Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A New Year of Work In Progress

Ahhh the New Year has brought a whirlwind of activity for me!!   I can't believe it's already the middle of the month.  I thought I'd share a sampling of the multitude of things capturing my attention and "spare" time.

Preparing new wool designs / samples for an upcoming Fiber Fest!
Trying out my hand at free motion feathers... a few tweaks ARE necessary!  Thanks for the feedback my friend  ;)
Creating the TearDrops of Love Tutorial (Part 4 is prepped and nearly ready to be published)
Sewing and documenting an upcoming Moda Bake Shop Recipe (keep an eye out - currently scheduled for Jan 24th)
 Needle turning my Quilting the Garden Block 3 (Loving this Herb basket -shhh I"m behind)
Choosing fabrics for this months' QTG Block 4 (Ohh  I really love this block) - wait till you see it!!
Making a couple of fantastic short trips scouting for, observing and photographing a Snowy Owl.  So very blessed - and I shared one of these trips with my sister - how special is that ?
Oh and did I mention that I decided to participate in the most fantastic new (free) Block of the Month?  "Benjamin Biggs" is an 1848 Wedding Quilt.  The very talented ladies, Brenda and Gay, at Dear Jane-Just Takes 2 and Sentimental Stitches have reproduced the pattern and offer a block a month for free!  
The first block is available until the end of the month of January, 2014 -- so if you're interested you should jump on the download - click the Dear Jane-Just Takes 2 link above.

Although Brenda did a fantastic job of mimicking the original first block "Apple Pie Ridge Star" (see it in the upper left corner of the quilt picture above), I wasn't happy with the chunky style.  Several ladies did investigative work and found various versions of the block online -- so I decided to put my own twist on it.  The pattern is free for the taking -- but to stay true to the rules of the game - I will leave it available until the end of the month.  The pattern has been uploaded to the Just Takes 2 Facebook page and well as the Just Takes 2 Yahoo Group page.  If you don't have access to either and would like this block -- leave me a message (be sure you are not a NO-REPLY blogger) and I'll send you the PDF - but only until the end of January, 2014.
These are the fabrics I'll use to complete my version of the Ben Biggs Wedding Quilt.  I've decided to use a bit of French General, Jo Morton, Laundry Basket, Primitive Gatherings and other fabrics.  So excited to give it a go!!
The finished quilt measure 100 inches square !  Woohoo !!  Don't you just LOVE the scalloped border ?

Oh and the snowstorms brought many opportunities to watch the beautiful birds that frequent our yard.

Northern Cardinals  (Male and Female)
 White Breasted Nuthatch
 Purple Finch
 More Northern Cardinals (Male and Female)
Thanks for stopping by today -- It's a tough week here on the farm as we mark the Anniversary week of loosing two of my forever horse friends -- Chief and Nuisance.  They passed a year apart from one another during this week 2 and 3 years ago.   I miss them both terribly -- they were so important to me.  You can see their pictures and read more here:  Chief was shown on my first ever blog post -  gosh I miss him. I leave you with the sunrise that greeted me this morning - a reminder of their beauty!
Take care now,
Hugs,
Karen

35 comments:

  1. Oh I love your bird pictures...they are beautiful! You feathers look just gorgeous to me!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Marjorie -- I had fun with the feathers I'm really excited to have them done. I got some "Expert" feedback which is very beneficial to me -- so I'll tweak them just a bit on the next round. I LOVE Birds -- so getting these shots sure has made my new year -- especially getting to see the Snowy Owl. So much fun. Thanks for your kind words. Hugs, Karen

      Delete
  2. Could you send the PDF of the January BOM?
    loulaforest@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Loula - I have sent the PDF to your email above -- and so you know you are a No Reply blogger -- if on purpose then you're all set!! Have a wonderful day!

      Delete
  3. Gorgeous wool designing and the feather work is coming along lovely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sara - I can't wait to finish them and share with everyone. It's fun to play with the designs and then get them put together. Thanks for stopping by and for your nice comments.

      Delete
  4. I don't even know where to begin, I'll just say it was lovely from start to finish! I love your projects!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lori - some days I wonder when there are just too many things in progress. I do appreciate your kind words... thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  5. Karen, all your projects look amazing! I love the picture of the Snowy Owl and the birds are just beautiful. We have Blue Heron, eagles and osprey to name a few and could just watch them forever!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Cathy -- thanks for your kind words - it's always fun to have several projects in the hopper -- that way I don't get bored on the same one... wink wink. Lucky you to have those lovely birds at your home -- would love to see pictures. Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words... Karen

      Delete
  6. I think your feathers look great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much -- they were alot of fun. I hope to be able to make something out of that piece -- time will tell. Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  7. You've been really busy. Your FMQ feathers are looking very nice. You've got a lot of great projects here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Shannon -- and I have deadlines to get a few of them done so I guess that's motivation for one less WIP. I loved doing those feathers and hope to do more in the near future. Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words. Karen

      Delete
  8. Your pictures are beautiful. Your tutorials are so complete and easy to follow. You share yourself with all of us with by your pictures of the owls and beautiful scenery you observe. Thank you, Karen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awe Cindy you are just too sweet -- thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. Hugs, Karen

      Delete
  9. I thought the first block was pretty chunky too, so I was able to resist joining in. I really like the block that you designed and would love a copy of it--thanks so much for your generousity!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Karen -- Even before that block was released I knew I didn't like it... too funny. But the revisions that were going up on the Facebook group, on Yahoo and on the blog convinced me to make my own revision. I would LOVE for you to use it. Do you want me to email it to you ? Thanks for your kind words and for stopping by. Karen

      Delete
  10. Great pics! I love cardinals and that sunrise is breathtaking!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Paula -- I love taking pictures of the birds and landscape - just not as much time to do it as I used to have. Thanks for your kind words and for stopping by. Karen

      Delete
  11. beautiful projects, Karen- and I love your bird pictures. I'm also sorry to hear about your horses.

    Thanks so much for partying at Needle and Thread Thursday!

    :) Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kelly -- I'm not so good about finishing up projects one at a time as you are ;) I do have deadlines on some so that sure helps them get done. Thanks for the kind words about my horse friends. I do miss them and was blessed to have them in my life. Appreciate your stopping by. Karen

      Delete
  12. Hi Karen,
    Animals are so special, I understand you still feel sad about Chief and Nuisance. I never owned a horse but it is sad to loose any animal that you loved. You probably have lots of good memories of them to think back of with a smile.
    I love the fabrics you chose for the QTG block, can't wait to see it.
    You also made a very nice choice for your new BOM.
    It is amazing to see how this male Cardinal is really that red. So special to see all these pretty birds near your house.
    Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awe thanks for your kind words Wilma. The horses have been with me all of my adult life -- sometimes I forget that they are gone but I always smile when I think of them. I appreciate your kind words on my QTG blocks -- oh my that quilt is so beautiful - and my friend Debbie did a spectacular job on it. Can't wait to show you more finished blocks. The Northern Cardinals are just breathtaking aren't they ? This morning we had 7 males in the tree out front (fresh 6 inches of snowfall). So beautiful. Thank for your kind words and for stopping by. Karen

      Delete
  13. Hi- I would love the .pdf. You have a lovely blog with great photos. Thanks for sharing. Ruth
    Fabric_fabric@ameritech.net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ruth - I mailed you a copy of the Optional Benjamin Biggs Block 1. I hope it works out well for you. I've yet to work on mine but I'm anxious to do so. Take care and thanks for your kind words.

      Delete
  14. Love your blog and your great taste in fabric choices. You make me want to dig out some applique.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awe thanks Michal - I know what colors I love but sometimes I have a hard time putting them into a pattern. I appreciate your kind words. I say "GO FOR IT" -- go pull out some applique, put your feet up and stitch. Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for stopping by. Karen

      Delete
  15. Karen, I just fund your blog via Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting. I have read some of your past entries and I love your photos and your tutorials are very precise and easy to follow. I would love to have your Alternate Block pdf. Thank you so much in advance. Mary Nelson mary4gen@cox.net

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Karen, I am the other Karen that was doing feathers this week :) I saw your post on Stitch by Stitch and then realized I had not visited your blog yet. So I came to comment on your feather (looks great!) and really enjoyed everything else as well. What fabulous bird pictures! And what a lovely image to spark memories of your dear horses.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Your feathers look gorgeous.Love your fabrics choice can´t wait to see your block.Have a great week!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. So lovely! :)
    Greetings from Finland!
    Hugs, Ulla

    ReplyDelete
  19. I thoroughly enjoyed catching up reading your posts... love the applique tutorial. You make me want to quit my day job and go back to work on my Civil War Bride quilt!!!

    All your projects are gorgeous. Thanks for inspiring me.

    Yes, I would love that block... :) Thank you in advance.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I really like the Red Bird and Berries wall hanging. My father's favorite bird was the Cardinal and he watched for it every winter. The little berries, even though they are a winter's bloom, remind me of spring. I would love to make this and especially have been wanting to do something with lots and lots of 'dots' - berries in this case. Excellent tutorial on needle applique too - very detailed and great photos.

    ReplyDelete
  21. May I please have a copy of your pattern? I like it better than the original. Thanks!

    valekort at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for your Sweet comments!