Tag Archives: aurifil

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!

Fabric Skinny Bin Tutorial

cutting table with skinny bins and alison glassI recently faced the demon that was my chaotic sewing space and have been organizing with the help of my dear friend Alessandra. Yesterday when I shared the above photo of my newly cleared cutting table on Instagram, there were many questions about my rainbow of skinny bins hanging along the side of it. My skinny bins were made using a tutorial I wrote for Quilt Theory years ago, for a fabulous fabric party hosted by Mathew at Mister Domestic, and I use them to sort my tiny scraps by color. You know, those scraps that are too small to fold up again, but the perfect size for some tiny piecing? As I’m cutting, I just toss them into the color-coordinating skinny bin and viola! I thought it was a great time to share the tutorial here on my blog, so today’s your day!

The following is a blast from the past–May 2017 to be exact!–and the tutorial on how to make your very own fabric skinny bins. Enjoy, and please do tag me @nightquilter and #fabricskinnybin on social media if you make one (or ten!)!

I hang my Skinny Bins from an Ikea Dignitet Curtain Wire with Riktig Clips. (affiliate links)


Fabric Skinny Bin Tutorial

When you’re designing quilt patterns or even simply selecting fabrics for a quilt, having color cards from different fabric and thread manufacturers is extremely helpful. There’s nothing like having each exact thread and fabric possibility right at your fingertips while you’re fine-tuning your colorway. Most companies offer their color cards for sale, so anyone can benefit from having a rainbow of actual fabric and thread samples at their fingertips.

fabric skinny bin tutorial nightquilterA few weeks ago, many fabric and thread companies were kind enough to send color cards to the Quilt Theory team to help with our planning. While brainstorming different ways to store and use these color cards, I realized that a skinny fabric bin I had designed to help sort my tiny scraps would also be perfect storage for the Aurifil thread color card strips once they were cut apart. While cutting up color cards seems terrifying at first, we’ve found the amount it helps ease comparisons between different color options and selection of a perfect fabric-thread match outweighs the initial anxiety about cutting into the card. You can see many other storage options in our guest post over at Auribuzz here.

Today I’m excited to share a tutorial on how to make your very own Skinny Bin, perfect for storing your Aurifil thread color card strips. The Skinny Bins are very versatile, so you can make one even if you don’t yet have Aurifil thread color card strips; they are perfect for sorting tiny scraps or catching threads, and just happen to make a lovely wine bottle cozy, too!

Let’s get started!

Gather your materials:

materials for fabric skinny bin

  • 15” x 11” fabric for outer panel
  • 15” x 11” fusible fleece
  • 15” x 12” fabric for lining
  • Thread – we suggest 50wt Aurifil thread
  • Quilting ruler
  • Rotary cutter
  • Scissors
  • Marking pencil or tool
  • Iron and pressing surface
  • Sewing machine
Making the Exterior
Step 1

First, fuse the fusible fleece to the wrong side of your outer panel fabric piece, following the manufacturer’s directions.

Step 2

fabric skinny bin tutorial nightquilterSew the short ends right sides together using a ⅜” seam allowance. You will have a tube with both ends open. Press seam open.

Step 3

fabric skinny bin tutorial nightquilterCentering your pressed seam (3 ½” of fabric should be on either side of the seam), press the tube flat, creating clear side creases.

Step 4

Sew along the bottom with a ⅜” seam allowance. Do not turn right-side out yet.

Step 5

fabric skinny bin tutorial nightquilterMeasure and mark 1 ⅞” (1 ½” from the bottom seam stitch line) up and 1 ½” in from the side on each bottom corner, as illustrated above.

Step 6

fabric skinny bin tutorial nightquilterCarefully cut out the marked squares and discard.

Step 7

fabric skinny bin tutorial nightquilterfabric skinny bin tutorial nightquilterOpening the bin, fold the recently cut opening so that the bottom seam and side pressed seam match, right sides facing.

fabric skinny bin tutorial nightquilterCarefully pin or hold in place, and sew along the opening with a ¼” seam. Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end. Repeat for the other bottom corner.

fabric skinny bin tutorial nightquilterYour bin exterior should look like the photo above.

Step 8

fabric skinny bin tutorial nightquilterTurn bin right side out, press out the bottom corners, admire, and set aside the exterior of your bin.

Making the Lining

fabric skinny bin tutorial nightquilterRepeat Steps 2 through 7 with the lining fabric to create the lining of the bin.

Finishing

fabric skinny bin tutorial nightquilterWith right sides out, carefully slide the lining fabric into the exterior of the bin, aligning the back seams and pressing the bottom corners into each other so that it fits snuggly. The exterior and lining should be wrong sides facing each other and the lining should extend about 1” above the top of the exterior.

fabric skinny bin tutorial nightquilterFold the lining down toward the outside of the bin so that the raw edge of the lining meets the raw edge of the exterior (approx ½”).

fabric skinny bin tutorial nightquilterFold again, so that the lining folds down over the exterior, with all raw edges contained inside the folds. Press carefully around the top edge of the bin so that your fold stays in place. You can pin or clip, or live on the wild side and simple feed carefully by hand as you stitch it down.

Carefully topstitch approximately ⅛” from the bottom fold of the lining around the top of the bin. Backstitch to secure threads, or knot and bury your threads. Here you can use a contrasting 12wt or 28wt thread for extra interest if you want!

Fabric Skinny Bin TutorialI used my Aurifil 50wt 2600-Dove and a 3.0 stitch length so that it provided a bit of interest matching the pattern on the Alison Glass Sun Print Grow in Pansy I used for the lining.

fabric skinny bin tutorial nightquilterTa da! Your first Skinny Bin is compete! Arrange your Aurifil thread card strips delightfully, channeling your inner florist vibes, or fill with scraps or a bottle of your favorite bevvy.

Fabric skinny bin AGF lower the volume capsuleFeel free to personalize the outer panel, too! Add-on exterior patterns may be available one day if the desire is high. Please use #fabricskinnybin and tag @nightquilter so that I can admire your Skinny Bins, too!

fabric skinny bin tutorial nightquilterIf you don’t yet have an Aurifil thread color card, ask your local quilt shop or order from Hawthorne Threads. Then check out our guest post on Auribuzz to see all of the fun ways you can organize and store it!

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

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.

Modern Plus Sign Quilts Book Blog Hop

I’m excited to be leading off the Modern Plus Sign Quilts book blog hop, celebrating my friends Cheryl and Paige’s new book published by Stash Books/C&T Publishing. Cheryl Brickey of Meadow Mist Designs and Paige Alexander of Quilted Blooms are two talented designers who have a knack for writing clear and concise instructions, and their newest book is no exception.

modern plus sign quilts book With 16 diverse patterns including a variety of techniques including traditional piecing, applique, and foundation paper piecing, this book is a great resource for quilters of all levels of experience. For the next few weeks, be sure to follow along with the Modern Plus Sign Quilts Book Blog Hop to see makes using all of the versatile patterns in their book, and to enter to win a bunch of fun prizes. Pst… you could win an Aurifil thread set today, so be sure to head over to enter!

modern plus sign quilts book signature plus zippered pouchAs part of the hop, I got to play with the Signature Plus pattern, and opted to make a large open wide zippered pouch using the free pattern by Anna Graham of Noodlehead. I knew that February would be completely packed with QuiltCon prep, so this large pouch was a great way to show off the versatility of the blocks and patterns in Modern Plus Sign Quilts, while also ensuring I would have time to finish my project!

signature plus quilt prepOne thing I love about the Signature Plus pattern is that it’s designed as a pattern well suited to group quilts, inspired by Red Cross signature block quilts from the early twentieth century. You can read more about the history of Red Cross quilts here–so interesting!

Photo credit: C&T Publications, from Modern Plus Sign Quilts

Because it’s designed for group quilts, not only are the cutting instructions for Signature Plus provided for the quilt as a whole, but there are also single block cutting instructions so that if you make it as a bee block quilt or group quilt, the individual quilt block math is already done for you and easily laid out. Cheryl and Paige thought of everything!

Photo credit: C&T Publications, from Modern Plus Sign Quilts

For my large zippered pouch, I used one of the smaller plus sign blocks from the pattern as the focal block. I pulled some repurposed black leather, some Essex linen in charcoal, and some scraps of Oakshott deep red shot cotton from my stash, bought the perfect zipper from my local quilt shop Fiddlehead Artisan Supply, and dove in.

modern plus sign quilts book signature plus zippered pouchI used 50wt Aurifil 2692-Black to assemble the plus block and pouch, and 40wt 2230-Red Peony to quilt over the plus sign to give it a bit of punch.

modern plus sign quilts book signature plus zippered pouch alison glass liningI was excited to find some Alison Glass Handcrafted fabric that was the perfect pouch lining, too. I always love when I can use some much loved fabric from my stash in its perfect project.

modern plus sign quilts book signature plus zippered pouch zipperWhile zipper installation isn’t fearfully new for me, I’m still not a pro, so I’m excited at how well this zipper went in.

modern plus sign quilts book signature plus zippered pouch upcycled leatherSewing with leather for this project was much trickier than when I used leather in basic quilt blocks, simply because the bottom seam joins ended up being four layers thick. I admittedly did not use heavy duty leather sewing machine needles, so that could be why my workhorse Bernina 560 couldn’t make it through and instead skipped stitches. I ended up hand stitching about an inch or two of each center bottom seam, which worked just fine. I’m proud of how well everything aligns, though, since bag sewing is not something I do very often!

modern plus sign quilts book signature plus zippered pouch zipper pullEven the little detail on the zipper pull makes me happy. It’s the little details, right?modern plus sign quilts book signature plus zippered pouch The largest size of pouch fit the plus block from the Signature Plus quilt pattern perfectly, and I think it will make a great, sleek and elegant first aid kit. It’s large enough to fit all of the first aid kit supplies needed for a busy and active family with three adventurous little ones, even the bulk sized box of Band-Aids! I like to think it’s a mature, cool looking first aid kit. Right? Humor me!modern plus sign quilts book signature plus zippered pouch I noticed that I even have the “Quiltvent” variety of bandaids–how perfect!! To be honest, when I first planned to make this First Aid style zippered pouch, I fully intended to stuff it full of first aid supplies and keep it handy on family adventures.

modern plus sign quilts book signature plus zippered pouch Now that it’s finished, though, I might just keep it for myself, filled with a secret stash of chocolate. Shhhh don’t tell the kids!

You can get a signed copy of the Modern Plus Sign Quilts book from either Cheryl’s Meadow Mist Designs Etsy Shop or Paige’s Quilted Blooms Designs Esty Shop , or unsigned copies can be purchased on Amazon, from C&T Publishing, or from a number of other domestic and international sources.

Be sure to check out the other gorgeous Signature Plus makes today, as well as all of the other stops along the Book Blog Tour:

MODERN PLUS SIGN BOOK HOP SCHEDULE

Monday, March 12th
Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs
Paige @ Quilted Blooms

Tuesday, March 13th
Soma @ Whims and Fancies
Ann @ Brown Paws Quilting
Kitty @ Night Quilter <—YOU’RE HERE
Sophie @ Luna Lovequilts
Afton @ Quilting Mod
Shelley @ The Carpenters Daughter Who Quilts

Wednesday, March 14th
Jayne @ Twiggy and Opal
Jen @ A Dream and a Stitch
Abigail @ Cut & Alter
Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl
Sandra @ mmm! quilts
Karen @ Run Sew Fun

Thursday, March 15th
Linda @ Flourishing Palms
Bernie @ Needle and Foot
Liz @ Savor Every Stitch
Stacey @ Stacey In Stitches
Michelle @ From Bolt to Beauty
Patty @ Elm Street Quilts
Melanie @ A Bit of Scrap Stuff Blog

Friday, March 16th
Myra @ Busy Hands Quilts
Izzy @ Dizzy Quilts
Ruth @ Charly and Ben’s Crafty Corner
Christa @ Christa Quilts

Monday, March 19th
Jessica @ Quilty Habit
Cindy @ Hyacinth Quilt Designs
Jennifer @ The Inquiring Quilter
Julie @ The Crafty Quilter

Tuesday, March 20th
Tish @ Tish N Wonderland
Judy @ Sew Some Sunshine
Emily @ The Darling Dogwood
Wanda @ Wanda’s Life Sampler
Karen @ Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats
Katherine @ Sew Me Something Good

Wednesday, March 21st
Anja @ Anja Quilts
Kate @ Smiles from Kate
Sue @ Sevenoaks Street Quilts
Carole @ From My Carolina Home
Alison @ Little Bunny Quilts

Thursday, March 22nd
Debbie @ Esch House Quilts
Laura @ Slice of Pi Quilts
Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts
Janice @ Color Creating and Quilting
Joanne @ Quilts by Joanne

Friday, March 23rd
Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs
Paige @ Quilted Blooms

Many congratulations to both Cheryl and Paige on a wonderful book! I look forward to seeing everyone’s plus sign quilt creativity blossom as a result!

I’m going to link up with Let’s Bee Social, Crazy Mom Quilts’ Finish it up Friday, and TGIFF since it’s been ages since I’ve had a finish to share!!

Happy sewing!

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!

Panache Mini Quilt Finish: Superbolt!

A few months ago, my friend Rebecca Bryan from Bryan House Quilts asked me if I wanted to play with her new Panache fabric, her premier line for Robert Kaufman Fabrics. One look at the fabric line, and I was sold. Of COURSE I wanted to play with it!

superbolt mini quilt panache fabric I’ve been wanting to create a pattern exclusively for newsletter subscribers, and as I played around with simple and fun mini quilt/pillow patterns, this one jumped out at me. You could say it electrified me. Inspired by lightning, the Superbolt Mini Quilt came to be.


A superbolt is a bolt of lightning around a hundred times brighter than normal. On Earth, one in a million lightning strikes is a superbolt.


That’s pretty special, isn’t it? Absolutely worthy of its own quilt pattern!

Panache-Preview rebecca bryan robert kaufman fabrics
Photo by Rebecca Bryan, Panache fabrics preview

I had a lot of fun sewing with Becca’s fabrics, since she totally nailed my favorite color palette with this fabric line. Teals and magentas, blues and purples, a bit of gold, and of course a solid showing of black and whites. The stripes are a really fun addition, and while I don’t usually gravitate toward stripes, I find myself wanting to work these in anywhere I can!

Superbolt panache quilt detailIt was tough to limit myself to just a few of the colors, but with my design I had to pick my top favorites. Turquoise and magenta won the day, and that perfect purple print with both turquoise and magenta details, called Energy in Berry, was the perfect middle man! Plus, I can’t think of a better fabric name to go in a Superbolt!

superbolt mini quilt top with aurifil threadsI quilted Superbolt with a variety of color-coordinating Aurifil 50wt and 40wt threads. I quilted straight lines in the lighting bolt white sections using 50wt thread in 2600-Dove and the walking foot on my Bernina 560. I’ve been wanting to practice free motion quilting ever since taking Christa Watson’s class at QuiltCon, but haven’t had the right sized project to dive in. I finally bit the bullet with this mini, since using coordinating colors of thread meant I had room to mess up without it being very noticeable. The good news is, I am really happy with how smoothly the quilting ended up, and my confidence is built enough that I think I will be playing with free motion quilting a lot more in the future, even for larger quilts.

quilting detail and striped binding aurifil superbolt panache fabricI used a different design in each colored section, and tried to choose mostly curved designs for the darker areas, with more angular and sharp designs for the light ones. I used 40wt 1148-Light Jade in the teal section (Charisma in Seafoam from Panache), 50wt 2535-Magenta in the purple (Energy in Berry), and 40wt 1100-Red Plum in the bright pink (Spirit in Pink). Because the thread color blends in so well, it’s hard to see how fantastic my free motion quilting was, so you’ll just have to take my word for it! LOL

superbolt mini quilt backingI found the perfect backing fabric for this mini in my stash, Aloe Vera in Candy from Pretty Potent by Anna Maria Horner, and with the addition of a few leftover blocks from the mini quilt top, it came together as a really fun quilt back.

superbolt quilt labelThe striped fabric makes a perfect binding, but also makes a great label! I took the photo before I hand stitched the top edge, and don’t mind that top stray thread that escaped my snips, but I love how easy the stripes made it to write in a straight line! I usually kilter when I write, so having that extra guide was super helpful.

In between the family holiday fun this next month, I will be writing up this Superbolt mini quilt pattern and as soon as it’s ready, it will head out to all of my email newsletter subscribers. Those of you on the list know that my emails are sparse; at most once per week, but more often once per month. Being on my email newsletter list is a way to ensure you’re in the know and the first one to hear about any new patterns, projects, or fun events in the Night Quilter world. You can opt-in HERE. 

I’ll be linking up with Let’s Bee Social, Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday, and TGIFF. Gotta love a finish!

 

 

A Tiny Bit of {Tomte} Stitching

It’s been quiet here lately, but I have been doing a tiny bit of sewing. Literally, only 2″ finished square little! With the hustle and bustle of life, my sewing progress has slowed a bit. I’m still sewing, and trying to create daily, but progress is slowwww. When I saw that Sue from Moss & Lotus was having a Tomte Sew Along on Instagram, I knew I wanted in. I had been admiring the cute little gnome-like Tomtes popping up in my feed, and resisting the urge to add yet another project to my unfinished projects pile. Then Sue asked me if I would make a block or two, and honestly, how could I say no? These guys (and gals) are adorable! Plus, the bigger Tomtes will make wonderful coaster or mug rug gifts. I love having an end use in mind before beginning a new project!

tiny tomte foundation paper pieced pattern moss and lotusBefore stitching up a Peder or Halvor Tomte (my two favs at the moment), I had to sew one of the adorable Tiny Tomtes! This Tiny Tomte is a free addition when you buy the Tomte Bundle and is the size of a mini charm square. I’m going to try to resist the urge to make sweet little Tiny Tomte ornaments for everyone I know, but no promises! This particular little guy will happily live on our tree this year, once I give him a little French knot nose and finish him up with some hand quilting and binding.

tiny tomte moss and lotus foundation paper pieced blockI used a Henry Glass print for the background, since the mushroom and snail seemed right at home with this Tiny Tomte. This print actually also happens to be the very first fabric I ever bought, years and years ago before I began quilting. The red fabric is from my scrap bin, some gorgeous Oakshott Lipari from my Vesuvius quilt. The white is a tiny scrap of Robert Kaufman Kona white. These blocks would actually be really fun uses for any tiny scraps.  I used 50wt Aurifil 2600-Dove thread since that lives in my machine and works for everything.

large shelf fungus tiny tomte foundation paper pieced pattern moss and lotusAfter sewing up this Tiny Tomte, I had to take him out on an adventure in the woods so that he would feel at home. During my youngest’s nap, I ventured out behind our house and Tiny Tomte had a fun photo shoot! We found a gorgeous shelf fungus on a tree stump, so Tiny Tomte played beneath it.

tiny tomte foundation paper pieced moss and lotus pattern

tiny tomte foundation paper pieced moss and lotus patternAnd on top of it!

tiny tomte foundation paper pieced moss and lotus patternHe climbed some trees and gathered some souvenirs.

tiny tomte foundation paper pieced moss and lotus patternA pinecone three times his size and an evergreen bough will have to hold him over until we cut our Christmas tree this year. I think they will do just fine.

What would you make with a Tiny Tomte?