Welcome to Modern Handcraft.
A Blog about quilting, fabric, photography and sometimes my son Grey. Thanks for stopping by - Nicole.

Switching to wordpress

Hello friends, I’m switching over from this Tumblr site to Wordpress, I hope that you will join me!


Also blogger is having some issues connecting to my new account. If you would still like to follow along be sure and click the bloglovin’ + sign on the right side of the new blogs.

Thank you!


WIP Wednesday: Modern Maples

Hi friends! Not much going on around here this week. We were out of town last week on a quick little getaway and now I am so behind in everything. 

Still need to catch up on blog hop visits, several projects being neglected and I’m not even going to mention the parts of the house that need tending to.

I did manage over the past few nights to work a little bit on my Modern Maples Quilt. There is a little group over on Flickr working on these and the quilts that are finished are just beautiful! 

I still have a light tan sketch fabric to add as a leaf color and I am thinking a purple might be pretty as well!

Here are some progress shots, playing around with different layouts for fun. 

Also linking up with WIP Wednesdays over at Freshly Pieced

Thanks for stopping by,


Two dudes… taking a nap….in a crib.
Two dudes… taking a nap….in a crib.

Two dudes… taking a nap….in a crib.


Finish it up Friday: Comma Nursery Set

TGIF! Finally finished up an order for a friend of mine and it’s going in the mail today, hooray!

I swear it took me forever to finish this one, so I am throwing in a pillow cover. I had a bunch of leftover pieces cut and figured I wouldn’t waste them.

This set is going in her gender neutral nursery and is made from fabrics in the Comma line by Zen Chic for Moda Fabrics. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this fabric, and I personally think it is the PERFECT fit for a gender neutral room.

I get a little picture happy….

Also linking up with Finish it up Friday over at Crazy Mom Quilts!

Thanks for stopping by!



Hexie Queen Blog Hop - start stitching!

I am taking part in another blog hop next month that is all about Hexie’s! 

So excited and also pumped to know that I have a deadline now to create something using the slowest sewing method known to man….Hexagons.

There are just a few things I have made and several more things that I have been working on. Just have to figure out now what I am going to talk about on my day // August 23rd.

Are you taking part in the Hexie Queen Blog Hop, or are you just playing around creating something with Hexagons?  If so, leave a link! I desperately need some inspiration, and like to look at pretty pictures too. :)

Thanks for stopping by!



I bet our downstairs neighbors wonder what we do all day…


Easy Pinwheels : A tutorial

Pinwheel Quilts are some of my most favorite! Today I am going to show you my shortcut on making some easy Pinwheels.

This tutorial is for making a small pinwheel out of charm squares, I listed the amounts I used for the quilt shown in case you would like to make a similar one. The finished size of this baby quilt measures: 36” x 41”

Fabrics for the above project include:

  • Charm pack of Kona solid white (or 42 pieces of 5” squares)
  • Charm pack of Kona brights rainbow pack (or 42 pieces of 5” squares)
  • 3” strips of solid white Kona cotton for borders, trim to fit
  • Solid white kona for backing and binding.
  • Heirloom cotton batting // Hobbs fusible

Sewing Step 1:

  • When I have a project that requires many of the same thing I like to make my blocks assembly line style, meaning I do the same step on each block before moving to the second step. 
  • Take a square (for this example we will say red) and square up with a white square, right sides facing each other. 
  • Sew around the perimeter with a 1/4” seam allowance.

Sewing Step 2:

  • Take to your cutting board and cut from corner to corner creating 4 triangles.

  • Press open triangles, I like to press all fabric towards the darker color. This helps with this project because the brights would show up under the white fabric very easily when finished. 

  • Snip the tails off of the edges to reduce the bulk when we sew these together. 
  • If you are keeping your pinwheels as one solid color, stack these nicely together with matching colors. This will make sewing together on the next part easier. (some of the kona solids are very similar in color and getting these mixed up is a mess)

Sewing Step 3:

  • I like to then lay out my 4 pieces in a pinwheel pattern next to my sewing machine. 

  • Starting with your top 2, sew these together with a 1/4” seam allowance. Set aside.

  • Do the same with the bottom 2. 
  • Take to the ironing board and sew backing in opposite directions, I like to iron opposite directions so the two rows nest together nicely.

Sewing Step 4:

  • Time to connect your two rows. If you ironed opposite directions you can easily next the 2 halves and pin in place. 
  • Sew together with a 1/4” seam allowance. Take to ironing board.

  • Since there are so many layers I usually iron this time with seam allowance open, going one way may be too bulky. 
  • Take your stack of finished pinwheels to the cutting board and square up. 

This shortcut tutorial is a much faster way to make an easy pinwheel. Eliminating the need to make each half square triangle (HST) individually. I also use this technique with my Modern Maple block, and when making a quilt entirely out of HST. 

If you make a pinwheel quilt please leave us a picture or a link to your blog! Love to see all of the different variations. 

Thanks for stopping by!



Let’s Get Acquainted!

It’s finally my week to get acquainted with all of you and I am so honored that Beth over at Plum and June gave me the opportunity to be a part of this awesome Blog hop!

I have been introduced to an amazing group of creative quilters because of Beth and am happy to share with you all this week a little about myself!

My name is Nicole and I grew up in a very small town in the North Texas area. I am now married to an awesome man - Jerome and together we have an even awesome-er 20 month old son Grey. We currently reside in Chicago, IL - via - Phoenix, AZ - via - Dallas, TX and will be moving to San Francisco, CA sometime next year. I am a flight attendant for a very “fun” airline that serves honey roasted peanuts and has flight attendants that like to sing and tell jokes (I am not one of these people). When I am not working I am watching my son Grey and trying to fit some sewing in when he is snoozing. My husband is a stay at home dad part time and the rest of the time he runs his own business, which is pretty awesome if you ask me. 

I am a horrible blog writer, so I choose instead to take lots of photos and let them do the talking for me. 

Jerome and I at our wedding - or my excuse to rent a photo booth

Some pictures of Jerome and I in AZ // IL // CA - I change my hair as often as I do states….which is often :)

Some pictures of Grey, if you keep up with my blog - he is a very familiar face

Let’s get the ball rolling with a little Q & A -

Q: When did you start Quilting? 

A: I started quilting when I moved to Chicago back in 2009. Quilting was actually something that I started because my half sister just had a little girl and I wanted to make something special for her. It was a simple patchwork quilt and instead of quilting it I used yarn and tied it together. I have always loved doing creative things, art classes and drawing when I was younger were my favorite things to do. My mom taught me to sew at a very young age. She also made a lot of my clothing as I was growing up, which I unfortunately only appreciate now. 

Some of my favorite finished quilts

Q: Why did you start your blog?

A: I started it mainly as a journal to keep track of what I am currently making and to share with friends and family pictures of my son Grey. I am a very boring writer….so I try and keep it simple with pictures, hopefully they can tell the story a little better than I can :)

Pillows // City Nights quilted pillow, Little Mr. pillow, and a pillow I gave away in a recent Sew Mama Sew Giveaway

Q: Do you have any other hobbies?

A: Photography is probably my other favorite hobby. I love taking pictures of my son and our friends. Taking pictures of the fabrics I get has also become one of my favorite things to do lately. It is a big inspiration for my quilts. I think the only reason I have an Etsy shop is to sell something so I have money to buy more fabric :)

Some works in progress…I say some, but there are many!

Q: What other social media do you use? 

A: I get a little carried away with social media…my phone is attached to my hip all of the time. Favorites in order are:

I have links attached in case you are also a part of those sites, link up and let’s be friends! 

By far the one quilt I am most proud of, Japanese X and Plus Quilt. Making some pillows now with scraps. 

I also am on Bloglovin, so much fun and so very easy to keep track of everyone’s blogs!

Here are the other quilters that are blogging this week as a part of the blog hop, please take a moment to stop by and wish them luck or just say hello!

Thanks for stopping by friends!



Finish it up Friday: Christmas in July

Finished up my Christmas blanket from last year….yes, it somehow takes two years to make a very basic patchwork quilt when you are making it for yourself. I think we are also way too busy close to Christmas to get anything done, so hence the reason we are celebrating Christmas in July. 


This blanket features Cherry Christmas, my new all time favorite Christmas fabric that came out last year. I always adore Aneela Hoey’s color choices in her fabrics and this one was perfect for us! 


We changed our Christmas decor last year to red, white and gray and this will work for years to come as we add in some aqua and green. 

The backing for this fabric is a coordinating Kona solid and I WISH I wrote down which one it was, it matches the darker parts of the gray. For the binding another one of those grab and not remember fabrics at JoAnns. I love buying fabric online so I can go back and see my order history and see what in the heck I got! 


I took this quilt with me to Indiana this past week while visiting family because I wanted to take some pics on the green grass there, and the corn! 


Corn seriously makes the best backdrop for quilts don’t you think? Plus we had some beautiful blue skies as well.







Hope you and your family have a wonderful weekend coming up. Be sure and stop by, it will be my turn in the Let’s Get Acquainted Blog hop and I can’t wait to share some fun stuff with you all! 

Linking up with Finish it up Friday over at Crazy Mom Quilts

Thanks for stopping by.



Modern Maples : A Tutorial

Hi friends!

Starting on a new Modern Maples Quilt and am so happy to be joining up with a fantastic Flickr group called: Falling for Modern Maples. If you are on Instagram just look for #fallingformodernmaples to see everyone’s progress. 


I wanted to share a quick and easy tutorial that I always use when making a Maple Leaf Block. This block size comes to 12” square and has some of the same methods that I also use to make my shortcut Pinwheel Blocks. 

So grab some fall colors and let’s all Fall for the Maple Leaf!

I love the look of a patchwork background, and I see many of these quilts using a different background fabric in a similar color. For mine I am using one fabric, but a fun text fabric that adds some character. 


Background fabric: Robert Kaufman - Objects - Newspaper Vintage

Maple Leaf fabrics: Timeless Treasures - Sketch - Ruby / Citron / Pumpkin / Latte / Coffee Brown

For each block you will need to choose 2 fabrics:

Maple Leaf fabric - 

  • 1 - 2” x 7” Rectangle
  • 1 - 7.25” Square
  • 3 - 4.5” Squares

Background fabric - 

  • 1 - 7.25” Square
  • 2 - 4.5” Squares


Sewing Step 1 : 4 HST Triangles

  • Lay your 7.25” Leaf and Background squares right sides together. Sew around all four edges 1/4” from the edge.


  • Cut corner to corner creating creating 4 HST


  • Iron all 4 pieces and trim each to measure 4.5” square.


Sewing Step 2 : Leaf Stem

You may choose to omit a stem - If so, this block will be a 4.5” square of  your background fabric.

  • Cut a piece of your background fabric in half diagonally. This will make 2 triangle pieces.
  • Line up on each side of your 2” x 7” rectangle piece a triangle, make sure right sides are facing each other. One way to make sure you are aligning properly you may make a small mark at the halfway of each fabric or just fold in half and iron to create a small mark. Line up your marks and pin to sew. 



  • Press open and your piece will look like this.


  • Line up and cut the piece to measure 4.5” square.                      

Sewing Step 3 : Put the pieces together

  • Next to your sewing machine lay out all of your pieces in the Maple Leaf pattern.
  • Sew each row together and press. ( I like to lay out each row on my ironing board and iron the back down in alternating directions so when you sew the rows together they nest together nicely)



  • Stitch all three rows together and press.
  • This block if sewn at a 1/4” seam you should need just a teensy bit of trimming to create your 12” block.
  • Congrats! You are finished with one block!!!


I will be posting some progress pictures on the blog later as I complete some more of the other color Maple Leaves. 

Also linking up with Lee’s “WIP Wednesdays” over at Freshly Pieced. She is catching up on a pile of WIP and they are some pretty beautiful ones at that.

Thanks for stopping by!