Tag Archives: molli sparkles

The Honey Pot Bee – April Queen Bee Fun

Ahhh, April! My favorite month! April is the month when spring usually begins to prevail over the last cold days of winter, with days getting a tad bit warmer, hopefully the snow melting enough to make way for sprouting crocuses and daffodils, and a prevalence of sun instead of sleet and snow. Not only that, it’s my birthday month, which is always a fun excuse to celebrate a little bit extra. To add some frosting to the cake, this month, I’m also one of the Queen Bees for The Honey Pot Bee hosted by Molli Sparkles. So fun!

the honey pot bee molli sparkles 2017When I was trying to decide what block to throw into the Honey Pot, I stumbled upon the Starry Sky block by Kylie at A Persevering Mom and completely fell in love.  Let me count the ways: 1) it’s foundation paper pieced yet very simply so, 2) the possibilities for color play are endless and I just LOVE Kylie’s warm/cool on low volume background sample block, 3) it comes in three sizes–2.5″, 6″ and 12″ finished squares, and 4) it’s free which makes it a prime choice for a bee! Decision made!

starry sky block by a persevering momBecause the foundation paper piecing in this block is so simple, it is a perfect block for some meticulous cutting fun. I decided that I wanted to use my precious Friedlander fabric for the background, but I wanted it to look like the tree scene was continuous across the block. I thought it might be helpful if I shared a few tips on how I did it.

starry sky block by a persevering momRemember that in foundation paper piecing, you are building the block on the back of the template. For this reason, when cutting each fabric piece, be sure to position the template with the printed lines facing the right side of the fabric to ensure the direction of the fabric is correct.

starry sky block by a persevering momIt’s also helpful to cut as you go, completing one template piece at a time and double checking your progress along the way. This certainly takes longer than cutting all of the necessary fabric pieces and chain piecing each section, but when playing the meticulous cutting game, it’s wise to go slowly and steadily, checking and double checking along the way.

starry sky block by a persevering momIn the photo above, the pieces of background fabric are cut for each section of the final foundation template (remember that the fabric will go on the back, so it appears mirrored when looking at them next to each other this way.) The final adjustment that can be made is with the numbering and order in which fabrics are sewn. With a basic understanding of how foundation paper piecing works, you can rearrange your piecing order to help easily align your fabric pieces. For this block, I always began with the center of the star points when at all possible so that it made it easy to keep the background fabric level and headed in the desired direction. For the piece shown, instead of sewing them in the listed order of A1, A2, A3, etc…, I positioned A3, then sewed A2, then A4, then A1.  This way, I only had one angled seam to line up properly (A5 to A6) in the entire block.

starry sky block by a persevering mom
A final shot of all of the block components in the dying evening light, right before final assembly.

While this seamless background didn’t come across as clearly as I hoped due to the intricacies of the branches and print, I’m still glad I went through the extra effort to get those bushes lined up along the bottom. Even if at first glance, it’s not obvious that the background fabric lines up, I know it does, and that’s what matters, right!?

starry sky block by a persevering momI love how the Friedlander Tree Stripe border in Pistachio looks with the star points, which include fabric from both Carkai and Architextures also by Carolyn Friedlander, some favorite Alison Glass Sun Prints from 2016 and 2017, a Free Spirit solid, Gum Leaves from Terra Australis 2 by Emma Jean Jansen, and an unknown green swirl from my stash. I sewed the block with my favorite 50wt Aurifil thread, 2600-Dove, but was excited to find two lovely greens in my stash, which will come in handy when it’s quilting time! My block will obviously be added to my Greenery Quilt, and I most likely will aim to also make a 12″ version of the block in a different arrangement of greens since I love the block so much. Can’t you see this block looking fab in just about any color combination!?

Head on over to Molli’s blog to see the other gorgeous block for April, and have fun with this Starry Sky block!

I’m linking up with Tips & Tutorials Tuesday with Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl and Stephanie at Late Night Quilter in case anyone else wants a few tips on creating a seamless background panel for a pieced block. Enjoy!

 

Sew Alongs and Bees: Community Sewing Across the Miles

After a longer than intended lull in blogging, I’m back and eager to share my reflections, process, and creative adventures with you! I’ve said it before, but beginning is the hardest step. I got stuck in a cycle of the longer I waited, the harder it was to simply jump back into blogging. Today, that ends. What better place to begin than with community and some of the fun sew alongs and bees taking place this year, as well as my grand plan for stress-free participation in them!? Soon I will share my goals, focus, and “one word” for 2017, as well as some of the other fun projects on which I’ve been working. For now, hello!! It’s great to be back, and I’m excited to share inspiration and creativity with you again!

The online quilting community is known for its welcoming vibe and almost endless opportunities to sew together virtually if not in person. There are so many fun Sew Alongs and Quilt Bees happening at any given moment across the quilting community, it’s often hard to decide which ones to join and which ones to pass on. I’ve joined a few Sew Alongs in the past, typically the block-at-a-time style–specifically the Farmer’s Wife led by Angie at Gnome Angel, #100days100blocks also lead by Angie on Instagram, and the Quilter’s Planner 2016 Scrappy Picnic Plaid Sew Along led by yours truly on Instagram. I had a lovely time participating (and still participating) in them, but found that I often cannot keep up with the pace because of other obligations. For 2017, I think I’ve come up with a plan to address that and turn it into creative opportunity!

First, here are the Sew Alongs and Bees I’m currently committed to participating in:

52 weeks with the quilters planner gnome angel sew along52 Weeks with the Quilter’s Planner

by Angie of Gnome Angel
#52weekswiththequiltersplanner

Hosted by the Sew Along Queen, Angie from Gnome Angel, this sew along is a given for me! Using the block instructions on each weekly spread in the 2017 Quilter’s Planner, Angie’s leading this sew along to encourage and support you to make each block each week. Visit her page HERE to read all the details, as well as to see how you can join. This is a great sew along for those looking to get into a regular sewing habit. Plus, it’s a chance to use your Quilter’s Planner to its fullest!

the honey pot bee molli sparkles 2017The Honey Pot Bee

by Molli Sparkes
#thehoneypotbee

Molli is hosting a quilting bee that breaks all the rules–as he says, you get none of the sting, and all of the sticky goodness! I love the relaxed mentality about this bee, and it’s a little extra exciting since I’m one of the Queen Bees for April! Here are the details, straight from Molli’s announcement post:

Each month there are two queens (and/or kings, but for the sake of brevity will be called queens) who decide on The Honey Pot Bee block patterns. Each queen picks one, I announce them to the world, then each participating member (Princesses and Princes) can choose to make one of each or two of the same. Each member then keeps the blocks for themselves.

This is less of a block swap, and more of a way to find amazing block tutorials / patterns they never knew they wanted to try from other amazingly talented people. Some of the blocks will be original patterns from the queens, some will be existing tutorials from world class quilters. That will be up to the queens to choose.

The benefits for Participant Princesses and Princes:
They get to use their own fabric that they’ve been stashing
They improve and stretch their own skills
They work to their own timeline
There is no pressure
No one is disappointed if they’re late
They act as their own quality control
They meet a group of like-minded, inspiring individuals
They see the varying potential of each block
Participating with me

I love this idea since I really don’t *need* another project, but I do love the community that is built around quilt bees and sew alongs. I love that Molli encourages you to make only the blocks you love, and that there are two unique options each month. Once I came up with my 2017 grand plan (more on that below), this one definitely needed to be added to the pot! Get all the details HERE.

garden snail quilt
Photo credit: Pen and Paper Patterns

Garden Snail Quilt Snail Paced Slow-Along Sew-Along

by Angie of Gnome Angel
#snailday #gardensnailsquilt

This is another fun weekly sew along hosted by Angie, using Pen and Paper Pattern’s Garden Snail Quilt. I think these snails are super cute, so I am joining in the fun, but plan to make only a few snails to add to the mix of the rest of my blocks. The gist of this Sew Along is easy… you simply make one block each week and post it on social media of your choice on Snail Sundays. You can find all the details HERE.

So now… for my Grand Plan that makes all of this not only manageable, but also fun!

My Grand Plan

Ready? I plan to participate in all of these sew alongs and bees, but with NO pressure. I am not playing along for the prizes. I’m playing along for the community and the recurring “deadline” to make a block and share it. I plan to use the same fabric pull and color scheme for all three of these bees/sew alongs, and combine all of the blocks together at the end of the year into a (hopefully) queen sized quilt for our bed. This way, I can make the blocks I really love, whenever I have the time to make the block, and I won’t need to stress when either life obligations kick it up a notch, or I have another project that needs my attention. As they say in hashtag land, #winning!

greenery color palette sew alongs 2017I’ll write more about this in another post, but I plan to use a color palette based upon the Pantone color of the year for 2017: Greenery. While green is not a color I’ve sewn with in large quantities before, it speaks to me on many different levels–from the freshness of the color, the vibrant hope that comes from new life in the spring, to the rich green that abounds in the environment around me–which as you know, I love dearly–, to the simple challenge of making a quilt with no final assembly pattern, and no guidelines except color. I’m both invigorated and scared at this plan, but as is my style, I’m jumping in with abandon, holding onto the hope that I can pull it all together into something epically beautiful (or at least tolerably pretty) at the end of the year.

For those of you who excel at fun and clever naming, I am trying to decide on a name for this greenery quilt project and am open to any suggestions or ideas! I want to select a name for this quilt so that I can tag all of my progress together across the bees/sew alongs, but “Kitty’s Greenery Quilt” sounds a bit flat. Maybe Night Quilter Hugs Trees and Bees? LOL #NQhugstreesandbeesquilt Uhm….

I’m looking forward to sharing my progress here, and thank you as always for following along with me on my creative journey, during waves of profuse creativity as well as lulls of relative quiet. I hope 2017 is off to a great start, and I’m looking forward to creating with a hopeful heart this year.

I’ll link up with Lorna’s Let’s Bee Social tomorrow, since I’m ready to jump back in!

 

Stash Building: Libs Elliott True Love and Kona Ocean Gradient

I recently made my first fabric purchase in a loooong time, in the hopes that it will jump start progress on sewing some gifts for family and friends. There are two big projects I’m hoping to finish soon (I’ll be real–most definitely not by Christmas)–a table runner for our home, with my favorite designer’s fabric on one side (Alison Glass) and my husband’s favorite designer’s fabric on the other side (Libs Elliott). The Alison Glass side of the table runner is about half finished and uses her new Seventy Six and Insignia fabric lines, and I’ll share more about that soon.

true love fabric by libs elliott for andover fabricsI ordered quarter yards of much of Libs’ True Love fabric line, with half yards of my favorites, since my husband has also requested Libs Elliott pillows. It’s honestly pretty fun that my computer programmer husband has a favorite fabric designer, and it seems fitting that Libs is his favorite since Libs’ tag line is “Making digital code into physical quilts”. Perfect match.

true love fabric by libs elliott for andover fabricstrue love fabric by libs elliott for andover fabricsI had my usual helper, who was quite eager to jump on the fabric. That’s true love for ya! Such a helper!

kona cotton ocean gradient robert kaufman fabricsI also ordered an ocean gradient of Kona cotton solids by Robert Kaufman Fabrics for a baby quilt I plan to make for my dear friend’s new(ish) baby boy (here’s the quilt I made for their daughter, years ago). They requested an underwater ocean themed quilt, so the Kona solids will be the perfect base. I ordered these fabrics from Fabric Depot since their extensive stock of Kona colors and ability to order 1/4 yards made it an easy choice. Neither of my local quilt shops stocked what I needed, but of course I checked them first.

kona cotton ocean gradient with orangeI plan to use the Range Quilt by Nicole at Modern Handcraft as the base, and then applique some free-drawn sea creatures on top in bright orange. Nicole includes the specific Kona colors for a number of different color gradient options for Range, which is so super helpful! I used her palette as a base, and switched up a few of the lighter colors to keep the blue throughout, ending up with (from dark to light): Kona Storm, Prussian, Royal, Malibu, Water, Niagara, Bahama Blue, and Baby Blue, with the orange pop of Persimmon. I very well may add a darker orange for more detail once I get to the applique part, but first up is piecing the top!

finn helperHere’s a peek at my helper, since he’s just so adorable. I promise I am going to work on piecing his quilt top soon, too!

I’m linking up with Molli’s Sunday Stash (shhh I know it’s Monday), and hope to jump on his train a bit more in the coming weeks. I don’t have a whole lot of stash additions, but I do have a few fun tools and fabric bits that have been partying in my stash and have yet to be shared here.

Stash Building: Low Volume Loves & 3K IG Giveaway

I recently hit a pretty big milestone over on Instagram when I surpassed 3K followers, so to help celebrate that (and the fact that it was my birthday yesterday), I’m hosting a pretty epic giveaway over on Instagram. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out my feed @nightquilter and enter to win! The giveaway will close tomorrow (Monday) night at 9pm EST.

Giveaway nightquilter 3K IGI figured I couldn’t go wrong giving away some of my all-time favorite fabrics and threads, and I’m so very grateful to my sponsors for donating the prizes. The prize package contains (from left to right): a fat quarter bundle of Endpaper from Sun Prints 2016 by Alison Glass (Andover) donated by Fiddlehead Artisan Supply; a low volume bundle of 14 gorgeous quilting cottons curated my yours truly donated by Fat Quarter Shop, and the Simply Color by Vanessa Christensen large spool set of 50wt Aurifil thread donated by Alex Veronelli at Aurifil. Many, many thanks!!

fat quarter shop low volume bundleFat Quarter Shop also sent a low volume bundle for me to keep since I curated it, so I’m super excited to be restocking my low volumes! The low volume bundle is available here. Go check it out, and if you love low volumes as much as I do, I hereby give you permission to treat yourself!

low volume bundle fat quarter shop nightquilterI included a little bit of everything in this bundle, including Cotton + Steel basics, Modern Background Paper, Lizzy House mini pearl bracelets, prints from Anna Maria Horner’s newest line, a print from Wonderland by Katarina Rocella, those adorable scissors from Maker Make by Art Gallery fabrics, and more. You’ll have to visit the post on Fat Quarter Shop to see the full list of included fabrics, but I can tell you I’m loving every one and already plotting the next low volume + rainbow Alison Glass fabrics project (are you surprised?).

As always, I’ll be sure to show you once I start putting these fabrics to use. In the meantime, head over to Instagram to enter for a chance to win your very own stash building prize package! I apologize to those of you who don’t have Instagram, but there’s sure to be another great giveaway here on the blog, too. Surpassing 3 thousand followers needs some celebrating!

I’m linking up with Molli’s Sunday Stash, since my low volume stash grew in a fabulous way this week, and one lucky follower will be REALLY building his/her stash soon! Best of luck!

Carolyn Friedlander Modern Hexies Progress

It’s no secret that Carolyn Friedlander is one of my favorite fabric designers. Last year, I made an entire quilt featuring her Doe fabric line, with cameos from Botanics and Architextures. But as her new fabric lines come out and continue to coordinate so well with her originals, I decided I wanted a quilt that truly showcased her varied and gorgeous fabrics. What better than a Modern Hexies mini quilt using Nicole at Modern Handcraft’s fabulous method?!

carolyn friedlander modern hexies progressNow, I’m already putting myself up against a wall a bit, since I began this project after Architextures became all but extinct. I’m hoping, though, with a bit of luck and a few insider tips, I can eventually acquire at least a 2 1/2″ square of each of the fabrics from Architextures.

architextures by carolyn friedlanderThanks to a tip from Allison at Campbell Soup Diaries, I recently picked up one of my all time favorites, plus Ledger in Ivory, from Westwood Acres.

architextures by carolyn friedlanderThrough the #getyourquiltywishesgranted event on Instagram a few months back, I obtained a few more archaic Architextures prints, as well as the Carkai mini charms I’ve nearly made into hexies.  I’m on my way!

hexagons carolyn friedlander fabricI already have basted hexagons from all of Botanics and most of Carkai. I have some scraps left from my Doe quilt, so I’ll see where that brings me and go from there.

backed in text from architextures
Might be a bit too busy for my aesthetic.

I think I will make a few more hexies before ultimately deciding whether to back the hexies in my favorite Essex yarn dyed linen in charcoal, or to stick with solid white. Perhaps I’ll be crazy and use one of the still easily attainable text prints from Architextures as the background. Time will tell.

If you have any tiny (2 1/2″ square at least) scraps of Carolyn’s Architextures fabric, please let me know if I can persuade you to send them my way! I will be happy to compensate with fabric, chocolate, or cash money. And of course gratitude. Lots and lots of gratitude.

I thought I would link up with Lee’s Work in Progress Wednesday, but it appears I’ve been out of the WiP loop long enough to have missed that she’s taking a (potentially permanent) break from her link up.  Oops! Still check out her blog at Freshly Pieced since she’s always making something gorg! I’m also going to go wild and link up with Molli Sparkles’ Sunday Stash since I’m finally sharing my new CF acquisitions.

Stash Building: Happy Mail!

I made it to the post office yesterday five minutes before they closed. Five minutes! It’s a good thing I did, too, because our mailbox has been out of commission due to height and volume of snow, so I had quite a stack of happy mail to pick up. (Including a little something something for a giveaway on Monday… yes, you really want to come back on Monday. Trust me. wink wink)

Anyway, happy mail:

Mariners Compass Fat Quarter Back Sneak

First up was my Fat Quarter Back Sneak purchase from Mariner’s Compass during Superbowl weekend. I’m not much into football and didn’t even watch the game, but I certainly couldn’t resist 10 fat quarters for $15! It’s my first Cotton + Steel bundle: the pink Mustangs by Melody Miller and some Basics.

pink cotton and steel mustangs fabric bundle

pink cotton and steel mustangs fabric bundleWhile I’m really not a fan of the actual Mustangs (please don’t tar and feather me!), I love the arrows and really love the basics in pinks and shades of grey. Mariner’s Compass even threw in an extra fat quarter. I guess they were feeling especially generous since the Patriots won. Mariner’s Compass is a quilt shop in Bath, Maine. I met Amanda, the owner of Mariner’s Compass and organizer of the Maine Quilt Shop hop last April during the shop hop. It felt great to support a Maine LQS while also building my stash in an epic way.

I also received my winnings from the #FabricForward event on Instagram: a charm pack of Storybook by Kate & Birdie Paper Co. for Moda. Thank you so much to @simplybekah for this #happymail! (Since the giveaway event was entirely on Instagram, I felt the need to write all of that in @ # IG style. Right? Right.)

moda storybook charm pack

It looks like such a darling collection, and perfect for a baby quilt. I love looking at stacks of fabric, don’t you?

moda storybook charm pack

moda storybook charm packWhat are some of your go-to charm pack quilt patterns? I’m a newbie at using precuts, so I’d love to add some to my arsenal.

I’m linking up with Molli’s Sunday Stash, since he’s “in the future” in Oz so I can link up even in the wee hours of the morn here in Maine, USA.

Color Inspiration Thursday {19}

I’m always on the lookout for color inspiration, and last week inspiration struck hard while I was browsing my Instagram feed. The source of color inspiration was new and unexpected: a selfie taken by one of the most colorful quilters I know. Meet Molli Sparkles, star of the very first People Palettes, a special edition of my weekly Color Inspiration Thursday.

molli sparkles color people palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Jamaica, Breakers, Oasis, Charcoal, Prussian, Tomato

Go ahead and try to tell me that’s not the most gorgeous color palette you’ve ever seen. The red and teal combination always strikes a chord in me, and this is no exception. Add Molli… and well, how could you resist creating a new color inspiration feature: people palettes, a way to feature the rockstars of the quilting world in a colorful, aesthetically pleasing and ever-inspiring way.

If you aren’t yet familiar with Joshua Helms, known as Molli Sparkles in the glittery quilting world, head on over to his corner of the quiltiverse. Prepare yourself for fabulous color combinations, a deep rooted ability to create gorgeous aesthetic, and entertainingly sassy yet brutally honest blog posts showing off his stuff and stirring up controversy over the hot issues in the quilting world. Molli’s signature drink–Truth Tea–flows deep and hot. And oh, how it glitters! At the very least, you need to check out his platinum post No Value Does Not Equal Free.

molli sparkles kimonos ablaze quilt
Kimonos Ablaze, just one of the gorgeous quilts created by Molli Sparkles

Before I go on a total fangirl tizzy, let’s get back to Molli. I asked him to answer three short questions to help the world get to know the color inspiration rockstar of the week a little more intimately:

Where do you fit into the worldwide family tree of quilting?
Take the irreverence of Madonna, the cray-cray of Mariah, and the sweetness of Kylie, throw in the quilting skills of Grandma Sparkles, and you have quilting pop-star, diva extraordinaire, Molli Sparkles! I’m a self-taught, quilting child of the Internet, and consider all the amazing Glitterati my closest quilting family.

What are the top three most played songs in your iTunes?
1. H.A.T.E.U. (Jump Smokers Remix) – Mariah Carey
2. Aphrodite Megamix – Kylie Minogue
3. Revolver (Tracy Young’s Shoot to Kill Remix) – Madonna

What would you name the autobiography of your life?
Molli Sparkles: Glitterbomb

In our emails exchanged in planning this post, Molli did suggest one edit to the color palette:

I have to say though, that I’d be combining some Kona Snow (referencing my face) into that colour palette, and then it would be spot on! But otherwise, gorgelicious!

So for you, Molli… here’s your Kona Snow included, rockin’ awesome, first-ever people palette. Gorgelicious, indeed!

molli sparkles from IG- color palette with snow

I know I’m inspired to go pull all of the turquoise left in my stash, a bit of Kona Snow and Charcoal, and of course a splash of red for a new project.

Are you a quilter, fabric designer, or other pillar in the quilting world? Do you like to take colorful selfies? Would you like to be a color inspiration rockstar? If you answered yes to any of these questions, drop me a line or tag me @nightquilter on Instagram with your selfie! People Palettes will pop up every so often in my Color Inspiration posts from now on. Thank you for the inspiration, Molli!

– – – – – – – – – – – – –

All color palettes are created using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1.

 

Stash Building: Rainbow Sketch, Grays, & Aurifil

I’m one of those online window shoppers, with about fifty items in a “shopping cart” at a variety of fabric shops at all times. One of the bundles that has been in my virtual shopping cart forever is the Jewel Tone Sketch Fat Quarter Bundle at Stash Fabrics. Last week, when I saw Stash was having a sale on all Bella Solids, I knew that the time had come. I needed some more gray yardage as a background for my in-progress Canvas place mats, so with the sale on solids paired with free shipping on orders over $50, I decided to build my stash 56 dollars worth. Here’s what I bought:

fabric stash additions
Stash building from Stash Fabrics.

Let’s take a closer look, since who doesn’t want to get a closer look at fabulous fabric?

bella solids, sweet as honey, and pointelle in noir

From bottom to top, I got 1 yard each of Bella Zen Gray, Silver, and Steel, as well as 1 yard of Pointelle in Noir from the Art Gallery Fabrics Chromatic Collection (swoon). I also added in 1/4 yard each of Bee Sweet in Sunset and Morning colorways, from the Sweet as Honey line by Bonnie Christine for Art Gallery. I’ve been eyeing them for ages and just couldn’t pass up the chance to have even a bit in my stash.

IMG_1793

Of course, the Jewel Tone Sketch bundle got a photo shoot all its own. How could you resist!? Mid-photo-shoot, I decided that these lovely colors really needed more of a white backdrop. The only problem is, we have blue walls. Here was my solution:

helpful kids

Blue walled background + some momentarily helpful kids who had refused to nap + 1 white poster board = whiter background to help the rainbow colors pop!

IMG_1813Yes? Yes! I love the difference the slightly different angle paired with the white background make.

This week, I also got a fabulous package from Alex Veronelli of AURIfil. A few weeks ago, I semi-jokingly, very-hopefully tweeted:

Much to my excitement, yesterday I received the best package ever!

AURIfil thread giftIt didn’t take me long once I started quilting and getting into the modern quilting community to realize that many of my favorite quilters raved about AURIfil thread. I finally found a local shop that carried AURIfil and bought my very first spool: a gorgeous all-purpose gray. I haven’t used anything except AURIfil since. Look at it-you can see the shine even in photos. The colors are fabulous, the thread is smooth and I haven’t had a break yet.

Rather than swoon, here are some more photographs so that you can see for yourself:

i can fly aurifil thread kit

depth of aurifil

aurifil basics

aurifil color card

aurifil magentaI’m very excited about the color cards, since now I will be able to order the perfect color thread for every project, even though my LQS doesn’t carry the full spectrum. You know how I am about color; I am thrilled to have these added to my stash. I can’t wait to play!

I’m linking up with Molli Sparkles’ Sunday Stash because, well, it matches my favorite bits on the aurifil color card!

7d5d3-molli_sparkles_sunday_stash_button