Tag Archives: late night quilter

Riot of Color: Quilter’s Planner Cover Tutorial

Today I’m sharing the tutorial for how to make the outer panel of a Zippy Quilter’s Planner Cover like the one I made. I’m calling it Riot of Color and it’s a tribute to Alison Glass and her consistently bold and beautiful fabrics. A full color pdf of this tutorial is available on the Quilter’s Planner website, so head on over there to download it!

alison glass quilters planner coverThis tutorial is for creating the outer  panel for the Zippy Quilter’s Planner  Cover pattern customized by Stephanie (Late Night Quilter) and Amanda (What the Bobbin) for the Quilter’s Planner. This  tutorial will provide cutting and piecing instructions for the outer panel (11”x19 1/2”). From there, follow the instructions in the   Quilter’s Planner cover pattern found at http://quiltersplanner.com to make the full zippy planner cover, using this 11”x19 1/2” panel as the “exterior fabric”.

zippy quilters planner cover tutorialThe secret to this cover’s creation is the fabric choices. The dark grey of the Essex linen in Charcoal (Robert Kaufman Fabrics) lets the bright bold colors of Alison Glass’s Sun Prints 2016 and Art Theory panel in Charcoal (from Ex Libris – Andover Fabrics) shine. This could also be made using a favorite large scale print for the feature fabric and fussy cut bits for the squares, but be sure to use a contrasting solid or reads-as-solid background fabric so that the construction shines.

General Notes:  Seam allowances are 1/4” throughout unless indicated otherwise. I like to press seams open, but in some cases I pressed to the side for this project. I will note those places in this tutorial.

Cutting

zippy planners cover tutorial cutting instructionsFirst, cut all of your fabric pieces according to the Cutting Requirements chart and diagram above.

A Note About the E Pieces

Here’s where I’m going to be real with you. The DE strips have a lot of seams. This means that if your 1/4” seam allowance is off by even a little bit, your strip may be slightly the wrong size. In the cutting chart above, I’ve accounted for this human error. (You’re welcome!)

*IF* your seams are an absolute perfect 1/4” and your cutting is precise, the top and bottom E pieces on both strips (four E pieces total) only need to measure 1 1/2” x 3/4”.

This tutorial allows you to trim the excess at the end so that you don’t have to worry as much about the precision of your 1/4” seam. That said, focus on straight, consistent seams and we will adjust for scant or generous seams during the process!  If you feel like you want to be a Perfect Seams Superhero and save yourself some math and cutting, use 1 1/2” x 3/4” E pieces on the top and bottom of each strip. Go ahead and cut your pieces.

Ready? Lay it all out how you want it and then start assembling!

Assembly

Pair each D piece right sides together with an E piece and sew with a 1/4” seam allowance. 

chain piecingI like to get them all ready and then chain piece to save time.

Organization Tip
Be sure to take a photo of your layout before sewing so that you have a visual reference along the way!

Set seams and press open. Lay them out again and check your reference photo. There should be one E that has not yet been paired and sewn. Pair and sew components of the DE strips until they are completely assembled. Press seams open.

If you are being a Perfect Seams Superhero today and used 1 1/2” x 3/4” E pieces on the tops and bottoms of your strips, confirm that your fully assembled strip now measures 1 1/2” x 11”, pat yourself on the back and skip ahead to the full panel piecing.

If you are being merely human today, give your strips a good press and lay them on your cutting mat. It’s time to measure how much excess you have and take care of it.

Planner Cover StripsWe want the finished strips to measure 11” long, but we want to be sure our colorful bits  stay centered. To do this, take the following steps (the example shown is in parenthesis):

  1. Measure each strip to the nearest 1/8” being sure to press it flat so that it extends to its full length. (My strips shown measured 11 1/2” when I held them flat.)
  2. Take the difference of 11” from the length of your strip.   (11 1/2 – 11 = 1/2”)
  3. Divide the difference by 2.  (1/2” / 2 = 1/4”)
  4. That’s how much you should trim from each end of your strip. (I trimmed 1/4” from each end)

Now, measure your strips again. Each strip should measure 1 1/2” x 11”. Don’t worry about a little wobble or wonk at this point. Everything will be smoothed out during the final assembly!

Next, we will piece the rest of the panel.

zippy quilters planner tutorialLay out all of your pieces again as shown (left to right): C,  DE strip, B, A, B, DE strip, C.

Sew them together!

Here’s the order in which I assembled it, but do what works logically for you.

  1. Right sides together, sew B pieces to A. Press seams open. This is the BAB unit.
  2. Right sides together and double-checking the orientation of the DE strips, sew C outer pieces to DE strips. Press toward C. These are your DEC units.
  3. Sew DEC units to the BAB unit, pressing seams toward BAB.

Give your panel a good press, check that it measures 11” x 19 1/2” and trim if needed.

zippy quilters planner cover tutorialFrom here, head over to the Zippy Quilter’s Planner Cover tutorial by Amanda and Stephanie to complete your planner cover!  Use this Riot of Color panel as the “exterior fabric”.

alison glass quilters planner coverHave fun creating your own versions of this cover, and please tag me @nightquilter if you post pictures on social media. I always love to see what you create!

I’m linking up with Stephanie’s Tips and Tutorials Tuesday. I love collaborating with that girl! Can you tell?

Heart + Community = The Quilter’s Planner 2016

Do you ever meet someone and know immediately that you will be fast friends? Stephanie from Late Night Quilter is one such person; I truly feel like we are sewing soul sisters despite our proximity across the country. She’s the mom of 4 little ones; I’m the mom of 3. We both love quilting and designing and try to juggle our busy lives to find balance with family, other obligations, and of course, creating. We both began blogging mere months apart, and named our blogs essentially the same name! While we’ve only spent time together in person once, we talk daily thanks to the convenience of Facebook messenger and texting. I’m not exaggerating when I say she’s my rock.

night quilter and late night quilter
Me and Stephanie in Austin after QuiltCon, right before parting ways. *tear*

A few months ago, my daily conversation with Stephanie began the way so many do: “Hey! So I have this idea…” Since that paramount conversation, I have been privileged to be part of Stephanie’s sounding board along her path as she researched, designed, redesigned, adjusted, and tweaked a true labor of love, all in the name of helping busy quilters like us find a bit more order, organization, and help in planning a balanced life. Today I’m excited to tell you all about this labor of love, which has now been released into the wild in the hopes that it flies.

Quilters PlannerThe Quilter’s Planner is 8″ x 11″, made in the USA, and includes everything you need to organize your life, plan and track your sewing projects and be inspired to create something beautiful every day! Here are some more peeks at some of what’s included in the planner, but you can see so much more HERE. I also suggest you watch the video Stephanie made about it. (Get your tissues handy–I totally cried!–then again, maybe I’m just sappy)

weekly calendar
Weekly Calendar with larger to-do list areas, and a new block pattern for every week.
Project planner to help keep on top of UFOs.
Project planner to help keep on top of UFOs.
graph paper
Graph paper for sketching ideas and visualizing quilty math.
quilt references
Quilt References
MakeRoomArtPiece low res (1)
Inspiring pull out art prints by Kelsey Boes of Lovely and Enough.

Not only is the Quilter’s Planner a labor of love created by Stephanie while supported by her BQF (best quilty friends) and family, but it’s also a melding of the quilting community unlike any other. Stephanie has been working with the quilting community throughout the entire process; everything from asking what features should be included in the planner to actually including 52 original quilt block designs from awesome quilt bloggers AND 8 full quilt patterns from amazing designers (Cheryl Brickey (Meadowmist Designs), Yvonne Fuchs (Quilting Jetgirl), Amy Garro (13 Spools), Lee Heinrich (Freshly Pieced), Mandy Leins (Mandalei Quilts), Pat Sloan (Pat Sloan), me! (Night Quilter) and Stephanie herself (Late Night Quilter).  She also worked with another quilt blogger friend, talented artist and designer Kelsey Boes from Lovely and Enough, to include gorgeous and inspiring artwork pullouts. Yes, you read that correctly–the planner also includes a whole bunch of patterns to help inspire you to create something beautiful every. single. day. It is a real passion project of Stephanie’s and she feels strongly about making it a community-based project including lots of people’s work who want to share their creativity with others. What’s not to love?

I invite you to visit the Indigogo Campaign to read more about this planner and all it has to offer. If you’re like me and can’t wait to have a one-stop-spot for all of your day to day appointments, obligations, AND quilty project goals and to-do lists (not to mention ample space to sketch new ideas and record inspiration), you can preorder yours now, too. There’s even a 95% guarantee that you’ll get it before Christmas. (hello, Santa!)

I do want to note that this post is purely my desire to share a heart-filled, community-based project that I’ve been honored enough to see grow from infancy into near-adulthood. I have already ordered my own planner and would not let Stephanie gift one to me. I share this project because I believe in it, and I honestly think that many of you probably will love it, too! I am very much looking forward to getting organized in 2016! So much love for Stephanie and all of her hard work that has gone into making this planner a reality, all for the sake of helping her fellow busy quilters find a bit more balance and organization in life.

Anatomy of a Strand of Thread: Tips and Tutorials Tuesday

Welcome to Tips and Tutorials Tuesday! I’m hosting today while my dear friend Stephanie over at Late Night Quilter is traveling with her family.

One of the perks of quilting retreats and other social sewing is that little tips are tossed around. Today I’m going to share a very simple yet important tip about using the thread you cut from a spool during hand stitching. As a self-taught sewist, these are the bits of knowledge that I miss, since rarely are there blog posts about the bare basics of sewing. While basting our needle-turn applique projects around the table at the Slow Stitching Retreat, I caught this important tip:

anatomy of a spool of threadUse the thread in the same direction it comes off the spool. The tail end that you pull to unravel your length of thread should be the side you thread through your needle. The end that you cut should be the knot end. This way, you are pulling the thread through the fabric in the intended direction, which works with the ply of the thread instead of against. Using the thread in the proper direction significantly decreases tangles and twists while stitching. Simple, right?!

I never knew that it mattered which end was which, so I didn’t pay attention while cutting my thread lengths. Now, when I’m pre-threading a bunch of needles for a good binding or hand stitching session, I thread each needle as the thread is cut instead of accumulating a nice pile of threads and then grabbing any which end to thread through the needle.

Stephanie’s Tips and Tutorials link ups from previous weeks are filled to the brim with great time savers, tricks, and how-to’s. I’d definitely recommend browsing them with your Pinning finger ready. how to make your own sewing tags vini vidi vickyOne of my favorites from last week was this tutorial by Veni Vidi Vicky on how to make your own sewing tags (which could easily be adapted to making your own quilt labels!). She gives great step by step instructions on how to use Spoonflower, which is something I’ve been tempted to do but have yet to try.

Now it’s your turn! Do you have any little tips or great tutorials to share this week?  If you do, please link up below!

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Babies on Quilts and a Big Thank You

I’m thinking I should rename my blog “Babies on Quilts” these days. Babies abound in these parts (seriously, don’t drink the water if you don’t want to join in the new baby snuggles), so many quilts are being created for these new little members of our world. I’ve written about how wonderful it feels to give a quilt to a brand new baby, with wishes that the quilt will accompany the child on his/her grand journey through life. Today I get to write about the immense joy of receiving such a quilt from some dear friends.

gift package from stephanie and michelleI received the sweetest package from my dear quilty friends Stephanie and Michelle (from Late Night Quilter–we are sewing soul sisters half a country apart). They made a gorgeous Delectable Mountain quilt for Finn and included some sweet additions for mommy–a teething necklace and magnetic hexie puff, both in my favorite color!–as well an adorable applique bird onesie for Finn. Finnian loves the quilt already, and clearly the sleepy magic is in it. The first three times I put him on the quilt, he settled right down to sleep!

Finn on his Delectable Mountain quilt
Some big baby laughs before settling down to sleep.
sweet sleeping babe on quiltBabies on quilts–I just can’t get enough!

baby on quilt

baby on quilt

baby on quiltThis quilt is the perfect size to take with us everywhere. It fits right in my bag, and will be making memories with us daily, even if that means mostly diaper changes and spit up-filled tummy time in the beginning. Thank you so very much, Stephanie & Michelle. Your love is clearly in this quilt, and it makes me so happy to see it be a part of our daily lives.

This gift is just one example of the wonderful community of quilters of which I’m blessed to be a part. I have been overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness of my quilting blogging community, and I not only enjoy conversing with many of you via blog comments and resulting email conversations, but I find myself calling many of you friends. I want to extend a special thanks to Nancy–your care package with such well thought gifts for the entire family is cherished and still appreciate daily in our home. Just yesterday, Maddie made a very special spirograph flower for me to hang on our bedroom door. ❤

Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl, another dear friend in our blogging community, wrote a wonderful reflective post about community and what it takes to cultivate relationships with people you know purely through blogging. It’s all about authentic connection. I love that her final tip on how to cultivate community is to be you. That’s part of what I love about blogging–I’m free to be me, and share the parts of life and my creative process that inspire me. Amazingly, by doing that, I in turn inspire you, or at least inspire the spark of conversation that begins a relationship. It was just such a spark that began my conversation with Stephanie and Michelle over a year ago, and since then we’ve not only become friends, but we’ve also roomed together at Quilt Con, worked together on many projects, and provided daily support and encouragement to each other from a far.

folded quilt

Thank you, Stephanie and Michelle. Thank you, Nancy. Thank you, Yvonne. And many, many thanks to all of you readers, many of whom I’m now blessed to call friends.

 

 

 

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!

It’s here: the most epic sewing-blog giveaway day in the entire blogosphere. This is my first year participating, and I’m excited to have a great bundle to give away today! Welcome to readers new and old, and to those of you visiting for the first time, I encourage you to have a look around. Here I share my creative and design process, project progress, completed creations, tutorials, color inspiration, and more, chock full of colorful photographs. If you like what you see, you can follow my blog via email or bloglovin (look –>) or follow me on Instagram or Twitter, or can check out my paper piecing patterns on Craftsy.

Now, let’s cut to the chase! Here’s what you could win today:

Fabric Bundle

giveaway fabric bundle

giveaway fabric bundle

I personally selected this bundle of fabric from one of my favorite local quilt shops, Fiddlehead Artisan Supply in Belfast, Maine. The bundle includes a half yard of Cotton + Steel Fern book in Navy, from Mesa by Alexia Abegg as the inspiration piece, and fat quarters of:

  • XOXO in Toy Boat by Rashida Coleman Hale, Cotton + Steel Basics
  • XOXO in Dandilion by Rashida Coleman Hale, Cotton + Steel Basics
  • Plot Circles in Carrot from Doe by Carolyn Friedlander (Robert Kaufman Fabrics), and
  • Spot On Pearl Metallic Small Dot in Copen (Robert Kaufman Fabrics)
Choice of Two (2) Quilt Patterns from

Quilting Jetgirl Banner Needle Rocket

Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl was generous enough to offer winner’s choice of any two (2) of her quilt patterns! You can check out her available patterns in her Craftsy shop HERE. I know which two I would choose–have you seen Tesselated Leaves or Triangle Transparency!?, but which two would you choose? Here is a peek at just a few of her patterns:

quilting jetgirl patterns
Clockwise beginning top left: Spring Rain, Color Weaving, Triangle Transparency, Tesselated Leaves

On this blog, I strive to share the course inspiration takes in my sewing and creating: from original spark to completed project. To enter the giveaway today, I’d love to hear what inspires you to create. Leave a comment and make sure I’m able to get ahold of you if you win.  If you’re a follower, leave a second comment telling me how you follow for a second entry.

This giveaway is open to US and international participants.  The giveaway will be open until 8pm EST Sunday 5/10 when I’ll select the winner randomly with random.org. I’ll announce and email the winner on Monday 5/11. Good luck! NOTE: The giveaway is now closed. A winner will be announced tomorrow!

sms giveaway day on night quilter

While you’re at it, go check out all of the other fabulous giveaways at Sew Mama Sew, especially this generous offer by my friends Stephanie & Michelle at Late Night Quilter for free long arm quilting!!

P.S. I always try to respond to comments, but may not be able to on the giveaway posts due to the high number of comments.  Please know I appreciate your visit and hope you follow or come back again!

QuiltCon 2015 Reflection: Friends

There’s a hashtag going around social media that reads #quiltconhangover. Even though I’m with child and didn’t have a single alcoholic drink during my trip (that’s more than I can say for some others, though!) I definitely am feeling the effects of my post-QuiltCon return to reality. After a full 19 hour travel day Monday, I’m exhausted. My head is spinning, too, although not in a dizzy way. The ideas and inspirations from those four whirlwind days have left me on a sleep-deprived “high”, ideas spinning around my brain, leaking out in the form of little sketches of pattern ideas and names. One such pattern idea, as an example, will be entitled “Mind Blown: The Aftermath of QuiltCon”

A couple people have already asked me to tell them about my favorite part of QuiltCon. To be honest, I don’t think it is possible to express in words the vast amazingness of the experience. This was not only my first QuiltCon, but it was also my first quilt show or event of any kind, AND my first time meeting any of my quilty bloggy friends and fiber world heroes. The only word I could use to describe the week was “whirlwind”, but in an absolutely good way. Everywhere I turned, there was another familiar name (usually the blog or internet tag name–I’m so grateful for the huge nametags!), a gorgeous quilt, an admired designer, or a fabulous booth to take in. I was fortunate to attend two uber informative and appropriately comfort-stretching all-day classes, as well as three great lectures. I honestly could talk for days about everything I saw, everything I did, and everyone I met.

For now, though, I will answer the question: what was your favorite part of QuiltCon? You. Over the past year (can you believe I’ve only been blogging for one year!?) I have formed some fabulous friendships with quilty bloggers across the country and world. Even without having met a single one of you in person, I can say that I feel like I am a part of your lives, and you a part of mine. We have swapped ideas, we’ve offered each other encouragement and advice, we’ve shared fears and unexpected pains, all via the reading, commenting, and replying to blogs, Instagram posts, and other online communications. Sure, technology poses new challenges to the balance of life, but boy does it also enrich our lives and create unprecedented opportunities. I’ve said it before–you are my quilt guild. QuiltCon was my first time meeting ANY of you quilting, blogging friends. The experience of walking around, seeing a face I *think* might be familiar, looking down at the name tag to confirm my suspicions, officially introducing myself (“Hi, I’m Kitty Wilkin… aka, Night Quilter”) and then hugging like old friends, was simply amazing. Mind blowing. Whirlwind. Time and time again, meeting up with cherished “old friends” and meeting face to face for the first time ever, hearing voices, taking in mannerisms that are impossible to convey in blogland, firming and reaffirming these friendships–that was my favorite part of QuiltCon. I won’t try to name all the names of the amazing blogger friends I met, so if you’re wondering if I mean you, the answer is YES! You!

new bloggers at quilt con
Here I am with some of my fellow New Quilty Bloggers from Plum & June‘s blog hop this year. L to R: Afton from Quilt Mod, Daisy from Ants to Sugar, Yvonne from Quilting Jetgirl, Anne from Hudson Valley Quilts, and me (and baby belly) in front of the Best in Show quilt, “i Quilt” by Kathy York.

Three quilty bloggers in particular stand out, though, so I’ll do a *little* naming of names. First of all, I was finally able to meet (and stay with!) my sewing soul sister, Stephanie from Late Night Quilter.

night quilter and late night quilter

Over the past year, Stephanie and I have met, discovered we are totally sewing soul sisters just living across the country from each other (she lives in Austin, TX and I’m in Monroe, ME), decided to start a Late Night Quilters Club facebook group together, watched that group grow to over 2,200 strong in less than 7 months with the help of Michelle & Mandy–and still stay overwhelmingly nice and supportive–, chatted pretty much daily via texts and messages online, and jumped into various other joint ventures, constantly supporting, encouraging, and helping the other. Needless to say, we have become friends. Great friends. And yet, before QuiltCon, we had never met in person. Stephanie is as wonderful in person as she is online, and it was SUCH a treat to meet her, meet her sweet husband and four energetic kids, stay with her, and have her as a steady, friendly, calm, peaceful presence amidst the whirlwind of the week.

Late night sewing session with Stephanie, Late Night Quilter.
Late night sewing session with Stephanie, Late Night Quilter.

The second “meeting” that stood out as epically awesome wasn’t even technically an in-person meeting! Before heading to Austin, I emailed another close bloggy friend, Angie from Gnome Angel, asking if she was headed to Austin. Sadly, living in Australia and having a little one, she wasn’t attending, but said that some of her Aussie quilting friends would be there and told me to hunt them down. When I found Gemma from Pretty Bobbins, and then finally put it all together that she was one of the Aussie quilters Angie had encouraged me to find (I’m slow), I was SO excited! Trying to resist the urge to jump up and down (okay, maybe I did a little bit) I swapped pins AND hugs with Angie all the way in Australia (thank you, Gemma!!), and was able to tell her and share the excitement immediately via Instagram. The world is an amazing place!

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 4.59.56 PM

Finally, meeting Yvonne from Quilting Jetgirl was another highlight. I first met Yvonne through Beth at Plum and June‘s New Bloggers Blog Hop earlier in the year. I was trying to think of why I feel particularly close to Yvonne since we primarily converse through blog reading and comments, but then I realized that Yvonne not only reads blogs, she is also consistently the first commentator on a post, with a thoroughly thought out and sincere comment. These frequent comments have opened the door to conversations that have built deeper understanding and closeness over the past few months. Yvonne also has been writing more open and reflective posts about the deeper aspects of quilting, self, and community, which really help me to see inside her thought process and quilty soul (in an open and awesome way). I would definitely recommend her recent posts The Four Agreements and Community {Discussion}. Meeting Yvonne in person was such a treat, and I’m so grateful for the time (as sporadic as it may have been) we had to hang out in person. As I told her yesterday via blog comment-conversation, I keep catching myself thinking how I could see us being great friends if we lived nearer to each other. I catch myself because–duh!–we can be great friends even though we live across the country from each other. Just one more amazing aspect of this blogging community and the simple communication allowed through modern technology. Somehow, the only photo I have with Yvonne is the one above, with the other new quilt bloggers, so here she is modeling her Jetgirl flight suit pre-QuiltCon!

Yvonne modeling her QuiltCon Alter Ego flight suit--can you believe we did not get a single photo together in our Alter Ego attire!?
Yvonne modeling her QuiltCon Alter Ego flight suit–can you believe we did not get a single photo together in our Alter Ego attire!?

By highlighting these three wonderful women, I in no way wish to downplay the intense joy and excitement I had in meeting all of you quilty bloggers at QuiltCon. I am overwhelmed with emotion at the sheer number of fabulously talented and sweet people I was fortunate to meet and get to know during my week in Austin. Just look at all of these pins and cards! It’s only the tip of the awesome iceberg.

IMG_1701I also want to share my experiences from the classes and lectures I attended, and share some of my favorites from the amazing collection of quilts displayed at the show. Like I said, I could talk for days about QuiltCon! I plan to share more in the coming weeks, mixing my QuiltCon reflections in with my slow reacclimation to “real” life, as the changed quilter and designer I am. Thank YOU for reading.

 

Around the World Blog Hop

Welcome to rural Maine, your next stop on the Around the World Blog Hop! Stephanie from Late Night Quilter tagged me last week, and as she explained, the hop is like a giant blogosphere tag game where those tagged can share a bit about their creative process as well as what they are working on. Sounds like fun!

I met Stephanie less than a year ago, but I already feel like we’re sewing soul sisters. To start, we have completely unplanned, practically identical blog names that pretty much describe our lives. Since meeting Stephanie, we’ve teamed up (with Michelle, too!) on a number of fun ventures, such as starting up the Late Night Quilters Club on facebook, opening a Late Night Baby Etsy shop, and planning an awesome time at QuiltCon in February 2015! Stephanie is an awesome writer and quilter, and recently started a longarm quilting and pattern design business with her other half, Michelle.

Now, back to the hop!

What am I working on?

I’ve been finding ways to make more sewing time, and have actually been making decent progress on some projects. I recently completed two quilt tops: the rainbow jellyroll quilt for my daughter, and a pink and grey baby plus quilt that will be listed in the Late Night Baby shop.

helpful kids and a rainbow jellyroll quilt
Rainbow jellyrolly quilt top.
pink and grey baby plus quilt top finish
Pink and grey baby plus quilt.

I’ve also been making some (secret) progress on my July Supernova Swap blocks, but can’t show you any more than this tiny peek:

supernova swap block peek
Sneak peek at my July Supernova Swap blocks.

In my pattern design world, I’ve finished the sketch out phase of a new pattern, completed the fabric pull for the testing phase, and then realized I forgot to make the paper piecing pattern a mirror image before printing. Oops!

Fabric pull for testing out my new paper pieced pillow pattern.
Fabric pull for testing out my new paper pieced pillow pattern.
paper piecing pattern test fish
My IG post when I realized I had forgotten to mirror-image my pattern before testing. Fishie swimming against the current… oops!

As is my nature, I am working on quite a few projects in addition to these, including my first foray into English Paper Piecing (to be a table runner one day), a couple other paper piecing patterns in the early design phases, the very first quilt I’m making for myself, and about five+ projects that I’m itching to begin but haven’t truly started yet.

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

This is such a tricky questions, since no two quilts or quilters are the same. How do you define a quilt’s genre? There is so much debate about what makes a modern quilt, and honestly I’d rather be sewing than debating whether I’m sewing a modern quilt or not! I’m not sure I’ve decided on my quilting style just yet, and perhaps I never will. I definitely am drawn to more “modern” quilt designs, and I LOVE modern fabric. I still feel like a lot of my work embraces the traditional, and my paper piecing patterns are inspired by nature and my love of aesthetic flow. It reminds me of what my brother said about me in high school: You’re a jock, nerd, geek who listens to punk music and wears preppy clothes. Basically, I’m me. And my quilts are mine.

Recent quilty works, from top left to right: 1. Lupine paper piecing pattern, 2. Buoys 1 & 2 paper piecing patterns, 3. Circling gulls paper piecing pattern, 4 (bottom left). Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses, 5. My first quilt made for myself... still in progress!
Recent quilty works, from top left to right: 1. Lupine paper piecing pattern, 2. Buoys 1 & 2 paper piecing patterns, 3. Circling gulls paper piecing pattern, 4 (bottom left). Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses, 5. My first quilt made for myself… still in progress!

As for my blogging, my love of nature and photography can been seen weekly with my Color Inspiration Thursday posts, where I create a color palette from some of my photographs. Nature geek photographer, meet quilting.

bright pink peony color palette
An example color palette from my weekly Color Inspiration Thursday posts.

I’ve also started having fun blogging about my forays into pairing wine and fabric. You know you want to check out those posts! There are many more to come, don’t you worry.

pairing wine and fabric
Find the perfect fabric for this wine? Don’t mind if I do…

 

Why do I write/create what I do?

My Let’s Get Acquainted blog post from a few months ago answers this question fairly well. The bottom line is that I’m a stay at home mom of a two year old and a four year old, and I’ve discovered that I must create something each day in order to stay sane (at least somewhat sane). Taking time to sew and blogging about it forces me to take a little bit of time for myself, even if it’s only 20 minutes a day. Thank you, blogosphere, for holding me accountable for doing something for me: quilting.

How does my writing/creative process work?

I have a rapid fire mind that is constantly thinking of new ideas of fun projects, things to make, patterns to design, etc. I’ve always been a creative person, and quilting is just one more outlet for that creativity. As far as pattern design, I start off with inspiration, which can come from literally anywhere–a pattern on a building, a sight along a walk, a burst of color–, it becomes an idea in my head, then I sketch it out in my grid notebook, tweak it a bit until I’m satisfied with it, scan it, pull it up in Inkscape, and turn it into a pattern. I usually have fabric already in mind in that original vision, so that part’s all taken care of from the get-go, too (for better or for worse, as you’ll see below).

Inspiration for my buoy 1, 2 & 3 patterns.
Inspiration for my buoy 1, 2 & 3 patterns.

As for making quilts, I’m very drawn to the aesthetic flow of a quilt, especially relating to color. Usually it’s a color combination or flow that draws me to a pattern, and then I go from there. I’m really bad at following patterns to their fruition, and usually just use them as a jumping-off place. Choosing fabrics for a project is the hardest part for me, I think in part due to the fact that I typically already have the “perfect” fabric in mind before heading to the quilt shop. Maybe I need to just design fabric, too?

Now that you’ve visited my design space in rural Maine, I’m tagging these three awesome bloggers. Go check them out!

Laura from Adventures of a Quilting Diva: Laura is my partner for the Supernova Friendship Block Swap, and a fellow paper piecing and quilt pattern designer. She’s also the mastermind behind the #quiltspiration365 group of bloggers with a mission to provide inspiration every day of the year.

Anne from Play Crafts: I use Anne’s Palette Builder 2.1 every single week to create my Color Inspiration Thursday posts. She’s a computer programmer AND a quilt designer, and creates some awesomely beautiful stuff. Anne is one of my quilting superstars, who I’ve been following from my very first foray into quilty blogging.

Yanic from Family, Faith, Food, and Fabric: While not a strictly quilting blog, Yanic blogs from the heart about many things I relate to and enjoy reading about. Her blog name sums it up well.

To check out more of the stops in this wild, world-wide blog hop, here’s an easy link to a google search for posts: Around the World Blog Hop blog posts. Enjoy hopping!

 

Work in Progress: Pink & Grey Baby Plus Quilt

This week I’m focusing on finishing my pink & grey baby plus quilt, made with an assortment of Michael Miller It’s a Girl Thing pink & grey prints. I’m so very close to completing the top, with only four more long strips to sew together.

pink and gray baby plus quiltThis is my first quilt to be listed for sale in our Late Night Baby Etsy shop, which is primarily run by Michelle & Stephanie, my Late Night Quilter soul sisters. I bought a Michael Miller pink & grey fat quarter bundle over a year ago, since I am totally in love with the color combination. I love grey in general and am typically not a huge pink fan, but together it works so well. When Stephanie, Michelle, and I started talking about opening an Etsy shop in which to sell baby quilts and other sewn items, I was immediately excited to finally make a quilt from this bundle. I added a tiny splash of Moda solids, and if I were to make this quilt again, I think I would add more solids, but overall I’m very happy with how this quilt is turning out.

pink and grey baby plus quilt

pink and grey baby plus quilt
I love the guitar prints!

pink and grey baby plus quilt

I’m doubly excited because once this top is finished, I will be sending it to Stephanie for longarm quilting.

In case you haven’t heard, Stephanie and Michelle recently joined forces at Late Night Quilter to kick off their longarm quilting and pattern design business. They also released a new, free pattern as part of their kick-off, so go check it out, especially if you love triangles. Visit their post to see some closer details of Stephanie’s awesome quilting. I love the shadow triangles the most, I think, but the movement created by the quilting is awesome and unexpected. I’m definitely excited to send my quilt top off to Stephanie so that she can work her magic. They are offering free batting to all customers in the month of September, too, so if you have some tops you’ve been sitting on, now might be a great chance to get them quilted!

late night quilter love triangle pattern and longarm intro

Do you send your quilts to a longarmer, or do you quilt them yourself? So far I’ve quilted all of mine, but I’m silly excited to have my first longarm experience. I’m trying to decide how I want Stephanie to quilt this Plus Baby Quilt. Their design gallery has some great options. What design would you choose? I think I’m leaning toward Retro Revolution… 

I’m linking up with WiP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

WIP Wednesday