Let’s Get Acquainted!

2014newbloggersbutton3The past few months I have been getting to know a great group of new quilting bloggers, making new friends, fine tuning my blog, and learning a ton about quilting and blogging, as part of the 2014 New Quilt Blogger Blog Hop organized by Beth at Plum and June. Today it’s my day to tell you a bit about myself and my journey into quilting.

What defines me? mother, gardener, crafter. If there were a quilt hanging somewhere in this picture, this would be quintessential me.
What defines me? mother, gardener, crafter. If there were a quilt hanging somewhere in this picture, this would be quintessential me. (Photo by Brittany White Photography)

Tell us a little about yourself.

When I think about what defines me, “mom” is the absolute first word that arises. I’m a full time mom of two little ones, and to say my life is filled with that blessed duty is an understatement. I also have a degree in environmental science and a master’s degree in elementary education. I’ve worked as a lifeguard, an environmental scientist–wetland and land use specialist, an elementary school teacher, and a yoga teacher. I grew up in New Jersey, but now live in rural Maine and love it. I also love to garden to grow my own organic food, enjoy nature, practice yoga, and of course craft! I have always been crafty, and have dabbled in card making, scrap-booking, jewelry making, mosaic, polymer clay, painting, and more, but only recently found the fiber arts. Now my crafts of choice are quilting and knitting.

Family
Family time is the best! (Photograph by Brittany White Photography)

How did you begin quilting?

There are a few catalysts that propelled me toward quilting, from my lifelong sewist mother, a gift of a simple squares quilt gifted by my talented cousin Hannah, and of course my expert quilter grammy. Shortly after having my son, when I had a gift-quilt only half finished, I discovered that sewing 20 minutes at a time could result in finished projects. This was a revelation for me, and thus began the Night Quilter: I grab a needle and thread when the kids are in bed.

Show us some of your favorite finished quilts.

Click on the name of each quilt to visit its relevant blog post (when there is one). If there is more than one relevant blog post, I will link them all at the end.

delight in the little things

Delight in the Little Things is a 12×12″ art quilt I made as a donation for a local Art Auction to benefit a couple faced with an expensive illness. It was inspired by a Facebook group called 12x12s with Cosmo and Cook, where a word is given each month and the goal is to create a 12×12″ art quilt inspired by that word. The word for December, my first month involved, was “Delight”. “Delight in the little things” immediately came to mind, and so I figured I’d make my art quilt out of 1″ squares (little!), featuring a tiny paper pieced sunburst star and a dandelion seed applique. I love the outcome, especially the yellow bits in the binding. For this quilt, it was my first time creating an art quilt, my first time making anything out of 1″ squares, I designed my first paper piecing pattern for the star, and it was one of my first times free motion quilting.

rainbow xo quilt

Rainbow Hugs & Kisses is the result of a test run of a paper piecing pattern called Oops, I Scrapped My Pants by ShannonMac Designs. I offered to test her pattern for her, but wanted to make something bright and modern. I am all about rainbow gradient, so that was an obvious add. The black and white stripey binding makes this one of my favorites, and it hangs happily on my craft room pegboard. The pattern is free in Shannon’s Craftsy shop, and it includes a tutorial on the freezer paper method of paper piecing, in case you’d like to make your own.

lillians baby quilt

Lillian’s Baby Quilt is one of the quilts of which I’m most proud. It’s one of the largest quilts I’ve made so far at about 58×58″, I designed the outermost border including the heart corner stones, and I kind of went crazy free motion quilting it. It was my first large-scale free motion quilting foray and I dove in head first. I even FMQed alphabetical baby-related words around the outermost white border.

2014-03-30 21.28.38

There are many blog posts outlining my process and featuring better photographs of the free motion quilting, here, here, here, and here.

I’ve also been designing paper piecing patterns. I tend to gravitate toward more modern quilts, yet I also love paper piecing. Go figure. Here are some of my latest paper piecing patterns:

paper pieced lupine quilt block
Lupine 10×10″ paper piecing pattern
Circling Gulls 12x12" paper piecing pattern
Circling Gulls 12×12″ paper piecing pattern

What are you up to now?

  • I’m making a quilt for myself!

quilt for me

late night quilters club

3756124115_d34310a16a_b-palette

  • Finally, I’ve posted my very first tutorial on Basic Foundation Paper Piecing. I’m working on a series to outline what next–now that you’ve made a paper pieced block, what can you do with it? Stay tuned!

To finish off my post, here are some tips and fun facts:

Blogging tip: Take great photographs. The aesthetic pull of an artistically arranged and naturally lit photo is STRONG. Learn to use the manual setting on your camera (try P) and wait for the right lighting. It makes a world of difference!

Quilting tip: Pressing seams open helps improve accuracy of piecing, and helps make matching seams a breeze. Also, when trying to match seams, pin right after the seam. This creates the least torque and at least in my experience, the most consistently matched seams.

Question for you: Who is your favorite fabric or quilt designer, and why? I have my top favorites, but I’d love to expand and see whose fabric you just can’t live without!

Fun facts:
Dream vacation spot: Galapagos Islands
Favorite book: tough question! My Side of the Mountain, 1984, or The Housekeeper and the Professor
Favorite movie: Overboard, or Pride and Prejudice, the Colin Firth version
Favorite TV show: I don’t have a TV, but I’ve been sucked into Downton Abbey on Netflix!
Random bits:

  • After each blog post or email I write, I go back and take out 2/3 of the exclamation points and all of the :). I’m a happy, excited person but even I get annoyed when I read something with a gabillion !!!!!!
  • I hate olives. I try them every year to see if I like them yet, but I still hate them.
  • I was a competitive swimmer through high school and college. If you start talking swimming, I’ll talk for hours.

Now that you know more than you ever wished to know about me, go check out these other great bloggers involved in the hop. Have fun!

Jill @ Pie Lady Quilts

 Chelsea @ Patch The Giraffe

 Daisy @ Ants To Sugar

 Rachael @ The Floral Suitcase

 Elizabeth @ And Pins

 Jennifer @ Never Just Jennifer

 Alice @ Blossom Quilts

 Megan @ Sew Stitching Cute

 Stephanie @ Late Night Quilter

 Kelsey @ Lovely And Enough

 

 

40 thoughts on “Let’s Get Acquainted!”

  1. What a great introduction and wonderful projects! (oops I better watch those exclamation points.) I look forward to seeing more of your paper piecing (which I’m dying to try).

    Your no TV, yoga loving, quilting mama compatriot,

    Hillary

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  2. I use so many exclamation points and smilies. I used to take them out but I finally gave up! 🙂 It’s so hard to convey emotion through text, I figure it just requires a little extra emphasis. 😉 It’s so nice to “meet” you! I love these getting to know you posts. 🙂

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  3. Awesome and lovely post Kitty. I was looking forward to reading your introduction and I haven’t been disappointed. I would love to be your neighbour…..we could quilt together, our kids could play, we could share our organic vegies and revel in stories about swimming and the things about nature that excite us. So if ever you feel like a move to Australia….I know just where you should live! I’ll whack on P&P (Colin Firth can only ever be Mr Darcy!) as we own a tv!

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  4. What a clever idea to include words on the baby quilt. It adds another layer of charm! It’s so nice to meet you! I’m also on the enthusiastic side and use lots of exclamation points. I would have used on on every sentence in this comment, but I’m restraining myself. It hurts a little!

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  5. I love this Kitty. I too have had the inexplicable feeling that we are soul sisters… And now I know a lot more details about you to back up that gut feeling. You are an amazing inspiration. When you come visit me in Austin, I plan on having some fun night-quilting, paper-piecing, business-planning, fun together. Speaking of which, did you look at the workshops and lectures you want to take for QuiltCon? Let’s compare notes!

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  6. I love the template on your blog. The beautiful photos behind each post title make me want to read every post! If you take out all of your exclamation points and smiley faces, I take out the word love. I use it so much. In comments, however, usually it has free reign, so here goes. I love that new blue and pink quilt you’re making. My favorite fabrics to stitch in are low volumes and tone-on-tones (and of course florals), so that quilt is chalk full of the kind of fabrics I like. Your family is beautiful, and so are you. You all look very happy, and living in Maine with an organic garden sounds so lovely. Thanks for sharing, Kitty 🙂

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  7. Hi Kitty – I am with you on not liking olives. I keep trying… and nope. Not an olive fan! Yeah, I try to watch my !!!s and :)s, but they sneak in there anyway. I am a fan of Tula Pink prints, although I haven’t actually used them much. I have definitely wanted to, though.

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  8. Those photos of you and your family are beautiful! I also want to go to the Galapagos and I usually have to take out the ! from my posts too.

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  9. Hi Kitty – I love green olives, don’t like black ones….my hubby tells me he doesn’t like olives but I’m always catching him eating them, he says he’s just trying to learn to like them. Cracks me up! I love your Hugs and Kisses quilt. Those colors on that background, so nice!

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  10. Love the intro! I hate olives too, and I have to edit out exclamation points as well. Love the quilts you showcased here, and I agree with your quilt tips. Open seams really help with accuracy and removing bulk!

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  11. Oh my!!!!! I love your hugs/kisses quilt!!!!! and the one you are working on for yourself is great!!!!! 🙂 🙂 I’ve only done a little paper piecing but your lupine reminds me of a bluebonnet and I might just have to try and adapt it. 🙂 🙂

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  12. Ha! I also overuse exclamations! I just can’t help it when I’m really excited about my newest quilt. I edit them out too. Your quilts and paper piecing blocks are beautiful. Thank you for sharing. I am a fan of any fabric that has a nature vibe to it.

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  13. Nice intro. Your family pics are just adorable. I don’t really have fav designer. I love everything rainbow and simple and graphic no floral prints for me 🙂

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  14. I overuse the exclamations myself! Especially when quilting is involved. There needs to be a 12 step program! :-)I love your family pictures. The paper pieced XO is awesome!

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  15. It’s so great to meet another quilter who loves to talk on the hop. I love the baby quilt made for Lillian. Your photography is beautiful and the palette builder is a great tool. I love everything nature, and was a competitive swimmer and lifeguard in H.S. too. I am fickle when it comes to favorite designers. At the moment, I like Stephanie Ryan at Moda, Fig Tree and Bonnie & Camille. Glad I stopped by to visit on the hop. I was in week one and had a blast. Hope you do too.

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  16. It’s so nice to learn more about you, Kitty. I, too, tend to use too many exclamation points and tend to move them around and delete some before I hit ‘post’. I played tennis in HS and college, am a big gardener, knit and quilt and did a lot of yoga before kids and continually threaten to get back to it. I adore Kate Spain fabric; it’s just so cheery and unexpected. -Karin

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  17. I try to take out the extra exclamation points, but some always manage to sneak in. A friend told me that that is how I speak – very excitedly.
    Great photos of you and the family.
    I have referred a few people to your paper piecing tutorial. It is so very helpful.

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  18. Wonderful introduction Kitty! I had a similar a-ha moment when I first started quilting and discovered that you could achieve results in a relatively short amount of time. I’ve been knitting for 20 years and it always takes so long to finish any project that is sizable. Right now I’d have to say that Bonnie & Camille are my favorite fabric designers. I just love their fabrics – they make me smile and I don’t even know why! So glad you’re catching Downton Abbey. Even my husband loves it!

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  19. Hi Kitty, I would also love to go to the Galapagos Islands. My mother-in-law went recently, and it looks amazing. My favorite fabric designer is probably Amy Butler, I love bold patterns! I really like your paper piecing patterns, I’ve seen a few tips on your blog and I’m thinking about taking the plunge and giving it a try!

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  20. Slightly late blog hop visit! Beautiful quilts, I especially love the rainbow one, I have a bit of a thing for rainbow projects, and everything has to be rainbow coloured for my littlest one at the moment, just been trying to get a rainbow mermaid tail done today! Great idea for the FB page and thank you for just ‘accepting’ me there. I don’t have a favourite fabric designer, I don’t tend to buy much new, I like to use recycled wherever possible. But my favourite quilter would probably be Boo Dilly – http://thesillyboodilly.blogspot.co.uk/ – I really admire her work because I think she’s found her own identity as a quilter. So many of her quilts I could immediately recognise as being very much hers, and I don’t think that’s true of many quilters.

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  21. What a beautiful little family and beautiful quilts you have! I love that you use too many exclamation points- people with enthusiasm are great! And your paper piecing is amazing! I too like to paper piece, your designs look great!

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  22. So much to love about this post! Your photos are beautiful, your Rainbow X and O quilt is stunning and your paper pieced designs are beautiful. I love your colour inspiration posts too.

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  23. Wonderful to get to know you I’m still hopping my way around. The gull design is really great and stitching words for baby is brilliant. Love your use of the palette builder weekly it’s so much fun and inspiring to combine photos and fabric.
    I too started quilting in the wee hours after my boys were asleep just to squeeze in some creative me time.
    I hope to meet you at quiltcon !!!!!

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  24. I’m working my way through Downton Abbey too. I just started season 3 and want to catch up before all the Facebook spoilers ruin the next season too 🙂 And, I love the colors in the quilt that you are now making for yourself. Gorgeous!

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  25. what a fun post! I love your little mini quilts and the descriptions of how and why you made them. I wish I could sew in the evenings, but I am usually too tired, except for a bit of hand stitching!

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  26. What?!?! No olives!?!?!? Just kidding. I dated a guy once who said as a child he picked up what he thought was a grape and ate it. It wasn’t. He hasn’t eaten an olive since. (I think they’re pretty great and enjoy them anytime of day.) I gave up on Downton Abbey when Matthew died, but I was a die-hard fan until then. I love the lupine paper piecing pattern!

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  27. I’ve found myself an exclamation point over user, too!!!! 😉 I go back and laugh at how many I actually include in posts and emails. Why can’t we end every sentence with our happiness? My current favorite fabric designers are Kate Spain and Joel Dewberry. Not very original, but they always speak to me.

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  28. Kitty you are delightful! And your family is so darling! Love the projects you showed us and especially the paper pieced lupine and the words stitched into your baby quilt! I hooted with laughter over you going back and removing exclamation points and smileys! I do the same thing, but not with this comment.

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