Saturday, April 11, 2015

Half Square Triangle Love Winner!

Oh goodness -- how did I let the week get by without announcing the winner of the Heart's Content Charm Pack donated by Cindy at Sew It Is Quilt Shop ?

50 Lashes with a wet Jelly Roll Strip!   
I do apologize and hope you forgive me.

It was a ton of fun to hear which Half Square Triangle layout was your favorite.   I'll put my vote in for the Focus Layout being mine - well, besides the original Chevron with a Twist layout of course.   I just love the way Focus sends your eye to the applique, and because I love applique this layout is perfect! 

I would really enjoy hiding away with a Moda Charm pack and preparing this layout.  Wouldn't that mini be sweet?   Does anyone else want to miniaturize this ? or am I the only crazy person out here ?  It's now on my official wish list of Quilts to Make!!

If you decide to make 'Focus' or any of the other layouts, be sure to reference the original recipe for whipping up Chevron with a twist - it's so fast and easy.  You can find the recipe here ==> Chevron with a Twist on the Moda Bake Shop.  I would also LOVE to see an picture of it.  Please do send it along via email.  Thank you!

If you're interested in seeing larger images of the other layout options use this link ==>  For the Love of Half Square Triangles on the Moda Bake Shop.
Thanks again for playing... and many thanks to Cindy at Sew It Is Quilt Shop for sponsoring the giveaway.   Cindy has some fantastic prices in her online shop and is one of the sweetest shop owners alive !!  Notice I said "one of" - I'm really blessed to know some great shop owners (near and far!).  Lucky Me!!

OK - lets announce a winner of the beautiful Charm Pack of Laundry Basket Quilts Heart's Content Fabric...  It's the same fabric I used in the original Chevron with A Twist. 

There were a total of 74 participants in the Giveaway.  I used Mr. Random.ORG and he chose Comment #40!!
Woohoo - lucky number 40 is Miss Jean! 
Congratulations Miss Jean -- I've sent you an email!!!   You'll just LOVE this fabric. 

Well - I'd better turn in... We're celebrating my Aunt's 100th Birthday on Saturday so we have a bit of traveling to get in.   

I'll check back with everyone real soon - have a blessed weekend.


Friday, April 3, 2015

Free Motion Feather Sampler and Aurifil Giveaway Winner

Hi fellow quilters...
thanks for stopping by!    

Before we announce the winner of the Aurifil thread (so exciting) I wanted to share a neat new Free Motion Feather sampler that I quilted on my domestic machine this week.
(Of course I used Aurifil thread ;)
The center motif was inspired by an Instagram post from Mary of Addicted to Fabric a few weeks ago.  

After a little doodling on paper and fabric we unearthed the appropriately named "Feather Galaxy" motif.  It's sew fun to stitch.
...Below is the back of one of my first attempts to actually stitch it out...   
Have I mentioned how much I love using Aurifil 50Wt Mako Cotton Thread for lint free - break free dense machine quilting ?   NO ?
You've gotta Love that thread!!
Happily, this sweet motif will be included in upcoming FMQ Feather Workshops being held at Quilter's Corner Ithaca, NY later this summer.  You can keep up on my class, lecture and workshop dates on my Facebook events page by clicking here

A Workshop Sampler was in order.

I started with a selection of the beautiful Grunge Fabric by BASICGREY for Moda.   
Oh how I LOVE Grunge - Those Colors!!
Just fabulous...  
If you haven't checked out Grunge you really should... I know you can find some online here.  Be careful - it's addicting!
  Oh! Don't forget to add the 12Wt and 50Wt Aurifil threads (Insert Happy Dance Here !)
 I pieced a little 23" x 25" sample, starting with a 10" x 12" center, adding a 2.5" sashing and a 5" border.  Very quick and simple (you know me and piecing - I would rather NOT ;)   
Add two layers of Quilter's Dream 100% Dream Wool and pin baste to prepare to quilt on a Janome Horizon.
To start I used a walking foot and Aurifil 50Wt #2805 thread to Stitch in the Ditch - it stabilizes for quilting.

After Stitching in Ditch, I used a 90/14 Needle, 12Wt Aurifil #5005 to top stitch a 1/4" around the seams.  Oh you've got to LOVE the texture and sheen the 12Wt thread adds to the piece...
I used 50Wt in the bobbin when top stitching with the 12Wt thread.  It's important to use that 90/14 needle though.
Next, the center panel was quilted using the "Feather Galaxy" motif (diagram below) and adding a neat swirl/feather vine in the sashing.   I kinda made it up -- but I love the way it stitched out.
Here's a finish / close-up of the feather vine and the lovely top stitching... Swoon!  After I finished quilting I decided to add that extra line of top stitching with 12Wt Aurifil in Color #1147    I really liked the way it framed the center.
On the outer border I did a gentle wave bump-back feather - it's always good to practice those feathers!!  They come out differently each time.   Next time I think a little Amish Swirl is in order!
If you're interested in quilting the "Feather Galaxy" motif, here is the step by step diagram I prepared to walk you through it:
Personally, I love to practice with pencil and paper before putting it on fabric.  When I do quilt,  I create small table runners or place-mats with my practice pieces.

If you need a good laugh  - checkout the quick YouTube video recorded right after the Facebook  Free Motion Quilting Frenzy group started stitching this motif.  My friend Doreen from TreadleMusic Blog was the first to stitch it once the diagram was out -- and me next.  Click the image below to watch on YouTube - don't laugh!!
Because I finished the binding while sitting in my car, I don't have an actual finished image (oops) -- but do have these two I took before leaving home:
In the image below the binding is only pinned - still love the way it came out.
I hope you enjoyed the FMQ Feathers Sampler and Feather Galaxy Motif.  If you're in the area I'll be sharing Feathers I and II at Quilters Corner in August -- do get signed up!  We'll have some fun!

Now onto our Aurifil Thread winner from the Sew We Stitch Blog Hop

This beautiful designer Thread Collection is being provided by Aurifil and includes 12 large spools of 12Wt Mako Cotton thread.  This weight works perfectly for machine top stitching (above) and for all sorts of hand work -- from wool applique, to cross stitch, to beautiful embellishments.
There were 258 entries on the Sew We Stitch - Meet and Greet post and Mr. Random.Org selected comment number 55!!  Lucky 55!

Congratulations go out to Kathryn -- what a coincidence that Kathryn went to college in Ithaca years back!!   Kathryn, I've sent you an email  - I look forward to hearing from you!
Many thanks again to Aurifil thread for their generosity.
What a wonderful bunch of individuals and a fantastic team at Aurifil.
On my bucket list at Spring Market is to finally meet the folks that create this awesome thread!

I leave you with an image of our granddaughter Angelina - just after finishing the piecing on her very first quilt.  She choose grunge for her main blocks and setting triangles - is that cool or what ?   This quilt will be showing locally next month at the Common Threads Guild Show in Endicott, NY.  Do stop by if you're in the area!   So proud of Angelina.

Oh, and if you're interested there is one open Giveaway on my blog through end of day April 4th -- you can see it here.

Have a blessed weekend all,

Monday, March 30, 2015

Half Square Triangle Love and Giveaway!

Greetings fellow quilters!! 

Today on the Moda Bake Shop I'm sharing a little Half Square Triangle LOVE.

You see, I used the Electric Quilt 7 software (EQ7) when designing Chevron with a Twist for the Moda Bake Shop.  During the process I stumbled upon an EQ7 "feature" that rearranged the half square triangles in-place, rotating them without moving their original location.   WOW -- I was amazed at all the different layouts I could "click" through!!

Once I got the hang of it, I created a bundle of different HST quilt layouts with just a few EQ7 clicks:

I was really excited to see that changing the orientation of the half square triangles in their original positions on the quilt would yield such a variety of quilt designs.

I've shared 7 of my very favorite layouts on the Moda Bake Shop - so be sure to jump over and check them out by clicking here.

Below are a few more designs to ponder -- remember - on each one of these designs the HST's are in the same position on the quilt but oriented in a different direction to make a new design.

The Top Down Layout:

The Scrappy Diamond Layout:

The Basic Chevron Layout:

Each one of these quilts, and the 7 layouts I shared on the Moda Bake Shop, can be made using my "Chevron with a Twist" recipe.

To see the original Moda Bake Shop recipe for "Chevron with a Twist" click here.
To read my original blog post about "Chevron with a Twist" click here.

Are you interested in the quilting designs used on "Chevron with a Twist" ?
I recently shared a blog post and two YouTube videos about marking and quilting the Curved Crosshatching on a domestic machine using the wonderful QP Curve Templates!!    

Click here for the blog post (it includes links to the Videos)
Click the image below to view the Marking a Curved Crosshatch Video:

Click the image below to view the Quilting a Curved Crosshatch using TheQPCurveTemplates Video

And just today I published a YouTube Video for creating the Feather Star-burst block!!
Click the image below to view the Quilting the Feather Star-burst block using TheQPCurveTemplates
Stay tuned for a coordinating blog post and still image tutorial on Feather Star-burst...
I just love those QP Curve Templates by Linda Hrcka for The Quilted Pineapple - learn more about them here and in my post link above ^^.

Now, we can't let this opportunity get by without a giveaway... 

How would you like to make one of the Chevron with A Twist layouts using a Moda Charm Pack ?   It would make such a cute little wall hanging...

My good friend Cindy from Sew It Is Quilt Shop has donated a Laundry Basket Quilts Heart's Content Moda Charm pack so one of YOU can make a mini quilt by adding just a little yardage.

Sew It Is Quilt Shop is my local go-to-for-great-prices shop - with a fantastic online store too!!

Checkout Cindy's Moda Sale Fabric (all less than $7.00 /yard) here.   Or, look for the newer lines of Moda Fabric that are all $9.00 or under here!!  Like I said, fantastic prices!!

While you're shopping, if you're ready to purchase your own version of EQ7 - Cindy has that too, and will ship it for free!  If you live locally, be sure to ask her about the two hour EQ7 tutorial included with your purchase. Click here for EQ7.

Now... Let's get on with the Giveaway!!

Leave me a comment letting me know which one of the 10 Half Square Triangle layouts YOU like the best.  There are 3 in this post and 7 on the Moda Bake Shop post.
That's it!!
(Don't forget your email address)

The Giveaway is open through end of day Saturday, April 4th and is open to everyone!


Before you go - there's one other active giveaway on my blog.
How about this beautiful Aurifil 12Wt  Designer Thread Collection by BariJ ?  
Aren't these threads "Splendid" ??
To learn more and get in on the Aurifil giveaway click here (ends 3/31) 

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Stitching!!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Quilted Pineapple Curve Templates - We Have a Winner!

Hi everyone!  I'm so excited to announce the winner of the full set of Linda Hrcka's "The QP Curve Templates" in this post.  Woohoo!! 
First let me thank all of you for your kind, supportive and generous words on both my blog and Linda's Blog in the last two weeks.  We were overwhelmed with your comments and many compliments.  There is nothing more rewarding than hearing how a short tutorial here or a part number there can help someone through a Free Motion Quilting challenge.

Personally, I'm all about FMQ on a domestic machine -- I was thrilled with how many of you are actually doing your own FMQ on a domestic!  Good for you!
And for all you quilters on a mid or long arm -- YOU are so lucky {wink, wink}.  Keep up the good work.

For anyone experienced or interested in FMQ, please do consider joining the small  Facebook Group we have active "Free Motion Quilting Frenzy".  There are about 1000 members that share their work, questions, tips, tutorials, giveways and lots of inspirational images.  Click here to request membership to that group.  Free FMQ Inspiration - how can you say NO ??  
Of course, if you're like me, you're totally in awe of Linda Hrcka's Free Motion Quilting with or without TheQPCurveTemplates (her feathers ROCK!!).  If you haven't already, I highly recommend you sign up to follow Linda in one of her many Social Media outlets.  Here's a link to Linda's great blog, a Facebook page and an Instagram account.  I promise you'll always walk away inspired by her shares!! 

It's been another wild week here at Redbird land.  Late last week I participated in the "Meet the Stitchers" blog hop sponsored by SewWeStitch.  As a part of that hop, there's an active Aurifil giveaway on my blog that you won't want to miss!  (open until end of day March 31st).  If you haven't jumped to this blog post and gotten in on the fun you really should.  Aurifil is sponsoring this giveaway by providing and shipping a bright and cheerful Splendor 1920 Designer Collection of large spools of Aurifil 12 Wt thread by BariJ.  Many thanks to the Aurifil team for that!   You can get all the detail AND enter for your chance to win by clicking here.
Finally, I'm really happy to say that I recorded the "Feather Star-burst" or "Feather Firecracker" tutorial/video tonight (well I didn't record it - but my husband did ;). 

It will take me a couple of days to get it published on YouTube - but please stay tuned.  If you haven't subscribed to my YouTube Channel yet you can see it by clicking here.

Whew - that's a lot of gibberish when ya'll are just waiting for the winner to be announced.  Let's get on with that!

There were a total of 371 comments on the Giveaway post.   I used Mr. Random.Org to choose the winner :
Thank goodness the blog comments are numbered!!   Number 212 is:
LC's Cottage - Congratulations is in order for Laura Conowitch who blogs over at LC's Cottage!

Laura I've sent you a message through your blog - I look forward to hearing from you - sew exciting!  

From what I saw on Laura's blog, she too is a domestic machine quilter and shares tips and tricks for anyone that is interesting in hopping over to visit her. 

For those that didn't win - thank you so much for playing along!  You might want to consider purchasing your own set of The QP Curve Templates.  The quilting and designing options are endless.   Click to see ==>  The Quilted Pineapple Big Cartel

Its been a fun couple of weeks - and with upcoming video's and more giveaways we'll continue to have fun - so stay tuned.

Many, many thanks again to the very talented AND generous Linda Hrcka of The Quilted Pineapple.  Linda's generosity is what made this giveaway happen.  Thank you again dear friend.

Have a fantastic day all -- we'll be in touch soon!


Friday, March 20, 2015

Meet and Greet - National Quilting Weekend - Aurifil Giveaway!

Hello friends and welcome to
Meet and Greet Stitchers Around the World blog hop!   Many thanks to Mdm Samm @ Sew We Stitch for hosting this lovely event.  To see a complete list of participants, drool over some beautiful stitching, and checkout the blogging giveaways, click the button below.  
This first day of Spring AND start of the 2015 National Quilting Weekend I'm excited to share a #slowstitching post AND a fantastic giveaway including Aurifil thread and my latest Wooly Wren pattern.

If you're a current follower, you know that I LOVE to use Aurifil 50Wt Cotton thread for dense machine quilting -- but today I'll share projects that work perfectly with 6 strand AuriFloss and Aurifil 12Wt and 28Wt Mercerized cotton threads. 

I just LOVE to hand stitch with Aurifil floss and thread.  
Image Courtesy
For those of you that are new to my blog, Welcome!   I'm Karen Miller, chief cook, bottle washer,  blogger, designer, editor, pattern maker, and welcome committee for Karen's Quilts, Crows and Cardinals blog and Redbird Quit Co.

I've sewn for most of my life but became obsessed with quilting about 8 years ago when my sister Janet invited me to join her in a $1 block of the month at a Local Quilt Shop. So thankful to have my sister as my mentor, cheerleader and support system while I learned the art of quilting.

Although I enjoyed learning to piece, I really started having fun when I took my first applique class from the very talented Sharon Stroud in Upstate NY.  Oh My - I fell in love with needle turn applique!!

This is my first applique project, "Dancing Flowers", a Sharon Stroud design that includes needle-turn applique, reverse applique, ruched flowers, berries, bias stems - just all sorts of applique fun!  What a great learning adventure with a wonderfully skilled and patient teacher.
Once I realized how much I loved applique, I branched out and took two different Wool Applique classes from the very talented Debbie Wick.

This is my version of "Folk Art Melody" - design by Lori Smith - a wool on wool wall quilt.
It was fun to customize this block to incorporate a Redbird.   Love this!
When you're hand stitching wool applique, 1 strand of Aurifil 12 Wt Cotton thread works perfectly to for the blanket or overhand stitch.  The mercerized cotton has a pretty sheen to it and stitches without knotting or twisting.    It's really FUN!!

My 2nd Wool applique class and quilt was "Flower Baskets" by Wooden Spool Designs.  Here is one of the sweet blocks of this pretty wall hanging -- there were 6 blocks in all.
You can see more Folk Art Melody and Flower Baskets by clicking here.
One more wool applique class, this time from the designer herself, Kim Diehl.   This is my revised version of Kim's "Penny Garland" pattern.  We revised the center from a 9 patch to a circular design - I love the way it came out.
Kim came to Material Rewards in Upstate NY and a few of us traveled to attend her trunk show (swoon) and Penny Garland class... You can find the Penny Garland pattern published in Kim's latest book "Simple Appeal". Of all the wool applique projects I've completed, this one is my favorite -- well, at least so far ;)
I love the texture of wool applique with dense quilting around it. I used wool batting on this piece and, once quilted, makes the wool applique just POP.   You can read more about Penny Garland Revised by clicking here.

Penny Garland is another great project where you can use 2 or 3 strands of Aurifloss, 2 strands of Aurifil 28Wt Cotton or 1 strand of Aurifil 12 Wt Cotton.  I've done some comparison of Aurifil 12Wt cotton with other 12Wt embroidery thread and found the Aurifil to stitch with less twists and knots.  I also just LOVE the sheen that the Aurifil cotton has -- it looks beautiful on my wool applique.
In 2012 I started Karen's Quilts, Crows and Cardinals blog and in 2014 Redbird Quilt Co where I released my first wool applique pattern, Spring Basket:
Spring Basket is an 11" x 13" half-moon WOOL on Cotton Mini-Quilt.  It is so much fun to work-up because you don't need to turn-under wool that is felted or fulled - just cut and sew!!    It uses very simple embroidery stitches and, with the addition of a little wren, looks just so sweet on an entrance or end table.  I really enjoyed using both AuriFloss and Aurifil 28 Wt Cotton on this piece.  Sew much fun!
Spring Basket can be stitched on a dark background with Big Stitch quilting (above). or you can use a background that is lighter and brighter and with dense machine quilting... Here's a sample:
You guessed it... Aurifil Mako Cotton 50 Wt thread for dense machine quilting.  Minimal buildup, breaks, and lint - love that thread!! 

You can see other completed Spring Basket quilts on this Pinterest board.   

You can find Spring Basket for sale in PDF form at my Craftsy Store -- or locally, in printed form, at Quilters Corner in Ithaca, NY.

Stay tuned for another Wool Applique design by Redbird Quilt Co -- Wooly Wren -- on Craftsy soon!

I really enjoy the process of designing and hand stitching wool on cotton quilts.   I also LOVE sharing detailed tutorials with the quilting community (See my Free Moda Bake Shop Recipes by clicking here -- and be sure to check out the "My Tutorials" tab my blog header). 

My latest Moda Bake Shop recipe "Chevron with a Twist" shows you how to make a Faux Ruched flower with just a few gathering and tack stitches.... you can see that recipe here:

Finally -- I not only love to hand stitch, but I consider myself a BIG advocate of teaching others to Free Motion Quilt on their domestic machines. 

Be sure to Read my last blog post -- where I demonstrate how to use The QP Curved Templates to stitch curved crosshatching on your domestic machine! 

Note:  On that blog post, there is an Active Giveaway for a complete set of QP Curved Templates, courtesy Linda Hrcka of the Quilted Pineapple.  

Click -->  The QP Curve Template Giveaway Open through midnight 3/28/15.

Whew!!  Now that was a bunch of information - hopefully some of it was helpful and/or inspirational to you. 

Since it is International Quilting Weekend we need to celebrate!!

The wonderfully generous Aurifil thread company donated a beautiful 12 spool thread collection for one lucky winner.   This collection of Bari J Splendor 1920 12 Weight threads are perfect for cross stitch, embroidery or any wool applique project!!    These 12 large spools will be a wonderful addition to someone's stitching stash.   Just look at those colors, aren't they beautiful ??
To read more about the very talented Bari J Ackerman click here.
To go along with this lovely set of threads, the same winner will receive a PDF version of my soon to be released pattern "Wooly Wren".  The BariJ threads will work perfectly with this spring wall hanging.
 The Giveaway:

This giveaway will remain open until midnight on the last day of 
National Quilting Month
March 31st, 2015

For one entry:

I would love for you to follow me on at least one of my social media outlets:

Leave a comment below letting me know which one you follow - if you follow more than one - let me know that in the same comment.  (Don't forget your email address).

For a 2nd chance to win - lets show our Giveaway Sponsor some thanks!

Jump over to the Aurifil Facebook page or Twitter account and share the love - tell them Redbird Quilt Co sent you -- If you don't have one of those accounts, consider following Aurifil's blog here.

Be sure to leave me a comment and let me know what you did to gain that 2nd chance (Don't forget your email)

If you haven't already, be sure to get in on the QP Curve Templates Giveaway - click => here

That's it -- Again I want to thank Mdm Samm for the awesome blog hop and I do hope everyone has  fun getting to know all the talented stitchers that participated - click button below for the list!

Have a great stitching weekend all -- and many thanks for stopping by