Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Week 3: Month of Monday Giveaways Celebration - I'm teaching!!

Welcome to Week 3 of a "Month of Monday Giveaways".   This week we're celebrating my first ever, all official, on the books, teaching engagement at a Local Quilt Shop!    Will someone pinch me ?

I'm very honored and excited to share with you that the four lovely ladies who own, operate and pour their hearts into Quilters Corner in Ithaca, New York, are taking a chance on this small town girl and giving me the opportunity to teach my designs in their all-star class lineup.  Woohoo!    
Located in the beautiful Finger Lakes Region of Upstate NY, USA -- Quilters Corner was a Featured Shop in Better Homes & Garden Fall 2010 issue of Quilt Sampler magazine!! 
One of the things you notice the minute you walk through the door is COLOR!!
Yes!!  Batiks, cottons, flannels, wools...
...samples and more color!   
Swoon!!    In additional to tons of fabrics, patterns, books and samples, Quilters Corner proudly sells and services Pfaff and Baby Lock machines, and they also have an Online Store.

For all of my bird loving friends... you must check out the awesome paper pieced bird patterns "Feathered Friends" by local artist and quilter, Elsie Dentes.  I had the opportunity to meet Elsie in the shop a week or so ago, and I was thrilled as I have always admired her bird designs.  Click here to view them on the shop page.

As I mentioned earlier, the class lineup at Quilters Corner is extraordinary and includes two of my favorite instructors and mentors, Sharon Stroud and Debbie Wick.   I've learned so much from these two ladies, and I'm honored to have my name listed with theirs on the class schedule.  You can see the full Quilters Corner class schedule by clicking here.

So here I am -- in May/June 2014 teaching Spring Basket
 and Family Tree Pillow
at Quilters Corner in Ithaca, NY.  I'm just so excited!!

To help me celebrate this milestone Quilters Corner is sponsoring today's giveaway!

What better way to celebrate than with beautiful wool charms by "in the Patch designs"!  The hand dyed wool charms work perfectly on the Spring Basket pattern -- check out these stunning colors and designs.
A beautiful variety of wool charms...
Thank you Quilters Corner for the awesome giveaway!

Giveaway Chances:  There are several ways to gain chances to win in Week 3 of a Month of Monday Giveaways!

If you are an existing follower of mine in any social media outlet, leave one comment letting me know all ways you already follow.  (Just one comment that indicates all of the social media outlets that you are currently using - Blog, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Craftsy).

If you are a new follower in any of the social media above -- leave ONE comment letting me know which one(s) you added.

If you "Like" Quilters Corner, Ithaca, New York on Facebook -- give yourself another chance and leave a comment letting me know.

If you signup for Quilters Corner Shop Talk or Web News feeds then give yourself an additional chance and leave me a comment letting me know.

In summary -- one lucky reader will win two Wool Charm packs on Monday, April 21st around 9pm EST.

Good luck everyone and thanks so much for celebrating Week 3 of a Month of Monday Giveaways!

PS.  If you missed the Week 2 Winner post -- you should check it out -- we had a special guest choose the winning Facebook and Craftsy entries -- he was a hoot!

Hugs,
Karen

Monday, April 14, 2014

Winners - Week 2 Month of Monday Giveaways!

Greetings fellow quilters!

I'm excited to announce the winners of the Week 2 Celebration in the Month of Monday Giveaways!

For Week 2 we're celebrating the release of my very first Redbird Quilt Co. pattern "Spring Basket".  
Spring Basket is an 11" x 16" Wool Applique on cotton Mini Quilt that is wool charm friendly, uses simple embroidery stitches and works up really fast!   Personally - I think the hardest part of the entire pattern is getting the half moon template ready.  I'll be anxious to get feedback from these Week 2 winners!!    The pattern can downloaded from my Craftsy Pattern Store here or on my blog sidebar.

The first winner was drawn from the set of 49 Followers on Craftsy.  I printed all the entries and let our crazy Yellow Nape Amazon "Cayman" choose the winner....    He was a little hesitant...
 But finally went for it!!
And the winner of one "Spring Basket" pattern is: Shirley Tener from Arlington Texas !!  Shirley blogs over at SimpleSew.   Shirley, you have a choice of a printed or PDF version of the Spring Basket pattern.  I'll contact you via email !  Congratulations!
The next pattern winner was chosen from the 48 comments left on the April 6th Spring Basket announcement on Redbird Quilt Co's Facebook page.

The comments were printed and tossed on the table runner --  Cayman went after the winner but he was moving so fast the picture came out a blur (bummer)....  None the less we have a winner of another "Spring Basket" pattern.

And the winner is Kathi B. Clower!   Kathi blogs over at Design Originals by KC -- Congratulations Kathi!  You also have a choice of a printed or PDF version of the pattern.  I'll send you an email.
Now Cayman was all tuckered out so it's a good thing that blog comments are numbered and Mr. Random Generator could choose the 3rd and last winner of the "Spring Basket" pattern.   There were 185 comments on the blog and Mr. Random Generator chose #91.
Comment number 91 was Helen!!  Helen blogs at Helen's Patchwork Passion.  Congratulations Helen -- and because you live across the Big Pond I will be happy to send you a PDF version of "Spring Basket".
Last but not least -- the winner of the Thread Pack of Aurifil Mako Cotton 50Wt spools...

But before we get to that winner I want to say "Thank you, Thank You" to Aurifil for sponsoring this fantastic giveaway!  Alex and the whole crew at Aurifil are so very generous and fun!!
t
OK - Drum roll please -- there were a total of 185 comments on the blog post and Mr. Random Generator chose #11. 
Lucky number 11 was Joyce Carter!!  Woohoo!  Joyce you are the winner of this awesome collection of Aurifil thread.   I use Aurifil Mako Cotton 50Wt thread for piecing, needle turn applique AND quilting -- you're going to L-O-V-E this thread !!   Joyce I will contact you via email to get your mailing address!
Well everyone -- that's a wrap -- thank you all so much for participating in Week 2 of a Month of Monday Giveaways.

Stay tuned this week because I'll soon be announcing the Week 3 Celebration and Giveaway!

One last note -- Cayman was really going after the cashew that was buried in the entrant piles... I'm working on training him to choose winners -- but he's not quite there yet...  Isn't he cute though?

Thanks again for your sweet comments and support - they really make my day!

Hugs,
Karen

Friday, April 11, 2014

Favorite Things Friday!

Greetings all and a warm welcome to our new followers!  I'm really thrilled that you're joining us....

We're smiling here in New York State as the weather is FINALLY beginning to feel like spring!

The ice is melting from the Finger Lakes and the weatherman is predicting unseasonably warm temperatures for the next few days!  Woohoo!

Here are a few of my Favorite Things on Friday!
Warm temps, calm (ice free) waters, a bundle of fabric, and some Aurifil Thread!  Life is good....

This beautiful bundle of "Bouquet Memories" by Hoffman California Fabrics is courtesy of Bear Creek Quilting Company...  Wait until you see what we have in store for you!

Here is a closer look....
Yep, I'm going to cut it up and sew it all back together using my favorite thread - Aurifil Mako Cotton 50 Wt for piecing, hand applique and quilting - love that thread (and just look at those luscious colors - swoon!).

If you haven't already -- be sure to get in on Week 2 in a Month of Monday Giveaways!!  
Check it out by clicking here.
A Thread Pack of Aurifil
and
Not 1 -- but 3 copies of our new 
"Spring Basket" Wool Applique pattern.
 
Have a joyous day and weekend all -- and thanks again for your sweet comments and support!

Hugs,
Karen



Monday, April 7, 2014

Aurifil Thread Winner - Week 1 of a Month of Monday Giveaways

Many thanks to everyone that played along in Week 1 of a Month of Monday Giveaways where we celebrated the start up of Redbird Quilt Co.  What a blast!


The celebration was sponsored by Aurifil Threads and included a 10 Spool Thread Pack of Aurifil Botanics by Carolyn Friedlander llc for Robert Kaufman Fabrics.  
I use Aurifil Mako Cotton 50Wt threads as my first choice for piecing, quilting, and needle turn applique! 

I think I've mentioned this before ;) but Aurifil's Mako Cotton thread blends like a dream, leaves little/no bulk and even less lint.   I can't begin to share technical details with you but I can say that when I quilt with it, my dense quilting comes out with little buildup and without nasty breaks.   

If you've never tried it -- you really should -- it's wonderful!
"Feathered Flower Fun" by Redbird Quilt Co. - Quilted with Aurifil Mako Cotton 50 Wt Thread
"Winters Charm" by Redbird Quilt Co - Quilted with Aurifil Mako Cotton 50wt Thread
"Quilting the Garden" by Blackbird Designs - Needle turn appliqued by KL Miller using Aurifil Mako 50Wt Thread
"Quilting the Garden" by Blackbird Designs - Needle turn appliqued by KL Miller using Aurifil Mako 50Wt Thread
 Now Open!!  Week 2 of the Month of Monday Giveaways .... Yet another chance to win Aurifil Thread!   Just click here to read and enter the giveaway. 

***   Drum-roll please  ***

There were a total of 571 comments on the Week 1 giveaway post -- WOW -- everyone wanted to win that Thread!!

Mr. Random Number Generator chose comment number :  277 !! 
 And comment # 277 was "Beth" -- yep, you've seen it with your own eyes!  Beth is our winner!!
Congratulations Beth!   I've sent you an email....  Oh the beautiful things you'll be able to stitch with that thread.

Have a fantastic week everyone and be sure to enter the Week 2 giveaway open until Monday, April 14th and celebrating my new Wool Applique pattern "Spring Basket".   We'll be sharing 3 "Spring Basket" patterns and another Thread Pack of Aurifil Mako Cotton 50Wt.   

Oh happy day!
Karen

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Celebrate Wool Applique love "Spring Basket" on Anything Goes Monday

Greetings blogging friends and welcome to the next celebration and giveaway in A Month of Monday Giveaways!!

but first... "Thank You" to everyone that commented on last week's post and offered their kind words and best wishes for Redbird Quilt Co.!
If you are joining us for your first visit be sure to click on this post and comment to enter last week's Aurifil thread giveaway - it's open until appx 9:00pm EST Monday April 7th.  Thanks again to Aurifil for sponsoring thread giveaways all month long! #aurilove

I did my best to respond to each sweet comment in the giveaway post but, I must admit, I was pleasantly overwhelmed with responses and I've fallen behind.  Please know that your giveaway entries are secure.

Sadly :(  MANY of you are showing as "No-Reply" bloggers, and unless your email address is included in the comments I have no way to reach you.  Click here to ensure YOU are not one of the unfortunate "No-Reply" bloggers.

OK - on to the celebration and giveaways!! 

Today I'm honored to guest host "Anything Goes Monday" - a fantastic weekly Linky party created by Marelize Ries at Stitch by Stitch blog.
stitch by stitch
Marelize is a wonderfully talented designer from Kriel, South Africa who brings her projects to life with the most beautiful free motion quilting sewn on her domestic sewing machine.

If you've never visited Stitch by Stitch I invite you to jump over and check out Marelize's lovely lineup of patterns and tutorials, along with her inspirational free motion quilting.

You absolutely have to see what Marelize makes with her creative self and a little Bernina Artista 180!

Marelize recently designed, created, quilted and published "Summer Solstice" available on her Craftsy Pattern store by clicking here.
Thank you Marelize for inviting me to guest host Anything Goes Monday for you today!  The Linky party is at the end of this post...

New followers -- if you have a blog I would invite you to try the Linky party -- it's a fun way to share your work with others and to enjoy a world of blogger creativity!! 

Today's celebration also includes the announcement of Redbird Quilt Co.'s first ever published pattern "Spring Basket"!  Yippee, happy dance, cartwheels and BIG smiles  !!
"Spring Basket" is an 11" x 16" wool applique mini quilt that is wool charm friendly.  (Wool charms normally contain 5 pieces of 5 inch square wools).  The pattern is available for immediate purchase and PDF download from my new Craftsy Pattern Store!!  Just click the link below !!

I'm a Craftsy Designer

The printed version will be available at a few local and online quilt shops - stay tuned for these upcoming announcements!

The PDF pattern includes full size Applique Shapes (ready to print on 8.5" x 11" freezer paper sheets), step by step start to finish instructions with supporting images, and suggestions for finishing the quilt with big stitch quilting.
The printed version of the pattern includes the full size Applique Sheets already printed on freezer paper!!  This saves you the trouble of printing or tracing them.

Because it is my first pattern I look forward to hearing your constructive feedback on either version.  As always - thanks for your support and encouragement, it drives me to continue growing and sharing what I love <3
OK -- onto this week's giveaway in the Month of Monday Giveaways!!

I'll be sharing 3 copies of "Spring Basket" in your choice of PDF or Printed version.  I'm pleased to say the contest is open internationally (international winners will receive a PDF version of the pattern).
Also, for domestic entries, Aurifil is sponsoring another 10 Spool Thread Pack of Aurifil Mako Cotton 50Wt threads!  WOW -- now we really have something to celebrate!  If you want to see why I choose to piece and quilt with Aurifil threads take a look at a few old posts here and here and here.

Check out this beautiful thread pack that includes spring colors that compliment Darlene Zimmerman's Lazy Daisy Basket line for Robert Kaufman.  These threads would work perfectly if you made "Spring Basket" in cotton - you can even machine stitch it!!   Oh such beautiful colors!!  Thank you Aurifil!

To enter the giveaway:


This weeks giveaway includes 3 "Spring Basket" patterns and one Aurifil Thread pack!

Winners will be chosen using these methods:    

Follow my Craftsy Pattern Store here - and one lucky Craftsy Pattern Store follower will be chosen to win a "Spring Basket" pattern.

Comment on the Redbird Quilt Co. Facebook Post celebrating the "Spring Basket" pattern.  All comments will be placed in a hat and one will be drawn to win a "Spring Basket" pattern.

Comment on this blog post and two winners (one "Spring Basket" pattern and one Aurifil Thread Pack) will be chosen!

On this post tell me what you like about the design.

Leave an extra comment if you follow my blog and tell me how you follow.

You can get extra chances to win if you share the "Spring Basket" celebration on any social media outlet (Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Blogging) - leave one comment per share !!

This giveaway will be open until 9:00pm EST Monday, March ooops April 14th (thank you Dya!)  -- Be sure to come back next week for yet another Monday in the Month of Monday giveaways!

Now back to Anything Goes Monday !!    Woohoo -- we're really partying now!!


Using the InLinkz Link-up below - link up any current projects you've been busy with, anything at all!  From quilting, sewing, knitting and crochet, it can be of any fiber art.  If its handmade, share it!




I'm looking forward to this new adventure with everyone.
Thanks again for your support and smiles -- they really make my day!

Hugs,
Karen

Monday, March 31, 2014

Welcome Redbird Quilt Co. Lets Celebrate with a MONTH of Giveaways!!

Hi everyone -- thanks for visiting today!

I'm so excited to announce and celebrate the creation of my new design, pattern, and quilting company "Redbird Quilt Co." 


Yep, this little business is getting off the ground and for the next month we're going to celebrate this and some other fun milestones with weekly giveaways!!   Woohoo! 

I have some awesome and generous giveaway sponsors lined up including Aurifil, Sew It Is Quilt Shop and Bear Creek Quilting Company just to name a few!! 

This week lets talk about milestones and the creation of Redbird Quilt Co!!

I've been sewing since I was in high school but only began the quilting journey a few years ago when my sister Janet invited me to join her in a LQS block of the month.  Well -- the completion of that BOM, along with many hours of guidance and love from my sister Janet -- and I was hooked on quilting!!

Now, 6+ years later, I've learned the joys of free motion quilting, needle turn and wool applique, lots and lots of fun quilting skills, and I've started designing my own patterns!!  

About 2 years ago I started blogging and what a world of adventure and opportunity that has opened up -- learning from the most talented and giving quilting community on earth!!   I'm so very thankful for blogging -- it's allowed me to get exposed to and write Recipes for the Moda Bake Shop AND to just share my love of quilting with others -- not to mention the bazillions of things I've learned from all the talented quilting bloggers out there -- Thank you all for embracing me and encouraging me to move forward...

 Here are some blogging milestones to celebrate!! 
  • Published more than 100 posts
  • Exceeded more than 650 followers (and I appreciate each and every one of you!!  Thank you! Thank you!)
  • Have had nearly 70,000 views on my blog -- how exciting!!
So, hey -- what do you say we get around to this week's giveaway. 

Aurifil has generously provided a set of Aurifil Botanics threads for me to give to one lucky reader!!

The Thread pack contains 10 - 220 yard spools of 50wt 100% cotton thread in some bright and cheery colors.  You can read more about the talented Carolyn Friedlander and her Botanics line on Aurifil's blog by clicking here.    
If you've never tried Aurifil thread it's really a MUST DO step in your quilting journey.  As many of you know, I quilt very densely on most of my projects and I just LOVE Aurifil Mako Cotton 50Wt thread!!

For quilting I use it in the top and bobbin thread.  It glides on like silk, doesn't break, shred, or leave piles of lint behind.... and you can do very dense quilting without unsightly thread buildup.  It is my GO TO thread for quilting!!

For piecing, the fine cotton fibers allow for nearly invisible and totally flat seams.  It's just a joy to work with.

Ok onto the fun part - - here's the scoop.

You have several ways to gain chances to win this Thead Pack of Aurifil Botanics -- choose as many or as few as you like!!
  1. One chance if you're a follower (old or new) of my blog -- leave a comment letting me know.
  2. One chance if you are an AURIbuzz blog follower (old or new)  - leave a comment on this post letting me know.
  3. One chance if you "Like" Redbird Quilt Co. on Facebook - be sure to come back to this post and let me know!
  4. One chance if you "Like" Aurifil on Facebook -- oh what scrumptious projects they post each day -- be sure to come back to this post and let me know...
  5. One chance for "Following" Redbird Quilt Co. on Twitter  "@RedbirdQuiltCo" be sure to come back to this post and let me know.
  6. One chance for "Following" Redbird Quilt Co. on Pinterest!!  Woohoo!!  
  7. Oh -- and if you give a shout-out about the giveaway on your blog or any other social media avenue -- take another chance for that !   
Be sure to leave individual comments below for each chance you decide to use!!

This giveaway will be open for one week -- so sometime on Monday, April 7th I'll use Mr. Random Generator and announce a winner!!

One more thing -- check back each Monday for the next several weeks as we celebrate some other new and exciting milestones -- new giveaways will be announced each Monday through the end of April!!

Many thanks to my husband, both of my sisters, and a couple of dear close friends (you know who you are!!)  for always encouraging me to follow my dreams - love you all!

Lets party!
Have a wonderful week.
Karen

Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Finish: Wren in Spring Wool Applique

Greetings!  I'm happy to report that the 7" x 7" mini quilt is quilted, labeled, and delivered to the Council of the Arts for their upcoming fundraiser.   You can read more about the mini art challenge here.  I used Aurifil Mako Cotton 50Wt thread Color #2000 to free motion quilt the background.   Have I mentioned how much I *love* Aurifil thread ?  Swoon!!
I wanted to share a few steps of the process. 

Once I completed the bird and flower stitching, I made a paper template to determine where I should make the 8" cut for a no binding finish.   The paper template allows you to "fussy cut" the quilt front. 

The inside border frame represents the desired 7" finished block size.  The outside frame is 8" wide and high.  I planned the 8" square to allow for a wider seam allowance (1/3" seam vs 1/4").  I also accounted for a little shrinkage from quilting.
After marking the outer corners of the frame I used a rotary cutter and ruler to cut out the 8" x 8" piece.  I then cut backing and batting pieces 8" square.  I used one layer of Hobbs Wool batting and one layer of Warm and Natural Cotton batting.  When you densely quilt these two different bats your quilt has both loft and stability - perfect for a little wall hanging.  I decided to NOT bind this quilt -- I wanted a quick finish ;)

Once all the layers were cut the same size, I placed the top and backing right sides together and placed the two layers of batting under them.  Below you can see the back of the top pinned to the other 3 layers.  Ready to stitch.
I stitched about 1/3" seam allowance around the outside of the quilt leaving less than a 2 inch opening to turn right side out.  I then trimmed the seam to less than a 1/4 inch (to reduce bulk).  I also trimmed the corners before turning right side out. I hand stitched the opening closed and "big stitch" quilted around the perimeter about 1/4 inch from the edge.   In hindsight, I should have done the border big stitch after the Free Motion quilting was done - the Quilting foot tugged on the threads and pulled them a little wonky :(
I loaded Aurifil Mako Cotton 50wt thread in color #2000 onto my domestic and slowly free motion quilted around the stems, flowers and bird as close to them as I could without stitching the wool.

That echo/outline stitch stabilizes the fabric (although not necessary on a 7x7 square ;).   I then slowly stitched a McTavish type filler in the negative space. (See Wendy Sheppard's nifty little S's here).  I really love that I can densely quilt a piece and not have a nasty thread buildup when using 50wt Aurifil thread.  If you haven't tried it you really should!
Quilting all done -- label and hanging sleeve added - - and ta-daa!!   All ready to be delivered to the Council of the Arts!   You can see my Computer Printed Quilt Label tutorial here.
Before it was delivered "downtown" I snapped this picture on the road not far from home. 
Thanks for stopping by everyone -- have a wonderful weekend and stay tuned for some fun next week. 

I'm linking up to some great parties - check out my sidebar and hop around for some Quilty Fun.

Hugs,
Karen