My turn for the New Quilt Bloggers blog tour!

This week I am one of the many quilt bloggers that are participating in a blog hop that Beth, from Plum and June is organizing- Welcome!

Fun facts about me, some photos, a link or two (possibly to a YouTube video) and of course A LOT to do about quilting will be found in this post and my blog.

Why am I hopping you ask? Well pull up a chair, or if you are like me, fluff your bed pillows and get comfortable and let’s blog.

My name is Kristyn and I have been quilting for 15 years- I started with a learn to quilt class, so that I could make a quilt for my daughter.  I have been sewing for what seems like forever, but actually is more like 30 years. As a kid I sewed pillows, dolls (wonder if my mom still has her Mother’s day present- a doll named Ned), knit diapers for my dolls, did needle point- whatever crafty project I could think of, but never made a quilt. After making my first quilt I was hooked and quilting has changed my life in ways I never dreamed of 15 years ago. Through quilting I have met my best friend (I was the one and only viewer’s choice vote for her quilt), travelled the world, bought way more fabric than I will ever use (reason for going on a 6 month fabric diet), and get to to go work every day where I can crank the music, set my own hours and work in my pjs.

Fast forward to a little more recently- and while I still do other crafts, I mainly quilt, more specifically I am a long arm machine quilter. I jumped into quilting with both feet but lost interest a few years back when I was bored with the same old, same old. I gave up making my own quilts because my original passion was gone.

Last year I was bitten by the colour bug and have been on a solid fabric kick ever since. Kona Cottons are my new best friend.  Just tonight I found out there are 32 new colours of Kona coming out in August- WOO HOO.  I also decided, that this year I would start quilting for myself again, which I can happily say has rejuvenated my love for quilting. Gone are my Thimbleberries and Reproduction prints, I am on to bigger, better and BRIGHTER fabrics.

The-One-Elton-John

Being a quilter and a machine quilter has opened up some amazing opportunities for me. In 2008, I travelled to South Africa to teach a group of Zulu women long arm machine quilting so that they could learn skills, sell quilts and support their families. Later that year we sponsored one Zulu lady named Lungile to come to Canada for 6 weeks for further training. You can read more about these trips here: AFRICA  LUNGILE

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In 2011, I travelled to Nicaragua to once again teach some young ladies how to quilt. This group was setting up a Co-op where they could sell the items they made and make an income to support their families too. They made quilts for their own children as well as worked together as a group to sell larger quilts. Here is a link about this trip: NICARAGUA

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Earlier this year I started volunteering closer to home with a Learn to Quilt class in a Community Housing complex. Unlike my other 2 teaching opportunities where I taught for 2 weeks then came back home, this time I get to follow the students for months and months, sharing in their accomplishments right along with them. This experience is so rewarding and it made me realize that when I teach quilting I only want to teach people, that for whatever reason don’t have the means to take classes on their own. I want to give them a hand up and teach them skills so that they can be proud, confident women, rather than just giving them a hand out.  Seeing these women and how excited they are when they hold up a finished block, or when they are working on the binding and almost done the first quilt they ever made- it’s just so wonderful.  Ok time to put away my Kleenexes.

Here are some random facts about me so you can get to know me a little bit better as well as a list of some of my favourite things.

Sign: Virgo, which makes me somewhat of a perfectionist
Author: Charles Martin- if you want to cry, read any of his books
Animal: Whales-who wouldn’t love to swim all day long?
Colour: Green with Blue and Purple close seconds
Favourite place to vacation: Site 367 at Pancake Bay Provincial Park
Cosmetics: Burt’s Bees lip balm
Movie: Valley Girl, oh be still my heart a young Nicholas Cage
Band: The one, the only, accept no substitutes-CHEAP TRICK
Tattoo: Yes- quilting related
Food: Soup, though I can’t leave out chocolate, but never in the same meal
Sport: Swimming, but I currently have a shoulder injury so it’s more like floating right now
Quote: ‎ ‎…sometimes it is necessary 
to re-teach a thing its loveliness, 
to put a hand on the brow 
of the flower 
and retell it in words and in touch 
it is lovely 
until it flowers again from within…
Dream Vacation: Someday- Britain, Ireland, Scotland, Wales
Pet: Deaf Old English Sheepdog rescue named Dulux- yes he knows some sign language
Child: 6-foot tall, 16 year old, beautiful and talented daughter
Love: My high school sweetheart- yes he still puts up with me after all these years

I live in a small town just 5 to 10 minutes (depending which mall you want to go to) outside of a larger city. Our town is famous for the Olympic Ice Dancing team- Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue. We moved in when there were only a few hundred people but 20 years later and 3 massive developments and I am getting the desire to move.  If I could have running water, no bugs, the Internet, and a local quilt shop nearby- I would totally move WAY up north, away from neighbours and become a hermit. Not sure my list of demands is a reasonable one, so I will be staying put for a little while longer.

In addition to changing my style of quilting to a more modern feel, I wanted to be part of this Blog Hop as a way to get to know more people, get back into quilting and do something new for my business. For years I have been driving my daughter to lessons (swimming, dance, vocal, gymnastics- oh the list could go on and on) but now that she is able to drive herself, and doing less activities, I am enjoying my new found ME time again and have re-joined some quilt guilds. We have a local chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild and I have recently become the Membership/ Treasurer. It’s good to get out of the house and see some familiar faces at quilt shows and meetings. Maybe becoming a hermit isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I like people who share the same interests as I do, I just don’t like my backyard neighbours-LOL

BAD NEIGHBOURS MOVIE– This movie looks tame compared to what we have behind us- BELIEVE ME! I am not even exaggerating, yet only family lives there, not a whole Frat House.

OK enough ranting about my terrible neighbours, back to quilting, the whole reason you are here. Well I hope you are still here, you may have left by now as I am totally boring you. Or you may be off to rent the Neighbours movie because it does look funny, unless you are actually living it.

What I like about quilting- Fabric and thread. What else is there?
What I don’t like about quilting- That I have WAY more ideas and projects than I do time.
What I like about blogs- Fresh colourful blogs with lots of photos of fabric and finished projects, they are really very inspirational. I love to read about what others are making.
What I don’t like about blogging- How much time I spend clicking and clicking in to the wee hours of the night. I am getting old, I need my beauty sleep.  Click…Click.Click…

A few more little bits about my quilting before you get to the end of this post. I LOVE the rock band Cheap Trick, Just Got Back (one of their songs) from a concert a few weeks ago where I gave the guitar player one of the many quilts I have made for him. Have a look at the others on this page. CHEAP TRICK (I am growing out my grey hair, but after being soaked in the rain, this photo of me might make me rethink my current hair style)
Also, I name my own quilts after song titles from bands I like. If a quilt reminds me of a band or song then that is what it gets named. Here is a link to some of those quilts. I can picture my daughter’s eyes rolling and her saying Mom, you are such a nerd. What can I say, I like music and quilting, and I listen to music while quilting, why not combine them even further? Just finishing the binding on White Trash Wedding (Dixie Chicks) so check back for a photo in a few days.

SOOOOO…… I have typed enough for one post, thanks for making it this far! I do appreciate you reading and stopping by!

I find I am spending hours on the computer looking at everyone’s blogs and there are some nice ones out there. I hope mine stacks up.

Here are this week’s blogs- go on, click on them, I dare you. Work, chores or sleep can wait.
Have a look around and get to know some more quilters out there.

Thanks again Beth from Plum and June for hosting and organizing this blog hop- you are awesome!

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52 comments

  1. Karin @ Leigh Laurel Studios says:

    Hi Kristyn! I am amazed by your travels. My husband has to / gets to go to Cape Town next month and I think I’m envious. I’ve been collecting solids lately myself; after doing several busy quilts I tend to switch to solids for a while. I had one blind beagle and one deaf beagle (at the same time) for a while. It was comical!

    • Kristyn says:

      Your husband will love travelling to Cape Town- I think that is a more touristy spot than where I was, bet it will be beautiful! Maybe one day you can go together?
      Solids with a few prints are my favourite lately- got the 32 new shades of Kona that I have yet to play with.
      I bet one deaf and one blind dog would be a tad funny. Dulux had to wear a cone once so he couldn’t see out the sides and couldn’t hear and was constantly running into EVERYTHING!

  2. sally says:

    I’m not sure how I missed this on the Blog Hop, I thought I’d visited everyone, so apologies for a late visit! Really interesting post, feel like we know you now. I love the teaching that you’re now doing, it would be great to give something like that go, I’ll have to try and find a similar opportunity somewhere close by. And really like your quilt names too!

    • Kristyn says:

      Well I had some tech issues so my site was down a bit, you might have tried to visit with no luck. Teaching is so rewarding, seeing these women learn a new skill and how proud they are with their finished quilts.

  3. wendy says:

    I too live in a town where a famous Ice Dancing Olympic couple came from – Tourville and Dean.

    I have to say though, Scotland and Wales are PART of Britain, so you either want to visit Britain and Ireland, or you want to visit England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. England is a country in its own right and isn’t the same thing as Britain.

    • Kristyn says:

      Diana, I thought I shared too much about myself-LOL
      I had amazing trips teaching women to sew and quilt, hope to do it again one day.
      thanks for reading.

  4. Anne Beier says:

    Kristyn – Glad to meet you through the hop. I posted on June3rd. I love your blog and even more so, love that you share your skills and joy for quilting with those that may not have the means to do this, have supplies available to them, fabric, and a knowledable teacher. Can’t wait to read more about your adventures.

    • Kristyn says:

      Anne, thanks for reading about my trips and thanks for stopping by! Hope you are enjoying your new camera! Your blog photos are great.

  5. DeborahGun says:

    Its lovely to meet you through the blog hop. I love the trips you have done overseas to help women learn to quilt. I am trying to do the same in Indonesia but so far have not been that successful. It is a great skill to give them.

    • Kristyn says:

      Keep me posted if you make it to Indonesia- I would love to go there someday and to be able to make it a mission trip would be wonderful. Thanks for reading.

  6. Vera says:

    I have checked your quilts and it is fun to see someone else is naming quilts by songs. I especially like The One wall hanging.

    • Kristyn says:

      Vera,
      Thanks for reading my blog. The One wall hanging was fun to do and I loved the challenge of the pieced coloured binding.

  7. Jehnny says:

    What wonderful work you do! I too love solids and am trying to use up my patterned stash so that I can fill it up with solids!

    • Kristyn says:

      Aren’t solids fantastic? I have a handful of patterned fabric that I use as focus fabric with my solids, but the majority is just COLOUR!

  8. Liz says:

    Loved reading about your work with women in developing countries. It’s interesting to me because I know the rich textile history of central america (lots of weaving cultures), and I bet it was interesting to add quilting to the repertoire.

    Great work, thanks for sharing!

    • Kristyn says:

      Liz, I brought back some South African fabric called Shweshwe- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shweshwe and LOVE it! Here in Canada we have someone importing it so I know where to get more if needed. I didn’t buy any fabric in Nicaragua but did bring back some woven wallets from their region. I am lucky I can keep in contact with the groups and get updates on the Co-op’s progress. Thanks for reading.

  9. Daisy says:

    OH MY GOODNESS. I clicked over to see your stuff on Pinterest, and I’m blown away by the quilts you’ve quilted. I clicked on one of them to get a little more information and was disappointed not to see a blog link, but I loved looking through them anyway. Beautiful quilting work!

    • Kristyn says:

      Daisy thanks for looking at my Pinterest pages. I think I have a link to my blog on the Pinterest header. Thanks for reading my blog too.

  10. Barbara Konkle says:

    I love classic rock, but I need to look into Cheap Trick more after this post! I LOVE that you helped women learn to quilt in Africa. Such an awesome skill to have. Too good to keep to ourselves!

    • Kristyn says:

      I bet when you look into Cheap Trick, you will remember some of their songs!
      Sewing is a great skill to have especially in a 3rd world country as they can then earn money to support their families. A lot of the ladies sew school uniforms for their children too. Thanks for reading!

    • Kristyn says:

      Yes, That’s what I decided- to teach those who can benefit from learning skills. They always make me so proud when they finish a project!

    • Kristyn says:

      It sure is fun visiting and reading and getting to know all the bloggers! Thanks for stopping by.

  11. Carla says:

    We share a lot in common. I have been sewing for at least 30 years, initially not quilts but, like you, whatever crafty project I could think of. I too am a Virgo with more ideas than time.
    My mum does as you do and is teaching sewing (among other life and literacy skills) to the women of a very, very remote Aboriginal community.

    • Kristyn says:

      Carla, Other than sewing, what crafty projects are you working on lately? I have taken up knitting socks mostly with a little bit of cross stitch here and there. Great that your mum is teaching skills to the Aboriginal community- where exactly? And does she need help? I am always up for travelling!

  12. Jane says:

    Welcome to the modern quilt world – I’m like you, quilted for many years then lost interest. Modern fabrics and designs sucked me back in too. And I’d totally become a hermit too, if I could :).

    • Kristyn says:

      Funny how while I still do love the traditional quilts and my whole house is styled that way, I can’t even imagine making a quilt that wasn’t modern. I have a stack of them, as they don’t fit in to my decor, but love them more than my old quilts. When I am a hermit, then I can just sit there with my modern quilts and smile!

    • Kristyn says:

      I am SO excited about the Kona fabrics too- yet I am on a 6 month fabric diet so I have to figure out how to get these new colours without me paying for them. I think I can convince my husband to buy them for me as a birthday present! Even if I fill out the order online, he can use his credit card and that works around any “rules” for this diet!

    • Kristyn says:

      Yes, my trips were amazing! No idea where I will go next, have to start looking into that! Thanks for reading.

  13. Kate Yates says:

    Thanks for sharing your quilting adventures. I come from a teaching and training background, and I think teaching quilting or sewing may be my dream job someday. I think it’s great that you teach people who normally wouldn’t have access to craft classes. I have been fortunate enough to travel to England a few times (my husband is from there), southwest England has some stunningly beautiful scenery, I love it there–and would highly recommend it! Nice meeting you!

    • Kristyn says:

      Kate, I figured that there are enough quilt stores teaching people that can attend classes, and yet there are a lot of people who can’t, for whatever reason. I am really enjoying meeting such enthusiastic students and can’t wait for the next class to see their progress! Hope to make it to the UK someday! The whole area looks beautiful when I watch movies-LOL

  14. Lin Marsh says:

    I enjoyed getting to know about you. Getting to know all about you. Getting to like you….
    That song is probably too old for you.
    I loved seeing your quilts.

    • Kristyn says:

      I have heard that song but have no idea who it is by-LOL
      Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  15. Shauna says:

    Love that you are teaching quilting, it is a skill that benefits many. I totally understand wanting to change your style I think we all evolve and change with time. I look forward to seeing what you do next.

    • Kristyn says:

      Thanks Shauna, I am having so much fun teaching! I have a few quilts I am working on, but have to get my MM Challenge done NEXT as the deadline is coming up. Thank goodness for the extension!

    • Kristyn says:

      Beth- the quilt is not as scandalous as the wedding it is based upon but I will post photos when the binding is finished. I did get some anger and frustration out when quilting it!

  16. Ruth says:

    Love your quilting adventures! So sorry about the neighbours – we had terrible neighbours once, a total nightmare for a year but thankfully we outlasted them!

  17. Jasmine says:

    I loved reading about your quilting journey. I also love teaching people how to quilt, especially youth. I have taught neighbors, friends, family, and even my own son how to quilt.

    • Kristyn says:

      I may not be the most experienced teacher, but sure do love working with all the ladies I have taught so far! And seeing all of their accomplishments and how proud they are is so rewarding.

  18. Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl says:

    Kristyn I really enjoyed your post and how much I learned about you! When you shared your picture of you and the quilt with Cheap Trick, my husband and I had a lot of fun going through their music together. 🙂 I know what it’s like to have bad neighbors. We just moved about 1.5 miles away from our old home because, well, peace of mind and I guess I’ll leave it at that. Yes, being a hermit sometimes sounds appealing! Love your use of bold, bright, solids and yay for finding your quilting joy again. 🙂

    • Kristyn says:

      Did I make 2 more Cheap Trick fans? My husband is such a good sport- the other day when walking past a restaurant that has outdoor speakers the first bit of Surrender started playing and I stopped mid step and got so excited! He said he would keep walking and come back for me when the song was finished. So sweet!

      I would love peace of mind. . . wouldn’t that be amazing! Maybe a really tall fence would work?

      I am so excited to find joy with quilting again- just need to find the time for all my To Do list.

  19. Diana says:

    UGH! I had to do math! 🙂 What wonderful adventures you’ve had with quilting! Love that you have taught in some amazing places! Nice to meet you, look forward to reading more 🙂

    • Kristyn says:

      Sorry about the math thing, I was getting a lot of spam. Hope it was an easy question though. I have had some wonderful adventures with quilting and hope to have many more. Thanks for reading and stopping by.

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