(CLOSED) I call it a “Quilter’s Companion”💖 ➕ a GIVEAWAY

Blog Tour, Crafter’s Companion, Uncategorized

(THIS GIVEAWAY CLOSED AT MIDNIGHT. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO ENTERED. THE WINNER HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED IN A NEW POST.).

Back in May I attended Janome America’s inaugural Education Summit in New Jersey. It was during that fun filled week that I saw Crafter’s Companion Gemini die cutting machine and their new Build-A-Block die cut system in person. At first I was skeptical. I am a very fast and precise cutter with my rotary cutter/ruler/mat. I didn’t need something to help me do what I was already doing successfully. Then I saw it in action and I have to admit I was impressed. There was no hand cranking needed because the Gemini is an electric machine. It uses incredible pressure and it’s that pressure paired with the sandwich combo of plastic plates and metal and plastic shivs along with the Build-A-Block die cut shapes that provides a perfect cut of fabric. My first thought when I saw it in action was that I have arthritis in my hands and a bit of carpal tunnel in my right hand, from years of cutting fabric with a rotary cutter while working in quilt shops. Go figure! I saw a healthier process when it comes to cutting specific shapes that I honestly use in my quilt making in almost every project. Because the BAB system allows for cutting squares, half-square triangles, and quarter-square triangles in six individual sizes per shape, I’m pretty covered in the most common block sizes. That’s a total of eighteen dies and I love that they aren’t sharp. I can actually hold them in my hand without a worry because it’s that pressure system that cuts the fabric, not blades.

Fast forward to later this summer and I was approached by Crafter’s Companion to design a pattern for them in honor of the launch of the Build-A-Block system this week. I said yes within an instant and upon receiving the Gemini and BAB I realized just how valuable they were going to be in my quilt making process.

Not only is the BAB system fun to use and a quick cut, I discovered the best thing it does in my opinion. When it comes to making half-square and Quarter-Square triangles I wasn’t having to draw and cut on the line, or square up those units. Now it takes me a fraction of the time it was taking to sew up HST & QST units, especially since the perfect 1/4″ seam allowance is built into that shape’s die cut size. That is the biggest game changer!!

As I use these tools to make the quilt I’m designing for Crafter’s Companion, I know that using this system won’t stop when this quilt is done. The Gemini and Build-A-Block system are now a staple in my studio and I appreciate what they do for me and my projects. That pattern I’m working on will be debuting in early September so stay tuned! Thanks to Moda Fabrics for making such lush fabrics like Grunge Basics by BasicGrey and Jen Kingwell’s upcoming collection, “Looking Forward“.

If you think this system would be a perfect fit in your crafting and making adventures and are feeling lucky then you’re going to want to enter my giveaway to win your very own Crafter’s Companion Gemini machine and Build-A-Block system (valued at $359.90).

To be eligible you must accomplish the three following tasks:

■ Like Crafter’s Companion on Facebook.

■ Follow Crafter’s Companion on Instagram.

■ Visit the Build-A-Block project page on CraftersCompanion.com and then come back to this blog post and please leave a comment telling us which project is your favorite.

This giveaway contest will be open from Monday, August 20th through Monday, August 27th at Midnight PST. I will announce the lucky winner the following day here and over on my Instagram account, Lady K Quilts.

*Lady K Quilts is happy to be a #brandpartner with Crafter’s Companion. ✂️

Thunderboomers from Eyecandy Quilts is ELECTRIC!

Blog Tour, Eyecandy Quilts, Fabrics, Outside the box, Quilts, Uncategorized

Months ago my sweet and talented friend, Anneliese, reached out to me asking if I could help her out. She was in need of someone who could make an upcoming Eyecandy Quilts pattern and that she had designed it to be made using different substrates. Well, my interest was piqued and I was game. Anneliese sent over a package full of beautiful yellow, green, cream, and turquoise colored fabrics, including a bunch of lush Nani Iro double gauze. I proceeded in making half square triangles that are the backbone of this quilt. The piecing came together rather quickly, even for such a large quilt.

When working with the double gauze fabric I did feel the need to stabilize it so I used SF101. This gave it that necessary weight and strength needed due to the pull and strength that the pieced triangle units would apply to those very large and delicate squares. It worked out nicely, and makes this quilt a fabulous weight for cold winter nights or even providing a stable hanging quilt for a beautiful, large wall in a home.

I just whipped up this fun wall hanging or table topper size version using some gorgeous prints in various shades of fuchsia and yellow that compliment the focus fabric. That focus fabric is a stunning African print that is very much like a Batik, as there isn’t a front or back to the fabric really, sans the waxy material still on one side. It adds a unique texture to the fabric but didn’t cause any trouble when ironing. I’ll have time later this summer, hopefully, to finish it up but I absolutely LOVE it so far. I just need to quilt and bind it. It’s it’s finished size for what I want it to be. That’s what’s so great about this pattern, Y’all! If you don’t want to make the whole quilt you don’t have to. Just make it the size that you need!

The oh so talented Quilter, Sarah Thomas aka Sari, worked her magic on this quilt and OMG, she elevated its amazingness ten fold. Ten fold!! You can learn more about Sari and her longarm services HERE.

The Thunderboomers pattern will be available from directly from Eyecandy Quilts mid-August, from Cotton Cuts.

Anneliese, thank you for asking me to help you out. Thunderboomers was an EPIC make and worth every moment. XOXO

Tallinn Fabrics Blog Tour

Art Gallery Fabrics, Aurifil Artisans, Blog Tour, Fabrics, Jessica Swift, Lady K Designs, Uncategorized

Fabric is why I love making things. Fabrics that are gorgeous, sweet, cute, beautiful, and usually rich with color are my favorites. img_3091

When Jessica Swift and Art Gallery Fabrics came calling, asking me to participate in Jessica’s blog tour I didn’t hesitate. I LOVE THIS COLLECTION!! Picking which fabrics I would use was fun yet nerve racking because I love them all, but I decided to stick with the vibrant blues and reds in the Tallinn collection.

I love texture in my projects so I added some of AGF’s versatile denims from their Denim Studio and I was ready to create. I decided to make two pillow shams for Euro pillow inserts. They’re super big though at 28″ square each so I had to buy extra large Euro inserts. Oops! Darn.

Cutting into these lush Tallinn fabrics was just the beginning of the fun I had making these pillows. I love traditional quilt block designs but I like to do unexpected things with them with the help of fabric placement. In the case of the Churn Dash pillow, I placed the “Lore Cobblestone” fabric on the outer edges of each Churn Dash in a rotated place. This then created a large plus that is now the center of the design, but still frames the focus print that in this pillow is the “Tigris Indigo” fabric. Because I kept the outer triangles in the same “Lore Rooftop” print, the exact center of the pillow becomes a large red print square, as seen in the digital design I created initially.

Using Aurifil Thread‘s 40wt thread #2021, I quilted a straight line diagonal pattern in 1 1/2″ increments on the pillow top. I love how it turned out and how the thread stands on the fabrics. Oh, and of course Rocky wanted to be included in my photoshoots. He does get impatient at times but for the most part he’s such a good sport.

The other pillow top showcases the cute little pony print called “Zirkusbau Primary” in the Tallinn collection. They are SOOO CUTE!! I chose to design this one using the traditional Sawtooth Star block but I changed up the star points by making them with divided triangles as the points of the flying geese units. This takes a little careful piecing but the final look is just so cool that I think it’s totally worth it.

In both pillows I used those wonderful swans in the “Baltic Swans Sky” print in the mitered borders, which to my delight were printed perfectly straight. Thanks AGF!

These pillows are really big enough to be wall hangings too. I will use them in both ways over the years for sure. I backed both pillows with the most stunning shade of red-orange floral print called “Odessa Traditionale”. I’m going to have to buy more of it for sure since I used it all up in the envelope enclosures for both pillows.

I wanted each pillow to have a different finished look so on the Sawtooth Star pillow I quilted a simple checkerboard at 1 1/2″ increments. These simple straight lined quilting designs allow the fabrics and design of the quilt/pillows to stand out and have all the glory. Sometimes it’s just perfect.

I did all my piecing and quilting on my Janome Skyline S5. It executed beautiful stitches and I have total control over needle placement, stitch length, as well as a good amount of throat space to quilt these big pillows.

There are a total of eighteen talented Makers/bloggers on the Tallinn blog tour, including the designer herself, Jessica Swift. I hope you’ll check out everyone who has already shared their makes and continue to check out the upcoming blog posts on the schedule. Thanks for having me Jessica! ❣️

Here’s the full schedule for the tour:

Thursday April 19 – Mathew Boudreaux | Mister Domestic

Friday April 20 – Katie Skoog | The Simple Life Company

Monday April 23 –Sharon Holland

Tuesday April 24 – Eleri Kerian | Sew and Tell Project

Wednesday April 25 – Paola Baker | Love of Fabrics

Thursday April 26 –Maureen Cracknell

Friday April 27 – Alexis Wright | My Sweet Sunshine Studio

Monday April 30 – Isabelle Selak | South Bay Bella Studio

Tuesday May 1 – Cassie Massolia | Lily Shine Creates

Wednesday May 2 – Becca Plymale | Sunflower Seams

Thursday May 3 – Alisa Kutsel | A Stitch In Between

Friday May 4 – Sharon McConnell | Color Girl Quilts

Monday May 7Karen O’Connor | Lady K Quilt Designs

Tuesday May 8Sarai Schuk | Sarai’s Hobbies

Wednesday May 9Elise Baek | Elise & Emelie

Thursday May 10Jessica Swift

Friday May 11Gwyn LaSpina

Monday May 14 Loni Jakubowski | Havin Sew Much Fun

Happy DDQAL Day!!

Aurifil Artisans, Blog Tour, Designer Duo, Fabrics, Quilts, Uncategorized

DDQAL stands for “Designer Duo Quilt Along” and it’s kicking off today with Designers, Nancy Rink & Sarah J. Maxwell. I’m thrilled to have been asked, along with Tiffany Hayes of Needle In A Haystack Quilt Shop, to be a guest designer. What does that mean? It means that Tiffany and I recolored the Kaleidoscope Quilt that is the pattern we will be making in this quilt along, and we will also be providing discoveries and tips resulting in those discoveries as we’ve been making our quilts.

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I chose to recolor it using the “Around Town” collection by Sarah Golden for Andover Fabrics and a selection of colors from the “Linea” collection from Makower Fabrics, and distributed by Andover in the U.S.  When I recolored the quilt design I ended up loosing the optical illusion of circular movement that is so special in Nancy, Sarah, and Tiffany’s versions. The repeated block with the triangles create this effect along with the four patch blocks. My version became very retro yet modern because of the fabrics. I also ended up altering the actual shapes within the six featured block designs because of fabric placement. It’s interesting how placement and fabric selection can play differently in a quilt design.  I love it and I love the possibilities with the Kaleidoscope quilt.

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My version of the Designer Duo Kaleidoscope Quilt using Sarah Golden’s Around Town collection from Andover Fabrics and Linea collection from Makower Fabrics.

block 1 seaglass

Nancy’s version of Block 1 using her Seaglass Collection for Studio 37, a division of Marcus Fabrics.

block 1 botb

Sarah J. Maxwell’s version of Block 1 using her Bring on the Bubbly Collection for Studio 37, a division of Marcus Fabrics.

As block construction gets underway I will be providing some tips that I always utilize when constructing half square triangles (HSTs) and flying geese (FG) units.  To start with, I always round up the cutting measurements at least an 1/8″.  For example, when cutting the strips in block one that eventually create the A triangles, I cut the strips at 3″ instead of what it calls for.  This way I have a little more room to square up my HSTs and make them as perfect as possible.  This is also useful because not everyone’s machine makes true 1/4′ seams.  This way you are sure to get your HSTs to be consistent and then everything lines up beautifully when you assemble your blocks.  It’s just one of those things.  Most importantly, remember to have fun and make something beautiful!

Utility-Style Quilts For Everyday Living Blog Tour

Art Gallery Fabrics, Aurifil Artisans, Blog Tour, QBR Series, Uncategorized
Book Blog tour banner

Photo by Sharon Holland

Happy Friday, Friends & Visitors!  For those of you who are new here, my name is Karen aka Lady K.  Today is my turn on Sharon Holland’s book blog tour and I couldn’t be more excited!  Sharon and I have been Instagram friends for a couple of years now, and we finally met in person at this past fall’s Quilt Market in Houston.  Though we were meeting for the first time IRL (in real life), we already felt like old friends and hugged each other as if we were long lost friends.  Sharon is sweet, intelligent, adorable, a prolific fabric designer for Art Gallery Fabrics, and now a published book author.  She’s not new to the world of publishing, having been the Assistant Editor for Quilt-It…Today & Sew It…Today magazines when it was still in circulation a few years ago.  This time though, she is at the helm of things and the results are nothing short of exquisite.  Utility-Style Quilts For Everyday Living is one of the best quilt books to land in my hands in a very long time.   It’s a beautiful book full of quilt patterns for the novice and advanced quilter alike.  The designs are both unique and familiar, and although a majority of the patterns make up a generous sized quilt, the patterns can be easily adjusted to shrink or enlarge the designs to suit all needs.

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I had a very difficult time deciding which pattern to choose, and after narrowing it down to two, I finally chose the “Night & Day” quilt pattern.  It’s a clever play on a classic Log Cabin quilt, and having never made an entire log cabin block quilt, I was excited to get started.  Sharon’s original pattern design makes an 87″ square quilt, but I was going to be quilting this myself and my shoulders and back can only handle up to a certain size on my Janome Skyline S5.  I looked at the quilt layout on page 41 of the book and decided to make 25 of the 49 blocks to make a 62.5″ square quilt instead.  Although that’s still a bit large for me when maneuvering a quilt on a home machine for quilting, it really is a great size and still allows for the unique and modern layout that Sharon designed.

Next up was fabric selection.  I pulled all the Art Gallery Fabric that I own from my stash and proceeded in putting low and mid volume fabrics for backgrounds in one pile, and bright medium and dark fabrics into another pile.  I wanted each block to showcase one bright med-dark fabric, but I was going to use a limited variety of low-mid volume background fabrics to limit the scrappy look.  Following Sharon’s direction, I paired my fabrics and once I had my final combination, I started cutting out the pieces for each block.

This was such a fun quilt to make, and following Sharon’s pattern was so easy.  Each block came together fairly quickly and I love how the repetition was comforting but made different with each block because of the fabrics I chose.  20171122_164429808_iOSOnce I was done making all twenty-five blocks for my particular quilt, I then placed all of them up on my design wall and played with layout possibilities.  I decided to keep the background fabrics the main decision maker in this task, making sure to start with the lightest background fabrics in the top left corner of the quilt and then gradating down towards the bottom right corner, going from mid to darker low volume choices.  This allowed the bright fabrics to really make a bold statement and stand out more, creating Sharon’s obvious log cabin design that is still a bit different from the traditional layout we have all become so familiar with.  The result is beautiful, fun, and allows for your eye to rest comfortably instead of moving from spot to spot looking for a pattern.

IMG_1014A quilter I am not, but I’m also not afraid to quilt up a quilt myself on my home machine.  I was on Pinterest last week, looking for quilting inspiration for my quilt, when I came across vintage quilting designs that were quilted within each block and not all over.  I thought that would be a nice way to quilt this particular quilt, allowing me to focus on one block at a time and not worrying about getting from one edge of the quilt to the other at once.  This did make for a lot of starting and stopping and thread locking, but it was made more interesting because I used a variety of thread colors across the quilt.  I used my beloved Aurifil Thread in 50 weight, and the following colors: in the bobbin 2245 Red Orange, and on top 2021 Natural White, 6729 Tangerine Dream, 2312 Ermine. 2135 Yellow, 2835 Medium Mint, and 2325 Linen.  The result is a fun variety of thread colors both complimenting and contrasting with the different fabrics, but completely blending in on the back.

IMG_0966Hubby and I took the quilt  on a little field trip to nearby Everett, WA this week in hopes that I could get some good full-quilt photos.  His idea of an overlook spot didn’t disappoint and the weather was glorious too.  I have one of the best quilt holders in the world at my fingertips and I know how lucky I am.  He’s patient, takes direction perfectly, and makes it fun every time.

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Win Book with border(Photo by Sharon Holland)

I hope you’re inspired to get a copy of Sharon Holland’s new book for yourself!  If you’re feeling lucky, feel free to leave a comment by next Friday, December 15th at midnight Pacific, telling me what your favorite thread color is to quilt with, and I’ll pick a winner to receive a of Sharon’s book, Utility-Style Quilts For Everyday Living.  I’ll select a winner at random on Saturday, December 16th (US RESIDENTS ONLY) and Landauer Publishing will send you your winning copy.  IMG_0863

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you’ll continue to follow along and visit the other makers on this fun celebration of an exceptional quilt book.  Next up is Kori Turner-Goodhart of Olive Grace Studios tomorrow, Saturday December 9.  Below you’ll find the list of talented makers and their links and dates.

Monday 12/4  Heidi Staples – Fabric Mutt
Tuesday 12/5  Amy Friend – During Quiet Time
Wednesday 12/6  Maureen Cracknell – Maureen Cracknell Handmade
Thursday 12/7  Amber Johnson – Gigi’s Gigi’s Thimble
Friday 12/8  ME! – Lady K Quilts Designs
Saturday 12/9  Kori Turner-Goodhart – Olive Grace Studios
Sunday 12/10  Silvia Sutters – A Stranger View
Monday 12/11  Sarah Maxwell – Designs by Sarah J
Tuesday 12/12  Jessica Swift – Jessica Swift
Wednesday 12/13  Lisa Ruble – Love to Color My World
Thursday 12/14  Cindy Wiens – Live a Colorfullife
Friday 12/15  Eleri Kerian – Sew and Tell Project
Saturday 12/16  Anjeanette Klinder – Anjeanette K
Sunday 12/17  Stephanie Kendron – Modern Sewciety
Monday 12/18  Christopher Thompson – The Tattooed Quilter
Tuesday 12/19  Susan Playsted – Hopewood Home

Roman Stripe (free quilt)

Sharon and her publisher Landauer Publishing are offering a FREE quilt pattern accompaniment called ROMAN STRIPE QUILT, and it can be found HERE.  Happy Quilting!   (Photos by Sharon Holland)Roman Stripe square

Thanks for visiting & Happy Holidays!

XO-K

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(All photos, except the two credited to Sharon Holland, were taken by me.)