I’m Designer, Author, Talk Show host Pat Sloan.
In 2010 I created the first original Block of the month for Aurifil and it was so much fun we’ve done it ever year since! 2018 is the start of my 8th year running this super fun program. Learn more about how it works at our intro of the 2018 team
This year we challenged each designer to create a block inspired by ‘The Places We Go’ and I asked them to use black & white fabrics + a color of their choice.
I’ve known Scott Hansen of Blue Nickel Studios for years. The quilt above is my all time favorite ‘Scott Quilt’ he designed for an event we both did custom projects for. It’s called ‘New Glory’ and you really need it, click here! I’m always inspired by Scott’s original work, he has a fabulous eye for design and you are going to LOVE his block. When I made mine I wrote Scott and said I needed to make a whole quilt from his block.
I interviewed Scott in 2012, I think it’s time he visited with me again! LISTEN HERE to my Podcasts & Subscribe by Itunes.
Missed a month? CLICK FOR PRIOR DESIGNER interviews
Remember we have a Challenge portion of our Designer of the Month interview.
Each month we select one random winner to receive a 12 spool BOX of Aurifil thread for just making the challenge block and sharing it at my website! (details at the end plus last month’s winner!)
Let’s get to know Scott!
- Where do you live and what is your favorite spot there?
I live in the tiny town of Sultan, Washington. As a town it is pretty much your basic small rural town at the foot of the Cascade Mountains in western Washington state. We moved here about 26 years ago when it was bit more quiet out here. It is busier than it used to be, but our town really is one of those places you barely notice driving to somewhere more exciting. We are only 45 mins from a major ski resort so our highway is very busy in the winter! The great thing about where I live is that the mountains and ocean (three hours the other way) are both fairly short distances away. TIME to go places would be what I don’t have enough of! To be honest though, my favorite spot in my hometown is my home.
We built this house from the ground up and I love being here even though the upkeep drives me crazy. This time of year in the Pacific Northwest is part of the hardest time because of all the rain, but the spring is coming and it can be so glorious with greenery and color. For now, being cozy by the fire doing handwork or up in the studio sewing and listening to music are the times I love the most.
In town, though, we have two new businesses trying to open that BOTH look really interesting – Kiss the Sky Books and Timber Monster Brewery. Neither are open yet but their outward presentation is making them intriguing so far. And then I also love going on walks in the woods with my wife, Linda, when weather permits.
- When was your FIRST quilt sighting?
I remember my first quilt sighting was when I was young – there was a comforter on my parent’s bed, but I didn’t really think of that when made my first quilt at 14 years old. I didn’t make anymore at that time.
After that first project, my next quilt was about 11-12 years later for my Grandma in a nursing home, but that quilt is long gone.
The next quilt that I made would probably be the one I made for our first born son.
In the between times, I had purchased a few vintage ones that I fell in love with. I would credit those vintage ones for the real beginning of my current quilting addiction. After our first son was born, we had two more kids, and of course I had to do each quilt better than the last. While we were having kids, we had friends having babies too! So I made a lot baby quilts that I gave away in the mid to late 90’s. When I finally got up the nerve to present my quilts to magazines and such, well then the whole “career” part of quilting came into play. It is still just a supplementary income for the time being, but it sure is a fun way to run a little side gig.
- Have you had a ‘light bulb’ moment in making
Light bulb moment? Hmmm. Well, I am sure there are many, but I can think of two things I guess. The first is this, It’s nice if all of your points match, but it is not the end of the world if they don’t! Because…. hold on to your seats…. it is just a quilt. It’s not airplane construction or heart surgery. A few points off are not the end of the world. In my humble opinion of course.
And then the other “idea” is a studio cleaning “hack” — I LOVE lint rollers now on my cutting board or after seam ripping (yes, I do that too!) I take the lint roller to gently pull up all of those little bits of thread left everywhere.
- What does your studio look like, and what would you change in it?
Oh, my studio! It is always such a mess. As I write this, I am trying to clean up and purge a lot. After 25 years of quilting, I have too much fabric (I know it is nearly impossible to believe that right?) But is it true, and I am so passionate about pattern and color, it is hard for me to say goodbye even to the strangest old pieces that I have. I keep thinking if I had more space it would be better, but I know in my heart that I would really just fill it up more.
(look at the design board on the left.. do you see Scott’s block?)
This blue armoire is my favorite piece, it holds only vintage fabric and trims. There is MORE vintage fabric in the studio, however; the overflow goes into other nooks and crannies.
If I were going to change anything, BESIDES getting more space, it would be to get more design wall space. What I am currently working with is more than I have ever had, but It is limited when it comes to bigger over all designs.
And I should have put the outlet for my iron on the right instead of the left as I keep having to cross over with the cord when pressing. Totally did not plan that one well.
(I love Scott’s caption he gave me for this photo.. ‘Yes, I really sew here’ can you relate?)
- Anything else you’d like to share?
My first line of fabric is coming out with Banyan Batiks (a new division of Northcott) in May, so it’s not quite ready to reveal yet, but I am pretty excited to share it with you when it comes out! Make sure you are following me on Instagram at @bluenickelstudios. I post most frequently there.
I am already working on my second and third lines (my wife is doing some of the artwork with me on one of those – she is amazing!).
My latest pattern is Hashabout and available on my website as a PDF now. It will be available in paper form at independent quilt shops when they pick them up from their distributors (Brewer, Checker, and United Notions). There are many new ones in the work that I can’t yet talk about, but this year should show a lot of new patterns coming from the Blue Nickel. Simply Moderne by Quiltmania will be featuring some old and new projects from the Blue Nickel too as well as some more glances at the house and studio.
- What travel or location inspired your block
My block is based on many places, but mainly where I went the last two autumns with my wife Linda — Northern Idaho, where the earth is so spectacular in nature’s autumn gown. The birch and aspen trees are exquisite with their golden glow. One place in particular where we went was Cataldo Mission outside of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. So much history and the setting is so peaceful and serene. It is not a fancy place with lots of hotels and monuments, but it is rich with history and peace. The surrounding hills were covered with evergreens as well as the birch, aspen, and maples. I can still hear the rustling of the wind in the trees and I feel at peace.
DOWNLOAD Birch Ball by Scott
Visit Scott for his post about his block
A Few FUN questions
- What do you collect? I have started collecting Pincushions. And MAKING some to add to my collection without having to buy new ones! I began trying to collect toy sewing machines, but they take up more space and are much more expensive to buy and ship! Although this past Christmas my wife and oldest son surprised me with two more vintage toy sewing machines – blue of course, I have 4-5 now, a legit collection.
- Are you a Dog or Cat person? Okay, I am a Cat person through and through. But I mostly like cats that have those traits of love and affection of a dog. We have been lucky enough to have had three of that type of cat during our 28 years of marriage. Sadly “Bad Baby” disappeared in the fall of 2016 – We thought she might come back because she had disappeared a few years prior for about 2-3 weeks, but she has not. We miss her badly.
- If you could eat only 3 foods for the rest of your life, what would they be? Hmmmm.. Processed or Unprocessed? Processed-wise it would be very unhealthy — Reese’s Fast Break Bar, Peanut Butter M&M’s, Chocolate Chip Cookies. Unprocessed – Chicken, Cheese, and Tomatoes.
Visit Scott at:
Scott’s block is so fun! You can do it super scrappy like his, or control some of the spots with similar fabrics like I did for the black polka dot on the outer edges. It’s an awesome block to use up those little pieces you keep. VISIT my page to see how I organized my block for sewing
ENTER YOUR BLOCK at my website to be in the running to win a box of thread, last month’s winner is below
*** FYI.. On Feb 19 I will publish a setting for the 2017 blocks. If you can’t wait, there are a few settings from our prior years at www.aurifil.com/patterns
And JOIN my fantastic online quilt group with the most incredible quilt show each day… I’d love to meet you!
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EACH MONTH we will pick one random winner that has made a block.. that person will receive a special Aurifil thread prize! Winners are all contacted email
Sure glad Our RANDOM picker had to select the winner this month, your Dresdens are AMAZING!
Our monthly winner is #19 Laura! She has WON a BOX of Aurifil thread! Such gorgeous blocks entered .. see all the great versions HERE
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Haha Scott! I can relate!
Such a fun interview! I love this block and I must have the hashtag quilt pattern! You and Linda have a lovely home Scott!
Great interview, Pat! In February of 2011, I won a drawing that Scott was doing on his Birthday (Red Fat Quarters). Been following him since and thrilled to see him again as an Aurifil Designer.
I’m proud to say I won some fabric from Blue Nickel Studios – really cute vintagey (I made that up) prints. Thank you Scott. And I love that block!