Tag Archives: the little general

Big news!

Happy new year!  I have some very exciting news to tell y’all…

Beginning February 1st, I will be the proud owner of The Little General, a beautiful and cheery fabric store located locally in Reynolda Village, and Eileen Quilts, my friend’s longarm quilting business, and combining our forces.


The owners of both are good friends of mine that have been so kind and encouraging in this process and I couldn’t be more excited!

Gina asked me some fun questions for the announcement newsletter that I thought is include here for any new readers. (Welcome, by the way!)  We will be having a “Meet Kait” party at the Little General on January 16th and I’d love if you came by!

Tell us a little bit a bout yourself!
I was born and grew up in Northern California. Moving away when I was 20, I have lived in Minneapolis, DC, Roanoke Virgina, and in Winston Salem for the last 4 and a half years. I have been a barista for 7 years and coffee is an important part of my life. I enjoy classic literature, especially Russian novels, my favorite being “The Master and Margarita” by Mikhail Bulgakov. I have a cat named Amos and two dogs, Jackson and Adelaide. I am part of an artist studio collective in downtown Winston Salem called Electric Pyramid Studios. I have 17 tattoos including one of my 1947 Singer Featherweight, one that was part of an art project, and one that’s shared by 56 other people.

What do you love most about sewing?
I love that something I’ve made might still be around longer than I am. No one that I know of in my family was a quilter so I don’t have any hand-me-downs, but the idea of passing a quilt down through generations is inspiring.

How did you learn to sew?
I took a sewing class when I was 12 where I learned clothing construction. I made a cropped halter top, fully lined with ties at the back and neck, from neon swirly polyester fabric and I have no idea what I was thinking! I got my first sewing machine when I was 15, a Pfaff that I still use. I worked at JoAnn Fabrics when I was 18 and decided one day I wanted to learn to quilt so I bought some fabric and figured it out. I haven’t stopped since.

Do you have any favorite sewing memories?
The aforementioned halter top is pretty funny to remember. But earlier this year I had a friend approach me about making a quilt for her fiance for their wedding and not a week later, her fiance came to me and asked me to make a quilt for her for their wedding! So unbeknownst to each other, they got each other quilts. They exchanged them a couple days before the ceremony and were so surprised and excited about it. It was a neat thing to be a part of.

If you were stuck on a desert island with one fabric designer, who would you pick and why?
This is a hard one! I’d think I’d like it to be Katy Jones. Her and I have mutually admired each other in secret from afar but I think we would get a long really well and have fun.

Where do you turn for creative inspiration?
I get a lot of inspiration from being around other creative people. Electric Pyramid Studios, of which I am a part, has 14 participants including painters, sewers, a printmaker, a multi-surface embroiderer, and an upholsterer. Just walking around the space inspires me. Pinterest and blogs are also full of inspiration.

Tell us about KaitCetera
I started my blog 7 years ago, though it took awhile to become the creative place it is now. It used to be called Sew it All but then the magazine and television station of the same name came up so I changed it to kaitcetera, because it was more than just sewing. I write about quilts and clothing I’ve made, things I cook, thrifting finds, my animals, travel, and books. I hope to keep kaitcetera going in some form and will continue to sell my own quilts with that label.

What most excites you about your new adventure with The Little General?
I can’t wait to interact with a larger part of the sewing and quilting community, to possibly bring inspiration to others. The shop is such a cheerful and beautiful place and I hope to carry on lifting people’s spirits through it’s environment.

Tell us a little about your quilting and fashion aesthetic!
I lean on the modern side of quilting. I’ve always thought I would like to be an architect and quilting is a great mix of creativity and precision. I like to mix colors and fabrics that you wouldn’t necessarily think go together and enjoy using negative space.

What’s your favorite non crafty thing to do?
I really enjoy baking! I have tattoos on my calves, St Clare of Assisi, the patron saint of needleworkers, and St Honoratus of Amiens, the patron saint of bakers and confectioners. Cranberry caramel almond tart, blueberry basil goat cheese pie, chocolate babka, mint cream filled cupcakes with raspberry mousse topping… Yes please!

Celebrity crush?
Joseph Gordon Levitt.

Favorite food?
Thai food.

We hear you have some exciting long-arm related news! Is there anything you’d like to share with us about that!?
I have been given the amazing opportunity to buy a longarm machine! It has been a friend of mine and I have been able to use it over the last 2 years, but now I get to bring it to the shop! It’s a Gammill Optimum Statler Stitcher that will hold quilts up to 118″ wide. I will be attending a Gammill/Statler conference at the end of the month to increase my skill set and look forward to playing around, experimenting, and eventually offering classes and rental!

A hint of a quilt to come.

A friend of mine commissioned a quilt from me and wanted a sneak peek in time for Christmas, so I whipped up this pillow.IMG_1613I used the Arkansas Traveler quilt block as shown on Freshly Pieced, though I changed it a little to eliminate the additional seams in the background.  I used the few yellows I have in my stash, Free Spirit solid cosmic blue (the quilt will use assorted greys), and a couple fabrics from my stash for the back with a label and exposed zipper.

IMG_1609 IMG_1614

Current WIP pile.

I’ve always said I’m not a New Years Resolution type person, but I usually do set goals for myself in Januarys.  This year I’m not even feeling into that, though it is a good time to take account of all the things that I’ve started.  Some I am eager to get completed while some will languish for a while longer, and I’m okay with that :)

Current WIPs:

  • Wonky Crosses. Gift.
  • Arkansas Traveler. Commission.
  • Flying Geese. Trade for blog design!
  • Selvedge Spiderweb.
  • Between the Lines. Gift.
  • Voile strings.
  • T-shirts. Ridiculously overdue commission.

Upcoming commissions:

Fabric piles:

Datura times three.

DaturasI bought this lovely Deer & Doe pattern recently and got right to making it.  (Warning: Here comes a lot of pictures!  They are a little washed out but oh well.)

For the first one, I used a red fabric I got from a friend a while back.

Datura AIt might be a rayon or perhaps it’s a cotton linen?  It’s slinky and ended up being hard to work with but I’m still happy with the results.  I made this one just like the instructions say, making my own bias tape and using the cutout neckline option, but using french seams for the sides.

Datura A backI dug through my grandmother’s button box and used some beautiful Mother of Pearl buttons on the back.

For the second one, I used an eyelet/lace I’ve had for a long time and one of my favorite prints from Sarah Watson’s Indian Summer collection that I got at The Little General.

Datura BIMG_1411Datura Bb

Instead of lining the upper bodice, I used store bought bias binding for the neckline and arm holes and french seams everywhere (my new favorite thing).

Datura B detailI, once again, dug through my button box and used four nice wooden ones.

Datura B button detail

Riding the excitement of finishing my second, I got right to the third.


I used Empress in coral from Joel Dewberry’s Bungalow and Sinister Swarm in flour voile from Anna Maria Horner’s Field Study and lined the upper bodice with a nude colored lining fabric.

Datura C backDatura C bodice detailI lengthened it by 7″ and inverted the curve on the front.

Datura C hemI used 7 assorted mother of pearl buttons from the box.

Datura C buttonsDatura C button detailI love all of my new Datura blouses!  I’d still like to try one with the collar, some cap sleeves, and maybe one lengthened to a dress with a little shirring.  So many possibilities!

Gift commission.


My lovely friends Sam and Amanda, who I made this quilt for last year, asked me to make a set of placemats and napkins for a wedding gift.  Amanda suggested grey and mustard yellow so I set off to The Little General and got a lovely stack.


Each of the eight placemats and napkins are different.  I roughly used this tutorial though I used fusible fleece, quilted the front with a variegated grey thread, and used the pillowcase method.



The placemats measure approximately 13″ by 18″ and the napkins, white on the other back sides, are 17″ square.


I wish I’d gotten better pictures but that’s what happens when you finish something 5 minutes before the deadline!  Sam and Amanda loved these and had a hard time giving them away.  I can only hope their friends Chris and Clair love them too! (Sam and Chris made a documentary together called Wagonmasters that’s super awesome.)

A field study of triangles.

I put this simple quilt together with some Anna Maria Horner Field Study (a current favorite, if you can’t tell!) and solids from the Little General and I love it! Especially under the red bud trees just before sunset.FS Triangles FS Triangles I quilted it at Eileen Quilts in a bubble design and backed it in the butterflies, one of my favorite large scale prints.

FS Triangles

I bound this one by machine.  I don’t like it as much as a hand stitched one but the binding has begun to come off on a couple older quilts of mine, what with the heavy wear of having two dogs that like to pull quilts from their places.  Hopefully machine sewn binding will stand the test of time and I’ll keep getting better at it.

FS Triangles

I’m excited to say that this quilt is available for sale at the Little General! Hopefully the first of many, Gina is graciously showing and selling some of my quilts made of fabric from her beautiful shop.  If you’re in or around Winston Salem, be sure to stop by!

A lovely finish.

This was a quilt commission that I finished last week.

IMG_0341 IMG_0342 IMG_0344Gina passed my name along to a woman and after meeting at the Little General and talking it over a bit, we settled on a log cabin quilt made from Denyse Schmidt’s Chicopee.  The blocks finished at a large 27″ each and I loved working on such a large scale.


Lindsay so graciously did a rush job on this quilting and I love how it turned out.  I bound it in scraps from the quilt and sent it on it’s way.  I hope it gets lots of love.


I did it!

I finished that quilt just in time!  The bulk of it was done (everything but the binding) in four days in my studio, including about 12 hours of quilting alone, and I love how it turned out!It’s based on the Ice Pops pattern from Denyse Schmidt’s Quilts. I really don’t like how she uses pattern pieces for everything so I made these log cabin, chain piecing style and then trimmed them all a little wonky.  The fabric is Indie by Pat Bravo for Art Gallery Fabrics purchased from Stash Modern Fabric and FreeSpirit solids in Spark Gold, Grey, and Arctic White from The Little General.

I quilted it in a khaki colored thread with a loops and leaves pattern and bound it in mustard, with a little bit of print.

Amanda received the quilt for her birthday on Sunday and I got a string of enthusiastic text messages of thanks afterwards :)  Sam, her husband who commissioned me to make the quilt for her, kindly took some photographs for me.She asked how I could make it with fabric that was so perfect for her, which is a big compliment.  All Sam had told me was that her favorite color was yellow (which I took to mean mustard, since that’s the yellow I love) and went with it.  I’m so glad she likes it!

Weekend of insanity!

I have to make a quilt from start to finish in the next four days! This is the lovely stack I’m working with:

The complete Indie Collection by Pat Bravo for Art Gallery Fabrics from Stash Modern Fabric on Etsy and some great FreeSpirit solids from Gina at The Little General (I didn’t catch the names!). I’m making the Ice Pops quilt from Denyse Schmidt’s Quilts book with my own methods.

Be sure to check in on Tuesday to see if I did it!

I believe I can!