Guest blogger: Kim Niedzwiecki, Go-Go Life
Kim Niedzwiecki is from Virginia and lives in the middle of a forest, offering peace and tranquility to her busy lifestyle. Kim has made this hashtag quilt from patchwork squares of Stile fabric, scrappy binding bound and beautifully quilted by long arm. Even though Kim has been only blogging since 2011, her blog called My Go-Go Life is fresh, fun and project filled with photographs of family time. The playfulness of the photos with her children and grandchildren comes though in Kim’s brightly coloured work.
We find out more about Kim and she shows us how to make this hashtag quilt. Not many have long arm quilting machines, but there are plenty of places that would do it or if you prefer hand quilt your design.
Tell us about yourself and what makes yourself tick?
I am a sponge, I enjoy nothing more than soaking up all the inspiration from everywhere and enjoying its goodness. Being a completely self taught sewer, I think I am lucky in way to be able to have all the sewing styles and techniques being new to me at this stage in my life. I do sometimes wish I had been brought up with sewing in my life everyday, but I am not sure I would have as much of an appreciation for the art as I do if that had been the case. I look forward to new challenges with gusto and am always looking for the next fun thing to learn. Whimsical sewing is my style, I sew as I go. This piece here and that piece there and if I like the look of it, I will go back and write a tutorial.
Your blog is called My Go-Go Life, how did the name come about?
My nickname is Go-Go Kim, a funny nickname given to me by a little boy many years ago. It was an accidental nickname that has become a huge part of my life. Everything I do is Go-Go
My Go-Go Life is bursting with bright and cheerful projects, what inspires you?
Cabbage, wood, flowers, tile, PEOPLE, chalk drawings, bugs…everything. I stop to look at texture, colour and design of anything. I take photos constantly of things I find inspiring to hopefully inspire others also. My biggest fun is #loveiseverywhere. I am seeing hearts in so many different things from soap bubbles to chopped wood, they are everywhere so I have been posting them to Instagram with the hashtag and have had other people playing along. The little things in life inspire me since they are often overlooked and undervalued.
Being a Mother and Grand Mother have you passed the sewing bug onto them?
I did not sew when my older sons were living at home ( they are 22 and 25) so sadly I did not have that time to share with them. I did purchase a sewing machine for my daugther-in law and she has the sewing bug for sure. the two children that are still at home have had their lives filled with the wonders of fabric and the magical abilities of sewing machines. My daughter does not sew but she has taken up embroidery so there may still be hope for her. My youngest son loves quilts! He takes great interest in the fabrics and quilting designs. I do allow him to choose fabrics and sew with me in the sewing room of course. He is the reason I started sewing and I find it amusing that he is the one child that is most interested. I hope I can continue to keep the fascination going for him.
As you say there are not enough hours in the day, if there were what would you do with your time?
SEW! I wish I could sew more and learn how to take sewing machines apart and reassemble them. I am amazed to the point of obsession with vintage sewing machines. I love the way they look and function. I have a small collection of vintage machines in my possession that have been rescued from thrift stores in my area. I have a hard time seeing the orphaned machines and so they come home with me. I do have a few that are not in top working condition and if I had more time I would learn how to work on my precious little workhorses.
Do you have any favourite projects which you have made and why?
Any Liberty print project is my favorite of course. The prints hands down are my favorite fabricto work with. I have little bits and pieces that I stash and hoard to take out on occasion to just look at the depth of colour and style of the designs. The project I am most proud of is the Viewmaster mini quilt tutorial. It is the one project that I really feel like I contributed something newish to the quilting community. It was fun and challenging project and turned out even better than I imagined. I am also very happy about the Wonky Shattered Glass Block tutorial. It is a new twist on a traditional block. I used Bloomsbury Gardens and I love how it looks like stained glass windows.
The Cathedral Window Aeroplane bag is my most recent love. I do not usually sew bags and when my friend Sara came out with the pattern for this bag I knew I had to make it but in my own style. I was looking for a way to make it unique and remembered the Liberty Lawn cathedral windows I had started for a quilt. They were perfect for the bag and it is now my favorite bag ever!
The favorite of the blog is the Cathedral window pincushion tutorial. It shows how easy it is to make a stunning cathedral window without much fuss and you have a sweet pincushion to keep or give away as a nice gift.
For the quilt tutorial I had a couple of ideas and then had this design pop into my head whilst I was out running. I drew it out and shared the idea with a couple of friends.My original thought was that this was pathways like in a garden, but then my friend Thomas mentioned is was an attractive hashtag, he was so right! I cannot think of a better description of this quilt except it is better than a simple hashtag…it is a LOVEtag
This quilt is a simple scrappy patchwork style quilt that can easily go together in a weekend! It’s sized at a very generous 88 x 88 inch to cover a full sized bed. The intricate quilting is by the talented Lisa Sipes from That Crazy Quilty Girl a professional long arm quilter who’s a serial sewist by obsession.
What you will need:
10 fat quarters
The quilt shown has a little more to show off the colours of the collection! The extra also made it fun to create a pieced back and scrappy binding
5.50 yards solid
5/8 to 1 yard fabric for binding. I used a bit extra to make a scrappy binding
12 prints used for reverse side of the quilt - 16 inch x 5 inch rectangles
Coordinating thread thread. I used Aurifil for piecing and Lisa used Aurifil 50wt for quilting.
Natural cotton batting
Cut from the fat quarters:
160 x 4.5 inch squares
Cut from the solid fabric:
4 x 28.5 inch x 28.5 inch
4 x 28.5 inch x 16.5 inch
1 x 16.5 inch square
To make the assembly easier and to give you more options during the assembly I broke down the patchwork squares into sections.
This gives the option to change the placement of sets if you do not care for the colours next to each other further into the process
The 160 squares will be arranged in:
8 sets of seven squares
8 sets of four squares
4 sets of four squares
All seams are 1/4 inch
Quilt top assembly:
Lay out your squares to find a pleasing combination.
Take two of the squares and right sides facing line them up.
If you need to and feel more comfortable pin squares together and sew using a 1/4 inch seam removing pins as you go.
I chain pieced mine to make the process faster and more efficient. If you do not know how to chain piece there is a great video on All People Quilt.
Once the sets are assembled, press the seams open. Line up two of the sets
Place them right sides facing, line up the seams.
Pin them together to make sure the seams stay line.
Sew sets, removing the pins as you go. Repeat this process until you have all the sets sewn together. Press all seams open.
Lay out the quilt top on a design wall or other space and make sure you like the placement, following the photo above sew the solids to your sets to give you a finished quilt top!
The quilt back was made using a few of the pieces left over after cutting the fat quarters, the batting used as a filler and scrap bias binding edge.
I would like to say thank you to Lisa for her awesome skills! I hope you enjoy making this project and it becomes a loved and cuddled quilt in your home.
Folllow Kim on twitter @gogokim