Puppy Portraits

Have you met Kid Giddy (aka Kerry Goulder)? Our official relationship with this wonderfully kind, creative, and talented woman began in 2019 when she joined our Aurifil Artisan team, but we’ve been collaborating for much longer than that. Kerry has been using Aurifil thread for adored projects like her Ugly Sweater blocks and Kid Giddy Doll for years. She is a total pro, producing unique and well-written patterns, endearing her to fans worldwide.

She first came to us with an idea for a cross stitch sampler that would draw from her foundation paper-pieced dog quilt blocks all the way back in October of 2019. Since then, we’ve been working away, discussing ideas, talking about her hopes for the project, and putting together the absolute perfect collection of Aurifloss spools to bring her vision to life.

We are in awe of Kerry’s generosity with this project. She devised a 12-month stitch-a-long that includes 12 dog patterns, 1 pattern including 12 mini frames, AND a special bonus pattern. Rather than charging for the patterns themselves, she wanted to do something positive for our communities and has asked that a minimum donation be made to a charity, organization, or foundation in order to take part and receive all included patterns. Details for signup are included in Kerry’s interview below.

20 Small Spools 6-Strand Aurifloss (18yds/spool)
Colors Included:
1114 – 2423 – 5010 – 2372 – 2024- 1133 – 2120 – 1231 – 5005 – 2245
2692 – 2325 – 1285 – 2605 – 2310 – 5004 – 2975 – 2155 – 2520 – 2510

To view this collection on our website, click HERE. To find a retailer near you, click HERE.

How did you first get started in this creative, maker-centric industry?
Many years ago (in late 2009) I opened my Etsy shop to begin selling finished goods as a way to make amends with my fabric purchases. Early the next year, I was finishing up a karate class and a fellow classmate mentioned I should submit some projects to a craft magazine that she had been featured in numerous times. She suggested I send an email to the editor when I got home, so I did. When the editor came back and said she was looking for something for the Fall/Halloween issue, I sent back a small owl ornament I made for a friend and sold in my then new Kid Giddy Etsy shop.

That conversation turned into my Scrappy Owl being on the front cover of the Sept/Oct issue in 2010. I had never written a sewing pattern prior to that and didn’t know if I was writing it all correctly – but was ecstatic that the pattern was a hit and was later asked to design 6 patterns for each issue of theirs the following year. Over the next couple of years I was published in other industry magazines, designed patterns for Anna Griffin, wrote a book, and licensed my three dimensional designs to Sizzix which were the first to fill a major void in the industry. Eventually I began designing foundation paper piecing patterns and have now added appliqué, patchwork, and even cross stitching designs to my portfolio. On the side I dabble in jewelry designs too.

Where does the name Kid Giddy come from?
I wanted to use my initials “KG” because I didn’t want a business with my actual name all over it, as if trying to be somewhat anonymous. I also really wanted my “name” to represent what I love to make and what I would be offering. So I brainstormed with a dictionary, picking all the words I liked that started with “K” and “G”. It wasn’t long before I came up with Kid Giddy. Being a kid at heart and being giddy, so it stuck.

Kerry, aka Kid Giddy, in her home studio

Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
Kid Giddy started because I invented the original Tuck ‘n’ Go® blanket when my youngest daughter was only a month old. I needed something to keep her warm in her infant car seat that wouldn’t fall out or onto the ground constantly, like all the other blankets on the market. As they have both grown up and gone through various phases in life, I’ve never run out of ideas. I guess you could say my daughters have been my greatest source of inspiration for the past 16+ years. 

Elliot Goulder sewing

What drives you to continue creating and innovating?
Selfishly, I love learning. I can’t say I loved it so much in High School and didn’t exactly appreciate what I had, when I had it in college, but I love learning now. I also love pushing my own creative boundaries. I feel like when I stop learning, stop creating or stop pushing those boundaries, I won’t know what to do. 

Equally important is my desire to help others. Many people have shared pictures with me of their dolls, or dog blocks and other finished projects. Some were quilts or pillows that were made as gifts for someone that lost a loved one or beloved pet, while others made dolls for various charities. One amazing woman made 200+ super hero dolls for Christmas one year for foster children to have a special handmade present to open. Those are the moments that help remind me that others have helped me in life and if I utilize my talent to help lift others, it helps give others the confidence and ability to share their own talents too.

You’ve had some amazing success with your patterns — from your FPP patterns like The Ugly Sweater Block and Dog Block Series to your super cute Kid Giddy Doll in partner with Sizzix. Do you have a favorite pattern or technique?
I love the Ugly Sweater Block because it has been so fun seeing how much everyone loves it and how many have made variation quilts (it’s not just for Christmas as there are Cat, Disney® and Sports team versions too). I love the Dog blocks for the memory quilts and pillows many have made to comfort others. I love the Hot Skates quilt because it reminds me of some of my best childhood memories. I love the Kid Giddy Doll pattern because the possibilities are truly endless. I love the Puppy Portraits cross stitching project because it got me through some of my hard days when covid hit and the world went into lockdown.  

Ugly Sweater Blocks by Kid Giddy

It’s really so hard to pick a favorite. It very well could be the one I’m currently working on or recently finished (like my Carousel Horse/Unicorn Quilt), but picking a favorite sounds so cruel to all the patterns I’ve loved just the same in the past. All of my projects have a story behind them and they all have taught me something or given me something (and not financially speaking).  

You came to us with this amazing idea well over a year ago — this has been a long time in the making! What inspired the idea and what are your hopes for the impact of this collection?
Many people over the years have sewn my dog blocks, which started with the French Bulldog block and expanded to eleven more…with other breeds to come later this year. I was at my Mom’s childhood home one summer and saw a wall that was once filled with numerous framed portraits and family reunion photos. She was packing to move and I missed all of the photos. At the time I was trying to think of another fun quilt layout that would work for all 12 dog blocks in the series and thought of a wall of frames. I quickly decided I didn’t want to sew all those 12 blocks again, so I turned it into a cross stitch pattern instead.

When I thought of bringing the cross stitch pattern to “market”, I knew I didn’t want to make money from it, but wanted to do good with it. Oftentimes, designers are asked to give away free patterns to boost sales for one company or a certain product. But when I came up with this idea – there was no product, just the pattern. My idea was to find a way to encourage those that can afford it, to pay for the pattern with 100% of the proceeds to go to various charities. As you mentioned, this idea has been in the works for well over a year… and on my end it’s actually been upwards of two and a half years, which was long before Covid. When Covid hit everyone was struggling one way or another, I knew all my prep work was worth it and this was the purpose for the project. To help others with the money raised from the pattern sales. Even though it wasn’t ready to release last year, we knew it would still benefit so many people and continued work on it. Aurifil offered to create the Puppy Portraits spool collection to make it easier for folks to get the colors I used and to help raise awareness to the project. I’m so grateful to work with companies that are actively helping to make a difference for everyone.

How would you like to see makers engage with the pattern? 
I would love to see makers support the project and the charities by buying the pattern. When makers pay for a pattern they support the designer and the designer’s family… however in this case, makers have an opportunity to support many families, many animals, communities, etc. When a maker engages with this project, I want them to know and feel they are part of something amazing, as we stitch together to support various charities and organizations that are actively helping others!

When does the stitch along kick off & where can makers find patterns & supplies?
We are so excited to share that the Puppy Portraits Stitch-a-Long officially kicks off TODAY (June 10th). Reserve/purchase your patterns by filling out the Puppy Portraits Google form linked via the button below.

We are not charging for this event in the traditional sense. Rather, we simply ask that participants make a donation to a charity that is close to theirs hearts or homes to offer passionate and targeted support to those in need. The signup form will require the following details:

— When and where a donation was made (donations must be dated June 10, 2021 or later)
— Donation amount (minimum of $12)
— Screenshot or other proof of donation

We’re excited to track all donation totals as well as charities, organizations, and foundations included. We’ll share details at the end of the stitch-a-long. Participants names and individual donation amounts will not be shared and will remain anonymous.

Upon signup, your name will be added to our pattern distribution list and you’ll receive a PDF download with the Stitch-a-Long frames. The first puppy portrait will arrive in your inbox on July 8th (if you’ve signed up by July 7th), with all subsequent portraits arriving on the 2nd Thursday of each month for 12 months. The frames are numbered in the order in which the puppy portraits will arrive, so please be sure to stitch them in order as noted. When you finish your new ‘puppy of the month’, you can then continue working on the frames.

Makers can find a Puppy Portrait Kit on my website (kidgiddy.etsy.com) which will include the Aurifil Puppy Portrait floss collection and the Evenweave Linen (these are pre-orders and will be shipped asap). Makers can join anytime. There are no deadlines to sign up, and each new monthly puppy pdf will include any previous months that may have been released prior to signing up.

When did you first discover Aurifil Thread and why is it your go-to? 
I discovered Aurifil threads at a Quilt Market trade show, but I’m not sure I remember which one or how long ago that was. I found some colors that I loved during the sample sale and bought my first box. Now I have over 120 spools in various sizes, colors and weights.  

Kerry’s early in-progress stash!

What I love most about Aurifil threads and Aurifloss, other than their beautiful colors, is that they are all Oeko-tex certified. As someone with food allergies and other environmental allergies, I truly appreciate when companies like Aurifil, source and make products, that are free from harmful chemicals and safe for all to use.

Why do you prefer Aurifloss and do you have any tips for use?
I love that Aurifloss is wound on 18 yard wooden spools. Being wound on a spool helps to eliminate the knotting when first trying to find the beginning of the floss. I’m all about products that save time in the end.

My tip for keeping them safe: Cotton floss just like cotton fabrics can fade with sunlight and be damaged in other ways. I have some Aurifloss spools out on my spool rack, but it’s only temporary until I make a larger Sew Plush Planner to fit all of them together. Of course they won’t fade in a day – and it may be hard to notice a change over a year, but fading can and will happen if you display them on your windowsill. I would recommend storing the floss spools and really all of your threads, out of direct sunlight so they can stay true to color. This also goes for major temp changes or high moisture areas. If you treat your threads the same as you would your rare out of print fabrics, they will last a very long time. 

My tip for use: It’s true what they say, that you should only use an 18” long piece of floss when cross stitching. The reason for the shorter length is to be able to stitch with less knotting. I’m not so patient though and frequently go for slightly longer lengths. I wouldn’t recommend my method, but if you go a little longer also, use a good quality (even organic) thread wax.   

We know it’s been a wild year, but we’ve loved having the opportunity to engage with makers virtually. What are your plans for 2021 and where can we find you for more inspiration?
I just finished up teaching a doll class during an online weekend retreat and loved it. I am planning more online events, including the first ever Ugly Sweater Block Party event this summer with registration opening soon (Christmas in July anyone?), the Puppy Portraits cross stitch along event, and am starting to book online and teaching in person events for later this year or next year. Folks can find me online @kidgiddy in most places.

HUGE Thanks to Kerry for her collaboration, her pattern, and her dedication to making this world just a little bit better;). We can’t wait to see your stitchy pups!!

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Kerry Goulder has been sewing for fun since she can remember. She began designing many unique patterns under her Kid Giddy® label, wrote her first book, Sewing Tales to Stitch and Love: 18 Toy Patterns for the Storytelling Sewist and continues to sell and license her designs.

Kerry’s company motto is to “add more giddy to your life.” It’s a constant reminder to have fun and do things that make you happy, which, of course, means more sewing.

Kerry lives in Maine with her family, loves metalsmithing, running, and training for her fourth degree black belt in Shaolin Kempo Karate.

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