Friday, September 16, 2016

Local Show and Special Exhibit...Endless Mountains Quilt Guild

The time is almost here and I'm so excited!

A year ago the
Endless Mountains Quilt Guild
invited me to teach
 Redbird and Berries Mini Quilt
in a 2 session Workshop.

We had so much fun!
A few weeks later they invited me to be the Featured Quilter for their 2016 Show.
I am completely honored.
Now, we're only a week away from the Show -- Yippee!!
If you're anywhere near Athens, PA the weekend of September 24th, 25th, consider stopping by.

The Endless Mountains Quilt Guild has so much talent !!

Wait until you see their beautifully crafted quilts.  

You won't want to miss "Storytime Trunk Show" by Cathie Wiggs.  Cathie shares snippits of quilts from the past.

I'll be hanging around my "Special Exhibit" during show hours 10am to 4pm each day. 
I'm especially excited about sharing quilting demonstrations every 2 hours beginning at 11am.
You'll want to take a chance (or two) on the Guild Raffle quilt -- it's so beautiful!
They'll be plenty of local vendors at the show...
if you're looking for
The Quilted Pineapple Acrylic Templates
The QP Curve and The QP Edge sets
will be available at a special price.

Be careful though,
quilting with templates is addicting!
I do hope you can stop by, say hello, and share your quilty stories with me.
I look forward to meeting you there.
Below is the official Press Release from the EMQG:

The Endless Mountains Quilt Guild will be holding its biennial quilt show on September 24th and 25th at Lynch-Bustin Elementary School in Athens, PA. The show will be from 10:00-4:00 both days. Admission is $5 and includes 300 quilts on display, a special exhibit by Karen Miller of Redbird Quilt Co. and a trunk show by Cathie Wiggs.

Cathie Wiggs will present her Storytime Trunk Show “Scraps from the Past” at 10:00, 12:00, and 2:00, and Karen Miller will do sewing demonstrations at 11:00, 1:00, and 3:00. These special events will be held both days at the times listed.

A quilt honoring the Athens High School Class of 1965 will also be on display at the show. Made by Kay Kring Rhinehart, the quilt includes photos from the class as well as information about world events at that time.

The show will also feature vendors from the region. Lunch and snacks will be available, and raffle tickets for baskets will be sold. Please visit for more information about the Endless Mountains Quilt Guild and the quilt show.

Happy Quilting -- Karen

PS -- Don't forget about the QP Edge Giveaway and Class Discount
** and **
Be sure to review  the recent
"Aligning Your Free Motion Quilting Stars"

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Celebrate National Sewing Month and Align Your Free Motion Quilting Stars

Greeting fellow quilters
I'm thrilled you've stopped by!
Let's Celebrate National Sewing Month!
As part of the celebration, I'm excited to share a new recipe with you
on Moda Bake Shop
 - also -
we've got a great Giveaway &
some special Free Motion Quilting deals
at the end of this post.
First... on Moda Bake Shop
you'll find my very own
Bake Shop Basics for
Free Motion Quilting
on a home machine.
The Recipe is full of tips, tricks, and
troubleshooting ideas to help
Align Your Free Motion Quilting Stars!
If you've attended any of my
Workshops or Trunk Shows 
some of the ideas may sound familiar.
I hope you find them helpful.
Sharing is a great way to celebrate
National Sewing Month!!
Do hop on over and check it out...
I would love your feedback.

Later this month we'll meet again at Moda Bake Shop to quilt something together.  
Won't that be fun?

In the meantime, here are a few tidbits of information about one of the cute projects shown on the MBS post.
Let's call it "Pretty in Pink - Grunge"
Pretty in Pink - Grunge
I use this petite whole cloth quilt as a sample for teaching
free motion Feathers and
free motion Rulers and Templates
on domestic machines.
It's really rewarding to play and create fun new samples!
The Details...
Moda Grunge Fabric
(my favorite - isn't it beautiful!)
Aurifl 40Wt cotton thread on top
Aurifil 50Wt in the bobbin
Brand New 80/12 top stitch needle
Quilters Dream Wool (2 layers) 
The QP Curve Templates
The QP Edge Templates
(by Linda Hrcka of The Quilted Pineapple)
Did someone mention a Giveaway?

The Process - An Overview
Showing The QP Curve Template & Janome Ruler Foot
Pretty in Pink - Grunge was created using acrylic templates to guide a special free motion quilting foot on my domestic machine.  
If you've not tried quilting with templates or rulers, you're missing out on a great creative avenue.  
Consider learning the basics of ruler work by taking a class at your local shop, viewing online *free* YouTube clips and/or jumping on-board with a Crafsty class or two (see suggestions below).  

In this piece I used Aurifil 40Wt thread to add a bit of jazz to the quilting stitches.

The curved crosshatching and diamond shape were quilted using
The QP Curve Templates
by Linda Hrcka of
Sew Fun!!
The outside swag was quilted using two sizes of QP Curve Templates
Oh! and I love the beadboard border.
It was stitched free motion using The QP Edge Templates -- there are 3 sizes of straight rulers.
I adore the look of beadboard
(on a wall or a quilt).
The inside of the quilt is finished off with Fast Feathers... 
I so enjoy stitching these lightly spaced feathers and tendrils inspired by Bethanne Nemesh -- a variation of "Nemeshing".
See Bethanne's amazing creations by clicking here.
Fast feathers are quick background fill that look really classy...   
and don't take all day to quilt out.   
Do let me know if a quick tutorial on this would be helpful.
Now for some fun...
My com padre and friend Linda Hrcka 
Karen & Linda at AQS Syracuse July 2016
graciously provided a full set of QP Edge Templates 
The QP Edge Set -- Oh you will LOVE THEM!
to give away to one lucky reader.
(A $75 dollar value).

To enter the giveaway, leave me a comment telling me which project you like best on the Moda Bake Shop Basics post.
I shared several projects that were quilted on my home machine.
For an extra entry, share my blog post on any social media platform.  
After, be sure to return and leave a 2nd comment for a 2nd chance to win
The QP Edge Templates.
I'll announce a winner on or around Sept 25th.

Also -- for National Sewing Month,
 I've handpicked 4 Craftsy Classes 
and acquired a 50% discount code
good through Sept 24th.

Quilting with Rulers - Great class for beginners. 

Creative Quilting with Rulers...
More ruler work -- OK!!
I'm taking this one now -- woohoo!

 Machine Quilting Negative Space
Oh I loved this class too!!  
Angela makes beautiful background fill.

 Wild Quilting
The creative energy that Christina shares will knock your socks off!!
Be sure to use my affiliate link to get the 50% discount now through Sept 25th.
Jump over, read the reviews, check out the trailers and get on-board with one of these great classes.
Of course, if you have the opportunity to take a class in your local shop or at a show -- I ALWAYS recommend doing that first or in-addition-to an online course.   
Being face-to-face with a skilled educator is a great way to learn ;) 

Time to run... But before I go

1. Checkout the Moda Bake Shop post
2.  Enter for the QP Edge Giveaway by leaving a comment below
3. Review my hand picked online classes to improve your FMQ Skills
I leave you with Pretty in Pink - Grunge on the dock of Keuka Lake.
We love living in the Finger Lakes Region of NY -- If you're ever in the area, do give me a shout.

Thanks so much for stopping by...
Keep on Stitching! 

Follow me on social media:
Redbird Quilt Co. on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube
Facebook my FMQ Frenzy Community Group

Learn FMQ Basics via text and video on my free 2016 Free Motion Quilt Along

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Summer Vacation - A Wing and a Prayer

Greetings from Upstate NY where I've spent the most fabulous summer creating, quilting, teaching, playing and retiring!!   

Yep -- I did it -- I've retired from my full-time job and I'm now working 1/2 time (20 hours a week) to phase out and transition my work to a someone new!!  It's all very exciting and what I've dreamed of doing for the last few years.   Yippee....  Keep your fingers crossed that it allows me to spend more time quilting and blogging.  

Now let's talk summer  --- it's been a wild one and I haven't shared any blog posts with you.

Shame on me!    

I have been busy posting quick images and updates on Facebook and Instagram though -- so if you're on either one of those platforms be sure to follow me there. 

One of the things that I've been anxious to share with you this summer,  is a sweet little flimsy that I had the opportunity to quilt for a friend.   
The quilt is aptly named "A Wing and A Prayer" and was designed and created by my friend Jan Manley (SewandSowFarm Blog & Featherweight Quilt Company).

Jan created the quilt as part of the 2016 Hoffman Challenge using the beautiful Crystalia fabric by Hoffman -- Read more about the challenge by clicking here.

I was honored when Jan asked me to quilt it for her and I wanted to share some before and after images and some quilting details with you today.

Ya'll know that I do all my quilting on my home machine.   
It's sew much fun!!
I chose to use 100% Wool Batting by Quilters Dream.
This batting really does quilt like a dream -- and the loft is so yummy.

Here are a few images of the quilt before FMQing on my home machine.
Isn't it just beautiful ?  Jan created 5 Patchwork of the Crosses (POTC) units with English Paper Piecing (EPP) and beautifully fussy cut fabrics --- she did an absolutely amazing job of it.  
It was so very beautiful I was nervous to quilt it. 
the Challenge deadline was looming so I moved forward.
In addition to using the 50Wt Hoffman Challenge Collection by Aurifil,
I selected more Aurifil weights and colors
from my AuriStash ;)
In an attempt to compete in the "Best Use of Aurifil Thread" category I used 50Wt, 40Wt, 28Wt and 12Wt Threads and had a blast!
  Although "A Wing and a Prayer" didn't receive a ribbon, Jan and I were pretty pumped that it was accepted into the Challenge and will travel in Hoffman Challenge 2016 Trunk Show.  
I hope you get a chance to see it in person.

As with all domestic machine quilting I started in the middle of the quilt to FMQ around the beautifully fussy-cut and english paper pieced center...    
I chose to use an Aurifil 40Wt thread to give the center a bit of jazz.
This is what the first round of quilting with the Aurifil 40Wt thread looked like:
And here's a closer look at the quilting.
I call these feathers "fast feathers". 
They are inspired by Bethanne Nemesh...
A variation of  "Nemeshing"
Doesn't that Aurifil 40Wt and Dream Wool combo work perfectly here?
I love it!!
Ok - Now I moved onto the background fabric for the center POTC mediallion.
I thought a little top stitching with Aurifil 12Wt would look fabulous
I really do love the way the Aurifil 12Wt thread stitches with my walking foot.
Stay tuned for yet another blog post about the logistics of that... 
Working my way outward from the center I decided to echo stitch the beautiful Crystalia print -- but first I used an Aurifil 28wt thread to outline many of the butterflies.
Then I reached for the Aurifil 50Wt thread to get some echo quilting done.
Looking pretty good so far...
You'll notice in the center mediallion that I've yet to finish quilting. 
I decide to go back later with the Aurifil 40Wt and add some more fast feathers in the white space. You'll be able to see it a bit later.

Next up though, {I still question if I should have done this, but} I decided to do a teeny-tiny blanket stitch around all the POTC blocks.  Jan did a fantastic job of appliqueing them but I was afraid all my quilting was going to turn them up -- so I experimented with this setting on my machine and went for it...   
Here is one completed -- if you look close you can see the minuscule blanket stitch that goes around the POTC.
I did this with a walking foot and Aurifil 50Wt thread.
OK - up next let's get some quilting in that beautiful Hoffman Watercolor Batik -- this one was called "Shrimp".  It was fun to stitch.  I went back to the Aurifil 40Wt thread and the fast feathers.
Above... How about Jan's beautifully fussy cut butterflies!
OK -- Here's a close up of the fast feathers...
How about that thread and batting combination !!
Now the quilting is complete on
A Wing and A Prayer
Here's a close up of the center...
And here's a full view of the quilt before I sent it back to Jan.
I must say -- I was pretty excited about working on this with Jan.  She is an amazing designer and a wonderful person.  Again, although we didn't win any ribbons we're both pretty psyched at "A Wing and a Prayer" was accepted into the Challenge and will travel for the next year  in the Hoffman Challenge Trunk Show.   

My congratulations goes out to all the entries and ribbon winners -- beautiful work all.
You can see the Winners Online here.
You can read Jan's A Wing and a Prayer Blog Post here.
If you get a chance to see the quilt in person, I would love it if you could tag Jan or I in any post you make on any social platform.   Thanks so much.
Gotta run but stay tuned later this week
for another exciting blog post
and a fun tutorial on the Moda Bake Shop!
Woot - woot!

Keep on Quilting

Monday, May 30, 2016

2016 Free Motion Quilt Along - Winners!

I've completed the random drawings 
for the prize winners in the
2016 Free Motion Quilt Along !!
Before I announce the "official" winners I want to congratulate everyone that Quilted Along with us on the Susybee Lewe's Balloons Growth Chart or otherwise.  
See the original QAL Post here

Learning to Free Motion Quilt is sew fun but can sometimes be frustrating -- so persistence and practice is key to improving your FMQ Skills.

There were a total of 13 projects (some finished and some work in progress) submitted by the extended deadline -- and at least one completed project was submitted after the deadline.

I used Mr. Random Generator to choose the Winners in the order the sponsors were listed in the original post.
Because we had a total of 13 entries
I've thrown in a few "extra" prizes
for those that didn't win
a sponsored prize...
Everyone's a winner today!


Many thanks again to all of our fabulous Sponsors -- for offering quality products and great prizes.

Let's start with the winner of the awesome designer thread collection 

Thank you
for Subtle Strings...
The beautiful new designer thread collection by my favorite 
FMQ mentor, Wendy Sheppard.  

The winner is:
 Glenice from Australia!
Woot Woot -- Glenice I KNOW you will love this 50Wt Aurifil thread collection!

Thank you Creekside Fabrics, Quilts and Yarns in Arcade, NY.

For the:
The Winner is: 

 Di Di -- from the USA!

Congratulations DiDi -- You'll have some fun at the Creekside Fabrics Online Store!

Thank You
 Quilter's Dream Batting - my favorite batting/waddling. 

For one package each of
Dream Wool and Dream Cotton!

And the Winner is:
 Sharon from Upstate NY!
Sharon I know you'll find great things to do with this fantastic selection of batting!

Moving right along...
Thank you Sew It Is Quilt Shop
For providing another Susybee Panel
with some coordinating fabrics!

And the Winner is:
 Patti H from USA
Congratulations Patti -- You'll have fun making a selection from the Sew It Is Online Store!

Next up:
Thank you Quilty Pleasures in Geneva, NY
 For providing a $20 Store Credit
And the Winner is:
 Ellen from Albany, NY
Congratulations Ellen!
I know you'll love your selection from the
Quilty Pleasures Online Store!

Thank you World of Susybee !

For providing this fun Lal the Lamb 1 yard cut

And the Winner is:
 Karen C from the USA!
Congratulations Karen -- Lal is sew fun to FMQ - You will be thrilled!

And for the remaining ladies that submitted
Quilt Along entries....
I have some sweet older Susybee panels
you can use to
continue to practice your FMQ!!
Some Flip the Pig, and Bird and
a few other awesome panels...

To collect your prizes
I'll need an email and mailing address sent to me.
Once I receive this information
 I'll coordinate
getting your prizes shipped to YOU!

eMail me at redbirdquiltco at gmail dot com

Also, I've already rec'd some feedback on the Quilt Along -- if you have feedback too please send it to me, we can all learn together from this first Redbird Quilt Co event.

Happy Stitching!