2015 New Quilt Blogger Blog Hop


Hi, there! A big hello to all who are visiting because of the New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop! I’m Kim, and I’m not quite sure how to introduce myself  — if I’m being completely honest!

IMG_6770

To give you a little bit of history about me, I am a former attorney, who is now a stay-at-home mom to my three boys ages (as of this week) 7, 4 and 3. I am obsessed with the idea of a quilt as both a functional object AND art. I guess because of my background, I know that in the eyes of the law (copyright in particular), quilts are considered utilitarian objects. However, when a quilt is hung on a wall, it is really a piece of art. In most of those cases, however, art quilts are usually not washable, usable quilts. I am on a mission to blend the two concepts into one — a functional piece of art. It’s not really something that I see happening tomorrow. But I feel that it’s the goal that I’m working toward as a quilter and an artist. Creating something that exists in that gap between art and function.

improv image quilt by lelandavestudios

My mom began quilting when I was a teenager. It was something that I considered old-fashioned and dorky (at the time). When I was pregnant with my second son, my mom gave me a sewing machine for Valentine’s Day. I decided to make a quilt for my baby boy-to-be, and as you can guess, I became hooked! From there, I made a few more baby quilts before moving on to bags, makeup brush holders, and ultimately the quilts that I’ve started making today.

Modern Sampler Quilt
Long Island Modern Sampler

One of my favorite quilts that I’ve made to date is the Long Island Modern Sampler. It’s my own interpretation of blocks that were shared through tutorials on various quilting blogs. My guild picked the blocks as its “block of the month”, and when it was time to assemble, I added various blocks that I liked, in order to create an outside-the-grid arrangement. It even won a ribbon at QuiltCon 2015! (I know, crazy, right?!?)

quilt for jane by lelandavestudios
Quilt for Jane

Another quilt that I still adore is this quilt I made for a friend’s little girl. It was a baby quilt using exclusively Chicopee fabrics from Denyse Schmidt, assembled in a courthouse steps log cabin.

rectangle log cabin by lelandavestudios

Most recently, I revisited the concept of the log cabin, but this time with hand-dyed fabrics from Kim Eichler-Messmer. I decided to hand-stitch the quilt to achieve a folk-type aesthetic, and to echo the quilts of Maura Ambrose, who is a huge inspiration for me. I used 12 wt. Auriful cotton to hand-stitch the quilt. It is obviously imperfect, but in a perfect sort of way. I am seriously proud of this quilt, and it is newly hanging in my sewing room as a testament to my love for it!

charley harper improv quilt by leland ave studios
Charley Harper Improv

One thing I have to suggest, as a quilting tip, is that patterns are merely suggestions. I love to pull inspiration from patterns. But I have found that patterns can sometimes be construed as rules. And when it comes to quilting, rules are meant to be broken. Patterns are a great guideline. But if you look at a pattern and think to yourself, “I can do this better”, then by all means, do it!! All you need to tell people is that you were inspired, and give the pattern-writer due credit. But you are free to embellish, stray, and break the rules as you see fit to make yourself happy! Quilting is both a craft AND an art. Which affords you creative license to express yourself through your work. There is no right way. Just YOUR way.

exodus
Exodus

As far as a blogging tip goes, I’m not sure I’m expert enough to even share one! I guess my mantra when it comes to blogging is the age-old adage that content is king. Blogging is not always easy. There are lots of guidelines that tell you how to build readership, SEO, and how consistently you should post. But life is messy, and real, and there’s lots of times that blogging has to take a back seat. Readers are mostly forgiving and kind. Deep down, I believe, that if what you are sharing is quality content, then people will read what you have to say and they will come back to your blog, even if it’s not perfect.

Diamonds in the Deep
Diamonds in the Deep

Some other facts about me:

I am an only child.

I was a studio art minor in college (with a major in english).

I think podcasts are the best invention ever.

My love for avocado and egg on toast knows no bounds.

I married my college sweetheart.

Our second son was born on our 7th wedding anniversary.

My favorite genre of movie is documentary.

I belong to a CSA, which I love, but have yet to find a good use for gooseberries.

I dream of the day that I can have my own backyard with an organic vegetable garden and chickens.

So, now that I’ve shared some trivia about myself, tell me, what’s an interesting, random fact about you? Anything at all. A secret dream, a silly fact, or any juicy tidbit that you’d like to share!

Oh, and of course you know I’m not the only person participating in this blog hop today! So, please, give some love to the other members of my hive!

Cassandra @ http://thenotsodramaticlife.com

Deb @ newcreativestate.wordpress.com

Colleen @ https://colleenscustomquilting.com

And last but not least, a huge thank you to our hosts. This has been a great experience, and you guys have done a terrific job! Thanks so much Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs, Yvonne @Quilting Jet Girl, Terri Ann @Childlike Fascination, and Stephanie @Late Night Quilter.

30 Comments

  1. Hi Kim! I’m a fellow newbee!! You have made some stunning quilts. I do really love your sampler – I definitely have a sampler on my quilty bucket list. Oh and I also love avocado and eggs too. I don’t really have any secrets… I’d love to publish a pattern – that’s my secret dream. If only there was more time

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  2. I have been admiring your work for awhile now, and I really love the thought you put into each design. I think you are very successfully merging art and functionality. I raised chickens when I was growing up- it was so much fun and the eggs were amazing. I have recently gotten into podcasts. What are your favorites?

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  3. I am with you on CSA boxes presenting items that I just don’t know how to use; my biggest struggle are the dozens of plums we get at once when they are ripe (thankfully my husband can do the ‘heavy lifting’ there)!

    I am really excited about your vision for functional art, and I definitely enjoy watching your journey and progression.

    Random fact… hmmm… When I was 16 I went wake boarding with friends and fell and landed funny; I needed help back into the boat. After a week of debilitating pain, I finally went to a doctor and found that my L5 and sacrum were offset by about a quarter inch (oh the irony) and I had months of intensive PT. I now do crunches and abdominal work every day to keep my core strong and my lower back from being a constant source of pain. I don’t know if the fall caused the problem or just highlighted it. Long story, but it’s why I love going to the gym and ab work. 🙂

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  4. Hi Kim! Nice to officially meet you. 😀 I keep wanting to join a CSA, but with only a household of two, and we’re both picky vegetable eaters, it never seems like a good idea. Though, when I’m looking for new recipes, I use Food Blog Search. I plugged in gooseberries for you and it came up with some apple pie recipes, a hot sauce recipe, a cake, jam, and some curry recipes…. 😀 Maybe there will be something in there for you?

    Love that chicopee quilt, the border is what makes it. 😀 And of course, your sampler is gorgeous. Can’t say that too many times!!!!!

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  5. Hi Kim it was nice to get to know you a little better. I tried a CSA box once and wasn’t impressed with the selection. I have my own garden in summer so I’m used to a lot of different things. Some days zucchini overload can be trying. I love the idea of transitional art quilts.

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  6. Lisa

    Hi Kim: I love your comment about quilts being both functional and art, or both craft and art….and also the encouragement to see patterns as jumping off points. Your blog posts often encourage me to think and I welcome that. The hand quilted log cabin is awesome and I also love the orange diamond quilt.
    We also belong to a CSA, there are only two of us at home now so we get a 1/2 share. I appreciate having to come up with things to cook from what’s at hand …hmm seems I could apply this lesson to my quilting. No thoughts on gooseberries though.
    Random fact: When I was in my late twenties I belonged to an all women’s Morris Dancing Team, complete with bells hankies and sticks. I still have the bells to prove it.

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  7. It’s nice to officially meet you, Kim. And I must say you have a group of good looking gentleman in that first picture. I have your mindset when it comes to quilting. I want to create works that are both functional and artistic.

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  8. Hi Kim, it’s great to officially meet you. You have some really cute boys. I love your sampler and Charley Harper quilts. I really like sliced avocado on toast spread with hummus. My sister turned me on to it. I liked both before and never really would have thought about putting them together. No one else in the house will eat either of them with me. I live in a rural community but do not have my own garden. I see that there is a farm that supports CSA less than 30 minutes away, that includes homemade bread, eggs and a bar of homemade soap in their boxes. I am able to supplement our food supply by purchasing canned and boxed goods from smash and dent type stores that are in the area Amish community. I have a really well stocked pantry at the third of the price with items that just are not available here in the Midwest. I look forward to reading more of your blog.

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  9. Wonderful post! I remember your sampler quilt from QuiltCon, I love it. It is even more beautiful in person. Great intro post, full of great tidbits about yourself, eye candy, and advice.

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  10. Hi Kim,
    I was in last year’s New Blogger’s Blog Hop. It nice to meet you, and I hope you enjoying the hop. An interesting fact about me – I began quilting on 10/8/94. The reason I remember that date, is that I met my husband later that evening.
    I love your style of quilting. The sampler is stunning. Did you enjoy hand quilting? I always have one item I am hand quilting to work on while I watch TV with my husband. Right now it’s a king size quilt. That should keep me occupied for a few years. I do machine quilt my other quilts.
    I live in Westchester County, and go out to Long Island to visit my friends from sleep-a-way camp. It’s wonderful thing to still be friends, have all these great memories we still talk about as though it were yesterday, and have so much shared history. From your photos, I’m guessing you are on the bay side, not the ocean side. It’s so beautiful there.
    Enjoy the hop, and I look forward to reading more of your posts in the future and seeing more of your quilts!!
    Best,
    Anne

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  11. Hi Kim: I could talk all day on the art/craft/utilitarian debate. Quite aside from what the law says, I think that you become an artist whenever you consider yourself one. It really doesn’t matter to me if you’re working from a quilt kit, or making something completely one of a kind. Why is it that there are a ton of other items that straddle the art/function world that people are much more likely to consider art than quilts? Clothing, jewelry, furniture… you get the idea. When are we going to see Anna Wintour and a bunch of celebutantes vying for space at Quiltcon?

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  12. Hi Kim, congratulations on winning a ribbon at QuiltCon for your Sampler quilt, which is just stunning (actually, I love all of your quilts!) I really appreciate your tip about pulling inspiration from patterns. Up until now, as a new quilter, I have only made quilts following patterns. But very recently, I have been feeling the need to go one step further. I’ll be sure to continue following your journey!

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  13. I am so happy you shared all my favorite quilts with us! You know I love your style…you inspire me! I agree 100% about following patterns. I always find the need to ‘change it up’ when I see a design. To make it my own. It doesn’t always work, but it sure is fun! Plus, you never know what you will end up with. I admire you and your quilting journey! I loved learning more about you Kim, and please, by all means….keep doing what you are doing!

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  14. I’m a big fan of your work and I really love your unique aesthetic. So many things in the post rang true for me. “There is no right way. Just YOUR way.” I used to be an advisor and I said that to people countless times!

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  15. Wow, your work is beautiful – I’m actually a little intimidated. I’ve been quilting for years and I must say I am impressed with your aesthetic and eye. And talent. I remember that sampler at Quiltcon; love it. That said, I like everything I see on here. I agree that quilts are function and art, that’s I think what makes them so special for me. Up until recently I had been making wall hangings but suddenly I’m kind of into the small/lap quilt thing. I will make bed quilts too, but they aren’t my go-to. I tend to like the scale of smaller pieces. Still, I could be inspired to do some larger stuff soon, I think. So glad to meet you.

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  16. Hello! You have such a great outlook on quilting (doing it your way, and quilts being functional AND art) as well as blogging (content is king and life is messy). I love high contrast, geometric designs. Your Quilt for Jane, Exodus and Diamonds in the Deep are so great! I especially love all that’s going on in Quilt for Jane with all the great patterns. Oh, a random fact about me… when I went skydiving about 8 1/2 years ago (only planned about 24 hours in advance with my boyfriend at the time) I called my younger sister to tell her that I was back on the ground. She asked if I’d flown somewhere. I said that I had told her what I was doing that day. She got real serious and said, “What did you do?” In a sheepish voice I replied, “I jumped out of an airplane,” then added, “I’m glad nothing went wrong because you were my emergency contact.” Oops. I still don’t know how I thought I’d told her but hadn’t. 😉

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  17. I’m visiting from the New Bloggers Blog Hop. I think I have seen some of your quilts through linky parties. Love “Diamonds in the Deep” and “Exodus”. I just wanted to comment because I also have 3 boys AND my 3rd son was born on my 7th Anniversary. 🙂

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  18. Great intro. Love the shot of you and your boys. I’m the mom of two boys but mine are quite a bit older. My 24 year old just got married on my birthday last month! I was a week one blogger. Love your quilts. So much variety! Congrats on your QuiltCon ribbon. The Augusta MQG is doing a BOM loosely based on the Moda Modern Building Block quilt. Very loosely, none of our demos have been pulled from the pattern yet. I was considering skipping it but your quilt is making me revisit my decision. Thanks a bunch!

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  19. Liz

    hi Kim! Your work is amazing, and as far as I’m concerned you’re 100% achieving your goal of creating functional art. The Charley Harper Improv quilt is nothing short of inspired! Fun fact about me: my favourite sandwich combo is peanut butter and vanilla icing (“icing” is Canadian for “frosting”). I enjoyed your post and learning a bit about you and your quilting journey!

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  20. I love this list of your greatest hits (thus far!) on the quilting front — although you omitted Carnelian and Iron, which I still adore. : ) How did I not know that you were an English major?! Of course, your blog is testament to that: In addition to the projects you present here, I appreciate the subjects you explore with such thought and insight.

    My random fact: I have an unnatural fear of mayonnaise!

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  21. Hi Kim! It’s great to learn more about you. I was a part of last year’s blogger shop and it was so much fun! I really like your candid writing style and am a firm believer that life comes first and your loyal followers don’t keep tabs on how often you blog and that it’s more about the content. And you and I may be the only 2 who have a love of avocado and egg as a combo!

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  22. Kim, your work is beautiful! I totally agree with taking your own spin on a pattern and I am also a believer of the Bauhaus movement – form and function. So for me, I see my quilts as art while some other people might just think of them as quilts.

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  23. Hi Kim, sorry I’m so late to responding to your blog post. I loved learning more about you. You have such a unique style, and I love your work, especially your Long Island Modern Sampler. A random fact about me is that I consider myself somewhat of a foodie and an overall decent cook, but I make terrible eggs! Now if somebody does the hard-boiling, I make a mean deviled egg 🙂

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  24. You’ve made some great quilts. I especially like the quilt for Jane — the colors, the dotty-looking fabric! And I’m with you about patterns being suggestions. Most of my quilts are traditional but I pretty much make my own rules for my quilts (now, at least) — size, color, fabrics, etc. (The first few quilts were patterns from websites/books which I followed closely except for changing the size. I can’t do that anymore.)

    I’ve enjoyed my visit to your blog!

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