Selecting fabric combinations and color arrangements is one of my favorite stages in the quilting process. So a few months ago, when my friend Bernie asked if I would be interested in putting together a Blogger Bundle of fabric for her Etsy store Needle & Foot, of course I said yes! Today I’m excited to introduce you to the bundle I put together.
While this bundle is versatile enough that any one of the fabrics could shine, there is definitely a star of the show in my mind, and that’s the Tartan Field in Midnight print from Bountiful, designed by Sharon Holland for Art Gallery Fabric (top left in the photo above). I selected this entire bundle based up on that one print. I’ve had my eye on it ever since Sharon first revealed her Bountiful fabric line peeks, and there’s just something about the grid work paired with the subtle colors, a touch of geometry and a good dose of nature (it’s the top down view of a garden, right?) that really makes my quilty heart sing.
The other fabrics have all been carefully selected from Bernie’s shop to coordinate and complement Sharon’s print, and I love how the colors of all of the other fabrics mesh so well with it.
The bundle includes (from top down in the photo above):
You didn’t think I would put together a bundle of fabric without a single Alison Glass print, did you?! hah!
Just for fun, these tulips had to join the fun since spring is not even close to appearing here in midcoast Maine yet, and I was in dire need of some cheer. Aren’t they luscious?!
Now, for the giveaway! Today I’m flying across the country to Pasadena for QuiltCon, but I thought it would be fun to kick off my QuiltCon adventures with a blog giveaway. Bernie has generously offered this bundle of five (5) fat quarters to one of my lucky readers.
This giveaway is open to US only. The giveaway will be open for one week, until my return home to Maine Wednesday, February 28th, 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! This giveaway is now closed! Congratulations to Wendy!!
*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. Plus, I’m at QuiltCon!! Follow me on IG @nightquilter or my Night Quilter Facebook page to see some live updates.
Love this bundle and don’t want to wait? You can get yours here! I would love to see what you make!
The number one greatest challenge I’ve faced in my journey into motherhood is taking time for self care. Even the words self care sound like the antithesis of motherhood. To me, being a mother means your job is to give. Not only do you give life to amazing human beings, literally birthing them into this wild world, but you also then provide the nurturing, sustenance, protection, guidance, direction, support that they need to grow and develop into independent creatures. You’re needed literally 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for years without any breaks, vacation time, or even sick days. Unless you make a point to create, make, steal, demand–whatever it takes!–some time for yourself, it is so easy for self care to fall completely by the wayside. (Ask me how I know!)
My self care of choice these days is taking time to sew. It took me about 5 years and 2 1/2 kids before I realized that I absolutely needed to make time to sew and create, and that making time to do something I love wasn’t selfish; it was a necessary part of this beautiful dance called life, and without it, my dance steps were more of a heavy trod than a light leap. When we’re all lightly skipping and twirling, everyone is much happier than when mommy is stomping and dragging her exhausted, grumpy self around.
Even since coming to this realization, I still struggle some weeks to set aside time for me time and self care, especially when there are deadlines looming. A while back, I was in the thick of a few looming deadlines when I received an email from Andy at Plum Organics Tea Company asking if I’d like to try some of their tea and review it on my blog. In perusing their site to see if it seemed like something I would enjoy, and more importantly, something relevant to this space, I discovered their Self Care blend. I also found myself immersed in a world of inspirational quotes, encouraging mantras, and soothing encouragements to take time for oneself. Relevant? I think yes. Full disclosure: Plum Organics provided two packets of tea in exchange for my honest review on my blog. All opinions are always my own. My gratitude for Andy’s timely email and the resulting realization that I needed more focus on self care is also fully my own, and huge.
As a result, I’ve created this short list of three tips (or ideas) for self care for (mommy) quilters. I include “mommy” in parentheses since the tips apply to any busy quilter, mother or otherwise. I hope it will inspire you to take a moment for yourself amidst your busy day:
1 – Create just for the fun of it. No purpose. No end goal. Just make.
Especially with an endless stream of quilty requests, whether for the next baby quilt for a family member or friend, a graduation quilt for a cousin, teacher gifts for your children’s teachers, or business related quilting, the list of quilting “needs” rarely, if ever, ends. Despite this–or because of this!–it is so important to create for the sake of creating.
I’ve recently joined in with the Girt by Sea sew along led by the Modern Makers Retreat and have been hand stitching the center medallion with some fabrics I won from Bari J a month or so ago (Sage fabrics for Art Gallery Fabrics). They are outside of my usual style and color scheme, it is a project with no end purpose or need, and it’s fun! Meticulous cutting, hand stitching, no stress or deadlines. That’s chicken soup for the quilter’s soul.
2 – Slow down and take time to sit. Drink tea. Hand stitch. Read.
When it feels like there’s no way you’ll ever accomplish everything on your daily to-do list day after day, it seems like leisure is impossible. Yet, truly, what’s 10-20 minutes? Take the time to sit, relax, drink some tea, hand stitch, read… whatever helps you fully relax.
Tea and EPP, anyone?
I’m a huge fan of English Paper Piecing (EPP) and the tiny meticulous hand stitching is meditative for me. Sitting down with a mini pot of the Self Care tea from Plum Deluxe with a sweet snack and my hand stitching, even if only for a few moments, can help rejuvenate and reset my patience level so that I’m better able to tackle the rest of the day. Try it!
3 – Take time for yoga, or simply stretch, move, and breathe mindfully for a few moments each day.
Breathing is something that you do all day and night, but mostly likely rarely think about. Yet taking a few moments to be more mindful of your breath, notice the way you are sitting, and then sit a little bit taller, relax your shoulders, and take a few deep easy breaths can make such a difference in mood and how you feel physically. Especially when quilting or sewing, remember to take a break every so often, sit tall, breathe deeply, and gently stretch your arms, shoulders and back. Your mind and body will feel so much better!
Even on the busiest day, I hope that this list will inspire you to take a bit more time for self care. Your mind, body, and family and friends will thank you! Now I just need to help myself take my own advice more often!
More about Plum Deluxe Tea
The first thing I noticed about Plum Deluxe when I visited their site was that their tea is organic, non-GMO, hand-blended, and fair-trade, all by a small independently run company out of Oregon. The focus of the company is community and inspiring people to live their best lives. Even their motto is: Making moments matter. I encourage you to read their About page; they are not your everyday tea company! Everything associated with the tea is packed full of positivity–even the ingredients list on the tea states that the tea includes love and gratitude. That’s my kind of tea!
The Self Care tea is fruity and delicious, and smells divine as soon as you open the package. I love loose tea, since seeing the actual components makes me feel like I’m enjoying tea straight from nature.
Andy was kind enough to send me a package of the Self Care blend and a bonus package of Oregon Breakfast Black Tea, since I’ve been wanting to decrease the amount of coffee I drink and the Oregon Breakfast flavor is rich and robust. Not only does it have hazelnut essence, it includes love and gratitude. Mmmm.
I mentioned that a big focus of Plum Deluxe is community; they also have a fabulous tea of the month club – for only $10/month subscribers receive 1 oz of a custom seasonally-perfect artisan loose leaf tea made just for the club. Subscribers also enjoy access to a robust and supportive private tea lover’s community, tea-inspired recipes, discounts on extra teas and supplies, and other surprises. They even host member meet-ups throughout the year, and several of their members host self-organized group events year-round. Andy was kind enough to offer my readers a free tea of your choice in your first month when you join the Plum Deluxe tea community. Be sure to tell him Kitty from Night Quilter sent you, and enjoy!
I enjoy how drinking loose leaf tea forces me to slow the daily rush. The practice of getting out the loose tea and boiling the water allows me to slow down a bit, so that I can remind myself to breathe a bit more deeply, stand a bit taller, and chill out. With three kids under 8, I have to tell myself, insist to myself–chill out–quite often. In the grand scheme of things, this mess and chaos doesn’t matter. Everyone will be better off if I take a moment to breathe. Sip some tea. Have a snack. Stitch in a sunbeam. You know, that rare rainbow unicorn called self-care for (Mommy) quilters. I’m going to *try* to work the practice into my life a bit more often. I think we’ll all be better off for it.
Living out in the country, if I can order something online and have it delivered literally to my door (rural mail delivery is awesome!), I do it! Don’t get me wrong–I’m all about shop local and I support local businesses as much as I can. But with three little ones to wrangle into and out of carseats for every errand, some things like toothpaste, shampoo, kid sneakers, and … fabric!? Those can be delivered right to my door, thank you!
So when Jamie, co-founder of Culcita Box, emailed me a while back and asked if I would be interested in checking out their new fabric subscription service, I only needed a little nudge to say yes. That nudge was in the form of a quick perusal of their website and what their boxes included to make sure it was my style, and instead of a little nudge it was an “absolutely yes!” Full disclosure: Culcita Box provided compensation in the form of product, a subscription box with fabric. All opinions expressed are my own. My excitement and heart eyes are also my own.
There are many things I really love about what Culcita Box is offering. They include modern fabric lines in their boxes, and you can basically customize your subscription, choosing the yardage and frequency that best fits your sewing style (1/4 yard or 1/2 yard, delivered monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly). Not only that, Culcita Box also offers specific kit subscriptions including everything you need to make a quilt or a bag/accessory, or kits to help you improve your skills. I think those options are super cool and unique, and I could definitely see gifting someone the improve your skills kit subscription if they wanted to get more into sewing.
Jamie was kind enough to send me the March fat quarter bundle box, so let’s take a look at what was in it!
First the deets: the March Culcita box included a bundle of 12 fat quarters of luscious Art Gallery Fabrics–from the Take Shape Capsule, two (2) sew-in labels, a Quilt Theory pattern card for Ocean Path (my pattern!), and perhaps my favorite part–a quilty fortune cookie. I love the attention that clearly went into every detail of this subscription box–from the fun text all over the box, the wrapping, the hand-written note, and even a sewing-related message in the fortune cookie!! It’s like unwrapping a present, and honestly, who doesn’t like unwrapping presents?
I love that the box included two labels, since I think labeling is one of the most important parts of making, yet it’s something that so many people omit from the process. I bet having labels ready to go would help at least get a name and date added to the quilty goodness stitched with love daily. I’m excited to put these to use!
The fortune cookie was such a fun addition. With a sewing-related inspiring message/fortune inside, and a delicious cookie to boot, how can you not love this little detail? Those who sew, sow peace. Yes!
The fabric is luxuriously soft, as we’ve all come to love about all Art Gallery fabrics, and included fabric from one of the new fabric capsules, namely Take Shape. I love the bold geometric shapes and gorgeous color palette. I also really love that these fabrics are a palette and style somewhat different than my usual saturated rainbow tone on tones. With the inclusion of my Quilt Theory Ocean Path quilt pattern card, I’m really wanting to make an Ocean Path pillow version with 2 offset blocks in these geometric beauties. Will my to-do list allow? Time will tell! Either way, I’m excited to add these fabrics to my stash… or projects list!
Many thanks to Culcita Box for letting me try out their subscription box! I would definitely recommend this box for the modern quilter looking to build a stash of beautiful fabrics, or as a gift for those who prefer making bags, working from quilt kits, or building their skills.
My parents have graciously come up from New Jersey and rented a house on a lake only 15 minutes away from the retreat center, so during the day they will be playing with all three kids, and every evening someone will drive Finn to me where he will join me for sleep, to be (hopefully) joyfully picked up each morning. He’s still a nursing babe at 14 months, so I’m looking forward to the nightly mama reconnection time, too.
I originally aimed to schedule some blog posts for while I was away, but life has been very full these days, so this week will be quiet. I will be stitching away in this big, beautiful building and its neighboring barn, and will join you upon my return. Keep your eye on Instagram, since I will post a few updates to help share the blissful relaxation of the week! I have a fun color inspiration post pretty much ready for the week I return, and will get back into the swing of sharing my creative process and projects with you next week. And of course, of course, I will share a reflection of my time slow stitching.
To enter the giveaway today, tell me what type of adventures you like to go on. I’m a big fan of exploring new places, so my ideal day consists of traveling to a new ocean beach, walking along the coast line, hiking through the neighboring woods, and picnicking on the beach. I’d love to hear about what you do for an adventure! Leave a comment and make sure I’m able to get ahold of you if you win. For an additional entry, click HERE and sign up for my Night Quilter email list (or let me know you’re signed up). Tell me how you follow Fat Quarter Shop (facebook,twitter, Instagram, their blog Jolly Jabber, etc.) in a third comment for a third entry.
This giveaway is open to US and international participants. The giveaway will be open until Sunday August 14th at 8pm EST when I’ll select the winner randomly with random.org. Good luck, and enjoy your week!This giveaway is now closed! Congratulations One Creative Family!
*Please note that comment moderation is on, so if you do not see your comment right after posting, do not be alarmed! I will be disconnecting from social media for most of each day on the retreat, but will be checking in each evening to approve new comments. xoxo
There’s nothing like beginning a month with a holiday to help it feel like it’s flying by like a firecracker. Pair that with a week long trip down to celebrate with family, and July has truly snuck up on me!
As I get back into the swing of things on the homestead, unpack, and hopefully dive productively into a few big sewing projects, I thought I’d host a giveaway to help get the second weekend of July (how did that happen!?) off to a fun start.
Thanks to the Fat Quarter Shop, one of my lucky readers can enter to win this newly released Raindrop fat quarter bundle by Rashida Coleman-Hale for Cotton + Steel Fabrics. The bundle includes 20 fat quarters and two (2) 24″ x 44″ canvas prints, and seems most fitting to kick off this rainy weekend here in Maine. There are so many great prints in this collection–from the geometric play stash builders to the fabulous cicadas, all inspired by the rainy season in Japan. True to my naturalist heart, I love cicadas. I used to love to collect their exoskeletons from trees when I was a kid, and hook them all over my clothes to surprise the less-bug-loving kids on the block. Ahh, memories!
To enter the giveaway today, tell me what you like to do on rainy days. Leave a comment and make sure I’m able to get ahold of you if you win. For an additional entry, click HERE and sign up for my new Night Quilter email list. You will get occasional emails with highlights, pattern announcements, and special offers. Leave a second comment to let me know you’re signed up! Tell me how you follow Fat Quarter Shop (facebook,twitter, Instagram, their blog Jolly Jabber, etc.) in a third comment for a third entry.
This giveaway is open to US and international participants. The giveaway will be open until Thursday July 14th at 8pm EST when I’ll select the winner randomly with random.org. Good luck, and enjoy your rainy (or sunny if you’re lucky) weekend!This giveaway is now closed! Congratulations, Kendra!
I recently had some fun playing with a new Sizzix die and a color/value gradient from dark purple to light pink. Today I’m sharing a tutorial over on the Sizzix blog so that you can make your own Geese Crossing mini quilt. Since the colors and the peonies from my garden are serendipitously paired, I created a color inspiration palette to share, too!
This mini quilt finishes at 24″ square, and its creation coincided with the fabulous bloom of peonies in our garden. It features a new die called Geese Crossing, designed by Victoria Findlay Wolfe and released at Quilt Market last month. It’s a very versatile die and allows for lots of design, color, and value play.
In my tutorial, I share information that will be helpful for all quilting projects, including:
– Tips for creating a successful value gradient in a fabric pull;
– How to get perfect points when sewing geese or other triangles; and,
– Tips to prevent bunching when sewing on an angle.
You can read the full tutorial and see more photos of my project process on the Sizzix blog, here.
The colors of the peonies and the colors in the quilt meld so beautifully together! I really could not help but take a million photos of this quilt with the gorgeous color gradient of peonies from my garden, but since it’s Thursday, I figured a combination of Color Inspiration Thursday and a heads-up about my Sizzix tutorial would be perfectly acceptable.
Ahhh peonies! Such an inspiration!
Corresponding solids from left to right: Kona Dusty Blue, Bella Pewter, Bella Petal Pink, Kona Plum, Kona Cerise, Kona Eggplant
Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right: 2560 – Iris
2564 – Pale Lilac
2425 – Bright Pink
2479 – Med Orchid
4030 – Plum
2582 – Dk Violet
This color palette was created using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 as per usual, and the matching Aurifil threads and Kona & Moda Bella solids are particularly useful! I will certainly be getting a few of those threads for quilting! We actually had dark magenta peonies that would have matched the darkest purple fabric, but they are the early variety that met their end during a thunderstorm a few weeks ago. Still, our garden provided a lovely fade from the palest pink to a bright magenta with the peonies blooming now.
I love the natural ombres and vibrant colors found in nature and thoroughly enjoy combining natural inspiration with quilty projects. It is so fun to try to stitch the beauty around me into the quilts in my hands!
Where in nature do you find the most inspiration? Flowers? Colors in general? Textures? or simply through the endless variety of growth and new life that appears before our eyes daily?
Ahh, Friday! We love Fridays in this house, since not only is it the last day before the weekend, but it also means family movie night. I make homemade pizzas, we set out picnic quilts in the living room, and we have a pizza picnic while watching a movie. After pizza, there’s a short intermission for popcorn making and we enjoy the rest of the movie with huge bowls of popcorn and buttery fingers. My husband has a bit of a thing for popcorn, so he makes enough to feed a small army, which I suppose we are becoming as the kids get older! While this week had its share of frustration, I also finally finished and shared two projects. A week with one finish is great; a week with two finishes is worth celebrating!!
I love linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts’ Finish it Up Friday to share in the celebration of finished projects in the quilting community, so I figured I’d write a summary post this week so that I could link up with just one post instead of two. I also have a great giveaway sponsored by Fat Quarter Shop to share to help kick off the weekend!
So here we go–my finishes for the week!
I finished three cute Amy Butler-inspired rainbow zipper bags as end of the year teacher gifts for my son’s preschool teachers and communication facilitator. There is a great video tutorial posted by the Fat Quarter Shop so that you can make your own. You can see and read more about my zipper bags HERE.
I also finished a volcano-inspired quilt with Oakshott’s new Lipari fabric line. This was a much longer term project, taking about 18 hours of work to make, start from finish. I share a tutorial so that you can make your very own Vesuvius quilt if you want! Check it out HERE.
And now, for the giveaway! Thanks to the Fat Quarter Shop, one of my lucky readers can enter to win a Tula Pink Throwback fat quarter bundle of 20 fat quarters! The bundle includes some of the most popular prints from Tula’s collections over the past four (4) years, and would be a great stash builder for any modern fabric lover, whether you’re a Tula troops die hard who would pay a premium for these prints on ebay or not. There are also many fabulous opportunities for meticulous cutting with these beauties!
To enter the giveaway today, tell me–are you a fabric designer fanatic, willing to pay top dollar for rare out of print fabrics? or are you happy using whatever gorgeous fabric is available now, regardless of designer? I’m curious, since while I consider myself to be in the latter category, I could definitely see myself paying more than market value for *some* rare and beloved out of print fabrics. Leave a comment and make sure I’m able to get ahold of you if you win. If you’re a follower of Night Quilter, leave a second comment telling me how you follow for a second entry. Tell me how you follow Fat Quarter Shop (facebook,twitter, Instagram, their blog Jolly Jabber, etc.) for a third entry.
This giveaway is open to US and international participants. The giveaway will be open until Thursday June 9th at 8pm EST when I’ll select the winner randomly with random.org. Good luck!This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations, Tessa!
Thanks again to the Fat Quarter Shop! Blog sponsors help me to keep this blog going by helping cover the costs of hosting, photography equipment, supplies, and of course time. Sweet, precious time. Many many thanks to all who support me!
Today I’m excited to be a part of the Oakshott Lipari blog hop, your final stop for those of you who have been following along. So many fabulous projects have been made with the fat eighths bundle of the new Lipari line, so I encourage you to also check out the others along the hop, linked at the bottom of this post. Many thanks to Lynne and Michael at Oakshott for including me in the hop!
This was my first time working with Oakshott fabrics, and they are so luxurious! They are a woven fabric and feel almost silky to the touch. They feel more substantial than other shot cottons I’ve used, and the Lipari line looks iridescent since the warp is black and the weft is a bright jewel tone. These fabrics come to life when you see them in person–photos truly don’t do them justice. The Lipari line was inspired by volcanoes and the description from Oakshott says it best: “Lipari perfectly captures the primordial beauty of the Aeolian islands. Its luminous colours mirror cobalt seas, lush greenery, pink bougainvillea and shimmering sun; a beauty shot through with dark, fine-grained volcanic rock and black sand.” As soon as I read this description, I knew my quilt had to be a reflection of this volcanic inspiration. Thus, my Vesuvius quilt was born.
I made my Vesuvius quilt with 60 degree triangles, to elicit the sharp peaks of the mountainous volcanoes. I pulled in some Ruby Red – Toledo for the molten focal triangle, and let the Lipari steal the show. I used my Sizzix die cutting machine to speed up the cutting process. I really wanted to photograph this quilt next to a volcano, but I had to settle for some blueberry barrens and a Maine coast beach.
I quilted Vesuvius with 50 wt Aurifil thread 1246-Grey, which blended wonderfully with the Lipari Pollara (grey) I used as a background color. I used the walking foot on my domestic Bernina 560 to quilt straight lines 1″ apart, switching up directions in various sections of the quilt to provide movement and added interest. I LOVE how it turned out!
The Lipari Porticello (dark green) backing shows the quilting wonderfully, although it’s tough to get the full effect through photos!
I was torn on what color to use as the binding, but decided that Lipari Gallina (purple) frames it nicely.
This quilt finishes at 36″x43″ so would make a wonderful wall hanging or sophisticated baby quilt. You could also add borders to make it larger.
Here’s how to make your very own Vesuvius quilt! (Note that Oakshott Lipari fabric is 54″ wide. Typical quilting cotton is approximately 42″ wide, so plan accordingly)
A fat eighths bundle of Oakshott Lipari
1/8 yard of Oakshott Ruby Red Toledo
3/4 yard additional Lipari Pollara (grey)-negative space
1 1/4 yards Lipari Porticello (dark green)-backing
1/3 yard Lipari Gallina (purple)-binding
42″ x 50″ piece of batting
Sizzix die cutting machine
Sizzix XL Triangle, Equilateral 4 3/4″ x 5 1/2″ unfinished die
Rotary cutter, cutting mat with 60 degree lines, and ruler
Thread (I used Aurifil 50wt 1246-Grey for both piecing and quilting)
Sewing machine with a walking foot (I use a Bernina 560)
Small thread snip scissors
Using your method of choice (see below for instructions for each method), cut the following number of triangles from each fabric:
88 grey (Lipari Pollaro)
9 red (Ruby Red Toledo)
From fat eighth Lipari bundle:
Using a Sizzix die cutting machine
I used my Sizzix Fabi and BigZ Triangle, Equilateral 4 3/4″ x 5 1/2″ unfinished die to speed up the cutting process.
When using your sizzix, cut 5″ x width of fat eighth strips of fabric of each color, fold them over the die blade in the Sizzix cutting sandwich (bottom cutting pad, die with the blade face up, fabric, top cutting pad), and cut 9 triangles at a time. Note that the Oakshott fat eighths are 10″ x 27″, which are larger than a typical quilting cotton 9″ x 21″ fat eighth.
After passing each strip of fabric through the Fabi die cutting machine, you can reposition the remaining fabric and cut triangles from the “scraps”.
If you don’t have a Sizzix, read on to find out how to cut 60 degree triangles with your rotary cutter, using the lines on your cutting mat.
Using a rotary cutter and the lines on your cutting mat
First, cut strips 4 3/4″ by width of fabric. *Note: You can leave the fabric strip folded in half or doubled up if you’re using the width of fat eighth strips, allowing you to cut two triangles at a time!
Find the 30 degree line on your cutting mat. Yes, we are making 60 degree triangles by cutting along the 30 degree line (You have a 90 degree square to begin, trim off 30 degrees, then you’re left with 60 degrees!)
Align the bottom of your fabric strip along the 1-inch line. I use the 1-inch line so that you can see where the 30 degree line extends above and below the fabric. Place the edge of your ruler along the 30 degree line.
Using your rotary cutter, cut your fabric on the ruler angle.
Flip your fabric strip over, then align the bottom edge with the 1-inch line on your mat, so that the bottom point of your cut is on the 30 degree line.
Again, place the edge of your ruler along the 30 degree line. Using your rotary cutter, cut your fabric on the ruler angle. You now have your 60 degree triangle, or two (2) if you kept your fabric strip folded in half. Cut as many as you need.
Piecing the Quilt Top
Once your pieces are cut, lay them out as shown. A piece of batting wrapped around a large wall board works well, but I have been often known to use my design floor to help with layout, too! (SizingNote: if you want a larger quilt, you could add a row of grey (Lipari Pollara) triangles to the right and left sides before sewing the rows together to maintain the outer triangle points when adding borders. Then, trim square and add rectangular borders to the desired size.)
Be sure to keep the grain of fabric running top to bottom (the woven texture of the Oakshott Lipari makes this easy to do since the grain is clearly visible when the fabric is held up to the light). Once your pieces are laid out as desired, it’s time to sew them together! Chain piecing helps the process go quickly and smoothly. Here’s how to set it up.
Label each horizontal row. I began with 1 on the top and ended with 11 on the bottom and used pins to label the first piece in each row (Note that I labeled each row after stacking, so the pins aren’t visible in these photos).
Carefully stack the triangles from each row, with the far left piece on top, and keeping the triangles facing the proper direction (this will help you keep them straight while piecing). For example, for row one, you will have the labeled first triangle piece from the far left on top, and carefully pick up each triangle across the row, adding it to the bottom of the stack.
Once you have your row stacked, use a clover clip or similar device to hold the stack together.
Gather all of your rows in this manner.
Lay them out in order, making a clear mental note of what row is located where. You could label a sticker on the table next to each stack to help, although simply keeping them in chronological order works well for me. Let’s sew! (Note that a table next to you works better than having the stacks this close to the sewing machine. As you add pieces, your strips will drag your stacks around if you keep them here as shown!)
To speed up the process, we will be chain piecing (sewing without stopping) the first piece to the second piece from every row. Note: Be sure to keep the pin labeling each row in the first block at all times!!
Once you have all of your first pieces sewn to your second pieces, trim the threads to separate, and press. All these bias edges means this is a great time to practice pressing, and NOT ironing. Press: up, down, up. Great!
Alternate which side you press your seam for each row. I pressed odd rows (1, 3, 5, etc.) to the left and even rows (2, 4, 6, etc.) to the right. Pressing open also works well!
Next, add the next triangle to each row, chain sewing again. You’ll be sewing the third triangle (which is now on top of each stack) to each row. Double check the number pin on the sewn row before adding the next triangle, since you want to be sure to keep your gorgeous layout intact.
Continue chain piecing, trimming, pressing, and chain piecing again until all of your rows are assembled. As you add each triangle, stack those corners and everything will be right in line!
Sew all of the rows together, pressing seams up toward the grey triangles. I like to pin about 1/8″ after each point where the triangle points will be matching up, and aim to sew *right* through the center of the seam-cross to make sure you don’t cut off any points when sewing the rows together.
Quilting & Finishing
Once your quilt top is pieced, baste as desired. I decided to quilt my quilt before squaring it up because of all of the bias edges. I used 505 basting spray and spray basted for the first time! I used Christa Watson’s design wall spray basting tutorial and can see why people love it.
I decided to quilt my quilt with straight lines 1″ apart using the walking foot on my Bernina 560. I used a hera marker and a long quilting ruler to mark lines 1/2″ from some seams, and then 1″ apart from there. I sectioned the quilting in a few different sections, using straight lines 1″ apart but changing directions in each section. Lines intersect in the Ruby Red triangle, “exploding” out to the sides (like a volcanic eruption!?). The quilting lines don’t intersect anywhere else in the quilt. I really love the finished effect.
After quilting, it’s time to square up the quilt. Using a long, straight edge, trim 1/4″ away from the outer points so that you don’t lose any points when you sew on the binding. Use at least two sets of points to make sure your ruler is straight before cutting.
Square up your quilt, trimming off the excess, then bind!
Viola! Enjoy your Vesuvius Quilt, and please use #vesuviusquilt and tag me @nightquilter if you decide to make one.
Many thanks, again, to Oakshott for providing the fabrics for this project, and for including me in the hop. Make sure to check out the rest of the amazing Lipari projects:
*BREAKING NEWS* Volcanic action alert
For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you may have seen the heart-wrenching fate of this quilt, that I so unknowingly aptly named “Vesuvius”: my nearly-four year old son cut into it in three places (along with a trail of destruction that included my Machinger quilting gloves cut into pieces and cuts into a big chunk of fusible fleece). With the great outpouring of support, commiseration, and suggestions offered by the fantastic community on IG, I’ve decided to make the cuts an added design element, another chapter in the story of the quilt, and sew either black or red patches over the cuts, making them into “fault lines”.
For now, though, I will put the quilt aside until I can dive into the repair with chuckles and reminiscence instead of lingering tears and frustration. I know that my son did not cut into my quilt maliciously, but it still is a difficult experience. I have made it known that if he ever wants to cut fabric again, he can tell me and I will help him make a quilt. We’ll see where it goes. For now, my Vesuvius Quilt (aka Max’s Fault Lines) is smoking and being buried by ash for a bit. It will rise again some day in the future.
The school year is winding down, which means teachers’ gifts are at the forefront of my mind (along with excitement–and trepidation!–at the prospect of summer adventure day trips with all three kids). When Fat Quarter Shop invited me to join this Simper Zipper Bag Sew Along, I thought it would be a perfect teacher’s gift project. I stitched up three of the large zipper bags, added some chocolate and a personalized thank you note from my 3 year old son, and viola! Perfect heartfelt teachers’ gifts!
These zipper bags are SO easy to make, and Fat Quarter Shop has a very clear instructional video tutorial that you can find here:
The construction of the bags is brilliant, since the lining and the outer panels are quilted together and then simply sewn together and bound–so easy! I definitely will be going back to this pattern for future gifts, and I’m thinking of making a few more to stash coloring supplies for my kids in my purse for when extra entertainment is needed.
This is admittedly the first time I’ve made handmade teachers’ gifts, but my son’s preschool teachers have done such a fabulous job supporting and guiding him this year, that I felt I really wanted to express my gratitude. When I asked Max if he had any idea what colors might be his teachers’ favorites, he said, “Alllllll the colors!” That’s my boy. I figured I probably couldn’t go wrong with a rainbow-esque bag, especially for preschool teachers.
I decided on a gorgeous Amy Butler fabric from my stash for the backings and then used it to pull a coordinating rainbow of some of my favorite fabrics. You can see Alison Glass, Carolyn Friedlander, Cotton + Steel–they’re all there!
I chose to use strips of fabric instead of mini charm squares, and arranged the fabrics in a way that worked with the three zippers I had on hand, making each bag unique while still having the same general aesthetic. I used the edge of my walking foot to space horizontal straight line quilting on the front, using my go-to thread, 50wt Aurifil 2600-Dove. It blended perfectly with the “I love you” appliquéd hand while providing some subtle texture and interest to the rainbow fabrics.
I lined my bag with an appropriate Cotton + Steel print, Study Hall in Black and White from their Black and White Collection.
I love the neat detailing that results with the construction of this bag. Sewing in the zipper is made SO easy, and the top stitching frames it nicely.
More about that “I love you”; I think the American Sign Language (ASL) sign for “I love you” is known pretty universally, but in case you’re not familiar with it, the appliqué on each pouch is a tracing of my son’s hand making the “I love you” sign. My son is hard of hearing and wears hearing aids (when we can convince him to keep them in), and so he has a communication facilitator in addition to his two amazing teachers. His communication facilitator was fantastic, signing to him all day to increase exposure and familiarity to sign, since we are all trying to learn ASL as a family, and ensuring he heard directions during the day. The entire preschool class learned some sign language throughout the year, and the three teachers worked so well together to help ALL of the children in class have the best experience possible. When Max gave the gifts to his teachers, the “I love you” appliqué of Max’s hand was met with “awww” and a few misty eyes. I think the zipper bags were a win!
How would you use one of these Simple Zipper Bags? Be sure to visit Fat Quarter Shop and the other bloggers’ posts to see their creative takes on the pattern:
Many makers have a signature style, a color palette they visit again and again, or perhaps an aesthetic that just makes their heart sing and their makes shine. We all know how much I love a rainbow, but recently I’ve felt the need to dive into other color combinations and experiment elsewhere. I’ve tried color combinations that have felt way out of my comfort zone, played with more monochromatic palettes, and have experimented with predetermined colors (paired with improv, no less!). While I do love the makes I’ve created through these experiments, I’ve realized that I truly love a rainbow gradient, but more specifically, I’m drawn strongly to tertiary colors.
As a refresher, the tertiary colors are the ones that fall between the primary and secondary colors, namely: Vermillion (red-orange), Amber (orange-yellow), Chartreuse (yellow-green, or lime), Teal (green-blue), Violet (blue-purple), and Magenta (purple-red). Thank you, Wikipedia for the great graphic! Even when a project isn’t a full rainbow spectrum, if it consists of tertiary colors it still makes my heart sing. Primaries? Not so much. Secondaries? Meh. Tertiaries? Oh, yesssss! All the colors? Even better!
I’ve decided that once a few last non-rainbow projects are completed, I am going to let go of my hesitancy to creating rainbow-everything. I will embrace my rainbow-loving self and create a rainbow-filled world! I have some really fun projects on the horizon and I can’t wait to share them with you! Do you have a specific color combination that makes your heart sing and your eyes turn into hearts? Tell me about it in the comments and enter to win a great bundle of some of MY favorites!
Today’s giveaway is generously sponsored by the Fat Quarter Shop. When it was time to select the giveaway bundle for the month, this lovely Turn Up the Volume bundle curated by Rebecca Mae Designs caught my eye. Can you tell why? Tertiary colors!! It’s jam packed with vibrant, stash building tertiary colors. Now you have a chance to build your tertiary color stash in a big way (20 fat quarters-big… that’s 5 yards of fabric!).
To enter the giveaway today, let me know what colors you find yourself using again and again. Leave a comment and make sure I’m able to get ahold of you if you win. If you’re a follower of Night Quilter, leave a second comment telling me how you follow for a second entry. Tell me how you follow Fat Quarter Shop (facebook, twitter, Instagram, their blog Jolly Jabber, etc.) for a third entry.
This giveaway is open to US and international participants. The giveaway will be open until Tuesday 5/10 at 8pm EST when I’ll select the winner randomly with random.org. Good luck!This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Delaine!!
Thanks again to the Fat Quarter Shop! Blog sponsors help me to keep this blog going by helping cover the costs of hosting, photography equipment, supplies, and of course time. Sweet, precious time. Many many thanks to all who support me!
I grab a needle and thread once the kids are in bed