April News

Hi everyone!

Has your 2016 been as chaotic-yet-calm-yet-full-of-personal-growth as mine? Let’s swap stories. So, here I am, three months into this crazy new year with one or two cool things to announce…

1.) Attention Craftcation!

Craftcation 2016 is kicking off on Wednesday! Am I going to meet you in Ventura? Make sure you say hello! I have postcards with Creativebug discount codes on them for you… :)

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2.) Attention Bay Area!

I’m excited to be teaching with the East Bay Heritage Quilters in a few weeks, and there are still some spots open.

Saturday, April 23rd: Machine Quilting for Modern Quilters with a Home Sewing Machine

Monday, April 25th: Watercolor Quilting

Head over to the EBHQ website at www.ebhq.org to sign up! You don’t have to be a member of the guild to take my classes.

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3.) Attention everyone!

My class on CreativeLive, How to Teach a Craft Class, is re-airing this week! Tune in to the live re-broadcast on April 8th and 9th for FREE! Find the class here.

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4.) Attention everyone, again!

My mom and I are so thrilled to announce that our episode of The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims is airing this Sunday, April 10th! Check out the trailer below, and you can watch for free from April 17th-24th with this link!

Thanks for reading all the way to the bottom! As a reward, please watch this video, as it is one of my favorites. You can imagine this will be me on Wednesday when I arrive at the beach in Ventura. Please enjoy.

See you soon,

Ashley

What’s New

Lots of fun stuff happening over here!

First of all, this week is QuiltCon 2016 in Pasadena, CA. I’m thrilled for several reasons, one of them being the cool classes I’m taking, including my first long-arm class! I’m excited to see friends and meet new ones, hopefully. And of course, I can’t wait to see the one and only Gwen Marston as the keynote speaker this year. But… it’s also the first time I have a quilt hanging in the show! I’m extremely giddy to see “Pixels” hanging on the wall of a show… it will be a special moment for me, for sure. More on this soon!

Secondly, my latest class on Creativebug is out! The Perfectly Pixelated Jelly Roll Quilt is a great beginners quilt top project. It features my favorite chain-piecing technique, and explores how to use a design wall to map out your design. Check it out:

 

If you haven’t signed up to Creativebug yet, now’s your chance. They’re offering a free month subscription if you use the code MSTAR. What are you waiting for? Just head over and check out their instructors and classes if you don’t believe me about how amazing it is.

Thirdly, I’m so pumped to be writing a monthly post for the Dear Handmade Life blog. If you’re not familiar with this website, it is one of the many glorious brain children of Nicole Stevenson and Delilah Snell, of Craftcation and the Patchwork Shows that I participate in and love. Check out my maker profile and see my first DIY post, this super sweet and simple fabric wallet.

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And on the personal project side, I can finally share this baby quilt that I made for my dear friend’s new baby boy. I used these delicious constellation and moon phase prints from Moda, and love both the random chaos and occasional order that the half square triangle design created. I have an image of him, as he grows, staring at the triangles and squares and finding new patterns and different shapes each time. 

I just love this quilt, and I hope he does too.WillsGalaxyAshleyNickelsAnd don’t forget, registration for Craftcation is open!

See you soon,

Ashley

Baby Bibs: They’re SO In

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There are more babies in my life right now than ever before! And that’s saying something, because I remember one year at my school in Spain when so many of my colleagues were pregnant –something in the water, they said– that when those little guys reached school age, they filled almost an entire preschool class!

Well now it’s January 2016, and it seems the baby-having has ramped up again. I can’t seem to throw a cat without hitting a newborn or a pregnant friend! And the ones that have arrived recently, boy, are they gorgeous little humans.

Who spit up a lot.

And are in need of bibs.

I suppose I’ve been bib-making for many years now. A few years ago, during another baby-having extravaganza at my school– this time in San Francisco, and this time by the wives of my co-workers, so NOT school water related, thankfully– I thought of this simple, customizable, and easy-to-make baby gift.

And I’m not kidding when I say they really do make the perfect, easy gift. Using 100% cotton makes them fully washable, totally useable, and extremely soft. If you don’t believe me… try it yourself! By taking my class, Quilted Jelly Roll Baby Bib!

I’m super excited about all of my newest classes on Creativebug, but this one in particular is near and dear to my heart. Not only is it extraordinarily fun because you get to use strips from a jelly roll, but it involves making an improv log cabin block, which means that when you make this little guy, you are officially– gasp– a quilter!

I hope you guys will check it out. What’s more, and perhaps the best part of it all… Creativebug is offering the first month FREE for new members using the discount code MSTAR through 3/31/16! So, if you haven’t tried Creativebug yet, this is your chance.

AND! I’m so honored and excited that this class is part of an exclusive offer with Missouri Star, who is offering the Mojito jelly roll (the one I used for this class) as their Daily Deal on Friday, January 15th! By the way, if you don’t know about Missouri Star, check them out here, or read what Abby Glassenberg just wrote about them over here.

Happy baby-having and bib-making, world!

-Ashley

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(My thanks to Brené Brown, for reminding me– while reading her latest book over the holidays– of the fabulous “cat-throwing” expression.)

Happy New Year!

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I spent the first day of 2016 with this view. It wasn’t a terrible way to start, I’d say. That’s me in the distance looking like a lego person. The photo credit goes to my friend Isabel, who is such a talented photographer. She makes us all look stunning, including this craggy old cliff in Point Reyes.

Here’s to inspirational friends, new beginnings, new projects, new perspectives, and hopefully a ton of surprises this year.

Love,

Ashley

PS- My newest Creativebug classes are coming out soon! Plus some other crazy cool projects. Stay tuned:)

Photo credit Isabel French

Back to School Newsletter

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I know, I know. Nobody wants the summer to end! Some people are happy to be back at school (or to send their little/not-so-little ones back to school!) and some are perhaps… a touch reluctant that the glorious unscheduled time and freedoms of summertime have come to an end.

Over here in San Francisco, summer endures. As we enter the warmest and sunniest two months of the year in the Bay Area, I’m gearing up to go “back to school” in a sense myself. Next week, I’ll be teaching a live (that’s right, LIVE) class called “How to Teach a Craft Class” on CreativeLive.

I’m excited about this class for a number of reasons. First of all, I LOVE talking about teaching and all of my experiences over the years of teaching teens, tweens and adults. But I’m pretty sure people don’t want to just listen to me ramble off stories about kids hiding under tables or what it’s like to take 54 kids to Central America.

So. This class is for anyone who has a craft. This class is for anyone who has ever been told, “Oh, you should TEACH that!” This class is for any artist/crafter/maker who wants to expand their business and add more income. I’m going to show you why you are ALREADY a teacher.

We’re going to talk about what’s holding you back, and you’ll learn the tools and tricks you need to go forth and TEACH. And I promise, it will be FUN. And by the end of it, you’ll not only know what to do, but you’ll wonder why you weren’t doing it already.

RSVP to the course here!

Did you know… you can watch the free live stream on September 2nd and 3rd, which includes a live chat forum where you’ll be able to ask questions and interact with me in the San Francisco studio. Whaaat?Ashley_Nickels_Facebook_RIght_815x315

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Are you out there teaching your craft? Are you an aspiring craft teacher? I’m thrilled to invite you to join the Teacher’s Lounge, an online meeting point where you’ll be able to connect with other crafty/creative teachers and talk shop! Get advice, find potential teaching gigs, exchange resources, and more. Head over to the Teacher’s Lounge or make sure you’re signed up for my newsletter to find out more.

I think you’d like:

  • Pam Garrison’s Creative Sketchbooking class on Creativebug. Pam gives you the freedom to make mistakes, explore, and have fun using paints, ballpoint pens, collage, and more. I HIGHLY recommend it for a creative jolt! (If you follow my Instagram feed, you’ll see it’s my own personal obsession right now!)
  • You are a Badass by Jen Sincero. The title speaks for itself, but if you are ever wavering that you are, in fact, a badass, PLEASE read this book.

See to you soon:)

-Ashley

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