FriYAY Friends

FriYAY Friends: An Interview with Kim Niedzwiecki aka "Go Go Kim"

Good morning, my wonderful friends!

I think you should know that as I'm writing this, I'm eating tomatoes that Hubster grew on oatmeal bread that Hubster made. He also made pretzels rolls and guac this week. Serious yum. So, now that all of y'all are sufficiently jealous... haha!

I'm cutting straight to the chase today because Kim-- squee! As you know, there are many quilters and creatives that I deeply admire, but I think I have a bit of a creative girl crush on Kim. I adore her quilting, her pizazz, and her amazing energy and joy in everything she does. I hope all of you enjoy this chance to get to know her a little better!

1) Tell us a little about yourself, your family, your hobbies, your creative background, etc.  Coffee, popcorn and blueberries are my everything!  Life without any of these is unthinkable! 

I am a problem solver even when there are no problems.  I drive my family crazy going through everything that CAN go wrong FIRST and then working my way back from that point. This is not a choice, it is just the way I am wired. They tolerate me ( thank goodness)!  

I have four kids spanning three decades!  By having done it that way, I am guaranteed to keep current in technology. The 10 year old knows more about my cell phone than I do and I will be DOOMED when he grows up and goes off to college.  The teen and the 26 year old keep me current on all things hip and cool and are the first to tell me when I am acting "old." I look to them to find out what is up and coming for trends.  They are always spot on!  The almost 30 year old ( I cannot believe I have a CHILD that age) keeps me grounded in philosophy and life.  He is my sage.  He lives in OK with his beautiful wife and their 3 kids.  We talk a lot about life, struggles, the meaning of creativity and its impact on humanity.  All very light stuff.  He is my balance.  

Forever my family and friends thought that my job was my hobby!  Society places a great burden on creatives by tagging them with the hobbyist label.  By not valuing their time as pay worthy, it creates the idea that what they do is not WORK.  Some days the comments have been made by people if I say I am frustrated ( it happens) that I can just stop, it is only sewing.  Everyone has off days at their places of employment. My being a creative does not mean that I do everything for fun. Some things are stressful but that is not a reason to stop. For me, it is a reason to push through and make it HAPPEN.  This drive is what creatives must have to be successful! Drive is my hobby being a creative is my profession! 

The creative life happened by accident for me by way of my youngest when he was a baby.  Sewing was a task to learn.  I was soon sucked into the vortex of fun fabrics and sewing machines!  My adoration of sewing machines, especially vintage models, and variety of fabrics is the reason I kept sewing.  I could not justify having all of accumulation of these things filling every nook and cranny of the house without producing something! 

There is not a beautiful tale of decades of history in the sewing world.  I have family members that did sew before I was born or while I was growing up but I did not learn how to from them. Everything I know I have taught myself or have looked to friends in the industry to learn. My children have been in my sewing studio, they do know basics, the younger ones are growing up with this being a part of their family history. 

2) You do a good bit of design work as part of your quilting. What does your design process look like? Chaos is my process!  Most of my projects have been long term not quick turnarounds.  I tend to overthink each part of the process.  Perfection is not my goal but my personal happiness is what I try to achieve. This holds true for everything I do.  I may take more time to complete tasks than most but then at the end of my day, I look back and know that I have put my best into each thing that I have done.

3) What do you think are the most important things to keep in mind when writing quilt patterns or tutorials for others to follow? I am a visual learner.  I NEED to see every step!  When I am writing or designing, I will add photos for every step.  One tutorial I had included 59 photos!  It was for Liberty of London  and they ended up cutting so many of the photos! I never could have recreated the project without each of those images.  Making patterns that everyone can use no matter how they learn is important. It is not that people cannot make certain things, it is that they may process the information differently than the pattern writer. 

My being a visual learner  also makes me an excellent pattern tester.  I HAVE to make a tester block before I cut into precious fabric. I follow each step as it is written.  I do not try to make it work if there is an issue, I will correct it or ask what was meant as I go.  In this way, I am learning something new and am also able to let pattern writers know what they need to fix.  Understanding  that we are all fallible is key to the process. No one wants to make a mistake.  It is up to all of us to realize that it can occur and to be compassionate when it does happen. 

4) How is creative community important to your work? My work as a Creative Social Media Manager for a variety of different companies in the quilting and sewing industry means the creative community is everything to me!  I am on every social media outlet seven days a week looking for engaging content to learn from and share.  I listen to TED talks and devour books in my spare time.  There are so many exciting ways to add value to the creative community that is not limited to sewing and quilting.  It can be mind boggling at times!  In fact, I will never be bored or lack inspiration thanks to everything from the internet to my kids! 

5) What advice do you have for other makers on their creative journeys? No matter what your end goal, LOVE the process!  If you love piecing...piece your brains out!  If making bags is your thang...make 1000! Find people that share similar interests and be there for each other!  Communities are what makes all of this worthwhile.  It is great to grow, it is even better if you have those around you growing too!  Do not compete...complete!  Be the reason that someone wants to start or the reason that someone decides not to give up!

Kim, thank you so much for hanging out with us today on FriYAY Friends! Your energy is infectious! 

Y'all be sure to follow Kim on Instagram @gogokim (where I found all these gorgeous images), and check out her fun blog and Facebook page, too! 

You can also find me on Instagram @stringandstory where my feed is full of quilts and my stories are full of my goofy little boys and cats. I'd also love to see you each Saturday morning for a nice first cup of coffee Newsletter read. If you haven't already, you can sign up here. 

That's all for now, dears! I'll see you tomorrow in the newsletter, and then here on Monday for the #MachineQuiltingBlogHop (fingers crossed that Modern Birds in the Air will be done).



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