Saturday, May 31, 2014

Thank You! Bloggers Quilt Festival Results

Many thanks to everyone that clicked through and voted for my two entries in Amy's Bloggers Quilt Festival.  Thank you, thank you!

Although neither quilt won in its particular category -- Redbird and Berries tied for 11th place out of 25 quilts in the Viewers Choice category. 

Best of all - Redbird and Berries was one of three quilts tied for first place in the Original Design category !! 

Shucks -- we missed it by a vote!!  
Seriously though -- it made a fantastic showing and I do appreciate all of your votes and sweet comments.   The tie was broken by looking at the click through URL counts and Anne's "Matrix" quilt won that by a long shot!  Congratulations to Anne. 

Needless to say -- I think ya'll know I'm really proud of Redbird and Berries and now you also know why I was motivated and inspired to create it.  If you missed that background you can read it here.

Thanks again for your support and encouragement.

Spring Basket fared pretty well too -- placing 16th out of 50 some entries in the Mini Quilt Category.
I'm off to spend the day with the New Quilters on the Block Guild in Candor, NY today.

They are excited to learn wool applique and will be making Spring Basket!!  It should be a fun time and I'm honored to be working with these lovely ladies.

Have a blessed weekend everyone.  I hope to be doing some quilting on Sunday and can't wait to share it with you.

Take care,

Karen

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Work In Progress and Please Vote!!

Hello dear friends....  Do you ever get into that "too busy to stitch" mode that results in stitching withdrawal symptoms?   That was me over the last few days.  Thankfully, this evening, I was able to begin preparations for a new sample of "Spring Basket".  It will be a demo piece for a class with The New Quilters on the Block Guild this weekend.  18 ladies, wool, patterns, excitement -- oh yeah!  
I hope you enjoyed your long weekend.... We were thankful and took the opportunity to remember those who sacrificed for our freedeoms and those that continue to make our beautiful Country free and strong...
Did you hear the word ??  Being thankful that "Redbird and Berries" was nominated in the "Viewers Choice" category over at Amy's Creative Side Bloggers Quilt Festival!!   

So honored.... 

I hope you've had a chance to jump over and browse the Viewers Choice quilts and vote for your favorite.  There are so many talented quilters out there!!


You can read my original post for Redbird and Berries in the Spring 2014 Bloggers Quilt Festival by  clicking here.

Don't forget to please also vote for Redbird and Berries (or your favorite) in the "Original Design" category.  Click here to vote "Original Design" category.
Last but not least, "Spring Basket" was placed in the "Mini Quilt" category at Amy's Bloggers Quilt Festival. 

You can read my original post for "Spring Basket" in the Spring 2014 Bloggers Quilt Festival by  clicking here

You can see all quilts and vote for your favorite "Mini Quilt" by clicking here.
I leave you with a lovely sunset from Sunday evening.... What a beautiful country and region we live in.  We are very blessed.
Many, many thanks for your support!

Have a wonderful week,
Hugs to all,
Karen

Friday, May 23, 2014

Bloggers Quilt Festival - Mini Quilt - Spring Basket

It's like Lays Potato Chips -- you can't enter just one!!

I just couldn't help myself and decided (at the last minute) to throw a 2nd entry into Amy's Bloggers Quilt Festival.

Here it is "Spring Basket".  For those new to my blog - Welcome! Here is a bit of history...
"Spring Basket" is an 11" x 16" wool applique on cotton, half-moon, mini quilt.  The Original Design quilt represents a lot of First's for me!!
  • My first ever completely wool design
  • My first ever published "for sale" pattern
  • My first ever Big Stitch quilted piece (ouch -- that hurt -- I Love to FMQ)
  • My first ever teaching adventure (thanks Quilters Corners for taking a chance on me)
  • My first ever ...
Well - you get the picture.  It all started when I shared a picture of my "Penny Garland Revised" wool on cotton quilt to Cheryl.  Penny Garland is a pattern by Kim Diehl..  You can learn more about "Penny Garland Revised" by clicking here.
Cheryl is a very talented Wool Felt Artist and a local Fiber Arts cheerleader.  Each year she organizes a Spring Fiber Festival event which includes animals, vendors, felters, woodworkers, and other wool related craftsmen.  Cheryl took a chance on me and invited me to show my Wool quilts at the next event.
One thing led to another, and a handful of ladies at the event signed up to learn wool applique!
I reached out to a Local Quilt Shop - Quilters Corner in Ithaca, NY -- and the partners there decided  to give me a chance.   (Thank you ladies!).

But wait, I needed something original to teach -- In two weeks time, I designed, stitched and delivered a "Spring Basket" sample to the shop so a class could be formalized and announced in their upcoming Newsletter.  See the debut in the Newsletter by clicking here (I was so honored and excited...)
The Spring Basket design came to me as I longed for warmer weather, spring flowers, and the return of the Carolina Wren to our cottage.  I also wanted it SIMPLE, and easy to learn, so beginners would feel comfortable making it.   I hope I've achieved that goal.  The PDF pattern includes many color photos and step by step instructions for preparing your background, wool pieces, order of stitching, etc.
Spring Basket is available as a PDF Download from my Craftsy Pattern Store.  If you are interested in a printed version of the pattern, feel free to send me an e-mail.   The printed version of the pattern includes the applique shapes already printed on freezer paper -- a sweet little shortcut for you!
Carrie from A Passion for Applique Blog graciously reviewed and stitched her own version of Spring Basket.
Image courtesy of http://apassionforapplique.blogspot.com
You can read her review here:

If applique appeals to you, you should jump over to Carries' blog, look at her beautiful work, and take in her awesome tutorials. (Thank you Carrie).

Well I hope you've enjoyed the "Spring Basket" tour with history.   You can see a sweet little Printed Quilt Label tutorial I made with Spring Basket by clicking on the image below...
"Spring Basket"
an Origial Design Mini Quilt
by Karen L. Miller
11" x 16" half-moon shape
Wool applique on Cotton background
Big Stitch Quilted
Quilt Festival Category: Mini Quilt

Voting starts later today -- I hope you have time to jump over to the Quilt Festival and see all the beautiful work by very talented Bloggers in the Quilting Community!

Hugs,
Karen

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Bloggers Quilt Festival - Original Design - Redbird and Berries

Hello everyone!  I'm excited to present my entry into the "Original Design" category of the Spring 2014 Bloggers Quilt Festival hosted by Amy's Creative Side
Meet Redbird and Berries - an original design and tutorial created earlier this year for the Moda Bake Shop.  

Download the free Redbird and Berries PDF from the Moda Bake Shop or from my Craftsy pattern store.

Redbird and Berries was inspired by my love of Songbirds -- especially the Northern Cardinal.
You see, my mom passed 10 years ago and since then I've felt a special connection to the beautiful Northern Cardinals that continually cross my path. 

I feel my interactions with them sometimes include small, yet meaningful, messages from my mom.

Even the name of my blog reflects my love of this precious little songbird.
If I'm driving a little too fast and a Cardinal flies in front of me, I *slow down*.
If I'm having a bad day and I hear the sound of the Male cardinal singing to his mate,
I *smile*.
Cardinals frequent our many bird feeders during the winter months and act as a daily reminder that my mothers love and guidance is always near.
To continue my obsession with the Northern Cardinal, in the fall of 2013 I participated in the "Wool Lovers Blog Hop" and created this darling little wool felt "Redbird" as my entry -- later I created a tutorial so you can make your own felted Redbird.  You can see the tutorial by clicking here.
So when I first laid eyes on the beautiful grunge fabric on the Moda / United Notions web site -- I knew I had to make something with it.  That red colored Grunge was perfect for a Redbird. 


I'm also big fan of anything Mackenzie Childs, so the rest of my inspiration came from the Mackenzie Childs "Courtly Check" pattern (Courtly Check is a registered trademark of MacKenzie-Childs) --  one of her very popular lines.

Here are two of my favorite Courtly Check pieces by Mackenzie-Childs.   Isn't that ring dish sweet?  I keep waiting for it drop in my lap... I'm afraid $185 is a bit out of my price range!
Image from MacKenzie-Childs.com
To mock that beautiful Checkerboard border I found the sweet line "Little Black Dress 2" by BasicGrey for Moda. 

The rest is history - I sent a proposal to the lovely team at the Moda Bake Shop and they graciously accepted.

The fabric (once available) magically shows up on the doorstep and, after a few weeks of  pulling my hair out fussing, the result is "Redbird and Berries - Mini Quilt" recipe on the Moda Bake Shop (click here to see it).
If you've decided to download and make Redbird and Berries -- be sure to check out the special Redbird Mask and Beak tutorial by clicking here.

Redbird and Berries Mini Quilt
An Original Design by Karen L. Miller 
for the Moda Bake Shop
Size:  22" x 30"
Hand Appliqued & Machine Pieced 
Machine Quilted on my Domestic Machine 
Awesome Aurifil Mako 50wt Thread
for applique, piecing and quilting!

I hope you get a chance to hop over to Amy's and view all of the fantastic quilts on display.  

Voting begins May 23rd.  You'll find "Redbird and Berries" in the "Original Design Quilts" category.  

There is also "Viewers Choice" voting -- be sure to nominate your favorite "Viewers Choice" quilt here by May 23rd.

As always -- thanks for your continued support and encouragement!

Hugs,
Karen

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Giveaway Day Winners!

Greetings everyone -- and welcome to the weekend!!

First -- many, many thanks for your sweet comments on the Blog and Facebook Giveaway Posts!  

I'm honored that ya'll stopped by, commented, and joined in the fun!  

(Well... maybe the Giveaway had *something* to do with it ;)...

Seriously -- thank you all for your sweet comments -- they warmed my heart.

Each winner will receive a "Spring Basket" pattern compliments of Redbird Quilt Co. 

The printed version of "Spring Basket" includes 4 pages of instructions including diagrams, 2 pages of applique shapes, 1 half moon template, and 1 placement diagram, in addition to the Cover and Materials pages.

Additionally, on the printed version, two extra pages are included that have the applique shapes pre-printed on freezer paper (so you can cut them out and get started right away!).  

The PDF version (available on my Craftsy pattern store here) includes a whopping 7 pages of instructions (with full color diagrams), along with the applique shapes, half-moon template, placement diagram, Cover and Materials page.   Not included in either pattern are the stitch diagrams for blanket, couch or french knot. 

I've started a Wool Applique Basics series here on the blog that will help you along with these stitches.  Also there are many, many references on the internet for these basic stitches.  

You can read a review of the "Spring Basket" pattern on Carrie's Blog -- many thanks to Carrie for being a pattern tester for me -- she did a wonderful job on her version of Spring Basket.

Spring Basket stitched and quilted by Carrie P:  http://apassionforapplique.blogspot.com
And now for the winners:

On the blog I allowed the Rafflecopter to choose the random winner:


Margaret - Congratulations !   I've sent you an email with a PDF version of "Spring Basket" attached!  I hope you enjoy making this sweet pattern.

On Facebook I used the new Rafflecopter Facebook Flash Giveaway App to choose the winner:
Congratulations Jean!  I sent you a Private Message on Facebook and you have a choice of a Printed or PDF version of the "Spring Basket".  Drop me a line so I can get your pattern to you soon!!

Thanks again to Sew Mama Sew for hosting the generous Giveaway Day!!   

Also, a warm welcome to many, many new followers!! 

Have a wonderful weekend all.
Hugs,
Karen

Monday, May 12, 2014

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!

Hello and Welcome to Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day!!
If you're new here and found me through the giveaway registry at Sew Mama Sew - Welcome Aboard! 

I'm a 50 something gramma who loves to sew, applique (with cotton and wool), and free motion quilt!  

I live in the Finger Lakes Region of NY, USA and I just love Songbirds!!
 I recently created "Redbird Quilt Co."
a design, instruction and free motion quilting adventure.

On the blog you'll find * free patterns and tutorials * along with ramblings about sewing and applique, favorite threads and tools, and other quilting musings.

Every now and again I'll share a new quilt pattern on the blog - available for purchase on the Redbird Quilt Co. web site or my Craftsy store.

I hope you enjoy your visit.

Here is a sampling of my designs that are all *free tutorials or patterns*:
(Click images to visit the tutorial/pattern)

Redbird and Berries Mini Quilt on the Moda Bake Shop:

 

Family Tree - Quilted Envelope Pillow on the Moda Bake Shop:

Family Tree

 

Redbird Christmas - Quilted Envelope Pillow:


Teardrops of Love - a needle turn applique tutorial:

 

Computer Printed Quilt Label Tutorial:


Bouquet Memories Wall Hanging on the Bear Creek Quilting Company's Blog:


Little Wool Blue Bird tutorial - including links to the Beginner Wool Applique Series:


For the Sew Mama Sew giveaway I want to share a copy of my latest pattern - "Spring Basket".


Spring basket is an 11" x 16" mini quilt made with Wool pieces stitched to a Cotton background.

The pattern is perfect for a beginner.  It includes all of the templates and instruction required to complete the project.

If you've never worked with wool, you will LOVE it -- you don't need to turn the edges of wool under -- once woven wool is washed and dried the edges won't fray when cut.

You can read more about Spring Basket on my blog post by clicking here.

You can see a review of Spring Basket on Carrie's blog  by clicking here.

I will be giving away one Spring Basket pattern on this blog post and another Spring Basket pattern on a Facebook Giveaway. (Be sure to jump over to my Facebook page and follow the directions on the giveaway post to be eligible for that giveaway).

A winner in the domestic USA will have their choice of a Printed or PDF version of Spring Basket.  If the winner resides Internationally, I will e-mail a PDF version to them.

To claim your chances to win, use the Rafflecopter widget below.

If you don't have a Facebook account -- no worries - simply enter your name and email address instead.   International entries are welcome!!    

The Raffelcopter will give you one mandatory (blog comment) and several optional ways to win -- try it out! 

If the Raffelcopter widget doesn't load right away, refresh your screen and give it a minute -- sometimes it's fussy!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


After using the Rafflecopter to enter my giveaway, jump back to Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway posts (Fabric & Patterns & Supplies click here  &  Handmade Items click here) and enter all the fabulous giveaways!!

The winner will be chosen on May 16th at 9pm EST and will be notified via email.   Best of luck everyone !

Thanks for stopping by,
Karen

Friday, May 9, 2014

Favorite Things Friday - Fabric, Thread and Flowers...

It's a simply gorgeous day in the Finger Lakes today.  
Welcome!... and thanks for stopping by.

The Sun is Shining and the Air is Warm... nothing but goodness in our part of the world.
I was up early this morning contemplating how to quilt this beautiful pink piggy growth chart.  My sister Janet put this together for little Abby - a close friend of our family.  Isn't it darling?  
Panels are one of my "favorite" things to Free Motion Quilt.  They allow you to practice lots of fun fillers --  swirls, pebbles, waves, loop de-loops -- these will all find their way into this cute Pig Growth Chart by Susybee.

See other growth charts I've quilted here:
Another "favorite" of mine is picking the right threads for the job.  

If I want dense quilting, I always turn to #Aurifil Mako Cotton 50 wt Thread.   It allows me to quilt heavily without nasty buildup -- and it never breaks or fusses.   

I use the same thread in the top and bobbin and breeze through the quilting.
The color thread you choose can have an amazing effect on the results. 
In this case, I don't have the exact color moss that I need, but the thread I chose -- #2840 Loden Green -- will highlight the butterfly with a bit of sheen.

For the background quilting, I decided on #Aurifil Mako Cotton 50Wt #2600 -- Dove -- this will add "just a hint" of metallic to the background fillers and give them a little sparkle!
For the piggy -- I've chosen Aurifil #2452 --Dusty Rose -- (I go through a lot of this color ;)  The thread will be just a little bit darker than the piggy making the quilting become an accent to the fabric. 

Tip:
When you are testing thread colors, always unwind them and lay them directly on the fabric -- it gives you a better idea of how they will look once quilted.
Stay tuned - I hope to quilt this little guy in the next week or so.... I'll be sure to post pictures!

For now I'll leave you with some pretty shots of the Bradford Pear tree in our side yard.  Each year it blooms profusely (no fruit - just beautiful blooms).   This year I found great pleasure in just looking at it...
-- and looking closer.  

My goodness it is a work of art.
Where is my wool and thread ?
This one needs to be stitched....
For those of you preparing for market -- safe travels!   The rest of us will be waiting patiently for pictures!

If you're hanging around next week -- be sure to check out The Bloggers Quilt Festival over at Amy's Creative Side!   It's the biggest online quilt show around and YOU are invited!!
Click the image below to learn more.
You can see my entries from last fall here and here.

AmysCreativeSide.com

Happy Weekend all -- take care and thanks again for stopping by.

Linking up to Leah's Free Motion Friday!  A wonderful resource for a FMQ!

Hugs,
Karen