Beauty Queen

June 9th, 2014

So June is here…..and a flood of stuff will be showing up here on the blog.  I will be having a couple of giveaways, telling you about my first set of patterns finally up for sale on my new Etsy shop,  new books by friends, a whole bunch of  mostly) new lines of fabrics by some very dear friends of mine and a whole lot more.

So here’s the first of that buncha buncha fabric love!  Today I am sharing Beauty Queen by the lovely Jennifer Paganelli!

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True to her normal form Jennifer rocks the Caribbean colors in a fun, floral way.

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And I of course made more of Monica’s treat bags.....They are always handy to have on hand!

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Or Tusk…..as the case may be….

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I knew this Pink Elephant table would come in handy for photo-shoots! (Goodwill—$14.99!)

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So that’s it for today’s post. See you soon (maybe even tomorrow?) for some more show and tell!

 

the hand embroidered haven….

March 28th, 2014

Have you heard of Megan Frock? By now, I bet more of you have, but just in case you haven’t I want to share with you something wonderful Megan worked on for quite awhile under the radar, and brought to the light of day last summer or fall I think. (or heaven help me if I forgot,  last spring??)

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Megan sent me her wonderful book late last year….so bad of me, I don’t remember when….I loved it from the start, but like many, many things it fell behind the wake of my other adventures….which is no indication of it’s greatness to be sure.

I first met Megan when she was helping out our mutual friend Tula Pink at one Market. I barely spoke to her at the first one, I think I was crazy busy, and I think Megan was a bit overwhelmed by the amazingness of the whole event.  But at the last few Markets, I have had the opportunity to chat with Megan, and I tell you that each conversation is a treat in true Southern charm. Her accent is just delightful and her love of the craft it just as sweet.

the hand embroidered haven is Megan’s first book (I am sure she will have more!) and it is chock full of some great sewing projects with an emphasis on embroidery as a featured part of each project.

I truly love these zoomorphic framed projects below:

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I can particularly relate to the Rabbit Ears on the TV…..had those all of the time growing up…We could only get three stations, sometimes we were lucky enough to get the fourth station from the border of Washington State and Canada.

And Megan also has some great instructions for stitches…including some I had never heard of but sound compelling. Like the Couched Filling Stitch.

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And Twilling…I am sure I have seen this, but never knew what it was called. Love the full texture it brings to the needlework.

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But as you know already, I rarely get to carving out the time to embroider. So of course my first loves in her book were the quilts  and these two are my favorites!

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So that’s it for today. If you don’t already have Megan’s book, go right out and get it. You’ll be happy you did!

Oh, and the fabric behind all of these shots? Beauty Queen from Jennifer Paganelli for Free Spirit. New this Spring. Look for it, You’ll love it!

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….

 

World Tour Mystery Tour # 3

May 14th, 2013

And here is clue set # 3 for the Mystery Game we have been playing with Dave Butler’s World Tour line.

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As in previous posts here at the Blue Nickel, the game works like this:  Check out these pictures and previous shots here, here, and here.  Then make your best guess as to what is in the center of the quilt Dave designed and I pieced (quilted by my friend Becky Marshall).


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Make your guesses on the Free Spirit Facebook page at anyone of the posts there regarding this quilt mystery game.  The big reveal post will be here on Friday the 17th of May!  There have been some great guesses!! Can’t wait to see the next batch of guesses!!


As this post goes up….I am in the throes of last minute packing and getting things ready for Market and trying to make sure the house will be maintained and all the other “stuff” that happens when you leave the house with kids in charge….


Don’t forget to check out the blog Friday and Saturday for some great “surprise” posts regarding some of the projects I have been working on for Market…and then there will be more after too because I just don’t have time to get them all up before!

World Mystery Tour …. #1

April 30th, 2013

So the folks over at Free Spirit wanted to have some fun with Dave’s new World Tour line in conjunction with the quilt that I am wrapping up for them.  The quilt was designed by the fabulous Mr. B, and has a really unique feel to it, well branded into his Parson Gray aesthetic. The center of this quilt has something in the center that the Free Spirit peeps thought it would be fun for you to guess what it is…...AND give you a cool prize to boot!

Here’s the deets:

For the next few weeks before Quilt Market,  I am going to be posting some successively “revealing” photos of the quilt here on my blog, and then you get to go over and  make comments on Free Spirit’s Facebook page guessing what is in the center of the quilt.  Each post will reveal a bit more about the quilt, and on the Friday of Market, you will get to see the full thing here at the Blue Nickel, if you aren’t already down in Portland, Oregon for Market.  If you have the correct answer to the mysterious center of the quilt, then you will be put in a drawing for a fabulous gift package from Free Spirit!

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 So go ahead make your guesses over on Free Spirit’s Facebook page on this link.

Good luck, happy guessing, and all that good stuff!!

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??

 

 

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!

 

 

Happy Belated Birthday to Dr. King and a winner!

January 24th, 2013

Thought this little picture of this fabric from the awesome design house of Tula Pink would cheer you up on a Monday...
(actually Thursday is when I am getting to this….and ACTUALLY this is the SECOND time I have typed this….I had this post all prepped to add the winner info to Monday morning, finally sat down this morning to add in all the winner info, etc…had it done….posted it….AND none of my morning edits went through….so yeah, it’s already been a Groundhog Day kinda morning around here….sigh)

saltwater by Tula

Last fall I was asked to make a quilt from Tula’s book for Free Spirit’s Fall Market 2012 booth.  Was that a no-brainer or what? I didn’t have to work up a design, I had wanted to delve into Tula’s book from the day I got it, AND I was given enough fabric to make the quilt WITH these lovely leftovers….which all on their own have inspired a new quilt design that I can’t wait to get to, but must soon.  This new quilt concept in my head has the beguiling working title of Paris by the Sea...and is a modern wonky wonderful concept…..in my head it is at least….(oh, and the marvelous Miss Tula has another book coming out too! Check it out here and here!

Oh, and Belated Happy Birthday to Martin Luther King….even though he has gone on his efforts did not, and there is a lot of Dreaming going on out in the world for that which is good!  And with the good doctor’s birthday, I have a winner to announce from this post on Friday.

Robin  said Oh fun! I love Seven Wonders. :)

I have sent Robin an email, so as soon as she gets her address to me AND I cut into the Seven Wonders a package will be going her way!

Oh, and also today is:

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I am headed into Seattle to meet with the owner of this lovely shop and the peeps at In the Beginning Fabrics and then if I have time, I am headed over to this shop...Neither of which are “local” to me…but I am sure I will have a fun day!!

So have fun too and go out shopping locally!

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