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.

October Aurifil Designer of the Month — Jane Davidson

October 8th, 2014

I had the great pleasure of meeting Jane Davidson at Quilt Market last fall. What a sweet lady with a fabulous sense of humor!

And she is October’s Aurifil Designer of the Month!

What, Scott? You’re actually posting this near the beginning of the actual month and everything? Yeah, yeah, I know….consider this your Christmas miracle early….  ;)

aurifil october designer of the month jane davidson

Read all about Jane here in her interview with our delightful ringleader, Pat Sloan.  Jane shares some of her wonderful quilts and glimpses of her creative space. It is always fun to get to know other quilters better, don’t you think ? To me it helps me know that other people out there think the same way I do…or at least close!

Jane’s block is a very fun one that I can see done up so nicely as a scrap quilt all on its own.  Jane’s Circle of Love is lovingly dedicated to the truths that her mum shared with her family during her life here on the planet.


Here is the link to the pattern.

And here is my version of the block. I know we don’t see “brown” a whole lot in the quilting world, but I really felt like going all earthy on this block for October. (I think brown has been making a comeback of sorts, so I am pretty happy about that, as my early years of quilting were, brown, brown, and more brown…oh, and  a whole lotta plaid)

Again the same Liberty fabrics with one of Valori’s Wish Voiles in there for good measure.


Has a rather spectacular “autumn” feel to it doesn’t it?  (although in Australia where Jane is, well, it’s spring…)

And here is Natalia’s Quilting Tip for October. Check out Natalia’s blog here.


So here’s the same spiel to encourage you to make your own version of Jane’s block. Every month Aurifil will draw a name from the peeps that post a photo of their Aurifil Designer of the Month block on the Aurifil Flickr page here. So go ahead make one. It doesn’t take that long and you could win a big box of Aurifil thread…. $120 value !!
And don’t forget Next month…..The November Designer of the Month is me!! And I have a block that I created from a very dear to my heart story from growing up.  Very dear to my heart.  You’ll just have to wait to find out more!

September Aurifil Designer of the Month >>> Pat Wys

October 7th, 2014

2014 Pat Wys aurifil designer button

Yup.. I missed it…this time not at the very end of the month. I completely lost September (when you see the photos of my studio in my interview for November Designer of the Month, it will be very clear how I missed it!)  And I had the block made by the 10th too….seriously…..I know I won’t be able to convince some of you that I did…but I did have it done.  I just never found the time or quiet space to sit down and write about it.

So there you go….Now on with the story. You’ve been here before no doubt. So you know the spiel. Pat Wys is the wonderful designer for the Aurifil Designer of the Month of September. Read her great interview with Pat Sloan here.

Here’s her block, Stars of my Life:

Aurifil Sept 2014 block by Pat W

You can get the directions for it here.

And here’s my version in Liberty prints and one of the wonderful prints from Valori’s Wish Voile line from Free Spirit:


And here’s Natalia’s Quilting Tip of the Month. Check out Natalia’s other great work on her blog.

machine quilting tip for aurifil number 9-1

Now if you are new to the Aurifil Designer of the Month program, then here’s some great news for you! You can win a big box of Aurfil thread…the big rolls… ($120 value!!) just by making Pat’s block and posting it here on Flickr. Easy peasy! Each month one random winner gets picked.  So it could be you! Go make yourself this great block and share it with the world. You could get more that world-wide admiration; you could get the goods!

Okay October’s block IS DONE…and I hope to posting that in a few days…

Wish me luck!

Olfa winner! and Little bit of Catch up from the Spring…..

October 5th, 2014

Hey there, yeah,  it’s been crazy around here….I see that it’s October already? I mean I should have seen it coming with all of the Pumpkin Spice everything showing up on the store shelves, but still, October has surprised me.  And I realized that mostly when I saw that I hadn’t put up the September Aurifil Designer of the month post up yet!  So Today is this post, tomorrow will have the September Aurifil DOM post and then later this week I will post up the October Aurifil DOM post.

Today is mostly to just congratulate Karen A on her win of the Olfa Gift pack from this post.

Karen A wrote ….. I love my olfa cutter and ruler. They get quite a workout at my house on a regular basis!

And then I just wanted to share with you some piles of fun fabric lines that I got to work on for this past spring’s Quilt Market, but couldn’t show at the time.

I got to play with these three fun lines from Free Spirit and Coats last spring.

Lace Mountain by Zandra Rhodes:



Here’s my quilt, Dressing Gowns. Here’s the link to the pattern.


Empire by Parson Gray (aka Dave Butler) :



I have been wanting to make this shirt from these two Empire prints for 7 months now…maybe I will this winter??


Here’s my quilt,  Magic Carpet. Here’s the link to the pattern.


And the new prints from Tim Holtz….they don’t appear to be naming his “lines” for whatever reason:


I really like the floral print and the bottlecap one!


Here’s my quilt, Hashbrowns for Breakfast. Here’s the link to the pattern.

hashbrowns for Breakfast photo8

That’s it for today peeps….Gotta go write those two Aurifil posts….Don’t forget I am the November Designer of the Month for Aurifil…I have both of those blocks done already!  (The Moda pack that we are all using with or without an added fabric AND my Liberty version similar to the ones I have been doing of all of the Designers’ blocks.)

(all of the photos of the quilts are courtesy of Coats, Inc.  All of the photos of the fabric are Blue Nickel Studios photos)

Oh, and I will draw a name on the Ebook  from my buddy, John Adams tomorrow night….check out this post and get your comment in to win!

Johnny Q! Blog Tour with my friend QuiltDad

September 25th, 2014

Hey there….
I have know my buddy, John Adams, aka QuiltDad, for quite some time now. We’ve even met in real life person on many occasions at various Quilt Markets through the years.  While I have been doing lots of little things here and there, John’s managed to get out two books! (Way to Go, Buddy!) I was blessed to have a project in his first one Pretty in Patchwork Holidays. And now I get to share a quick review of his second book, Beyond Neutral.


John has created a lot of cool modern quilts here. Big impact, easy to piece. And all of them “modern” without a single white or cream background.  I was reading his intro, and he said that a lot of people commented on his blog about an apprehension of using background colors other than cream or white. Like John, that kind of surprised me. You know how I roll, I think red if it’s a tonal or solid would be a great background, or “neutral” setting for a lot of yummy prints. So if that is you, and you need inspiration for using something other than cream or white for the “quiet space” in your quilt, then Beyond Neutral is perfect for you!

So now I will share some of my favorites, and then when I am done, you get to comment to win your own E-copy of the book from Martingale! YEAH!

So I have looked through this book over and over again, and  a few of the quilts keep coming back to me. The cover quilt Pacific Crest of course is the bomb, and a lot of people on John’s tour have already talked about how much they love it.

But I was also very smitten with Glimmerglass and most likely because I just love all the prints! You know how I love scrappiness in all forms!  This quilt is a great one to use up (and likely make more) scraps by the bin-ful!


And then of course I love Canyonlands because John made the Starling Block that he originally designed for the Generation Q blog back in 2012 into this quilt!  I made a couple of the blocks back then and they are buried in the studio somewhere…I was always going to combine them with some “traditional” flying geese, but never got around to it!


But to make a sample for you today, I chose Glacier Bay. I love the bold. modern graphic-ness of this quilt as well as a certain “traditional” feel this quilt evokes.


And I could give you a good idea of how this would look with just four blocks. I stayed up way too late last night making these four blocks.  My car accident a week ago has put a cog in my productivity goals here at the Blue Nickel, so these blocks were made last minute and this post is going up just before noon on the East Coast….because it’s still morning here on the Pacific Coast and I have been making appointments, on the phone…all sorts of stuff that is beyond normal around here.

I used an assortment of Valori’s prints from Quill, Blueprint Basics, and Ashton Road for these blocks.  Loving the hugs and kisses image that I see when I see them together like this!


Okay now for the giving away part! Just check out the posts so far on John’s Book Blog Tour and tell me which quilt featured you like best and why! And make sure to comment on the other blogs to increase your chance to win!!


1 Million Pillowcase Challenge 24 hour Sewathon!

September 19th, 2014

Hey peeps, I am formally inviting you to join with me and my friends at American Patchwork and Quilting for this afternoon’s 1,000,000 Pillowcase Challenge 24 hour Sewathon.


Today, Friday, September 19 from 3pm to 3pm on Saturday, September 20, people across the country will be sewing to donate to the 1,000,000 Pillowcase Challenge.

Here’s what AP&Q has to say about the event:

American Patchwork & Quilting is hosting the first One Million Pillowcase Challenge 24-Hour Sew-a-thon at its headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa. Starting at 3:00 P.M. on Friday, September 19th and running through 3:00 P.M. on Saturday, September 20th, the public is invited to Meredith Corporation to sew pillowcases for local Des Moines charities, including Rebuilding Together. All supplies will be provided free, and staff members will be on hand to help walk participants through the process of making a pillowcase. Light refreshments will be served and door prizes will be given away. The first 2,400 people will also receive a gift as a thank you for volunteering their time.

“We are so excited to host this exciting event at American Patchwork & Quilting headquarters – where the One Million Pillowcase Challenge started in 2010. A handmade pillowcase seems like a simple thing, but it can ease the fears of a sick child while in the hospital; provide comfort to a teen as they move to a new foster home or give hope to a family who recently lost everything in a tornado, flood or fire. The pillowcases made at this event will brighten the lives of families in need right here in Des Moines,” said Linda Augsburg, Editorial Content Chief of the Better Homes and Gardens Crafts Group.

I have couple big projects that I am working on today and tomorrow as well, but I am thrilled to have the days off from the Day Job at Costco AND that it is wet and rainy AND that I was in a car accident yesterday, so I have nothing to keep me from sewing all day long…..(okay well I am not thrilled about the accident! But God saw it coming before I saw that kid in my rearview mirror plow into me and I know that God will take care of everything including me) ;)

Okay, back to the challenge.  So anyhoo…. I found these beauties below that I haven’t done much with yet, and I have large enough pieces to make pillowcases from, so in the middle of my  “busines” sewing, I plan to make a couple of pillowcases out of these two lines. (my goal is 4 total today, but we’ll see)

The first is Dowry by Anna Maria Horner.  I have always, always loved Anna Maria’s rich palette that she works into every print she creates.




And then I have these awesome prints from my dear, dear friend, Valori Wells.  These are a mix from Blueprint Basics, Ashton Road, and Quill.  Valori’s sense of color is just as intense as Anna Maria’s but in a different way. I think there’s just a bit more sunshine in Valori’s palette, but I could just be thinking that because I am remember this past summer teaching in her neck of the woods where the sun was incredible every day!


I so TOTALLY am in love with the green on the bottom right of the above photo and the bottom left of the one below.


So if you can fit in the time, please join me and a bunch of other people in helping comfort and bless kids and adults with some unique, and personal pillowcases!

There are some great free patterns here at AP&Q!

I will be keeping you up with my progress on Instagram today and tomorrow as I can, so be sure to follow me along there today. There may be even be some giveaways and great bargains if I get to any destashing along the way as well.   Follow me on Instagram here if you don’t already, I actually get more chances to share there from my everyday life than here or Twitter or Facebook.

Oh, and I will post the winner for my OLFA giveaway here tomorrow too, so if you haven’t left a comment on this post for that prize, then run quick like a bunny to do that now and then get back to sewing Pillowcases!

Keep Happy, Keep Sewing…...and above all, please drive Safely if you have to run to your local Quilt Shop for necessities…


Olfa’s 35th Birthday Bash!

September 13th, 2014

Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday, Dear OLFA Rotary Cutter,  Happy Birthday to you!


So the peeps at OLFA are celebrating 35 glorious years of the rotary cutter. I am pretty sure that I made my first quilt around then too, but I didn’t hear about rotary cutters for probably another 16-17 years.  And I have been using them ever since.

I got to go to a wonderful breakfast put on by OLFA this past spring in Pittsburgh.  My friend Pat Sloan had a great post about that soiree here.  But the party didn’t stop there. This summer (yes, It is technically still summer for a few more days {in this hemisphere at least}, even though the stores are filling up with Pumpkin Spice Everything already) I was invited to help keep the party going by first by making a block for their 35th anniversary quilt.  Here’s the block that I sent them:


The quilt that they are making from all of the blocks will be on display at Quilt Market in Houston this fall. I am not sure where the quilt will go after that. But it will have a bunch of blocks made by many peeps. I am sure it will have a Dear Jane effect to it… my mind’s eye at least.

And for my second  part of the party, the Fine Folks at OLFA want to send one of my readers the below gift  package as well:


This is a DYNAMITE giveaway peeps! Seriously great stuff in this package …the rotating cutting board is SOOOO helpful! I found it especially useful when I was trimming up all of the blocks in two of my first four patterns (Painted Forest and Beauty in the Bark)!

So to win a pack of this cool OLFA stuff drop a comment here about OLFA products or anything about the color Yellow or the color Black.  ( Due to the postage of this package, I am pretty sure that OLFA is limiting the shipment of the prize to US addresses only… if you are out of the country…..find a long lost relative here to send it to, okay!?)

Looking forward to hearing what you have to say!! I will draw for the winner this coming Friday the 20th….the first day of Autumn (here at least….I have to say that because I have a bunch of friends in the land of OZ who are looking forward to a great spring I am sure!)

Aurifil August Designer of the Month — Michele Foster

September 1st, 2014

aurifil 2014 Aug designer of the month Michele Foster

Didn’t I say last month when I wrote up the July Aurifil Designer of the Month post, that I would be Johnny on the spot with August??  Well, obviously, it didn’t happen as today is the 31st….and I am just now writing it… Just so you know, I did have my block done very early in the month.  But August zoomed by with so many things. Many life changes in our family. Out oldest, Noel, is in his first apartment now, and our second boy (sorry, man now) Max will be living with Noel next week. That leaves Mimi here at home with us.  The boys aren’t that far away. Noel is still coming home every weekend. But still it’s a state of flux. I spent most of August working the day job and helping get Noel situated as well as organizing a yard sale (it rained the day we had planned…so it didn’t do so well!)  Anywhoo….Onto this post.

August’s Aurifil Designer of the Month is the very talented (at both quilt design and organizing community) Michele Foster from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Michele is the brains, heart, and soul behind the Quilting Gallery, one of the first quilt online “groups” I remember seeing way back when I started getting into the blog world.  She has been very instrumental in getting a lot of fun free patterns out there and helping promote many, many designers!

Read more about Michele, here in her interview with Pat Sloan.

And here’s her block, The Aurifil Button:


Directions for the block are here.

And here is my block done in a print from Valori Wells’ Wish line, and assorted prints from Liberty.


And here’s Quilting Tip #8 from Natalia.


so now, here’s the WINNING part….you can win a box of Pat’s Aurifil thread just by making this block and posting it on the Aurifil Flickr page here.

And now I am finally getting this posted, and I see it is past midnight on the 31st….so yeah, it’s officially September people….I hope I will get you the September Aurifil block earlier!
Happy Labor Day, US peeps….and Happy September everyone else!

Mr. April in #NGAQB — John Adams

August 25th, 2014

Yup…April in August! And late August at that…..can September really be just around the corner??

This summer has been soooo hectic with graduations and weddings and teaching and yard work and kids moving out and yard sales and yard work and pattern writing and planning for next year and this fall and yard work…

You get the picture…..

So anyway, that April in August statement above…yeah, this post has a couple pictures in it.  Some of Anna Maria Horner’s line Pretty Potent which is, as usual from Anna Maria, simply awesome.





And this photo (from my phone) is of the Feather Blocks that I made for John, Mr. April, in the #NGAQB (no girls allowed quilting bee) that I signed up for last winter.  LOVED making these blocks. I had wanted to try them ever since I saw Anna Maria’s original quilt.


As part of the #NGAQB we each were going to post a little bio about ourselves…..Here is John’s:


Please allow me tell you a little bit about myself. I am a father of three, originally from Brooklyn NYC but now living in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina. I live with my 9 year-old twin girls, my 8 year-old son, and a crazy German Shorthaired Pointer named Bristol. Though I often wish it could be, quilting and pattern-writing is not my full-time job; by day, I lead branding and brand marketing efforts for a global software company. I am a completely self-taught quilter (thanks, blogs and internet!) and have been sewing for about 7 years now. I earned my undergraduate and master’s degrees at the University of North Carolina and, when I’m not sewing, enjoy cheering for the UNC Tar Heels.

I was originally inspired by the blossoming worlds both of craft blogging and modern fabrics back in 2004. I was living in Charlotte NC at the time and began mixing and matching fabrics and buying fat quarters in my local quilt shop even before I knew how to sew a stitch. I was really drawn to the creative process of mixing and matching colors and prints. That was when Amy Butler’s Lotus line had just come out, and the options for bright modern fabrics was growing like crazy. Before long, I decided I was going to make a quilt and read free tutorials online until I felt comfortable with the basics.

I started my blog,, in 2008 on a whim, mainly to be eligible to join a swap at the time but ultimately to share my love of patchwork with others.

Since then, I’ve remained very active in online quilting communities through swaps, virtual quilting bees, and guilds. Today, I try to apply my own quilting aesthetic to designing original quilt patterns for both fabric designers and companies and frequently contribute to creative blogs, books, and other collaborative endeavors. I’ve contributed to several collaborative quilt books, have two book titles of my own (Pretty in Patchwork: Holidays and the soon to be released Beyond Neutral: Quilts Inspired by Nature’s Elements) and was a co-founder of the popular e-magazine and book series for modern quilters, Fat Quarterly.

Having said all that, the NGAQB is one of the most unique, exciting projects I’ve been a part of and I can’t wait to see the beautiful things that emerge from it.


So that’s the scoop on the April session of #NGAQB….only a few months late…I have already sent out the May blocks and will posting that here soon….Working on June and July next.  If I am lucky, I will get the August and September blocks done in September!!

Keep Sewing, Keep Happy,


July Aurifil Designer of the Month…… Camille Roskelley

August 4th, 2014

aurifil june designer of the month camille roskelley

Yup….behind as usual….the middle of July had me in Sisters Oregon for the Quilters’ Affair event held there every year.  So the week before I was getting ready…and the week after I was settling back in and getting the Week of Happy posts up…and I have also been scrambling to get some mock ups done for Valori and Jean at the Stitchin’ Post to review for Next summers classes at Quilters’ Affair. ....oh, plus the day job, and both Linda’s and Mimi’s birthdays, and helping facilitate both of the boys moving out on their own this fall. It’s been quite a scramble (plus the yard needs so much attention this time of year, plus lots of other things that need maintenance… are looking better and better, but I sOOOOO love living in the country…it’s a constant struggle…)

ANYWAY!  Back to July …. This post was supposed to come to you last month, but here it is on August 4th.  Camille of the sweetest designers on this planet.  Such clear simple designs.  And Aurifil’s Designer of the Month for July.  This years fabric choices are right up her alley in some of  her signature colors of red and light blue!

Here’s her block, On the Plus Side:

camile july aurifil block 1

Click here for the directions.

And click here to read all about Camille and her inspiration for her block in her interview with the lovely Pat Sloan.

And here is my version of On the Plus Side done again in some of Valori’s Wish Voile and more Liberty prints.


And here is Natalia’s Tip #7 for Machine Quilting… Good advice!


So make the block in your fabrics and post it on the Aurifil Flickr page to be eligible for the monthly drawing for the big box of  Aurifil thread!  And I am wrapping my version of the August block too…so when I post that make your own and post that on the Aurifil Flickr page as well!! Two chances to win this month that way!

Week of Happy….Day Five

July 18th, 2014

And here we are at Day Five of the Week of Happy! Today I wanted to just kinda celebrate my favorite kind of “solid” or “non-solid-solid” as it were. True these are mostly prints, but compared to other prints I use, they are very calm and settling. Particularly Violet Craft’s little birds....I just LOVE these.  All of these fabrics are from Michael Miller and the little birds on the right are Violet’s design. The prints above the tiny houndstooth and the large houndstooth on the left are from Patty Sloniger’s line, Emma’s Garden.


And of course more treat bags ...... I made 100 of these suckers…...I wanted to make sure that all of my students at Quilters Affair got a little treat….a thank you from me for selecting my classes.

So totally digging this tiny houndstooth as a basic!!



So here’s the surprise package (not so much of a surprise now!) that I have been referring to all week as the second prize in the Week of Happy. A whole bunch of stuff from Spring Quilt Market and a few things from the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in Sisters, Oregon.  So comment about what makes you happy on every day of the Week of Happy and some time on this coming Monday morning,  I will pull two winners from all of  the comments.  One winner for this package and one winner for the Chronicle Books package (read about that prize on Day One of Happy).


And again, I have been loving hearing what is making you Happy this week….Helps me to maintain a bit of Happy in my life too!!

Keep Sewing, Keep HAPPY!


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