Monday, June 19, 2017

Monday Motivation { fussy cuts, up cycling & pat sloan}

Welcome back to Monday Motivation!  This week includes so many exciting things!  Fussy cuts, up cycling and Pat Sloan...OH MY!

I will be a guest on Pat Sloan's American Patchwork and Quilting radio show this afternoon at 4pm EST!  Pat and I will have fun chatting about SEWING ( I know you are all surprised!)!







Pat and I will be chatting about my favorites!  She knows I am a fussy cutting fiend!  I will fussy cut just about anything!  


For many of my blocks for The Splendid Sampler, I added fussy cuts like this incredible paper pieced block!



I have also been slowly adding to my economy blocks with fussy cut centers.  I have a tutorial on how to create a template for these fussy cuts with a video included by visiting here.


For really tiny pieces, this pincushion center was 1/4" finished, I use a stiletto.





I also try to take full advantage of the fabrics in my stash!  Try making a template with parchment paper and try different angles for more variety! 



I have been sewing along with The Fussy Cut Sampler on Instagram and here are my latest blocks.  There are 48 total and we are on number 13 this week! 





Finally, I was going to have this quilt top finished yesterday but the final block went MISSING!  I was counting as I was sewing up to a certain point but then lost track and LOST a block.  Not quite sure what happened to it or where is is hiding.  I will have to send in diggers to find it so I can finish this top!

This is made from 100% what I call thrifted, gifted and found textiles.  It is mostly shirts from the thrift store but friends have sent me garments and i will dive into my own closet to add to the stash if need be.

I have tons of links to sewing projects with up cycled garments that you can find by visiting here


I hope you find inspiration in these tutorials and make some creative time for yourself! 


Please join me for more fabulous tutorials, inspirations and humor that I share everyday on:




Sunday, June 4, 2017

Sunday Sewing { Fussy Cut Sampler Sew Along}

This past week started the Fussy Cut Sampler Sew Along!  My friends Elisabeth and Nichole wrote this fantastic book about something that is near and dear to my heart...fussy cut quilt blocks!

If I can add a fussy cut, you know I will 😉

Fussy cuts are a way to add an element of surprise, bring a block to life or tell your personal story.

You can start your fussy cut stash by looking in your existing fabrics!  There really is fussy cut potential in almost all small print fabrics! if you do not have a huge stash, you can start asking your friends if they would like to swap or find organized swaps online.  And even I am not above buying scrap packs from time to time!  You can find scrap packs in Etsy shops or sometimes in fabric destashes on Instagram.

We had the first chapter fly by this week!  Here are my first blocks...


Block One is a fun fussy cut fabric sent to me by +Pat Sloan!  Vintage FAB!




Block Two won votes on my Instagram stories!  The Heather Ross vans are always a winner!  I chose them and and his dog for the center and the campers for the outer two spaces to keep it less cluttered and to give a more complete overall look.  It compliments instead of competes.




The chickens were another Instagram viewers choice winner!  There is a cat in the upper left corner too ( someone has to keep the chickens in line) but she is very difficult to see hiding in plain view ( as cats do)!

I simply could not resist all of the crazy HOT PINK and red dots when I found this tiny piece of cake! 


When working with small pieces and bias cut fabrics, I use two things to make my piecing more accurate:

1. Spray starch!  I LOVE starch!  I may overuse it but it helps the fabric keep its shape and gives you crisp blocks.

2. Aurifil 50wt.  This is the most popular and best piecing thread.  It is strong, thin and will not let you down.  This thread melts into the fabric to give you the most accurate seams and the flattest backs you have ever seen.  Not all 50 wt threads are the same.  The weight is the raw material, not the final product.

I hope you will join the fun of this sew along with these fast beautiful blocks!



Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Up cycled Courthouse Steps Quilt ( quilting with garments)

I am a huge fan of sewing with what I call thrifted, gifted and found textiles.  For quilts I will use anything with the exception of knits.  I do not mind sewing with knits but I do not like spending the time to prep them with lightweight interfacing.

The youngest will be taking over the room that was being used by his brother while he was living at home for the past year and a half.  He will finally have the twin or bunk beds ( that has not been completely sorted out) and so he will need another quilt for the other bed.

I decided to make another up cycled quilt to not match but to be a "brother" quilt for him.  It will be a log cabin like his but it will be Courthouse Steps.  I have everything started and have been making progress...



These blocks are from bits and pieces that I have already in my stash and also from shirts that I grabbed from Michael while he was packing up to move to California to finish college.

I am piecing with Aurifil 50wt on my Bernina.



You can see more of the first quilt by visiting here.



If you want to know more about sewing with the thrifted, gifted and found...I wrote a Monday Motivation post that will help you get started into this amazing world of quilting  with something other than quilters cottons! You can find the full post by visiting here!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

What happens when real life happens to bloggers...

Blogs are places we go to see pretty, well organized, thoughtful, creative and motivational lives.

I am fortunate and have a beautiful home, four fantastic children ( even the short grumpy one), employment that makes me happy ( I am a Creative Social Media Manager working remotely ) and I have been married for almost 30 years to a pretty tolerant in-house engineer considering he puts up with fabric, sewing machines and ongoing projects all over the house.

In my life, you will not find a team that includes photographers or editors, no one to make graphics for me and no one to write or proof my copy ( although if I paid the teenager, she might and she would probably do it even better).

Everything I do on all of my social media is just me.  JUST ME! I am not complaining.  I find extreme joy in my life as a blogger and community builder. I adore people.  I adore the creative community! I find it a great honor to be even a small part of all of your lives!

I am putting this out in the world so hopefully you can understand that when there is a lapse, it is not because I am not wanting to be creative or share, it is because sometimes in life, other things happen and agendas do have to be prioritized in a different way.

My last post was a Monday Motivation post from 15 May.  After that post so many things ( both good and not so great happened) making it difficult to get my act together and even more difficult to write a blog post:


Here is how it all went down...

LIFE 101...

May 01 Michael told us he would be leaving for California to finish up his college degree in San Diego on 10 May.  SO HAPPY he is going but we had all thought he was staying until late May/early June

Everything is fine until...Adam gets sick on 03 May. We went through the entire school year with almost no illness at all!  We did have our yearly Christmas Break sick that seems to be mandatory but nothing major.  Adam was SICK. He was coughing for days on end so I had sick kid at home...and then Katy came down with it a few days later.  It was almost a full week of sick kids.  Not very productive at all.

Michael then was getting ready to move, getting his physical for a possible job in Antartica ( breast exam included...SWEAR!)...when the 10th arrived, it was really insanity!  I was helping him do all of his last minute packing ( and my work) and then he was on his way...and I was left devastated. I already miss him and Tara so very much.

The following day I was on my way to North Carolina to Pineapple Fabrics for their warehouse sale that happens every few months ( next one is August 3-4-5 and I will be there!).  It is a fast five hour drive from where I live so I go down, help out and snag some AMAZING fabrics! I drove and worked Thurs-Fri-worked until 2pm on Sat and then drove home.


These were all kinds of AWESOME!



I saw my good friend Jennifer Mathis from Ellison Lane Quilts and Sew South retreat goddess! It has been FOREVER since I saw her last and my heart was filled with JOY to see her!



It was a great weekend filled with some pretty amazing people and fabrics!


Monday I had work completed and my post UP!  I even had the house cleaned and almost 100% of the laundry done AND PUT AWAY! YAY ME!

Tuesday was possibly the best day I have had in years.  EVERYTHING was perfect.  My work was awesome, the weather was gorgeous and I had so much completed, it was crazy! I called the in house engineer to tell him of all of my good fortune and then said...OH NO!...it is too perfect...get ready for it!

I was born and raised in the South.  I am from pure bred superstitious stock.  I know it is all poppycock but when you are force fed superstition soup, you have a hard time letting it go, especially if it served up with cast iron cornbread and real butter.

And then it happened ( you kinda KNEW this was coming), I had a call from Adam's school...he had come into the office with a stomach ache.  He stayed for a bit, the let the nurse know that he was not trying to get out of the state standardized testing 😂 Even when he is serious he is funny!

He came home and things went downhill rapidly.  He was on the floor in PAIN.  I had never seen this in any of the kids.  The pain was unbearable. I convinced him to take a warm bath and that seemed to help for a few minutes until he got out and puked on the carpet in the hall because he did not have the energy to make it back to the bathroom...poor guy!





We spent another couple of hours with him in bed crying in pain and me not leaving his side.  Could not touch him but he wanted be to be there...and I was...

Until I decided that he HAD to be seen!  I found a local ( 30 min away) urgent care and broke every law making it there before they closed so that he could be seen.  Katy asked if I wanted her to come too.  I said yes because me carrying an 80+ pound child was probably not happening.

We made it with 4 minutes to spare!

He was seen and they took all kinds of samples, asked the usual questions ( fever...sore throat...out of the country...drainage (((((YUCK)))...and some others...NOPE to all of them.

The results came back as strep+ and a WBC over 34 THOUSAND...and with that we won the ticket to the closest emergency room.

Checking into the ER is always a crap shoot.  Sometimes you can get there and it is not too bad.  That was NOT the case at all the night we checked in at 11:01pm.  We waited...and waited...and waited...and waited...

Katy worked on her school paper that was due on her cell phone and my phone was almost dead.  I did not think we were going to be going to the ER so I did not bring my laptop or my charger for my phones.

They called us back at 0400...that is FOUR AM for those that were not in the military!  He was seen for five minutes by a kind dr and then it was decided that Adam would have to get shots of antibiotics.  Then more waiting...

We finally walked through the door of home at 0530.  Just in time for the in house engineer to go to work and for Katy to get ready for school.  YES, she told me that not only was she going to school, she had a tennis match. She is crazy!

I went to bed.  Staying up 24 hours was just not something this 50 year old could manage! Adam woke me up at 9:30 and was not in as much pain.  He had a fever at this point and still needed me so I spent time with him.

We are at Wed 17 may now, I think...

On Wednesday it was decided that I was going to be attending Quilt Market. I made my flight reservations, already had a place to stay and then started organizing all of the graphics and schedules for Missing Market.  I had all the graphics completed on Wednesday evening and started on all of the copy on Thursday.

My flight was Friday evening and I packed about one hour before I left home.  Thank goodness Adam was feeling much much better by Friday morning.

I was still working my regular job during all of this, so you can see where I may have had to make judgement calls for my poor blog.

Fly into St.Louis Friday night about 11pm...bed at 12am...OMG!!!!

I hit the Market floor with Sara the following morning at 9:30am!




I spent all day Saturday and only half the day Sunday taking notes ( I did not take photos because the lighting in there was the WORST), talking to people and trying to stay caught up on the Missing Market event.

I was so happy to see many people I have not seen in over a year.  Elisabeth from Robert Kaufman and author of the new book Fussy Cut Sampler ( I will be participating in the blog hop here)



I also met Mister Domestic!  We have been social media friends for some time now but this was the first time I had met him in real life.  He is as much of a trip in person as he is online.  It always amazes me when people say to me, " You are JUST like you are online!"  I am always me...and Mathew is ALWAYS himself, I like that! 





I flew home on Sunday and my head did not hit my pillow until 2 AM!


Yesterday ( we are now up to date almost), I was a zombie!  I still had to get kids ready, catch up on work and housework...it was all pretty crazy!

So here I am today.  Hoping that the rest of this week will be uneventful so I will be able to take care of my family, my business, my creative time and...yes...my blog!

I love my place here, it has been my place to share, to dream and to make connections with people that have been friends in real life and online.

After I emptied my bag today ( looking for my keys because some DUFUS made two drs appointments on the SAME FREAKING DAY), these goodies fell out and they were just perfect to brighten my day and quilt those superstitious deamons!



I am hoping to have more pretty photos and projects up VERY soon! What happens when bloggers are interrupted by real life  ( both good and some not so good) is lapsed posts.









Monday, May 15, 2017

Monday Motivation {4th of July free pattern links}

Welcome back to Monday Motivation! Warmer weather and July 4th will be here before you know it!  Time to start getting ready for parades, block parties and BBQ!

In this week's collection are free patterns for quilts, printables, pinwheels and other fun things to make your day memorable!

Get ready for the RED, WHITE and BLUE!!!!!










Bonnie Hunter has this fabulous Red White and Blue free quilt pattern here.




Star Spangled Banner Bunting free pattern from Petals to Pitocs can be found by visiting here.



Better Homes and Gardens has a collection of free small quilts including this Patriotic table topper! This pattern and more can be found by visiting here.




Take over as grill master with this fun apron pattern free from Crazy Little Projects.



Make some cute Star potholders using this free tutorial from Art Threads that can be found here.



Free 4th of July party printables can be found on Tip Junkie




Make these fun festive stars to add to your July 4th party! Lia Griffith has the how to for this creative DIY here!



Patchwork Posse has an adorable Quilt As You Go Pillow tutorial perfect for your home decor! 



Looking for a way to add fireworks to your cones?  That Bald Chic has a tutorial that will delight the kids ( and some adults too)! 



This stitching project is free from Glory Bee and can be found by visiting here.



Maison De Pax has the most adorable mason jar diy that can be found here



Paper Pinwheels are EVERYTHING for a block party or July 4th parade! Good Housekeeping has the how to for these fun additions here.








I hope you find inspiration in these tutorials and make some creative time for yourself! 


Please join me for more fabulous tutorials, inspirations and humor that I share everyday on:










Friday, May 12, 2017

Dandy Drive Sew Along Final and Giveaway!

It is time to wrap things up for the Dandy Drive Sew Along with Sarah J. Maxwell and Pat Sloan!  The past few weeks have been FAST!  Hope you have been having fun sewing along with us and getting from start to finish in recored time!




The progress train got off track because I am stumped on how to quilt it! Isn't that always the way? 

My good friend Mandy from Mandalei Quilts just opened up her new long arm studio in New York...I may see if she can fit this one in for some negative space fun! 

How would you quilt this one?  Simple organic lines, pebbles, grid ( I LOVE grid), FLOWERS!  



Here are some of my progress shots! 








There are LOADS more FABULOUS DESIGNERS that are participating in this fun sew along so be sure to stop in and see what they are doing too! 



Kim Niedzwiecki ( you are here) Facebook/Instagram/Website

Jane Davidson: Facebook/Instagram/Website
Jacquelynne Steves: Facebook/Instagram/Blog/Facebook Group

Kerry Goulder: Facebook/Instagram/Blog

Heather Valentine: Facebook/Instagram/Blog/Facebook Group



This week the giveaway is not one but TWO Aurifil thread collections! One from Pat and one from Sarah!  To enter for your chance to win these small spool thread collections please visit HERE!



Thank you for stopping by every week for progress shots and hope you have enjoyed this fun sew along! 

Friday, May 5, 2017

Dandy Drive Sew Along!


This week is working on sewing it up! I have not made ALL of the required blocks so I am getting creative with what I DO have and will be making a much smaller quilt.  If you have not started making the quilt yet, you can see how wonderfully large the flowers are!  This is being held up ( rather reluctantly) by a 10 year old home with a terrible cold.  The storms were headed in so, I had no choice.  

You know as quilters, we do what we must.  I bought him ice cream to make it up to him! But he is tall and this section covers him up! 

These flowers are incredible!




In the beginning, when I was looking through the instructions and cutting fabrics, I was thinking that this was going to be more 6 inch blocks.  That is all I have been making for the last year with The Splendid Sampler and The Tula Pink Modern City Sampler. 

These are NOT 6 inch blocks and I completely miscalculated what I would need.  That made to be CREATIVE with FABRIC!  

I had some scrap of Field Study from Anna Maria Horner that had all of the colors I was looking for to use in the flower and...YAY ME...it looks perfect!  

The number one thing I love about scrappy quilting is that you CAN add whatever whenever and it still looks great! 




Now that you have seen the size of the blocks, imagine an ENTIRE quilt with them!  You can find the patterns for the full quilt by visiting Sarah J. Maxwell's or Pat Sloan's site



There are LOADS more FABULOUS DESIGNERS that are participating in this fun sew along so be sure to stop in and see what they are doing too! 

Kim Niedzwiecki ( you are here) Facebook/Instagram/Website
Jane Davidson: Facebook/Instagram/Website
Jacquelynne Steves: Facebook/Instagram/Blog/Facebook Group
Kerry Goulder: Facebook/Instagram/Blog
Heather Valentine: Facebook/Instagram/Blog/Facebook Group
Sarah: Facebook/Instagram/Website


Make sure to enter for your chance to win this week's GIVEAWAY!!!
A FULL Fat Quarter Bundle!
Not too shabby😉

To enter for your chance to WIN this fat quarter bundle, visit Pat's blog HERE


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