I'm Kate and I'm in Miss-Bee Hivin' with Cheryl.
In a nutshell I'm married, and live in the northeast of England. My husband and I have four children between us all grown and flown, and four grandchildren. Nowadays we share our home and our lives with two working type English Springer Spaniels, Ella and Indi, who have been known to make a guest appearance, well, once anyways. I work part time for my husband supporting him in running our business teaching mindfulness courses in healthcare and corporate settings. There is a pic of me just to the right in the sidebar, the one where I'm hiding behind my sunglasses, being the shy retiring type. There is another one on the 'About Me' page without the sunglasses but that's the one that keeps the kids off the fire. Now, that's the boring stuff over.
I've been quilting for over ten years, I'm not saying I'm an expert, or even that I'm in anyway good at it, but after 10 years I still enjoy it. It's my main hobby I would say, although I do a little embroidery and I love reading too. I go to a (very) small quilt group every four weeks, and an embroidery weekend twice a year. As far as ambitions go I'm very boring, all I want to do is progress in my quilting, try new things, and enjoy it. That's me, if I make a quilt or something anyone likes I'm happy to share it, but I'm no designer, and I have no affiliations or sponsors either, (hehe, as if).
I started blogging in January this year, I just felt I was missing out, then I found out I was. The online quilting community is wonderful, I have met some lovely quilters who are so friendly and kind, always having time to help, or explain things. I should have done this years ago.
When I meet a new quilter, I like to know where they are coming from, so for that reason I thought I'd share a couple of my older quilts, and two I have made recently.
This is my first quilt I ever made, a handmade sampler and you know what? I still love it, I think it's the colours. They just said choose some fabrics on light medium and dark tones, so I did. But everyone else had blues and creams, or reds and white, that sort of thing. So mine ended up a bit different.
Because I enjoyed the appliqué on the sampler I jumped in for a monthly class, a Baltimore. As you can see I veered away from the traditional and went for blues and purples. It's stuffed in a cupboard now, I think it took me so long I went off it.
For the benefit of those who have been here before no, I still haven't quilted this one and yes, I'm still procrastinating about the quilting because we all know I'm rubbish at free motion stuff and no I still haven't started practicing regularly yet. But, I do want it finished for Christmas so watch this space, but not in the immediate future :).
This was actually a group quilt, but as it was my idea and I made two of the blocks, put it all together, spiral quilted it and did the binding I claimed it as a finish. This is more the kind of stuff I enjoy now.
Last one, promise, yes I know it's three but I didn't think you'd be counting. I blogged about this only recently, I love simple designs which shows off beautiful fabrics. In this case City Lights was made with Oakshott Lipari fabric with colourshott centres.
I was going to show my most beautiful Bluebell Woods today, an improv quilt made with score 1 (Floating Squares), of Sherri Lynn Wood's book The Improv Book for Modern Quilters, however, after all the hype about this quilt and all the comments I have received it did seem sacrilege to add it to the end of a post, so I will be revealing Bluebell Woods tomorrow. If you haven't been here before you may want to read the earlier posts, the inspiration, how I made the blocks, the next steps, and the apology, to get the full effect. Of course you may just want to skip all of it and come back tomorrow for a giveaway. I'm saying no more, ask me no questions I'll tell you no lies.
It's been suggested I give a blogging tip at this point, well, I already have a page of blogging tutorials, if you are new don't get excited, it's just about the stuff I had problems with when I started. What I will say is, if you don't blog, and you are the chatty, sharing sort, think about it, because I have had the most fun since I started.
Now for the quilting tip. One thing I wish I had known about when I started was to use a Kwik Klip for basting a quilt if you use safety pins. It cut my basting time in half and no sore fingers. If you are right handed hold the safety pin in your right and the Kwik Klip in your left to close the pin. If you google it there are videos on YouTube and they are available from Amazon.com and Cottonpatch in the UK.
How did I name my blog? Well, everyone seems to have lovely quilting type and imaginative names and I went through a lot, Oakfield Designs? No, I'm not a designer. Kathleen's Quilting and Embroidery? No, don't like the sound of that. The problem is I have no imagination, so I became Smiles From Kate. Why? Because that is how I sign my emails (but I pinched it from a friend 'cos I already said I have no imagination).
Trivia for those who have been here before, things you didn't know about me.
1 Favourite book, has to be the Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon, are you watching it on TV? If you are not you should be. Jamie Frazer? Be still my beating heart........
2 Favourite holiday destination, I love Italy, the Italian Lakes, Sorrento, Venice, get my drift?
3 Favourite food, vegetable lasagne, it has to be vegetable because I don't eat meat.
4 Random fact, when I was a child, about five, I could see fairies and talk with them. Now I just see them after two glasses of red wine.
Thank you so much for visiting me on the Blog Hop, there are lots of other lovely quilters who would love you to visit. Here are the others in my swarm this week:
Emily @ The Darling Dogwood
Miranda @ I Have Purple Hair
Holly @ Lighthouse Lane Designs
Remember to come back tomorrow when I reveal Bluebell Woods, in all her glory, and give you all the details for my giveaway.