Tag Archives: rainbow

Crank Up the Volume with AGF Lower the Volume Skinny Bins

Mister Domestic Sewing PartyLeave it to Mathew aka Mister Domestic to throw a party instead of a blog tour. Mathew is one of those talented folks whose enthusiasmmathew and kitty at quilt con 2017 for making is clearly evident all the time. I love his bubbling enthusiasm, his signature communication style, his bear hugs and kind heart, and after you throw in his mad skills with a sewing machine, how could I resist a chance to party down with him?! I was fortunate enough to meet Mathew at QuiltCon, and he’s as awesome in person as he is online. Plus, who doesn’t love a party!? Needless to say, when Mathew invited me to join in on his #misterdomesticssewingparty to help spread the word about the new Art Gallery Fabrics Capsules and Fusions, I was absolutely in! I’m excited to be joining the fun, cranking up the volume for the party with some tall and skinny bins made out of Art Gallery Fabrics’ Lower the Volume Capsule.

lower the volume capsule art gallery fabrics with rainbow of pure elements solidsWhen faced with choosing one of the Capsules or Fusions, the Lower the Volume Capsule seemed like the obvious choice since I love low volume fabrics and seem to incorporate them into most of my projects. They go with absolutely everything, and my favorite bright colors shine when they are paired with low volumes. As soon as I RSVPed an enthusiastic yes, I started thinking about what project I could make that would let the low volumes be the star of the show. I decided to add a rainbow of Art Gallery Pure Elements solids and make a rainbow of tall skinny fabric bins to store my small, but not-small-enough-to-toss fabric scraps.

tall skinny scrap fabric bins agf lower the volumeThe tall and skinny shape gives you the most bang for your buck when storing small scraps, since you can fit a lot of them along a wall or shelf, but still have enough volume to hold a decent amount of scraps. See? I cranked up the volume with this Lower the Volume capsule bundle! The result? The Skinny Bin!

lower the volume agf detailsI love the Lower the Volume Capsule collection, but my favorite might be the little details on the Quiet Downtown print. I can see myself meticulously cutting specific quilty street names to add to my projects, and couldn’t resist some meticulous cutting in making the bins.

lower the volume skinny bins progressTo get started, I sketched out a bunch of Skinny Bin design options in my Quilter’s Planner over the course of a week or so. I absolutely love the handy graph paper section of the planner! The first design that came to mind was the hexagon English Paper Pieced (EPP) Skinny Bin. I jokingly call it iBin because of the design that appears when using the extra-long hexagons I used for the bottom of the bin. Even with the time-saving elongated hexagons, I decided that rather than EPP ALL of the bins, why not mix it up and try a whole selection of block designs?!

Fabric skinny bin AGF lower the volume capsuleI love the variety of shapes, color, and design in these bins, and plan to add to them until I have a full primary, secondary, and tertiary rainbow! I sewed all of the bins with my go-to Aurifil 50wt 2600-Dove thread, but used 80wt to piece the EPP iBin. I absolutely understand the excitement about 80wt for EPP–the stitches melt right in!

I am getting better at making introductions at parties, so why don’t I introduce you? Be sure to oogle the awesome variety of low volume prints as we go through introductions.

Fabric skinny bin AGF lower the volume capsule plus block redFirst in line we have Mr. Plus in Pure Elements Red. He’s first aid certified, so you can rest easy at this party.

Fabric skinny bin AGF lower the volume capsule orange triangleNext is Madam Isosceles, a triangle jam in Pure Elements Burnt Orange. She can be a bit pointy at times, but is good at heart.

Fabric skinny bin AGF lower the volume capsule yellow wonky starThird is sunny Sir Wonky Star in Pure Elements Canary. He is channeling a sun a bit more than a star, but all are welcome here, right?

Fabric skinny bin AGF lower the volume capsule green inset improv circleNext is my favorite (shh don’t tell the others), Miss Inset Circle in Pure Elements Dark Citron. She loves to hug trees and has an unusual obsession with maps. Please don’t mistake her for Olive, her twin sister.

Fabric skinny bin AGF lower the volume capsule EPP teal hexagon ibinNo party is complete without Dr. iBin EPP, sporting Pure Elements Emerald. This tech mastermind was put together a bit differently due to her seamless exterior construction, but she fits in just fine despite her genius.

Fabric skinny bin AGF lower the volume capsule log cabin blueFinally, Mr. Log Cabin in Pure Elements Denim Blue. He’s a bit casual for this party, but who needs a dress code?

Fabric skinny bin AGF lower the volume capsuleThere are also two more bins in active progress: Ms. Lucy Boston in Pure Elements Purple Pansy and Miss Raspberry Kiss in fitting Pure Elements Raspberry Rose. They will be fashionably late to the party, but hopefully they’ll bring dessert.

agf pure elements tall skinny fabric binsOkay, that was silly but quite fun. All of the bins are lined with their feature Pure Element solids, so it makes for quite a colorful crowd. Now you’re acquainted with my new friends and we can all party on!

Fabric skinny bin AGF lower the volume capsule wine cozyWhile designing this bin, I conveniently discovered that it really is perfect for a party. Not only does it provide a colorful place to put your itty bitty scraps, but it can also double as a wine cozy for storing or toting your party beverage of choice. Totally #winning!

art gallery fabrics writing on selvedgeI also discovered that Art Gallery Pure Element solids have writing on their selvedge! Solids are often really difficult to keep track of once they dive into a stash, so the printed selvedge is a super helpful detail!

Fabric skinny bin AGF lower the volume capsule scrapsI’m now excited to sort through my pile of tiny scraps so that I can fill these beauties!

skinny bin and aurifil thread cardI actually discovered yet another use for these bins, but you’ll have to wait to see any more than this sneak peek. Be sure to keep your eye on this space. Ahhh, gotta love a rainbow of Aurifil thread!

Fabric skinny bin AGF lower the volume capsuleAt least in my opinion, one of the best parts of having a party is how clean your house gets in the process. There’s nothing like having an excuse to tidy up and rainbowtize. I haven’t yet decided whether these bins will live right here, hanging from the peg board behind my sewing machine, or if I will hang them near my cutting table for easy access. Either way, they will certainly brighten up the room!

Thank you so much for coming to the party, and be sure to check out all of other talented makers who will be partying down for the next couple of weeks:

Many thanks to our fabulous host, Mathew Boudreaux, Mister Domestic: (@misterdomestic)
Art Gallery Capsules (April 17th – 21st)
Monday, April 17: Cristy Stuhldreher (@loveyousew_)
Tuesday, April 18: Kitty Wilkin (@nightquilter) <—-That’s me!
Wednesday, April 19: Sharon McConnell (@colorgirlquilts)
Thursday, April 20: Stephanie Palmer (@latenightquilter)
Friday, April 21: Nicole Young (@lillyellasworld)

Art Gallery Fusions (April 24th – 28th)
Monday, April 24: Nicole Daksiewicz (@modernhandcraft)
Tuesday, April 25: Tara Curtis (@t_jaye, @WEFTYneedle)
Wednesday, April 26: Melissa LeRay (@ohhowsweetco)
Thursday, April 27: Sarah Thomas (@sariditty)
Friday, April 28: Jennifer Rossotti (@jennrossotti)

Tomorrow I’ll be linking up with Lorna’s Let’s Bee Social and Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it Friday, since the more the merrier at this party!

One Year of Stitches: February

I’m still working on a post about my experiences at QuiltCon last week, but as March continues to skip on, I thought I should share February’s stitches for my 1 year of stitches project in the meantime. QuiltCon post coming soon!

My 1 year of stitches project is a personal challenge to stitch at least one stitch every single day. I am working with no set plan, I don’t mark the fabric before stitching; I simply stitch whatever wherever whenever. It’s quite fun!! You can follow along with my daily stitches at @NQ1yearofstitches on Instagram.

Even after a short month, it grows! As a reminder, here’s the hoop after the month of January:

night quilter 1 year of stitches month 1and here it is showing the progress from February:

february progress for 1 year of stitchesI guess 28 days can make a big difference!

erin from aurifil thread live at quiltconThe highlight of the month was getting the chance to chat with Erin from Aurifil on Facebook live while attending QuiltCon in Savannah. You can see my low key chat HERE on the Aurifil Facebook page. I talk about my process, how the project came to be, why I use Aurifil 12wt thread, and I show a quick demo on how to stitch a French knot. It was a really fun opportunity, and while a bit nerve-wracking knowing I would be live, Erin made it easy by being totally awesome and relaxed. Plus, she’s from Maine. Perfect! The whole experience inspires me to try a bit harder to figure out a way to video my stitches live each day, or at least some days each week. I’ll get right on that and will let you know if I figure it out!

1 year of stitches freestyle embroidery progress february 12wt aurifilBack to my embroidery progress! Here are some close up shots of the various sections of this freestyle hoop.

1 year of stitches freestyle embroidery progress february 12wt aurifilI am still stitching without a plan, deciding each day’s stitches the morning–or sometimes night!–of the current day. I have tried a handful of new stitches and look forward to trying even more as the year progresses!

1 year of stitches freestyle embroidery progress february 12wt aurifil1 year of stitches freestyle embroidery progress february 12wt aurifil1 year of stitches freestyle embroidery progress february 12wt aurifilThose little white three-petalled trillium flowers are the most recent addition. Time will tell where this will go from here!

Finn helping me with photographyThis month, I had a photography helper, so of course I can’t end the post without a few Finn cameos. I often use the photos on my phone as a reference, so I pulled up January’s photo to make sure I arranged the thread in a consistent way. Finn was please as punch that they matched.

Finn helping me with thread positioningHe also helped me put the thread back into the box, then arranged around the hoop, back into the box, then arranged around the hoop. What a helper!

Hmmm what shall I stitch today?

Stitched Embroidery Hoop Finish

The finish I’m sharing today measures only 4″ across, but probably took more hours of work and provided more peaceful moments than most of my other projects. I’m relatively new to embroidery, with really only my Dropcloth Color Wheel sampler and the embroidery stitching I did on a mini quilt a while back as projects under my belt, but when Alison Glass sent me some of her Stitched fabric, part of her new Seventy Six fabric line for Andover Fabrics, it begged to be… well, stitched.

AG Stitched embroidery hoop aurifil 12wtI’m so happy I obliged, because I just love this little hoop!

nightquilter instagram embroidery beginning
Here’s my Instagram post from the wee beginnings of this hoop, about 12 weeks ago.

When the Stitched fabric arrived, I had just completed my Ocean Path quilt for our big Quilt Theory debut, and I was in the final push stage of finishing a quilt that will be in the February issue of Love, Patchwork and Quilting magazine, so picking up a small, no pressure, no purpose, no pattern hoop of Stitched and my 12wt Aurifil thread stash was the perfect brain palate cleanser.

embroidery back
Here’s the back of my finished hoop—see! I am totes a novice! I think this looks fun, though, crazy as ever!

This was back in September, according to my good ole’ Instagram feed, and since that time, ending just a couple of days ago, I’ve picked this little hoop up for 1-20 minute intervals (and 20 minutes might be leaning on the long end) every here and there: a quiet moment when the kids were all playing nicely together, a few seconds here while having a minute lax time while cooking dinner, or just because I needed to MAKE and had not yet had a chance that particular day.

AG stitched embroidery aurifil 12wtI stitched whatever I wanted, wherever I wanted, and tried many different stitches.

AG stitched embroidery hoop aurifil 12wtI used Aurifil 12wt thread from my stash, in colors (left to right from photo above): 2530-Blossom Pink, 2435-Peachy Pink, mystery orange–the only Aurifil tag that has ever fallen off a spool!, 2120-Canary, 1147-Light Leaf Green, 2884-Green Yellow, 5005-Medium Turquoise, 2540-Medium Lavender, and 2515-Light Orchid. I used a single strand for all except the turquoise x’s, for which I use two strands. If I were to do it again, I would probably stick with a single strand since I love the crisp aesthetic that results.

AG stitched embroidery hoop aurifil 12wt french knotsToward the end, I went a little crazy with french knots, but I do love them so and they make a great “filler” around the edges.

AG stitched embroidery hoop aurifil 12wtSince the pattern is printed on the fabric, there was no actual end, so it was up to me to decide how close to the edges to stitch. At first I thought I’d leave a bit open, but I just couldn’t stop stitching. As it is, most stitches extend to the absolute edge of the hoop. I kind of love it.

finishing embroidery hoop wool feltI finished it using the methods (minus the plan-ahead phase, since I didn’t plan ahead lol) shared in this tutorial on Sew Mama Sew.  I stitched the running stitch around the excess fabric, pulled it tight, knotted and tied it, then trimmed off the extra fabric. Next I cut a 4″ wool felt circle using my Sizzix machine and stitched it onto the back with coordinating 12wt Aurifil thread and a blanket stitch. I’m quite happy with the finish, and definitely plan to make more. In fact, I very well might aim to always have a  free-form brain palate cleanser embroidery hoop laying around, since it really worked wonders for helping me get back into a better mental place during especially hectic, crazy kid, too many (mostly self-imposed) expectations-filled days. Making works magic, doesn’t it?

I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday, and then sending this hoop off to a friend!

Eye Spy Picnic Plaid Rainbow Progress

It’s official. I completely understand the draw and very well may be hooked to meticulously cut scrap quilts! I have been having so much fun putting together my Scrappy Picnic Plaid quilt for the Quilter’s Planner 2016 Sew Along on Instagram. The pattern is by Lee Heinrich of Freshly Pieced, and is one of the fabulous quilt patterns included in the 2016 Quilter’s Planner. It’s technically my first scrappy quilt, and to add to the fun, I decided to make it an Eye Spy quilt for my 4-year old son Max.

eye spy picnic plaid rainbow quilt It is such a great feeling to be creating for one of my children again (Finn’s quilt blocks are still sitting in a stack, untouched since that 12 month milestone–yes, that’s next on my list!). Every time Max sees the progress, he says, “This is fantastic!” with the enthusiasm only a four-year-old can exhibit. There’s nothing like an exuberant cheering squad to keep the motivation burning brightly.

eye spy picnic plaid rainbow quiltWe are in the second week of sewing for the sew along, so hopefully I will have the quilt top completely sewn together by Monday. Time will tell if I actually meet that goal with all of the kids home and lots of family Thanksgiving time on the docket, but I’m hoping to at least be close!

eye spy picnic plaid rainbow quilt
Yes, I accidentally created one extra block, but the funny thing is, I was thinking about one particular quilty friend the entire time I was making that block, so I’m taking it as a sign that the extra blue block has different plans. More on that later *wink*

I’ve completely finished all of the rainbow center portions, and am diving into piecing the white-grey-black border portions of each block. I love how the rainbow gradient ended up, and it is so much fun to see little peeks at previous quilts through the scraps used here.

eye spy picnic plaid rainbow quiltI put a few contingencies in place to ensure that I love this quilt even though scrappy quilts are not typically my style, and I think they are proving to be quite successful. First, I used a very large ratio of Alison Glass fabric in the rainbow portions of each block. I love just about all of Alison’s fabric, so letting her color palette and fabrics play a strong hand is a surefire way to ensure I will enjoy looking at the quilt when it’s finished.

The next two will be a lot easier to see once the neutral outer portions of the blocks are complete, but I’ll mention them anyway. Second, I am using all one solid (Kona medium grey) for all of the “light grey” pieces in the pattern, instead of an assortment of scraps. This will provide a consistent and solid resting place for my eyes, just in case I get overwhelmed (although at this point, I have a feeling I’m going to LOVE looking at this quilt, so it might not have been needed). Third, I am using all of the same silver stars on black fabric for the centers of the lighter rings in the pattern, and light Lizzy House Twinkle Twinkle from her Whisper palette (Andover Fabrics) for the centers of the dark rings. Again, a little detail that will be consistent throughout, amidst the scrappy remainder of the quilt.

eye spy picnic plaid rainbow quilt progressI love seeing my favorite designers’ fabrics together, too. The top right block in the photo above combines my favorite Carolyn Friedlander fabric from her first line Architextures (Robert Kaufman Fabrics) and the fabulous Alison Glass Grove in Grass from her Sun Prints (Andover Fabrics). They are the perfect compliments to that sweet little mushroom in the middle! Love.

If you want to spend the next week sewing to catch up, you still can join in the sew along (there are some fabulous prizes still to be won, too!); get all the details here. Also, now is a perfect time to order the 2017 Quilter’s Planner–for yourself so that you can join in on the *Spoiler Alert!* 2017 Sew Along during an inspired and productive year, and as gifts for all of your creative friends and family!

Okay, back to sewing and baking!

Many wishes for a peaceful, healthy, happy Thanksgiving spent with family and friends. I’m grateful for you and your continued support and inspiration in this wonderful quilting community.

I’m linking up with Let’s Bee Social since I haven’t linked up on here in far tooooo long!

Simple Zipper Bag Sew Along with Fat Quarter Shop

The school year is winding down, which means teachers’ gifts are at the forefront of my mind (along with excitement–and trepidation!–at the prospect of summer adventure day trips with all three kids). When Fat Quarter Shop invited me to join this Simper Zipper Bag Sew Along, I thought it would be a perfect teacher’s gift project. I stitched up three of the large zipper bags, added some chocolate and a personalized thank you note from my 3 year old son, and viola! Perfect heartfelt teachers’ gifts!

fqs simple zipper pouch teacher giftThese zipper bags are SO easy to make, and Fat Quarter Shop has a very clear instructional video tutorial that you can find here:

The construction of the bags is brilliant, since the lining and the outer panels are quilted together and then simply sewn together and bound–so easy! I definitely will be going back to this pattern for future gifts, and I’m thinking of making a few more to stash coloring supplies for my kids in my purse for when extra entertainment is needed.

simple zipper pouch fat quarter shop teacher giftsThis is admittedly the first time I’ve made handmade teachers’ gifts, but my son’s preschool teachers have done such a fabulous job supporting and guiding him this year, that I felt I really wanted to express my gratitude. When I asked Max if he had any idea what colors might be his teachers’ favorites, he said, “Alllllll the colors!” That’s my boy. I figured I probably couldn’t go wrong with a rainbow-esque bag, especially for preschool teachers.

fqs simple zipper pouch teacher giftI decided on a gorgeous Amy Butler fabric from my stash for the backings and then used it to pull a coordinating rainbow of some of my favorite fabrics. You can see Alison Glass, Carolyn Friedlander, Cotton + Steel–they’re all there!

fqs simple zipper pouch teacher giftI chose to use strips of fabric instead of mini charm squares, and arranged the fabrics in a way that worked with the three zippers I had on hand, making each bag unique while still having the same general aesthetic. I used the edge of my walking foot to space horizontal straight line quilting on the front, using my go-to thread, 50wt Aurifil 2600-Dove. It blended perfectly with the “I love you” appliquéd hand while providing some subtle texture and interest to the rainbow fabrics.

fqs simple zipper pouch teacher giftI lined my bag with an appropriate Cotton + Steel print, Study Hall in Black and White from their Black and White Collection.

fqs simple zipper bag teacher giftI love the neat detailing that results with the construction of this bag. Sewing in the zipper is made SO easy, and the top stitching frames it nicely.

fqs simple zipper pouch teacher gift

More about that “I love you”; I think the American Sign Language (ASL) sign for “I love you” is known pretty universally, but in case you’re not familiar with it, the appliqué on each pouch is a tracing of my son’s hand making the “I love you” sign. My son is hard of hearing and wears hearing aids (when we can convince him to keep them in), and so he has a communication facilitator in addition to his two amazing teachers. His communication facilitator was fantastic, signing to him all day to increase exposure and familiarity to sign, since we are all trying to learn ASL as a family, and ensuring he heard directions during the day. The entire preschool class learned some sign language throughout the year, and the three teachers worked so well together to help ALL of the children in class have the best experience possible. When Max gave the gifts to his teachers, the “I love you” appliqué of Max’s hand was met with “awww” and a few misty eyes. I think the zipper bags were a win!

How would you use one of these Simple Zipper Bags? Be sure to visit Fat Quarter Shop and the other bloggers’ posts to see their creative takes on the pattern:

Erin from Why Not Sew?
Kitty from Night Quilter <—That’s me!
Leanne from She Can Quilt
Vanessa from Lella Boutique
Amanda from Jedi Craft Girl
Sherri from A Quilting Life
Cristy from Love You Sew
Leslie from Seasoned Homemaker
Tiffany from Tiny Seamstress

 

Have fun making your zipper bags!

Rainbow Hex Star {Sizzix Inspired Project}

Last night kicked off the International Quilt Market, spring edition, which is in Salt Lake City this year. Much of my Instagram feed is flowing with pictures of sample spree booty, gorgeous booths, and peeks at new fabric lines and products. One product that is being introduced at Quilt Market as we speak is a new Sizzix die called Hex Star designed by Victoria Findlay Wolfe.

hex star mini quilt sizzix inspired aurifilI got to play with this die in advance and I’m sharing the project I made with it over on the Sizzix blog today! It included my very first y-seams, rainbow hand quilting with 12 wt Aurifil thread, and a fun go at embroidery quilting (I may have invented that term myself–is it such a thing!?) I share a close look at my hand quilting, a tip for even stitches, and many more photos of the full project here.

hex star mini quilt sizzix inspired aurifilAlthough the mini quilt is bound and finished, I am 99.9% sure I am going to do more embroidery-quilting on the Alison Glass Endpaper outer border. I was debating whether to stick with the colors extending from each arm of the star or to mix it up in the outer border, but I think I’m going to stick with the same colors as the center. I shared more detail photos of the quilting and embroidery in my Sizzix post, so head over to see more!

Here are the 12 wt Aurifil colors I used, just in case you want to try some rainbow hand quilting, too:

5002 – Medium Red
1154 – Orange
2120 – Canary
1147 – Light Leaf Green
4140 – Wedgewood
2540 – Medium Lavender

I’ll be sure to show you when I finally decide it’s really finished. For now, I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts since this mini is technically finished (although is anything ever really fully finished when you have thread in your hand?)

Color Realizations {& Giveaway!}

Many makers have a signature style, a color palette they visit again and again, or perhaps an aesthetic that just makes their heart sing and their makes shine. We all know how much I love a rainbow, but recently I’ve felt the need to dive into other color combinations and experiment elsewhere. I’ve tried color combinations that have felt way out of my comfort zone, played with more monochromatic palettes, and have experimented with predetermined colors (paired with improv, no less!). While I do love the makes I’ve created through these experiments, I’ve realized that I truly love a rainbow gradient, but more specifically, I’m drawn strongly to tertiary colors.

color star tertiary wikipediaAs a refresher, the tertiary colors are the ones that fall between the primary and secondary colors, namely: Vermillion (red-orange), Amber (orange-yellow), Chartreuse (yellow-green, or lime), Teal (green-blue), Violet (blue-purple), and Magenta (purple-red). Thank you, Wikipedia for the great graphic! Even when a project isn’t a full rainbow spectrum, if it consists of tertiary colors it still makes my heart sing. Primaries? Not so much. Secondaries? Meh. Tertiaries? Oh, yesssss! All the colors? Even better!

I’ve decided that once a few last non-rainbow projects are completed, I am going to let go of my hesitancy to creating rainbow-everything. I will embrace my rainbow-loving self and create a rainbow-filled world! I have some really fun projects on the horizon and I can’t wait to share them with you!  Do you have a specific color combination that makes your heart sing and your eyes turn into hearts? Tell me about it in the comments and enter to win a great bundle of some of MY favorites!

Giveaway Time!

turn up the volume bundle for fat quarter shopToday’s giveaway is generously sponsored by the Fat Quarter Shop. When it was time to select the giveaway bundle for the month, this lovely Turn Up the Volume bundle curated by Rebecca Mae Designs caught my eye. Can you tell why? Tertiary colors!! It’s jam packed with vibrant, stash building tertiary colors. Now you have a chance to build your tertiary color stash in a big way (20 fat quarters-big… that’s 5 yards of fabric!).

To enter the giveaway today, let me know what colors you find yourself using again and again. Leave a comment and make sure I’m able to get ahold of you if you win.  If you’re a follower of Night Quilter, leave a second comment telling me how you follow for a second entry. Tell me how you follow Fat Quarter Shop (facebook, twitter, Instagramtheir blog Jolly Jabber, etc.) for a third entry.

This giveaway is open to US and international participants.  The giveaway will be open until Tuesday 5/10 at 8pm EST when I’ll select the winner randomly with random.org. Good luck! This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Delaine!!

Thanks again to the Fat Quarter Shop! Blog sponsors help me to keep this blog going by helping cover the costs of hosting, photography equipment, supplies, and of course time. Sweet, precious time. Many many thanks to all who support me!

Stash Building: Cotton Crates Subscription Box

Subscription services are all the rage these days, and who doesn’t love to receive packages in the mail? You can get boxes of stylish clothing in just your size (StitchFix), food ready to prepare healthy meals (Hello Fresh), science experiments ready for parents and kids to build together (TinkerCrate), wine curated to your tastes (Club W), and now fabric and sewing supplies, all mailed to your doorstep each month (Note, I’m not affiliates of any of these subscription boxes, simply stating one of many examples in each case). In the recent months, I’ve seen more and more fabric and sewing notions subscription boxes arise, so when Cotton Crates contacted me asking if I was interested in trying out a box in exchange for writing an honest review on my blog, I was intrigued. When they mentioned that the month’s box would contain 15 fat quarters of bright Riley Blake solids, I was sold. Full disclosure: Cotton Crates provided compensation in the form of product, a subscription box with fabric. All opinions expressed are my own. My excitement and heart eyes are also my own.

cotton crates subscription box fabricLet me tell you about my Cotton Crates experience. There’s something that comes from having a mystery box arriving in the mail that has a different feel than when fabric you specifically selected and purchased is delivered. Yes, any online fabric purchases arrive in your mailbox, but the cotton crates box held a bit of mystery that made the whole experience more exciting. My kids take turns getting the mail, and on this particular day it was my son Max’s turn. As soon as he opened the mailbox and saw the package he excitedly said, “Is it for me!?” I had to contain my glee when I said, “No, this one is for Mommy.”

cotton crates fabric subscription boxDuring the walk back to the house along our driveway, I was excitedly anticipating what I might see inside the box. Sure, I knew pretty specifically what it would contain, but still that excitement was there–specifically what colors would be included? What would it look like? Cotton Crates gives clues on social media (Instagram | Facebook) during the month to give you an idea of what types of fabric are included each month, but once you order it, it’s easy to keep it a surprise. Solids are such a versatile stash builder, since projects using all solids shine, and solids can also be a great compliment to the right print. In my humble opinion, one can never have too many solids in a stash.

cotton crates fabric subscription boxOpening the box was like opening a present, tissue paper, sticker, candy, and all.

cotton crates fabric subscription boxI love that Cotton Crates includes a card with a schedule of inspiration blog posts with projects you can make using the month’s box. You essentially have fabric and projects all in one box, with some candies, too, unless your kids grab them first!

cotton crates fabric subscription boxI captured the beauty of the fabrics, and then, true to my style, immediately put them into rainbow order.

cotton crates fabric subscription boxSigh… ahh, much better!

cotton crates fabric subscription boxI do have a thing for rainbows.

Now, how about some details? You can head over the the Cotton Crates website to read all about the subscription process, see or order previous boxes, and visit the blog for project ideas. Basically, the longer the time you subscribe, the cheaper the price you pay per box. For example, if you subscribe for one month, you pay $38 for the 12 (or in this case 15 solids) fat quarters, but if you subscribe for a full year, you only pay $34, which is a bit over $2.80 per fat quarter. I can definitely see the fun in fabric subscription services, and it is a great option for building a stash.

cotton crates fabric subscription boxMany thanks to Cotton Crates for the opportunity to try out their subscription box!

I’m linking up with Molli’s Sunday Stash since my solids rainbow grew in a beautiful way this week.

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!

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?