Blue Nickel Studios Urban Folk — Modern Design ….. all images copyrighted Scott Hansen (c) 2006-2015

Blue Nickel Studios

Welcome to the rambling world of Blue Nickel Studios where you will find the quilts, projects, musings, rhetorical questions, more quilts, and various diatribes and wonderings of color and design and family that inhabit the world of Scott Hansen. Comments are always appreciated and surprise giveaways happen once in awhile too.´┐ŻAll images copyrighted 2006-2014.

One Fabric Nation — New Bedford GIVEAWAY!!

July 28th, 2015

One Fabric Nation logo

New Bedford 47

So here’s another project that you can do with your New Bedford prints when you race out to get them from your local quilt shop this week.

Scottie Dog 54

I have always loved these little Scottie Dog Pillows. It just so happens that Denyse Schmidt has a pattern for you right here. I have mocked up a front and a back up here for you in New Bedford, so you can get an idea of how the line looks cut up small like this.  There’s no way I will get this project finished before the end of July when this post was due, so I thought you all would be fine with a mock-up.

Scottie Dog 3

Back when Linda and I ran a little vintage clothing and antique shop on our property, we had a couple of these Scottie Dogs in vintage fabric. they were so fun!

And NOW onto this most Generous Giveaway from Free Spirit Fabrics.

I have TWO Fat Quarter Towers to share with two lucky readers.


Here’s how we’re going to do this. I will give one of the towers away here on my blog, so leave a comment at the end of this post to win that one. (and remember that on this site, all comments have to be approved by me to prevent spam for you and  me….That’s one of the things that I hope to get installed during the remodel, a way that you can prove you are not a robot, so no one has to wait for me to approve the comment!)

And, I will giveaway the other bundle on my Instagram account. I haven’t done a giveaway on Instagram, but I love that application so much, I am looking forward to trying it. To win on Instagram, Look for the above photo on my stream, make sure you follow me there, and then leave a comment. I will draw a winner for both venues on the following Monday, August 3.

So go for it, Peeps! Let’s get some commenting going down for these sweet prizes!!

Keep Happy,  Keep Sewing,




Windham — Desk Job

July 27th, 2015


Onto another day of CatchUp-2015! You can tell I took these pictures months ago. We’ve had a VERY dry summer here in the Pacific Northwest, and everything is pretty crispy French Fry colored out here in our back field now. I hope I don’t lose too many trees…just haven’t been able to keep up with watering everything. We just had our first rainfall in 4 weeks or more. For the Northwest corner of the US, that’s a LONG time!


The line featured today is Desk Job by Fierce Mally for Windham Fabrics. This line has been in stores since May, so you may have already seen it, or picked some up yourself. Like Bake, I love the scale of this line.


My favorite prints are the glasses, the pencils, and the desk lamps!




For the colors, I love the blue and the green best.  I just got a new gig at Costco corporate with a Desk Job myself, so I am kind of excited to make something for my own desk down the road. For starters, there are more peeps that desks in my department, so I will have to desk share for awhile…but eventually, I’ll have my own space. I am looking forward to that!


Project-wise for this line, I did the same thing that I did for Bake the other day..... a bunch of 4 1/2” Half Square Triangles. and some little bags (along the lines of these bags, but through some cutting errors, etc…quite a bit smaller!)



Most of the bags were given away in Sisters, Oregon for this year’s Quilters’ Affair.



I think these Half Square Triangles are going to end up in some Maple Leaf blogs for this one project I want to try to work out. We’ll see what happens with that.


So that’s it for today’s post. Next post is going to be that little surprise from this line that I told you was coming.

AND the Blue Nickel Studios page has hit 1000+ likes on Facebook so there is another big qiveaway coming as well. That 1000 likes giveaway may not happen until August, as I am doing a big blog remodel, so things will be changing and rearranging here. My current plan is to open the new quarters of the Blue Nickel with that 1000  giveaway. The URL will remain the same I am pretty sure, it will just look fresher and more up to date than it has the last oh, 5 or 8 years….

Keep Happy, Keep Sewing,



Windham — Bake

July 21st, 2015


Let’s just call July the Catch Up month here at the Blue Nickel, shall we? And since it’s more than half over already, the “catching up” will likely go into August!

So today’s featured fabric line is Bake, a small set of prints by Julia Rothman for Windham Fabrics.  There aren’t a lot of prints in this line, so Windham sent me some of their solids to coordinate with them.


And while I am not enamored with EVERY print in the line, I have some that I just can’t see enough of. Like the electric blue background with Kitchen tools; how awesome it that? And the scale is smaller than past lines of Julia’s which makes this line even better in my book.


And all of the cakes on the pink background? Divine!


Can you tell that I took this photo a while back?  That Wisteria bloom has been gone for quite awhile.


Okay, these stoves?? Stop the truck! They are perfect!  I couldn’t love this print more!



I made a few variations of these bags, but gave most of them away at Sisters, Oregon earlier this month in my Quilter’s Affair classes, so these are the only ones left to photograph.


I also played around with my Sissix Big Shot! made a whole lot of Half Square Triangles for some projects down the road..


Bake should be in shops in early September. Keep an eye out for it.

That’s it for today! Make sure to check back here the rest of the month. I’ve got two TREMENDOUS giveaways coming your way.

Keep Sewing, Keep Happy!



One Fabric Nation! New Bedford

June 30th, 2015

New Bedford 47

Wow! what a spring! It’s now officially Summer! And this post which was supposed to be posted early June is just getting itself done now!  I had a whole bunch of projects due in May, as well as lining up a new day job at corporate Costco, and my last kid graduating. All of these things melded into June as well.  Finally, I am getting a fresh post in.

This post the first of many installments of my participation in Free Spirit’s One Fabric Nation project. I am joined by Julie of Jaybird Quilts, Melissa of 100 Billion Stars, Kathy of Material Obsession – Australia and Jessica of Snicker Doodle Stew.    Free Spirit  has stated that they have partnered with five of the best bloggers to bring you One Fabric Nation. This new blogging network is designed to provide their amazing insight and inspired projects from our newest collections! I am not so sure I am in the Best list, but I am honored that they feel that way.

One Fabric Nation logo

We are the starting crew that gets to introduce new lines to you from Free Spirit fresh from the mills. The first line that I get to share with you is Denyse Schmidt’s new line New Bedford.  I got this fabric quite some time ago and was supposed to post about it sometime in June, but didn’t get much of a chance to work with it. Now I am one week away from traveling to teach Sisters, Oregon for the big Quilters’ Affair event there. And June is almost over!

New Bedford 9

I have it all spread out for you here. True to Denyse’s signature style, these prints are both modern and old-fashioned.  That is something that I have always loved about Denyse’s fabrics!

New Bedford 48

New Bedford 50 New Bedford 51

Here is Free Spirit’s spiel on the line:
New Bedford is inspired by the romance and adventure of 19th century sea-faring life, with a touch of 20th century seaside summer fun! New Bedford evokes a slow stroll on cobblestone streets, salty air, a favorite iced treat, and a quilt on a bed in a room with a view. Nine enchanting patterns in three refreshing color-ways – sun, sea, and sorbet – will transport you to a time and place of limitless possibilities. Embark on your own creative adventure – billowing curtains, flirty skirts, captivating quilts or elegant dresses – New Bedford is as versatile as your own imagination!

new bedord bags1

I had another fun project that I was going to show you with this line, but i probably won’t get to it until I get back from Sisters. You will want to make sure you check that post out because it will have a fun surprise or two included.

For this post, I made a bunch of these little bags for my students in my classes. These are my variation of the original because I like their proportions a little better.

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So stay tuned. I may get some more posts in between now and when I leave and return from Sisters.



Sticks and Stones…..

April 28th, 2015

I love getting published in American Patchwork and Quilting. They really are a first class organization, and this is the second time I have worked with them. I am looking forward to more projects with them (hint, hint, early next year! :) )

This issue hit the newsstand, April 7th….so yeah, I am a little late telling you about it, but I am pretty sure you can still find it out there, at least I hope you can!

Photo used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. ©2015 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

The quilt that I created for this June 2015 issue is called Along Those Lines. My working title was Tools of the Trade because to me it represented the sticks and stones from a Shaman’s bag of tools for his or her trade. And that visual came in my head because of the name of the line of fabric I used for this quilt. Yup, this is another “one-liner” quilt for me, using David Butler’s Parson Gray Line, Shaman.

Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. ©2015 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

Photo used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. ©2015 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

I have been thinking about quite a few different quilt concepts using lines and “circles” of sorts and they all have a “sticks and stones” theme (in my head at least). For some reason (I am not sure why) I didn’t feel right calling this quilt Sticks and Stones but truth be told, I will probably always refer to it as Sticks and Stones No. 1 in my heart.  I like American Patchwork’s name for it better than anything that I could think up. Usually, I am pretty pleased with my own names, but every once in awhile, I am stumped!

Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. ©2015 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

Photo used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. ©2015 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

And I loved AP&Q’s photos, So I went with them for this post. You can get kits for this quilt at Crimson Tate here, so get one while you can!  And I bet Heather has some issues available too.

That’s it for today. I so miss writing blog posts like I used to. I know the site needs updating like mad, but I just never seem to have time for it. Be sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook for more up-to-date photos and sharing. (and speaking of which, I am almost up to 1,000 Likes on my Studio Facebook page, so be sure to keep an eye on that and here for a big grand giveaway!) I do have quite a few more posts and things to share down the road, so hopefully I will get a chance to get my thoughts together and take the time to share them with you soon.

Until then,
Keep Sewing, Keep Happy!




April 23rd, 2015

Sara Lawson’s website is called Sew Sweetness...and that is a great name for it, because she is so incredibly sweet! Awhile back, she posted on Facebook that she felt like sharing a bunch of her new line Fantasia for Art Gallery Fabrics with anyone who sent her a note while she had supply.  I sent her a quick comment, she sent me a message asking for my address. I was expecting I’d get a couple fat quarters to play with.



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But Sara sent a WHOLE STACK! I am not sure if this is the whole line, but it sure is close!

I first loved what I saw of the line from a picture Sara had posted. Mostly I loved the mushrooms on one of the prints. I had no idea there were UNICORNS in it!  That made it even better.

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the wind was blowing in the above photo…had to catch this block before it disappeared!

So I made some little 3 1/2” nine-patches and some 6 1/2” nine patches for an ongoing project I am working on.

DSC_2468 DSC_2469 DSC_2470 DSC_2471 DSC_2473

And of course I made some of these bags for upcoming classes in Sisters, Oregon this summer and Mount Vernon, Washington this fall.


And I made a sample of a Dark Block from my Fireside Chat pattern.  Doing this block from the one line may not have worked as well, mostly because most of the prints are mediums.  If I had used solids on the “dark” parts of the “matchsticks” this block may have “read” better in some places.

This pattern is the one class that I still have open during the Quilters’ Affair week in Sisters in July…ALL of my other classes are full. I am going to be busy! I am so excited to see past students and meet new ones there. This year is the 40th Anniversary of the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show and the whole week before is FILLED with fun events. If you can make, I heartily recommend it!

Keep Sewing, Keep Happy!

winners circle….

April 10th, 2015

Hey there,

In my last post, I had a giveaway for the book All Lovely Things by Lea Redmond.  It wasn’t really “quilt” or “fabric” oriented, but it was kind of a fun book. And I said I was going to draw a name April 2nd…well, that didn’t really happen.  But I did get to it, and we have a winner!

And our winner is Patty, who wrote:

I too have been “sorting” thru things trying to get rid of the excess possessions I have. The first thing that came to mind was an antique quilt I have from a great-great-grandmother, probably made in 1890. But the one thing that defines me is my mother’s ring with the birthstones of my children. I wear it every day along with a ring from my mother.

Thanks to everyone who commented, I enjoyed the conversation about giving and hanging onto things…and the thoughts on which “things” do or do not define us….or even those that did once, but no longer do define the world around us.

Part of the reason that I didn’t quite get around to doing the drawing and writing up this post was to blame on these two bad boys.  I haven’t really named them yet, but I am open to your suggestions!

2 New machines

My 24 year old Singer finally bit the dust in the last few weeks. The old girl just gave her little heart into my sewing for as long as she could.  I was sad to lose her.  She never did very well at actual quilting, so I always have hired out my long arm quilting.

Well, I sent out MOST of my quilts for quilting. For a couple of years, I had a B-line Quilting Frame and this Juki set up. I had terrible issues with it, the frame wasn’t the right height, the tension was constantly giving me grief, etc. Last winter I sold the frame on Craigslist, but kept the machine because I had only heard good things about it…I thought maybe I could get it to do what everyone else said it could do.

not so new Juki

So when the Singer died, I hauled this guy out….And I think I am in love. It is working fine now, I played with some free motion quilting and it seems better than I remember it. Not my quilting skills, the Juki’s ability to do the job!  And speedy?? Scary fast!

It does most everything that I need; straight-stitching and free motion quilting.  But it doesn’t do any zig zag or button holes or other stuff like that….

I bought this Brother Project Runway model for all of the rest. And it’s pretty good too…both are SOOOOOO much faster than my poor old Singer was going at the end…felt like I was working with a rusty treadle machine by the last stitch.

New Brother machine

And so, I have been playing around and making stuff, mending some clothes and overall experimenting with both of these machines. Juggling the space is part of my concern too, so I think there will be some cleaning on the to-do list too…

I will show you some of the stuff I have been creating in the next couple of posts!

On the “teaching” side of things, I have a gig tomorrow in Mount Vernon, Washington at Calico Creations. My next class group will be in Sisters, Oregon for the Quilters’ Affair Event in July 2015. Last I checked, all of my classes were full except Fireside Chat, but check with the Stitchin’ Post staff to be sure.  And then I will be teaching in Mount Vernon for a week in September this fall at the Treacy-Levine Center. Classes are still at the to be determined stage right now.

So that’s it for now….now what am I going to name these two working boys?

Keep Happy, Keep Sewing,


All Lovely Things by Lea Redmond

March 28th, 2015

Spring Cleaning time! Well, it will be here soon maybe….I have been so freaking busy, I am not sure that I will ever get to spring cleaning. I want to every year, as soon as I hear the frogs croaking, I get all thrilled for spring.  And then Bam! it’s July!

Recently the peeps at Penguin Random House offered to send me the book All Lovely Things – A Field Journal For The Objects That Define Us by Lea Redmond from their Perigee division. Normally I just don’t have time for books if they aren’t related more directly to my fiber obsession, but this one seemed different, so I said yes.


And part of the reason that I said yes was because Lea talks in the beginning about the “things” around us. And like it or not, those objects around us, define who we are to a degree.  As Spring Cleaning comes around and we toss things or donate things or sell things in garage sales or on Craigslist or re-purpose things, I like how she talks about recording them in this journal and take the time to think about our lives; where we have been, where we are, and where we are going.   And the little promo flyer on the book talked about how we can get “to know ourselves better through the objects that are the inanimate companions to our lives.”

The basic concept on the “journal” part of it, which is Most of the book,  centers around two page spreads of blank “boxes” for you to fill in with sketches or photos, or what have you….basically to reflect on who you are…who those you love are, and then people you admire as well. It’s a very “Gestalt“y way to analyze and think about your life I think.  (and after I read the definition of Gestalt psychology, I realized that I think of it in the greater that than sum of all things, not other than the sum of all things… just so you know what I was thinking…if you even care! :) )

So anyway…Back to the book. it doesn’t have to be just about you either. It can be about family, friends, historic people that have meaning in your life.

Lea, the author of this book, gave numerous sample sections, Emily Dickinson and Henry David Thoreau, pictured below, to give you an idea of what the journal is intended to do for you.



I apologize for the lighting in some of these shots. The below is the actual light. I didn’t really work the filters as much as I should have on the above shots.

I think the real appeal that this book had for me is in the fact that we are headed to the phase of downsizing our household. The boys have moved out and may be coming back for short stays, but the fact is they will be going further and further away. And Mimi isn’t far behind them.  That and we have started working on actually budgeting in real way and we are realizing that we don’t really NEED all of this stuff. This isn’t an easy process by any means. I am a packrat by nature and everything seems very sentimental to me.

For my first sketch in this field book I started with this plate. It is not a family piece. We picked it up at a garage sale somewhere. But it is my favorite plate of this size.  And it’s developing a crack. So I know I won’t be able to keep it forever. So that is why I chose to start with it as my first sketch.  I have no idea how it “defines” me, but I love it and I want to remember it for a very long time.


And a closer look at my sketches and the actual plate:


Another cool thing that you can do with it, is have friends and family take a section too… I plan on having at least two of my kids do their own pages. Don’t think the oldest will want to do this.  There are lots of prompts, but then there are lots of blank sections too. So many cool things that you could do with this book.

So that’s it…A fun little book to use and record some of those things you may be tossing out or donating this year so you can keep a little bit of them behind for old times sake. Call it a scrapbook, a memory book, a visual diary….whatever, I think I will be enjoying this for a very long time!

And the Penguin peeps have generously offered to share a copy for a giveaway here at the Blue Nickel this week. So please leave a comment on this post about something that defines you…..something that would be the very last thing you would be getting rid of as you spring clean this year and into the future…and it can’t be fabric or your phone!!   :)

I will give you until April 2nd then I will draw a name sometime that day and the Penguin peeps will send you your very own copy.

I can’t wait to hear what you have to say (New readers, please remember that this blog is set up to have every comment approved before it is posted, so if you don’t see your comment right away, don’t fret, it just means that I haven’t gotten around to approving it yet).

The Dark and the Light Sides…….

February 23rd, 2015

So while everyone else in the Quilting Universe was at QuiltCon this past weekend, I was here at home…...and spent far too much time on Instagram trying to keep up!

But I also got to mess around with these two bundles of painterly fat quarters that the awesome peeps at Windham Fabrics sent me awhile back.  Two Very Different, but yet very similar lines. The one on the left is dark and somber, and the one on the right is bright, cheerful, and carefree.

windham duo 71

Actually, I was playing with Sunshine Serenade last week. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen these little bags I was making with these prints. I never get tired of making these bags designed by my friend Monica. They are super easy and quick. I resized these to be a bit smaller than her original directions to fit what I need them for.


windham 72

I don’t know how well you can see it, but many of the prints in this line have glittery bits….which makes is seem even more like 1985 to me.  These fabrics remind me so much of the 80’s, I can’t believe it!



And now to the dark side….. Black and White by Marcia Derse, who I just discovered lives on the same island that my wife, Linda, grew up on! Small world!  Any way, there were less prints in this collection and it is much less colorful…

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Much less colorful…..

I decided that I wanted to try and see how this line would work with my United Colors pattern. I knew that it would be different trying work a pattern that is actually based on hot and warm colors and light and dark values with fabric that wasn’t actually hot or cold….and not too much contrast in the dark or light category.


As I experimented, I found that I really enjoyed the process. Some blocks “read” much better than others, something that I confess I always find that fascinating as I look for the pattern in the not so obvious blocks.


Actually the “bluer, plainer” greys are from the first group, Sunshine Serenade, but they aren’t all that sunny, are they? And just wait until you see what I did with the block printed red canvas that I picked up at some garage sale or something (I actually have no idea where the red fabric came from …but it added just the right touch to this quilt!


I want to wait to show you this finished quilt top until after my presentation at the Portland Modern Quilt Guild next month in Portland, Oregon. I want to show them first in person…

Now I need to get back to whatever I was supposed to be doing before I started this post….There is a long list, so I kinda get to pick….kinda….

Crimson Tate Succulents

February 10th, 2015

Crimson Tate 69

The awesome peeps at Windham Fabrics  sent me this great little bundle of Succulents by Heather Givans of Crimson Tate fame.  I already worked a bit of it into Boom, my newest pattern coming to my Etsy shop soon, but the few prints that I used were mixed in with a bunch of other prints (and I do mean a BUNCH…just wait until you see’ll blow your mind!) For this post,  I wanted to work just the Succulents prints into a few blocks to share the line on its own with you.

crimson tate70

So I decided to make some more Maple Leaf blocks. If you recall, I’ve made a few of these before from other lines, and I am thinking that when I get enough, it will be a fun quilt to just throw on one of the kids’ beds, or give away, or whatever.


So I made a trio of Maple Leaf Blocks.


I love the quiet palette of this line. I could use some quiet as my mind is filled with trying to get end of year 2014 paperwork done. ...... You know how I love paperwork…..


Especially when I’d much rather be sewing…..Seems like it’s always something else not as fun that NEEDS to be done…when all I WANT to do is sew!


Well, I’d better get back to taxes and FAFSA forms and pattern writing.  Look for  a big announcement regarding my next batch of patterns soon (two of which are available in my Etsy store already!)

Keep Happy, Keep Sewing,


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