways (widely known as fussy cutting, but read why I prefer “meticulous cutting” here). As soon as I saw Patty Young‘s new Flit and Bloom fabric line for Riley Blake Fabrics, I knew I wanted to create meticulously cut EPP masterpieces with it. From the fanciful hummingbirds and elegant peacocks, to the fact that there are both floral and geometric patterns in the line, there are SO many opportunities for pattern play.

flit and bloom fabric fussy cutting eppToday I’m excited to be the first quilting stop on Patty’s Flit and Bloom Blog Tour, where I get to show you what I’ve been working on these past couple of months using her newest fabric line for Riley Blake Designs. Let’s just say there’s been some meticulous cutting madness in this house lately!

moonstone in flit and bloom eppI began with one of my favorite EPP patterns, Moonstone by Giuseppe (aka @giucy_giuce). I built around the stunning Bloom Henna Blossom in Teal fabric as the center, adding flitting hummingbirds and flowers, some geometric fun to tie the colors together, and coy little pairs of peacocks dancing around the outer edges. I love how this block came together!

peacocks from flit and bloom fabric moonstone eppAren’t these peacocks fun as they dance in pairs around the block?

flowermania epp flit and bloom fabric fussy cuttingWhile I was stitching my Moonstone block, Mathew (aka @misterdomestic)’s new Flowermania quilt EPP pattern arrived on my doorstep. You know I wasn’t going to just let it sit there!! So I dove in, meticulously cutting that same Bloom Henna Blossom in Teal fabric as the petals, showing how versatile this print is with fussy cutting.

flit and bloom fabric fussy cutting flowermania back eppI knew I wanted to incorporate the hummingbirds into this flower block, since hummingbirds and flowers go together like rock and roll, but couldn’t fit them onto any of the individual shapes. Then I realized that I could split the hummingbirds across two background fabrics and decided to go headfirst into meticulous cutting at its best.

flit and bloom fabric fussy cutting flowermania back eppI labeled the humming bird front-back pairs since the Flowermania block is pieced in such a way that they are only joined right at the end as the segments are stitched together. This fussy cutting feat was no easy task, I might add. From the careful cutting to make sure the hummingbird halves would seamlessly meet when stitched together, to basting the pieces *just* so, to then stitching it all together and having it meet perfectly around the green diamonds, this was a challenge. They are not all perfectly matched up, and I learned a few tricks along the way that I’ll keep in mind next time, but overall I’m happy with the outcome.

hummingbird flit and bloom fabric fussy cutting flowermania eppSome hummingbirds match perfectly, but even the imperfect ones are perfect in their own way. Hummingbirds are happily flitting around this Fowermania bloom, and it seems to me that it’s the perfect poster-child block for Flit and Bloom fabrics. Right!?

flit and bloom fabrics lucy boston patchwork of the crosses eppFinally, I started to dive into a Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses block, since what is EPP without Lucy Boston? I love how rotating the fabrics creates even more meticulously cut geometric fun, and I look forward to seeing how this block shapes up.

lucy boston outer pair epp trial runOne of my favorite parts of planning with Lucy Boston blocks is in the outer pairs. I like to make a few “test pairs” with different fabrics and arrangements to see which ones I visually like best.

lucy boston outer pair epp trial runI love that Flit and Bloom has plenty of opportunity for mirror image fussy cutting, since those are my favorites–can you see why?

lucy boston outer pair epp trial runWhich arrangement is your favorite?

aurifil thread 50wt for hand piecing eppI used Aurifil 50wt 2886-Light Avocado thread for all of my piecing, and with the varied colors in these fabrics, its light green color seemed to be the best choice for blending in. Between careful stitching and practicing the flat back stitch, the thread blends right in. I love Aurifil thread for hand stitching!

When I first began piecing these blocks, I was envisioning a sampler EPP pillow, but with the varying sizes of the blocks, I’m thinking I may opt for a table runner instead. That giant Flowermania bloom would make a fantastic centerpiece, wouldn’t it?

flit and bloom fabric fussy cutting eppI hope I’ve inspired you with my meticulous cutting fun with Flit and Bloom fabrics! Fussy cutting opens a whole new world of design, and I encourage you to give it a try!

Giveaway

To help spread the fussy cutting Flit and Bloom love, I have a bundle of Flit and Bloom fabrics left over from my project that I am giving away to one lucky reader.

To enter the giveaway today, let me know what you would make with Flit and Bloom. Leave a comment and make sure I’m able to get ahold of you if you win. For an additional entry, leave another comment telling me how you follow Night Quilter (email listinstagramfacebooktwitter, blog follower, etc.).

This giveaway is open internationally. The giveaway will be open until Saturday, November 11, at 8pm eastern time when I’ll select the winner randomly with random.org. Giveaway is open to participants 18 years or older. This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Pamela! 

flit-an-bloom-quilting-tourBe sure to visit the rest of the stops on the Flit and Bloom Blog tour to see what everyone has made with this fun fabric:

Monday, Nov. 6th – Night Quilter <—YOU ARE HERE!
Tuesday, Nov. 7th – Winging It!/Hummingbird Highway
Wednesday, Nov. 8th – Blue Nickel Studios
Thursday, Nov. 9th – ReannaLily Designs
Friday, Nov. 10th – The Sewing Loft
Saturday, Nov. 11th – The Cloth Parcel

 What would you make with Flit and Bloom?

Embroidery & Modern Quilting Feature

A while back I was contacted about the mini quilt I made for Andover Fabrics‘ booth at QuiltCon 2017, for which I used my Constant Flux pattern paired with Wild Boho-style applique and embroidery to make an Alison Glass fabric bonanza I entitled “The Bee’s Knees in Constant Flux”.  A bunch of interview questions and many months later, I’m excited to have gotten a copy of the fall Modern Patchwork magazine, and I’m honored to be featured among such talent!

Modern Patchwork magazine nightquilter feature embroideryThe article, written by Meg Cox, discusses the appeal of embroidery and hand stitching to modern quilters, and features many of my favorite makers–Alison Glass, Rebecca Ringquist, Nichole Vogelsinger, and Hannah Claire Somerville, all of whom have inspired me along my path to embroidery and its involvement in modern quilting.

modern patchwork magazine fall 2017I ordered my copy of the magazine through the Quilting Daily website, but I also have seen copies at my local big box bookstore (Books-a-Million) and Joann Fabric stores.

Do you subscribe to this magazine? I’d love to hear what you thought about the interview, and about embroidery’s role in modern quilting! I’m excited to incorporate embroidery and hand quilting into more of my future makes. Now I just need to figure out how to jump back on the “finish the project” bandwagon! ha!

Happy Monday!