Monday, January 7, 2019

2019 Free Motion Quilt Along: Lewe the Ewe

Greetings fellow quilters  --  Happy 2019! 

I hope you had a joyous Holiday Season.

I'm excited to share that I've teamed up with my long time Free Motion Quilting mentor and blogging friend Wendy Sheppard for a 2019 Free Motion Quilt Along.    
It's like a dream come true!  


You see I've stalked followed Wendy for years and years -- getting inspired by and learning from her quilting projects and tutorials -- taking her lead to purchase and use Aurifil thread -- being encouraged to quilt out of my comfort zone...  
Wendy says "put some McTavishing on it Karen"
 -- being tutored to shape up my feathers...    
Yes -- these needed a little help!
Karen Miller -- Feathered Flower Fun Design - 2015
I also helped Wendy promote her early quilting books (still some of my favorites). 

From: Recreating Antique Quilts
Karen's take on "Garden Lattice" by Wendy Sheppard  Recreating Antique Quilts
 And from the same book I made Wendy's Ivory Baltimore Pattern in wool !
Karen's take on "Ivory Baltimore" by Wendy Sheppard - Recreating Antique Quilts
Yes, Yes -- she's truly is an amazing designer, quilter, author, educator, and friend.  
I couldn't be more excited and honored to team up with Wendy for this fun Quilt Along.    
Karen & Wendy - International Quilt Market 2017
Aurifil USA's 10 Year Anniversary Celebration
Sooo you're wondering....
what are we up to?  

Well -- If you know ME
you know MY feelings on this.  

If you'd like to grow your Free Motion Quilting skills on ANY machine the best thing to do is practice, practice, practice.   

AND

I feel that practicing on a panel gives you a stress-free way of learning or improving your FMQ.


First, panels work in your favor -- giving you clues on what to quilt.
Also, the different sections of a panel allow you to practice more than one design.

IN ADDITION
When using a panel to be gifted to someone young -- you'll never have to worry about your quilting being judged.

Young folks are just happy to have something to call their own.

SO...
At All Costs...
Avoid learning to FMQ on a quilt top that you spent a year (or more) piecing!!

Grab a panel -- get it done -- if you're not sure who to gift it to, think about offering it to a local charity, hospice, or children's unit at the hospital. 
They'll LOVE and APPRECIATE it.    

With All This in Mind

Here are the details of the Quilt Along:

It's a Surprise !!

Wendy and I have
- agreed on a schedule
- targeted sections to quilt each week
--  BUT --
I have no idea HOW Wendy will quilt it
and
She has no idea HOW I will quilt it.

So, in a sense,
 it's a MYSTERY
Free Motion Quilt Along!  

Should be SO MUCH FUN!
Are you in ?

Let's talk Supplies, Schedule and Sponsors:

Supplies:

Here's What You'll Need

The Panel

We'll be using one of our favorite panels from World of Susybee, Lewe the Ewe.  
This panel is a 1 yard cut -- we won't add any extra borders or any piecing to it -- 
Who Has Time?
Product Code: SB20042-710.  
You'll need one panel - one 36" x 42" cut.


The Backing

For the backing Wendy and I both love the Lewe the Ewe in the Meadow.   
Product Code: SB20049-810  
For this fabric you'll need about 42" -- or 1.25 yards. 
My general rule of thumb is that the batting and backing should be a few inches larger than the quilt top -- It gives you something to hold when quilting your edge or border designs.


The Binding

For the binding we choose the Susybee Black and White Dot -- it's really an awesome multipurpose fabric.  
I often use it for small sashings too!! 
Product Code: SB20171-199    
A quarter yard of this fabric is perfect for your binding.


The Batting

  My go-to batting to add amazing loft to any project is Quilters Dream Wool batting.  
It really does "Quilt Like a Dream". 
There's minimal shrinkage and it can be machine washed and dried
 (albeit on cool temps) .  
You can read more about Dream Wool by clicking here.
A Crib size piece of batting is perfect for this project (60" x 46").



The Book !!  

Stitching Pathways by Wendy Sheppard

Most, if not all, of the motifs we plan to quilt 
are from Wendy's book,
Stitching Pathways.  
***
 In my opinion this is one of the best Free Motion Quilting books on the market. 
Not only does Wendy give you awesome beginner information and tips, she includes a wide variety of quilting motifs and shares -- in great detail -- HOW to quilt them.  

It's with this detail that you'll learn to stitch the motifs.   
Wendy and I will independently choose 
where to use the motifs, 
you'll learn how to stitch your choices from the book.  
You won't be disappointed -- I promise!  
Best Book Ever!

Thread ~ Thread ~ Thread

For my quilting I choose to use threads from my Aurifil Designer Collection, The Subtle Sampler.   If you're not familiar with The Subtle Sampler you can read more about it here ==>  The Subtle Sampler.


The Subtle Sampler contains 4 weights of Aurifil thread and I use all 4!  

 During the Quilt Along I'll explain why I choose one weight over another -- and why I choose the specific color I use.   I'll share as much insight on motif and thread selection as possible. 

Be sure to jump to Wendy's Blog to find out what she's Quilting with.  
I assume she'll be using her Subtle Strings collection by Aurifil.
Which will you choose?

Standard FMQ Supplies...

You'll want to consider having some of these basic FMQ Supplies:

Top Stitch Needles:  My favorite are Superior Titanium Coated Top Stitch Needles.  Because I use a variety of different weights of thread I choose to purchase the Assortment Pack of these needles.   We'll chat a bit about why I love these needles in the next post.   
NOTE:  If you're stitching on a Janome machine consider purchasing the Janome PURPLE Tip needles.  This needle is made specifically for Free Motion on the Janome.   I also keep the RED Tip  needles on hand.    Sometimes that Janome of mine gets a little temperamental.

Machingers Quilting Gloves -- To help you CONTROL your quilt top -- it's key to making awesome looking motifs!     Purchase them in the smallest size possible to comfortably fit your hand -- that way you can still change a needle, re-thread your machine, etc.  

Teflon Slider:  My favorite is the Supreme Slider.  It comes in several sizes.  I started with the standard size and eventually moved up to Queen.   This tool helps the fabric slide easily across your machine bed.   It's worth its weight in gold.

Machine Extension Table:  Ideally, having your machine drop into a table is the best solution -- this way your machine bed is flush with the table top that will hold your fabric while you're stitching.
If you can't do this, the next best solution is a machine extension table.   Your favorite shop can order these for you (I can too if you're not near a shop).   

Check out this blog post from years ago to understand options for machine setup.  I'll talk about this more next post too.

If you're interested in getting a Sew Steady extension table package there are some awesome package deals right now -- chat with your local shop owner or send me an email to learn more.  (redbirdquiltco@gmail.com).

More Information:  You can read more about the quilting area setup and supplies that I love by reading this POST from the 2016 Free Motion Quilt Along.    There are a few images, tips and a video to help you understand why I love the tools I love.  

Where Do We Go From Here?    

Jan 7:  Announcement Post  
Jan 21:  Setup, Planning, Basting
Jan 28:  Stabilization Quilting or Catch Up
Feb 4 & Feb 11:  Inside Center Panel
Feb 25:  Top and Bottom Rectangles
March 4:  Top and Bottom Squares
March 11:  Left and Right Panels
March 18: Narrow Sashing
March 25:  Outside Border
April 1:  Binding, Labeling, Hanging if applicable

Need to Purchase Supplies ?

We'd LOVE YOU to support YOUR favorite shop!!
 So please check with your local shop first, and if you're having trouble finding supplies jump over to this post for other options.

We'll be keeping a working list of shops that have at least 2 of the main items available (fabric, book, or thread collections) for purchase. 

Click "here" for participating shops.  
Check back often -- we're updating this list as we learn of new participating shops. 

Giveaway Items: 

NO QAL is Complete without Prizes!! 
We're working with a few awesome Sponsors to get you some fun prizes.

Click "here" to learn about our sponsors & available prizes.  
Be sure to visit regularly to see updates to the Prize Packages.  

Stay In Touch -- Follow Us!



To get some sneak peeks, learn about new posts on the blog or just see what's happening be sure to follow Redbird Quilt Co on Facebook and/or Instagram 

To save time you can also signup for blog email notifications.  
Scan my blog sidebar to sign up via Feedburner or Bloglovin'.
Each time I make a blog post you'll be notified via email.

Wendy Sheppard

Be sure to follow Wendy Sheppard on Instagram and/or her blog.

Support Our Main Sponsors:  



Follow World of Susybee on Facebook or Instagram - Signup for the "Buzzz"

Follow Aurifil on Facebook or Instagram - Signup for Auribuzz 


Joining in the FUN?

Aweseome!!

Please leave a comment below 
-- tell us where you are joining from.

Woohoo!  We're on our way!
So exciting to be here... 
 If you have questions drop me an email
leave me a comment below (but be sure to check back for an answer) 
or tag me in a Facebook or Instagram message.   
I'll get back to you as soon as possible.

Also -- be sure to share with all your Free Motion friends!  
The more of us the merrier. 
Have a blessed week all -- I'll tie in later.
Keep on Stitchin' 
Karen


Thursday, February 1, 2018

We have a Winner! Actually 2 Winners - The Subtle Tree...

Many, many thanks for all of your sweet and encouraging words about 
The Subtle Tree...
The Subtle Tree was a joy to create -- and I'm honored to share fun new projects with you.  

I look forward to seeing anything you create inspired by The Subtle Tree.
***
In case you missed it you can:
view the video tutorial on You Tube here.
view, print or download the Supply List & Aurifil announcement here.
read my introductory post here. 

Be sure to tag me and hastag #thesubtletree #threadmatters and #thesubtlesampler if you share a project inspired by
The Subtle Tree. 
I would LOVE to see it!
*
Also -- many thanks for the feedback on the video presentation.
I have food for thought before prepping the next tutorial.
Thank you all so much.

Several of you asked to see me thread paint and quilt the 
Wild Goose Chase on Steriods motif.  
For those of you that are on Facebook -- I do have a short clip of me stitching Wild Goose Chase (without steriods) -- watch it here. 
*
With our next free project, the Subtle Tree Spring, I'll be sure to include a couple of videos. Great idea! Stay tuned.
 *
Now I'd love to announce not 1, but 2 winners of The Subtle Sampler
*
I used Random.org to generate winners from 154 entries:
The first winner, Janie - wins The Subtle Tree Kit complete with The Subtle Sampler thread collection! 
Congratulations Janie.  I'll email you soon so you'll have your own Subtle Tree Kit to create with.


and... because we never heard from the winner of my original Subtle Sampler Announcement we're giving away a 2nd Subtle Sampler thread collection to a new winner:
Congratulations Judy!!   I'll be sending you an email so you too can enjoy The Subtle Sampler thread collection.   So excited for you!
 
Thank you both for playing along.

If you're following me on Instagram or Facebook you know that I've been prepping for next weeks' big event at Birds of A Feather in Herndon, VA. 
Will you be joining me there ?
The Bird of the Year is the Great Blue Heron...
and mine is nearly finished.
Machine quilted on my Janaome 7700 with a variety of Aurifil threads from The Subtle Sampler over 2 layers of Dream Wool and with hand dyed fabric by my friend Terri Butler.

I can't wait to share it at Birds!!

Stay tuned -- more fun announcements are coming your way...
IT'S GOING TO BE THE BEST YEAR EVER!

Keep on quilting my friends,
Hugs..
Karen

***
Learn more about how to use various thread weights in these Facebook Live Sessions
hosted by Aurifil at International Quilt Market: 

***
Follow me on social media:
Redbird Quilt Co. on FacebookInstagramPinterestTwitterYouTube
Facebook my FMQ Frenzy Community Group
See my other Moda Bake Shop Recipes
Click here to see my upcoming events.
*
***  Guilds, Groups and Shops ***

I'm booking Lectures, Trunk Shows and Workshops
for 2019 & 2020
You can see my available Programs here.
If your Shop, Group or Guild is looking for programs or workshops I would love to hear from you.


Free Motion Quilting on Home Machines
Basics ~ A Quilters Doodles ~ McTavishing
A Full Day of Feathers
Ruler & Template Work
*
Wool & Needle turn Applique
Technique or Project Oriented Workshops available.

Click here to see my upcoming events.
*
Send email inquiries to karen at redbirdquiltco dot com
or redbirdquiltco at gmail dot com


Note:  The FTC requires that I tell you.... I occasionally use affiliate links on my blog and website.  I may be compensated for purchases made using the links.  Rest assured I will only share sales and promotions for products I know and love myself.  Many thanks for your support of my very small business.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

A Bit of Subtle and a Giveaway to Lift your Seasonal Blues

Welcome - welcome Quilty Friends!
I'm excited to guest post on the
Aurifil Blog today sharing
a free project & tutorial:
~ The Subtle Tree ~
an 11" x 13" mini quilt.
The Subtle Tree is an exercise in thread painting, machine applique, and free motion quilting on a home sewing machine using my debut Aurifil Designer thread collection,
The Subtle Sampler.
Summer Heat or Winter Blues
have you down ?

The Subtle Tree can be stitched in a weekend and will brighten most any decor.
The tutorial video (below) will take you through the steps necessary to
make YOUR OWN
Subtle Tree.

Be sure to click to the Aurifil Blog and
download the Supply List,
watch the video tutorial (below),
pickup The Subtle Sampler
at your favorite shop,
and get making your own
Subtle Tree.

YouTube Video Tutorial -- Click image below 

It was so much fun to create
The Subtle Tree
I think we should have
a Subtle Tree for Spring too!
Are you in ?
I'm giving away a Subtle Tree kit including:
1. V and Co's Mint Ombre by Moda
2. The Subtle Sampler thread collection
3. A slice of Dream Fusion by Quilters Dream
4. AND a bit of muslin.
*
To get in on the Kit Giveaway, leave a comment with your feedback on the project.
I've never done a video tutorial quite like this one.  
Did you like it ?   
How would you improve upon it ? 
Any other constructive comments appreciated... 
*
Be sure to leave an email address so I can reach you when you WIN!! 

For extra entries you can:
Like, Comment or Share any or all of the following:
*
The Subtle Tree announcement on my
*
The Subtle Tree announcement on
*
*
For each entry leave a comment on this post. 
Entries will close Monday, January 29th at Midnight EST
Good luck!
Thank YOU for joining in the fun.
Good luck and Happy Stitching!
*
Karen

PS -- Special thanks to sissy Janet for the photo-stop.... Her cottage is sweet! 

Handy Links for The Subtle Tree


Saturday, December 9, 2017

Sneak Peek - The Subtle Tree and Where's the Winner?

Greetings fellow quilters and thanks so much for stopping by.   

Since the official Aurifil announcement of my debut thread collection,
The Subtle Sampler,
I've been busy creating new ways for YOU to use this marvelous sampling of threads.    

Here's a sneak peek at my current project, The Subtle Tree: Winter...
 I'm having so much fun coloring & quilting with The Subtle Sampler!
An upcoming *free* project,
The Subtle Tree: Winter,
will help you feel more comfortable with Free Motion Quilting.
***
We'll do some simple, yet effective thread painting, add in a little swirly free motion background AND hand stitch a few french knots while using nearly every thread in The Subtle Sampler collection.

Isn't that FUN?

Stay tuned... in short order I'll be sharing the details so YOU TOO can make 
The Subtle Tree: Winter....    

And as we make our way into 2018 it might make sense to create a Subtle Tree: Spring or Summer or Fall too... ??  Yes ?

While we're here -- let me mention that The Subtle Sampler is or will soon be available at your local or online quilt shops -- maybe one of your favorites?  
These are a few that I'm aware of:

Lebanon, OR  ** On Sale Now **

Ithaca, NY

Endicott, NY

Naples, FL

Be sure to visit one of these shops locally (or online) and pickup The Subtle Sampler so you can stitch The Subtle Tree with me!

If YOU know of other shops that are carrying The Subtle Sampler -- please do let me know -- I'll be happy to add them to the list.   

**

Before we go..,
Jill Spencer -- where are you ?  
I've been attempting to reach the winner of the original
Subtle Sampler Giveaway
for more than a month now. 
Jill  -- if you see this message in the next week please comment on this post with your email address.  You've won your own Subtle Sampler thread collection!

Happy Stitching !!
Karen

Anxious to see how I use different thread weights in my projects ?  
Check out these fun Facebook Live sessions hosted by Aurifil at International Quilt Market: 

***
Follow me on social media:
Redbird Quilt Co. on FacebookInstagramPinterestTwitterYouTube
Facebook my FMQ Frenzy Community Group
See my other Moda Bake Shop Recipes
Click here to see my upcoming events.
*
***  Guilds, Groups and Shops ***

I'm booking Lectures, Trunk Shows and Workshops
for 2019
If your Shop, Group or Guild is looking for programs or workshops I would love to hear from you.


Free Motion Quilting on Home Machines
Basics ~ A Quilters Doodles ~ McTavishing
A Full Day of Feathers
Ruler & Template Work
*
Wool & Needle turn Applique
Technique or Project Oriented Workshops available.

Click here to see my upcoming events.
*
Send email inquiries to karen at redbirdquiltco dot com
or redbirdquiltco at gmail dot com


Note:  The FTC requires that I tell you.... I occasionally use affiliate links on my blog and website.  I may be compensated for purchases made using the links.  Rest assured I will only share sales and promotions for products I know and love myself.  Many thanks for your support of my very small business.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Winner: Longarm Quilting Workbook & New Giveaway

Good day from Houston, TX where today we began setup for the World of Susybee Booth (#537) at International Quilt Market. 

International Quilt Market is a wholesale event for shop owners, designers & creators to view "soon to be released" fabric and product lines.  The event is over the top inspiring and gets your creative juices flowing. 

I attended my first quilt market as a pattern designer (May 2015) in Minneapolis. Here are some fun pics from Quilt Markets since then...

Victoria Findlay Wolfe's  Star Power Quilt from Spring Quilt Market 2016.  Isn't it fabulous!! 


This is a quilt by Lisa Bongean and quilted by Linda Hrcka of The Quilted Pineapple.  The pattern is "Antique Flower Garden" by Primitive Gatherings.  It's created on Lisa's Primitive Gatherings Flannel Muslin with Wool Applique.  It's to die for -- this was on display May 2015 in Minneapolis.


This was my first Market "Make and Take" with Eleanor Burns -- the nicest quilter on earth!  

In the "Make and Take" sessions you learn a new tool or technique.  

Eleanor taught me how to piece (see the block lower right?)
LOL!
No straight jacket required.
After class I spent 45 minutes of one on one time with Eleanor -- she's warm, honest, and amazing.  


Here's one of the Instagram posts I did when Tula Pink released her first-ever quilt kit. If you have an Instagram account be sure to follow me there for updates from Houston, 2017.


and here is my first meeting with the very talented Moda Designer Kate Spain.
Kate showed us her Early Bird design carving -- isn't that amazing!


This year at Quilt Market I'll be presenting a Schoolhouse Session with my good friend Terri Butler for The World of Susybee... 
"More Creative Projects for Susybee Panels"
 Room 342A - 11:35 to 12:05
 
hosted by Karen Miller of Redbird Quilt Co, and Terri Butler. Both Karen and Terri are full of ideas for creative projects for the nursery.
Do stop by if you're in the area.
***
But... what we're here to talk about today is...
We Have a Winner 
of Teresa Silva's Longarm Quilting Workbook!
I'm so excited about Teresa's new book.  
You can read my review here

Congratulations to DeAnn
I'll be sending you an email soon!
You're going to love this book...


Finally -- There are 2 Giveaways open to celebrate my brand new Aurifil thread collection!!


Be sure to hop on over to this post for my Giveaway and this post for Aurifil's giveaway.  
They're both open until end of day November 4th.
Don't miss out!

Thanks Everyone !!  Happy Quilting!

**
Follow me on social media:
Redbird Quilt Co. on FacebookInstagramPinterestTwitterYouTube
Facebook my FMQ Frenzy Community Group
See my other Moda Bake Shop Recipes
Click here to see my upcoming events.
*
***  Guilds, Groups and Shops ***

I'm booking Lectures, Trunk Shows and Workshops
for the 2nd half of 2018 & all of 2019
If your Shop, Group or Guild is looking for programs or workshops I would love to hear from you.



Free Motion Quilting on Home Machines
Basics ~ A Quilters Doodles ~ McTavishing
A Full Day of Feathers
Ruler & Template Work
*
Wool & Needle turn Applique
Technique or Project Oriented Workshops available.

Send email inquiries to karen at redbirdquiltco dot com
or redbirdquiltco at gmail dot com


Note:  The FTC requires that I tell you.... I occasionally use affiliate links on my blog and website.  I may be compensated for purchases made using the links.  Rest assured I will only share sales and promotions for products I know and love myself.  Many thanks for your support of my very small business.