Blue Nickel Studios Urban Folk — Modern Design ….. all images copyrighted Scott Hansen (c) 2006-2014

Blue Nickel Studios

Welcome to the rambling world of Blue Nickel Studios where you will find the quilts, projects, musings, rhetorical questions, more quilts, and various diatribes and wonderings of color and design and family that inhabit the world of Scott Hansen. Comments are always appreciated and surprise giveaways happen once in awhile too.´┐ŻAll images copyrighted 2006-2014.

#Durathon giveaway and a little bit of Africa….

April 17th, 2014

So today, I would like to share a little bit about the Durathon Iron that the great people at Hamilton Beach sent me to review back in February….I can’t believe it was that long ago already (although I still do have even OLDER things to share with you eventually!)

Durathon 1

I didn’t really need a new iron, my old one was fine, but I did kind of like the idea of the retractable cord on the Durathon, so I said go ahead and send it.

Durathon 3

I love  the retractable cord on this iron just as much as I thought I would.  So much tidier…..and you all know I could use all the help I can get in that area!!  I also REALLY, REALLY like the way the settings light up with different colors from Blue to Red the hotter you go…..I know, I know….. simple little color things like that delight me even if they don’t have a lot of different “functionability” than my other iron.  It is easy to see what setting it is on that way. I haven’t tried the steam function, but I rarely use steam.  To be honest, I was also really impressed with how smoothly the ironing surface glides across the fabric. The coating on this one seems to be a couple of  notches above my other other one.

Durathon 4

Oh, and I photographed it with some fabrics that my friends at Clothworks sent to me awhile back  from their African Savannah collection.

african savannah 8

And of course I had to make  some little bags designed by Monica (the Happiest Zombie on the planet) out of this line of fabric!

african savanah 6

I love the “grasscloth” like “solids.” I think that it will go with many other prints and solids in the stash! I don’t normally go for the animal fur prints, but I think these will go great with the bright florals I normally work with.

african savannah 5

And here’s the best part! The grand folks at Hamilton Beach not only sent me this iron, they want to send one of you a Durathon Iron as well!  (Prize  will go to US addresses only please)
All you have to do to win is comment on this post. I will pick a winner sometime on April 22, Earth Day!   So comment away.  Let’s make this entertaining for all of us by sharing your favorite Easter/Passover/Springtime/Earthday memory, okay?


Sitting Pretty…..

April 15th, 2014

sitting pretty 1

I know this line has been out awhile, but I still wanted to share the joy of it with you. It is called Sitting Pretty by Laurie Wisbrun for Robert Kaufman Fabrics. And I also had this charm pack of Kona Solids from Robert Kaufman lying around.  I was thinking what could I do with them, and then it hit me. ...

sitting pretty 9

I could make my favorite little treat bags designed by my friend Monica. So I did….I made a lot. I have a couple of big events coming up that I would love to give away goodies, so I decided I would just make up a few bags from each new line when they come in so I would always have a few on hand. I modified Monica’s pattern a bit so that I could more efficiently incorporate the charm squares.

sitting pretty 3

sitting pretty 6

And fittingly enough, you could use them for Easter. Tonight, tomorrow whatever. Now that your taxes are done, you might as well make some of these before the weekend!

sitting pretty 7

They are addictive, I tell you…...well, not as addictive as Cadbury Mini Eggs….but close….really close….

sitting pretty 0

My next post will have some more of these handy dandy little bags…..AND a great giveaway!! So come back soon, you hear?

No-Sew Renaissance Ribbon Project!

April 10th, 2014


Hey there peeps, here’s a fun project that I started last fall and finally got back to a couple weeks ago when my sewing machine was at the  spa. I had this old daytimer/journal from the 90’s that I wanted to “masculinize” up a bit. I love roses, but not on my journal. Also there was this boring little pad holder that I wanted to “decorate”. And I had all of these wonderful ribbons from Renaissance Ribbons to play with.

Enter in the Xyron “create-a-sticker” tool that Linda gave me years ago for journaling and creating with. It takes everyday paper images and makes stickers out of them. When I first got it, I had the best time making stickers out of magazine pix and stamps to use in my creative journaling. But it had gotten lost in the studio (imagine that!!). I unearthed it last year during that first big clean, and thought, “hey, this might work with the Ribbons!”


It worked pretty well. I think the adhesive was a bit old, so it didn’t work super well, but I also don’t think it was made for the thickness of the ribbons either. Overall it was fine.


The edges of the ribbon are a bit frayed too,  I couldn’t think of a simple way to stop that….Okay,  Fray-check would have worked, but I didn’t have any, and I just wanted to get it done fast.  I don’t mind the frayed edges, I think they give the book and pad a great Blue Nickel Urban Folk patina.


And after thinking about it, these ribbons would look good on a sewn book cover where you could do some sort of normal binding on the edges to cover the fraying up. I have some blank books, maybe I should do that next…...AFTER all of the Quilt Market and Sisters  Quilters’ Affair stuff I am up to my eyeballs in right now.

Charley and Birch

April 3rd, 2014


Charley and Birch, sounds like a brand name, doesn’t it? Maybe for some hot indie fashion house, right? Well in a way it is a “brand” of sorts, more of a merging of two great entities, Charley Harper designs printed by Birch Fabric on organic cotton fabric.   Pretty much a win-win in my book!  The first time I remember hearing about Charley Harper was when my friend John sent me a little wall calendar one year.  It was a great introduction. I love the clean graphic interpretation of the natural world. Since then I have seen his work in many spots. I wonder if it was always there, but I just wasn’t paying attention to it.

I know this line came out last fall, and yes, it is part of my massive catch-up run I am trying to work on.  But I still think it is great news, and I wanted to share it with you.

I love the mustards and blues in this line…and this “panel” piece…..some of these will make PERFECT labels, right??


To show how they intermingle in a block I have made two more of my Maple Leaf blocks.



That’s it for today. Have a happy spring (in the northern hemisphere at least



Not So Secret……

March 29th, 2014


So my dear friend Victoria Findlay-Wolfe came out with this line of fabric that came out last fall, so hopefully you can still find some.


Scrumptious, isn’t it? Lots of layers, my favorite thing in prints. The hand of the fabric is nice to work with too.

So to show off how the prints play nice with each other, I did what any normal and sane quilter would do. I cut up those big chunks of fabric into smaller chunks of fabric and sewed them back together again with some “solids” from the Blue Nickel stockpile stash. More Maple Leaf blocks of course.



That’s it for today.  I have more to catch up on, so the next few posts may be short but sweet, and of course, I will have pix to make your day brighter.


the hand embroidered haven….

March 28th, 2014

Have you heard of Megan Frock? By now, I bet more of you have, but just in case you haven’t I want to share with you something wonderful Megan worked on for quite awhile under the radar, and brought to the light of day last summer or fall I think. (or heaven help me if I forgot,  last spring??)


Megan sent me her wonderful book late last year….so bad of me, I don’t remember when….I loved it from the start, but like many, many things it fell behind the wake of my other adventures….which is no indication of it’s greatness to be sure.

I first met Megan when she was helping out our mutual friend Tula Pink at one Market. I barely spoke to her at the first one, I think I was crazy busy, and I think Megan was a bit overwhelmed by the amazingness of the whole event.  But at the last few Markets, I have had the opportunity to chat with Megan, and I tell you that each conversation is a treat in true Southern charm. Her accent is just delightful and her love of the craft it just as sweet.

the hand embroidered haven is Megan’s first book (I am sure she will have more!) and it is chock full of some great sewing projects with an emphasis on embroidery as a featured part of each project.

I truly love these zoomorphic framed projects below:


I can particularly relate to the Rabbit Ears on the TV…..had those all of the time growing up…We could only get three stations, sometimes we were lucky enough to get the fourth station from the border of Washington State and Canada.

And Megan also has some great instructions for stitches…including some I had never heard of but sound compelling. Like the Couched Filling Stitch.


And Twilling…I am sure I have seen this, but never knew what it was called. Love the full texture it brings to the needlework.


But as you know already, I rarely get to carving out the time to embroider. So of course my first loves in her book were the quilts  and these two are my favorites!



So that’s it for today. If you don’t already have Megan’s book, go right out and get it. You’ll be happy you did!

Oh, and the fabric behind all of these shots? Beauty Queen from Jennifer Paganelli for Free Spirit. New this Spring. Look for it, You’ll love it!

#NQAQB — March!

March 24th, 2014


So we are in the March segment of the by now completely famous #NGAQB, the man cave version of the traditional quilting bee. Our Mr. March is Andrew Youngman from New York state.  Andrew is our OTHER Andrew.  Yeah, we had 13 guys…..and TWO of them are Andrew…not Andy or Drew …..both are Andrew….so it was kind of confusing for me for awhile there. I seemed to get the right blocks to the right Andrew though (Andrew #1 was Mr. February) !!

So Mr. March Andrew wanted us all to make this block with colors inspired from this photo:

Andrews inspiration photo

These are what I came up with:

NGAQB March block 1


NGAQB March block 2

Now the first one is my third one actually because I discovered that with this much piecing, I really needed to be using a scant 1/4” seam.  Sounds elementary,  but the following picture shows why it was necessary.

NGAQB fail

My first block ended up being 12 1/4”  not 12 1/2” unfinished.  That was not going to work in the sharing type situation that we had going on.  So I re-did it. And my extra block will end up going in the back of some quilt down the road.

We also decided early on to have each one of the #NGAQB members talk about themselves in each blog post. So here are Andrew’s words about himself and his life in the Quilt-Universe:

I’m the other Andrew, or Mr. March. In a brief introduction about me, I would tell you that I sent to art school and concentrated in photography. I now work in healthcare, specifically as an aide in Intensive Care and Cardiac Services.

Quilting was introduced to me by my mother a couple of years ago when I asked her to teach me, knowing she wanted to get back into it. I made one small table runner and one lap quilt then put my machine away, only to pick it up again 6 months or so ago.

Thanks to social media, specifically Instagram, I started noticing more and more male crafters and quilters, and started to follow them and begin a conversation about an all-male quilt bee. And here we are.

I chose the Inverted Star block (available on because I haven’t yet worked with half-square triangles and wanted the challenge. And I asked for the color inspiration to come from a photograph I took on my last trip with my husband to Key West. We’ve been there twice in the last year and love it. I asked for the #NGAQB men to help me commemorate this new favorite place of mine with these blocks.

To my Brothers in the #NGAQB:

Thanks you all for the stunning blocks that I’ve already either received or seen online. The work you each produce is amazing and I’m glad to be a growing amateur in such an elite group of fun and talented craftsman!

Please note I’ve updated my Instragram handle: It’s now TESTOSTERSEWN

So those are Andrew’s words about himself so you can know him a little better. Mr. April is a good friend of mine from way back and you will be thrilled to see the block he picked out. I know I am. It is one I have wanted to do for myself for quite sometime, but never found the opportunity to make…..until now!

Later Peeps, Plenty to do around here…...The Studio has many things that need doing, and now Spring has come to the Pacific Northwest, so I am getting the call of the wild (yard)  for some taming down again.


Merry Holidays Past???

March 23rd, 2014

Okay….believe it or not the fabrics that I am about to show you got buried in my studio…..

Alright, stop laughing already and get up off the floor!  :)

These first two fabrics were something I HAD to have on Cyber Monday, the Monday after Black Friday. I simply needed them because, well, I didn’t have them, and I HAD to own them. What will I put them in? I still have no idea, but I needed them. I picked them up from of my favorite places to shop online, Fabricworm. I love Cynthia and her great selection AND customer service!


These next two prints Linda gave me for Christmas. She rarely buys me fabric anymore, because I just have so much of it. But I am pretty sure she went Fabricworm too and picked these up from them. Not entirely sure, but pretty sure.  Love them both!


So yeah, that’s some more of my Catching Up from the end of 2013….I am in the throe’s of pre-Quilt Market prep, so I have new stuff I am working on too, but I am determined to post about the rest of some great stuff I came across in late 2013, including some giveaways. So stay tuned!

Aurifil DOM…. March’s Designer Emily Herrick…..

March 20th, 2014

2014 Emily Herrick Mar Aurifil designer button

It’s MARCH! And I am so excited about the spring that is coming! I bet MANY of you are too, some of you have had an especially hard winter!! And to help celebrate Spring and March, here is Emily Herrick, the March Designer of the Month for Aurifil’s  DOM lineup!

Emily is a sweet and funny lady.  And her husband is an excellent, even if adventurous driver, which I know for a fact because I hooked up a ride with them in Portland last spring at Market and well, Portland, Oregon has a lot of bridges, rivers, and ahem….one-way streets. Enough said on that.  Here is Emily’s interview with our delightful hostess with the mostest, Pat Sloan.

And here is Emily’s block, Borders. Nice, simple and to the point.  You can make your own by following these great instructions.


And here is my version of Emily’s block done in more of Valori’s Wish Voiles and those Liberty fabrics I have been  stashing for quite some time as well as an awesome textured fabric called embossed cotton. I ordered the embossed cotton from Val’s and her mom,  Jean’s shop, The Stitchin’ Post last year. It looks like they only have some dark colors left at present. I bought a bunch because it’s that kind of fabric you just know you won’t find again. Val used it in a quilt that she had at Spring Market,  and I LOVED it!

Aurifil DOM block of the month March ....Blue Nickel version

Remember to make your block and take a picture of it, then load it up to Flickr here. Why you ask? So you can be eligible to win a big box of Aurifil thread ($120 value!) They draw one name every month…it could be yours!

And here’s Natalia’s quilting Tip of the Month as well.


That’s it for now.  Mega-craziness going on around here as usual….talk to you as soon as I can!  So much cool stuff happening this year, I can barely stand it!

Tim Holtz — Line one… parts 2 and 4

March 8th, 2014

I have made a total of 4 quilts from this line of fabric. It is the first line of fabric by the famous Tim Holtz of the crafty/scrapbooky world for Coats and Clark.

Tim Holtz 4.1

Tim Holtz 4.2

Tim Holtz 4.4

tim holtz 4.3


The above shots are from Quilt No.4 which, by the way, was lost by FedEx for about 2 weeks! Gladly I can report that it arrived where it was supposed to and will be in a major quilting magazine soon. Phew! It was a close one. I have always used FedEx and have been very happy with them up and until now. I did learn some things to do that I will always do from now on.  I will state the full value on the form just to be sure that if they DO lose it, I get reimbursed for it. I discovered that if you don’t write a value down, you will be lucky to get $100 for it. And that would have made me very unhappy. Thankfully, I didn’t have to go that route. I will make sure that I put the address on the inside too. I probably should have been doing that the whole time, but I was lazy about it.

Anyway that is the story on the No.4.  This post is mostly about No. 2 which is in the current issue of Fons & Porter’s Easy Quilts. Again I am behind on posting this. I got my issue of the mag quite some time back but the quilt itself didn’t get back until a few days after No. 4 went off to another magazine.  And then there are those patterns I am working on writing for my Sisters classes. Oh, and a project for Free Spirit that was needed…..oh, in a WEEK….(that was a tough one..some pictures for you when I am told I can share).  As well as all the everyday stuff around here. Yup, it’s been a busy beginning to the year.

So here’s what the issue looks like when you are scouring the quilt shops and newsstands for it (hopefully it is still out there!).


With their great photography—all clean and professional.



and here at home—all natural….including some spider webs I didn’t notice when I took the picture below!

Tim Holtz 2.1

and here’s the back, where you get to see BIG chunks of the line.

Tim Holtz 2.2

On this one,  I used only the prints from the line.  On Quilt No. 4 I used something else, because as much as I have enjoyed most of the prints in this line, after FOUR quilts in only one line of fabric, I am burnt out on it.  I will be doing another quilt in Tim’s next line soon, and I am glad to be moving on from this one.  I am looking forward to mixing in some of these prints with other lines.

And in case you were wondering about Quilt No. 1 and Quilt No. 3, I talked about Quilt No. 1  here and apparently,  I didn’t post about No. 3 at all…my bad!   I just tried looking for the patterns that I wrote up for quilts No. 1 and 3 on the Coats site…....and I can’t find them anywhere. Hopefully I will be able to find them and let you know about them, but for now they are lost in cyberspace.

Anyway, that’s it for now. I need to get back to finishing up my taxes, getting caught up on massive paperwork, etc.. More fabric to share soon and some new (ish) books to share as well….plus a fun giveaway for a useful tool in the studio as well.

Happy Sewing!





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