Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Blog Hop and Book Giveaway - Recreating Antique Quilts

Welcome everyone!

I'm Karen from Redbird Quilt Co and I'm thrilled to be sharing the stage with some wonderfully talented ladies for Blog Hop Round #2 celebrating Wendy Sheppard's latest book:  

Recreating Antique Quilts

You're going to Love this book!
Be sure to jump to each person's blog today - see their beautiful projects, and get signed up for the book giveaway -- 4 books will be shared during the hop!!

Lisa: http://lovetocolormyworld.blogspot.com/
Doreen: http://treadlemusic.wordpress.com/
Kay: http://kayharmon.blogspot.com/ 

Many thanks to Landauer Publishing for sponsoring this hop and giveaway!
Image Credit Landauer Publishing
If you've been following along on Instagram or Facebook you'll know that I've been sharing some teasers about my latest project from Wendy's book.
Well, the time has come to tell you about the book and reveal my project!!

Wendy Sheppard according to Karen:  

Let me first say that Wendy Sheppard is one of the most talented designers and domestic free motion quilters that I know!

I've been motivated and inspired by her awesome designs and free motion quilting classes and tutorials for several years now.  Matter of fact, Wendy, in her sweet and graceful way, has encouraged me to become a better designer and quilter and I'm so very grateful for that.
(Thank you friend). 

One awesome thing you'll find on Wendy's Blog (www.ivoryspring.wordpress.com) is Wendy's free motion quilting tips, Thread Talk.  If you FMQ then you must check it out!  All the most fantastic tips and tricks for quilting on a domestic machine!!  Really -- Thread Talk has helped me out of more than one FMQ jam.

Thread Talk

To learn even more about Wendy check out this blog post by Landauer Press and also this interview with Pat Sloan!  Woot! Woot!

Recreating Antique Quilts Review:

(From Blog Hop Round #1 ~ My original review ~ Nov 2014)

Recreating Antique Quilts is all about re-interpreting antique quilts for the quilters of our time using contemporary fabrics and methods.  It's pretty neat to see antique quilt designs recreated with fun and modern fabrics in sizes that 
won't take forever to complete. 

Here is the book cover,
isn't it just beautiful?
Fresh colors, a beautiful bird, love!
Book Cover ~ Image Credit Landauer Publishing
The 96 page book contains patterns, complete instructions, full-color images, and full-size templates for 5 quilts, 2 table toppers/runners, 1 pillow, and 2 stunning wall hangings.   WOW!! 

In typical Wendy Sheppard style, the designs are fresh and unique and each pattern contains applicable cutting, piecing, applique and quilting tips including an awesome writeup sharing Wendy's machine applique methods.  Sweet!

In all, the book contains more than 27 full-color quilt images!   I love this because you can see full view images of the quilts that inspired Wendy's designs along side her updated design.

There are detail images that show you the beautiful piecing and applique along with the fantastic quilting stitched on Wendy's domestic machine.  
Wendy's Garden Lattice ~ Image Credit Landauer Publishing
You'll also love the detailed and helpful applique templates and quilting diagrams.  

The applique templates are full-size, color coded, reversed where applicable, and easy to follow.

The quilting tips, notes and diagrams are equally impressive.

I was excited to see a page dedicated to quilting an Off-Centered Feather Wreath.
I can see my FMQ skills improving already!

Blog Hop Round #1 Creation: Karen's Feathered Garden Lattice:

Here is a quick recap of what I created for Blog Hop Round #1.
Shown is Wendy's Garden Lattice quilt design - so beautiful!!  
Image Credit Landauer Publishing
And I interpreted the design like this:  Karen's "Feathered Garden Lattice".
You can read my Blog Hop Round #1 post and see more of Feathered Garden Lattice by clicking here:    What a fun project!!

Here we are!! Blog Hop Round #2  

I was thrilled and honored when Wendy invited a few of us to the 2nd round of her book Blog Hop -- it means creating yet another design from the book!  Woot!  Woot!

Of course I was drawn to this applique,  
Ivory Baltimore Wall Hanging.  
It's a mini -- 17" x 21"
It was first on my list of things to make.  
Isn't it beautiful?  
Ivory Baltimore ~ Image Credit Landauer Publishing
Wendy wrote an exceptional overview of how and why she created Ivory Baltimore -- you can read it by clicking here.

I was excited to adapt Ivory Baltimore to wool applique using somewhat more traditional Baltimore Album colors....
and here it is...  my Wool on Flannel version of Ivory Baltimore Wallhanging:
As I did with Feathered Garden Lattice, I decided to jump outside of my comfort zone with this project.  Although I rarely use fusible methods - it sure came in handy on this petite little applique wall hanging.
 For the background fabric I used Primitive Muslin Flannel (by Primitive Gatherings for Moda) and various and sundry pieces of hand dyed wool for the applique.  I used Heat 'n Bond Lite to prepare everything except the stems, baskets, and 3D flowers.  I was happy with how things anchored using the fusible (but you know me, generally I wouldn't use fusible or glue based products).   
 I used Aurifil Mako Cotton 12Wt Thread (and a little Valdani 12Wt) to hand stitch the wool pieces to the background.  I find it relaxing to hand stitch #slowstitching.  
If you want to create this design with machine applique (like Wendy did) and wool, the fusible would help stabilize the wool for you -- so you can machine blanket stitch it. 

I used a combination of a blanket stitch and an overhand stitch on the applique and added a little batting to the wool flowers to give them dimension. Where Wendy used YoYo Flowers, I had fun creating something a little different with wool!!
For the quilting, I paired the quilt top with a layer of Quilters Dream 100% Wool batting, a layer of 100% cotton batting and a flannel backing.  I used Aurifil 50Wt Mako Cotton for the quilting with a size 90/14 needle (because of all that batting).
I *LOVE* the way Aurifil thread stitches (hand and machine). 

 Don't you just love the look and dimension quilting adds to the overall pattern?
I could go on all day showing you pictures of Wooly Ivory Baltimore, but I want to be sure you have time to get to all the blogs that are reviewing and giving-away Wendy's book today.

Use the image below to see Wendy's main blog hop post from today:  And don't forget to hop to the other blogging friends...
Image Credit Landauer Publishing

Now how about that Giveaway!

The great folks at Landauer Publishing are giving away one copy of
Recreating Antique Quilts
at each blog hop stop today!

The book giveaway is open to United States and Canadian followers -- however, if an International follower is chosen, I would be happy to share a PDF copy of my Spring Basket pattern - so please everyone, join in the fun!

 To enter the giveaway, leave a comment and let me know what you thought about the book review or the projects in the book -- just let me know whatever you like!

The Giveaway will remain open through March 12th and the randomly drawn winner will be announced on March 13th.
In summary, I couldn't be more pleased with Wendy Sheppard's new book  
Recreating Antique Quilts.

The designs (and variety of designs), patterns, instructions, diagrams, layout, colors - just everything about the book is beautifully done.

Here are a couple of helpful links:

You can order the book from Landauer Publishing by clicking here.  

You can order a signed copy of the book from Wendy Sheppard by clicking here:
You can also find the book on Amazon.com or ask your favorite Patchwork shop to order it in.

Thanks for stopping by today and have a blessed week!

Chevron with a Twist Winners - Plus!

"Thank you" just doesn't seem a sufficient way to express my gratitude for the sweet comments you shared about Chevron with a Twist!    I really appreciate your feedback.  Thank you so much -- you sure know how to put a smile on my face. 
Image courtesy Junelily.com
and...  Before we get to the lucky Aurifil Thread winners - know that, as promised, there are upcoming posts to outline the quilting details for Chevron with a Twist and show how I used the awesome QP Curve Templates by Linda Hrcka from The Quilted Pineapple to quilt it.  Trust me, there's an awesome giveaway that goes along with that post -- so do stand-by for that.    If you're wondering what Chevron with a Twist is -- you can click here to see the introductory post.

On a separate note:

Later today I'll be sharing the stage with some wonderfully talented ladies and participating in a blog hop for Wendy Sheppard's book "Recreating Antique Quilts".   Woohoo!!

Be sure to stop back -- you'll be thrilled to see a book giveaway and a new wool applique quilt that I prepared from Wendy's Ivory Baltimore Wall Hanging design.  That's later today.


Now... what do you say we announce some Aurifil thread winners !   Many, many thanks to the great team of folks at Aurifil - they are always so generous with their products - sharing two cases of thread for me to giveaway during this celebration. #aurilove

It's easy for me to support and brag about Aurifil - their thread is great for piecing (it allows your seams to press nice and flat), it's great for hand work like needle turn applique (it doesn't twist and knot and melts into the fabric) and it's awesome for free motion quilting on a domestic machine.  I just love it...  I know you will too.

So.... Winner #1 goes home with 12 large spools of Aurifil thread from the Quilted in Honor collection:
 Random Number generator choose #79
 Comment #79 is:
Congratulations Material Girl - I'll send you an email Tuesday so we can celebrate your thread win!!

Next winner receives 10 small spools of Aurifil thread in the "I Can Fly - Citrus" collection by Mark Lipinski.
Mr. Random Generator choose:
 Comment #173 is:
Congratulation Di!!   I'll drop you an email later today so we can get this package in the mail to you!!  

Many thanks again Aurifil for the awesome giveaway.

To see the complete free tutorial for Chevron with a Twist -- visit it on the Moda Bake Shop.

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Chevron with a Twist Celebration!

Greetings everyone!! I've been hiding out behind the scenes lately and I'm so excited to show you why. 

I'm thrilled to celebrate another
Moda Bake Shop recipe with you...
Do you remember the Heart's Content Decorative Pillow I created for the Bake Shop in November?
Well, I slightly overestimated the fabric for that recipe and was left with a beautiful layer cake of Heart's Content fabric by Laundry Basket Quilts for Moda (poor me ;)

Oh what to do with a layer cake of fabric...  How about designing a quilt using Half Square Triangles... ?
And it's probably important to include a little applique and a Redbird...
And how can you pass up a design that affords you bunches of Free Motion Quilting options?
Chevrons and Feathers?
Yes, thank you!
Curved crosshatches, scallops, and a neat new feather block using my newly acquired QP Curve Templates ??  
Eeeek - YES! 
I've always admired curved crosshatching and was excited to try it myself -- I'm addicted... 
I quilted "Chevron with a Twist" on my domestic machine with one layer of Quilter's Dream 100% Wool #dreamwool and using my favorite Aurifil thread!  

I just love Aurifil Mako Cotton 50Wt thread for machine quilting... it rarely breaks, has minimal lint, and is fine, yet strong.  Actually, on this recipe, I used it for the applique, the piecing AND the quilting!!  
New to me!!  I can't begin to describe how much fun I had working with the curved templates (acrylic rulers) on my domestic.  

They were designed by Linda Hrcka of The Quilted Pineapple (Linda uses them on her long arm machine and turns quilt tops into masterpieces!!) 

They're called "The QP Curve Templates" and WOW - did they open the door for some neat FMQ designs on "Chevron with a Twist"!  Can you tell I really, really loved working with them?
I have so much to share about the quilting I really can't fit it all in one post.  Let me tell you though, there are a series of posts coming up that include information and Giveaways you won't want to miss!!    I'll share more about the awesome QP Curve Templates then too!!

Right now though, we're going to celebrate this new Moda Bake Shop Recipe and the luscious Aurifil thread I used throughout the process.  The wonderful and generous team at Aurifil provided not one, but TWO sets of Aurifil thread to share with YOU!!   

The first set of thread includes 12 large spools of 40 Wt Mako Cotton thread put together especially for the Operation Homefront - Quilted in Honor initiative.  What a beautiful collection of threads and for a wonderful cause.  Learn more here. 
The 2nd set of thread includes 10 small spools of 50Wt thread the "I Can Fly" Citrus Collection by Mark Lipinski.  Oh you'll LOVE this amazing collection of colors.  Mark is a hoot! and a promoter of the #slowstitching movement.  You'll see from preparing "Chevron with a Twist" that getting in the slowstitching zone will payoff and make the journey more enjoyable!!  You can get to know a little more about Mark by clicking here.

To enter the giveaway:

Leave a comment letting me know your thoughts on "Chevron with a Twist".   You can use this link to review the complete tutorial at the Moda Bake Shop.  Feel free to say hi or leave questions at either location - but be sure to comment here, on my blog, to get in on the giveaway!

For one extra chance to win, leave me an additional comment letting me know if you follow me on other social media outlets.   Redbird Quilt Co is on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter - do you follow me on any or all of these ?  
Next weeks' fun might intrigue you to join me on one or two of these platforms ;) 

Note:  If you're a "No Reply" blogger --  leave me an email or blog address in your comment so I can reach out to you - otherwise I'll have no way to contact you.

The giveaway will close on Monday, March 2nd 11pm Eastern time...  but... March 3rd is a new day -- you never know what will happen then ;)

Thanks for stopping by today and, as always, thanks for your continued support.

PS - Just a quick note of thanks to all those that encourage and support my Redbird Quilt Co endeavors - especially my husband Cliff and my dear sisters Janet and Michele.  Also a shout out to Cindy at SewItIs - she is always taking my last minute call for help when I chop something wrong and need more fabric!! #showmethemoda  Thankfully she's only a few minutes away. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Off my Rocker? Aurifil's 2015 Jan Mini-Quilt

Greetings fellow quilters and bloggers -- it's been a couple of weeks since I last blogged and I do apologize. I've been a little under the weather and moving at a snails pace. 

On one of my "good days" last weekend I had a hankering to make something that didn't require my creativity but still allowed me a bit of a challenge.   Turn to... something pieced. 

Ya'll know that piecing is NOT my forte'.  I'm an applique (wool or cotton) girl at heart.   However, when I saw this sweet little mini-quilt, Flurry, designed by Gudrun Erla for Aurifil, I couldn't take my eyes off it.  Isn't it just the cutest little mini?
Image Auribuzz.wordpress.com ~ Flurry by GEQuiltDesigns.com
Gudrun was interviewed by Pat Sloan for Aurifil Thread.  You can get to know her and find the link to the Flurry mini-quilt on the Auribuzz blog by clicking here. 

Now grab a cuppa and work through this sweet mini with me.  I'll share the tips that helped me out and approximate times it took to complete each step.  It really was fun! 

Don't forget... if you share your quilt top on the Aurifil Flickr group you're eligible to win a box of Auriful thread!!  Woohoo -- you can NEVER have enough Aurifil thread.

After downloading the pattern I spent an hour or so pressing and cutting my fabric per the pattern instructions.  Enter, this darling red print "Floral Gatherings" by Primitive Gatherings for Moda.  I've had this little pretty in my stash for a bit -- it was time to put it to good use.  Paired with that, I used "Indigo" by Moda and decided to reverse the colors as Gudrun originally designed.

Before we get too far, let's not forget to discuss the perfect thread.   I used Aurifil 50Wt Mako Cotton in color #2370 (Sandstone).  Aurifil 50Wt thread is fine, so it adds to the accuracy of your piecing... this applique girl could use all the help she could get!!
Here we go... now before you get started:

Here's a tip:  It's really important to know that you have OR test your scant 1/4" seam allowance.  I explained how to do this last year in the Redbird and Berries Mini Quilt recipe for the Moda Bake Shop -- you can see that recipe here.    Pat Sloan did a similar post earlier this year - you can see it here.    In summary, sew (3) 2-1/2" squares together side by side, set seams, press toward the outside, flip right side up, and measure your inside piece.  It should measure exactly 2" wide.   It's really important on this mini to have an accurate scant 1/4" seam allowance.
Image from Moda Bake Shop - Redbird and Berries Mini Quilt
Onto Step 1....   

Step 1 consisted of making 8 Half Square Triangles (HST) and trimming them to 1-1/2"... Feeling confident -- I can do this!!   HST's made... now to press them open.

Here's a tip:  The pattern calls for the HST to be pressed toward the red fabric.  Did you know if you position your sewn piece with the upside being the side you are suppose to press toward that it makes it easier to "set the seam" and then press it toward that direction?  Try it... for each step in the pattern, when you're suppose to press toward "xyz" make sure you lay the sewn piece with that side up.  Press once to "set the seam" then use your fingers to fold the seam back and press again.   It helps to remember that whatever side is showing is the side your seam will be pressed toward.   Does this help?

Here's the image before I opened them -- after I "set the seam":
Here is the image after I set the seam, opened the seam and pressed again.   The seams are all pressed toward the red and they didn't need to be moved again to accomplish this step.  Love that!
Now for the trimming to 1-1/2" square.   By now I'm already starting to curse Alex, Pat and Gudrun for not having an applique mini -- but keeping focused I continued on...   Ha ha ha ha...

Here's a tip:  If you have one, NOW is the time to use the mini rotating cutting mat to trim your HST's.  This way you don't have to reposition your fabric to trim all 4 sides.   My DH gave me one for Christmas 2013 -- finally -- a chance to use it (you see - I never piece). 
Step 1: Total time 23 minutes!! Includes boo-boo  (Can you believe I stitched ON THE LINE -- maybe it was the cough medicine -- ya - that was it!)

Onto Step 2.  Ok lets follow the pattern again -- sew the HST's to the solid pieces.  That wasn't too bad --  I'm back to the "I can do this" mode....
Step 2:  Total time  23 minutes 

Onto Step 3.  Ok here is where I read twice and took care to position the pieces exactly as the pattern calls for - thankfully I did it right the first time.

Having fun again!  Here is where I send an image to my sisters and say "Look, I'm piecing"... ha ha ha...
Step 3: Total time 15 minutes (no boo-boo's)

Onto Step 4:  I had pre-marked the diagonal line on my 1-1/2" squares after cutting them so I was ready to align and sew out of the gate.  (Yay!)

Here's a tip:  Consider chain piecing when you're making these 8 pieces -- it allows you to be more efficient at your sewing, saves time and thread and that means saving money!!  Here is an image after chain stitching 1/2 of this step.   I did cut my pieces apart before I sewed and chain stitched the other side.
OK - both sides sewn, trimmed, and pressed....  Whew...  I'm not sure they're square but I'm rolling with it by now (am I really making this pieced mini quilt ??)
Step 4: Total time 15 minutes (no boo-boo's)

Onto Step 5 - sewing WOF strips, cutting and making 4 patch units  -- I can do this ;)  Here we go....

Here's a tip: This is another opportunity to chain stitch -- feeding each 4 patch unit in one behind the other - FAST!!
Step 5: Total time 17 minutes (don't judge ;)   ha ha ha....

Onto Step 6...  be sure to follow the directions as written -- I had to rip twice on this step (how did I do that ??)   Anyhow... No pictures of this one.

Step 6: Total time 22 minutes (ripped twice ?? maybe to align my points ?? - I forget...)

Onto Step 7.... Now we're making some 9 patches...  Humh.... I guess I can do this piecing thing if I just take my time, enjoy the process and pay attention to details.   I'm not one to do a lot of pinning but:

Here's a tip:  If you're aiming to improve accuracy - be sure to nest your seams and pin there -- it does make a difference, especially if you're a novice like me.   Also, chain piece here too!

No pictures for Step 7 - I'm seeing the end in sight and getting excited -- way ahead of myself and forgot to take pictures :(

Step 7: Total time 30 minutes

Onto Step 8 - If you weren't sure of your seam allowance before, you'll be sure to find out with this step.  If you pre-cut your pieces before sewing then they'll fit a perfect 1/4 " seam allowance or be too big or small otherwise.   Fingers crossed...

Whew - worked out just fine...  Step 8 done.
Step 8: Total Time 12 Minutes

Onto Step 9 -- WOOHOO!!  Happy Dance... I still have hair left on my head...  Lets get this 3 x 3 sewn together now

Here's a tip:  Pin, Pin, Pin -- there are a few seams to align -- I pinned mine.  It only took a few minutes and was so worth it!!   Someday maybe I'll graduate to big girl piecing but for now,  pinning is my piece of mind.

Oh my gosh look -- I'm almost done -- I'm so happy and kinda proud that I could do this...
Step 9:  Total Time 27 minutes

Onto the final -- Step 10.  Adding those borders - here's another case where an inaccurate seam allowance will getcha....  I took a few minutes and squared my block before adding the borders.  A 1/16 trim here and there and the whole block squared up nicely.    Yay !
Step 10: Total Time with Squaring 18 minutes

Oh my goodness I'm completely thrilled to have made this cute mini -- many thanks to Aurifil, Pat Sloan and especially Gudrun Erla for the awesome pattern and instructions.  It was fun to make and total sewing, fussing, pressing time was under 3.5 hours!!
Now to contemplate the quilting -- we'll save that for another day.

Be sure to get your mini quilt made -- and follow the directions on the Auribuzz blog for entering your mini into the Aurifil thread giveaway.  There is no better thread for piecing, needle turn applique and dense quilting.

Happy Sewing and thanks for stopping by!