Blog Archives

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!

TY pen7

Ty Pen8

ty pen2

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!

scrap playtime2

scrap playtime1

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.

scrap playtime old 0

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….

steam punk hearts steam punk hearts2

steam punk hearts3


DSC_0852 DSC_0851

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:


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


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


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


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


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.)


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.


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


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.


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.



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… 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:

local quilt shop

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!

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.

happy drawing too!

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

Birch Fabric’s Camp Modern/Camp Sur.

camp sur and camp modern

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.

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.

seven wonders

Cloud 9’s MicroMod  by Rob Bancroft.

micro mod

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!)
This sweet line is going to be a project done in connection with GenerationQ soon too.

Clothworks’ Little Village by Kinkame

little village
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.

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…..

Postcards from my desk….

June 10th, 2012

As you may remember next month I will be teaching at Sisters, Oregon in the week-long Quilters’ Affair. I am thrilled, excited, AND freaking out trying to get everything done in time. Do I need to mention that just about the time I am down in Sisters, issue two of Generation Q will be wrapping up production, and we still have a TON to do!!

One of the things that I was able to do this last week was make these two postcards for the Wish Upon A Card project that they do at Sisters every year.  Funds from this program help support services for cancer patients in Central Oregon.  I was REALLY late in getting them done, but they left in the mail last week, and they will be for sale there.

There is actually still time for you to send cards yourself if you want to! Here are some tips on making postcards, and here is the info on where to send them.

I actually took some more pictures today of some other stuff I am working on….hoping to get them to you this week sometime…

Until then, keep sewing, keep happy!!


Color on White

March 1st, 2012

So also in January, my friend Jennifer Paganelli popped me over across the winter wonderland of the Northern U.S.  a package of tropical cheer!!  It couldn’t have come at a better time.  I had been working for a few weeks on my Curious Nature project, and the colors from that were blending into our snowstorm….

So SisBoomery was a welcome bit of sunshine!

and even cheerier in the studio as well!!

(yes that’s a bit of So St. Croix on the left….I needed a little bit for this project)

I finally put those siggy blocks from 2 years ago (I was sure it hadn’t been that long, but I saw that someone fortunately dated their block, so yes they were from 2010).  Today’s shot is just a sneak peek, as this may end up showing itself in full form over at Generation Q Magazine.  Speaking of which….we just started our Kickstarter drive there yesterday and are almost a third of the way funded….of course the first third is easier than the last third.  So if you haven’t stopped by there to help us out, please do so, and send your friends.  Every little bit helps!!

And today it is officially March….which means later this month….it is officially spring! Are you as glad about that as I am? I just love that time of year!!  So full of hope and fresh beginnings!

Fat Quarter Shop Blogger Pack

November 16th, 2011

yup….today’s regularly scheduled Watch It Wednesday has been pre-empted by this public service announcement…...check back tomorrow for a special Steampunk themed Watch It Wednesday (Thursday Edition)....

I was so honored to have Kimberly at the Fat Quarter Shop let me pick out my own Blogger’s Choice Fat Quarter pack.  Here is a little bit more about that process. It was REALLY tough going through the Fat Quarter stockpile of prints.  Eventually I kept coming back to two of my “go-to” colors these days, orange and grey.  Blue seems a natural partner to the group, and since I am Blue Nickel Studios,  adding blues  just felt like the right stuff to add to the group.

I have been wanting to get one of my first magazine quilts self-published under the Blue Nickel name,  and a blue-orange version sounds  just right to update my Split Pea Soup quilt.

Here are a few blocks to start with….


In other news, I am wrapping up my contributions to Victoria’s Bumble Bean Basics quilt drive.  I am afraid that they will not get there before Victoria’s goal of  Thanksgiving, but they are getting done…two are quilted and getting bound right now, and the third is at the quilter’s.   There are some “fillers” here and there, and in this first one posted (which was the last one put together),  I ended up making quite a few more blocks and fillers to get it the same size (then 5 more came in after that, which will be on the back….it’s a fabulous back too, if I do say so myself)


I unfortunately trashed the mailing labels I had saved to send prizes for the blocks that many of you sent in, so I can’t thank you by name now (hindsight is so very 20/20) but I do want to thank everyone who sent in blocks…..some came after I got the tops done and are on the backs, I will post pictures of those later….the last back at the quilter’s now is very pieced…almost like it is a top of sorts on its own.

anyway…that’s what’s up around here…..some more magazine gigs just came in, and I am working around all of these on my book as well…so yeah, it’s the usual nuthouse around here for the holidays!!


Ty Pennington’s new line…sneak peek

October 27th, 2011

Hey all you Ty Pennington fans,

I had the opportunity to work on his latest line for Quilt Market in Houston this coming weekend, and the Free Spirit peeps told me I could show my process here….so here are some peeks at it.   I think this line is much more blendable with other fabrics in your stash.  I also picked out two Free Spirit linens, one of which made it into the quilt.

I loved the yellow so much I made it my background.

Here are the two rejects from the project….mind you not rejects in themselves…I love both of these, but they just weren’t working for me in this project.  The print is from Ty’s line, the linen is one of my favorite aqua colors, but it wasn’t cutting it with the green for me…maybe if I had added about 50 other prints, then it would work great, but that’s not what this quilt was about.

It will be hanging in Ty’s booth at market…be sure to take all of your pictures of Ty with that quilt behind him, okay? I expect a whole lotta coverage from this, yes?   😉

Here’s the full quilt ready to go….

Quilt Uberfest Special!!

October 17th, 2011

I hope you have had fun Uberfest- ing with me and my bloggy buds.   I was a little bit worried that we would get a late pull-out, because life just happens, you know?  So I talked to my friend Sarah Fielke, and she volunteered to to a back up block! Wasn’t that kind?  Click here to get her directions.  Since this was a last minute thing,  Sarah designed block and wrote up directions, but there was no time to get the fabric to her.
So with great delight, I bring you Sarah’s bonus block #17…..

In hindsight, I think those striped triangles should have been on the outside corners….or all of the dark triangles another fabric altogether.

When we get it all of the blocks put together and quilted…we will let you know how you can enter to win it by buying a raffle ticket  to a great cause….all of which is to be planned still…

I know that I have many winners to announce to various things from last week and the few weeks before.  The first week (which would be last week if you are trying to keep track of things) back to the DayJob ended up being even more time-consuming than I had anticipated….so I am pretty beat up from it still .. I hope I can get to announcing everything on Wednesday this week….

thanks for your patience on that front…and so while you are waiting you can hunt for the Blue Nickel posts that are currently running giveaways…

Peace Out….

Watch It Wednesday #6 Deluxe Edition!

October 4th, 2011

today’s WIWT is a Deluxe version!  and yeah…It’s Tuesday, I know..but I think it’s Wednesday Down Under by now, so this one’s for you Land of Oz.  I couldn’t wait for Wednesday this week because you not only get a very interesting video, you get some Fabricy News Info too,  that I have been dying to tell you for a few weeks now.  So I moved it up a day…

because I can….it’s my blog and I can switch days if I want to….days if I want to….oops…different song…


The pictures scattered about here are some of the inspiration behind David’s debut line….David who?  Read on, read on…..(or cheat and click on the hyperlink….I know 20% of you already did anyway)

Should I make you wonder for awhile with a bearably short story? okay,  Okay, I will…(sorry no choice here)

It started back at Quilt Market in Salt Lake City where I met the wonderful Lisa Lam.   She was so warm and friendly, we became friends over the internet since then.  She happens to design bags…..LOTS of bags, and so somewhere in BagLand she had become friends with Amy Butler, another serious Bag Lady.   Well, she was visiting Amy after Market, and then later contacted me telling me that David Butler, Amy’s husband, had this really creative project going on that was going to be fabulous. And she told him that she thought I would be a great collaborator….or something like that!  Well, we connected by email, but he wasn’t ready then to reveal anything, so all summer, I tried to not wonder exactly what this fabulous opportunity was.  Until now….David has his own line of fabric coming out this fall under his new brand Parson Gray.  The line is called Curious’s a little peek.

He and I are talking about some collaborative projects, which are still in very early stages (the sample yardage isn’t even in the States yet).  We are both looking forward to the possibilities though.

David is a very creative individual, and has a huge body of work behind him already.  I thought it would be fun to interview him in my usual silly style,  and then I thought well it would be good for him to get even more exposure than my blog, so I am teaming up with my other gig Generation Q Magazine,  and sending you there for the interview.   But you have to stay here for the video and prize….yup…prize….this is a Deluxe Edition of Watch It Wednesday Tuesday, alright?  It would only be “special” without a prize!

So by now you probably figured out Dave is also a musician….you are sooo smart!

Here is David’s group The Black Owls in “We All Fall Down”  Black Owls videos are sometimes slightly R rated in snippets, so be forewarned.  The first image starts off the humor (and deep truth) that I see in their videos with the line “Everyone is normal until you get to know them”  so very, very true, isn’t it?

What I love about this and all of the Black Owls videos are the funny little repeat sections…they make me laugh…. their music is not something I would listen to all of the time, but I like it once in awhile… Mostly I like it  because I know that David (and his band whom I don’t know) are having a great time doing what they love, and I think that is pretty wicked awesome… you know?

So there you have it David Butler,  Amy Butler’s true love, musician, artist, textile designer…and now my friend,  wow his life is so complete now, isn’t it??

Okay so you could make his life slightly more complete by liking Parson Gray on Facebook….

should we beg for comments to win a prize pack?  okay let’s….you have till October 11th to comment here.  At that time I will pick a winner, and when I get some Curious Nature, I will send you a scrap bag from the projects that I make with it, okay?  Meaning you will know that you win in October, but you may not get your prize for a month or two as the line is that new!!
To win, you need to go over to Generation Q and read the interview and then come back here and comment on something from that interview, like which of the two truths and a lie is the lie, or something like that….(and we also have a bigger sneak peek at the line over there too!!)





« Prev - Next »