Designer Duo 2019 – INBOUND • Block 2

Blog Tour, Designer Duo 2019, Fabrics, Mix It Up Quilt, Nancy Rink Designs, Uncategorized

I hope this week was a good one and you had fun starting your MIX IT UP quilt blocks! It’s already Friday again and we’re introducing the second block in this unusual sampler quilt. *Check my earlier posts for information regarding the fabrics I’m using in my version.

These two blocks are literally the same block, the INBOUND block #2 in the Designers Duo 2019 – MIX IT UP pattern book. Again, fabric placement changed up these blocks to look totally different from each other as well as from both Nancy and Sarah’s versions in the book. The negative space that the white fabric creates in the light green version creates a cool center star. I’m honestly torn between which block is my favorite here. The traditional look of the dark green block with that fabulous leaf print is just so pretty and then the boldness light green version is so dang cool looking. Which one do you like best?

Until next week, Happy Making!!

Designer Duo 2019 – OUTBOUND • Block 1

Blog Tour, Designer Duo 2019, Fabrics, Mix It Up Quilt, Nancy Rink Designs, Quilts, Uncategorized

Happy Friday and welcome to the official start of the Designer Duo 2019 MIX IT UP quilt along!! Today Nancy, Sarah, and guest designers will be sharing our versions of block one “OUTBOUND”, from the MIX IT UP pattern book. Fabric placement is key in creating completely different aesthetics when it comes to this quilt. I love using fabrics like the way I used to color in coloring books when I was a kid. Shading is such a cool way to create bold looks. I used a FQ bundle of Robert Kaufman Fabric’s ON THE LIGHTER SIDE (OTLS) as well as yardage of their KONA Solids. *Visit my blog post detailing how much yardage I suggest HERE. The results are what you see below for OUTBOUND-block one. In the red block I used KONA Tomato and paired it with the Apple print from the OTLS bundle. The blue block uses Blueprint and the flying airplane print. You’ll see if you’re making the MIX IT UP quilt that we are to make two versions of this block. I love how completely different yet slightly similar these blocks appear to be.

Honestly, the only thing giving it away that these technically are the same block are the direction the flying geese are going, in an outbound flight pattern from the center square in a square. Using the solids to create striking patterns that stand out against the low volume fabrics was so fun. When you take away all the color in the original block, which you can do by tracing the block in the book and then applying your own color story to it, it makes it easy to see the block in a whole new perspective. Below you can see my digital mock up of my quilt with the block layout marked by the patch lines. I urge you to try creating a totally fresh look to the blocks and see what you come up with.

Happy Making!

Order your copy of the DD 2019 MIX IT UP pattern booklet from the following retailers. PDFs are not available.

Hancock’s of Paducah

Fabric Essentials

Homestead Hearth

Mix It Up – Designers Duo 2019

Blog Tour, Designer Duo, Designer Duo 2019, Mix It Up Quilt, Nancy Rink Designs, Quilts, Uncategorized

IMG_3009For the second year in a row I have had the honor of being named Guest Designer in my friend Nancy Rink and Sarah Maxwell‘s Designer Duo quilt pattern and quilt along.  Joining me as Guest Designers are Elisabeth Hardy of Elisabewquilts, Giuseppe Ribaudo, aka Giucy Giuce, Tiffany Hayes of Needle in a Hayes Stack, and Dolores Smith of Timeworn Toolbox. I hope you’ll keep an eye out for them too as we have all created something different.

This year Nancy and Sarah designed such a fun, interesting, and customizable pattern.  You’ll see as the QAL/quilt along kicks off this Friday, May 17th that this is a very different quilt in regards to layout.  This happens because of three different sized blocks used throughout the quilt, 18″, 12″, and 6″, making a 78″ x 90″ finished quilt including borders.

What I have so much fun doing is taking Nancy’s direction to “re-color” the original quilt with fabrics of my choice.  In this case she also asked me to redesign the layout of blocks into something new.  The pattern book talks about the idea of designing your own blocks or switching out the 12″ blocks with others of your choice.  I chose to utilize all but I think one of the blocks in the pattern and not replace anything, but I did mix up the layout to create a much different look.  As we all know, fabric placement can change everything and I enjoy doing just that. I did rearrange actual block placement but paired with fabric placement, I was able to make everything look very different from the original two layouts by Nancy and Sarah. IMG_3008

I chose to use a fat quarter bundle of ON THE LIGHTER SIDE from Robert Kaufman Fabrics for the prints in my quilt.  Using a Kona Solids color card, also from Robert Kaufman, I matched Kona fabrics to the colors in the prints.  A HUGE thank you to Robert Kaufman Fabrics for supporting this project, by the way.  I love using Kona Solids because I know I will get any and every color I could possibly need as they have created 343 colors.  Yup!  Three hundred and forty-three colors, People!

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Using the low volume prints of On the Light Side collection and Kona Solids I created bold blocks that were a joy and a fun challenge to make.  Below is the list of Kona Solids that I matched to each print in the collection shown above.

KONA Cotton Solids in yards:
1387 White – 4 ½
1071 Charcoal – 1/6
1470 Pewter – 1/6
848 Blueprint – 1/4
1072 Chartreuse – 1/3
475 Grasshopper – 5/8
865 Pimento – 1/6
496 Nectarine – ½
840 Duckling – ½
419 Azalea – 1/6
233 Celestial – 1/6
7 Tomato – 5/8
410 Kumquat – 1/3
488 Dahlia – 1/6
476 Grellow – 1/3
1383 Violet – 1/6
1541 Deep Blue – 1/3
1049 Bright Pink – 1/3
407 Chestnut – 1/6
1066 Cerise – 1/6
1218 Marine – 1/6
K040-114 Jet Black – 1/6

I hope y’all join us in the QAL this summer! It’s going to be great because not only are we making amazing quilts, but Nancy and Sarah have some fun things planned. If you want to make quilts exactly like Nancy’s or Sarah’s you can order kits from Homestead Hearth, Fabric Essentials, and book only from Hancock’s of Paducah. If you just need a pattern book then you can order them from those shops or from Nancy herself HERE. And last but not least, here’s my version of the Designer Duo 2019 MIX IT UP quilt in all its glory. (Sorry there aren’t kits for my version. That’s why I gave you fabric requirements. 😉)

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

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!

#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.