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.







Fantasia!

April 23rd, 2015

Sara Lawson’s website is called Sew Sweetness...and that is a great name for it, because she is so incredibly sweet! Awhile back, she posted on Facebook that she felt like sharing a bunch of her new line Fantasia for Art Gallery Fabrics with anyone who sent her a note while she had supply.  I sent her a quick comment, she sent me a message asking for my address. I was expecting I’d get a couple fat quarters to play with.

DSC_2433

DSC_2431

DSC_2460 DSC_2461

But Sara sent a WHOLE STACK! I am not sure if this is the whole line, but it sure is close!

I first loved what I saw of the line from a picture Sara had posted. Mostly I loved the mushrooms on one of the prints. I had no idea there were UNICORNS in it!  That made it even better.

DSC_2463 DSC_2464 DSC_2465 DSC_2467

the wind was blowing in the above photo…had to catch this block before it disappeared!

DSC_2466
So I made some little 3 1/2” nine-patches and some 6 1/2” nine patches for an ongoing project I am working on.

DSC_2468 DSC_2469 DSC_2470 DSC_2471 DSC_2473

And of course I made some of these bags for upcoming classes in Sisters, Oregon this summer and Mount Vernon, Washington this fall.

DSC_2462

And I made a sample of a Dark Block from my Fireside Chat pattern.  Doing this block from the one line may not have worked as well, mostly because most of the prints are mediums.  If I had used solids on the “dark” parts of the “matchsticks” this block may have “read” better in some places.

This pattern is the one class that I still have open during the Quilters’ Affair week in Sisters in July…ALL of my other classes are full. I am going to be busy! I am so excited to see past students and meet new ones there. This year is the 40th Anniversary of the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show and the whole week before is FILLED with fun events. If you can make, I heartily recommend it!

Keep Sewing, Keep Happy!

winners circle….

April 10th, 2015

Hey there,

In my last post, I had a giveaway for the book All Lovely Things by Lea Redmond.  It wasn’t really “quilt” or “fabric” oriented, but it was kind of a fun book. And I said I was going to draw a name April 2nd…well, that didn’t really happen.  But I did get to it, and we have a winner!

And our winner is Patty, who wrote:

I too have been “sorting” thru things trying to get rid of the excess possessions I have. The first thing that came to mind was an antique quilt I have from a great-great-grandmother, probably made in 1890. But the one thing that defines me is my mother’s ring with the birthstones of my children. I wear it every day along with a ring from my mother.

Thanks to everyone who commented, I enjoyed the conversation about giving and hanging onto things…and the thoughts on which “things” do or do not define us….or even those that did once, but no longer do define the world around us.

Part of the reason that I didn’t quite get around to doing the drawing and writing up this post was to blame on these two bad boys.  I haven’t really named them yet, but I am open to your suggestions!

2 New machines

My 24 year old Singer finally bit the dust in the last few weeks. The old girl just gave her little heart into my sewing for as long as she could.  I was sad to lose her.  She never did very well at actual quilting, so I always have hired out my long arm quilting.

Well, I sent out MOST of my quilts for quilting. For a couple of years, I had a B-line Quilting Frame and this Juki set up. I had terrible issues with it, the frame wasn’t the right height, the tension was constantly giving me grief, etc. Last winter I sold the frame on Craigslist, but kept the machine because I had only heard good things about it…I thought maybe I could get it to do what everyone else said it could do.

not so new Juki

So when the Singer died, I hauled this guy out….And I think I am in love. It is working fine now, I played with some free motion quilting and it seems better than I remember it. Not my quilting skills, the Juki’s ability to do the job!  And speedy?? Scary fast!

It does most everything that I need; straight-stitching and free motion quilting.  But it doesn’t do any zig zag or button holes or other stuff like that….

So…....
I bought this Brother Project Runway model for all of the rest. And it’s pretty good too…both are SOOOOOO much faster than my poor old Singer was going at the end…felt like I was working with a rusty treadle machine by the last stitch.

New Brother machine

And so, I have been playing around and making stuff, mending some clothes and overall experimenting with both of these machines. Juggling the space is part of my concern too, so I think there will be some cleaning on the to-do list too…

I will show you some of the stuff I have been creating in the next couple of posts!

On the “teaching” side of things, I have a gig tomorrow in Mount Vernon, Washington at Calico Creations. My next class group will be in Sisters, Oregon for the Quilters’ Affair Event in July 2015. Last I checked, all of my classes were full except Fireside Chat, but check with the Stitchin’ Post staff to be sure.  And then I will be teaching in Mount Vernon for a week in September this fall at the Treacy-Levine Center. Classes are still at the to be determined stage right now.

So that’s it for now….now what am I going to name these two working boys?

Keep Happy, Keep Sewing,

Scott

All Lovely Things by Lea Redmond

March 28th, 2015

Spring Cleaning time! Well, it will be here soon maybe….I have been so freaking busy, I am not sure that I will ever get to spring cleaning. I want to every year, as soon as I hear the frogs croaking, I get all thrilled for spring.  And then Bam! it’s July!

Recently the peeps at Penguin Random House offered to send me the book All Lovely Things – A Field Journal For The Objects That Define Us by Lea Redmond from their Perigee division. Normally I just don’t have time for books if they aren’t related more directly to my fiber obsession, but this one seemed different, so I said yes.

DSC_2432

And part of the reason that I said yes was because Lea talks in the beginning about the “things” around us. And like it or not, those objects around us, define who we are to a degree.  As Spring Cleaning comes around and we toss things or donate things or sell things in garage sales or on Craigslist or re-purpose things, I like how she talks about recording them in this journal and take the time to think about our lives; where we have been, where we are, and where we are going.   And the little promo flyer on the book talked about how we can get “to know ourselves better through the objects that are the inanimate companions to our lives.”

The basic concept on the “journal” part of it, which is Most of the book,  centers around two page spreads of blank “boxes” for you to fill in with sketches or photos, or what have you….basically to reflect on who you are…who those you love are, and then people you admire as well. It’s a very “Gestalt“y way to analyze and think about your life I think.  (and after I read the definition of Gestalt psychology, I realized that I think of it in the greater that than sum of all things, not other than the sum of all things… just so you know what I was thinking…if you even care! :) )

So anyway…Back to the book. it doesn’t have to be just about you either. It can be about family, friends, historic people that have meaning in your life.

Lea, the author of this book, gave numerous sample sections, Emily Dickinson and Henry David Thoreau, pictured below, to give you an idea of what the journal is intended to do for you.

DSC_2433

DSC_2434

I apologize for the lighting in some of these shots. The below is the actual light. I didn’t really work the filters as much as I should have on the above shots.

I think the real appeal that this book had for me is in the fact that we are headed to the phase of downsizing our household. The boys have moved out and may be coming back for short stays, but the fact is they will be going further and further away. And Mimi isn’t far behind them.  That and we have started working on actually budgeting in real way and we are realizing that we don’t really NEED all of this stuff. This isn’t an easy process by any means. I am a packrat by nature and everything seems very sentimental to me.

For my first sketch in this field book I started with this plate. It is not a family piece. We picked it up at a garage sale somewhere. But it is my favorite plate of this size.  And it’s developing a crack. So I know I won’t be able to keep it forever. So that is why I chose to start with it as my first sketch.  I have no idea how it “defines” me, but I love it and I want to remember it for a very long time.

DSC_2430

And a closer look at my sketches and the actual plate:

DSC_2431

Another cool thing that you can do with it, is have friends and family take a section too… I plan on having at least two of my kids do their own pages. Don’t think the oldest will want to do this.  There are lots of prompts, but then there are lots of blank sections too. So many cool things that you could do with this book.

So that’s it…A fun little book to use and record some of those things you may be tossing out or donating this year so you can keep a little bit of them behind for old times sake. Call it a scrapbook, a memory book, a visual diary….whatever, I think I will be enjoying this for a very long time!

And the Penguin peeps have generously offered to share a copy for a giveaway here at the Blue Nickel this week. So please leave a comment on this post about something that defines you…..something that would be the very last thing you would be getting rid of as you spring clean this year and into the future…and it can’t be fabric or your phone!!   :)

I will give you until April 2nd then I will draw a name sometime that day and the Penguin peeps will send you your very own copy.

I can’t wait to hear what you have to say (New readers, please remember that this blog is set up to have every comment approved before it is posted, so if you don’t see your comment right away, don’t fret, it just means that I haven’t gotten around to approving it yet).

The Dark and the Light Sides…….

February 23rd, 2015

So while everyone else in the Quilting Universe was at QuiltCon this past weekend, I was here at home…...and spent far too much time on Instagram trying to keep up!

But I also got to mess around with these two bundles of painterly fat quarters that the awesome peeps at Windham Fabrics sent me awhile back.  Two Very Different, but yet very similar lines. The one on the left is dark and somber, and the one on the right is bright, cheerful, and carefree.

windham duo 71

Actually, I was playing with Sunshine Serenade last week. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen these little bags I was making with these prints. I never get tired of making these bags designed by my friend Monica. They are super easy and quick. I resized these to be a bit smaller than her original directions to fit what I need them for.

DSC_2419

windham 72

I don’t know how well you can see it, but many of the prints in this line have glittery bits….which makes is seem even more like 1985 to me.  These fabrics remind me so much of the 80’s, I can’t believe it!

DSC_2422

DSC_2421

And now to the dark side….. Black and White by Marcia Derse, who I just discovered lives on the same island that my wife, Linda, grew up on! Small world!  Any way, there were less prints in this collection and it is much less colorful…

windham 73

Much less colorful…..

I decided that I wanted to try and see how this line would work with my United Colors pattern. I knew that it would be different trying work a pattern that is actually based on hot and warm colors and light and dark values with fabric that wasn’t actually hot or cold….and not too much contrast in the dark or light category.

DSC_2424

As I experimented, I found that I really enjoyed the process. Some blocks “read” much better than others, something that I confess I always find that fascinating as I look for the pattern in the not so obvious blocks.

DSC_2426

Actually the “bluer, plainer” greys are from the first group, Sunshine Serenade, but they aren’t all that sunny, are they? And just wait until you see what I did with the block printed red canvas that I picked up at some garage sale or something (I actually have no idea where the red fabric came from …but it added just the right touch to this quilt!

DSC_2423

I want to wait to show you this finished quilt top until after my presentation at the Portland Modern Quilt Guild next month in Portland, Oregon. I want to show them first in person…

Now I need to get back to whatever I was supposed to be doing before I started this post….There is a long list, so I kinda get to pick….kinda….

Crimson Tate Succulents

February 10th, 2015

Crimson Tate 69

The awesome peeps at Windham Fabrics  sent me this great little bundle of Succulents by Heather Givans of Crimson Tate fame.  I already worked a bit of it into Boom, my newest pattern coming to my Etsy shop soon, but the few prints that I used were mixed in with a bunch of other prints (and I do mean a BUNCH…just wait until you see Boom...it’ll blow your mind!) For this post,  I wanted to work just the Succulents prints into a few blocks to share the line on its own with you.

crimson tate70

So I decided to make some more Maple Leaf blocks. If you recall, I’ve made a few of these before from other lines, and I am thinking that when I get enough, it will be a fun quilt to just throw on one of the kids’ beds, or give away, or whatever.

DSC_2418

So I made a trio of Maple Leaf Blocks.

DSC_2415

I love the quiet palette of this line. I could use some quiet as my mind is filled with trying to get end of year 2014 paperwork done. ...... You know how I love paperwork…..

DSC_2416

Especially when I’d much rather be sewing…..Seems like it’s always something else not as fun that NEEDS to be done…when all I WANT to do is sew!

DSC_2417

Well, I’d better get back to taxes and FAFSA forms and pattern writing.  Look for  a big announcement regarding my next batch of patterns soon (two of which are available in my Etsy store already!)

Keep Happy, Keep Sewing,

Scott

Cascade …..

January 24th, 2015

Hey, It’s January….and it hasn’t been all that restful for me….I always hope it will be, but invariably I fill my life up with just too much…I have been wrapping up the four new patterns for my classes at Sisters this summer…two are almost done and the other two need a bit more work, but they are almost ready too. I will let you know when they are all set up to purchase over on Etsy!  This weekend,  I really just wanted to sew because I have been doing so much paperwork lately. Besides writing up those patterns, I have been working on refinancing the house (again!) (long story there, but like many people these days, we all have many long stories about our finances, don’t we!?) and don’t forget, I have to get going on taxes and FAFSA forms for two kids in college next fall….Oh How I hate paperwork!!

Cascade 74

So I decided to work with this bundle of Cascade from Jessica Levitt for Windham Fabrics to “escape” from the paper chase.

cascade 6

cascade 75

The prints have great “watery” names like Glisten, Cascade,      etc.  The collection is mostly in the blues quadrant of the color wheel….with a little bit of peachy coral and something I’d call a mustardy, mossy lichen greenish-gold thrown in.

cascade 06

Cascade definitely has that Art Nouveau vibe that Jessica gave her previous lines. I love that feel. And although these colors are way more subdued than my usual inclinations, I think they are so very wonderful for a beachy theme… and I love going to the beach. Maybe I should make some placemats to take with us to the beach when we go and rent my friend Mary’s cottage.

cascade 05

I recently found a “Nine Patch” project that I started years ago, so I decided to make some more 9-patches in 2 1/2” and 1 1/2” squares to go with those old blocks.

cascade7

Not really sure where these blocks will end up…but it was a fun distraction…

cascade 10 cascade09 cascade 08

Now I probably need to get back to that paperwork…I am going to start with wrapping up those patterns so that you and my students at Quilters Affair this summer can get their hands on them!

cascade11

How’s YOUR January going??

Good Company with Jennifer Paganelli

January 5th, 2015

DSC_2204

I swear that I love everything that my friend Jennifer Paganelli cooks up in fabric.  Her latest line, Good Company, is no exception.   A couple weeks ago, we were talking about her life growing up in the Virgin Islands in the 60’s and 70’s,  and you can just feel the colorful times she lived through down there in her work today.

DSC_2202

Jennifer sent me some Good Company fat quarters to play with as well as two fun little tree ornaments that she created.

DSC_2201

The whole package was delightfully wrapped up in some vintage ribbon that I loved almost as much as the gifts!

DSC_2199

DSC_2208

DSC_2207

I have this great new pattern coming out later this year that these fabrics will work perfect in, but I couldn’t wait to cut into them and do something with them,  so I just had a go at it and cut a bunch of 3” squares to create some fun 9 patch blocks. Simple and fun, and with Good Company, pretty darn amazing!

DSC_2325

DSC_2323

DSC_2324

It’s good to have just a bunch of 9 patches on hand, don’t you think?

Keep Sewing, Keep Happy,

Scott

 

Mr. December for #NGAQB — Joshua (Molli Sparkles)

December 31st, 2014

NoGirlsAllowed

So here on the LAST day of December, I present to you, Mr. December, Joshua Helms, better known in the Quilting World as Molli Sparkles. This guy is great, I am looking forward to someday meeting him….oh, say when a whole bunch of Australian Quilt Guilds get together to invite me down under to share my quilts and teach a bunch of classes. Hint, hint….

Anyway, Molli, started this whole #NGAQB back in November last year I think.  I got my invite through John, but Molli was the creator of this Bee and has been a great leader keeping us on track and all. Mostly at least.

Molli’s choice for his block was this little hashtag block he cooked up.

DSC_2247

His request was that the blocks be tone on tone fabrics on white. I have two different whites in here, but I am not sure that you can really tell that from the photos.

DSC_2246

Molli had originally done this for the #NGAQB only, but since the Sydney hostage incident, Molli has opened his request for blocks from everyone to help with healing in the aftermath of that horrible day.

So that’s a wrap for the #NGAQB. It was fun.  I met some great guys and got share this quilting thing with them. I have a LOT to do in 2015, so I am working very hard to say “no”  to extra like this in the coming year.  I am uber excited about the possibilities of 2015.

Keep Happy, Keep Sewing,

Scott

Just a couple extras…

December 28th, 2014

DSC_2209

Today is just a quick post sharing a few of the lovely “single” prints that have popped up in the studio recently (single meaning not all from the same line from one of my sponsoring fabric companies and such)
The first three I picked up in a Joann’s store near where my sons live.

I picked up this great green print from Juliana Horner’s first line (I think).

DSC_2212

And this terrific vintage Christmas print (can’t beat half off pricing that’s for sure!) ... like I NEED another Christmas print. I have a lot of this kind of stuff that I so need to work with already!

DSC_2210

And here is a great print from Denyse Schmidt’s latest line for Joann’s.

DSC_2211

Then this great little foulard print came from Linda’s friend Allison. Thanks Allison!!

DSC_2213

The four Japanese prints below came from my mother in law for Christmas via Fabricworm. Okay well, technically my MIL send Linda the money and she picked them out from Fabricworm, whatever.

DSC_2248

Like I really needed ANY of this….. sigh….but so sweet to have here to play with!

Mr. November for #NGAQB — Me!

December 27th, 2014

NoGirlsAllowed

So here it is….My month in the #NGAQB ….okay technically LAST month was my month, November…But I am showing you the blocks I have received so far….being as I am in the tail end of this Bee, and everyone has fallen behind right along with me, I imagine that I will be receiving these blocks for awhile. I am pretty good with that actually. It will be awhile before I actually get to working them together into one quilt anyway.

It has been been a fun year working with and creating for these guys. Each month has had something pretty unique, and I have been loving those challenges.  For my month, I chose a Union Jack quilt because I have been admiring these for a couple of years now, and since three or four of the team live in the UK and one in Australia, somehow that block seemed a bit appropriate to me. I also pushed a lot of the guys’ in their fabric selection by requesting they use Liberty type prints.  I want a real “English Garden Cottage-y” look to the final project.  I chose to use Molli Sparkles’ tutorial since Joshua (Molli) was the instigator of the group (I think).   So far, I have received blocks from two of the guys and made about four blocks myself.

DSC_2220

Paul sent the BIG Union Jack block. I think I will make it the center of the quilt somehow, we’ll see what I think when they all get here.

DSC_2217

Oh, and I am supposed to write up a little blurb about myself for the other guys to share on their blogs if they want, so I guess this will do:

I grew up a farm boy. Well, kind of a farm boy. My dad worked for a newspaper two cities away but he loved cattle and machinery, so we always had both and a lot more land than most people. I never really liked machinery, but I am rather fond of animals and plants, and since we lived in the Pacific Northwest, we always had lots of woods. I consider myself a child of the woods. I am constantly inspired and uplifted by trees of any kind. Maybe that’s why part of why I love Christmas so much with that whole Tannenbaum thing going down. I also loved coloring and creating from my earliest memories. I still remember getting my first box of 64 Crayola Crayons! My mom sewed everything we wore (except pants she hated making pants she said). And in Junior high we had to take Home Ec and Shop. I was mostly interested in cooking in Home Ec, but I did learn to sew and I sewed myself a shirt and pillow (Ironically, the pillow that I sewed was also a flag, the Danish Flag, because that was the main country of my family’s many origins)  I made my first quilt when I was about 14 or so because it was around the Bicenntenial and Early Americana was pretty much the rage then. 

Fast forward to the late 80’s early 90’s. I was newly married, wanted to make my wife a fancy Christmas stocking. In the years before, I had picked up counted cross-stitch as a means to keep my hands busy when I was not doing something else.  (I need that, especially when visiting with people,  I can’t stand to just sit there) So I cross-stitched the front of a pretty elaborate stocking for my wife. I needed to sew it together so I ended up buying a $200 Singer Sewing machine. A year or so later, my wife and I happened to check out a quilt show and I think that’s when I started getting more and more interested in quilting. I started dreaming of opening my own quilt shop, and through that dream, I met Mary and Connie of Country Threads in 1996.  After that it’s a series of events that unfolded to me getting more and more involved in the industry of quilting through an assortment of circumstances. Now I design quilts for fabric companies and magazines. I have a few patterns for sale in my Etsy shop and a few more coming there soon, and I teach here and there, as well as share my quilts and journey in the quilt world with guilds. I am also on staff with the magazine Generation Q.  It has been an interesting journey. And truly the best part has been all of the wonderful, amazing, creative, and kind people that I have met and now call friends. It has been a delight!

DSC_2218

I am looking forward to seeing the rest filter in.

DSC_2219

I will keep you posted so you can see the variety each dude brings to the table!

 

Next »