Paradigm is a Lucky Star

Blog Tour, Fabrics, Lady K Designs, Sariditty, Uncategorized

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Sarah (Sari) Thomas, the mastermind behind the brand Sariditty, is having quite a year.  She is releasing her debut fabric collection this June/July 2019 with Hoffman Fabrics and she’s calling it PARADIGM.    This collection is full of bold color as well as soft pastels that really make for a great amount of depth to apply to quilt designs.  Sari also curated a beautiful collection of ME + YOU Indah Batiks from Hoffman Fabrics to compliment and work with her PARADIGM collection.

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I was fortunate to have been asked by Sari to make something with her fabrics as she was developing her collection over the last year.  It is my pleasure to introduce you to my quilt I call LUCKY STAR.  I chose to use both foundation paper piecing (FPP) and traditional piecing to create this pattern.  I wanted to make a fun fussy cutting experience for myself, and eventually YOU, that would make featuring the beautiful designs in Sari’s fabrics easy to do so.

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The digital printing process makes for very straight alignment of the designs on fabric so it’s perfect for FPP.  As I began cutting into PARADIGM I was soooo pleased with the preciseness of which the butterflies and lines were printed.  Things were made even easier for the fussy cutting process with my Daylight Wafer 2 Lightbox.  I printed out an extra copy of all my FPP units and then cut the pieces out of those units where the PARADIGM and directional ME + YOU fabrics would be used and made confident cuts of the fabrics.  Isn’t that the worst part of FPP?  Miss-cutting the fabric or even worse, wasting so many precious pieces of your beautiful fabric as you go through the FPP process.  Well that Wafer 2 Lightbox from Daylight is a game changer for FPP.   *Use code LADYK19 on the Daylight website to save 20% if you like.*

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20190406_002309942_iOS20190403_234737812_iOSAs I designed my LUCKY STAR pattern I loved that the fabrics were going to allow for some great color play.  I don’t usually create designs that create a rainbow color palette but Sarah’s fabrics spoke to me and that was the way it went from the beginning.  I wanted to be sure to showcase the colors but also the absolutely stunning OFF WHITE print in PARADIGM.  Sarah is also a custom longarm quilter and it’s apparent in this print and so many others in the collection.  I wanted to make sure that the OFF WHITE fabric was featured, so I chose to design the layout of my quilt with on-point blocks that would need to have set in triangles and large squares of that fabric.  I love how it all came together and will be developing the pattern for sale later this year.

20190429_173323957_iOSThe quilting was done by Kim Burke of Golden Needle Quilting.  She guided me in my selection of a perfect edge to edge (E2E) design that would compliment the design and the fabrics.  Using a wool batting just accentuated both her work and mine and I’m so pleased with how everything turned out.

You can check out the PARADIGM lookbook HERE.  Like I said, PARADIGM will be available this summer and I hope you love making with it as much as I did.  My LUCKY STAR quilt pattern will also be available for purchase/download later this summer.  Please check out the list of amazingly talented Makers listed below who are all participating in honoring Sari and her beautiful, versatile and useful PARADIGM collection.20190410_001208143_iOS

 

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22 April – Cristy Stuhldreher @loveyousew_
23 April – Rebecca Bryan @bryanhousequilts
24 April – Hilary Jordan @byhilaryjordan
25 April – Tiffany Sepulveda @sewtiffany
26 April – Karie Jewell @kariejewell
27 April – Jen Timko @jentimko
28 April – Cheri Lehnow @tinkerellen
29 April – Karen Miller @redbirdquiltco
30 April – ME! @ladykquilts
1 May – Nicholas Ball @quiltsfromtheattic
2 May – Nicole Daksiewicz @modernhandcraft
3 May – Nichole Vogelsinger @wildboho
4 May – Kate Toney @toughkittencrafts
5 May – Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill @wholecirclestudio
6 May – Karen Tripp @karenthediyaddict
7 May – Isabelle Selak @southbaybella
8 May – Elise Kwon @eliseandemelie
9 May – Jessica Kapitanski @sallietomatopatterns
10 May – Suzy Williams @suzyquilts
11 May – Sarah Thomas @sariditty

Holiday Elegance Table Set Pattern

Blog Tour, Crafter’s Companion, Fabrics, Lady K Designs, Moda Fabrics, Uncategorized

Happy Holidays to all!  I am pleased to offer you a free pattern to be used with the Crafter’s Companion GEMINI & Build-A-Block-PLUS die cutting system.  I always recommend adding quality tools to your sewing studio arsenal and the Build-A-Block-Plus die cutting system is a great tool to have at the ready, especially if you already own the GEMINI machine.  The BAB Plus includes three useful shapes, totaling a 14 piece set of dies.  You’ll get rectangles, half rectangle triangles, and isosceles triangles in sizes ranging from  1.5″ x 2.5″ all the way to 3.5″ x 6.5″, in order to make 4″, 6″, 8″ 9″ & 12″ blocks.  It’s a great collection of dies! To learn more about the Gemini tap HERE, and to learn more about the Build-A-Block Plus tap HERE.

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Inspired by the colors and spirit of the holidays, I created a collection to be used for everyday use or entertaining those special family members, friends, and guests that you may host throughout the season.  The lovely people at Moda Fabrics have sponsored this project by providing the lush and absolutely gorgeous fabrics from William Morris & Co for the Victoria & Albert Museum.  The collection is called Morris Holiday Metallics and you can check them out in greater detail HERE.  

I’ve given you a pattern collection to make not only a beautiful 60″ long table runner, but four generous sized placemats, and a bonus project of coasters.  Use your own taste in fabrics to create a completely different aesthetic and design for your home, and even try out some of the block instructions that come with the Build-A-Block-Plus pattern guide and make new blocks to place in my settings.  Download and print out my Holiday Elegance Table Set pattern.

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I’m thrilled to be a #brandpartner with Crafter’s Companion. The folks there have been lovely to work with. Thank you for this opportunity!

 

 

Fresh Picked Quilt Pattern

Crafter’s Companion, Fabrics, Lady K Designs, Quilts, Uncategorized

It’s an exciting day in my studio as I’m publishing a free quilt pattern I’ve designed for users of Crafter’s Companion’s GEMINI & Build-A-Block die cutting system.  I recommend adding it to your sewing arsenal because it is effective, useful, and fun to use.  Don’t we all like those things?!  To learn more about the Gemini tap HERE, and to learn more about the Build-A-Block tap HERE.  Here is my  Fresh Picked Pattern.

FRESH PICKED quilt pattern by Karen O’Connor

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Thank you to Moda Fabrics for sponsoring this project with Grunge Basics in Aqua and Composition White that I used alongside Jen Kingwell’s upcoming collection release, Looking Forward, also from Moda.  The colors in these fabrics are reminiscent of a simpler time, yet like the collection name claims, they bring life and light to the project by “Looking Forward”.  This collection will be shipping to shops November 2018 and these wo particular colors of Grunge Basics by BasicGrey are currently available.

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Vintage quilt made by my Great Grandma McKinstry.

My inspiration for the Fresh Picked Quilt was a quilt my Great Grandma McKinstry made decades and decades ago. I met her once, pictured below, and I treasure this quilt, pictured above, because it reminds me of where my quilty gene comes from. The Grunge Basics Aqua turned out to be an incredibly perfect match to the minty green fabric my great grandma had used all those years ago. I highly recommend it if you too want to recreate that color and tone but still want a modern vibe in your projects.

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Vintage style meets fresh colors of today.

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Here are some images of the system in use while I made the Fresh Picked quilt. You’ll also find a video below of me using the Gemini and BAB system.  I’m thrilled to be a Brand Partner with Crafter’s Companion and have been given this opportunity to work with the game changing Gemini and Build-A-Block die cutting system.  This is not meant to be a total replacement to your traditional rotary cutter/ruler/mat system.  It is meant to make some things easier and faster though.

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I’m thrilled to be a #brandpartner with Crafter’s Companion.  The folks there have been lovely to work with.  Thank you for this opportunity!

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

#ElegantOasisQAL Pattern (it’s FREE!)

#elegantoasisqal, Aurifil Artisans, Lady K Designs, Quilts, Uncategorized

So many of you have been making my ELEGANT OASIS quilt over on Instagram and I am so flattered and have truly loved all of your blocks.  Forgive my delay on getting the quilt assembly instructions up.  This won’t be those, but it will be all the instructions to make the block.  You can download the PDF’s and print them out HERE.  Below you will find all the slides I had originally posted on Instagram a couple of weeks ago.  Some of you have expressed to me the difficulty you’ve faced when trying to read my posts so I promised you I would post them here as well.  Please continue to tag me on Insta as you create your beautiful blocks, and also use #ElegantOasisQAL.  Thank you so much!!

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#ElegantOasisQAL Tips & Tricks

#elegantoasisqal, Fabrics, Lady K Designs, Quilts, Uncategorized

Welcome to my quilt along and some tips and tricks that hopefully will help you make these blocks a little more easily.  They aren’t challenging to make, but sometimes there’s a little tip or trick that can make things that much easier, and who doesn’t like that?!

20171101_203852088_iOSFirst I want to talk about the fabrics I am using in my quilt.  They are what inspired me to design a pattern that allowed large florals to be showcased and wouldn’t need to be cut up too much.  They’re the gorgeous Barkcloth fabrics by Gertrude Made called “Outback Wife”.  They are rich, lush, beautiful, and a bit thicker than quilting weight cottons.  I wanted to use a background fabric that had a bit more substance so it would play nicely with the barkcloth, so I chose Robert Kaufman Fabrics gorgeous Essex Linen Homespun.  The particular color I’m using is Silver, but I know for a fact that every shade these fabrics come in are wonderful for so many projects.  I have extensive experience using Essex Linens alongside quilting weight cottons in both quilts and bags, and I can honestly say they bring a special quality to every project.

I am stitching up my blocks with a Janome Skyline S5.  I love this machine, but because of the dense layers of barkcloth and Homespun Essex Linen, I discovered that the factory setting of “5” on the pressure setting for the presser foot is a bit tight.  I found that moving the knob to “3” makes stitching those two layers as smooth as stitching quilting weight cottons on level “5”.  Check your machine, as all machines are different, and do a test run with the fabrics you’re using if they are new to you and aren’t traditional quilting weight fabrics.  It will make for smoother sewing, nicer seams, minimal to no shifting of your fabrics, and a more enjoyable assembly all together.

If you’ve been following me on Instagram for even a hot minute, you know that I am an Aurifil Artisan.  I have been a lover and exclusive user of Aurifil Thread since 2012, but only an Artisan since last year.  I believe in the quality of Aurifil and I use it in every project that I stitch up.  Quilts, bags, pillows, and I never have an issue with it in my machine, in the projects when they are machine washed and dried, and used and loved.  I stitch everything with their 50 weight thread and I’m using that thread weight in this quilt and a stitch length on my machine of 1.8.  That’s generally the stitch length I use when piecing.  It makes for tight stitches that aren’t too hard to rip out if needed.  Yup!  I rip out seams!  I’m not perfect and I don’t usually mind those moments where things don’t work out perfectly.  I learn and move on.  So, there’s my little preach about Aurifil.

IMG_0317Now to the pattern tips.  I upped the size of the squares that are used to make the Half Square Triangles (HSTs).  I wanted to make sure that even the most novice of quilters could get a precise size after trimming.  I can’t emphasize pinning enough.  I’m a very experienced quilter and I still pin.  It doesn’t really take that much additional time, and when things turn out perfectly the first time, isn’t it worth it if it does? IMG_0322

 

Remember to measure twice and cut once.  I did make a HUGE mistake when making one of my blocks using that precious Outback Wife fabric.  I was not paying attention to the print on my cutting table and I cut the accent squares instead of focus fabric rectangles out of a big, beautiful floral.  Omgoodness, I was sooo mad at myself!  In the end I’ve decided to make that my center of the nine blocks in my quilt layout, because I had to use the intended accent print (a small floral) as the focus print instead.  Oh well!  That’s the way it goes sometime when you don’t have more of one particular fabric.

I’ll have some more tips and tricks for the assembly of these blocks later today.  I hope you’ll reference these throughout your #ElegantOasisQAL no matter when you make your quilt.