Category Archives: Quilting

Aurifil Color Crush Thread Collection Release

I have such exciting news to share today–I’m honored to introduce you to my first Aurifil thread collection: Color Crush! What’s extra special is that for those of you at QuiltCon right now, you can be one of the very first to purchase the thread set if you so desire, so that you can return home ready to stitch the rainbow and always have the perfect coordinating color in your thread stash. Read on to find out more, and then head over to Auribuzz for a really sweet interview.

aurifil color crush thread collection nightquilterI have been using Aurifil thread since early in my quilting days, and once I tried my first spool, I was immediately sold on how silky smooth and strong it is. It leaves hardly any lint in my machine, especially compared to the older hand-me-down threads I had been using before switching entirely to Aurifil. Not only that, the range of available colors has my rainbow-loving heart swooning. Paired with Aurifil’s commitment to seeking the most sustainable options: using 100% cotton thread, putting their most recent thread addition on a wooden spool, going plastic neutral in 2019, and a continuing focus on environmentally sustainable practices, this company’s ideals resonate with me, which is really important.

aurifil thread color crush quliting collection nightquilterOver the past few years, I’ve found myself grabbing the same set colors of thread for most of my projects, and so finally I decided to reach out to Aurifil to see if they would still be interested in my curating a thread collection, since they had mentioned it a while back. I was excited to receive a resounding yes, and then the fun began!

color crush aurifil thread collection cover kitty wilkin night quiltercolor crush aurifil thread collection threads kitty wilkin night quilterI carefully considered each of the colors of thread *I* always use, trying to decide if it would be a universally helpful color to have, and have very intentionally decided upon this spectrum of luscious, vibrant, tertiary-heavy threads. Here are just a couple of the projects on which I’ve personally used these threads recently:

Pollinate EPP quilt

Pollinate in Progress EPPPollinate in Progress EPP aurifil

Staggered Quilt

staggered quilt pattern release alison glassStaggered Quilt progress aurifil thread

Summer Sampler 2019 Alternate Layout, Planned out in my Quilter’s Planner 2020

summer sampler 2019 aurifilsummer sampler 2019 aurifil quilters planner

This thread collection embodies my favorite design aesthetic, and as you can see, I put ALL the colors to good use! I plan to share much more about each individual thread and why it was selected in a later blog post, but for now, I encourage you to head over to the Aurifil blog Auribuzz, where they are sharing really fun interview in which I talk about all things quilting, color, QuiltCon, and more! Read it HERE.

aurifil color crush thread collection nightquilterIf you want to purchase Color Crush and your local quilt shop doesn’t currently stock it, please ask them to special order. Any shop can grab it from a distributor of course, but ANY shop can purchase directly from Aurifil, no minimum, flat rate shipping. Simply click the “Shop Now” button on the top right of the Aurifil webpage, choose “Designer Collection”, set up an account with them, and order until your Color Crushing heart’s content! Please let me know if you are a shop and plan to stock this collection, since I will be creating a landing page with a list of where Color Crush is available for sale, both online and in brick and mortar shops.

QuiltCon 2020 – Austin!

If you are in Austin for QuiltCon right now and love this collection of threads as much as I do, there’s good news! You can buy a signed collection AND say hi to me! (hugs, please) during two meet-and-greet events during the show:

Friday, February 21st, at 12:30pm at Aurifil’s booth, booth #910, facilitated by Private Source Quilting (PSQ), and,

Saturday, February 22nd, at 3pm at the Homestead Hearth/Designs by Sarah J booth, booth #404.  The Homestead Hearth/Designs by Sarah J booth will also be selling some of my most popular quilt patterns, including the new Staggered quilt, Sew Tiny Sampler, Pollinate EPP quilt pattern, my Run Run Run block pattern, Pollen Pillow EPP, and a couple more. This is a rare chance to get one of my patterns in print, so I do hope to see you there!

Staggered Quilt Pattern Release!

What better way to kick off the week of QuiltCon than with a pattern release!? I’m excited to share that my fully revamped and expanded Staggered quilt pattern is now available for sale in my Payhip shop! Staggered will be on sale this week only for $9 after which it will return to its usual $12. Get it while it’s hot!

I originally designed the lap sized version of Staggered for Quilt Theory in 2017, with visions of rock strata, water ripples, and windblown sand swirling in my mind. I’m happy to have expanded the pattern to include more assembly diagrams, detailed instructions, and four sizes: baby, lap, twin, and queen, and I can’t wait to see yours!

staggered quilt detail nightquilter alison glassStaggered is a fun, easy, extremely versatile pattern that is a great way to showcase your favorite fabric line. Perfect for precuts, this would be a fantastic pattern for that precious fat quarter bundle or jelly roll you have stashed away. I used the new Alison Glass Sun Print 2020 fabrics by Andover Fabrics for mine, and it seriously brightens my day. My kids are already asking who gets the finished quilt!  I especially love how the Menagerie fabric from Sun Print adds some twinkle among the other rich range of colors. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love Alison Glass fabrics, and this *might* be my favorite line of hers so far.

staggered quilt detail nightquilter alison glassThe range of greens-teals-blues are especially to die for! I just love how they play in this Staggered quilt. You can probably tell, but I’m smitten!

aurifil thread collection color crushI quilted my Staggered quilt using coordinating 50wt Aurifil threads– I have another fun release to share–from my very own curated collection of Aurifil threads, called Color Crush! I will share more about this fun assortment of threads soon!

What’s even more exciting, if you are at QuiltCon in Austin this week, you can buy both my Staggered Quilt pattern AND my Color Crush Aurifil collection from the Homestead Hearth/Designs by Sarah J booth, booth 404.  I’ll be having a meet-and-greet there at 3pm on Saturday, too, so please come by and say hi!

Let’s begin the week with a boom! Go ahead and get your Staggered quilt pattern now, and please use #staggeredquilt and tag me @nightquilter on social media so that I may see yours! You can browse the hashtag for inspiration, since my testers are knocking it out of the park already. Happy stitching!

My 2020 Miles Update & A Pattern Sale

The long, long month of January is in the books, and so far I’m not only keeping up with my running quilt, it’s still motivating me to get out there logging miles on days when otherwise I’d probably skip it. Here’s my progress so far, all sewn together and ready for February.

january my 2020 miles running quilt nightquilterI kicked off the year with a 5K race and a personal record (PR) of 26:28.9 (woohoo!), snuck a hike in there in the middle, managed one back-to-back run duo, and finally started adding some longer runs with a 6 miler and 5 miler toward the end there. To read more details on how I plan to make this quilt, what each strip and color represent, and why some strips are skinnier than others, check out my first post My 2020 Miles Quilt here.

my 2020 miles quilt running nightquilterI love the way the tree looks in there to represent our 2 mile snowy hike, and can’t wait until summer when hikes are much more frequently scattered throughout this quilt!

I’ve been tracking my miles on a Project Planner page in my Quilter’s Planner, which helps my peace of mind that I’ll remember what activity I did each day, and also will help me know without uncertainty how long each row is. Since I ran so frequently in January (12 times), I’ve decided to extend my rows to 70″ instead of 60″, since if I continue at this rate, I would end up with a quilt that would be about 60″ x 102″!  Tracking my progress on graph paper will help me know exactly when to end one row and begin the next.

january my 2020 miles running quiltHere’s a peek at the tracking from earlier in the month, before I changed my width to 70″. I’m getting close to the end of the first row at this point, as well as close to 50 miles, when I’ll stitch a little 3″ runner from my Run Run Run pattern into the strip to designate the completion of 50 miles. I’m actually only 7 miles away from 50 miles as of this morning, so I’m plotting out a 7 mile long run for tomorrow so that my little runner will be in a purple color, too! We’ll see if I can motivate myself to get out in the 27 degree forecasted cold for a long run, or whether I split it up over tomorrow and Friday and accept a teal runner marker.

january my 2020 miles running quiltThis quilt has definitely motivated me to get out there and run on even the coldest days, with most of the runs logged here in Maine, where I crunch along on frozen ground, sometimes snow and ice, and always with lots of layers.

It’s pretty even if it’s frigid.

It also motivated me to get a run in while I was traveling to teach at the Houston Modern Quilt Guild, which was a very different experience with 74 degrees and 100% humidity. I certainly enjoyed the big trees and ample green during that run! Without the promise of earning a run strip for my quilt, I doubt I would have woken up early to fit a run in before a long day of lecturing and teaching, so this quilt is certainly doing what I hoped it would–help keep me on the positive feedback loop of running regularly and inspiring me to sew more. Win, win, win, ad infinitum!

my 2020 miles quilt running progressYesterday I took a bit of time to cut strips for miles 2 through 9, as well as a bunch of cross training and rest day strips. Now I’m ready to go, set up for success for February, since all I’ll need to do is get out there and run, then grab the coinciding strip to add to my design wall. Here’s to a fit and fabulous (and maybe a bit brighter) February!

Speaking of pink, I’m having my annual Spread the Love Pattern sale now through February 14th, so be sure to use code LOVE2020 at my Payhip shop for 20% off! Stock up on Night Quilter patterns now, and spread the love!

My 2020 Miles Quilt

I’m discovering that if there’s a way to intertwine the fibers of life with my love of quilting, I’m going to do it! Between the Milestone Quilt I made for my third child in 2015-16, the Summer Adventure Quilt I made documenting our summer adventures during the summer of 2017, and the tiny adventure blocks I made in 2019 (I may not have shared them here yet!), it’s clear I have a thing for documenting my days in the making of a quilt.

running quilt track my miles 2020With my new love of running, and the start of a new year and decade upon us, I decided to pull inspiration from the temperature quilts people make to track the high and low temperatures through the course of a year and make a color-coded quilt tracking the miles I run or hike in 2020. Sharing this idea on Instagram, a good number of fellow running quilters expressed interest in joining the fun and making their own, so I thought I’d outline my thought process and plan here in as much detail as possible.

If you’re a runner, walker, hiker, cyclist, or any other active adventurer, I invite you to join me in the making of a quilt documenting your miles. I’m hoping that the thought of “earning” a quilt block will help get me out there running even short runs more consistently, as well as doing more cross-training between run days.  Running helps me not only feel physically strong, but also helps me feel more mentally strong, fighting back that mean voice in my head to help assure me that I can do hard things on even the toughest days.

The Basic Plan – Color Coded Miles

running quilt track my miles 2020 konaThe foundational idea behind my plan is to coordinate colors of fabric with a certain number of miles run or hiked. Years ago I cut up my Kona color card and attached magnets for easy use, and this was a perfect opportunity to pull them out and work on a color flow I liked. I am hoping to train for my first full marathon this year, so I knew I needed colors for 1-2 mile runs all the way through 20+ miles.  I chose colors I liked the most for the lower miles, since I know that many of my runs will be between 2-6 miles long and I want a quilt that’s heavy in my favorite colors! I then built a color flow from there, working my way all the way up to 21+ miles. Here are the colors I chose in case you want to use the same:

Number of Miles  –  Kona Color by Robert Kaufman Fabrics

If you know you run more miles, you can make the allotted mile span longer to compensate, OR you could choose more colors to keep it going. For example, instead of each color representing 1 mile span, you could have each color represent 0-5 miles, 5-10 miles, 10-15 miles, etc.  This would make the same color flow fit no matter how far you run, ride, or hike in a given activity.

I have decided that each color will coordinate with any run or hike’s whole number. So a 3.5 mile run will be in the 3 color, a 12.9 mile run will be in the 12 color, a 13.0 mile run will be in the 13 color, etc.

Special Codes

running quilt track my miles 2020I will designate races with a Kona Citrus yellow top corner using the stitch and flip method of adding the corner. (I’m starting my year with a 5k race so I have that block ready to go for January 1st, as seen above).

If I get a PR in a race, I will add a smaller Kona Cyan corner on top of the yellow.

Each time I reach 50 miles, I will sew a 3″x3″ runner block from my Run Run Run pattern into the bottom of the block to visually show larger milestones. At the end of the year, I will easily be able to see where I hit 50 miles, 100 miles, 150 miles, 200 miles, etc.

I plan to count the miles we hike as well, since I want to encourage hiking miles as well as running miles, so for every hike, I will show that the miles were earned hiking by piecing a 3″x3″ Kona Kiwi tree into the bottom of the block. I will likely adapt a tree block from my Summer Adventure Quilt pattern for this.

Cross Training & Rest Days

In any training plan, cross training and rest days are essential, too, so I plan to mark those as well using Kona White and Kona Titanium fabrics. At first I was thinking that Titanium would represent cross-training days, but I think I like the aesthetic of the white better, so I may switch and make white the cross-training days to add motivation for me to do something–planks, yoga, push-ups, Russian twists, really any type of cross-training exercises–on days I don’t run. I’m going to see how the first week of the year goes before deciding for certain.

Cutting Measurements

running quilt track my miles 2020I will cut each run/hike mile block at 3.5″ x 9″, which means they will finish at 3″x8.5″.  Initially, I was planning on cutting them to finish at 3″x9″ but by cutting to 9″, that will allow me to use smaller cuts of fabric (1/4 yard cuts and FQs) efficiently.

I will cut Citrus squares for races at 3.5″x3.5″.

Cross training and rest day strips will be cut at 1.5″x9″ since I want to mark those days, but emphasize the miles.

Tracking Miles on Paper

running quilt track my miles 2020 quilters plannerI will be tracking all of my miles on a Project Planner page in my Quilter’s Planner, and once a row reaches 60″ I will begin another row. I most likely will plan to sew a week’s worth of blocks (really, just color fabric strips) together at a time, and will cut a bunch of strips of each color in the beginning so that most of the time, all I’ll need to do is pull a strip and add it to my design wall. I like to set myself up for success and this is no different!

Fabric Requirements

Buying fabric for a project like this is tough, since I have no real way of knowing how much I’ll need. For me, I know that the bulk of my runs will likely be in the 2-5 or 6 mile range, so I bought the most yardage of those colors (assuming 40″ as the WOF, 44 run strips can be cut from a yard, 22 can be cut from a half yard, 11 can be cut from a quarter yard, etc.). For miles 8 and above, I ordered 1/4 yard cuts since I can’t imagine myself going on more than 11 eight plus mile runs in the year. I guess time will tell, and we’ll see how it all shapes up through the course of 2020!  I ordered my fabric from Fabric Shack since I know they have nearly all of the Kona colors and allow 1/4 yard cuts to be ordered. The one color they didn’t have (Honeysuckle) I ordered from Fabric Bubb, which is another good option for ordering 1/4 yard cuts of alllll the Konas.

Optional – Daily Run Temperature

I toyed with the idea of tracking the daily temperature as well as my running miles, but ultimately decided against it, since I know my sewing time is not copious, and I really want to make this project a fun and encouraging thing rather than a stress or burden.  If you know you have more time to sew and want to track the high and low temperatures each day, that would be another fun bit of data to track along with your miles run.  I thought about using smaller squares for the bottom corners to indicate low and high temperatures, or adding skinny strips to the bottom of each run block (cut to 1.5″x3.5″) for both low and high temperatures (you’d need to add 2″ to your rest and cross training days if you opt for this route), so those are two ideas if you decide to add temperature tracking as well.

Having this all mapped out, the fabrics chosen and partially cut, and a plan to track the miles on paper as well as just in fabric makes this feel like a fun and manageable project to add onto the many others I’m sure to want to finish and begin in 2020. You can follow my progress on Instagram @nightquilter under #my2020milesquilt where I will likely share weekly updates.  If you want to join in and create a quilt tracking your miles as well, please let me know in the comments and let me know how I can see your progress, since if enough people are interested, I will create a Facebook group so that we can all cheer each other on and help hold us accountable to reaching our goals.

If you have any questions about this process, or there are details I inadvertently left out, please let me know and I will update this post with answers and more details. My hope is that my thought process is clearly mapped out so that you can decide which route you’d like to go with your own version.

Here’s to a fun year of getting out into the world, facing challenges head on, and stitching those experiences into a quilt.

 

 

 

Sew Tiny Ornaments by Wise Craft Handmade

A few months ago, my friend Blair over at Wise Craft Handmade emailed me with the most adorable idea–creating Christmas ornaments using the block patterns in my Sew Tiny Sampler pattern. Her ornaments are super quick and easy to make, and by enlarging the pattern a bit, they are perfect for even those who vow never to sew a block smaller than their thumbnail! Hah!

Sew Tiny Sampler Ornaments by Blair Wise Craft Handmade christmasHere are the first three ornaments she made. I love her addition of beads to the perle cotton string, and could see these all over my Christmas tree, or even taped to each gift given. Holiday gift tags that double as ornaments!? Win win!

sew tiny sampler fpp pattern quiltingI’m trying to decide which of these block patterns from my Sew Tiny Sampler to use as my first ornament. Which one would you make first? The tree is awfully adorable, but maybe a star?

Head over to Blair’s blog post HERE for her tutorial on exactly how to make these lovely ornaments, get the Sew Tiny Sampler pattern here (use code HOLIDAY), and please tag us both on social media if you share. You know where to find me @nightquilter and Blair is @blairs . I know I would LOVE to see Sew Tiny Sampler ornaments deck the halls of the internet. Stitchy joy for all!

night quilter new quilt patternsBonus good news–use code HOLIDAY in my Payhip shop for 15% off any pattern through December 20th.  I’m celebrating the re-release of some of my favorite patterns as they show their new faces! Over the next year or so, I plan to slowly update all of my patterns with the help of the ever-talented Lindsie Bergevin to help them look more aesthetically consistent and professional.  Pollen Pillow EPP (Newly released!), Constant Flux Christmas, Sew Tiny Sampler, and Summer Adventure Quilt are the first ones to get the new look and I’m pretty thrilled with them!

Are you sewing for the holidays?

Mini Masterpieces Book Hop {& Giveaway}

Greetings, oh patient and dedicated friends! It’s been an age since I’ve last blogged, but what better to kick start me back into it than a fun Book Hop celebration!? Today I’m excited to share all about my friend Alyce Blyth’s new book Mini Masterpieces with Lucky Spool publishing, and what’s more–there’s a giveaway sponsored by Aurifil as well!Mini Masterpieces Alyce BlythTo introduce you to Alyce’s fun new book, this Book Hop will take you through all of the different lessons included in the book with examples sewn by a slew of fellow quilters & pattern designers. Today we’re all about Lesson 3: Snowball Blocks. To be honest, when Alyce first asked me to sew the Snowball Block lesson and mini quilt, I was sorta wishing for foundation paper piecing, or English paper piecing, or curves or something a bit more complex.

Abacus quilt from Mini Masterpieces by Alyce Blyth. Photo by Page + Pixel for Lucky Spool

But then I saw the mini quilt pattern called Abacus included with the Snowball Blocks lesson and I was absolutely smitten! It’s such a fun and cool aesthetic, and made with the simplest of blocks. I’m excited to play with color to see how I can make it my own.

Mini Masterpieces Alyce BlythFor now, here’s the snowball block I made for today. I used some precious Tula Pink Pinkerville Unicorns and meticulously cut them so that they are facing off. Snowball blocks are great for incorporating fussy cuts of your favorite fabrics!

Mini Masterpieces Alyce BlythHere’s a closer look at those swirly twirly unicorns. A subtle but fun touch, don’t you think?

Beginning in early January, Alyce will be hosting a Sew Along where you’ll be able to sew your way right through the Mini Masterpieces book, creating a mini quilt per month, so be sure to follow Alyce’s blog at Blossom Heart Quilts and order your book now (affiliate link) so you’re ready to roll!! Mini quilts are a great way to try out new skills, stretch your design style, play with color in unexpected ways, and simply have fun with a fast finish.

Giveaway

To get you started in your sewing endeavors, Aurifil Thread is generously sponsoring a giveaway of two large spools of 50wt thread, selected from Alyce’s Mini Masterpieces thread set. On this stop, you can win a spool of 2865-Emerald and 2000-Sand.

Giveaway closed! Congratulations to Cindy! To enter the giveaway today, let me know your favorite classic quilt block. Leave a comment and make sure I’m able to get ahold of you if you win. For an additional entry, follow me @nightquilterAlyce @blossomheartquilts , and Aurifil @AurifilThread on Instagram. Leave a separate comment once you complete each entry.

This giveaway is open worldwide. The giveaway will be open for one week, until November 27th when I’ll select the winner randomly with random.org. The winner will have 48 hours to reply or I will select a new winner. Good luck!

*Please note that comment moderation is on, so if you do not see your comment right after posting, do not be alarmed! I try to respond to each and every comment I get on my blog, but with giveaway posts the numbers are usually too great to do this. Follow me on IG @nightquilter or my Night Quilter Facebook page to stay fully in the social media loop.

Mini Masterpieces Book Hop

Be sure to check out all of the stops along the Mini Masterpieces Book Hop. There’s much fun to be had!

November 18 – Simple Squares

Sarah from Sarah Ashford Studio @sarahashfordstudio

Janice from Better Off Thread @betteroffthread

November 19 – Strip Piecing

Molli from Molli Sparkles @mollisparkles

Sarah from SariDitty @sariditty

November 20 – Snowball Blocks

Ali from Arabesque Scissors @arabesquescissors

Kitty from Night Quilter @nightquilter         <–YOU ARE HERE

November 21 – HSTs

Andrea from 3rd Story Workshop @3rdstoryworkshop

Caitlin – @caitlinpolden

November 22 – Flying Geese

Kirsty from Bonjour Quilts @bonjour_quilts

Karen from Karen Lewis Textiles @karenlewistextiles

November 23 – HRTs

Jemima from Tied With A Ribbon @tiedwitharibbon

Rebecca from Bryan House Quilts @bryanhousequilts

November 24 – Simple Curves

Nicole from Modern Handcraft @modernhandcraft

Ava & Neve @ava_and_neve

November 25 – Complex Curves

Elisabeth from Elisabew Quilts @elisabew

Samantha from Aqua Paisley @aqua_paisley

Christopher from The Tattooed Quilter @the_tattooed_quilter

November 26 – Improv Curves

Aurifil @aurifilthread

Nicholas from Quilts From The Attic @quiltsfromtheattic

November 27 – Applique

Lauren from Molly And Mama @mollyandmama

Sedef from Down Grapevine Lane @downgrapevinelane

November 28 – EPP

Sharon from Lilabelle Lane @lilabellelane

Jodi from Tales of Cloth @talesofcloth

November 29 – FPP

Kristy from Quiet Play @quietplay

Pinnacle: OLFA 40th Anniversary Quilt Along

Today I’m excited to share the release of Pinnacle, the block I designed for OLFA’s 40th Anniversary Quilt Along! It’s been quiet over here on this blog lately, with summer adventures and family time filling my days. Now that school has begun, perhaps that will provide some space to write here more often. I’m hoping that this space is like an old friend–there may not be posts every week, but when there is one, it’s just like jumping back into the conversation, comfortable as ever.

OLFA 40th anniversary pinnacle blockLet’s start with this fun block! When OLFA invited me to design a block for a Quilt Along for their 40th Anniversary of inventing the rotary cutter, I jumped at the opportunity to help celebrate with this great company. Just think about it—40 years ago, quilters were tracing out quilt pieces using templates and pencil, and cutting out each square with scissors!! The rotary cutter is such a key invention in helping with accuracy and speed of cuts, and I’m grateful for OLFA’s giant contribution to the quilting world. I also happen to love using OLFA products and have come to trust the quality and reliability of their rotary cutters, rulers, mats, and other tools. I also kinda LOVE the multitude of colors they offer for their Splash rotary cutters! OLFA certainly makes my life easier, both by their reliably sharp tools and the ready-to-roll photo props!

OLFA requested that we create a block with OLFA rotary colors (at the time, the colors included yellow, pink, aqua, and purple), with celebrating 40 years as a focus. I chose to name my block Pinnacle, combining a celebration of a high point of achievement for OLFA—40 years since the invention of the world’s first rotary cutter!! and my love of the sharp points that result from foundation paper piecing, with an added nod to the mountains upon which I love to hike. A fairly simple foundation template is jazzed up with the use of a pre-sewn panel of fabric as the peaks, creating a fun block that will look slightly different every time you sew it.

I decided to use the purple shade and chose a small gradient of fabric in the magenta-purple fade I love so much. I chose three Alison Glass prints, which most likely comes as no surprise! The darkest purple/magenta is SunPrint 2018 Compass in Jam, the middle tone is an old one from Alison Glass SunPrint 2014 called Bike Path (I believe it was also printed as part of her Lucky Penny fabric line, so googling or Etsy searches may find some left!), and the lightest is a fabric from her Insignia 2019 fabric line. I love the way the bike path dots add fun tracks of snow down these pinnacle points! Paired with a white solid background, this block is simple and graphic and provides lots of fun for experimentation.

This block includes a fun twist to foundation paper piecing, since you premake a panel of fabric that is used to to fill each mountainous space. This means that every block you make will be slightly different, which to me equals fun! To find the instructions for this block, head over to the OLFA Quilt Along Gallery HERE.

I also was honored to be asked to photograph the full OLFA 40th Anniversary quilt, where you can see how the finished Sew Along Quilt may look. Isn’t it fun!? Do you see my block?

Be sure to check out the OLFA Quilt Along Gallery page as well as the OLFA blog to find out more about this sew along, and please tag me @nightquilter on social media if you make this block–I’d love to see yours!

 

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

Sew Tiny Sampler Pattern Release

Today is an exciting day! My Sew Tiny Sampler pattern, a foundation paper piecing pattern that includes foundation templates for 16 of the most-oft used blocks from my 100 Days of Sew Smaller project, is now available for purchase from my Payhip shop.sew tiny sampler fpp patternDuring my 100 Days of Sew Smaller project, quite a few people asked about the patterns I was using to make my tiny blocks. Many of my blocks were based upon well-loved traditional blocks, but I created foundation paper piecing templates in Inkscape as I went along. After many requests, I’m happy to finally be able to make the templates and pattern available publicly.

sew tiny sampler pattern fpp quilting tinyThe pattern includes foundation templates for the 16 blocks shown on the cover, plus assembly instructions for putting them all together into a mini mini sampler that finishes at a whopping 7 1/2″ square. Each block measures 1 1/4″ square finished, and 1 3/4″ unfinished. The pattern includes tips on tiny piecing in general, links to resources on foundation paper piecing (FPP) basics and using fussy cutting in your FPP blocks, as well as a long list of project ideas for your tiny blocks. To help conserve paper when making LOTS of blocks, I also included bulk printing pages for each block design.

quantum fabric by giucy giuce andover fabricsI had fun playing with Quantum fabric by Giucy Giuce for Andover Fabrics for my cover blocks, and of course used meticulous cutting in every possible location. I stitched all of the blocks using 50wt Aurifil thread in 2600-Dove, which is pretty much always in my machine for piecing.

sew tiny sampler quantum fabric fussy cuttingsew tiny sampler quantum fabric fussy cuttingsew tiny sampler quantum fabric fussy cuttingI highly recommend reading my tutorial HERE and using the fussy cutting FPP tips in your tiny blocks. As you can see, it really adds a special touch!

sew tiny sampler fpp pattern quiltingI’m looking forward to seeing all of the tiny blocks created by all of you, and will be sharing some of the blocks some of my friends are making to help celebrate the pattern release soon. In the meantime, you can head over and read about Yvonne’s blocks and what she made out of them here, or check out the hashtag #sewtinysampler on Instagram to witness the miniaturization of March.

sew tiny sampler angleHead over and get your Sew Tiny Sampler pattern here to join the fun. I can’t wait to see what block you make first!!