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

Monday, March 16, 2015

FMQ - Chevron with a Twist - Part I - QP Curved Template Crosshatch (Giveaway too!)

Hi everyone -- I hope you're surviving this crazy March weather.  Here in the Northeastern USA we've had a few days of nearly 50 degree temps and sun - but many more days with sub freezing temps, nasty wind and snow.  Although the sewing days have been fun, we're all ready to break into spring.  Here's hoping it comes soon - these are the evenings I'm dreaming of...
Keuka Lake - Summer 2013 - Family Fishin'
In case you missed it, my latest free quilt design, "Chevron with a Twist" was published on the Moda Bake Shop on February 23rd.  You can read my introductory blog post here or go directly to the Moda Bake Shop recipe by clicking here.

In the recipe, I outline all the cutting, piecing and applique details for making the quilt, but only a few images and details about the free motion quilting.  What's fun was that the free motion quilting was stitched using Aurifil 50Wt Mako Cotton (love that thread!!) on my Janome Horizon domestic sewing machine -- YOU can do it too!!
In today's post I would like to share more about free motion quilting
Chevron with a Twist
and let you in on a great giveaway!
Let's start with detailing the Curved Crosshatch quilting.

Some background:

Chevron with a Twist was my first attempt at using EQ7 software for designing a quilt.
Although the learning curve was big, it was well worth the investment (time and $$).
EQ7 Chevron with a Twist Design Print
Just prior to finishing Chevron with a Twist, Linda Hrcka of The Quilted Pineapple announced her brand new QP Curve Templates for Free Motion Quilting (long arm, mid-arm, and domestic machines).
Linda is one of the amazingly talented quilters that I follow on social media.  She has a great blog, a Facebook page and an Instagram account that I stalk.  I'm always inspired by what she creates on her long arm machine -- really -- over the top beautiful every time!  

Follow her - I promise you won't be disappointed.  Even if you don't FMQ your own quilts, Linda's quilting designs will give you tons of ideas to share with your long arm quilter.

Here is a sample of Linda's beautiful quilting.
"Portland Rose" was created by the amazing Lisa Bongean (Primitive Gatherings Quilt Shop) and quilted by Linda Hrcka.  The Linda and Lisa quilt won a BLUE RIBBON at AQS Paducah in 2014!  What an honor and certainly much deserved by these two talented ladies.
You can read/see more "Portland Rose" on Linda's blog here.
Image courtesy The Quilted Pineapple
SO, here is this very talented professional long arm quilter with a awesome set of curved acrylic templates that SHE DESIGNED... The QP Curve Templates.
I had to have them! 
I ordered the entire set and started on a mission to find a way to use them.

Back to EQ7 -- What's neat about EQ7 is that you can print a black and white image of your design (layout only) and use it to sketch potential FMQ motif.

I was pretty sure I wanted to stitch feathers in the Chevrons, and because I was itching to use the QP Curve Templates, I came up with this new to me "Feather Fireworks" aka "Feather Star-Burst" design for the non-Chevron blocks
I kinda liked the sketch so I started quilting.  Chevrons first... after considering two different designs for the Chevrons I settled on feathers.  What a great way to hone your feather skill - that's a lot of feathers!
I will share the chevron feather process in a separate post.
Next quilting step:  Feather Star-Burst aka Feather Fireworks!  Here's the design and I'll share how to stitch this one too -- in a separate post.

**NOTE: I posted more information about Feather Starburst here -- check it out **
The full-size on-point blocks were all filled with Feather Star-Burst.
I'm really having fun with this quilt and learning The QP Curve Templates!
 At this point I realize I need something a little different in the half blocks or the setting blocks....
A new sketch...
 Hummmh... this might work...Curved Crosshatching!  

Note: I'd been itching to stitch a curved crosshatch on my domestic machine since I purchased Karen McTavish's "Custom Curves" book.  Karen and Rhonda Beyer make beautiful designs with curved templates in that book (a must have book for anyone that FMQ's).

Ok - lets see if I can actually create a acceptable curved crosshatch on my domestic machine using The QP Curve Templates...
I used the #20 QP Curve Template for the Curved Crosshatch
Remember, I'm new to using rulers of any type on my domestic machine... 
Here's the trial run with a narrow Crosshatch...
Trial run for the large Crosshatch
Trial run for "Just the right size" Crosshatch

It was fun to learn how to use The QP Curve templates on practice pieces ...  Once they were created and I placed them near the quilt -- it was obvious that I should go with the "not too wide, not too narrow" design... ha ha ha!! (I won't mention that it had a lot to do with how much time I wanted to spend quilting...).  The "just the right size" crosshatch had 11 lines each side of the crosshatch.

Because I'm new to using acrylic rulers/templates  I chose to mark each line on each block - it gave me piece of mind to get the quilting done with minimal ripping (picking).
I used a run of the mill water soluble marking pen to mark each line.
(Details in the video below)

 What's in a Foot?

To work with acrylic templates on a domestic machine you need a foot that won't slip under or on-top-of the template.  Many thanks to Amy at Amy's Free Motion Quilting Adventures for sharing her knowledge on the subject last year.  I ordered the Janome "Free Motion Frame Quilting Feet Set" for the 1600P - Part# 767-434-005 which included a 1/4" Ruler Foot and an Open Toe Quilting Foot.  Also showing (below) is the closed toe foot (not included in the kit) I use when stitching around wool applique.

The 1/4" Ruler Foot is similar to a hopping foot for a long-arm machine.  It is perfect to ride against an acrylic template that is 1/4 thick.

On the Janome, if the template was much thicker than a 1/4", I may have run into trouble with it hitting against the built in walking foot mechanism.  I'm just sneaking under it with The QP Curve Templates (thankfully).

So I marked and quilted 13 outside 1/2 blocks, 6 inside 1/2 blocks, and 2 corner 1/4 blocks with the curved crosshatch.  
By the time I finished them I was feeling pretty confident -- maybe the next time I'll only have to mark my starting lines.
Now I'll share with you my Not So Professional YouTube videos outlining the marking and quilting process using The QP Curve Templates.

The first video shows you how I marked this particular quilt using
The #20 QP Curve Template.
(Click the image below to watch the video)
 The second video shows you how I quilted the blocks using The #20 QP Curve Template and my Janome Ruler foot.
(Click the image below to watch the video)
Please note -- these are first takes of videos AND the first time I've prepared anything like them.
I stumble over a few words - but I hope they will still be helpful to you.  
Prepare yourself to see and hear me at my quilting finest ;)

Do you want to see more of my quilting videos ? 
Subscribe to my YouTube Channel for upcoming videos.
See more about Feather Starburst in this post !!


Wow... that was a bunch of information...
Now we're at the fun part of the post!
The wonderfully talented and always gracious Linda Hrcka of The Quilted Pineapple is providing a 
The QP Curve Templates 
to one lucky reader!  

Yes, that's right, an entire set of QP Curve Templates - that is 6 different templates including the smallest template that Linda has coined the "BFF Template" (Best Friend Forever).
Image Courtesy The Quilted Pineapple
The giveaway is open to domestic AND international friends alike!!

The giveaway will close at midnight on Saturday, March 28th. 

*** This Giveaway has Ended  - Congratulations Laura ***
To enter the giveaway, leave One comment below letting me know what YOU would like to use The QP Curved Templates for, what kind of machine you're stitching on and how long you've been free motion quilting (if you are).

For a 2nd chance to win, hop over to one of The Quilted Pineapple social outlets (Blog, Facebook or Instagram and let Linda know how much you appreciate her sharing TheQPCurveTemplates with us.  Be sure to come back and leave me a second comment letting me know how you reached out to Linda. 

Please Note:

If you are NOT A BLOGGER and/or you're not sure if blogger shares your email address on a comment, please, please leave your email address in the comment(s).  For the last giveaway the random winner was tossed out twice because I had no way to contact them (So Sad).  Blogger does not always share your email address with me - so please, if you're not sure, leave an email address in your comment(s).   Thank You!!

Also, many thanks for the support and encouragement you've shown me lately -- It's been a little nuts and I haven't been able to reply to each comment.  Know that I read and cherish each and every one and I so appreciate you leaving them.

Stay tuned - I'll share more FMQ details for Chevron with a Twist in near term posts.

PS - Linking up to other blogging friends like Hope Studios Tutorial TuesdayQuilt Story Fabric Tuesday, and FreeMotion by the River...