Tag Archives: Patterns

Constant Flux Three Ways

There’s something about making a pattern your own that is especially desirable for many makers. Whether through varied fabric choices, changes in color and value placement, or even addition of new features, taking a set pattern and making it look distinctly yours is satisfying. I also have a really hard time following a pattern without adding at least a *little* change to make it my own, even, as it seems, with patterns I designed myself!

As I photographed my latest Constant Flux Christmas mini quilt top, I realized that I’ve sewn up my Constant Flux foundation paper pieced pattern in three very distinctly different ways. One was even so distinctly different I decided a stand-alone pattern was the best route, since explaining my section-grouping might not be the easiest to do! I thought it would make a fun blog post to show you different ways you can take one pattern (Constant Flux, in this case) and make it look completely uniquely different.

constant flux mini quiltWhen I first designed Constant Flux, I was aiming for a pattern that was fun and geometric, but allowed for meticulous cutting fun. I used Alison Glass Handcrafted fabrics from Andover, and my focus was on the big scale prints in that line. With meticulous cutting and careful placement, the radiating pattern is clear, with the white star-like secondary pattern for some added interest.

alison glass constant flux mini quilt for andoverThen Alison Glass came out with her Seventy-six fabric line and Andover Fabrics asked if I would make a mini quilt for their booth at QuiltCon. How could I resist!? I had been wanting to sew up a Constant Flux quilt in a different colorway anyway, and in looking at Alison’s fabrics, I wanted to use all of the colors.

applique embroidered bee from alison glass fabric constant flux detailI had recently discovered Nichole Vogelsinger’s Boho Embroidery book, and really wanted to incorporate a Wild Boho-style embroidered applique in the center, so I rotated the blocks 90 degrees. Same exact blocks and pattern as my original Constant Flux, only rotated and shrunk to 80% so that the scale of the bee fit better. Constant Flux a second way.

constant flux christmas foundation paper pieced patternFinally, while playing around with color placement options on my original Constant Flux pattern, I discovered that when arranged a certain way, it looked very much like a Christmas wreath! Because this required merging large sections of the pattern into one fabric instead of many, I decided that it was high time I tackle a holiday pattern, and I made three new templates to make Constant Flux Christmas come together smoothly and easily. It is closely derived from the original pattern, and if you have the original Constant Flux pattern you can technically make the Christmas version if you have a strong understanding of foundation paper piecing and how to join pieces to make it happen. I created a separate pattern to make it easier for everyone. That brings us Constant Flux a third way.

I wonder what it will look like in my fourth rendition?

Do you follow patterns to a T, or do you change things? I’m always curious to hear, since from talking to other quilters, it seems that we fall into two pretty clear camps: those who follow patterns meticulously, and those who just can’t seem to follow the pattern as written and must change or add some feature nearly every time. I clearly fall into the latter. I’d love to know what camp you fall into!


My Best of 2016

Ahhh, the time of year when busy is an understatement, yet still the desire to stop and reflect over the past year–perhaps in the twinkle of some Christmas lights with a hot mug of something sweet–is strong. The phase of feeling more stressed than blessed has passed, the excitement of Christmas Eve and morning has calmed, and now I’m enjoying the holidays in a relaxed, family-filled, grateful way. What better time to do some reflection?

best of 2016 meadow mist designsOnce again, Cheryl from Meadow Mist Designs is hosting her “Best of” linky party, inviting bloggers to share their five best posts from 2016, so I thought it was a perfect time to take a look at the statistics and reflect on the highlights of the past year here on Night Quilter. I’ve put together five of Night Quilter’s “bests” for the past year (plus one personal added bonus), and I invite you to reminisce along with me.

Most Viewed Blog Post

5 steps to sewing perfect curves tutorial nightquilterWithout a new baby announcement like last year, this year’s most viewed post was the tutorial on how to sew perfect curves. I’m especially excited about this one, since one of my goals for 2016 was to tackle curves, and I feel like I made great progress in that category. I love this method as much as you do, and I’m so glad I could share this with so many of you!

Most Viewed Non-Tutorial Blog Post

alison glass quilters planner coverSince my most viewed post from 2016 was a tutorial, I decided to also share my most viewed non-tutorial post. In Planning a Colorful Year, I shared the Riot of Color planner cover design I made for the Quilter’s Planner (which is still available for free, here–and fit’s the 2017 Quilter’s Planner! if you haven’t gotten yours yet, I highly recommend getting one here–this planner is life changing!), as well as a giveaway for a planner. It’s hard to say whether the gorgeous melding of Alison Glass fabrics with Essex linen is what drew the most attention, or if it was the chance to win a most coveted planner, but I am proud of this post all the same and I’m glad you liked it, too.

Most Viewed Blog Post
(not including Tutorials or Giveaways)

one hour basketIf you take all tutorials and giveaways out of the running, the one hour basket (that took me six hours to make!) was the most viewed. This was such a fun make, once again featuring my favorite Alison Glass fabrics paired with Robert Kaufman’s Essex linen, but also is a favorite since I made this basket while attending a class with quilty friend Sarah from Berry Barn Designs at one of my fabulous quasi-local quilt store, Alewives Fabrics.

Most Exciting New Endeavor

2016 was a big year of new endeavors for me, so this category requires a tie:

Yvonne Fuchs quilt in Quilters Planner 2017
Quilt by Yvonne Fuchs, included in the Quilter’s Planner 2017

I kicked off my quilt photography business venture by doing all of the photography for the 2017 Quilter’s Planner, photographing 14 quilts and quilted projects in gorgeous natural locations along the coast of Maine. The photo above features Yvonne from Quilting Jetgirl’s lovely Starlight Crystals quilt, photographed along the coast in Acadia. Quilt photography combines three of my loves: quilting, photography, and the beauty of nature, so I’m so excited to be offering it to anyone seeking to get epic quilt photos for publication or just for fun.

quilt theoryocean path quilt white brick quilt theoryI was also one of seven quilt designers to launch Quilt Theory, kicking off with my premier pattern Ocean Path. With the enthusiasm and drive of fearless leader Michelle Bartholomew, we are working on our second round of patterns and are constantly expanding the reach of the Quilt Theory pattern cards. You can find much more information and the full line of available patterns here.

2016 Best Nine on Instagram

Instagram best 9 2016 minus repostsSince I love Instagram so, I would be remiss if I did not share my top viewed posts there as well. This collection is a fun one, including lots of posts about my stress-free stitch-wherever-the-wind-blows embroidery hoop, a fun Alison Glass table runner I don’t think I’ve shared here yet, a progress shot of my Eye Spy Picnic Plaid quilt, a progress shot of all of my thrifted City Sampler blocks, the free Safe with Me pattern I made in an attempt to spread positivity and support for those who need it, and a glimpse of one of my favorite quilt photos for the Quilter’s Planner, the epic sailboat shot of Cheryl Brickey’s Canvas Lines Quilt.

Favorite Project

finn milestone quilt 18 monthsTechnically this is my sixth category, but I can’t let my highlights pass without remembering the completion of the Milestone Quilt Blocks for my son Finnian. While the project didn’t make my top viewed posts for 2016, it is still the project that filled my heart the most. My little babe is now 18 months old, walking, talking, signing, dancing, jumping, exploring, and smiling his days away. His quilt top is together, and I hope to get the quilt layered, basted, quilted and bound early next year. There’s something about making a quilt for your child, marking his progress and growth with a bit of stitching, that really takes quilting to a new level. I’m so grateful that my silly husband made the crazy suggestion (fully in jest) on the day our third child turned 1 month old that I should make a quilt block each month for a photo shoot, since without that little laugh-filled exchange, this project would have never come to be.

2016 was a big year, with many new endeavors and a seemingly endless list of fun projects and adventures. I’m still working on the fine art of saying no and understanding my own limitations, since I really truly want to do it all. I’m a maker through and through. I’m hoping to keep 2017 fairly low key, focusing on finishing projects I’ve already begun, and participating in a few sew alongs with a relaxed mentality. Then again, I have some big goals I’d like to pursue, so we’ll see when and if those kick it all up a notch. I’ll write more about that in a future post, since after reflection comes planning and goal setting. I’m so glad I have my Quilter’s Planner for that!

Thank you, as always, for following along with me here, sharing in my inspiration and project progress, and creating the community I hold so dear. I hope you have a wonderful, peaceful holiday season and look forward to a colorful, productive, and FUN 2017.

May is for Makers

I don’t often post two blog posts in a day, but this topic warrants a double since it’s an idea that really hits home. I’m joining in on a month-long campaign started by Lindsey over at LR Stitched, and I encourage you to consider doing so as well. It’s called May is for Makers and it’s all about supporting indie designers (like me).

may is for makers lr stitchedLindsey’s reflection and description is great, so I suggest you visit her blog to read the details here.  Basically, her pledge for May is:

For the month of May, I am committing to support a different pattern maker each week…

I will purchase 5 patterns over the course of the 5 weeks and with each purchase I make, I will tell a pattern maker that their work matters.  My purchase will tell them that I am grateful for the time, effort and passion they put into their brand.  Validation.

Lindsey reflects on how “…the balance between what we expect for free and what we are willing to purchase is way out of whack.”  This made me stop and reflect for a minute, since while I’m a “starving artist” myself, trying to find a foothold in this industry so that I can help contribute to my family’s bottom line, I don’t always jump at buying patterns. Sure, I support my peers through friendship, collaboration, and sometimes commiseration, but as I know all too well, every penny helps. Selling patterns is often one of the few sources of actual monetary income for independent designers. So I’m pledging this month to buy one less special treat during an errands day, and instead will buy a pattern from a fellow designer each week.

I will share my pattern purchases on social media using #mayisformakers, and will give recaps here. I can’t promise a blog post every week, since I have an overflowing plate with many tutorials coming your way in May, but I will definitely write an update post or two sharing the patterns I’ve added to my library.

May Is For Makers | LRstitched.com

I am looking forward to being part of the wave of love sent to the makers of our community, since I know well how much time, artistry, and love goes into making, creating, designing, and of course sharing it all! If you would like to join in, go ahead over to Lindsey’s post, grab the button for your blog, and support away!

Many thanks to all of you for your continued support, both through pattern purchases, blog comments and kind words, and spreading the inspiration!

My Best of 2015

This time of year often sparks reflection as we prepare to start afresh in the new year. It always amazes me to look back on a year in full, as I realize just how full and rich my life is and how much I’ve accomplished (and what I thought I’d surely have accomplished by now but haven’t). One of the fun aspects of social media is ability to use analytics to take a concrete look at the past year’s blog posts and social media interactions. Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs is hosting a fun linky party inviting quilty bloggers to highlight their “best” posts of 2015. I’ve put together a few Night Quilter “bests” in this post, and I invite you to reminisce along with me.

My Top Accomplishment

june finish alyof finn epp table runnerI could not possibly begin a “best of 2015” post with anything other than my most epic Friday Finish of all time: giving birth to my third baby, Finnian. While the blog post announcing his birth falls *just* outside the top five most viewed posts of the year, I’m including it first here. Family is always first. Plus… babies!

Most Viewed Blog Post (including giveaways)

doe layers of charm quiltListing the most viewed blog post is a bit tricky, since typically posts that include a giveaway are viewed a lot more than those that don’t. Nearly all of my giveaways were accompanied by quilt or project finishes, though, so I’m including the tippy-top post here: the Doe Layers of Charm quilt I made early in the year. It has been viewed twice as many times as the next-most-viewed post, so it deserves a bit of spotlight. This was my first quilt made using all one fabric line, sewn for a Fat Quarter Shop short-cut pattern release, and what better fabric line to use than Doe by one of my favorite designers, Carolyn Friedlander.

Most Viewed Tutorial

tutorial embroidery floss organization made easyThis fun and easy tip revolutionized my perle cotton storage and use, and clearly was an all around favorite.

Most Viewed Blog Post (not including giveaways)

dropcloth color wheel rainbow quiltMy dropcloth embroidery sampler color wheel is very high on my list of favorite projects, and I see that everyone else agrees. One of my goals for 2016 is to face my fear of sewing circles and finish this!!

Most Popular Pattern

Love struck patternMy Love Struck foundation paper piecing pattern ranks the highest in patterns sold this year (32%), closely followed by Lupine (18%).

2015 Best Nine on Instagram

Instagram best nine 2015This may be old news for those of you who also follow me on Instagram, but there’s a rad analytic site called 2015bestnine.com (**Don’t visit this site right now. It appears to have been nefariously hacked since a “virus, ack!” pop up comes up on both my computer and phone when I go there now… but a few days ago it worked!**) where you type in your Instagram name and it generates a collage with your nine most viewed posts. Here’s my collage, which includes all sorts of fun–Finn’s birth stole the show on IG, accompanied by my visible mending foray (have I blogged about that?), modern hexies mini mini, growing tree mini quilt, the Rose Star EPP I made as my first big Sizzix tutorial, Finn’s milestone quilt project, and a Farmer’s Wife block. It really covers a large part of what I’ve been up to over the past 12 months, and of course includes rainbows.

I’ve had a great year, and feel so grateful for all of your participation, support, love, suggestions, inspiration, and friendship. Without readers, without comments, without reaction, this blog is just an endpoint for my thoughts. Add you, and it becomes a foundation for inspiration, a jumping-point for new projects, and a connection between like-minded makers. I’m filled with gratitude.

Thank you, too, to Cheryl, for giving me another reason to reflect and look back over the past year. It has truly been an amazing year, and I’m looking forward to a peaceful, productive, rainbow-filled 2016.

What was your favorite Night Quilter post or project from 2015?