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.

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!


Week of Happy…..Day Four

July 17th, 2014

Welcome to Day Four of the Week of Happy. If you are just hitting the Blue Nickel this week, then you need to check out this post to see what’s going on, but if you have been here all week, then you know the score.  It’s all about Happy around here this week.


When I was passing by the Dear Stella booth at Quilt Market last spring, I saw Woodwinked all lined up in a row of pillows, and I totally fell in love with the deer in this line (yes, I know I lamented the deer that frequent my yard in yesterday’s post) and again I thought it was so pretty. I commented to the gals sitting there about how terrific it was and they gave me a fat quarter pack to play with!  I hadn’t noticed the owls or the mushrooms at first, but discovered them in the mix. Too cool!



So I made stuff with it even! Here’s another of those cool little wallets designed by Valori.


And more of those little treat bags designed by Monica.


Since I only have Fat Quarters of this line, I will be working them in with other prints down the road, and I am sure they will play together very nicely.

So to win either Monday’s Chronicle Book prize or my surprise pile-up from tomorrow’s post, simply comment here about something or someone or some event that makes or will make or has made you happy lately. And to have more chances, comment on each and every Week of Happy post this week….including tomorrow’s.  It’s been super uplifting to me to hear all of your Happiness spilling over. If you are feeling a little worn down this week, read the comments. There is a lot of happy to be found out there.

Keep Sewing, Keep Happy!

Week of Happy……..Day Three……

July 16th, 2014

I have been so enjoying everyone’s “Happy” comments! Keep them coming! They make my day, and in this crazy world we live in, a little bit of Happy is very good to have isn’t it?

Today’s Day on the Happy Train features Rustique by Emily Herrick. I was delighted with a lunch date at Spring Market with Emily and the equally fun Frances Newcombe, and I sure can tell you they are both the greatest company!

So here is Rustique!  I love the deer in this line….Much more than I loath the deer that try to destroy most everything I try to plant. They are like locusts around here…well, not quite, but it seems that way.

Anyway, Emily’s deer are marvelous, and the perfect size for more of these little treat bags….I tell you I am addicted to making those!



Here’s a little more Happy for you! I can’t love this song enough!!


Look at that little blue deer….perfect! and BLUE too!   :)


Also totally digging that Fuchsia, Orange, White and Black plaid too!!

DSC_1840 DSC_1839 DSC_1838

There are some great “blenders” that I love using in place of solids too!

So Day Three….If you have been here for the other posts, you know what to do.  If it’s your first day in the week of Happy, here’s the score: Leave a comment about what makes you Happy on today’s post as well as all of the Days of  Happy Week this week. Two prizes are being awarded. The first prize is shown on Day One and is from Chronicle Books. The second prize will be revealed Day Five and will be an assortment of things that I picked up at Spring Market plus a few cleaning out items from my studio.

Keep Sewing, Keep Happy!

Week of Happy…..Day Two

July 15th, 2014

Did you see yesterday’s post? It was the first Day of my Week of Happy series where I shared about my friend Amy Butler’s latest line Hapi.

Today’s post features a good friend of  Amy’s and mine, Valori Wells Kennedy, with whom I also just spent a magical week with (along with a whole lot of other incredible students and teachers!) in Sisters, Oregon. The fabric line is Quill and it came out a few months ago…Newer than Amy’s Hapi, but not as new as Valori’s NEWEST line Ashton Road.

Anyhow….I am working on a really fun project that is either going to go in a magazine OR become a Blue Nickel Studios pattern.  So I can’t show you that project yet, but I can show you the fabric.

DSC_1848 DSC_1847 DSC_1846

And I can show you more of those little treat bags that I am so enamored with …..


Also, I made some of these little wallets that Valori designed out of Quill. Very fun project….


So that’s it for today’s Happy post….remember to make a comment about what makes you happy on one or all of the Happy posts this week to win that nice prize from Chronicle Books that I talked about in yesterday’s post.  Commenting on each day’s post DOES better your chances to win, so it’s worth it. Plus you have to think up a different reason to be Happy each day….Win, win, right?

Week of Happy……Day One

July 14th, 2014


So I am just back from Sisters, Oregon and my second season there as a teacher at the week long event called Quilters Affair. I can only say it was just as Awesome again this year as when I went in 2012.  I hope you can come out next Summer in 2015.  It is the show’s 40th anniversary and I am sure it will  be spectacular!  And come take a class from me and some of the other incredible teachers there!

I have more to share about that but, for today, I wanted to share this lovely line that is hopefully still in stores from my friend Amy Butler. I have been meaning to get this in a post for MONTHS as I have a cool giveaway going along with it.

So to start out the Week of Happy, I wanted to start with Amy Butler’s line Hapi. This line was inspired by her trip to Egypt a few years back and all of the color and pattern she soaked up there.



If you have been following me for awhile, you know that I have been making a lot of these little totes.



I had a great time giving them (stuffed with goodies) to all of my students at Quilters Affair.  Cause I like giving stuff away…...

And now to the fun part….Chronicle Books loves giving away stuff too….so they are going to give the following items to one lucky commentor this week.  If you comment on this post or any of the next 4 days of Happy you will be entered in the drawing for a package of Amy Butler Eco-Stationery goods from Chronicle including:

A four pack of little journal books (these are a great, handy size—I am going to re-write all my passwords in one  of them),


A paper mouse pad with beautiful Amy Butler prints and room for notes on the bottom,


and a gorgeous box of Notecards for those occasions that emails really aren’t the way to go.


ALSO Chronicle is giving away Amy’s Stencil book.  This book is really cool,  full of ideas and the stencils are on nice stiff, slick card stock, so they are great for stenciling.  I can’t wait to use it in a couple areas in our house. If I ever get to that, I will show you what I came up with!




So every day this week, comment on all five of the Happy Posts. I will draw a name from ALL of the comments between now and then. And then on Friday to wrap up the Week of Happy, I have another prize – my loot from Spring Quilt Market.  On each day simply tell me something that makes you happy, or made you happy that day.
Ready, set…..Comment!


Keep Sewing, Keep Happy!

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