Sitting Pretty…..

April 15th, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

Camper Quilt beginnings……AND Gooseberry Patch Book Winner…..

August 25th, 2013

So Linda and I have been discussing getting a camper like this or this down the road in our near future. And we are both kinda making our own quilts just for it. Linda has started doing some embroidery blocks that she has gathered along the way and her quilt is going to be made of those and a bunch of my reproduction-30’s prints that I found while I was cleaning up the studio.

My quilt is going to use a bunch of this line, Summer Camp, by Mark Cesarik:

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And some of these greys:

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And these charm packs from Moda that I picked up at Market in Portland:

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And these Birch leftovers from a couple quilts I have worked on that you can’t see yet:

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And any other “camping” themed  prints I find while I am working on it:

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And knowing me, even more fabrics that I haven’t thought of yet.  I have a couple of  ideas in mind. I need something that will make good use of those charm squares.

I really thinking Summer Camp possesses a very unique sense of color. Not one I would typically associate with Camping for some reason. I really like the golds and browns in it, and in the past I might have stuck with an overall brownish bent, but I am kinda thinking I want to try it with the assorted grey solids and “almost” solids. I have this idea in my head that the gold and the grey will go well together…..still not sure about the brown aspect of it all…

Some of the Summer Camp prints are definitely “camping”  themed:

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But some don’t necessarily have that feel when sitting all on their own:

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And some could work equally well for Christmas projects:

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I don’t know when I will get around to this project, but I thought I would share the line with you while it is in the stores so you can snatch some up while you still can.

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And onto the second part of this post.

The Gooseberry Patch Book Winner…..

I had a bit of a mix-up with this. I had first contacted the winner, but I got back a message saying it was unsendable…..so decided to email another winner…..Well that same day AFTER I emailed the “second” winner, lo and behold IN MY SPAM folder, I found an email from the first winner (don’t know how she got my first email when my email said it was not sendable…..)  But never fear, the marvelous people at Gooseberry Patch said “no worries” and that they will send a copy to both of the winners.   Now here’s the catch, I haven’t heard back from the  second winner.

So here’s the first winner who should have her very own copy soon.

Karen wrote on 7/28/13 at 9:32am:

I would love to win the book draw. I like the little projects you have displayed in the blog. Karen

And if you are the second winner and got an email from me also regarding this….Just send me your snail mail address at blunickel5@earthlink.net and we will get you taken care of.

That’s it for now. I have more posts lined up…..but I just got a job from a fabric company that they want finished in….a week and a half?? So who knows if I will get those planned posts up in time….

 

Technicolor!

May 9th, 2013

My friend Emily Herrick sent me this sweet little bundle of  fat 1/8’s of Technicolor,  her fresh-out-of-the-gate line for Michael Miller Fabrics:

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 I was thrilled to get them the day I did. I had just had some less-than-best news on two fronts in my life, one of them being my mom’s blood test not being better as we had hoped, the other being some dayjob stuff that wasn’t terrible, but not what I had hoped for. And I had already been feeling somewhat down during Easter week.  This package came at the end of a beautiful Easter Saturday. It was like a breath of fresh air.

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To be honest, I had seen Technicolor online via an industry preview page, and while I liked it, I was a bit afraid the scale of the prints might be much bigger than I would like. I was delighted to see them in the scale they are! Perfect little blenders! Many “read” solid but aren’t. They are so nice and basic, they will go with Many other lines! A couple of the prints are “two for one” meaning you get two prints at a time….when you buy a half yard of that line, you would get two different fat quarters.  Other fabric companies have done this in the past, and I love this concept!! Great if you are on a budget and want just a little bit of both!

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Here’s what I have been able to do with them so far.

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I made these bags based on Monica’s SUPER Bag pattern found here.  I modified her bag by making the sides 1” shorter in length. I love the “tiny” feeling of them. And they make great bags for dolls. I will have to make some more and show you them with Linda’s dolls.  I made these for Quilt Market and the Generation Q booth for some giveaways.


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I wanted to make up some four patch blocks and just play with them, but I just haven’t had the time….Market is one week away, and I still have to finish three bindings on quilts (no big surprise there!!) and make some more bags and pack…oh, and silly other things like work the dayjob for the next 6 days, and possibly pay some bills….nothing new for the week before Market!  Crazy….excited but anxious all at the same time!!

 

 

 

 

World Tour …….

April 17th, 2013

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Once again I get to play with David Butler’s newest line for Free Spirit. This one is called World Tour, and yup…it’s his best yet!

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The first thing that I noticed and absolutely love in this mix is the printed linen!!   First, it is just a bit thicker than the regular quilting cotton, but much more “substantial”.  And the drape and hand of this linen is just incredible!  It is perfect for bags and lightweight jackets, etc. I am thinking about getting a vest made out of it, but not sure if I will have time before Market which is when I want it for.


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Each print is named after places around the globe, from Fiji to Canterbury to Osaka to Kashmir and they go great with his past lines. I am sure they will also play well with others even though I haven’t had much of a chance to do that yet.

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The quilt that I am making for Market is David’s design, and you are going to love it! I am not allowed to show the full thing here yet, you are just seeing pieces of it today…...... I will post a photo of it here while I am at Market. It is great for those guys in your life! Very Dude-sanctioned!!


But I did have scraps, and you know how I can’t throw out any scraps! So I have been playing with this  “planned” improv piece tonight while the World Tour quilt is at the quilter’s, and I am waiting for the other fabrics for three other Quilt Market projects to get here.


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Not sure where this is going, but this is where it is starting from.  I am thinking more and more that this one is going to be named Reykjavik. I added some hot pink solid I had floating around, and I have some  Curious Nature prints in mind as well as this red/burgundy Ombre from my stash by Blank Quilting


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I have similar plans to do this with some Glimma from Windham fabrics that have been here in the studio for awhile that I have been wanting to feature…..and actually I had drawn up this idea for Glimma first…..but I had all these half-square triangles and skinny strips from fussy-cutting…..and well, a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do…..  :)


A tisket, a tasket, a Tula Pink Basket….

March 31st, 2013

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In my Easter basket this morning…..some Tula Pink fat Quarters….from the Birds and the Bees  that most delightful line from Tula that I had the pleasure of giving out at Spring Market last spring, but NEVER managed to get any myself (how on earth did that happen??)  Very, very happy to have them for my own use….


I…uh…had more candy than that in there too, but I ate some and sorta hid some from myself….


And thanks for putting up with my spiritual travailing in my last post….my wife’s grandmother used to say “life is a yammerdahl” which is supposed to mean “life is valley of tears” in Danish (but I just looked it up…and I can’t find it, so it’s anyone’s guess as to it’s origin or translation) .....


Anyhoo…life is full of trials and jubilees, isn’t it? So nice that today “feels” a bit better than yesterday. The gorgeous weather and a wonderful church service have  so helped improve my attitude.


Hope you are having (or had) a wonderful Easter if you celebrate it, and a wonderful weekend if you don’t.

Time to Play….

March 27th, 2013

well, really there isn’t much time for playing around these days. Even though I am down to one dayjob from two!  This last month and more than a half, I feel like I have been catching up on rest and not much else.  It is probably very much needed.  The nice thing is that I am getting a little time back to sew, and though I really do need to work more at time management in other areas, this sewing bit is still fun (most of the time).

Here are some progress photos on a Free Spirit project that I am working on using Ty Pennington’s Fall 2012 line. It is fairly new by current industry standards (or OLD by past industry standards) and you still should be able to find some it out there. I went with the Sunset colorway as I have been working with a lot of cool colors lately and the warmth of these prints felt very summery to me!

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I am working on a tablerunner and placemat set out of these. Hope to be done with a Free PDF for you to download soon.

And here are some scraps I have been sewing together as I go in the fashion that my friend Victoria has now made “famous” although it really isn’t anything “new”.  I love how Victoria has made it fun for others now too though! I have loved doing this for so long, it’s fun to see what other folks do with their scrappy playtime!

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I have been doing these type of things for years. Here is a photo of some very old ones that I turned up during ….ahem…. “cleaning” the studio.

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I love finding these old things and see how my palette has diversified since then. I don’t want to say changed, because I still love these old things…well, most of them at least…

Well, back to sewing….and actually in a bit, I may go out to do some mowing…before the rains come again....

What about you? what are you up to??

 

 

slightly cleaner

March 8th, 2013

You probably can’t really tell by these pictures because I didn’t take a before shot….but they are both tidier than before..

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Really….the top of this dresser was just piled with fabric….and I couldn’t really access it at all…the stuff in front of the grey shelf unit still needs to find a home, but I was happy just to see it looking a little better.


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That grey shelf unit in the first photo had found itself camped out down here in FRONT of the yellow drawers…...for about a year and a half I think….I know, I know…...anyhoo…..moving it out of  there reminded me how FUgly this yellow dresser is…So I am going to paint it white I think.  Actually, I am only going to paint the drawer fronts white, and then update the knobs one at a time so they all end up being different.


Oh, and also, in those drawers….well, I  uh, found fabric that I hadn’t seen for QUITE awhile! So some of that is going to get given away, used, or sold in a grab bag or seventeen…..and I will keep whittling away at the pile to the right of the cabinet as well….and redoing those shelves as well…they are a little too deep and that is annoying, but they were free and I can’t afford something nicer yet…so they will have to do…..


Chopping away at that “elephant” one piece at a time…...


What are you up to today??


Ingenuity…..

February 25th, 2013

FOLK sharemystory


This week’s FOLK Journal Challenge prompt (okay LAST week’s prompt…I am just barely getting this post up in time!) is:


How do you perceive ingenuity? Where do you see ingenuity thriving today?


Wikipedia describes ingenuity as being “the quality of being clever, original, and inventive, often in the process of applying ideas to solve problems or meet challenges.”


To be honest, I have been thinking about this all week.  And it has me a bit stymied…most likely I am overthinking it…I do that with most things.  I think ingenuity is actually all over the place. I do especially think I see it thriving in the arts and crafts world where things are not “necessary” as far as “economy” goes, but so very necessary for the soul. I believe we are all created to be creative by the Greatest Creator of all, and I think that in that creativity, ingenuity pops up in many forms, especially when times are hard financially….which a lot of the world is right now…


I really have more than one example of that, but I thought I would take today’s prompt to talk about a little hole in the wall “shop” so to speak in a suburb of  Seattle called Ballard.  About a month ago, I managed to squeeze in a little time to stop and visit Keli at Drygoods Design and learn a little more of what she has going on over there.  I thought it was a regular quilt shop, but it is more of a community, sewing / learning lounge with some great stuff for sale as well. It is small, but packed with great “modern”  Sewist-stuff.  Keli birthed this idea of a place where people come together to sew and learn and TRY out a large variety of tools and ideas BEFORE they have to buy said tools, etc.   There’s more to it than that, but all of it is pretty hip and well, “ingenious” is one of the words I would use to describe the place.


I didn’t have nearly enough time to visit with Keli, and so I am planning another trip over there as soon as I can to spend more time learning about the great things she has going on.  But I thought I would show you a few pix of the place.


And if you go to find the “Lounge” it isn’t easy…You go into a coffee shop and there up the backstairs is Drygoods Design…a wonderful little discovery.


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I just discovered that all of the great pictures that I took there are nowhere to be found….so I only have this one of the wonderful Liberty Tana Lawn and blue baker’s twine that I bought that day…..and the free Pixie Stix (Keli says every in in store and online order leaves tied up in baker’s twine with a Pixie Stix)....I thought that was a pretty fun little concept myself.


I really wish I had more time today to talk to you about it, but I gotta skadoodle!


Steampunk Love….

February 12th, 2013

So today I bring you my little SteamPunk Hearts … just barely in time for Valentine’s Day, but none the less …in time….sort of….

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I have had this Seven Wonders line by David Butler for Parson Gray and Free Spirit sitting here for longer than I wanted it to, and I was just itching to cut into it for a bigger project, but before I started that I thought I could bring you a little project for fun!

Here’s what I did (I think they call this a tutorial, because I have a lot of pictures….) :)

First I sewed 4 narrow (roughly 1” to 1.75 ” x 12” or so) strips together like this:

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Then I sewed some wider strips (about 2” to 3” x 12” or so) together like this:

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Then I cut that strip set in half (ish):

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I flipped one half of this set around and then sewed the narrow strip between the two halves like this:

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For the backs I sewed four wider strips together (about 4-ish” x 12”)

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Then I pressed these two pieces right sides together (pressing the layers together helped them “stick” together a little better I felt) and pinned the pattern sheet I created for three heart sizes to both pieces.  (Click here for the PDF template for the heart shapes.)

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Then I just sewed right on the lines through the paper and both layers of fabric, starting at one end of the dotted line and ending at the other end.  Do some back stitches when you start and end on each heart to make stuffing the hearts easier. I set my stitch length to 1.25 instead of my normal 2 to make tearing the paper off easier later.

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Note: I didn’t always sew directly on the lines…..and the world didn’t stop turning….at least here it didn’t…..


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Then I pulled the paper away from the fabric and cut the shapes out of the fabric. I used a very neutral thread, so that made it a little hard to see the sewn lines, but I didn’t necessarily want my stitches to be noticeable should they be stretched when stuffed. You might want to use a thread with more contrast to make cutting them out easier.DSC_0845


So here they are cut out.


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After that I just turned them right-side out and pressed the opening nice and flat so it would be easier to sew up by hand after I lightly stuffed them with fiberfill.


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So after that I just lightly stuffed them with fiberfill, sewed some ribbon (that was PERFECT for this project!) on for hangers and sewed on some beads and buttons for a little embellishment.  If I have time tomorrow I may make some more in a more “traditional” Valentiney element.

Feel free to make as many as you want! And share them here if you get the chance as well!

 

 

Fabric Sweep!

January 18th, 2013

Or Eye Candy!  as I might call this post…

I have been SOOOO overwhelmed with the two dayjobs over the last few months, and I haven’t been able to show you some of the fun lines that I have received from some of those wonderful manufacturers out there…

So here’s what I have already played with:

Cloud 9’s Happy Drawing, Too! by Ed Emberley.

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Pattern coming soon in downloadable PDF form here at Blue Nickel Studios for a very reasonable price.

Birch Fabric’s Camp Modern/Camp Sur.

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I made a quilt for Fall Market with this fabric and that quilt is going to be redone in another line for a magazine this year, so I can’t show the quilt, but it is fun and easy….

also I started a project with Thomas Knaur’s Flock last year and I think that I am going to add some of this line to it.  I really don’t like doing one-liner quilts anyway, and this palette goes very well with Flock in my opinion, so there you have it.   That pattern should also be available here in awhile as well.
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And here’s what is coming up to play with!!

Here are two really “guy-style” prints

Free Spirit’s  Seven Wonders by Parson Grey.

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Cloud 9’s MicroMod  by Rob Bancroft.

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I have this grand idea for these two mixed with some solids and other equally ‘rugged’ prints that may eventually spawn a second book  (when I ever get this first freakin’ book done!)
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This sweet line is going to be a project done in connection with GenerationQ soon too.

Clothworks’ Little Village by Kinkame

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And this one? oh…just love this so much…..I have something planned with a nice solid orange….and maybe a little grey…..Hoping to get it in a magazine too, but the fabric may already be too “old” for a mag, so you may be seeing it here as a pattern as well.

Kaufman’s Architextures by Carolyn Friedlander.

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Big plans? oh yeah, as always?  So much fabric, so little time…..

What are you loving here the most? Leave a comment and I will send a random winner some scraps* from their favorite line listed above.  I will draw a name next Monday on Martin Luther King Day.  That seems an appropriate day to win something, huh?

*Some scrap bags will be larger than others based on what I have left and what I can bear to part with…..

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