Tag Archives: turquoise

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.

 

Colour Block Challenge Hosted by Gnome Angel

Those who know me know I love color, the brighter and bolder the better! I also love quilt photography and fun styling of process photos, and continuously aim to improve the clarity and aesthetic pull of my photographs. So when Angie at Gnome Angel announced a fun little challenge called the Colour Block Challenge (yes, colour with a ‘u’!) that includes bright color and fun photo styling, I immediately wanted to play. With a to-do list a mile long and only wee bits of time in which to complete it, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to squeeze in making a block for it though. Then, Angie gave me just the gentle nudge I needed–she tagged me on Instagram saying she was personally challenging me, since she knew how much I would LOVE to play. Then and there, I knew I was going to make time to play and participate no matter what–don’t you love when quilting friends really know you and help encourage you to have some extra fun!?

Take a colour themed quilt block photo and win! Find out more at www.gnomeangel.com
Take a colour themed quilt block photo and win! Find out more at http://www.gnomeangel.com

I read through Angie’s fabulous tutorial on how to make awesome color (er,… colour) flat lay photos, selected fabrics that I felt complimented the block well but also would lend themselves to some fun color scavenger hunts around the house, and went wild.

I took a full Finn nap-time (a serendipitously long one at that!) to make a new Farmer’s Wife block with the colour challenge in mind. This was doubly great, since I’ve been wanting to make more Farmer’s Wife blocks, but they always seem to drop to the bottom of my list. This project has jump-started my desire to catch up with some blocks, AND has reminded me how much I love foundation paper piecing (FPP)! I plan to FPP more of my future Farmer’s Wife blocks, since I was able to make the entire block during the span of one nap time. Knowing that I can accomplish something like making an entire block during one nap helps me feel like I’m set up for success and ready to dive in. Everyone loves a finish, even if it’s a single block!

colour block challenge by gnomeangel turquoise Once my block was complete, I wandered the house in search of colorfully turquoise objects. As Angie suggests, I gathered a lot and generally laid them out around the block on a big white foam board.

colour block challenge by gnomeangel turquoise I arranged and rearranged, and rearranged some more. Without sharing all her secrets (you can go and read her awesome tutorial on how to succeed with these colour flat lay photos here), Angie was so right that the magic happens as you get closer and closer with your photo.

colour block challenge by gnomeangel turquoise I think I spent more time rearranging the items than making the block, and remembering where they all went when I was done was another interesting challenge. I honestly had such a fun time laying this out. I already have another idea I want to try, which almost ALWAYS happens when I divert from my project to-do list to play, but I have to get one deadlined tutorial finished before I play more with this idea. I have a feeling my kids will love helping me with these photo flat lays, too. I made this one while the big kids were away on their grand adventure with my parents, so they didn’t get to help this time around. Just one more reason to make the time to play juuuuuust one more time *wink* (we all know I’m not finished with these color block flat lays!)

colour block challenge gnomeangel nightquilter entryThe challenge is being held on Instagram, so here was my final entry (above). Looking at it again, my camera photos look brighter than the one I took with my phone. Note taken for next time! You have two more days to post your entries, so if you are on Instagram, I definitely recommend you play, or at least check out the hashtag #colourblockchallenge to feast your eyes upon a gorgeous world of quilty color (you can view the tag online, even if you don’t have a smart phone or an Instagram account).

Since I love close up detail photos, here is a little tour of the silly items I found for this challenge. Who knew that we had so many turquoise bits and bobs around the house!?

colour block challenge by gnomeangel turquoise frogZippers and frogs, and pencils, oh my!

colour block challenge by gnomeangel turquoise ribbon boyntonChecking the kids’ bookshelf was a great tip by Angie. Sandra Boyton’s Hippos Go Berserk is a must read, especially when you love turquoise, math, and silliness (like I do!).

colour block challenge by gnomeangel turquoise sharkThis smiley shark had as much fun as I did, I think! Legos are an immediate win, and the little bobbin minders that Sarah from Sarah Goer Quilts sent me a few months ago kicked off my color hunt. No turquoise lay would be complete without an Elsa shoe, too, glittering in the background.

So much fun! Thank you, Angie, for the push to play. I had SO much fun with this!

 

Fabri-Quilt New Block Blog Hop: Transparent Play {Tutorial}

fabri-quilt-new-block-blog-hopWhen I was invited to join the Fabri-Quilt New Block Blog Hop with the challenge of creating a new 12″ finished quilt block and sharing a tutorial, I immediately thought of transparency. I’ve been seeing fellow quilters play with transparency a lot lately (Yvonne’s Triangle Transparency quilt and the Transparency Bee Blocks by Hilary of Entropy Always Wins Blog and Leanne at She Can Quilt stand out in my mind most), and have yet to give it a go.

Watermelon Summer Color Palette
Colors chosen: Chartreuse, Turquoise, Coral, Aqua, Lapis Blue, White

As soon as I saw the color palette chosen, I knew that transparency it was (I’ll save the chartreuse and coral for an actual watermelon project)! I had fun creating a block that both looks cool on its own, but also can result in many fun layouts when replicated for a quilt. I call it Transparent Play (original, huh?!)

Today I’m going to share a tutorial for how to make the new block Transparent Play that I created using fat eighths provided by Fabri-Quilt. While I’m not typically a prewasher, I would definitely recommend prewashing the Fabri-Quilt solids with a color catcher or two.

TUTORIAL- Transparent Play BlockNote that part of the challenge for creating this block was to make it out of only fat eighths of fabric, so cutting instructions assume a fat eighth is being used. Fat eighths typically measure 9″x21″.

General Notes

All seams are sewn with 1/4″ seam allowance unless otherwise noted. I like to press seams open since it helps the block lay flat and helps me better match seams. Do what works best for you.

Fabric Requirements & Selection

For this block, you will need a fat eighth of each of the following fabrics:

  • a neutral background (I used white)
  • a dark (I used lapis blue)
  • a light (I used aqua)
  • a blend or medium (I used turquoise)

Since the block is designed for playing with transparency, try to choose fabrics that give the impression of transparency. The blend fabric should be a color that could result from the dark and the light fabrics being overlapped. Note that while I made my block mostly monochromatic (one color), this block could be made with color blends, too. For example red as your dark, yellow as your light, and orange as your blend.

Cutting Instructions

Again, this tutorial is assuming a fat eighth of fabric is being used for each color. Strips should be cut along the long edge of the fat eighth (usually 20-21″ long and called length of fabric (LOF) in this tutorial). Note that many sections of the block will be strip pieced, so the initial cutting keeps this in mind.

label cut piecesBe sure to label your pieces with the coordinating letters so that piecing is a breeze!

From white:

Cut 1 strip 1 1/2″ x LOF and subcut (1) 1 1/2″x10″ strip (A); and (2) 1 1/2″x5″ rectangles (B).

Cut 1 strip 3″ x LOF and subcut (2) 3″x3 1/2″ rectangles (C); (2) 3″x4 1/2″ rectangles (D); and (1) 1″x5″ strip (E).

From lapis blue (dark):

Cut 1 strip 2 1/2″ x LOF and subcut (1) 2 1/2″x5″ rectangle (F); (1) 1 1/2″x5″ rectangle (G); (1) 1″x5″ rectangle (H–note, this fits next to G in the strip); and (2) 1 1/2″x3 1/2″ rectangles (I).

Cut (1) 2 1/2″x7 1/2″ rectangle (J).

From aqua (light):

Cut (1) 1 1/2″x11″ strip (M).

Cut (1) 2 1/2″xLOF and subcut (1) 2 1/2″x5″ (N); and (1) 2 1/2″x10″ (O).

From turquoise (medium):

Cut (1) 3 1/2″xLOF and subcut (1) 3″x5″ rectangle (K); and (1) 1 1/2″x11″ strip (L).

Piecing Instructions

Making the Top and Bottom Panels

KHSew H to K along the 5″ side. Cut into two equal 3 1/2″x2 1/2″ rectangles as shown above. These are the HK units.

IKHSew I to the top of each HK unit, ensuring that the dark lapis blue  H strip is on the left. You will have (2) 3 1/2″ squares (above). These are the IHK units. Set aside.

AOSew A to O along the 10″ side. Cut into two equal 5″x3 1/2″ rectangles as shown above. Set aside.

FBSew F to one of the B pieces along the 5″ side. Cut into two equal 2 1/2″x3 1/2″ rectangles as shown above. These are the FB units.

CFBWith F on top, sew C pieces to the left side of the FB units along the 3 1/2″ edge. These are the 3 1/2″x5″  CFB units.

top bottom panelAssemble the top and bottom panels as shown above. Note that they can be assembled identically, but we will rotate one of them 180 degrees as the bottom panel before final assembly of the block.

*Accuracy Tip*

Pin AFTER seamWhen matching seams, line up the full length of the seams to be matched (not just at the raw edge) and then pin directly after the seam (about 1/16th “). This will ensure your seams stay in position without the pin skewing the fabric alignment when sewing. It will often result in perfectly matched seams.

Making the Center Panel

MLSew M to L along 11″ side. Cut into two equal 2 1/2″x5 1/2″ rectangles as shown above. These are the ML units. Set aside.

BGSew B to G along 5″ side. Cut into two equal 2 1/2″x2 1/2″ rectangles as shown above. These are the BG units. Set aside.

MLBGSew ML units to BG units as shown above. These are the MLBG units.

MLBGJSew MLBG units to long sides of J as shown. Note that the bottom MLBG unit has been rotated 180 degrees. Pay close attention to the position of the colors to ensure the MLBG units are mirroring each other. Set aside.

ENSew E to N along 5″ side. Cut into two equal 3″x 2 1/2″ rectangles as shown above. These are your EN units.

ENDSew D to the bottom of each EN unit, ensuring that the background white E strip is on the left. You will have (2) 3″x6 1/2″ rectangles (above). These are the END units.

center panelAssemble the center panel as shown above. Note that the right END unit has been rotated 180 degrees. Pay close attention to the position of the colors before sewing. The center panel should measure 12 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ at this point.

transparency play block assemblySew top and bottom panels to center panel to complete the quilt block as shown above. Note that the bottom panel has been rotated 180 degrees.

transparent play block tutorial

Congratulations! You just made your first Transparent Play block. It wasn’t nearly as tricky as it first looked, was it? Strip piecing is awesome.

This block is fun to play with when it comes to layout, since by simply rotating the blocks, you can create a number of different visual layout effects. Here are just a few:

Layout 1: All blocks in line

Transparency Block 4x4 Quilt Layout 1

Layout 2: Bull’s Eye

Transparency Block 4x4 Layout2

Layout 3: Braid

Transparency Block 4x4 Layout3
I also couldn’t let a post go without including a peek at a rainbow, so here’s a sample block using color gradient transparency instead of monochromatic transparency.
Transparency Play Block rainbow colorand a resulting layout:
Transparency Play with color rainbow layout3

I hope you’ve had fun making your Transparent Play block, and please tag me @nightquilter on social media if you make it–I would love to see!

There are many other wonderful free block tutorials (60+!) posted in this Fabri-Quilt New Block Blog Hop. Here are the others posted today:

Host – Stephanie @Late Night Quilter
Hannah @Modern Magnolia Studio
Cindy @Stitchin At Home
Abby @Hashtag Quilt
Lisa @Sunlight in Winter Quilts
Carrie @Chopping Block Quilts
Brianna @The Iron and Needle
Tish @Tish’s Adventures in Wonderland
Jan @The Colorful Fabriholic
Sarah @Smiles Too Loudly
Beth @Cooking Up Quilts
Leanne @Devoted Quilter
Liz @LizzyClips Design
Kim @Leland Ave Studios

Also be sure to visit the others hosts’ pages (Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl, Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs, and Terri Ann @Childlike Fascination) for links to all of the blocks posted Monday through Thursday of this week. All of these blocks are being mailed to a host, who is assembling them into charity quilts.

inchworm friend

I made an inchworm friend while photographing this block. He was testing out my seams for good measure! (get it!? LOL) Have fun inching your way through the rest of the blog hop!

I’m linking up with Tips & Tutorials Tuesday at Late Night Quilter.

Pinkalicious Hazel Hedgehog Baby Quilt Finish

No, I have not yet had my baby. I know I’m getting into the window where I should just automatically say, “Here, visit this site: http://haveyouhadthatbabyyet.com” and be done with it. He will come when he’s ready. I’m thinking I’m ready now, so whenever he’s ready, I’m game!

In the meantime, I can share some of my finishes with you! In these past few weeks, I have been nesting in all sorts of ways, trying to wrap up big projects before our home is graced with the presence of a newborn. One of my big finishes was the Pinkalicious Hazel Hedgehog Baby Quilt I made for my sister-in-law’s first baby, Reagan. She’s due June 14th but is actually showing more progress toward that end than I am! I am excited that I finished her quilt before baby time.

finished pinkalicious hazel hedgehog baby quilt relief quilted name in heartAs you’ve seen in a previous post, I used matchstick quilting to relief quilt the baby’s name into the heart. I used Aurifil 50wt variegated Bubblegum-3660 to match the background fabric, since I wanted the name to be subtle.

hazel quilt detailI opted for an all-over flower and swirl free motion quilting (FMQ) pattern in the background, using 50 wt Aurifil 2600 – Dove. I used matching 40wt thread (Aurifil 1100 – Red Plum) to quilt a similar but more linear flower/daisy chain type pattern in her hair. For Hazel’s face and body, I used 40 wt Aurifil 2423 – Baby Pink with a more subtle, outlining features approach with my walking foot. I’m super happy with how all of the quilting turned out!

folded hazel hedgehog pink baby quiltI love the look of this quilt folded, since turquoise and magenta trimmed with black is SO aesthetically appealing to me. (One day, I really will finish this quilt for myself so that I can enjoy this color combination daily.)

folded quilt in the rainy grassI bound the quilt with Architextures Words in Black (Carolyn Friedlander for Robert Kaufman Fabrics). My thought is that the black frames the quilt really well, and the white words will help it hide dust and dirt much better than a solid black would.

machine binding close upI bound the quilt using Cluck Cluck Sew’s Machine Binding method, since I’m hoping that this quilt sees a LOT of action and washes in its lifetime. I love how neatly the machine binding squares up the front of the quilt, and you really can’t beat its ease.

quilt label hand stitchedI hand stitched the label onto the back using my first attempt at blanket stitch. Admittedly, it was a lot tougher to keep even and secure than I anticipated, but I’m hoping that with practice, that will all improve. I realized while writing this label that I will be an Aunt for the first time once baby Reagan is born! So exciting!

Pinkalicious Hazel Hedgehog Baby Quilt

Completed May 2015
Pattern: Giant Hazel Hedgehog pattern by Elizabeth Hartman, speech bubble heart and layout is of my own design.
Size: 48″ x 52″
Fabric:
Front: Background: Michael Miller Stitch Circles in Aqua; Heart: Pink Star fabric, Starlet by Blank Quilting; Speech bubble: Cotton + Steel Basics by Rashida Coleman Hale; Hazel’s Face & Body: two shades of Kona pinks–I didn’t write down the names back when I bought them!; Hazel’s hair:
Back: Calypso by Ro Gregg for Paintbrush Studio
Binding: Architextures Words in Black by Carolyn Friedlander for Robert Kaufman Fabrics
Batting: 100% cotton Soft n’ Crafty batting
Thread: Aurifil 50wt 2600 – Dove for piecing, quilting background and speech bubble, and sewing down binding; Aurifil 50wt variegated 3660 – Bubblegum for matchstick quilting the heart; Aurifil 40 wt 1100 – Red Plum for quilting Hazel’s hair; and, Aurifil 50 wt 2423 – Baby Pink for quilting Hazel’s face and body.

Time:
Planning: 1 hr 30 min (includes designing speech bubble heart)
Cutting & Pressing: 3 hours
Piecing the top: 5 hours 30 min
Piecing the back: 30 minutes
Squaring, layering, and basting: 40 min
Quilting: 6 hours 20 min
Finishing (making binding, squaring quilt, burying threads): 45 min
Binding: 1 hour 45 min
Total: Approx. 20 hours

Related blog posts: April Goal {ALYoF}, Pinkalicious Hazel Hedgehog Baby Quilt Beginnings, Hazel Hedgehog Progress, April Finish: {ALYoF} Pinkalicious Hazel Hedgehog Quilt Top, Plus Some!, The Big Push, Relief Quilting Words in Negative Space {Tutorial}

I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday, and hoping that another little bundle decides he’s finished and ready to make his way to the outside world before next Friday!

 

 

Color Inspiration Thursday {35}

The landscape here is pure white, after Juno dropped about two feet of snow early this week. It’s sunny  today, so it’s glistening and glimmering like only a huge blanket of fresh snow can. With more snow coming this weekend (forecast says a foot or more, potentially) and temperatures in the single digits, I thought it would be a fine time to revisit the tropics. Today’s color inspiration palettes feature palm trees (sigh) and beach life. You can’t go wrong with a reminiscent trip to the hot sandy beach! Palettes are made using Play Crafts’ Palette builder 2.1 and my photographs.

palm tree texture color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Forest, O.D. Green, Charcoal, Snow, Dresden Blue, Blue

I have to include another detail of the texture found on palm trees. Just look at that texture!! If there’s anything in nature that is reminiscent of fabric, this is it. I love the subdued resulting color palette, too. Those blues are so soothing.

palm tree color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Forest, Avocado, White, Seafoam, Sprout, Steel

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
5021 – Light Grey
5023 – Medium Green
2024 – White
2845 – Lt Juniper
2908 – Spearmint
2625 – Arctic Ice

Put the lime in the coconut and drink it all up! No palm tree photo collection is complete without some of those delicious coconuts. We were able to drink coconut water from a coconut in Belize, which was a memory I really wanted to create for my kids. I remember a few very clear moments from my trip to Puerto Rico when I was four years old, and one of those is drinking out of a coconut!

tropical water color palette

Corresponding Kona cottons from left to right:
Graphite, Niagra, Sage, Glacier, Teal Blue, Everglade

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
1126 – Blue Grey
2810 – Turquoise
2815 – Teal
4093 – Jade
1310 – Med Blue Grey
4182 – Med Turquoise

“The color of the ocean in the tropics” has long been my favorite color. Sure, you could call it turquoise if you want, but that one word, as eloquent and beautiful as it is, just doesn’t fully express the gorgeousness of the tropical ocean. This color palette grabs all of the subtle differences that make the ocean as blissfully beautiful as it is.

Enjoy!