Tips, Techniques and News
From The Quilted Kitty

Teen Quilter Showcase with Sheridan Swotek

Wednesday, 29 May 2013 05:17 by Kitty Blog!

Hello Quilting Friends!  We have announced the winner of our Featured Fabric Friday giveaway and can't wait to see what Sandy B. makes with her choice of cute kids fabrics!  Congratulations again Sandy! 

Today we have another special treat for you - we are beginning a short series of interviews with area teens who quilt!  These motivated young ladies have each completed several amazing quilts and projects, won awards, and even taught classes (and all before graduating high school!).  With their passion for creation and desire to excel, these teens show us how quilting is done. 

Today our featured teen is Sheridan Swotek, a 15 year old from Malcolm, Nebraska.  Sheridan won a gift certificate from The Quilted Kitty a couple of years ago when one of her 4-H quilts won top honors at the Nebraska State Fair.  She came in to redeem her prize and we've been following her ever since! 

Sheridan began quilting in 4th grade when she was only 10 years old.  She was inspired by the quilts at the State Fair and hoped to make one that would be chosen and displayed there.  With help from her mom, she made her first quilt and it was chosen!  She has since made 6 more quilts, each one building a new skill and winning more awards at the county and state fairs.  She brought in 3 of her favorites last week.  Her Safari quilt has a zebra-striped backing for a punch of awesomesauce. 

Sheridan's Cranberry Splash was finished in 2011.  She spent two years working on this one!  It's currently her favorite as it was a lot of work and the quilt-as-you-go was tougher than she first thought.  But her hard work paid off with this beauty. 

Each quilt Sheridan made has a label that includes the year completed as well as the name of the quilt.  Each quilt name incorporates her name in some fashion.  The black/white/blue quilt pictured below is called Sheridan County Splash - appropriately named as one day Sheridan decided to go swimming at her grandma's instead of working on the quilt!  It's nice to know she's still a kid at heart.  :)

Sheridan does more than quilt!  She is heavily involved in other aspects of 4-H, including Modeling Madness and Nutrition.  Last year for Modeling Madness she made a raincoat and purse out of Morton Salt Bags!  Creative!  This year she will be reusing cat and dog food bags in her chosen project.  She has been teaching modeling and nutrition classes at a local 4-H camp and participates in essay and speech contests as well.  She even won her Bernina sewing machine through a 4-H essay contest.  Her mom confided that she was slightly jealous and upgraded her own machine shortly thereafter!  Don't worry, Mom, I'm sure we all would have done the same!! 

We can't wait to see what Sheridan's quilt looks like this year.  We got a sneak peak when she came in to pick out her fabrics and even saw the beginning of the special quilt display rack that she and her mom are working on.  If it's anything like her past quilts and projects, we're sure it will turn out fabulously! 

A special thanks goes to Sheridan for sharing her talents and beautiful quilts with us!  Be sure to leave her a comment of encouragement - I'm sure she'd love to hear from you!  And stay tuned for our next installment of our teen quilters showcase when we interview Michaela Little, an award-winning teen quilter from Rossville, Kansas!

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Featured Fabric Friday is back again!

Friday, 24 May 2013 05:48 by Kitty Blog!

You've probably gotten a glimpse of her through our Facebook, Pinterest, and blog posts, but we'd like you to meet Tracy, The Quilted Kitty's social media director.  She'd chosen the fabrics for another installment of our popular Featured Fabric Friday series.  Tracy has worked at The Quilted Kitty for just under a year, but her flair for modern design and all things digital have been a fun addition to our team!  Read on for our recent mini-interview with Tracy.

Why did you start sewing?
My grandma was a prolific quilter and my mom an accomplished seamstress, so I grew up watching them sew.  But I never really enjoyed sewing until after I was married.  I started to make things for our house, and the desire to be creative really emerged while "nesting" with our first child.  My favorite project was a fancy soft-structured baby carrier made with brushed cotton duck and Echino fabrics.  I love that thing! 

What is your favorite hobby?  
With a toddler and another baby on the way, squeezing in time for a hobby seems so hard to do!  :)  But besides sleeping in, I love the creative process, and lately I've really been enjoying designing our nursery and creating little baby-related items for all my pregnant friends (there's a lot!!).  I plead the fifth on whether I make a few extra things just for me too!  

What do you love most about working at QK?
I love seeing  how creative our customers are.  When people send us a picture of their in-progress or completed quilt, I'm always amazed at how much talent is out there!  And I get to help spark people's creativity through my posts on Facebook, Pinterest, and the blog.  It's so fun!

Why did you choose these particular fabrics for Featured Fabric Friday?
With a baby on the way and many pregnant friends, my mind has been on all things baby lately!  I'm especially drawn to cute little boy prints at the moment because they are so hard to find.  I chose a bright, fun animal mix of fabrics for a boy theme, and a cute sock monkey print and coordinating modern fabrics for a girl theme. 

 

This week we are giving away ONE fat quarter bundle - winner's choice between Tracy's two choices! To enter, just log in to the app below and follow the steps for your chances to win one of these wonderful prize packs!  We will announce the winner next Wednesday, May 29th.  Terms and Conditions apply - see app for details. Good luck and Happy Quilting!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Have you SEEN our shop this week?!?!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013 09:42 by Kitty Blog!

Hello Quilting Friends!  If you haven't been following along with us on Facebook, we have gotten a TON of new fabric in our shop this week!  The bus trip ladies over the past couple of weeks worked hard to clean us out, so it is time for some new, fresh fabrics to inspire those summer projects! 

Quilted Kitty delivery

And this was just Tuesday's delivery!!

And since our Social Media Director, Tracy, is expecting a new little one this summer, we were sure to load up on lots of kid-friendly fabrics for those lovely baby gifts and quilts.  We have new flannels for bibs and burp cloth sets (we can even cut them out for you with our AccuCut!), cottons for quilts and clothing, and even some chenille and minky for a touch of fuzziness. 

We've beefed up our color walls with new basics and blenders, and will continue to add more eye-popping focal prints for those projects you've been dreaming up!  I don't know about you, but something about spring always inspires me to start playing with colors and mixing things up as I try to find a fresh perspective on all my projects. Our new additions will be purrfect for starting out with a fresh eye. 

Quilted Kitty UPS delivery

Our UPS man with just a few of the boxes we received.  Whew! 


Stop by and see what we've added, or visit us at our online web store at www.quiltedkitty.comWe'll be adding new additions daily, so check back often!  Happy Quilting!

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Building a Killer Stash: Collect, Organize, and Display the Fabrics You Love

Wednesday, 1 May 2013 08:22 by Kitty Blog!

Hello Quilting Friends!  Let's talk about every quilters secret source of pride: their quilting stash.  Small or large, monochromatic or full of rainbow colors, building a good stash to work with takes time and effort and more often than not willpower!  So before you head out on your next bus trip, take a moment and read through our 3-Step Progam on stash building so you'll be a pro before you go.

Organizing by color can help you see what fabrics you need to fill your stash.

Step 1:  Collecting

While this might seem like the easiest part of building a good stash, a little forethought and knowledge of what you already have can save you time and money while you are in the fabric store.  It's easy to be swayed by a great sale or the cutest fabric stack while you're at your local quilt shop.  So be prepared by doing a little prep work before going!  Go to your sewing area and take a visual inventory or what you have.  As you look around, ask yourself the following:

  • What occasions are on the horizon?  Will I be making a quilt for any of these (i.e. Christmas, birthdays, graduations, new babies, etc.)?  Do I have enough fabric on hand to complete the project, or will I need to purchase more?
  • Do I have fabrics that will blend with a variety of projects, and do I have an a varied selection of novelty and specialty prints?
  • What about borders, backgrounds, and backings?  Do I have enough fabric that is suitable for these items? 
  • Do I have an overabundance of any particular color?
  • Are there any colors that I use in high volume that will need to be replaced regularly?

As you look at your stash and think about your needs, Step 2 will be a natural progression.

Step 2:  Organizing

Organizing a fabric stash can be the most daunting part of a quilters work.  Most of us would rather spend time creating and sewing than organizing and making our area neat!  But to fully utilize your stash, a little extra work will pay off dividends down the road.  We've pinned some great organizational ideas onto our Pinterest Boards to give you a start as you figure out a system that will work for you.  No two systems will work for everyone, but as a place to start:

  • There are generally four categories that fabrics fall into:  precuts, scraps, stash fabrics of 1/4 to 1 yard, and larger cuts of fabric for borders and backings. 
  • Precuts can look great stored on a shelf, or are easily placed in a drawer together.
  • Scraps can definitely be a challenge.  Storing same-size strips or same-size squares in a box can make things easier.  Others prefer organizing scraps together of all sizes by color. 
  • Stash fabrics and larger cuts (1/4 yard and up) can be folded the same way and displayed on a shelf.  Or use cardboard to make mini-bolts for display.  Another option is to use file folders and drape the fabrics over them in a filing cabinet.  Just be sure to differentiate between smaller cuts and those cuts destined for borders/backings so you can easily find what you need!  Use your imagination and figure out what will work best for you.

Have you checked out your thread display as well?

Step 3:  Displaying

This step often goes hand in hand with organizing, but it's worth thinking about as you look around your sewing area. Again, take a look at our Pinterest Boards for some visual inspiration as you think through the following:

  • Does the way you display your fabric inspire you to be creative?
  • Can you easily see what fabrics you have available for a new project?
  • Are your notions easily accessible?
  • Is your workspace layout functional or would rearranging the furniture help you to be more efficient?

We hope our 3-Step Program will help you as you start to build a killer stash.  And remember that The Quilted Kitty can help you fill in any stash gaps with gorgeous novelty prints, focal fabrics, and blenders.  What tips would you add to our list? 

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Designer Spotlight: Cindy Phillips of Cindy's Sassy Designs

Friday, 19 April 2013 05:51 by Kitty Blog!

We are excited to start carrying patterns from designer Cindy Phillips of Cindy's Sassy Designs!  Read our interview with her as we get to know her and spotlight some of her patterns.

 

Cindy's Sassy Sewing Quilt

Background
Cindy has been an artist and avid seamstress since her middle school years.  She made a living painting murals for homes and businesses and as her family grew she found herself sewing entire wardrobes for her girls.  After a tragic car accident claimed the life of her middle daughter, Cindy hung up sewing for nearly 13 years until her eldest daughter showing an interest in quilting.  The birthday quilt her daughter made for her sparked her interest again and she soon found herself immersed in quilting.  Quilting became a type of therapy, and soon Cindy began designing purse and quilt patterns.  Teaching gigs at local shops followed close behind, and Cindy began custom long arm quilting for many of her students as well.  Not bad for someone who was about to "retire"!

 

Just Kick'n It quilt

Company
Her love of art, animals, and family can be found in her business and her pattern designs.  Both her daughters are involved in the design company and help bring a modern twist to her line.  And her miniature rat terrier Sassy managed to get her name on the patterns!  With horses, dogs, and cats around Cindy's house this sounds like no smal feat.  :) 

Cindy and her two daughters

 

Fun Fast Facts about Cindy:

  1. Favorite snack:  Chocolate
  2. Favorite Quilt Heirloom:  Her great-grandmother's Drunkard's Path quilt made in 1910
  3. Favorite part of her job:  Quilting and Designing
  4. Favorite part about quilting:  "It has changed my life and brought my family closer together"
  5. Fun Fact:  She used to sew shirts for some of her pro-rodeo friends.

We hope you've enjoyed getting to know a new-to-us designer.  Head on over to The Quilted Kitty to see more of her work and to order your copy of her patterns.  Happy Quilting everyone!

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Pet Owners Photo Contest!

Friday, 12 April 2013 07:03 by Kitty Blog!

It's Pet Owner's Week!  We are celebrating our wonderful pets here at The Quilted Kitty and invite you to celebrate with us!  This week we are running a photo contest and hope that YOU and your pets will participate.  It's easy to enter!  All you have to do is go to our Facebook page, make sure that you have "Liked" us, and click on the camera picture/ photo contest link.  Follow the directions to upload your photo or link to your previously uploaded Facebook photo and get yourself entered!  You have until the end of the day on Friday, April 19th to submit your photo.  Voting will begin on Saturday, April 20th and end on Tuesday, April 22nd.  You could win a wonderful Fat Quarter bundle of our favorite cat fabrics!  Be sure to tell your friends so they can vote for you too.  Good luck!


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Beginning Quilt Class Graduation!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013 11:08 by Kitty Blog!

Our Beginning Quilt Class participants have graduated!  Last night we got both our Tuesday and Wednesday night classes together to celebrate and show off our projects.  These ladies have really bonded, and it's been so fun to watch them learn together and become fast friends.  The laughter that rang out each class time will be missed!  Good thing they've already signed up for other Quilted Kitty classes together.  I can't wait to see what they come up with next! 

Our few of our Beginning Quilters

 

One of our treats, and each quilter's finished project

 

We will begin another round of Beginning classes this fall.  If you're interested in joining us for our next round of classes, be sure to sign up for our newsletter so we can keep you updated on exact dates and times!  We can't wait to get started.  Happy Quilting everyone!


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Spring Quilted Kitty Retreat Recap

Wednesday, 27 March 2013 08:03 by Kitty Blog!

We had a GREAT time last weekend at our Spring Quilted Kitty Retreat!  Held Friday evening through Sunday afternoon at beautiful Mahoney State Park, 10 ladies joined us to relax, quilt, refesh, sew, socialize, laugh, and learn new techniques together. Here'a a photo recap with a small sample of all the beautiful projects that we made and worked on this weekend!

"Breadcrumbs for Quilters"

Heather worked on a 1600 quilt made from 3 jelly rolls.  She strung them around the room to help with organization and for a fun bit of flair!  Here is the quilt nearly finished:

Our little "store" filled with various odds and ends.  Just in case you forgot something, need a litle extra fabric, or are ready to start a new project.

We even had a design wall up and running!  It was a big help with the construction of this quilt.

Nanci worked on a little project of that she's been eyeing for quite some time.  This is her area - looks a little messy, don't you think?!?  But trust me, there's a reason for all that selvage!

She stitched together a tablet cover from selvages!  Didn't it turn out darling?  Nanci found the project in one of the books we have available called Save the Selvages by Sandy Thompson (give us a call to order it!).

 

A final glimpse of a few of the wonderful projects the ladies worked on throughout the weekend!  I wish I could show them all to you.

We hope you will be able to join us for our Fall Retreat this October.  Retreat dates and details to come! 

If you are bummed that you missed out this time, the best way to stay up to date on upcoming events we have planned is to follow our Facebook page or sign up for our newsletterWe hope you can make our next event!

 

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Catsino Night - a Cat House Event

Wednesday, 20 March 2013 09:46 by Kitty Blog!

What a fun idea from one of our local no-kill cat shelters!  The Cat House is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that has organized a night of fun to benefit Lincoln-area cats.  A $20 entry fee includes one drink voucher, $5000 in gambling money, complimentary hors d'oeuvres, desserts, and non-alcoholic drinks. A cash bar will be available (must be 21 to consume alcohol). A live auction and raffle will be held for great prizes, including an iPad, Nook, and 42" flat screen TV.

This fun event will be held at the Scottish Rite Temple, 16th & L Sts. Doors open at 6:30; gambling from 7 - 9 PM; auction to follow.

For more details, visit their Facebook event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/541939789171669/
or their website at www.thecathouse.org

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Congratulations to our 2013 Blog Hop Winner!

Friday, 15 March 2013 05:35 by Kitty Blog!

To all our entrants:  Thanks for visiting!  There were sooooo many good tips shared in the comments, and we encourage you too take a peek at what advice your fellow quilters gave.  We look forward to sharing more Quilted Kitty news, fun tips and stories, and some great items we have in our store in the coming weeks!  Stay tuned. 

 

Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways


And now, congratulations to SueAnn W.!  She is the winner of our "Beat the Winter Blues" blog hop giveaway.  She has won her choice of a Riley Blake Fat Quarter Bundle - either the Chevrons or Dots. We've sent you an email SueAnn!

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