Tag Archives: sewing

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!

Stash Building: Culcita Box

Living out in the country, if I can order something online and have it delivered literally to my door (rural mail delivery is awesome!), I do it! Don’t get me wrong–I’m all about shop local and I support local businesses as much as I can. But with three little ones to wrangle into and out of carseats for every errand, some things like toothpaste, shampoo, kid sneakers, and … fabric!? Those can be delivered right to my door, thank you!

culcita box march fq boxSo when Jamie, co-founder of Culcita Box, emailed me a while back and asked if I would be interested in checking out their new fabric subscription service, I only needed a little nudge to say yes. That nudge was in the form of a quick perusal of their website and what their boxes included to make sure it was my style, and instead of a little nudge it was an “absolutely yes!” Full disclosure: Culcita Box 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. 

culcita box march fq boxThere are many things I really love about what Culcita Box is offering. They include modern fabric lines in their boxes, and you can basically customize your subscription, choosing the yardage and frequency that best fits your sewing style (1/4 yard or 1/2 yard, delivered monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly). Not only that, Culcita Box also offers specific kit subscriptions including everything you need to make a quilt or a bag/accessory, or kits to help you improve your skills. I think those options are super cool and unique, and I could definitely see gifting someone the improve your skills kit subscription if they wanted to get more into sewing.

culcita box march fq boxJamie was kind enough to send me the March fat quarter bundle box, so let’s take a look at what was in it!

culcita box march fq boxFirst the deets: the March Culcita box included a bundle of 12 fat quarters of luscious Art Gallery Fabrics–from the Take Shape Capsule, two (2) sew-in labels, a Quilt Theory pattern card for Ocean Path (my pattern!), and perhaps my favorite part–a quilty fortune cookie. I love the attention that clearly went into every detail of this subscription box–from the fun text all over the box, the wrapping, the hand-written note, and even a sewing-related message in the fortune cookie!! It’s like unwrapping a present, and honestly, who doesn’t like unwrapping presents?

culcita box march fq box labelsI love that the box included two labels, since I think labeling is one of the most important parts of making, yet it’s something that so many people omit from the process. I bet having labels ready to go would help at least get a name and date added to the quilty goodness stitched with love daily. I’m excited to put these to use!

culcita box march fq box fortune cookieThe fortune cookie was such a fun addition. With a sewing-related inspiring message/fortune inside, and a delicious cookie to boot, how can you not love this little detail? Those who sew, sow peace. Yes!

culcita box march fq box fabricThe fabric is luxuriously soft, as we’ve all come to love about all Art Gallery fabrics, and included fabric from one of the new fabric capsules, namely Take Shape. I love the bold geometric shapes and gorgeous color palette. I also really love that these fabrics are a palette and style somewhat different than my usual saturated rainbow tone on tones. With the inclusion of my Quilt Theory Ocean Path quilt pattern card, I’m really wanting to make an Ocean Path pillow version with 2 offset blocks in these geometric beauties. Will my to-do list allow? Time will tell! Either way, I’m excited to add these fabrics to my stash… or projects list!

Many thanks to Culcita Box for letting me try out their subscription box! I would definitely recommend this box for the modern quilter looking to build a stash of beautiful fabrics, or as a gift for those who prefer making bags, working from quilt kits, or building their skills.

I’ll be linking up with Molli Sparkles’ Sunday Stash since gosh, it’s been a while since I’ve built my stash!

 

Christmas in July Pattern Bundle Sale – 72 hours only!

I’m not typically one to sew for the holidays, but in retrospect, perhaps it’s because I don’t begin my projects early enough to make it possible! Enter: Christmas in July.  I’m beginning to understand why the term “Christmas in July” exists–since if you want to hand stitch gifts, you should be beginning in July! If you are the type who does like to sew holiday gifts, or even just someone who loves a great deal, today is your day! Note: This sale has ended for the year! 

christmas in july Bundle Sale HeaderI’m excited to be joining a fantastic group of pattern designers to bring you a Christmas in July pattern bundle, available for $25 for three days only. There are 23+ great patterns included, as well as some great sponsor prizes. Both of my top selling foundation paper pieced patterns Lupine & Love Struck are included in the bundle, as well as a variety of other fantastic patterns by talented designers, both holiday themed and all purpose patterns great to have in your library.

Quilter's Planner IncentiveAs an extra special incentive, if you buy the bundle from me, you will also be entered to win a Quilter’s Planner 2017 Starter Kit, which includes a 2017 Quilter’s Planner as well as pens, stickers, and highlighters to help you stay organized, productive, and inspired! (Note: The winner will receive the starter kit as soon as it’s available, expected to be shipping in October). Congratulations to Sharon, the winner of the Quilter’s Planner Starter Kit!

Many thanks to Jen Frost from Faith & Fabric, who has organized this bundle sale and helped get everyone together to offer this great deal. Here’s a bit more about what’s included in the purchase of the bundle.

bundle sale contentsbundle sale participantsYou will get immediate digital download of all of the patterns shown above, plus:

– two coupon codes: one for Gotham Quilts and one for Sulky
– one entry to win a free Craftsy Class
– one entry to win a 6mo subscription to Make Modern

PLUS, as I mentioned above, if you buy the bundle HERE, you will also be entered to win a 2017 Quilter’s Planner Starter Kit, care of yours truly and my dear friend Stephanie (Late Night Quilter), the mastermind behind the Quilter’s Planner. Talk about Christmas in July! Again, congrats to Sharon!

The bundle is no longer available since the sale has ended for the year. Stay tuned next July, and for those of you who purchased the bundle, happy stitching!  The bundle is available in my Payhip shop, and will only be live for 72 hours beginning RIGHT NOW! This sale runs from Monday 3pm EST until Thursday 3pm EST, so be sure to catch it now. Once you purchase the bundle, greatly expand your library of sewing and quilt patterns, and get sewing, please share your creations using #sewchristmasinjuly on social media. We would all love to see what you create!

Bundle Sale Ended

 

 

Pin Cushion Sew Along with Fat Quarter Shop

Today I’m taking part in yet another fun, quick sew along hosted by Fat Quarter Shop. Kimberly from FQS teamed up with Sherri McConnell once again to bring you a video tutorial for a really simple and cute pin cushion, which is being released today. I definitely will be making more of these!

fat quarter shop pin cushion sew alongI really love clear video tutorials since I am very much a visual learner. Seeing each step helps make the process smooth and easy to complete without hang up or confusion. That, to me, is a big win!

fat quarter shop pin cushion sew alongI decided to make my pin cushion with a range of warm Alison Glass Sun Prints 2015 and 2016, and once it was finished, it begged to be photographed out in the garden with the peonies. Such vibrant colors need to be in colorful company.

fat quarter shop pin cushion sew alongI used a Tula Pink ribbon I won in a giveaway from Renaissance Ribbons a year or so ago as the ribbon detail, top stitched with Aurifil 40wt 2230-Medium Peony (so fitting!). I topped the pin cushion with Robert Kaufman Quilter’s Linen, which is a fabulous all-purpose blender fabric that happened to coordinate wonderfully. Aurifil 50wt 5022-Mustard was the perfect thread for hand stitching the opening in the Quilter’s Linen closed, too. I just love when perfectly coordinating fabrics and thread can be found in my stash.

fat quarter shop pin cushion sew alongI backed the pin cushion in Ex Libris Bookplate in Charcoal by Alison Glass (Andover Fabrics), and really would be tempted to use the pin cushion upside down every so often, it’s so pretty. This pin cushion is not for me, though, so the recipient can do with it as she pleases!

fat quarter shop pin cushion sew alongThis is the first pin cushion I’ve stuffed entirely with crushed walnut shell, at Sherri’s suggestion, and I really like the sturdiness and ease with which pins go into it. I bought the crushed walnut shell from a quasi-local, fabulous quilt shop, Clementine in Rockland, Maine months ago but had not yet had a chance to use it. Leah at Clementine suggested the crushed walnut shells since the oils from the nut shells help keep the pins and needles sharp and rust free. They also provide a nice, sturdy base for your pins and needles.

fat quarter shop pin cushion sew alongCheck out the video below and make your own pin cushion if you want! There’s no such thing as too many pin cushions, right?

Be sure to visit the other bloggers in the hop to help spark your inspiration and see what they did with this pin cushion:

Kitty from Night Quilter <–You’re here!

Amanda from Jedi Craft Girl

Nicole from Modern Handcraft

Jessica from Quilty Habit

Jessee from Art School Dropout

Tina from Emily Ann’s Kloset

Michele from Island Life Quilts

Angie from Gnome Angel

Sinta from Pink Pin Cushion

Melissa from Happy Quilting

All in a Year: 12 Months

finn milestone quilt 12 months full quiltAnd just like that, all of the blocks for Finn’s milestone quilt are finished and my baby is officially one year old. They say “babies don’t keep” but somehow it feels like the past year flew by especially quickly. I won’t even try to pretend I won’t miss this project dearly now that it’s mostly finished. I do still need to piece the top and quilt it, so no worries–you haven’t seen the last of Finn and his quilt!

finn milestone quilt 12 months full quiltWithin the past week, Finn has fully mastered walking and now prefers it over crawling. He joyfully walks circles around the house, his wobbly steps getting stronger and smoother by the day. This joy of walking certainly made this photo shoot the most difficult yet! I got one, only one, photograph of Finn relatively near his final quilt block, and while it’s not as clear as I’d like, it’s staying.

Finn 12 months milestone quiltTwelve months is 12 months, and not even mommy’s most sincere and pleading attempts will keep a newfound walker from walk, walk, walking! Just as a reminder, here is Finn with his very first milestone quilt block, 11 long months ago:

Finn 1 Month quilt block tealIsn’t it absolutely mind-blowing how much babies grow and learn in such a short time!? Life is an amazing thing.

finn milestone quilt 12 months full quiltMy big kids brought home a couple of balloons from their cousin’s first birthday this weekend (we had a full family birthday weekend with both Finn and cousin Reagan born 26 hours apart), and they have become the favorite toy for all three kids. (Safety note: Yes, I know that balloons are not technically safe for babies, so I will reassure you here that I only allow Finn to play with the balloon when I am directly supervising him!) I figured giving Finn something fun to hold was my best bet at having him stand still for even a moment.

finn milestone quilt 12 months full quiltEven still, Finn would rather walk around than stand still, despite my best efforts. C’est al vie. Such is life with a brand new walker!

finn milestone quilt 12 months full quiltAdd an eager almost-four-year old big brother helper, and the majority of my photos looked like this:

finn milestone quilt 12 months full quiltor, more accurately, like this:

finn milestone quilt 12 months full quiltThis is part of what I have loved about this project, though. It has given me an opportunity to sit down, reflect, and write about life in the current moment. By documenting each month of my baby’s life, I’m also documenting our life as a family. With our busy lives, how often do we take a moment to write about our day? I have loved that this project has given me the motivation to write, reflect, and document the joyful milestones in Finn’s first year.

finn milestone quilt 12 months full quiltFinn continues to have a sweet and joyful disposition, complete with his newfound ability to express frustration and flop himself face down, crying, on the floor. Overall, though, he is a happy boy and a super helper. He loves to help me unload the dishwasher, taking out each utensil and holding it up for me (as long as I’m quick enough to take it within a second or two). When he does that, I always say “Thank you!” and now it sounds like he says, “Thank you!” right back. This morning while I was getting dressed, he joyfully opened my dresser drawer and started taking out folded clothes, tossing them on the floor one at a time and saying “thank you” after each one! Oh, the innocence of babes!

finn milestone quilt 12 months full quiltFinn has helped take these blocks off the wall for the very last time. Next up is squaring up the blocks and sewing the quilt top together. I’m going to give myself a month in which to do it, since it feels like an attainable goal. Setting realistic goals is still something I’m continuously working on, and something this project has helped with greatly. As much as I may have itched at times to make extra blocks, or up the ante to two blocks per month, I’m SO glad that I stuck with my original plan of one block per month, since deadlines have a funny way of sneaking up on me. Sure, it took an entire year, but all of the blocks for Finn’s quilt have been made! A finished quilt is just around the corner.

For those of you new to this project, you can see the full quilt layout plan, HERE in the 3 month post. The blocks are all completely finished now, and just as planned! You can see the full progression of Finn and his quilt’s growth HERE or by clicking the “Milestone Quilt” tab at the top of my blog. Thank you for joining me on this journey! I’m not considering the journey over just yet, since I will check in with quilt finishing progress, too, with Finn’s help of course!

I’ll end this post with a few peeks from Finn’s first birthday party. He had such a great time!

finn 1 year old birthday milestone quilt
Cheerful boy + good light = sweet shot!
finn 1 year old birthday milestone quilt
Figuring out those stacking cups!
finn 1 year old birthday milestone quilt
Those eyes!
finn 1 year old birthday milestone quilt
The big sibling blur during gift opening. Big siblings are great gift helpers!
finn 1 year old birthday milestone quilt
Birthday cake!
finn 1 year old birthday milestone quilt
“Oh yes, I am eating it all!”

Here’s to many more years of growth, joy, and family fun!

I’m linking up with Design Wall Monday, and Sew Cute Tuesday tomorrow.

 

The Final Stretch: 11 Months

I’ve been here every day, experiencing  every moment, yet still it’s hard to believe my baby is nearly a year old. Finn is walking more and more, beginning to talk a bit (he clear as day said “yes” when I asked him if he wanted more milk last night, and “mama” is a regular), he’s learned how to tell me when he doesn’t like something, and his wonder of the world around him only grows. I know that he has a lot more growing and developing to do, but his milestone quilt is nearly finished. finn milestone quilt 11 monthsI had to laugh to myself a bit a few weeks ago when Finn threw his first fit. You know the kind, where he gets his hands on something he really shouldn’t have (in this case, a pony bead that he surely would try to eat), you take it away, trying to distract him with something else, but still he whines, arches his back and makes it known that he is NOT happy. My first thought was, “Awww cute! Finn learned how to throw a fit!” True tale sign he’s my third child. While it’s still a bit cute when he throws a fit, I’m sure it will get old long before he outgrows it. But still, he’s such a blessing. Looking at these photos, you’d never think he’d be capable of throwing a fit. finn milestone quilt 11 monthsNow that walking and moving is old hat for Finn, this photo shoot was quite a feat. Just about as soon as I set him down standing, he’d start to walk toward me. Adorably cute, yes, but jolting movement doesn’t bode well for clear photos. Still I managed to get a few good ones, and of course I’ll be sharing them here. finn milestone quilt 11 monthsThis month, we had some friends over during his photo shoot (which actually happened this morning!), so his friend Ronin joined him for the photos. Ronin is a few months younger than Finn, but it was fun to see them interact. finn milestone quilt 11 monthsHere I was asking and signing to Finn, “Where’s your friend?” I’m trying to sign all the time to Finn and it’s slowly starting to show. He finally signed “more” while eating eggs the other morning, and I think is beginning to sign “milk” and perhaps “all done”. He seems much more interested in verbal communication, and it sounds to me like he says: mama, milk, more, Maddie, Max, water, yes, and perhaps a few more. The development of a human brain blows my mind. finn milestone quilt 11 monthsfinn milestone quilt 11 monthsOnce again, the highlight of the day was ripping the blocks off the wall. Here Ronin looks on as Finn takes the first block down, and turns to check with Emily (Ronin’s mom) to make sure it’s ok. finn milestone quilt 11 months

finn milestone quilt 11 months
How happy do they look!?

Once I gave them the go ahead, it was a quilt block grabbing, tasting, throwing free-for-all. finn milestone quilt 11 monthsRonin especially enjoyed the tactile-oral quality control job. Such adorable kids.

stof fabrics to back the milestone quiltAs you may have noticed in some of the photos above, I recently found potential backings for Finn’s milestone quilt. While doing a bit of quilt shop hopping during Maine’s April quilt shop hop, I spotted two prints that stuck with me at Mainely Sewing. After walking through the shop, I found myself coming back to these two.

stof fabrics to back the milestone quiltThey are by Stof Fabrics, which is a fabric company unfamiliar to me before now. The fabric feels sturdy and smooth, and based in Denmark, I anticipate high quality. After much deliberation, I bought a couple yards of each print, just in case. I haven’t seen them elsewhere, so I thought it was a wise purchase.

stof fabrics to back the milestone quiltTo be honest, the print that looks like birch trees was the one I thought I’d use for the backing, until seeing them hanging next to the quilt. Looking at the photo above, I’m leaning strongly toward the print on the left. I love the pops of gold in both of them, since some of the fabrics I used in the quilt blocks for the front have gold details, and the square geometric pattern reflects the log cabin structure. I can see this quilt coming together, and it’s such a fun sight!

milestone quilt finn 11 monthsI deliberated over which photo of Finn to use for his 11 month block photo, since this one of him carefully standing is pretty adorable, but I ultimately chose the one with him leaning over, peeking out into the kitchen where Emily and Max were talking.

milestone quilt finn 11 monthsThis photo seems relevant to his stage of life right now–wanting to get into the mix, discover everything, and communicate and run with the big kids. He’s getting awfully tall, too! One more month before he’s a one-year-old! I’ll check in again next month to share the celebration.

For those of you new to this project, you can see the full quilt layout plan, HERE in the 3 month post. You can see the full progression of Finn and his quilt’s growth so far HERE or by clicking the “Milestone Quilt” tab at the top of my blog. Thank you for joining me on this journey!

Bean Sprout: FPP Pattern Release

Today I am excited to release my newest foundation paper pieced (FPP) pattern, Bean Sprout. Today is arbor day, so for now I’m thinking of it as more of a tree sprout, but regardless of which species you’re growing, this block pattern is ready to roll!

bean sprout foundation paper pieced pattern nightquilterTo me, the bean sprout is the epitome of spring, new life, and the wonder of discovery. I have watched my children’s excitement over the first sprout of newly planted seeds, and wanted to capture that fresh promise. This block is perfect for the gardeners among you, and I can see it as a focal block in a quilt, or even turned into pillows, tote bags, wall hangings, or table runners.

grow bean sprout pillow finishYou may remember my first iteration of this Bean Sprout block, which I turned into a pillow and donated to my daughter’s school for their annual fundraiser auction/raffle. Since then, I made a few tiny tweaks to the pattern to make it a bit more versatile, easier to piece, and clearer to follow. The block finishes at 8″x12″, but can easily be made into a 12″x12″ finished block by adding two side strips, which is explained in the pattern.

pattern piecing diagram bean sprout fppThe pattern includes clear piecing diagrams, sewing tips, and templates for the 8″x12″ finished block, with various shading to help with accurate fabric placement. Quarter inch seam allowances are included on all pattern pieces to help ensure easy piecing, and a 1″ reference square is on every printable page so that scale can be confirmed. Full foundation paper piecing instructions are not included in the pattern, but I have a thorough paper piecing tutorial HERE. Lee Heinrich from Freshly Pieced also has a fabulous tutorial on the Bernina We All Sew blog HERE, which will ensure you will never miss corners again. Knowing all of the information in these two tutorials will help demystify FPP, or at the very least will GREATLY reduce seam ripping.

bean sprout block bring spring no matter the weather
Sew up the bean sprout block to bring spring no matter the weather!!

Bean Sprout is available for sale in my Craftsy and Payhip (if you’re in the EU, please purchase through Payhip!) shops, at an introductory price of $2.50 through the weekend. Tuesday morning EST, it will go up to its standard price of $4.50.

bean sprout foundation paper piecing pattern nightquilterI pushed spring into summer with my latest version of the block, using Cotton + Steel teals and coral that remind me of watermelon. I wanted to show the versatility of the color possibilities with this true-to-life block. While my brain initially goes to the greens and blues true to real life bean sprouts and summer sky, there are many other combinations that could work well to make the block shine! (For the avid gardeners among you, yes, I know the seedling shown is a brussel sprout plant, not a bean!)

There’s not much more exciting than seeing what others create with my patterns, so if you make this block, please use the tag #beansproutblock on social media and tag me @nightquilter. Sending an email would also work! Enjoy, spread the word, and go grow some quilts!

I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday, Needle and Thread Thursday, and Let’s Bee Social.

Kittens at Play: First Commissioned Quilt Finish

Today I am excited to share my first commissioned quilt with you! This quilt was a long time in the making, but has finally been finished, mailed, and happily received. It was a project for my father-in-law (GrandDude to my kids), who wanted to commission a secretly-made quilt for his adored wife (Grand Princess). The quilt features their two kittens Gina and Rascal, and incorporates many of my mother-in-law’s favorites. At 80″x74″, it was the largest quilt I’ve made to date, and lots of fun!

j quilt kittens at play finishWhen my FIL first suggested the idea of making a quilt for J, I asked him what he had in mind. He wanted a kitten quilt and suggested a mauve color palette. I showed him a few examples of kitten quilts with a modern aesthetic, and we decided on a quilt inspired by Luke Haynes’ Silhoucat quilt and tutorial found on Bernina’s We All Sew blog.

Mock up with kittensI sketched out a few versions with one kitten, but then he decided it would be really fabulous if I could show Gina looking out the window at a butterfly and Rascal looking out the door at a mouse. He sent a photo of the “green room” in their home since it is where the kittens often lounge, and asked if I could make the quilt look like the room. Since they live hundreds of miles away, matching the green would have been near impossible, so I grasped the mauve color palette suggestion and came up with a final layout.  My thought was that it is reminiscent of the green room in layout and kitten position, but the color would coordinate with either the green room or the living room, so the quilt could be an all purpose snuggle quilt. I sent him a rough mock up, created in EQ7 and paint–don’t you love my scribble kitties?–which amazingly came really close to looking like the finished quilt (little did we know at the time). He gave me the go-ahead to take artistic license and make the quilt, and so I began!

silhouette cat window butterfly quiltThe windows are made up of an assortment of light teal, blue, and grey half square triangles (HST), since I wanted it to look like dappled light through the windows. I’m definitely happy with the outcome, and think that it worked well! The walls and window/door frame are Interweave chambrays in colors sorbet and boysenberry, and the cats are Moda bella black, fused and raw-edge appliqued in place during quilting.

silhouette cat window mouse quiltNot having cats myself, I had to do some research into cat posture and the meanings behind different stances. Many thanks to Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl and Stephanie at Late Night Quilter for their input and cat positioning feedback. I think the playfulness of Rascal came across well as he eyed a mouse in preparation of pouncing!

finished folded quiltThe binding and backing were a step outside of my comfort zone, but I think they work well. J’s favorite color is lime green, so I knew from the start that I wanted to work some into the quilt. After considering many options (and confirming with my FIL), I made a bold choice to go with a solid lime green lawn for the backing. Lawn is super soft, so it is perfect for a couch snuggle quilt, and the solid lets the quilting shine on the back. I used Anna Maria Horner’s Spotted in the Crowd in Amelie from her Field Study line for binding, since I know J loves animal prints. Plus, the binding has both bits of lime green and teal/light blue, which helps tie the windows from the front into the lime green back.

lime green quilting detailI had lots of fun and tried new things with the quilting for this quilt, and I’m really happy with the outcome. I used coordinating 50wt Aurifil thread, changing colors for each section so that the quilting created texture without detracting from the design. I first quilted straight lines to frame the windows and keep the quilt squared (thank you, Stephanie for the pro tip!). Next, I raw edge appliquéd around the cats, butterfly, and mouse. I echo quilted inside of the cats to secure them while still keeping the shape apparent. For the walls, I free motion quilted a large mod flower pattern to give the walls texture and softness at the same time. I free motion quilted a large orange peel into the windows, using the HST grid as my base. As is my style, I didn’t mark the quilt at all and just went for it! Every time I free motion quilt, I begin terrified and quickly get into the rhythm, grinning and loving the process. I really need to do this more often!

kittens at play quilt commission finishAside from finding the necessary time to piece, layer, trace, fuse, and cut applique, baste, quilt, and finish this commission, the trickiest part was photographing the finished quilt. This quilt was too wide for even my tall 6’2″ husband to hold fully extended, although he did his best. He even tried to jump to get his feet out of the photo, but lo it only resulted in laughs. After washing and drying the quilt, I gave photographing it in full another go, trying the pant-hanger on the shed trick. Still not my favorite quilt photos, but they show the full quilt, so I’ll concede. The quilt is cute and loved, and that’s what matters!

always sign a quilt labelJ with her quilt happy recipientJ is happy with her quilt, so I’m thrilled!

Quilt Stats

Pattern: My own design, method inspired by Luke Haynes’ Silhoucat Quilt and fashioned after the recipients home and kittens

Size: 80″x74″

Fabric:
Front: The windows are an assortment of MANY teal/light blue/grey prints including but not limited to: Firefly Jar Mint from Curiosities by Jeni Baker (Art Gallery), Shimmer 2 fabric by Jennifer Sampou (Robert Kaufman), Mini Pearl Bracelets in Petal by Lizzy House (Andover), Full Circle in Robin’s Egg from Full Circle by Eloise Renouf (Cloud 9), Hilltop Mint Hearts for Wee Gallery (Dear Stella), Geo Mist in Mist from Anna Elise by Bari J (Art Gallery), Flirt Spring Branches on Grey (Dear Stella), Grey Mini Confetti from Confetti Dot (Dear Stella), Net in Smoke and Mint (Dear Stella), Crosshatch in Lake from Architextures by Carolyn Friedlander (Robert Kaufman), Chasing Butterflies in Blue by Lizzy House (Andover), Flowers on Blue by Pippa Moon (Studio E), The Sweet Life by Cori Daitini (Blend), Three French Hens by Pearl Louise Krush for Riverwoods Collection (Troy Corp), Glitz Flower in Aqua from Glitz Garden (Michael Miller);
The walls are Interweave Chambray in Sorbet (Robert Kaufman), and the door and window frames are Interweave Chambray in Boysenberry (Robert Kaufman); the cats and creatures are Moda Bella black.
Back: Cotton Lawn in Lime
Binding: Spotted in the Crowd in Amelie from Field Study by Anna Maria Horner (Free Spirit)

Batting: 100% cotton Soft n’ Crafty batting

Thread: Aurifil 50wt in 2600 – Dove for piecing and Aurifil 50wt 2800- Mint Ice, 5003-Wine, 4030-Plum and, 2692-Black for quilting

Quilting: Both straight line and free motion quilting on my Bernina 560 and a walking foot/open fronted darning foot

Time:
Piecing the top: 12 hours
Tracing, cutting, fusing applique: 4 hours
Piecing the back: 35 minutes
Squaring, layering, and basting: 1 hour 40 min
Quilting: 9 hours 30 min
Finishing (squaring & burying threads): 2 hours
Binding: 3 hours
Total: Approx. 32 hours 45 min

Related Blog Post: Slow and Steady

I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday, Needle and Thread Thursday, and TGIFF. I’m so excited to have my first commissioned quilt under my belt, and I’m so grateful to my FIL for not only seeing the value in handmade, but insisting on supporting the business side of what I do, too!

 

Upward: 10 Months

It’s hard to believe that my baby will be a year old in less than two months. They don’t lie when they say “babies don’t keep”. Finn is in the final stretch, as is his milestone quilt. I’ll warn you now: I took a LOT of photos this month. If you don’t feel like seeing far too many cute baby photos, you may want to just stop here. The rest of you may want to get a beverage and find a comfortable seat! 

finn 10 months milestone quiltFinn is itching to run around with his older siblings, and that motivation is clear in his movement and development. A few days before 10 months, he took his first few (three, to be exact) small, tentative steps. Were they to mommy or daddy? No! They were to big sister Maddie, with whom he really wanted to play. He has been mastering climbing down as well as up stairs, and absolutely loves to dance. His solo standing is now quite steady.

finn 10 months milestone quiltHis quilt is growing, too. Creating the blocks has become second nature, and with the extra precut strips saved from previous blocks, the new blocks go together quickly. As anticipated, the toughest part about this quilt now is the monthly photo shoot. Finn was *really* helpful this time!

finn 10 months milestone quiltWhile I taped the blocks to the wall as quickly as I could, Finn was helping me sort the project box for this milestone quilt. In baby terms, this means pull everything out of the box then proceed to mix around as much as possible. Oh, and taste all the things!

finn 10 months milestone quiltTaking the blocks off the wall is also a really well known and delightfully entertaining game. This month’s photo should really look like the photo above. As Finn adorably revealed. I’ve been hiding an outlet behind the blocks all these months! In a house with a million outlets and hardly any clear walls, you have to make do! He’s so proud of himself.

finn 10 months milestone quiltFinn now has four teeth, and his top two grow bigger daily. You can barely see them peeking out in this photo. Such a sweet mug!

finn 10 months milestone quiltPlaying throw and catch is another favorite of 10 month-old Finn. Here we are playing with my newly made repurposed denim ball.

finn 10 months milestone quilt
I caught this gem action shot with the ball in the air!

He actually has quite an arm already, and almost always throws the ball forward instead of behind him!

finn 10 months milestone quiltHe’s just SOOOO big! There are those top teeth!

finn 10 months milestone quiltWith teeth comes the ability to eat more adventurous things. Toward the end of the photo shoot I discovered one of the reasons Finn was so intent on taking the blocks off the wall.

finn 10 months milestone quiltfinn 10 months milestone quiltfinn 10 months milestone quiltHe was aiming to eat the blue painter’s tape right off the wall! Must be delicious!

Finn 10 months milestone quiltSo there we have it. Ten months old!

For those of you new to this project, you can see the full quilt layout plan, HERE in the 3 month post. You can see the full progression of Finn and his quilt’s growth so far HERE or by clicking the “Milestone Quilt” tab at the top of my blog. Thank you for joining me on this journey!

Eye Spy Something New

My recent experimentation with improv curves has got me excitedly skipping down the path of curved sewing, eagerly trying every rendition of curves I can find. Mastering curves is one of my big goals for the year, so I’m happily nurturing this skill with every try.

eye spy quilt beginningsI have collected quite a sweet stack of fabric scraps featuring colorful creatures and items (many thanks to my most generous fellow quilters who sent scraps!), and with Allison from Campbell Soup Diary constantly prodding encouraging me to try freezer paper appliqué, I figured it was finally time. Thus begins another new project–an eye spy quilt for my kids involving inset circles, drunkards path blocks, and any other curves I can find.

inset circles with sizzix and freezer paper eye spySince I don’t have an actual mathematical compass in my house (gasp–appalling, I know!), I decided to use my Sizzix die cutting machine to help with cutting circles, since of course the eye spy quilt will need to consist of curves of all kinds. I only have the Sizzix BigZ L die that includes 2″, 3″, and 4″ circles together, so I could use it to cut the freezer paper but not the fabric. You can be sure the solo 2 1/2″ and 3 1/2″ circle dies will be in my next order! I grabbed some freezer paper, my washable school glue with Fineline tip, some appliqué scissors, my Sizzix fabi and circles and drunkards path dies and some fun fabrics.

inset circles with sizzix and freezer paper eye spyI used a combination of Allison’s fabulous tutorial for a mini drunkards path block and the techniques used in the six-minute circle and other improv sewing I’ve been trying. I basically followed Allison’s tutorial, using the Sizzix to cut the circle in the freezer paper, and ironing the freezer paper to the wrong side of my background square to get started.

inset circles with sizzix and freezer paper eye spyI clipped the curves and pressed them out around the freezer paper, actually gluing them a bit to the paper so that they would stay pressed back better (brilliant tip, Allison!). Then I diverted from Allison’s tutorial and switched into “six-minute circle mode”, running a bead of glue around the tabs.

inset circles with sizzix and freezer paper eye spyI then positioned the circle over the strawberry piece, pressing it with an iron to heat set the glue.

inset circles with sizzix and freezer paper eye spyOnce the tabs were heat set and secure, I gently pulled the background fabric up and slowly stitched around the inside edge of that freezer paper circle using a zipper foot. That way, these inset circles are sewn and secure, but the stitches are still hidden like with actual curved piecing.

inset circles with sizzix and freezer paper eye spyThen I trimmed the excess fabric from around the strawberry, creating a 1/4″ seam allowance. I LOVE the outcome! I also think this took even less than six minutes, which is kind of amazing in my book. Only a couple hundred more squares to go!

inset circles with sizzix and freezer paper eye spyI don’t have a real firm plan for this quilt yet, other than I’m aiming to use 4″ and 8″ and possibly some 2″ blocks and aim for a smooth rainbow gradient as well as the eye spy fun within the blocks. I have not yet decided whether I will include squares as well as circles, or if I will keep this a purely curvy quilt. What would you do?

drunkards path block beginnings sizzixAs you can see, I did give one drunkards path block a go since I have a drunkards path die that finishes at 4″, but I clearly need more practice with actual curved piecing. It ended up a bit wonky and smaller than 4 1/2″ (for visual reference, the strawberry and cat blocks are about 5 or 5 1/2″ square since I plan to trim them down at the end and I wanted some wiggle room). Next time, I’ll try glue basting for the drunkards path block, too, I think. It’s worth a try!

I’m linking up with Lorna at Let’s Be Social, since I’ve added yet another project to my works in progress pile. After this one, I’m going to focus on finishing what I’ve started for a while!