267: Fa la la la …..

December 23rd, 2010


Merry Christmas Eve Eve !!

May you have a blessed Christmas weekend…..drive safe out there !!

251: Garden Tour with Bari J and Country Lane….

October 6th, 2010

      Hey there!

Welcome to today’s post!! Thanks for dropping by the Blue Nickel!

Today it is all about my friend Bari J Ackerman and her third line of fabric Country Lane.  I was lucky enough to be able to join along in Bari’s Garden Blog Tour with Country Lane.   I have my first down-loadable pattern that is right here at the Blue Nickel for you featuring  Country Lane(i.e. not on some other site, you have to come here directly to get it, Yeah!) , a quick interview that I snagged from Bari for as she is rushing around to get ready for her first booth at Fall Quilt Market, AND a prize of fabric from her second line, Art Journal, as well as one of Bari’s Premiere sewing patterns.  

SO on to the interview….  

BNS: So welcome to Blue Nickel Studios, Bari!     

Bari: Thanks, Scott, happy to be here!

BNS: I know you are super busy, getting ready for Quilt Market and your first booth set up there, so let’s go straight to the questions.

First off, when you were in your teens, who stole your heart via the pop culture at the time? Is your husband anything like your former heart-throb? 

Bari: You are going to be surprised… Billy Idol.  And Super Husband is about the furthest thing from Billy Idol you could get.

BNS: When you are creating and designing, do you have a set of favorite tunes or CD’s you rock the house down with?or is it all Peace and Tranquility at BariJ HQ?

Bari: I sometimes start the day with Black Eyed Peas, Boom Boom Pow

BNS: You just wrote a book Inspired to Sew due out in January 2011. What surprised you the most in the process of writing this bookshelf-must-have?

Bari: It always takes way more time and energy than you think when you first set out to do something.  This was no exception.  It was grueling.

BNS: Your favorite midnight snack while working late into the night?

Bari: Popcorn…although I tend to just work and work without eating until I realize I totally forgot to have a meal.

BNS: You dig vintage doodaderies, right?  What has been your most fabulous find?  Can you share some pictures of some of your favorites?

Bari: I collect milk glass and vintage tins.  I have limited myself at this point to only pink milk glass though because it’s harder to find.  I also love vintage jewelry.

these next two pictures are courtesy of Bari J Designs. 



BNS: Thanks for sharing those great photos Bari!  Next question, what do you see in the future for the Bari J empire and your fans?

Bari: I am working on surface designs for paper, home goods, and more.

BNS: What do you want most for your daughters to take from your home when they grow up, besides their laundry?

Bari: That you can do anything you set your mind to.

BNS: Good words for us all to live by!  Last question,  Sound of Music, West Side Story, Little Shop or Horrors, or Rocky Horror Picture Show?

Bari: West Side Story, definitely.

BNS: Well, I know your time is short these days getting ready for Quilt Market, so we’ll wrap this up. Thank you so much for stopping by the Blue Nickel on your Country Lane Garden Tour.  We all definitely look forward to seeing what is up your sleeve in the future!

Bari: Thanks for having me, Scott, it’s always a pleasure chatting with you.

And here is the table runner that I designed just for you, my friends, using Bari’s Country Lane.  I have not had time to actually get mine quilted and bound, but you can imagine it with the yellow print as the binding, can’t you? I know you can. (and if you can’t when I get it done…I will be back here to show it to you.) 

And when you make your table runner don’t forget to post a picture on the Blue Nickel Studios group page if you make it out of any fabrics at all and on Bari’s Country Lane group page if you make it out of  Country Lane.


And then last but not least the prize pack….here is the prize….one of Bari’s first printed patterns from this summer, and a fat quarter pack of Art Journal, Bari’s second line for Windham.


And here is what you need to do to get it…..

This time around we are going strictly by the numbers, a random drawing….and to get your name in the drawing, here’s what you need to do.

Leave a comment on this post for one chance to win

Sign up to receive Blue Nickel Studios blog updates in your email or RSS feed and come back here to tell me that you did, or if you already are subscribing let me know that in a separate post for a second chance to win.

 Sign up to recieve BariJ’s blog updates in your email or RSS feed and come back here to tell me that you did, or if you already are subscribing let me know that in a separate post for a third chance to win.

Tweet or mention and link to this blog post sharing news about this  giveaway and come back to tell me you did for a fourth chance to win.

There you go, it’s that simple.  Enter in one or all four of the above ways.  If we get over 200 comments, then I will throw in some large chunks of Country Lane fabric to a second winner.    Oh, and I forgot to give an end date to this post originally…..Let’s say you have til October 12th to leave comments, we’ll do the drawing then, okay?

243: The things I get myself into…..

August 20th, 2010

and I only wish one of those things would be the suit I got married in 20+ years ago…but alas it is not…

But this is what I have gone and done….I joined another swap…and not just any swap… a NON quilting swap ....this swapto be exact.  Mostly because my friend John twisted my arm….no, not really….but it wasn’t because I needed something else to do…I think I signed up mostly for the variation of this art form…....

All I have to show for it so far is my inspiration piece….this vintage stitched house ….   But as I go I will share with you what I make and what my swap-mates send.  My theme is “Better Cottages and Gardens”.   The other themes are “Weird Science“, “Monsters“, “Owls with Attitude“, and “Modern Classics Fun!”   I get to design ideas for these themes….I am thinking colorful amoebas for the first, and some funky, assymetrical creatures for the 2nd. The other two will be a bit more challenging to me, as I think there are probably more “real” looking things to do there, but I am excited to try my hand at them all!!

Other than that I have a bunch of things I am working on…two more quilts for Free Spirit Fabrics, a Moda Bake Shop recipe, and some other things that are hush, hush at the moment…..

and oh, yeah, we need to get firewood for the winter, and I need to try to find a painter to paint the upper half of the house before winter, as I just don’ t have time to get up there, and it needs some caulking and painting pretty bad in some places…..as well as still helping Gimpy Linda get things done around here…

along with going to the DayJob to keep some steady income coming in…..blah, blah, blah…...

Peace out my friends…..


181: Take a Chance on me!

August 5th, 2009

Announcing the raffle quilt for my local guild the Busy Bees.  Why am I announcing this here on my blog?...cause I designed this quilt!  My friend Diane Coombs helped with the applique design, but the overall concept of this was my design.  You can enter to win this quilt for $1.00 a ticket.  Please contact me directly for tickets. The drawing for this quilt in November this fall 2009. ....the 19th I believe….I would be thrilled if one of my peeps won this…(course, I wouldn’t mind winning it either, but it would be nice if one of you one it too…

It is queen-sized and machine quilted…..many people from the guild worked on this quilt so it has many hands of love put into it.  

raffle quilt BZB 2009

Onto other things, I am wrapping up another quilt for a magazine, and presenting another concept with a new line of fabrics not even out yet.   So not out yet, I can’t even mention whose line it is or anything else about it….I am trying to get this quilt concept into a leading magazine with a leading designer’s new line as one of the earliest quilts published with these new fabrics.  A difficult task at the very least.   When I have permission to show you more, I will….but trust me if this works….You will love it

Here are a few more pictures from the pileup on my desktop…hope you enjoy!

From a big garage sale day that Linda and I spent together just the two of us….beads and linens  I love these blue chunky beads…

this bookcase was 5 or 10 dollars and cleaned up nicely….I thought it was very well built and I liked the patina of the painted surface…..simple and  non-affectatious.  5 or 10 dollar bookcase 

Some more from that same day….garagesaling2 I loved textiles before, but now I find my myself buying things simply for the designs, not just if I can sew or necessarily use them daily…. more stuff for the kids to sort through when I die….and I have just started….garage sale 3  garage sale finds 

This Tigger and Roo totally rock…they list a little, but they rock!

tigger and roo

garagesale drawings   This picture of hand-drawn buildings may be in a previous post, but that’s okay, I love the handmade feel of them both…Need new frames and then up they go…somewhere around here….

Hope you enjoyed these treasures…Don’t forget to contact me about the raffle quilt….and have a beautiful sunny day….hopefully like this——sky 7.09

176: Announcing some other giveaways…

July 12th, 2009


Not mine, but some giveaways in other places.

Just noticed a great giveaway  and even though it truly lessens my chances to win, I thought I should share it with you.  My new friend Nancy DeWeir Geaney is GIVING away a whole quilt!  Seriously a WHOLE finished honest to goodness quilt, and all you need to do is comment here.  The winner will be random so it better still be me!  :) Here is a picture I swiped from Nancy’s site so you can see what she’s giving away even before visiting her.     It is all marvelously peachy and summery for sure…  

And here is a giveaway by Bari J….Hey that rhymes!!  (it is on the July 6th entry if the link doesn’t take you straight there)

 Now let’s go back and see what’s happening here at the Blue Nickel…....some more random photos for your viewing pleasure.  garagesale drawings   from a past garage sale trip with Linda….the drawings are hand done, but the frames are cheap and need replacing.  The linens below were pretty neat, and I especially liked the weak necked Kanga and Tigger…garagesaling2 

That’s it for now…I have many more pix to show, but I am still behind on some of my sewing.  I just wanted to let you know that I hadn’t fallen off the planet or anything.  I did just start the whole “Twitter” thing, so if you want to follow me, feel free, or you can check the new badge on the side to get in on the deal…Have a wonderful new week everyone!!

171: Random #1

June 6th, 2009

Today’s post is more clean up…I am wrapping up one overdue project today…and starting 3 more? No, make that 4!

Anyway today for you all some pictures from life here at Shiloah Cottage, home of Blue Nickel Studios and Miss Mabel Studio (Linda has been posting a ton of pictures of our life here…so she has more I bet)

  Building “protector” in Pittsburgh….I liked how it was attention-grabbing, but it seemed unusual to me…maybe it’s an East coast/West coast thing..

  Rockwork from a building in Pittsburgh…not very colorful, but I really liked the rugged, irregular texture of it all.

  chair upholstery from my room in Pittsburgh….hmmm, quilt or base for a new fabric?

 Vintage tablecloth that we used at Easter!  those wavy stripes really aren’t there…don’t exactly know why they came out in the picture.

 Here is a rooster detail from the tablecloth…I love our vintage stuff here at Shiloah Cottage (yes, I named our home…so bourgeois, I know!)  I used to call it Shiloah Estate here, but if you look at our lawn and the plantings around here…Cottage is the best we can aspire too! :)

  papers picked up in Seattle’s International District…...this last February (I told you I had a lot of old pictures waiting to be posted) 

    I couldn’t buy this paper in the Asian bookstore….I had to have everything that I was buying for my family already gift-wrapped in it.  Honestly, they could have saved time and made money, but this was only for thier FREE gift-wrapping service…So there you go..

Oragami doll from same trip     I love some of the packaging that comes out of Asia.  These caramel hearts apparently carried the Olympics theme through supporting great victory.  The little book to the left featuring Rapunzel came with the hearts….What is that about??

  I picked this book up the same day as the Seattle trip above.  It has some of the coolest patterns and textured surfaces I have seen.   I thought it would be great inspiration, and it is!

So for today, one last picture…..one with some poppin’ color so you don’t forget where you are….. This is a vintage quilt, that a firend of a friend commissioned me to repair a little and get it quilted.  Most of the blocks look to be early 1900’s, but I am fairly certain that the orange sashing was added in the 40’s-60’s perhaps.  I will be finishing it up with pink and orange border of a Joel Dewberry print and then having it quilted, then binding it with a scrappy pink/orange combo. This is for the lady’s niece who got married right around Market…..so everyone knew it would be late…that is one of those next projects….

So thanks all for putting up with the lack of posts lately.  I should have Random # 2 coming up soon…and some giveaways as since after Market, more stuff is coming, and I am in great need of cleaning up my side of the studio….like that’s something NEW or something!!

160: Clean up!

April 4th, 2009

What you are about to see will hopefully delight and not disturb you.  Please don’t think I did all this work overnight….Actually these pictures have been sitting in a file on my desktop labeled “pictures to put on website” or something akin to that.  I have enough desktops full of stuff, and I thought I would try some spring cleaning here with a series of not-necesarily related photos.  So enjoy and feel free to comment as needed.  There are actually some more pix to post…so there will be a part II.  (there are some still trapped in the camera come to think of it, so there will always be something to pull out of the logjam)...

Here is a Round Robin I did with some of the guys from QuiltGuy....I dit the last round with the pseudo-star-flower sorta look.    

Detail below.  I had the applique round, and I am not particularly fond of applique.  Actually I love OTHER peoples applique, just not mine.  I don’t have the paitence I think.


This is another Round Robin from the QuiltGuy group.  Again, since I was the last one in possession of the quilt at this time, I did the round of 60degree triangles around the blue-9-patch border. 

Two great books that Linda got me for my birthday and/or Valentine’s day.  I can’t remember which now. Both are TERRIFIC books!


Our old directive board from when we ran a vintage clothing/antique smalls shop on our property.  I love the worn look of this….I have very fond memories of the days we kept that shop going…..  


New ironing surface reinvention….before this area was a simple fold up ironing board—-ricktey, no storage underneath, and it was noisy when I would iron late at night, and this room is right over our bedroom, so it would sometimes keep Linda awake.


Different angle.  I love Anna Maria’s stacked books covering the ironing surface. The wooden section actually needs to be taken out and painted white/grey/pale green/ or blue ( I haven’t decided yet) so nothing is totally secured yet.      

The little cubby holes underneath served two purposes.  It got the ironing surface higher and more comfortable for me to iron, and it adds storage capability…I am delighted with it.  I have an extra cutting mat in there, and if I need to trim something at the pressing time, I can just whip it out and get it trimmed right there. 


This area of the studio used to just store boxes and well….junk…now Linda has a nice place to sit on the IKEA futon and if we ever need a space for someone to sleep, it would be tight, but we could rearrange it and get a space made.  I like to sit here too sometimes.  It is a great place to hide from the kids as it is behind the quilting machine and frame, and you can’t see this area from the main area of the studio too well. 

  Another view…notice this was taken on a snow day!  

Here we sneak over to Linda’s side of the studio to see this old apron on the dressmaker’s dummy…I am sure she should have a name, but I don’t think she does.  Just stylish accessories.  

I just LOVE this vintage fabric. So many things going on!  

So that is phase one of the Blue Nickel Studio PC Desktop Clean Up (BNSPCDCU for short)....

Until next time mes amis!   (Paul, you can correct my French if you need to…which you probably do)


159: And we have a winner….

April 3rd, 2009

So this was supposed to be announced on April 1st as it was on Stitchin’ Heaven, but we were experiencing “technical difficulties” over here at the Blue Nickel….

So coming to you live from Washington State (in which this little corner, it is POURING rain! I think we are closing in on “saturation” levels) Here is the winner of the contest on my entry regarding the Stitchin’ Heaven blogaview of yours truly).....drumroll please….

.......Lisa, who wrote:

My favorite block is drunkards path because there’s so many different layouts I can make and because I favor the 2-color quilts and the block uses 2 colors (simple, huh?). I usually listen to silence when I quilt – I like to focus, and the quiet gives me that.       Love your blog and site!   Lisa

Thank you Lisa for commenting please email me with your snail address, and I will be able to ship off your prize to you!

Now for a quick picture or two while the technical difficulties aren’t flaring up… Some vintage fabric from the stash-ola….

classic 70’s shrooms….  

 kelly green hearts for Irish love songs….. 

 interesting farm fabric…in some interesting colors….  

letters and apples for to learn your alphabet from….. 

and my favorite again…the chairs/tables/windows fabric from my Grandma’s stash….

Adios, amigas & amigos, S.

155: and the winners are…..

March 22nd, 2009

So we have our 4 winners in the first Blue Nickel Blog-a-view giveaway!  Jennifer and I each had our families pick numbers between 1 and 116.  Noel, my oldest is going to program me my own Blue Nickel Random Number Generator or BNRNG for short (anyone have a “name” for that?)   But BNRNG will have to be for the next time (which is coming soon BTW)   So our numbers are for Jennifer’s Sis Boom 2 sets of 2 fab packs      of 2 fat quarters are:    

  1. 12  Carrie in KC  on 13 Mar 2009 at 7:05 pm

1. I love spring. I have lots of ideas for projects I’d like to try soon!
2. I have been wanting to make a table runner. Who knows if that’s what will end up happening!

Thanks for this fun interview and giveaway!


# 62   Sara  on 14 Mar 2009 at 6:18 pm

What is your most inspiring time of year or day?
Mid morning any time of year is the time of day I am most inspired. Spring and fall are the season that I find most inspirational.

What will you make with your prize?
I will be making pouches/bags for people to take essesntials with them when they go in for treatments (e.g., cancer, etc). It’s large enough to hold a cell phone, some money, chapstick, etc.



And for the scrap bags….

One for each of two winners from Blue Nickel Studios, the winners are:

# 5  Nova  on 13 Mar 2009 at 5:52 pm

I am probably more productive towards the afternoon-night.

I have been contemplating a nice big bag to haul my craft stuff around in.


# 92   kristen – gock’s frocks on 16 Mar 2009 at 7:50 am

Wow! You have a fabulous interview style – what fun to read! I have found a new blog I must keep up with and I am a huge fan of your goodies in flickr.

As for the answers to the questions…I think I am most inspired by the spring – the change from dormancy to life bursting out everywhere – buds on the trees, bulbs poking through the earth, the grass regaining its green (not that we have any of that here!)

as for what I would make – hmmm…too hard to say just one thing – I am a bit obsessed with the log cabin square these days, so maybe a table runner to celebrate spring….or maybe finally something for ME! LOL…I also have a bit of a sofite fetish going on right now so my list is a bit long!

thanks so much for a fun interview & great giveaway!

Congratulations to Carrie in KC, Sara, Nova, and Kristen….please email me privately with your snail mail addresses and Jennifer and I will send out our prizes to you each….

A large thank you to all who stopped by and commented with such great thoughts and ideas!  Be sure to let us know what you create of your winnings, and come back here  to the Blue Nickel in a couple days for the info on the giveaway I am doing with Stichin’ Heaven….as well as just to visit, look around, and/or say hi!

Here’s one for the road. 

A vintage piece that came from my Grandma’s house..yes this is the width of it…everything is cut wrong, and somehow that pinkish blob on the left is bleed through from sitting around too long I guess….I had kitchen curtains of it in college, but I think I left them in that apartment!  If only I had valued then what I value now!  But the past is passed, and we all must move one.  I am thankful for this remaining piece!



144: Vintage Valentine-y Fabrics

February 12th, 2009

Today’s post (besides being very late forthcoming!) is all about vintage valentine type fabrics.  I went through a pile of fabrics that I have that have a valentine theme, and most of them were fairly modern.  But Kim over at True Up has been calling for vintage valentine themed prints of the True Up Flickr Group, and I really wanted to get these in the pool, so I am posting them now.   

    Pink floral Geometric

 Blue Striped Strawberries

 pink strawberries resting on the red seersucker print.  I only have two of these little diamonds, and I just love these strawberries they are so sweet….Now strawberries aren’t exactly Valentiney, but they are rather heart shaped, so I think they count!

 the MOST delicious red print in a tintilating seersucker (can I say that here?)  Really it is awesome to feel.  You can’t quite “see” the seersucker part in person even, but one touch and you know it is that coolness that cannot be described by mere words….

Oh and here is the “real” Valentine-y print…well it has hearts on it at least…


I think all of these would work very nicely together in a little wall quilt for February don’t you?  I am making Linda’s Valentine tonight and tomorrow I will show you after I give it to her.  I always make Linda a valentine.  Well, there have been a couple years that I ran out of time.  Maybe if I get a chance I will show you some of them here, what do you say?

I just finished up a big project for my friend Marci at Alicia’s Attic.  Here is a glimpse of what I have been working on for the last 3 weeks.

   I love this shot!     Here is more of a closeup (loose threads and all) This part of the project is made mostly of my friend Mark Lipinski’s Califon line which ended up being perfect for this project!  I believe the whole quilt is destined to be on the cover of Marci’s new book which should be at Spring Quilt Market if all goes well!

 Wow, it may not look like much, but that post took a lot of time to pull up…I have a couple more things to share and then to bed…

My next Free Spirit Quilt project is coming up so look for pictures of that process here, and I have a Blog-aview (like an interview, but blogified) with someone whom this song reminds me of everytime!  But all that has to wait a bit while I prepare for the Day of Love!  :)

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