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.�All images copyrighted 2006-2014.

December Aurifil Designer of the Month! Carrie Nelson

December 26th, 2014

aurifil 2014 Dec designer of the month Carrie Nelson

Hey There….December is almost over….So I’d better hurry up and share this December block with you!   Here’s the last installment of the Aurifil Designer of the month 2014 series.  This month’s designer is Carrie Nelson. You can read all about Carrie here in her interview with the incredible Pat Sloan. I thoroughly enjoyed it myself…and I have to totally agree with her on her “favorite” color…..

Here is her block, Not Afraid of Flying,  and you can get the directions here.


And here is my version of Not Afraid of Flying using Liberty prints and more of Valori’s Wish Voile.


Remember there is still a little bit of time to get your December Block done and posted here on Flickr for the monthly drawing of a big box of Aurifil thread ($120 value)!

And here is Natalia’s Machine Quilting Tip #12:

machine quilting tip for aurifil number 12

It sure has been fun being part of the Aurifil Designer of the Month Crew this year!  Here are all of the blocks that I made for the year in the Liberty and Wish and few other fabrics. I apologize for the lighting and the fact that I snapped these pictures really quickly and didn’t take the time to press those blocks that got a little wrinkled in storage.




I am pretty excited to put these together.  I have got a plan all laid out using part of quilt designed by my friend Alexia Abegg that I will show you later in the New Year.

Shaman by David Butler of Parson Gray

December 20th, 2014


Hey There,

How is your Year End going?  Around here it is just nuts as usual. I am wrapping up four patterns to be available sometime in Mid January in my Etsy Store.  I am pretty excited about them, if you follow me on Instagram, you have seen hints of them coming out. And then there is all the Christmas hubbub going on as well too.  So I’ve been wrapping up gifts and Linda’s been baking and the like. The house is decorated and we’re pretty much set for the festivities of the upcoming week.


Today’s photos are of the new line by my friend David Butler of Parson Gray fame. This line is called Shaman and is featured in a quilt I have coming out in American Patchwork and Quilting sometime in 2015.  I can’t really share the quilt yet, but I thought I could show you these beautiful prints that will be fun to work with this winter in other projects as well. Nice warm fireplace colors with some gorgeous winter blues… and a little mossy, tobacco-y green to round out the group.


Love those arrows in the bottom row of prints in the photo above!


My favorite print has got to be the Canoe one, third in from the left below.  Love it!!


How are your holidays going? Get all your projects done??  I am so funny right? There’s still time. A little at least.

Hoping to get another post or two out before Christmas, but if I don’t A very merry and blessed Christmas to you…


Mr. October for #NGAQB — Nick

December 7th, 2014

Catching you up to date in the final stretch of the year long #NGAQB I have been messing around with.  These guys have been great! Today’s post covers Nicholas Ball over in Cardiff, UK.


Nick wanted improv blocks based on his favorite painting. He really loves the Dali painting below. I don’ t know if I could ever have ONE favorite painting…..I can barely narrow down one favorite artist. I am such a visual addict. Anyway, here are Nick’s words for what he wanted:

I really excited for this one guys, and have been ever since we started the bee. My favourite painting in the whole, wide world is Salvador Dali’s “Persistence OF Memory” which currently hands in New York’s MOMA. I have been to New York three times, and never once have I seen the painting in person. Trip one there wasn’t enough time (I was travelling with a large group of friends and some were more interested in 5 I heart NYC tees for $10!), trip two the only free day we had the museum was closed and trip three the painting was on tour. What…a…BITCH! Want to hear the real sting in the tail? My friend went to NYC this year, went to MOMA, saw the painting, face timed me and I MISSED THE CALL. I don’t think it’s in the stars for me t see this painting in anything other than my countess Dali books!


So, this is where you all come in. If I can’t see the painting then I’m just gonna have to make one of my own…from fabric. That’s right guys! I want your help to make my very own Persistence Of Memory. You want details? No problem! (Best New York accent).

I would like you all to make some improve blocks. There’s no pattern or pre design block for what I want so you’re gonna have to go it alone. Have fun with it and release your inner Dali. That said, I do have a few requests.

* I really want to keep to the colour palette of the original painting. I’ve attached a cool graphic I found that takes the main tones from the painting. Please try and stick to these colours as much as possible.

* My original idea was for you all to make a “section” of the painting, so some of you do sky, others the foreground. You would only use the colours that feature in your section. However, I’ve since decided that I want it to be a representation of the painting, not a replica, so now I’d like all colours in the blocks, with the intention of creating a feeling of the work within your blocks.

* Even though I’m asking for imrov blocks, I’d like it if you could keep your piecing quite square/rectangular, like the examples below. I don’t really want any circular of triangular piecing.

* In terms of size, I always think you’ll know best when an improv block is done. However, feel free to make any size block, which can be square or rectangular. As this is going to be quite a large quilt, I’m going to need to play around with layout, so I ask that you don’t straighten the edges of your blocks please but rather leave them ‘ragged’. That way I’ll have some room o chop and change!

* As for fabrics, I really like modern, graphic, geometric prints. I’d like a mixture of solids and prints, in the colours of the painting. I love lines, crosshatch and modern florals (think Friedlander). I don’t want novelty prints or anything too large-scale…I’m not sure it would work but I trust your guys to do what you think best. Also, I have some ant fabric that I would like pieced into some of the blocks (there are ants in the painting) so I’ll be sending some of you a piece of that. Please don’t use any clock or time fabric either! That’s not the look we’re going for people.

Hope I’m not being too demanding! Thank you all! Male quilters rule!

So that’s what Nicholas wanted.  And here’s what I came up with:




I can’t wait to see the other blocks and especially how he puts them together!!

Only two months left for the 2014 #NGAQB….. November which was my month and December (now) which was our ring-leader’s Month, Mr. Joshua Helms, better known in the quilting world as Molli Sparkles.

So that’s my brief note for today. I spent yesterday wrapping Christmas presents all day. I really wasn’t too focused. I should have done a lot more….I was planning on decorating the house yesterday. I was in one of those weird spaces where I just meandered about too much. Didn’t even get a nap (which would have been nice!)

Have a great week peeps!

Keep Sewing, Keep Happy,


Mr. September for #NGAQB — Giuseppe Ribaudo

November 28th, 2014


Time for another installment of the #NGAQB…..I am happy to say that I am all caught up in the sewing of the blocks for the #NGAQB and only have to do December’s blocks next month! Yeah! But I am behind in sharing the blocks and the guys who they are for.  So today it’s September and the many who goes by Giucy Giuce.

Giuseppe Ribaudo is his real name and he’s fairly quiet on the Social Media scene….although he seems to have a great many friends on his Instagram page! And rightfully so, because he does share some fantastic photos full of color and design! He loves color that’s for sure!!

I don’t have a mini bio for you from Giucy, but I do have his Bee block request, and it gives a pretty good picture of what he wanted in these blocks and a little bit about himself as well.  Here are his words about his request:

Basically, complete and total scrappy chaos. I want to make a scrappy quilt with bright colors and tea-­‐stained backgrounds.  So here is what I am thinking… I would love for each of you to create any block you would like in any size you would like. You could do a really big block (maybe an 18” or a 24”), or maybe you wouldn’t mind making me
some smaller blocks (perhaps 6” or 8”), and anything in between.  I don’t think I want to go any smaller than 6” and any larger than 24”. They don’t even need to be blocks. They can be strips or rectangles too! Would love to see some big triangles in there, as well. Been slightly obsessed with them as of late. Would also love a couple of wonky stars in different sizes. You could do a couple of different smaller blocks if you wanted. Have at it. Again, do not feel confined to doing a block.  As long as it is not a circle I will find a way to make it work! Have fun with it. Experiment. I think my tastes are pretty apparent on my IG feed so take a peek and do what you like.

As far as color goes, you may or may not know this about me, but  I am a whore for color order (a color whorder, if you will). Surprisingly though, I only have one color order quilt. Soooo I would love blocks that move in color order: they can move out from the center of the block, across the block, however you like. Here is the value I would love to stay within (one is more saturated, the other more subdued, but always the same feel to the palette…feel free to play with either).  Think AMH and Alison Glass:

So I did as instructed and had fun with it. I drew up a simple little long “block” that fit his measurement requirements exactly….these would both finish at 6” x 24” .... they are a reflection of each other and an inverse in their color order. They can stand alone on two different parts of his final quilt, or they can be connected for one long border or block or whatever.


And that was going to be it, but then I saw these extra triangle from one of my new patterns that I have been working on (Boom! which will be revealed soon) and I realized that they would be easy and fun to throw together in color order as well, so Voila! there you go… more block…. (sans the tea-stained, off white backgrounds)


I really enjoyed making these even though I am not a huge fan of rainbow quilts. I love color, but not necessarily in “order” like that. The only rainbows that I really like are the ones that God puts in the sky to remind us of the story of Noah and God’s great love for us….

That’s it for today….

Keep Sewing, Keep Happy,


Happy Thanksgiving!

November 27th, 2014


Happy Thanksgiving Peeps! I don’t even know how many people read blogs anymore, but I now that there are a few of you out there…so to you and all whom you love, a Very Happy Thanksgiving. I love this holiday very much because it is so UN-commercialized. just taking time to be thankful and enjoy a day reveling in that. Should be every day…It is a good reminder of that.


And being an “American” holiday, I like to remember the Pilgrims and their quest for freedom to worship God in peace, without persecution. There are a lot of people of religious AND non-religious nature persecuting others because they are different. I think our current society actually is not very friendly to Christians in general currently, and there are many sides to all of the issues out there.  But I am very thankful that for the moment at least we are still free to worship and seek God without too much trouble in this country.  And see,  I am one who thinks that it is actually more important to seek God than what I want or think should be done….that is not normal…most people are very concerned about their rights to do this or do that because of their “freedom” .... I don’t consider myself free, I have been bought and paid for by God,  so, no, I really don’t have the right to do whatever I want. .......  I know,  it’s weird, but I have a great peace about it…....I have many “issues” to be sure (we ALL do!) but I live in  a very blessed country, and I am thankful to God for that.


As to my “turkey day” paraphernalia above, I have been collecting Thanksgiving day stuff for many, many years and of all my decorating “stuff” I think I love this group the most.  I particularly love the vintage ceramic turkeys. I don’t have many vintage ones, but they are my absolute favorite. They remind me of days when life was simpler.  I look very fondly back on the eras of the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s…..(although, I am very thankful for Modern Medicine and I only remember the 70’s and a bit of the 60’s….I wasn’t even born in the 50’s!)

So a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving to each and every one of you!

Keep Happy, Keep Sewing, and Keep Being Thankful!


Mr. August for #NGAQB — Shaun (and some prints from Valori Well’s prolific year)

November 9th, 2014


Now here in the Pacific Northwest, we are in the beginning of the dull months of late fall and winter.  But this post is all about the August blocks for Shaun Abels in the #NGAQB or No Girls Allowed Quilt Bee I have been participating in all year.

Shaun basically wanted improv blocks in bright colors with grey backrgrounds.  I had been playing with a block idea that I wanted to submit to a magazine using Valori’s Quill, Ashton Road, and Blueprint Basics lines with some solid white. But what I was playing with was NOT going where I wanted it to.  But I thought chopped up, well, maybe it would work for these blocks.

Shaun blocks 4

I like how these two blocks came out much better than the path my other idea was taking!

shaun 4

I really like how the block below is kind of a star….but not really …..

shaun 5

And some of the guys included a little “bio” about themselves. Here is Shaun’s:

I am 27 and have been sewing/quilting for about 3 years. My aunts, uncle and cousin all quilt. I asked my aunt to teach me how to make a quilt and loved the whole process. My first quilt was a disappearing nine patch, with simple straight line quilting.

I’m originally from Omaha, Nebraska, right in the heartland of America. I’ve been in the navy for the better part of a decade now, and have had some great opportunities to see different parts of the world that I normally wouldn’t have seen. However, it does make for precious little time to sew. I do my best quilting with Beyoncé or Jenny Lewis playing in the background.

I have really developed an interested in modern quilting after discovering the incredible modern quilting community on Instagram. My friend Carey, who I’ve know for years and years, came to quilting about the same time I did and she has opened my eyes to the glory of Tula Pink and Angela Walters, Joel Dewberry and Jaybird Quilts. I’ve also discovered a smaller, but fantastic group of creative men in the modern quilting community.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the NGAQB over the past year and have loved getting to know this awesome group of creative (and funny!) guys.


I have been really enjoying getting to know the other men in this little online Bee….I am not as active in the group as I started out being, but it has been really interesting hearing about their lives this year. And I have been blown away by some of their creations! There is a lot of talent in the group. And each month the requested blocks have been unique enough to really explore different concepts and a couple new blocks designed by other people that I have wanted to do but never gotten around too. The improv choices like this month have been fun moments of play too..they are Easy, stress-free, and really add to inspiration on a daily level.

As I said above, I was playing with Valori’s new lines from Robert Kaufman Fabrics. Val’s had a very prolific year with them. Three lines and one of them, her Blueprint Basics line keeps adding new colors and sku’s. Here’s a sampling of what I was choosing from for these blocks.

ashton road 877

I am so very in love with the bright green print in the bottom of the photo above!

ashton road 7

The oranges and pink and blue prints are SOOO vibrant….Love the intensity!!

ashton ROAD 28

Love the keys in the print off to the left and the flourishes in the multi-colored print below.

ashton road 78

Mr. July for #NGAQB — Ryan (and a gander at Tula Pink’s Moonshine line)

November 3rd, 2014


And now for another installment of the No Girls Allowed Quilting Bee….July was Ryan Walsh’s month. Now I know that Ryan is a total fan for all things Tula Pink. So I really wanted to use Moonshine the newest (well at the time it was the newest) line from Ms. Pink.


Here are the lighter prints…


And here are the darker prints:


And my favorite prints, the red and blue ones….


These two prints are my top two favorites in this line…especially the red camping print!  There’s even a bottle of moonshine floating in the creek. Tula has an amazing eye for detail! I love that about her work.


And for blocks, Ryan wanted one big block—Knee Socks by Elizabeth Hartman—instead of two 12” blocks.

So I made these “socks” up for him in only the Moonshine prints.


But he said that he wanted mostly brights. ......and I thought that some of these socks might be a little too dark for the look he was going for.

So I pulled these “sock” sections out of the overall block. But I sent them to Ryan anyway thinking that he could work them into the back if he wanted to or into another block on the front, whatever….


So I pulled from some of the other Moonshine prints that I didn’t use the first time and additional scraps from my stash to create this final block for Ryan.   And yes, there are two solids in there a light, light grey solid and an off-white solid   Here’s hoping he likes it!!


November Aurifil Designer of the Month! ME!! Yee haw!

November 2nd, 2014

Finally my month is here! I have really enjoyed being a part of the Aurifil 2014 series of Designers of the Month project.  Pat Sloan is the best hostess and did an excellent job keeping everything organized! It is so great to work with people who are so supportive of others in this industry.  Some industries can be so cut-throat, you know?

aurifil Nov designer of the month Scott Hansen

So I will send you here for the interview that I did with Pat.   Here is my block in the fabrics we were given for the group project. I added the green solid to it as we were allowed to add one fabric. You will have to read through the whole article to see why I chose green to add to this block. It makes sense, trust me.

scott hansen 2014 aurifil block

And here is the link to the pattern.

And here is the block that I made for the quilt that I will be making here from all of the blocks. I used the Liberty fabrics I have been working with all year on this project and one of Valori’s Wish Voiles (and then I added a voile from one of Anna Maria’s lines) and then that embossed white stuff that Valori got me hooked on last year!


And here, I did a little photoshop playing around with settings.  There are many ways you could make this block work. It’s fun to try them out I think!


And here is Machine Quilting Tip #11 from Natalia!

machine quilting tip for aurifil number  11

Now you remember that you can WIN a nice prize from Aurifil, just by making up this block and posting it on the Aurifil Flickr Group Page here. You do remember that right? I am particularly looking forward to seeing all of the variations you come up with for your Tossed Salad block!  So go out there and sew up some Tossed Salads, people!

And just a little something extra to celebrate this month’s block, I am offering 20% off any two or more patterns in the Blue Nickel Studios Etsy shop.  Just use the coupon code TOSSEDSALAD14 to get your discount.  The coupon code will be good through the month of November!

Overdue …. a winner announcement & other fun stuff…..

October 21st, 2014

And long overdue…here is the winner to John Q Adams’ E-book Beyond Neutral from the good peeps at Martingale.

And the winner is…....

Yvonne who wrote:     Pacific crest is edging out Canyonlands as my favorite. Thanks for a great giveaway.

The Martingale staff will be getting back to you Yvonne soon….thanks to all who commented!

Here ’s something else a bit overdue….

Old pictures I took of some of my pincushions for a photo shoot that never got finished.  For your viewing pleasure:


Here are most of my pincushions together. I didn’t realize that I had a collection of them until I did the photo shoot.


This little guy Linda made from a loose chess piece…a bishop….I think it has that old-fashioned, probably not very “PC” but still awfully cute! And the beaded one to the left was a kit that I got for Christmas ages ago and actually got put together.


This red, white, and blue one is a crocheted one made by Linda’s Grandmother. This is actually hers….not mine…  :)


This one is just happy!


This chaise lounge one was a Christmas present one year.  Linda has borrowed this for a prop for a small doll on more than one occasion.


And here’s my favorite. Also from Linda’s Grandmother, this little guy never fails to give me a lift!

Again, Congrats to Yvonne and have a great day!!

Mr. June for #NGAQB — Chris and Some Gorgeous Glow from Amy Butler!

October 17th, 2014


So in today’s post, I am going to kill two birds with one stone so to speak. First I am sharing with you the blocks I made for Chris in the #NGAQB and then, since I used Amy Butler’s Glow line from Westminster, I thought I would add pictures of the prints from that line in the post as well.


So if you remember, I signed up for the #NGAQB last December and have been having fun with these other 11 guys making different blocks for each and sharing some laughs and cares along the way.  June is Chris Jones’ Month, and Chris wanted us to make these diamond blocks by Anna. I was thrilled with this choice because I saw these a long time ago, and I thought they were so very cool!


They were a little tricky…You have to be very careful with everything because of the Bias Factor….But I think they came out pretty okay!

As part of the swap most of the guys have written up little bio’s about themselves.
Here is Chris’s:

• Do you have any nicknames, or go by any other name?
I used to be heavy into online gaming (Everquest and World of Warcraft) so I have a few character names that people still call me. Typically, Chris is good enough to get my attention. I’ll answer to just about anything you call me though.

• Did you go to College? What did you study?
I started college with the expectation that I would get a biology and chemistry degree, and move on to work in a hospital as a phlebotomist or in a research lab. I was three classes shy of my biology degree when I took a psychology class on a dare. That one class changed everything that I had planned for my life; I ended up graduating from college with dual degrees. One in Psychology with an emphasis in Depth and Archetypal psychology, and one in Sociology with an emphasis in Anthropology.

One day I’ll make it back to school and get my Masters in counseling. I want to either be a licensed counselor, or teach psychology and anthropology on a college level.


• What do you do now?
Right now I’m a SQL Developer/Data Administrator for an online book company (nope, not that one – not that one either). I’ve been with the company for fourteen years; I started with them two weeks after I graduated college. I started in the Customer Service department, and quickly moved up to CS Manager. I’ve held a position in just about every department within the company, and if I haven’t worked there, I work closely with them to generate reports or import data.

• When did you start quilting?
I didn’t actually pick up quilting until I was in college and living with my mom’s family. She has a strong lineage of quilters, and I thought I might enjoy it. I grew up with my grandmother, who was a seamstress. She taught me how to sew, crochet, cross stitch, embroider and many other things.

When I graduated from college, I stopped quilting for a while. I was sucked in to the world of MMORPG, and barely had time for anything else but work. I picked up quilting again at the suggestion of a great friend at work. She introduced me to hand-piecing and I was in love again. I’ve done quite a few small projects, but I’ve yet to actually quit a top yet. I’m hoping that I’ll get to take some valuable time-off soon and try my mom’s new long arm or free motion quilting machines.


• What other hobbies do you have?
Outside of sewing/quilting, I love to cook, can, and garden. I just picked up canning this year, and I love it. There’s nothing more awesome than taking the things that you grow and preserving them to eat throughout the year. Though I don’t typically eat it, I love making jam, the stranger the flavour profile, the more fun. So far I’ve made mulberry jam, strawberry balsamic jam, grape jelly, wild berry (strawberry, blueberry, mulberry) and apple butter. I’m trying out recipes for pineapple rum jam and mulled red wine jelly. They will likely be part of the family Christmas presents this year.

• Do you have pets?
Yep, I have three furbabies that are the love of my life. A Scottie named Finnigan, a Cairn named Ursula and a German Shepherd named Zahara. Ursula and Zahara were both rescues. We’re currently taking Zahara through obedience school right now.


• What is your favourite animal?
Definitely a wallaby, with a giraffe coming in a close second. I want to make it to Australia one day so that I can see wallabys bounding around the countryside. (And I promise not to be freaked out by the drop-bears  :)
• What is your favourite color?
Orange, definitely orange. From pumpkin to safety vest, I love it all.


• If you could pick your own name, what would it be?
For a long time I wanted to change my middle name (no, I won’t tell you what it is, but if you guess correctly, I’ll let you know) to Xavier. I’ve always loved that name, and I’m not really sure why.

• Which season is best?
Fall will always have a special place in my heart. I love the color of the season. But now, because I really enjoy planning gardens, and digging in the dirt, I’d have to go with spring. The smell of the air right after a spring rain….it’s invigorating.

• If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be?
I’d love to see my grandfather again. He was such an amazing person. He was a short-order cook in the army, a recorded musician that wrote music, played the guitar, banjo and fiddle, and spent the greater portion of his adult life as a taxi driver. His routes ranged from around the block to across the country. He loved life, and never had a cross word for anyone. He, like my grandmother, really taught me how to “be” in this world and I love him for it. I’d love to see him again.


• How would you best describe yourself?
I never know what to say with this question. I think the best thing that I can say is that my Meyer’s Briggs personality type is INFP. I’m introverted, usually very quiet and reserved, or in my own world. Feelings and emotions are important to me, and I am usually overflowing with them. I like to daydream, and don’t like strict rules.

• If you could be any fictional character,who would it be?
I can’t narrow it down to one. I’d like to think that I’m equal parts Mindy Kaling, Aquaman, and Captain Jack Harkness in a candy-coated Lord John Grey shell.


• What is your biggest pet peeve?
I probably have too many to mention here. I have a touch of an OCD streak that rears its ugly head from time to time. Right now the biggest thing that bothers me are leaves. I was out in the snow raking them the other day because I couldn’t stand seeing them all over the ground. As far as peeves from others, though, I don’t like people that use others for their benefit. Gets in my craw every time.

• Do you have siblings?
Yep, I have a half brother and a step-sister. Both are grown, though my brother still lives with our parents.

• What kind of music interests you?
I will listen to just about any type of music, except modern country. I just can’t get into it. As far as favourites…the sugarier the pop, the better. As of late I’ve been bouncing between bollywood hits and electronica.

• What book/movie/tv show can you not live without?
TV is a guilty pleasure of mine; I watch way too much of it. I’m a card-carrying fandom member for Supernatural and Teen Wolf – can’t miss an episode. I don’t read as much as I should, but I like fantasy, historical fiction and romance books. Bernard Cornwell, Gregory McGuire, and Diana Gabaldon are a few of my current go-to authors.


So that’s all about Chris. And interspersed around Chris’s bio are many shots of Amy Butler’s Glow. I LOVE this line. It is so Amy, but it is also SOOO different from her past lines. I love the small scale of many of the prints, and it definitely has a bit of that Japanese Pop Culture going on, at least in my eyes!  I just saw a peek of Amy’s next line coming out, Violette, and I hope to share that with you soon too!


Coming up soon…..Blocks for Ryan Walsh, Mr. July, done up in mostly Moonshine by Tula Pink!

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