“K” is for Kitchen, Kitschy, Kawaii, and Karen

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It’s day eleven on the TYPECAST OF CHARACTERS Blog Tour and my stop on this fun alphabet train.  The TYPECAST OF CHARACTERS (TOC) pattern is the newest pattern from both Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill of Whole Circle Studio and Paper Pieces dot com.  Welcome to the Paper Pieces family of designers, Sheri!  Sheri’s developed and designed a genius English Paper Pieced pattern of  English alphabet.

The versatility and endless ideas that these EPP letters allows for is quite something.  I was overwhelmed with the onslaught of ideas to the point that it took me some time to even decide on which of my precious fabrics to use.  I thought about the letter “K” and the words that came to mind were kitchen, kitschy, kawaii (cute in Japanese), and my name.  lol  I was lucky enough to pick up a bundle of Kokka “Light Hearted” fabrics at the fall quilt market in 2014.  I thought it would be fun to fussy cut for the EPP “K” and then to build a pillow around it doing more fussy cutting of the different prints.  This pillow was so fun!  EPP letters are even MORE fun!!

TYPECAST letters come as a perforated sheet of that wonderful tan cardstock that Paper Pieces dot com is known for.  After separating the different units from each other, I measured out each one, being sure to add 3/8 inch seam allowance.  After cutting the fabrics for each unit, I then went about prepping each unit for hand stitching them together.  I use a Sewline Glue Pen to temporarily securing the fabric to the paper template, being sure to carefully fold the 3/8 inch seam allowance of fabric around the edges of the template.  I repeat that until all the templates and fabric are as I want them.  Using Aurifil 50wt thread in coordinating colors I carefully stitched all my “K” units together using Clover Clips to hold unit to unit as I went.

The next thing to do was to decide exactly how I was going to feature my letter.  I’m a sucker for pillows and I hadn’t made a new pillow sham in a really long time so that’s what I decided to make.  I had this fun rectangular pillow insert and decided to make a couple of cute yet simple blocks to bookend my letter.  I machine pieced the blocks and top as well as the envelope backing, and quilted the whole thing with Aurifil in 50 weight thread. I’m pretty pleased with how things turned out. My pillow sham measure 16″ high by 25″ wide.

I just love that there’s such a fun and useful way to make letters using English Paper Piecing now. The letters all finish at 9″ tall and between 5 5/8″ – 6 3/4″ wide. Sheri’s pattern for her letters gives you all the information you need to successfully assemble letters as well as some great tips.

Below please find the list of characters who are on this fun alphabet train with me. Thanks again for having me, Sheri!!

❤️ K

TYPECAST OF CHARACTERS BLOG TOUR hosted by Whole Circle Studio:
• Wednesday, March 27: Tour Introduction by Whole Circle Studio
• Monday, April 1 — A: Kate Brennan of Aurifil
• Tuesday, April 2 — B: Mathew Bourdreaux of Mister Domestic
• Wednesday, April 3 — C: Tara Curtis of Wefty Needle
• Thursday, April 4— D: Leah Day of Free Motion Quilting Project
• Friday, April 5 — Week 1 Wrap Up featuring A-D and GIVEAWAY at Whole Circle Studio
• Monday, April 8 — E: Jess Finn of Paper Pieces
• Tuesday, April 9 — F: Sylvia Schaefer of Flying Parrot Quilts
• Wednesday, April 10 — G: Giuseppe Ribaudo of Giucy Giuce
• Thursday, April 11— H: Hilary Jordan of By Hilary Jordan
• Friday, April 12 — Week 2 Wrap Up featuring E-H and GIVEAWAY at Whole Circle Studio
• Monday, April 15 — I: Kim Soper of Leland Ave Studios
• Tuesday, April 16 — J: Yvonne Fuchs of Quilting Jetgirl
 Wednesday, April 17 — K: Karen O’Connor of Lady K Quilts
 Thursday, April 18 — L: Kristy Daum of St. Louis Folk Victorian
 Friday, April 19 — Week 3 Wrap Up featuring I-L and GIVEAWAY at Whole Circle Studio
 Monday, April 22 — M: Molli Sparkles of Molli Sparkles
 Tuesday, April 23 — N: Nicole Daksiewicz of Modern Handcraft
 Wednesday, April 24 — O: Scott Hansen of Blue Nickel Studios
 Thursday, April 25 — P: Pat Sloan of Pat Sloan
 Friday, April 26 — Week 4 Wrap Up featuring M-P and GIVEAWAY at Whole Circle Studio
 Monday, April 29 — Q: Joanna Marsh of Kustom Kwilts
 Monday, April 29 — Q: Lindsay Széchényi of Lindsay Széchényi Patchwork Threads)
 Tuesday, April 30 — R: Andrea Tsang Jackson of 3rd Story Workshop
 Wednesday, May 1 — S: Sarah Thomas of Sariditty
 Thursday, May 2 — T: Rachel Rossi of Rachel Rossi
 Friday, May 3— Week 4 Wrap Up featuring Q-T and GIVEAWAY at Whole Circle Studio
 Monday, May 6 — U: Kitty Wilkin of Night Quilter
 Tuesday, May 7 — V: Jenn McMillan of Fabric, Ink
 Wednesday, May 8 — W: Jenny Meeker of Bobbin Roulette Studio
 Thursday, May 9 — X: Stephanie Kendron of Modern Sewciety
 Friday, May 10 — Week 5 Wrap Up featuring U-X and GIVEAWAY at Whole Circle Studio
 Monday, May 13 — Y: Debby Brown of Debby Brown Quilts
 Tuesday, May 14 — Z: Nisha Bouri and Kim Martucci of Brimfield Awakening
 Wednesday, May 15 — Week 6 Wrap Up featuring Y-Z, Tour closeout and GIVEAWAY at Whole Circle Studio

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!

WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER!!!

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I’ve got a winner!! I have used Random.org since my book blogging days to get my winner for giveaways and today was no different. 39 of y’all entered my pretty great giveaway on my blog and after hitting the “generate” button the 20th comment won! That person is @chiapea!! Congratulations, Jessica!!! @crafterscompanionus will get your very own GEMINI & BUILD-A-BLOCK System to you within the next 30 business days. WOO HOO!! (I’ll DM you for your address.)

Thank you to ALL who took a few moments to follow the directions to enter and left your comments on my blog. 🔗 in BIO.

I’m thrilled to be a #brandpartner with Crafter’s Companion and they generously sponsored this wonderful giveaway.

Thanks again everyone!! I’m currently working on a free quilt pattern to be used with this system, but you will be able to make it even if you don’t have that.

(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