It has been quite a year… certainly unlike anything any of us were expecting. We’ve been challenged to dig deep, to innovate, and to overhaul… to find new ways to work, to educate, and to interact. It hasn’t always been easy but we continue to do our best, to fight for ourselves and for each other. It’s more important than ever to be brave, kind, and compassionate, and we often find ourselves seeking out those who inspire hope. Kitty Wilkin of Night Quilter is one of those individuals. Sometimes we think she might be the actual embodiment of a rainbow… that bit of hope that appears when the rain stops and the clouds part, even if just for a moment.
We’ve worked with Kitty for nearly 4 years, as an Aurifil Artisan, a photographer, and most recently as an Aurifil Designer. Her work has always been inspiring, but this year it feels like exactly what we all need. From the 100 Days of Growing Hope project to her 2020 Miles Quilt, Kitty has created a remarkable connection between life and work, stitching a bit of love, worry, curiosity, hope, and activism into every project.
Today, we’re excited to be one voice in the chorus of Kitty’s adoring fans. She has turned her #100DaysofHope project into a pattern — Plant Worry Grow Hope. The pattern includes 14 different foundation paper pieced block patterns, including a taste of appliqué with three large tree tops, as well as three different project ideas: a lap quilt, a table runner, and a pillow. It is now available for purchase in Kitty’s Payhip shop, and 50% of all profits will be donated to charities that are working to grow hope in her community.
In Kitty’s words: “Sewing these trees has been my balm during the past many months, and I am excited to be able to share them with you. The forest always brings me solace, so being able to stitch my worries away as I slowly built this quilty forest of hope has been a big help these past months. I hope that the serenity of sewing helps bring you some peace and hope as we buckle down and renew our stay at home efforts as the coronavirus cases steeply rise once more.”
Hilary and I were among a lucky few to get a sneak peek of the pattern. We’ve both been following along with Kitty this year and have each found a bit of solace in her posts. We both set out to make a few blocks, but Hilary– both our Social Media Coordinator AND one of our resident quilters– always knocks her projects out of the park! She ended making the throw pillow and I’m head over heels– that scrappy Deciduous tree is spectacular!
Paper-piecing is normally not my go to method when it comes to quilt blocks or patterns, but making this mini, turned jumbo pillow, was incredibly therapeutic. For many of us, 2020 has been a roller coaster of emotions and working with this pattern the other evening and making this project felt like a little bit of the weight had been lifted off my shoulders. It felt great to pull fabrics from my stash and “plant” each tree. My cross-hatch quilting was done with Aurifil monofilament thread, and my son quickly claimed this pillow as his own. ❤ -Hilary
I had grand plans, but ended up just making two of the smaller blocks. Chalk it up to the insanity of 2020– or work + homeschool… it’s a toss up. 😉
It has been a long time since I’ve worked with a paper-pieced pattern and I have to give Kitty some serious props. Her patterns are art. Everything was clearly outlined, easy to follow, and (for people like me who might need a little refresher) she links to her FPP how-to right in the pattern. The process was incredibly therapeutic from fabric selection right up to picking out those paper pieces and giving the blocks a last press. I’m looking forward to working through a few more blocks with my sights set on the quilt… but let’s just see where this next year takes me!
If you’re interested in growing some hope of your own, we’d encourage you to check out Kitty’s launch post. She includes a link to purchase the pattern (currently on sale for $14!), gives some insight to her process, and shares some of her own hope. We hope that planting a few trees of your own proves as renewing for you as it did for me and Hilary.
Happy (and hopeful) Stitching!