Monday, June 18, 2018

The Tonga Block - Aurifil Designer of the Month

I can't believe it's halfway through June already! That means I am the Aurifil Designer of the Month and my new Tonga Block has been posted! Last year (Quilter) Pat Sloan invited me to be a part of this years Designer line up and I couldn't have been more excited! Naturally I picked June (because it's the best month = summer) and created for all of you the free Tonga Block in EQ8. I had a lot fun making various color combos and playing with potential layouts in EQ8 and you can too. EQ8 makes it so quick and fun!
As I was playing with the colors in EQ8, I was looking at some of my Aurifil threads and using some of those colors in the layouts. I figured the brown could easily replace the black, but I was leaning more towards black in the end anyway. I'm still trying to figure out which color combo I love the most to sew into a quilt. Here's the Tonga Block in just 2 colors not including the binding.  (Turquoise and White)
Here's the Tonga Block in 3 Colors, not including the binding. (Turquoise, White and Black)

And the final combo, the Tonga Block in 4 colors. (Turquoise, White, Black, Rust)

I think my fav is the 4 color combo. Do you have a fav? I ended up using the same layout, but wanted to show that with various color combos, it can look very different.
Do you want to know what inspired my Tonga block? You can read more about it on the Aurifil blog. And when you are done printing out your free Tonga Block, head on over to Pat Sloan's blog to see some Tonga Block Sewing Tips she shared. When you finish sewing your Tonga Blocks, please share them with me on social media by tagging me @KidGiddy, #kidgiddy and AurifilDOM2018!

Thanks so much for stopping by, please be sure to sign up for the Kid Giddy newsletter by clicking the link below....

Disclosure: As a brand ambassador for the Electric Quilt Company, I received EQ8 program for free, but the opinions and comments provided are always my own.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

New EQ8 Foundation Paper Piecing Patterns

I've been rather quiet here on my website, because I've been so busy in the studio with tons of secret sewing and designing, that I haven't shared with you some fun new patterns I've created in EQ8 yet!

I could sit and design patterns in EQ8 all day because it's so easy. Getting those designs sewn up and formatted into a PDF for you is the harder and more time consuming part, but worth it in the end...right?!

Well here are some new patterns I have listed in my shop.

First up is a collaboration I did earlier in the year with AnnKelle (Kelle Boyd). She had these cute giraffes and owls prints and I just had to make them into paper piecing blocks. I wanted to keep them relatively simple - so I stuck with her designs instead of going crazy detailed. I'm only offering them in my Etsy shop (to control the VAT tax purchases), but after all the etsy and paypal fees are taken out, the rest of the money from each set sold, will go to a Backpack program that puts food into children's backpacks on weekends, during school vacations and summer. I'm so excited to help this cause and ask that you help contribute where you can as well. Food insecurity leads to learning difficulties as well as many other issues. Kids should never go hungry.

My next quilt is more of a personal design. I'm going to be making various Martial Arts animals for a quilt of my own, and started with the Tiger Tiger Quilt, as a gift for my former Sensei that moved down to Texas. He felt the Tiger was his Martial Arts animal, but I was also born in the year of the Tiger. I included the character for Tiger up above the face of the tiger. Each animal I design, will also have it's Mandarian/Kanji character above it so I can learn a little of the languages as I go. I also find Chinese and Japanese calligraphy to be beautiful and couldn't leave it out of the design.

I finally sat myself down and mapped out the Vintage Photo Album Quilt blocks. I've had this idea for well over a year, and kept pushing it further to the back, silly me. It's one of those really quick and easy mix and match patterns that you can fussy cut to your hearts content. There are so many options and the results are super cute! I'd love to print some of my family photos onto fabric and make a genealogy quilt that shows my family tree. It would make a great memory quilt too. There are so many blocks and options (just two shown below), but please know - no quilt instructions or measurements are provided because of the mix and match - make your own concept.

I'm excited to share that Electric Quilt has come out with a new EQ8 Designing Quilts book where you can learn all the tricks and tips from EQ8 designers. Myself included. See that Sailboat Ship block on the back cover of the book? I teach you how to design the block and quilt using my very own photo, step by step! You can grab your copy at Electric Quilt (and make sure you use the code "EQ8Kerry" to save 20%).

There's a few more new blocks coming, but those are still a secret. Hopefully these can keep us all busy sewing for a bit until I can release the others. Do you have a favorite? Is there a design you are pulling for? Maybe it's a new block I've got in the works, or can add to the future list?!

Thanks so much for stopping by, please be sure to sign up for the Kid Giddy newsletter by clicking the link below....

Disclosure: As a brand ambassador for the Electric Quilt Company, I received EQ8 program for free, but the opinions and comments provided are always my own.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Daylight Table and Floor Lamps

Hi everyone. I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to work with amazing companies and their products. I'm back again with more Daylight Company lighting options for your studio or work space, or even your home in general. This time I'm showing you two lamps that are versatile and can really make a difference in your space.

There are a few areas in my home that lack lighting where I do all of my sewing. Most of the lighting in my home is recessed lighting, which I can tell you, doesn't do anything for me at night or in the winter to sew or needle craft. It drives me crazy! Because of this lack of light, I often need extra lighting to help me sew a little longer. The Smart Lamp D40 and the MAGnificent Floor and Table Lamp move around with me everywhere.

The Smart Lamp D40 is small but mighty - and by mighty....I mean mighty powerful but not heavy. It's really an all around perfect option. Most lamps are so larger and cumbersome that you leave them in one place. This one is so lightweight, that I can use it in my studio, take it down to my living room, or bring it into any room where I need more personal lighting in. You can keep it straight upright, lean it forward (slightly forward shown in photo), and move the light up or down and twist for better lighting accuracy.

It packs flat - I mean seriously flat (you can see the folding this in the video) and in the pic can fit flat inside my bernina sewing machine case pocket during travels (my Bernina is the 530 and the bag is 16" wide - it sits slightly diagonal as it folds to 17" in length). I can even stash it flat in a drawer if I need extra space on my desk for a photoshoot. As you can see in the video, the D40 also has dimming options. I personally love the little images of the moon phases to show the brightness settings, because it's just a nice touch.
The D40 comes as white with silver, but because of the versatility of this lamp, I'd love to see it come in multiple color options as well. My girls would absolutely love one in their room...white, aqua, pink, green, you name it - it would look awesome. 

The MAGnificent Floor and Table Lamp is amazing. My eyes have changed drastically over the past 5 years, and although I have always had perfect vision, every once in a while things got blurry as I was sewing. People reminded me I was getting older...(thanks people)...and my daughter's eye Dr. agreed I was getting older which we all know happens over time...(thank you Dr!)...but he said I was also straining my eyes at night which was never a good thing. I needed more lighting or it would get worse, quickly! Now 5 years later - I wear glasses to see up close, or things are blurry. I still have to have things a certain distance from my eyes though, which is a catch 22! I have to hold things further away from my face, but then things are too small and I still can't see. The MAGnificent Lamp has been so super helpful for me in this regard. It's providing all of the light I could ever want while sewing binding or hexies, but it's also making everything bigger. 

The magnifying lens as you see in the pic above is huge. The front edge of it is clear to keep your field of vision clear and unobstructed. It may sound strange, but one of the things I love most about this lamp, is that the base can sit under my couch. The pole (which is adjustable to table height or floor height) sits in the center back of the base, not in the true center. So I slip the base under my couch so it can be closer to me and more easily adjustable. It's also super slim, and all white, making it almost disappear into the background (as all of our walls are white).

I hope these reviews are helpful. I love being able to hear various view points and maybe even alternative ways to use the same product. (Although I mostly sew, I've been dabbling in metalsmithing and feel like I could use a MAG lamp at class, so I could more easily see where I got solder and where I didn't.) If you need more lighting in your space, be sure to use the "kidgiddy2018" code on Daylight Company's website so you can save 20%. Please be sure to tag me on social media and show me which lamp caught your eye and you couldn't be without! Thanks as always for stopping by!

Disclosure: As a brand ambassador for Daylight Company, I have received these products for free, but the opinions and comments provided are always my own. I will receive a small portion of the sale if you use the coupon code provided above on the Daylight website. Thank you.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

New Daylight Lighting in the Studio

I'm back in the saddle...the sewing/blogging saddle that is, and I have some new additions to my studio that I have to share with you from Daylight Company. I told you last year about their Wafer light box...and now as a continued Brand Ambassador, I have some amazing lighting to share with you as well. I've been using these lights so much, that I took down my old photo light set up because these work so much better for photographs and everything else. If you need more lighting in your space - Here are 3 different lights and a little bit about each one.

First up - the Slimline LED Table Lamp. I love this lamp. True to it's name - it's totally slim. If you don't have a lot of space for lighting over head or on your desk, this is the lamp for you. You can completely straighten it upright or bend it in two locations, the middle and near the base (which gives it a little more length if using it over your desk). The base of the lamp clamps onto the edge of your table or desk...but if you don't have the right type of edge - there is a Slimline table base available on their website. For such a slim light - this one really packs a punch. Since this pic, I've moved this lamp over to my daughter's table. They really needed some light, had absolutely no space for a base, and their little desk isn't big enough for something larger. The Slimline sits just overhead and right in between both seats (and neither will bump their heads - being that it's so thin).

Next up - the baby Lumi Lamp (baby to the Luminos). This Lumi lamp is now sitting on the corner of my project/serger table (where the slimline was previously).
It has an overall white appearance which effortlessly blends right into this corner space. I've only ever had one lamp to use on my desk from many years ago, but it took up way too much surface area (about the size of a piece of paper). The old light was bulky and only provided light just underneath the lamp and was not adjustable. This Lumi Lamp clamps onto the edge of my desk, with a round base of just 2.5".
If I need to move my lighting, the spring loaded armature reaches far across the desk and can be lifted up or pulled down. The head swivels and tilts offering a huge range of motion which means I can use it for more detailed work or pull it back for general lighting. I can direct the light onto my desk surface, or I can even direct it onto the wall. This Lumi lamp is great for a small or large desk, or even a sturdy side table.

Lastly, here's the Luminos LED Lamp, I call it the mommy version of the Lumi, and it's is now my favorite desk lamp.

I have a bit of a strange set up. I have a corner style sewing desk with my sewing machine, and my computer desk butts up right beside it (check out my Luminos Lamp video see my set up). Lucky for me, the corner desk has the perfect opening in the corner for the Luminos Lamp to clamp to. This lamp also has a spring armature, and that means the Luminos with it's 44" reach, extends all the way to each end of my sewing desk, and also extends over my computer desk. It also acts like the Lumi, in that it swivels and tilts any which way you want. It brightens up the entire space if I raise it up super high, but I can also dim the lights if I don't need it so bright. If you don't have the right desk edge for the clamp, the Luminos lamp also has a wall mount.
I think what I love most about this Luminos Lamp is that it has actually helped with my aging eyes and the really bad winter blues. This lamp truly provides a bright white light and when it's sitting above me on a very gray wintery or rainy day, it helps brighten my mood. This isn't what it's for, and the company doesn't claim that it helps with seasonal effective disorders, but it def has helped me to imagine brighter and warmer days ahead. Let me know which lamp is your favorite in the comments below - or on Instagram - where you can find more photos in my feed of these lamps and others.

I hope you'll check out all of the other lamps and lights also available on the Daylight Company website - if you use the code "kidgiddy2018" you can receive 20% off your entire purchase. Please be sure to sign up for my emails to get info about new patterns, new Sizzix dies (coming soon), future sales or coupons and other fun stuff.

Disclosure: As a brand ambassador for Daylight Company, I have received these products for free, but the opinions and comments provided are always my own. I will receive a small portion of the sale if you use the coupon code provided above on the Daylight website. Thank you.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Electric Quilt Company Brand Ambassador

It's really no secret at this point that I have loved working with the Electric Quilt Company EQ7 program over the past 3 (almost 4) years. It's even less of a secret that I love working in EQ8 even more. Therefore I'm so thrilled and honored to share with you that the Electric Quilt Company has selected me as one (of their two) EQ Brand Ambassadors this year along side AnneMarie Chany (of GenX Quilters). 
Last year I created four foundation paper piecing dog blocks as part of my new #DogBlockSeries. I have always loved dogs but haven't been able to have one of my own since childhood. So I have decided to live vicariously through all of my friends and family and my love of sewing. It all started with the French Bull Dog as a collaboration between Christopher Thompson, his gorgeous frenchie Edie and myself for his gorgeous Blue Carolina line. She was a smashing hit, but she was lonely and so I created the Pug Dog.

Along came EQ8, so to test it all, I created the German Shepherd (one of the most loyal dogs from my childhood) and then the Scotty Dog in memory of my late Granny. She just loved Scotties - so with it being Christmas and all, I couldn't resist the iconic Scotty with a huge bow. I learned a lot about EQ8 while designing the German Shepherd and the Scotty and was so excited about the new features and some fixes that I hoped one day would be made. (I'll share some of those favorites later...)
With those four puppies done...and more to come...I started thinking of how I wanted my quilt to look. I brought them all together in EQ8 (some I designed earlier in EQ7 - so I simply brought them into my new EQ8 file) to map out some quilt ideas. I didn't want to do a standard 12 up quilt. That could take forever since I don't have all 12 designed yet. Instead I went with a truly whimsical quilt design (using the custom layout option in EQ8) that makes you want to sing out..."How much is that puppy in the window"! Right?

What do you think? I cut up my first French Bull Dog block to make it into a cute silhouette shaped mug rug (for Christopher's awesome #theunconventionalminiquilt challenge), so I need to make another one first, but I'm excited to make this fun #DoggyInTheWindowQuilt, who's with me? I'll be sharing the details of this quilt in my newsletter next be sure to sign up below!

In the meantime, I have a couple of awesome things about EQ8 to share with you. One of my favorite updates was the coloring. When I colored my blocks, and found a little line I needed to delete or decided to change, I would click back over to the coloring tab and then had to recolor everything all over again. It was as if the wind blew all of my color to the left. Sure it was time consuming but I just thought, it was all still faster than anything I could've done on my own. Now in EQ8, the program understands when you color something, and make a small change, it leaves most of the color there. If you have a block of 4 different color squares, and delete one line (so now you have 2 squares and a rectangle) it picks just one color to be from those two squares. It may not be the color you want, but it leaves the other two squares alone. So it's less recoloring, and that saves so much time!

One of my other favorite new feaures...and I just found out about that you can undo when grouping patches and numbering patches. So when you are ready to print the Foundation Pattern - the window pops up on the Sections Tab. And you'll see notes on the right side, and a little box (that I usually check) that says "I want to section and number myself without EQ's help". Once you check that box to start grouping your patches...this is the screen you'll see. It says "Foundation Sections: Now click on all the patches that you want to be in the same section". And this vast empty space...

After you click on the first patch you'll see new messages added...

The first one says "To make the shaded patches into one section, click the group button. But what if you click an extra patch? I used to have to click the "Start Over" button. Every time either in the very beginning or the very end. But now, see that new second message? "To remove a patch from a section, hold SHIFT and click on that patch."!!! Do you know what that means??? It's like an UNDO button without being an UNDO button!!!! And it's not just one undo - you can click undo a lot of times. All the way back to the beginning if you'd like. It's like this new little update that slipped under my radar this whole time, and now has me realizing how much time I will save when I have all these itty bitty tiny pieces and accidentally click the wrong one. What to know what else this means?

It means that you can also hold the SHIFT key and click on the patches too when you are in the numbering tab. It doesn't say that here on the right side...but you still can. I tried it and it worked! So maybe you want to change a sequence or you accidentally clicked in a different section and that numbered it B1, when it really has to be B5 - you can undo it!

These are just a few more reasons I love the new EQ8 program and over the course of the year, I'll be sharing some tips and tricks for working in EQ8 and hope you'll come by and check them out. I also have some new patterns coming out soon and a new 12 week sew along planned for Christmas. It's a quilt I've been trying to put together for the past few years!

If you are new to the Electric Quilt company, or just new to hearing about EQ8, visit their website for even more info and tons of helpful tutorials and videos. Use the code "EQ8Kerry" to save 20% off of all your purchases (this whole year!!!)! Don't forget to sign up for my newsletter. Next week I'll be sharing the Doggy in the Window Quilt measurements as I mentioned below and the pattern for this #GeoHourglass block I created for this tutorial.

Thanks always for stopping by!