I'm a nature-loving yogini, crafty chick, attempted homesteader, photographer, and dedicated stay home momma and wife. With three little kids, my only sewing time is after bedtime. Thus the night quilter was born. I dream of the day when someone will pay me to quilt! This blog is all about my stitching: both quilting and knitting projects, as well as the creation of my own patterns.
Kittysheartofnature.com is my first blog, written about whatever moves me... good food, attachment parenting, yoga, crafting, inspirations, and everyday miracles. It is currently lost in the interweb but should be back soon!
Today, March 15, 2014 is officially National Quilting Day! To celebrate, I actually spent some time… quilting! I made progress on a quilt that I’m making as a gift, so details will not be shared today (as much as I want to!). While piecing the final border of the quilt, I was reflecting on how well my 1/4″ seams come out now that I use a secret trick shared by a local quilter. Today is the perfect day to share the trick!
All you need is one basic supply: 1/4″ quilters tape. I use Dritz Quilter’s Tape but any brand should work. I stretch the quilters tape the full length of my sewing machine, with the machine’s 1/4″ seam guide line aligned with the tape’s left edge. Take your time and get the tape perfectly aligned and straight, since this will be your guide. Before employing this trick, my 1/4″ seams were extremely varied and inconsistent, which lead to puckery and not-quite matching seam intersections. This tape provides a visual and uninterrupted guide while I’m sewing, and my seams have been SO much better.
A scant 1/4″ seam, meaning it is a bit less than 1/4″ in width, is preferred since pressing often makes up for the minor discrepancy. If your seam is larger than 1/4″, however, there’s no fixing it!
A seam that is a little bit off might not seem like a big deal, but when you’re piecing a border composed of many pieces, when every seam is a little too wide it eventually adds up to a border that is an inch or more too small! The exactness of quilting is one of the aspects that really resonates with me, and this new seam trick has worked wonders in helping me create quilts with exactly matching seams, visible symmetry, and MUCH less frustration.
Do you have any tricks to creating perfect seams? If you try this method, I’d love to hear what you think. Happy quilting!
It has snowed at least 18″ in the past 24 hours and it’s still snowing, but spring has sprung in our house. Last night before the impending storm, and shortly before losing power, I quickly stitched up some leaf and flower garlands to hang around our kitchen and dining room. (We have an open floor plan, so it’s all one space).
Last year I cut all of the felt circles for my snowflake garland myself, and when I first had the idea of making a similar springy one, I toyed with the idea of cutting my own felt flowers and leaves… but not for long. Without a die cut machine, I decided it would be much easier, and therefore more likely that I’d actually make these garlands, if I simply ordered the shapes on Etsy.
Felted Fringe had exactly what I wanted, with options for color customization, and extremely reasonable prices. Done and done. Without further ado, behold the springtime.
FINISHED! Remember this? I finally finished piecing it!
For one of my first designed paper piecing patterns, I’m very happy with it! I love how the gulls are pinwheeling in to fight over the starfish, and as a friend pointed out, the starfish has seen the gulls and is reaching out to flyyyyyyy! Little does that poor little starfish know that he’s actually going to be lunch and not a flying companion. Then again, maybe it is the starfish’s turn to fly!
I’m excited that this pattern pretty much turned out how I had imagined it. I’m debating the next step for this 12×12″ block. Should I make it into a pillow? A quilted wall-hanging? Or perhaps tuck it away and aim to make 11+ more of the blocks using up blue, white and orange (or other colors?) scraps along the way. I do think this pattern would look awesome as a full quilt.
What would you do with this block?
This pattern is for sale in my Pattern Shop on Craftsy; go check it out!
One of the occupational hazards of following other sewing blogs is exposure to awesome new (or old) fabrics. Last week I saw a post about a fellow quilter who found a small square of a gorgeous fabric remnant that she was trying to track down. I’ve been all about black and white fabrics, gray scales, and texts lately and this post was all I needed to bump me out of my fabric buying moratorium briefly enough to get half-yards of a few awesome and soon-to-be out of print fabrics.
I found all of these 100% cotton fabrics at Fresh Modern Fabric’s Etsy shop. The fabric came expertly and smoothly folded, gorgeously packaged, and Alice threw in samples of Up, Up and Away and Jewels! This may be a slippery slope…
Let me tell you about my new favorite iPhone app. I know what you may be thinking: I thought this was a blog about quilting and occasional knitting. What’s this film flam about an app!? This is not just an app. It’s one of the coolest, most artsy apps ever!
I first discovered Waterlogue when Nancy from graceandpeacequilting (Find her on Instagram) posted a waterlogued picture of her Tula Pink’s City Sampler quilt. I was immediately smitten with the idea of turning my quilts–or other pictures–instantly into watercolors! I don’t usually (ever?) buy apps; I’ve only downloaded free ones. Waterlogue’s $2.99 was an exception. Without further ado, here are a few of my Waterlogued quilts:
Don’t you want to turn your quilts into watercolors now, too?! Yeah, I thought so! TOTALLY worth giving up a half a cup of Starbucks coffee to buy the app, wouldn’t you say?
Note: I have NOT been compensated in any way by Waterlogue , I just think the app is extremely fun and creative. (Although that would be cool—Waterlogue, want to pay me for the good review?) Have fun with it!
I’m attempting my first wonky anything in quilting. “Wonky” is a word I rarely heard before getting into the modern quilting world. The first quilting blog I ever followed is Bijou Lovely, and it’s still one of my favorite blogs! The photography is always stellar with lots of bokeh (narrow focal length resulting in that gorgeous blur around the point of focus), the projects are gorgeous, her tutorials are the best I’ve found, and I’m always on top of the newest fabric lines by following. Holly, the creator of Bijou Lovely, creates a lot of “wonky” quilts.
Quilting is traditionally very exact and symmetrical. With “wonky” quilting, elements of the quilt are all a kilter, asymmetrical, or otherwise skewed. There’s a lot of wonky in the modern quilting world. Come to think of it, the project I’m working on may not even be categorized as wonky; it might be more scrappy. I’m still learning this quilting lingo! Whether scrappy or wonky, it’s a bit uncomfortable for me. I like exact. I like precise. I really like symmetrical.
So far, despite this new-to-me wonk (something with wonk is wonky, right? :)), I like the way this is turning out. I can’t show you more, since I’m testing a pattern for a fellow designer, and the pattern isn’t out yet! Once the pattern is published and I’m cleared to show you, I’ll be sure to show you the finished work. Maybe you’ll be able to tell me whether it’s wonky or scrappy!
I received the most exciting comment on my blog today–the gift chocolates have been received, AND the recipient has already made a gorgeous universe quilt using my pattern as an element… well, eight elements!
This gorgeous quilt was created in response to Project Quilting’s week four theme of “Across the Universe”. I think this quilt is a perfect depiction of that theme! You can visit the Quilted Delights blog to read more about Leah’s thought process and gradual creation of this quilt. I really enjoyed reading about how she combined various patterns and elements to create this well-balanced quilt.
Look at how cute that star looks next to the Tardis in flight! I’m so thrilled that my pattern is out there in the world… er, universe… and that it was used to create such an awesome quilt!
I’m not yet a sponsored blog, so I don’t have a giveaway of my own, but one of the best things about Fridays (other than the fact that it’s FRIDAY!) is the chance to win free fabric. Here are a couple of great blogs with today’s fabric giveaways. Good luck, although secretly I hope I win 😉
Pile O’Fabric is offering their beautiful blogger bundle of 8 fat quarters from Marmalade Fabrics. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been really into low volume prints lately, and the teal and gold combo in this bundle make me want to create something.
Are there any other blogs that offer Fabric Giveaway Fridays? Please link to them in the comments!
Tonight, finally, my family was healthy enough that I could sneak away for a bit of sewing! It feels like I haven’t sewn in weeks, but of course it probably wasonly a few days. I was eager to make a bit of progress on my Circling Gulls.
I jumped in a bit too eagerly, and in my excitement was a bit careless. Which brings me to a paper piecing tip:
When paper piecing using the fabric scrap method, be generous in your cutting to allow for ample coverage, especially when it comes to long narrow triangles.
When you are so excited to be sewing that you forget this tip, or perhaps think “oh, I don’t want to waste fabric; I think it should fit”, be warned: you may become good friends with your seam ripper. Especially with the super short stitch length used in paper piecing, ripping a seam is tedious and time-consuming work.
Despite my progress detour, I was able to finish the third square. Only one more to go before I get to see my block in entirety. I am really liking how this block is turning out, and the more I look at it and play with it in Inkscape, I think this block would look great as part of a larger quilt.
I’m more than a little excited! I’ve officially published my first paper piecing pattern! I decided that the little four-pointed star I designed as an element for my Delight in the Little Things art quilt would be a great spot to start in my attempts to learn the ways of Inkscape. You can find the pattern in my Craftsy Pattern Store. Since my original pattern is for a scant 4″ square, I included larger options in the pattern. Those two dollars and fifty cents not only will get you the 4″ paper piecing pattern template, it will also get you a 6″ and 12″ version. Sweet deal!
What’s even slightly more exciting is that I’ve already had one buyer! Little does that buyer know, but she will be receiving a little “Congratulations! You’re my first buyer” gift in the mail.
These are delicious chocolates made locally in the town of Belfast, Maine. I can vouch for their deliciousness! Yummm! Hopefully she enjoys the chocolates while creating some awesome starry project. I can’t wait to see what others create with my patterns!
I grab a needle and thread once the kids are in bed