Blog Archives

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!!)





Uberfest Block #3

October 3rd, 2011


Hey everyone,  meet Karen Linton, whom I know best as @savinggrc on Twitter.  Karen signed up to do a block for Uberfest, and then we both discovered that her lack of a blog was a teensy problem….Well, at Blue Nickel Studios, we don’t mess around….and we don’t ditch people either…so Karen is my guest and blogger for the day here at BNS(truth be told, Karen used to have a blog, but since she writes for a living, keeping a blog up wasn’t that much fun for her anymore, but quilting sure is!)    


Here is Karen with Sam, her husband of nearly 13 years.

Karen writes:

“I’m a high school math teacher by trade, but currently work very part-time as a grant writer for The Voice of the Martyrs.( I am the mom of three boys, Dominic, 21, Samuel, 19, and Joshua, 18. We are ecstatic to be empty-nesters. Since we homeschooled from kindergarten through graduation and my husband worked from home for 9 of those years, we were all home together, all the time. It’s nice to have the house to ourselves. On the other hand, now I only have the dogs to blame for any messes in the house and that doesn’t work well  with  anything not on the floor.  Sadly.

I learned to sew in junior high home-ec class, but didn’t start quilting until about 4 years ago. So, I’m a relative newbie. My great-grandmother and my grandmother (mom’s side) were both quilters. I have a dozen or so quilts they made and one my great-great grandmother made.  My mom can’t/won’t sew on a button, so it somehow skipped a generation.

Anyhow, all that to say I love quilting, well, mostly piecing. That quilting part is not my fav and I still don’t know how to do binding “properly,” but I had a great time doing the block for Uberfest and piecing all my ideas and then discarding them. Haha. Thanks for following along and have fun piecing South for Winter!

I was so very excited to be asked to create a block for the Quilt-Uber-fest, especially since I had never really designed a block before. I’ve been sewing for a few years and I’ve followed many tutorials online, some good and some not so much, but designing my own block?  Fun!  I hope my tutorial  is clear and easy to follow.   Download the full PDF here.

Scott sent us four fabrics with 2 focals from the uber-beautiful line Sleeping Beauty. I have the purple butterfly and the green/purple leaf as well as Kaffe Fasset’s Woven Haze Stripe in Terra Cotta and his Shot Cotton in Terra Cotta.

 He said we could add one fabric of our choice.  I did choose!  I have a stack of Kaufman Kona Solids and tried to match nearly every one of them with the fabrics from Scott.  I ended up using this dark green, whose real name I do not know. (sorry) So, here’s what I’m working with:

and here’s my finished block “South for Winter”:

Thanks for following along!  Join us tomorrow as Konda Luckau of Moose on the Porch Quilts shares her uber-cool block!  Thanks to Scott for the great QAL, I love these things.  If I did every one I saw online, I’d forever be in one. Thanks, too, for allowing my day on your blog.”

-Karen (@savinggrc on Twitter and Flickr)

Thanks for the great block Karen! I love it.  Don’t forget to put your pictures of your blocks on our Flickr Page! We can’t wait to see what you come up with.


Quilt UberFest Launch!

October 1st, 2011

And here we go people! Are you ready 16 glorious days of quilt block by some wonderful quilty-bloggy peeps?  Good!

We did add one little addition to our original challenge.  Somehow I didn’t communicate the use of the half square triangles portion of the project to my friends, so as we went along on with this project some flying geese usage made it here too.  No big deal right? More is more!

And at last minute Amanda Jennings had to step out to take care of some health issues so we are bringing in Heather Jones of Olive and Ollie fame.  Thanks for pinch-hitting Heather! and get well quick Amanda!

Today we start with John Adams of QuiltDad fame!  John has come up with a great block…nice and simple and bold.  Here is the schedule for rest of the Uberfestivities..

AND we have a special guest today to start us off!


Nel Whatmore the designer of the Sleeping Beauty line that we are using graciously sent me some info about the line, herself, and some inspiration pix as well.

The following are excerpts from an interview that Nel shared with me from an interview she gave a little while back:

Did you ever envision your art as part of the crafting world? How did you get involved in this industry?

I have always loved textiles, from screen printing my own duvet cover as a teenager to painting handmade curtains as a student. I have always found making things enjoyable and relaxing. To now have the opportunity to have my original work translated into my own fabric collections is truly very exciting for me. There was nothing quite like getting my first set of samples of Happy Go Lucky. I got involved in this industry as we were already working with Coats producing the MAIA tapestry kits and stitch kits and so it seemed a natural extension.

Your paintings are so beautiful.  They translate well for needlecraft kits.  Did you ever imagine your paintings translated into Fabric?  What were your thoughts when you first saw your art in this new medium?

I hoped and imagined that it may be possible to design fabrics from my originals and found out just how difficult it is to produce designs from originals in pastels rather than on a computer.

My first thoughts when I saw the strike offs were how beautifully my original pastels had been translated and engraved to produce the fabric, that they had a new quality, all of their own and it inspired me to do more and fostered a whole new interest in me in patterns and repeats.

Tell us about Sleeping Beauty, your new collection for Freespirit ?

Well Sleeping Beauty is inspired by a series of paintings that I did that all have a rather fairy tale and oriental theme. Each painting is all about layers and beautiful things hidden, as well as a little mystery.

Sleeping Beauty was always one of my favourite childhood stories. I particularly liked the part where the giant hedge grew up hiding the castle and the princess. Similarly I have loved how my children have liked certain stories and films as they have grown up such as Mulan and Spirited Away.  So Sleeping Beauty is inspired by all these things. It has a soft and gentle palette with butterfly prints and small silhouettes and rambling flowers and misty stripes.

You were nominated three times for Best Published Artists in the UK.  What does this mean to you as an artist and to your work?

 Naturally it means a lot as it is voted by UK galleries and members of the Fine Art Trade Guild. It doesn’t really effect my work as I still just paint what I want to paint and wouldn’t have that any other way. I am just very fortunate that people still seem to like it what I do.

You recently met Prince Charles at a special reception at Clarence House in London.

I was invited to a private reception at Clarence House to celebrate the 35th Anniversary of the Princes Trust. I received a grant from the Trust 25 years ago. To commemorate this I presented Prince Charles with one of my paintings called Devoted to You . I had a wonderful and very memorable day. 

You license your art for a number of different products.  Tell us a bit about some of the products graced by your beautiful art and are they available globally? 

My work is licensed on to may different products from paper products to placemats with Pimpernel and china with Royal Worcester. Royal Worcester are famous the world over and produce beautiful china in bespoke boxes , they do a wonderful job.They are available globally . We are also now working wit companies in Russia, Finland, Belgium and Australia. We have a really gorgeous range of stationary that will be coming out with a fantastic French company in 2012 , that I can’t wait to see.


So make your blocks now from your scraps and then go get some of this fabric when it’s available! (which is supposed to be very soon if not now!)   Remember to post your blocks on our Flickr page as we go to share with everyone else.

Oh, and here is the HTML if you want to grab our badge and put it on your blog.  We’d love to have you share with your bloggy peeps what we’re up to!

We’ve also joined up with SeamedUP to help spread the word about Quilt-Uberfest.  I have connected with Allison, one of the co-founders, about what they are building.  Although the site is still in Beta mode, they have an interesting concept going on that you might like.  It’s members only, but membership is free.  It’s a great place to keep track of your stash, library, and projects, especially if you don’t have a blog of your own.  Getting ready for Quilt-Uberfest, doing a couple of interviews and book blog tours, I haven’t had as much time as I’d like to explore the whole site.  Let me know what you think!

 So grab your Favorite Beverage in a big tall stein and have at it! We hope you enjoy our Quilt-Uberfest!

Announcing Quilt-Uberfest!!

September 6th, 2011

Coming up this October, 16 bloggy friends and I are going to present to you a Block-a-day Quilt-Uberfest for the fall and winter seasons approaching…..and you are going to love it!!    We are all working with an upcoming line called Sleeping Beauty by Nel Whatmore for Free Spirit Fabrics.   I sent each blogger 2 or 3 prints from the line and 1 or 2 woven stripes or shot cottons from Kaffe Fassett’s lines and told them they could add one fabric of their choice.  I  thought that would combine the individuality of each designer with an overall cohesiveness to the quilt.   When the quilt is finished, we will be donating it to a charity for auction, and we will definitely let you know about it!!

Here is the line up of  Fantastic Peeps!

Oct 1 John Adams

Oct 2 Kaye Prince

Oct 3 Karen Linton

Oct 4 Konda Luckau

Oct 5 Amy Lobsiger

Oct 6 Ryan Walsh

Oct 7 Scott Hansen

Oct 8 April Rosenthal

Oct 9 Cara Wilson

Oct 10 Heather Jones

Oct 11 Susan Sobon

Oct 12 Jan Peoples

Oct 13 Erin Singleton

Oct 14 Charlie Scott

Oct 15 Emily Cier

Oct 16 Rachel Locke

and last minute special guest…Oct 17th Sarah Fielke!!

Each day you can go to their site and find an 12” finished original block designed for you to create and work with the others into a sampler quilt or make many single blocks of your favorite into a one block quilt….or create a two block quilt…or a three block quilt…you get the idea!  We have a Flickr page all set up and waiting for you to share with everyone else your version of our blocks.

We are working with Nel Whatmore’s line which is due in shops in September, but might be a little late.  But you can feel free to use what you have for your blocks.  In fact, we encourage you to use up your scraps….then you can go and pick up a bunch of Sleeping Beauty when it hits your shop and make another one! ;)

So get ready…pick up the sauerkraut and kielbasa at the market and your favorite stein of beverage and get ready to Uberfest with us starting October 1st with my friend John and then check out all the rest of us!  We plan on having PDF’s available for all of these as well so you can download them as needed..

Do I hear a Tuba playing??

(okay, I found this video looking for something all Ocktoberish….and it was so funny,  I couldn’t help laughing….but the best part is at the very end….Absolutely the funniest part….but  here’s a disclaimer and warning label…. if you didn’t like Zoolander...then you’d better skip it….but I just found it hilarious!!)

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