Yorkshire Rose Quliters Guild of Toronto

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Meet a Canadian Quilt Blogger: Kristyne Czepuryk of Pretty by Hand

There are so many amazing things happening in the online world of quilting, so we thought it would be a great idea to share some of the people who are out there - online and IRL (in real life!) - who are making the quilting world go.

In this post, we will introduce you to Kristyne Czepuryk of Pretty by Hand 

Yorkshire Rose Quilters Guild (YRQG): Why did you start blogging?

Kristyne Czepuryk (KC): I discovered blogs in 2010 when I was a stay-at-home mom with 2 little girls. I was so excited to find a community of creative people who were willing to share their work. I was quickly motivated to join in and hopefully inspire others, and it gave me something to do other than … you know … mom stuff and housework.

YRQG: How do you connect with your readers?

KC: Well, at the moment I’m hosting a quilt-a-long for a book. This book “Happy Flower Quilts” by Atsuko Matsuyama has been my favourite for many years. I was excited when a publisher – who was translating it into English – asked me to be a technical editor. The quilt-a-long started in March 2017 and goes until Feb 2018. I post 2 new blocks every Monday – one patchwork and one applique. It is so much fun to sew a big project with a group of quilters from around the world, even if you never meet them. I also post my work on Instagram (@prettybyhand) and it’s constantly inspiring to see all the blocks that people post. This whole internet thing just doesn’t get old for me. I’ve met people around the world that have become dear friends that I would have never met, even just 20 years ago. I love that so much.

YRQG: Which of the projects featured on your blog are the most popular with readers? Why?

KC: I have several tutorials on my blog that are read so often! I’ve been told that I am really good at teaching and photography so I guess people find my tutorials easy to follow and useful.

YRQG: How are you celebrating Canada’s 150th on your blog?

KC: I’m embarrassed to admit that I don’t have anything special for this historical event. I would have loved to make a red and white quilt, though!

YRQG: Do you offer any bonuses or special content to your blog subscribers?

KC: I don’t. My blog is free to read, and I occasionally partner with a company to do giveaways.

YRQG: Do you have a retail shop for visitors to your blog / shop?

KC: Yes I do! I sell my patterns online at prettybyhand.com. I also occasionally have an auction to sell things I make. For me, sewing things is about the making, not the having. Creative blogs require constant new content so I often make things just for fun, not for practical personal use. So I let them go to good homes by selling them to people who follow me. A win/win!

YRQG: What is unique about your blog or your sewing style?

KC: Well, I have a particular style that came from my experiences. I’ve always been “girly”, and I worked at a Laura Ashley shop for a decade so that pretty much solidified my love of all things feminine, flowery, and pink. Lace, cameos, bows, pearls, ditsy posies … I love them all!

YRQG: What bloggers or teachers are you inspired by? 

KC: My biggest blogger inspiration is Amy Sinibaldi of NanaCompany. We started blogging at the same time and have a very similar style. She used to live in California and one summer when I was on a holiday with my family, we had a chance to meet. We’ve been great friends ever since. We both started as little bloggers and 6 years later, we have both added fabric design and published author to our resumes. Sometimes we reminisce about how far we have both come in terms of chasing our dreams that once seemed so far away and are now a reality. More recently, I’ve become good friends with another blogger/fabric designer Elea Lutz. She designs adorable fabric for Riley Blake and is just the sweetest person ever. So glad I got to hug both of these wonderful ladies in person at Quilt Market this past May in St. Louis.

YRQG: Is there a particular style or genre of artwork that inspires you? 

KC: I’m quite traditional. I’ve always been fond of artists like Rossetti and Monet. But during a trip to Chicago’s Art Institute I saw an exhibit for Magritte and I loved it! I guess I can fall in love with almost anything when I learn about the person behind the creation and the message they were trying to send or technique they were trying to master. I just love creativity and the ability to express oneself in ways that don’t require words.

YRQG: Where do you find ideas for your content?

KC: Everywhere. I know that sounds trite, but it’s quite true. I am constantly seeing ideas for fabric and quilt patterns wherever I look – both in the real world and online.

YRQG: What is one thing you would change if you were starting over?  Why?

KC: I don’t believe in thinking this way because I believe it can cause pangs of self-doubt and regret, which I have no use for. Every decision and action I took led me to where I am now – an entrepreneur, a fabric designer for Moda, a pattern designer, and a published author - and I am extremely happy here. I much prefer to look forward and my plan is simply to continue to follow my heart and strive to inspire people with the things I can do with my brain and my hands. 

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