Thursday, January 3, 2019

The Splendid Sampler 2 - My Grandfather Clock

Happy New Year! I am so excited for all the fun we are going to have this year, who's with me? To get this party started we have this "Grandfather Block" I was asked to design for Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson for their Splendid Sampler 2 book. It was so much fun to design this foundation paper piecing block in Electric Quilt using the EQ8 program, and then add some embroidery and needle turn applique. So if you have ever wanted to try a little bit of everything in one block, I'm sharing some of my tips here you go! 

These are the fabrics (all fat quarters) I was sent from Moda Fabrics along with some Aurifil threads. I wanted to share with you my process for selecting the fabrics so as you are considering fabrics for your Grandfather Clock, you'll have the best outcome.

As tradition calls for it, I used a pure white for the face of the clock and built it out from there. I selected the two tones of beige for my "wood" coloring. One as a lighter color as if it has light shining on it and one darker for shadows. I did the same for the blue. The darker blue allows the clock to have the "inside" feeling while the lighter blue helps the pendulum to sit forward. The red helps the face to pop but I added the tiny touch of blue in the center with the fussy cut tulip to balance out the blue in the lower half. So as you select your colors, know that using two tones for wood and two tones for the blue areas would work best.

To transfer the face of your clock onto a large piece of white fabric, use a strong light source (like the Daylight Company Wafer 2 lightbox) and a water soluble marking pen (mine is from Prym/Dritz).

Place your white fabric into a hoop to embroider the face. I used the 8782 Blue Wool 12 thread from Aurifil so it would be thicker and only require a single stitch per line. Because I used Roman Numerals, it made stitching it so quick (because no curves!), but feel free to change yours to numbers if you prefer.
Be creative with the "time" that you stitch on your clock. This can be a personal number or memory with a date or time reference. There are 4 members of my family (hubby and 2 daughters) and I have 8 siblings so I have my 'arrows' (hands) pointing at the 4 and 8, which would be 4:40.

When putting your clock face together and attaching it to your foundation paper pieced block, be sure to use a pin in the center of each pattern piece to align them properly. These center points are marked on the pattern pieces specifically to help align them. Transfer those center points onto your fabric and use the pin technique shown above.

When your Grandfather Clock is all put together, you can then flip over your block and carefully cut out the excess fabric to reduce the bulk if you choose to do so.

My Paternal Grandfather had 6 Grandfather Clocks in his house. I think my uncle now has them all in Connecticut, but I will always remember them scattered about and chiming throughout the home he built in Maryland for his family. The block we designed was supposed to represent "I'm living my best quilting life when....", and for me that is when I am spending time with my family and living a balanced life. Time passes so quickly and it's so important to not miss what is in front of you at any given time. So I designed a clock. But not just any clock, a Grandfather Clock, to add in that important element of family and history and making memories. Do you have a Grandfather Clock memory or story? I'd love to hear it. Please feel free to share it below or find me (Kid Giddy) on Instagram and Facebook to share your story there.

You can get a copy of the Splendid Sampler 2 book by clicking through to the Splendid Sampler website. Thanks so much for visiting!

Disclosure: I received the fabric and thread to help create my block and also received a copy of the book for having made my block, but the opinions and comments provided are always my own. There are no affiliate links. Thank you.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Making Quilts in Electric Quilt

This just might be the last official Electric Quilt Brand Ambassador post of the year. Not only is the year coming to a close, but my computer is very much out of room (literally only 22gb remaining). Somehow I was able to delete enough "stuff" to get this post put together for you. I've had so much fun experimenting with the Electric Quilt Company Block Spotlight each month and decided this time to screen record it. This month is the Amaryllis Block which is perfect for the Christmas season, but also works great for the spring time too, especially when Easter rolls around.If you haven't tried making a quilt and uploading it to the EQ8 Block Spotlight post, you really should give it a go!
When I am working with a block and trying to figure out a quilt layout, I treat it the same as sketching in a notebook. I just start and keep going to see where I end up. Remember though, it's so important to save each quilt as you go along so you can go back and look at them all, and select your favorite to sew together when you are done.

The first picture I posted above is actually the last quilt I designed. It feels super modern and geometric for a flower, but also directional and sharp which was very different than my first below.

I was trying to stay away from symmetry, but my ambidextrous self has a hard time doing that. I added some rows and columns and made it symmetrical and also rectangular. Here you can see with rotating the blocks, the star really pops and become the focus of this design.
When you start playing with color and even the oh so fun "Randomize" button, you get a whole entirely different looking quilt, with a very different focus.

Experimenting further but now as a more pictorial quilt, I tried using the Amaryllis block to look like the Amaryllis plant with it's long thick stems.

Once I had this layout, I wanted to try the other colors most typically seen with the Amaryllis plant, of white and yellow. It would make a beautiful Easter wall hanging I think. Perfect for spring decorating in your home. You could easily add one more Amaryllis block in a smaller scale in that very center square that is created with all four corners.

Now that you've seen all of the blocks, watching my video below (or on YouTube) will allow you to see the steps I took to get to each design. Be sure to subscribe to my Kid Giddy YT channel for new videos in the future.

What do you think? Do you have a favorite layout? Have you tried experimenting with the Electric Quilt Block Spotlights each month? It's a great exercise and great practice to get to know the program, so if you haven't already, I highly recommend you challenge yourself to give it a go!

I just want to add before signing off, that I am truly so grateful to be able to work with great companies like the Electric Quilt Company, especially while being one of their Brand Ambassadors this year. I have been using their product for many years now, and still find something new when I break out of my own box and pick a new tool I haven't used before. (Which reminds me - while visiting the EQ website, if you want to add anything to your stash, you can use the code "EQ8Kerry" to save 20% off your purchases before the code expires at the end of the year).

With that said, I am also truly so grateful for each and every one of you that has supported me in my pattern making and design work. I appreciate when you give me credit for the patterns of mine you are using, because it allows me to see how you interpret them and how much fun you are having with them. It also further supports me by helping your friends know where they can get the pattern too. Thank you from the top and bottom of my heart for every time you've read a blog post, every like or comment on social media, every purchase and share of one of my patterns. You all inspire me every day with your excitement and enthusiasm. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas, a belated Happy Chanukah, or Joy in the holiday you celebrate. May you all have a wonderful, safe and prosperous Happy New Year!

Disclosure: As a brand ambassador for Electric Quilt Company, I have received the EQ8 product for free, but the opinions and comments provided are always my own. This is not an affiliate code. Thank you.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Introducing the Sew Plush Planner

Many of you have seen my newest pattern the Sew Plush Planner on my Kid Giddy Instagram feed and some of you lucky folks got a glimpse of it at Glamp Stitchalot! But now I'm sharing it over here with some more details on how this started as the Bullet Planner Page Blocks I designed in Electric Quilt EQ8 program and became so much more!

The Sew Plush Planner started out as a two Foundation Paper Piecing blocks I designed in Electric Quilt EQ8 program, that represented planner pages and tabs (or pages with tab dividers) for bullet journals and planners.

What started as two blocks or "pages" for a placemat or "keyboard rug", became 4, and then 6 and then a whole quilt worth of pages and tabs and inside covers (because the EQ8 program makes it easy to make all the various blocks so quick)!
I went down a really fun rabbit hole of "well if this tab is flipped over here, then this side would be less tabs than it started with". Then "if all the tabs were on this side, the front inside cover would look like this, while the back inside cover would look like this if they flipped to the other side". I couldn't stop until finally I was done and ran out of the basic options. Of course there are so many more options and hacks, but I wanted to stick with this here and see what more you all come up with to add to my pattern.

As I began sewing the first two blocks, I immediately thought I want to have little tabs to actually pick up to turn the pages. This one little thought started me down a whole new rabbit hole, now lovingly called the #SewPlushPlanner! Here's a quick little video of it you can see in action.

There are so many options and different opportunities to mix and match and only make the "pages" you really need and want. Since designing it and putting it out and during (the many) conversations with my twin sister Sue @MossandLotus, we've decided it would make a great Plush Baby Book, a Plush Quiet Book (as we have always wanted to design and make since our kids were babies), Plush Memory Book and so much more! Make it plush, stick stuff inside and take it with you, or store it in a hope chest (if filled with memories).

Use fun fabrics to really convey the message you want to send...I loved using the Trixie fabrics (and Kinder letters) from Heather Ross and the Jot fabrics from Heather Givans (both for Windham Fabrics).

The little add ons for each page (or spread) are so fun and can be used for Sewing, Cross Stitching, Needle work, Scrapbooking, Planner Accessories and so many other things. What will you use your SewPlushPlanner for? What will you stash inside? Do you have a favorite page? Let me know in the comments below or join my Kid Giddy Facebook group and share away! 

Thanks so much for stopping by and thanks so much for all the love on this new pattern of mine. So many of you have purchased it already and I'm looking forward to seeing all your #SewPlushPlanners! If you have a great add on hack idea - please be sure to share it with me so I can see and enjoy it! As I am one of the Electric Quilt Company Brand Ambassadors this year, they have given me a special treat for you...if you are interested in getting EQ8 for yourself or anything else on their site - please feel free to use this discount code "EQ8Kerry" to save 20% off your purchase (not an affiliate code).

Disclosure: As a brand ambassador for Electric Quilt Company, I have received the EQ8 product for free, but the opinions and comments provided are always my own. This is not an affiliate code. Thank you.

Friday, September 21, 2018

EQ8 Block Spotlight of the Month

Have you tried playing around with the Electric Quilt Company EQ8 Block Spotlights? I've been playing with them and it's super fun. It's a great exercise and can help to open yourself up to come up with a different quilt with each block. I can't say different coloring, because I've been finding myself stuck on some specific colors, but different colorings would be great too.

This first one, the July "Arrowheads" block just might be my favorite. I wanted to keep it large scale (as I've done with the others) but wanted it to also keep it simplified. I used a simple fall palette (despite it being the July block) as I thought about cuddling on my sofa in our Cozy Away room with the wood stove burning. The quilt design was created as a Custom Layout with two full blocks down the center, and four partial blocks along the sides. 
This next quilt is the August "Pyramid Kite" block. I added in the blue and white colors to lighten it up a bit but also kept this quilt design symmetrical. This quilt was designed using the On-Point layout in order to create a much larger On-Point layout block to focus on the X in the center.

This last one (for now) is the September "Metalwork" block. I had a hard time with this block, only because it isn't symmetrical - lol. Never the less, I always love a good challenge. I reverted back to the warmer fall color palette, and used two full blocks and two simplified stretched blocks in the Custom Quilt layout.

If you haven't had a chance to try out their block spotlights, I highly recommend it. After you come up with a fun quilt design, you can link it up on their blog with each block post. You can see other designs others have posted as well.

Remember while visiting the EQ website, if you want to add anything to your stash, you can use the code "EQ8Kerry" to save 20% off your purchases.

Disclosure: As a brand ambassador for Electric Quilt Company, I have received the EQ8 product for free, but the opinions and comments provided are always my own. This is not an affiliate code. Thank you.