Tag Archives: blog hop

Needle & Foot Blog Hop & Giveaway

I’m excited to be a part of a week-long blog hop to celebrate the expansion of my friend Bernie’s Etsy shop, Needle & Foot. Bernie recently decided to follow her heart and is now stocking a variety of modern quilting cottons in addition to her made goods, and she invited a few blogging friends to help spread the word and spark inspiration about what can be made using the fabric newly stocked in her shop. She invited me to select some fat quarters from her shop, and I’m excited to show you what I made.

She’s also generously offering a giveaway so that one lucky reader can win either 6 fat quarters or 3 half-yard cuts of fabric! Read on to find out how to enter! In addition to the giveaway at the end of this post, Bernie is offering everyone a coupon code to her new shop. Use the code NANDFREADERS15 for 15% off any order over $5.00, active through Sunday, March 26th.

needle and foot blog hop makesBut first, my makes! When Bernie first invited me to be a part of this blog hop, and asked which fabrics I’d most like to use, it was all I could do to resist her selection of Alison Glass fabrics, since, well… you know how I am with all things Alison Glass! I decided to go with a bit of variety though, with the plan to make a few small things and incorporate her fabrics into my current projects. Stash building is a totally legit way to fabric shop, right!?

needle and foot fabric selectionI ultimately selected two (2) low volume prints–Hashtags and Small Letters in black–from the Basically Low fabric line by Helen Stubbings for Red Rooster, three (3) prints from Sweet Tweets by Kim Schaefer for Andover fabrics–Rainbow on White (isn’t it gorgeous?!), Hip to Be Square Multicolor, and Cheerios on black, and I just couldn’t resist the Bumble Buzz Blue by Maureen Cracknell’s Garden Dreamer line for Art Gallery Fabrics!

buzz bumble rainbow zip pouchI probably could incorporate that Rainbow on White print into every single one of my projects somehow–the colors are just so perfect! I started out by making a half moon zippered pouch with the Rainbow on White and my Sizzix 8″ Half Oval die, and I added a meticulously cut, fused, and stitched bee from Bumble Buzz Blue as a fun embellishment. The colors play so nicely together, and there’s nothing like a little hand-stitched detail to add some extra fun to FUNctional.

buzz bumble rainbow zip pouchI lined the pouch with the Hip to be Square print, and love how festive it is. This pouch now lives in my purse, and contains two spiral bound notebooks and a couple of mechanical pencils so that I know that I will always have entertainment for my two oldest kids no matter where we may be. I will most likely add a few other items (colored pencils, maybe a matchbox car or two), but it is so nice to have a designated “kid pouch” in my purse.

rainbow zip pouchIf the kids decide they can’t share, I could always take it right back and use it to smuggle… er, transport… fabric!

garden snail snail paced sew alongI wasn’t quilt finished using that Rainbow on White, so I decided to pair some with the Basically Low Hashtag fabric and Cheerios on Black to make a block for one of my ongoing Sew-Alongs, the Garden Snail Snail Paced Sew Along hosted by Angie at Gnome Angel.  I’m using the snails to brighten up my otherwise-entirely-greenery quilt, and I think this little guy will do *just* the trick!

snail and low volumes worked into greeneryDoesn’t he look great up there!? I have also begun to incorporate both low volume fabrics into my Greenery quilt blocks, as you can see in the bottom left block. Low volumes fabrics are among my favorite to stash since there’s always a perfect project for them!

fabrics from needle and footI’m pretty set on sneaking one of these bees into the quilt somehow, too. Time will tell!

Giveaway

Now, for the giveaway! Bernie has generously offered a prize of your choice of either 6 fat quarters or 3 half-yard cuts selected from any of the available fabrics at the Needle & Foot Etsy shop.

To enter the giveaway today, tell me what fabrics from Needle & Foot you would select if you were to win. Leave a comment and make sure I’m able to get ahold of you if you win. For an additional entry, follow Needle & Foot on Instagram. For a third entry, follow Needle & Foot on Facebook. Leave a separate comment once you complete each entry.

This giveaway is open to US and international participants, but international winners must be willing to split the cost of shipping. The giveaway will be open for one week, until Wednesday March 29th at 8pm EST when I’ll select the winner randomly with random.org. Good luck!

*Please note that comment moderation is on, so if you do not see your comment right after posting, do not be alarmed! I try to respond to each and every comment I get on my blog, but with giveaway posts the numbers are usually too great to do this. 

Be sure to visit all of the other stops on the blog hop to see the nice variety of modern fabrics now stocked by Needle & Foot, and to see what everyone else made with them, and don’t forget to use coupon code NANDFREADERS15 for 15% off any order over $5.00 in the shop through Sunday, 3/26.

Blog Hop schedule:
Monday 3/20 – Cheryl @ Meadowmist Designs
Tuesday, 3/21 – Cynthia @ Quilting is More Fun Than Housework
Wednesday, 3/22  – Jayne @ Twiggy & Opal
      and Kitty @ Night Quilter – <—YOU ARE HERE
Thursday, 3/23 – Mari @ Academic Quilter
Friday, 3/24 – Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl
I’ll be linking up with Let’s Bee Social & Finish it up Friday. Happy making!

A New Face and a Full Week

Happy Monday morning! I have a few quick reminders to share today for the week ahead, as well as a silly story from over the summer.

American Patchwork Quilting Pocast episode 333 Kitty Wilkin (1)First of all, today’s the day that I will be a guest on Pat Sloan’s American Patchwork & Quilting podcast, streaming live at 4pm EST and available for download at 6pm–I hope you’ll tune in! You can listen on your computer, subscribe by iTunes (search American Patchwork & Quilting), or download to a player. If you can’t listen in during the live broadcast at 4pm, you can download the episode (Episode 333) anytime after 6pm. You can read more about my experiences chatting with Pat here.

grand opening needle & footSecond, today kicks off a fun Blog Hop celebrating the expansion of my quilty friend Bernie’s Etsy shop Needle & Foot, which now hosts a selection of modern fabrics. See the kick off blog post and lineup here at Needle & Foot, and visit Cheryl at Meadowmist Designs for the first stop! Come back Wednesday for a chance to enter a great giveaway, and to see what I made! In addition to the giveaways throughout the hop, Bernie is offering everyone a coupon code to her new shop.  Use the code NANDFREADERS15 for 15% off any order over $5.00 (the coupon code will be active through Sunday, March 26th).

old headshot new headshotAnd finally, a new face! Since the photos were taken over the summer and I never shared, I thought it was high time I updated my headshot photo! While I still think I look much like the old photo, it was taken nearly a decade ago on the windy moors of England. It was time for a new one. So this summer, I requested that my husband, aka fearless quilt holder assistant, take some new headshots for me.

garrett headshot
This is what he did when I was trying to take a photo to show him the desired framing for the photo.

In his typical form, he made the process fun, giving goofy prompts to generate the proper variety of faces. A model I am not, and a photographer he is not… yet I think we got some winners!

kitty headshots c/o garrett“You’re fun and sassy and having a great time…”

kitty headshots c/o garrett“So endearing and sweet…”

kitty headshots c/o garrett“…so you’re walking along and begin to realize there might be a snail in your shoe…”

So which am I really? Not sure, but I ultimately decided on a different headshot altogether; one that I think is a bit less dramatic, but still looks ok and looks like me.

kitty headshots c/o garrettI will be slowly updating my blog and other social media to have this photo, but thought it would be fun to share the process.  Really, the snail in the shoe prompt was too silly not to share… what would your face look like if you were walking along and slowly began to realize that there miiiiight be a snail in your shoe…?

With that, have a great week!

Oakshott Lipari Blog Hop – Teaser

lipari blog hop imageWelcome to the Oakshott Lipari Blog Hop! For those of you who have been following along on this fantastic hop, you’ll notice that today is my scheduled day to share my project made from the newest Oakshott line, Lipari. Unfortunately, due to a week plus of family illness, I’m not quite finished with my quilt. Lynne was kind enough to move me to the end of the blog hop, so you’ll have to wait until June 2nd to see my project and tutorial.

oakshott lipariIn the meantime, here’s a gorgeous peek at the new Oakshott Lipari line. These woven fabrics have black warp, and gorgeously glowing weft, making them decidedly iridescent. I love how dynamic their colors are, and I’ve drawn from the inspiration for the fabric line itself as inspiration for my quilt (the only hint you’ll get for now!)

I definitely recommend checking out the projects that have been shown already, and be sure to visit the rest of the talented bloggers in the coming weeks to see what they’ve been creating!

5 May     Allison Dutton       allison-sews.blogspot.com
10 May   Nicholas Ball         quiltsfromtheattic.wordpress.com 
12 May   Helen Purvis          archiethewonderdog.blogspot.com
17 May   Lynn Harris            thelittleredhen.typepad.com
19 May   Kitty Wilkin           nightquilter.com <— YOU ARE HERE
24 May   Jessica Skultety       www.quiltyhabit.com 
26 May   Karin Jordan           www.leighlaurelstudios.com
31 May   Elisabeth Vaughan  sharksdinner.com
2 June      Kitty Wilkin           nightquilter.com

See you on the 2nd of June! I can’t wait to show you what I’ve been working on. Back to the sewing machine I go!

2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop: Sign ups Open!

Around this time last year, after blogging for a few measly months, I was fortunate enough to find the New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop hosted by Beth at Plum and June, which was a program led to help new quilt bloggers learn the ropes of quilt blogging, get involved in the online quilting community, and make connections with others in the same situation. After realizing that many of my favorite “big shot” quilt bloggers had participated in previous years, I signed right up. I am SO grateful that I did. Not only did I learn a lot about the nuances and lingo related to quilt blogging, but I made some fabulous connections that have forged into strong friendships in just one year. You may remember that I even met some of them at Quilt Con!

meeting some of my new bloggers blog hop friends at quilt con
Meeting some of my new quilt blogger friends from last year’s New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop while at Quilt Con–note that Stephanie & Cheryl are not shown, but were among the many new quilt bloggers I met (or stayed with!) at QuiltCon.

A fabulous team of alumni are hosting this year’s hop, and sign-ups are officially open. I am hoping to be a resource and mentor on the sidelines, since I have a new baby arriving any day now. The talented team of mentors for this year’s hop are: Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl, Stephanie @ Late Night Quilter, Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs, and Terri Ann @ Childlike Fascination.

Here are the details on how to sign up to participate in this year’s 2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog hop.

2015 New Blogger Blog Hop

2015 New Quilt Blogger Blog Hop Sign Up

If you are interested in participating in the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop and have been blogging

  1. mainly about modern quilting*,
  2. for less than 2 years,
  3. writing at least 4 posts a month,
  4. are willing to agree to be actively involved in the blog hop through visiting and commenting on the other blogger’s hop posts,
  5. and have or are willing to open a Facebook account to participate in the group discussions,

Please visit and fill out the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop Sign Up Form.

*Modern quilting to you is modern quilting to us.

Note that they will accept up to 100 participants for the blog hop this year. The sign up form will be available until May 31, 2015, or until 100 participants have signed up.

They are also gathering advice from any experienced bloggers who wish to share, so let them know if you are interested in adding a post to their Advice for New Bloggers link-up (look for my posts there!)

When the blog hops begin, each of the mentors will be hosting a group of  blogs and I’m very much looking forward to following along and meeting the new members of our online community. Will I see you there?

Around the World Blog Hop

Welcome to rural Maine, your next stop on the Around the World Blog Hop! Stephanie from Late Night Quilter tagged me last week, and as she explained, the hop is like a giant blogosphere tag game where those tagged can share a bit about their creative process as well as what they are working on. Sounds like fun!

I met Stephanie less than a year ago, but I already feel like we’re sewing soul sisters. To start, we have completely unplanned, practically identical blog names that pretty much describe our lives. Since meeting Stephanie, we’ve teamed up (with Michelle, too!) on a number of fun ventures, such as starting up the Late Night Quilters Club on facebook, opening a Late Night Baby Etsy shop, and planning an awesome time at QuiltCon in February 2015! Stephanie is an awesome writer and quilter, and recently started a longarm quilting and pattern design business with her other half, Michelle.

Now, back to the hop!

What am I working on?

I’ve been finding ways to make more sewing time, and have actually been making decent progress on some projects. I recently completed two quilt tops: the rainbow jellyroll quilt for my daughter, and a pink and grey baby plus quilt that will be listed in the Late Night Baby shop.

helpful kids and a rainbow jellyroll quilt
Rainbow jellyrolly quilt top.
pink and grey baby plus quilt top finish
Pink and grey baby plus quilt.

I’ve also been making some (secret) progress on my July Supernova Swap blocks, but can’t show you any more than this tiny peek:

supernova swap block peek
Sneak peek at my July Supernova Swap blocks.

In my pattern design world, I’ve finished the sketch out phase of a new pattern, completed the fabric pull for the testing phase, and then realized I forgot to make the paper piecing pattern a mirror image before printing. Oops!

Fabric pull for testing out my new paper pieced pillow pattern.
Fabric pull for testing out my new paper pieced pillow pattern.
paper piecing pattern test fish
My IG post when I realized I had forgotten to mirror-image my pattern before testing. Fishie swimming against the current… oops!

As is my nature, I am working on quite a few projects in addition to these, including my first foray into English Paper Piecing (to be a table runner one day), a couple other paper piecing patterns in the early design phases, the very first quilt I’m making for myself, and about five+ projects that I’m itching to begin but haven’t truly started yet.

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

This is such a tricky questions, since no two quilts or quilters are the same. How do you define a quilt’s genre? There is so much debate about what makes a modern quilt, and honestly I’d rather be sewing than debating whether I’m sewing a modern quilt or not! I’m not sure I’ve decided on my quilting style just yet, and perhaps I never will. I definitely am drawn to more “modern” quilt designs, and I LOVE modern fabric. I still feel like a lot of my work embraces the traditional, and my paper piecing patterns are inspired by nature and my love of aesthetic flow. It reminds me of what my brother said about me in high school: You’re a jock, nerd, geek who listens to punk music and wears preppy clothes. Basically, I’m me. And my quilts are mine.

Recent quilty works, from top left to right: 1. Lupine paper piecing pattern, 2. Buoys 1 & 2 paper piecing patterns, 3. Circling gulls paper piecing pattern, 4 (bottom left). Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses, 5. My first quilt made for myself... still in progress!
Recent quilty works, from top left to right: 1. Lupine paper piecing pattern, 2. Buoys 1 & 2 paper piecing patterns, 3. Circling gulls paper piecing pattern, 4 (bottom left). Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses, 5. My first quilt made for myself… still in progress!

As for my blogging, my love of nature and photography can been seen weekly with my Color Inspiration Thursday posts, where I create a color palette from some of my photographs. Nature geek photographer, meet quilting.

bright pink peony color palette
An example color palette from my weekly Color Inspiration Thursday posts.

I’ve also started having fun blogging about my forays into pairing wine and fabric. You know you want to check out those posts! There are many more to come, don’t you worry.

pairing wine and fabric
Find the perfect fabric for this wine? Don’t mind if I do…

 

Why do I write/create what I do?

My Let’s Get Acquainted blog post from a few months ago answers this question fairly well. The bottom line is that I’m a stay at home mom of a two year old and a four year old, and I’ve discovered that I must create something each day in order to stay sane (at least somewhat sane). Taking time to sew and blogging about it forces me to take a little bit of time for myself, even if it’s only 20 minutes a day. Thank you, blogosphere, for holding me accountable for doing something for me: quilting.

How does my writing/creative process work?

I have a rapid fire mind that is constantly thinking of new ideas of fun projects, things to make, patterns to design, etc. I’ve always been a creative person, and quilting is just one more outlet for that creativity. As far as pattern design, I start off with inspiration, which can come from literally anywhere–a pattern on a building, a sight along a walk, a burst of color–, it becomes an idea in my head, then I sketch it out in my grid notebook, tweak it a bit until I’m satisfied with it, scan it, pull it up in Inkscape, and turn it into a pattern. I usually have fabric already in mind in that original vision, so that part’s all taken care of from the get-go, too (for better or for worse, as you’ll see below).

Inspiration for my buoy 1, 2 & 3 patterns.
Inspiration for my buoy 1, 2 & 3 patterns.

As for making quilts, I’m very drawn to the aesthetic flow of a quilt, especially relating to color. Usually it’s a color combination or flow that draws me to a pattern, and then I go from there. I’m really bad at following patterns to their fruition, and usually just use them as a jumping-off place. Choosing fabrics for a project is the hardest part for me, I think in part due to the fact that I typically already have the “perfect” fabric in mind before heading to the quilt shop. Maybe I need to just design fabric, too?

Now that you’ve visited my design space in rural Maine, I’m tagging these three awesome bloggers. Go check them out!

Laura from Adventures of a Quilting Diva: Laura is my partner for the Supernova Friendship Block Swap, and a fellow paper piecing and quilt pattern designer. She’s also the mastermind behind the #quiltspiration365 group of bloggers with a mission to provide inspiration every day of the year.

Anne from Play Crafts: I use Anne’s Palette Builder 2.1 every single week to create my Color Inspiration Thursday posts. She’s a computer programmer AND a quilt designer, and creates some awesomely beautiful stuff. Anne is one of my quilting superstars, who I’ve been following from my very first foray into quilty blogging.

Yanic from Family, Faith, Food, and Fabric: While not a strictly quilting blog, Yanic blogs from the heart about many things I relate to and enjoy reading about. Her blog name sums it up well.

To check out more of the stops in this wild, world-wide blog hop, here’s an easy link to a google search for posts: Around the World Blog Hop blog posts. Enjoy hopping!

 

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