Saturday, October 1, 2016

Quilty Travel - A Special Visitor - and a WINNER!

Greetings Quilty Friends...  Happy October!  
It's hard to let September go, but with the leaves and the calendar turning, I guess we're officially moving into fall. 
 I snapped this picture from a hillside on the East side of Keuka lake a few weeks ago...
You've gotta love a Finger Lakes sunset...
More about this view in the future post ;)
Before we move on to my special visitor and the Winner of the National Sewing month Giveaway, I want to share with you some of the fun things I've done this month... 
Early in September I was hosted by Creekside Fabrics, Quilts and Yarns in Arcade, NY.
We shared 3 days of Free Motion Quilting on domestic machines.
Ruler Work - featuring the awesome QP Curve Templates,
a Full Day of Feathers
and an Open Sew Workshop
 Many thanks to Sandy and her talented team for having me in.
Also, many thanks to the ladies that have frequented my Workshops for what is now my 3rd visit to Creekside Fabrics -- WOW!!
We've come a long way Baby!!
Be sure to jump over to Instagram to see more fun images of my travels!
Mid-September I was invited to teach and lecture with the York County Quilters Guild near Rock Hill, South Carolina !
Another fun trip...
Along the way I stopped in Harrisburg, PA and Colonial Williamsburg, VA to spend much needed time with family... 
Love you all! 
Once I arrived in SC, I stayed with another beautiful family!! 
Many thanks to Sherri and the Applique Society Sisters for their welcome and hospitality.
I had a rewarding time with the Guild. 
We worked on the Really Mini Redbird and Berries in Wool - complete with a kit of beautiful hand dyed wool, Aurifil 12Wt thread, my favorite Bohin Crewel needles. 
Later in the evening we shuffled off for a Moda Bake Shop Lecture & Trunk Show at the Guild General Meeting.  Oh it's always fun to share with Quilty Friends...  A great turnout and fantastic trip.
I'm getting a little lax in taking pictures during Workshops -- I'm sorry to have missed a few ladies in the shot (upper right)...
Thank you York County Quilters -- what a great group!  

OK - now we're nearing the end of September... I was honored to spend time with the Endless Mountains Quilt Guild in Sayre/Athens, PA at their 2016 Show.
Below is a recap and you can see many more images online here.
The QP Curve Template Demo
 My thanks to all of you that stopped by to say hello, watch a demo or just check-out the quilts on exhibit.  It was a fabulous show with oodles of beautiful quilts and beautiful people.
A faux Ruched Flower Demo
Because the show was in my hometown, I was greeted by many who knew and loved my mom.  Oh it was very heartwarming.  My sisters, Aunts and friends visited too!  
The crew from the Endless Mountains Guild were spectacular to work with -- my thanks go out to Cassandra, Linda, Judy, Kim, and Sharon -- not to mention all the hands working in the background.
Thank you so much ladies (and men)... 
I must say -- I was a bit partial to the special display of "Redbird and Berries" right outside my exhibit area.  
Each day I could sit and stare at this collection of Redbirds.  Enough to make anyone smile. 
Be sure to click over to this album to see the ladies next to their creations!
The show also included a fine exhibit of Youth entries -- they always make my heart sing.
Our granddaughter Angelina entered her quilt into this show and, as did all Youth entries, the quilt received a "Youth Participation Award" from the Guild. 

What a fine way to honor those young folks that are beginning their quilting journey.
I had the honor of meeting an upcoming young quilter -- age 7!!  
Her name is Claire and she's fortunate to be able to work on her Grandma's Longarm machine.
Claire just captured my heart with her excitement about quilting and she too had a quilt in the show.  
I'm sorry I didn't get an image of Claire or her quilt, but let me tell you - it was perfect.
She used her own drawings, scanned them, printed them on fabric, and integrated them into a quilt that she pieced and quilted herself !!  It was so sweet.
Way to go Claire!  
The sweet ladies from the Guild presented me with a couple of awesome Gift Certificates from local shops including The Friendship Star Quilt Shop in Sayre and Shores Quilt Shop in Towanda, PA.
I can't wait to get to those shops!
Here are just a couple of the quilts I LOVED!
 Cathedral Windows is on my Bucket List !!
Isn't this beautiful ?
And how about this beauty by Gail Arnold... 
Oh I love it but I'm not sure I would ever be able to piece it... 
You can see more EMQG Exhibit Images here.
Now a special shout-out to the two ladies that helped me have a successful show.
My 2 Vana's... 
 This is my friend Terri Butler - Quilter Extraordinaire and Creative Goddess!
And this is my friend Cindy -- owner of the famed Sew It Is Quilt Shop -- and Creative Goddess Two!
Checkout the sweet aprons that Cindy made for me!
Where would I be without you two?
Thank you both so very much - Love you!
Wow -- what a rewarding and inspiring month - thanks for sharing it with me.
Now -- On To the Special Visitor
Ya'll know I've been following this lady, Doreen Auger, and her fabulous blog, Treadle Music, for YEARs!
Last week my husband and I had the chance to visit with Doreen and her dear husband Tom at the cottage...  
It was a very special time.
Many thanks to both Doreen and Tom for including us on their traveling "meet and greet".
A few adult beverages, burgers at the Switz, and great conversation rounded out the visit...
And now I present the Winner of the National Sewing Month Giveaway.
Read more about the Giveaway here.
The fabulous Linda Hrcka of The Quilted Pineapple provided a 3 piece set of QP Edge Rulers to one lucky entrant.
I used Mr. Random Generator to select a Winner
And the corresponding entry is:
Bonnie -- Congratulations!
You Are The Winner of 
The QP Edge Templates.
Oh you will LOVE these -- I just know it!
Many thanks to Linda Hrcka for providing this set of tools.
You can follow Linda on Facebook here.
For those of you that missed it, I shared a few Free Motion Quilting Tips and Tricks
On the Moda Bake Shop a few weeks ago .
That post is what spurred the Giveaway.
Do jump over and check out the details.
If you enjoyed the information on the Bake Shop, stay tuned as I'll be quilting a simple table topper over there soon!
Time to run... a have a little sewing to do.
Have a blessed weekend all and many thanks for your continued support!
YOU Make my World a Happy Place!
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Friday, September 16, 2016

Local Show and Special Exhibit...Endless Mountains Quilt Guild

The time is almost here and I'm so excited!

A year ago the
Endless Mountains Quilt Guild
invited me to teach
 Redbird and Berries Mini Quilt
in a 2 session Workshop.

We had so much fun!
A few weeks later they invited me to be the Featured Quilter for their 2016 Show.
I am completely honored.
Now, we're only a week away from the Show -- Yippee!!
If you're anywhere near Athens, PA the weekend of September 24th, 25th, consider stopping by.

The Endless Mountains Quilt Guild has so much talent !!

Wait until you see their beautifully crafted quilts.  

You won't want to miss "Storytime Trunk Show" by Cathie Wiggs.  Cathie shares snippits of quilts from the past.

I'll be hanging around my "Special Exhibit" during show hours 10am to 4pm each day. 
I'm especially excited about sharing quilting demonstrations every 2 hours beginning at 11am.
You'll want to take a chance (or two) on the Guild Raffle quilt -- it's so beautiful!
They'll be plenty of local vendors at the show...
if you're looking for
The Quilted Pineapple Acrylic Templates
The QP Curve and The QP Edge sets
will be available at a special price.

Be careful though,
quilting with templates is addicting!
I do hope you can stop by, say hello, and share your quilty stories with me.
I look forward to meeting you there.
Below is the official Press Release from the EMQG:

The Endless Mountains Quilt Guild will be holding its biennial quilt show on September 24th and 25th at Lynch-Bustin Elementary School in Athens, PA. The show will be from 10:00-4:00 both days. Admission is $5 and includes 300 quilts on display, a special exhibit by Karen Miller of Redbird Quilt Co. and a trunk show by Cathie Wiggs.

Cathie Wiggs will present her Storytime Trunk Show “Scraps from the Past” at 10:00, 12:00, and 2:00, and Karen Miller will do sewing demonstrations at 11:00, 1:00, and 3:00. These special events will be held both days at the times listed.

A quilt honoring the Athens High School Class of 1965 will also be on display at the show. Made by Kay Kring Rhinehart, the quilt includes photos from the class as well as information about world events at that time.

The show will also feature vendors from the region. Lunch and snacks will be available, and raffle tickets for baskets will be sold. Please visit for more information about the Endless Mountains Quilt Guild and the quilt show.

Happy Quilting -- Karen

PS -- Don't forget about the QP Edge Giveaway and Class Discount
** and **
Be sure to review  the recent
"Aligning Your Free Motion Quilting Stars"

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Celebrate National Sewing Month and Align Your Free Motion Quilting Stars

Greeting fellow quilters
I'm thrilled you've stopped by!
Let's Celebrate National Sewing Month!
As part of the celebration, I'm excited to share a new recipe with you
on Moda Bake Shop
 - also -
we've got a great Giveaway &
some special Free Motion Quilting deals
at the end of this post.
First... on Moda Bake Shop
you'll find my very own
Bake Shop Basics for
Free Motion Quilting
on a home machine.
The Recipe is full of tips, tricks, and
troubleshooting ideas to help
Align Your Free Motion Quilting Stars!
If you've attended any of my
Workshops or Trunk Shows 
some of the ideas may sound familiar.
I hope you find them helpful.
Sharing is a great way to celebrate
National Sewing Month!!
Do hop on over and check it out...
I would love your feedback.

Later this month we'll meet again at Moda Bake Shop to quilt something together.  
Won't that be fun?

In the meantime, here are a few tidbits of information about one of the cute projects shown on the MBS post.
Let's call it "Pretty in Pink - Grunge"
Pretty in Pink - Grunge
I use this petite whole cloth quilt as a sample for teaching
free motion Feathers and
free motion Rulers and Templates
on domestic machines.
It's really rewarding to play and create fun new samples!
The Details...
Moda Grunge Fabric
(my favorite - isn't it beautiful!)
Aurifl 40Wt cotton thread on top
Aurifil 50Wt in the bobbin
Brand New 80/12 top stitch needle
Quilters Dream Wool (2 layers) 
The QP Curve Templates
The QP Edge Templates
(by Linda Hrcka of The Quilted Pineapple)
Did someone mention a Giveaway?

The Process - An Overview
Showing The QP Curve Template & Janome Ruler Foot
Pretty in Pink - Grunge was created using acrylic templates to guide a special free motion quilting foot on my domestic machine.  
If you've not tried quilting with templates or rulers, you're missing out on a great creative avenue.  
Consider learning the basics of ruler work by taking a class at your local shop, viewing online *free* YouTube clips and/or jumping on-board with a Crafsty class or two (see suggestions below).  

In this piece I used Aurifil 40Wt thread to add a bit of jazz to the quilting stitches.

The curved crosshatching and diamond shape were quilted using
The QP Curve Templates
by Linda Hrcka of
Sew Fun!!
The outside swag was quilted using two sizes of QP Curve Templates
Oh! and I love the beadboard border.
It was stitched free motion using The QP Edge Templates -- there are 3 sizes of straight rulers.
I adore the look of beadboard
(on a wall or a quilt).
The inside of the quilt is finished off with Fast Feathers... 
I so enjoy stitching these lightly spaced feathers and tendrils inspired by Bethanne Nemesh -- a variation of "Nemeshing".
See Bethanne's amazing creations by clicking here.
Fast feathers are quick background fill that look really classy...   
and don't take all day to quilt out.   
Do let me know if a quick tutorial on this would be helpful.
Now for some fun...
My com padre and friend Linda Hrcka 
Karen & Linda at AQS Syracuse July 2016
graciously provided a full set of QP Edge Templates 
The QP Edge Set -- Oh you will LOVE THEM!
to give away to one lucky reader.
(A $75 dollar value).

To enter the giveaway, leave me a comment telling me which project you like best on the Moda Bake Shop Basics post.
I shared several projects that were quilted on my home machine.
For an extra entry, share my blog post on any social media platform.  
After, be sure to return and leave a 2nd comment for a 2nd chance to win
The QP Edge Templates.
I'll announce a winner on or around Sept 25th.

Also -- for National Sewing Month,
 I've handpicked 4 Craftsy Classes 
and acquired a 50% discount code
good through Sept 24th.

Quilting with Rulers - Great class for beginners. 

Creative Quilting with Rulers...
More ruler work -- OK!!
I'm taking this one now -- woohoo!

 Machine Quilting Negative Space
Oh I loved this class too!!  
Angela makes beautiful background fill.

 Wild Quilting
The creative energy that Christina shares will knock your socks off!!
Be sure to use my affiliate link to get the 50% discount now through Sept 25th.
Jump over, read the reviews, check out the trailers and get on-board with one of these great classes.
Of course, if you have the opportunity to take a class in your local shop or at a show -- I ALWAYS recommend doing that first or in-addition-to an online course.   
Being face-to-face with a skilled educator is a great way to learn ;) 

Time to run... But before I go

1. Checkout the Moda Bake Shop post
2.  Enter for the QP Edge Giveaway by leaving a comment below
3. Review my hand picked online classes to improve your FMQ Skills
I leave you with Pretty in Pink - Grunge on the dock of Keuka Lake.
We love living in the Finger Lakes Region of NY -- If you're ever in the area, do give me a shout.

Thanks so much for stopping by...
Keep on Stitching! 

Follow me on social media:
Redbird Quilt Co. on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube
Facebook my FMQ Frenzy Community Group

Learn FMQ Basics via text and video on my free 2016 Free Motion Quilt Along

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Summer Vacation - A Wing and a Prayer

Greetings from Upstate NY where I've spent the most fabulous summer creating, quilting, teaching, playing and retiring!!   

Yep -- I did it -- I've retired from my full-time job and I'm now working 1/2 time (20 hours a week) to phase out and transition my work to a someone new!!  It's all very exciting and what I've dreamed of doing for the last few years.   Yippee....  Keep your fingers crossed that it allows me to spend more time quilting and blogging.  

Now let's talk summer  --- it's been a wild one and I haven't shared any blog posts with you.

Shame on me!    

I have been busy posting quick images and updates on Facebook and Instagram though -- so if you're on either one of those platforms be sure to follow me there. 

One of the things that I've been anxious to share with you this summer,  is a sweet little flimsy that I had the opportunity to quilt for a friend.   
The quilt is aptly named "A Wing and A Prayer" and was designed and created by my friend Jan Manley (SewandSowFarm Blog & Featherweight Quilt Company).

Jan created the quilt as part of the 2016 Hoffman Challenge using the beautiful Crystalia fabric by Hoffman -- Read more about the challenge by clicking here.

I was honored when Jan asked me to quilt it for her and I wanted to share some before and after images and some quilting details with you today.

Ya'll know that I do all my quilting on my home machine.   
It's sew much fun!!
I chose to use 100% Wool Batting by Quilters Dream.
This batting really does quilt like a dream -- and the loft is so yummy.

Here are a few images of the quilt before FMQing on my home machine.
Isn't it just beautiful ?  Jan created 5 Patchwork of the Crosses (POTC) units with English Paper Piecing (EPP) and beautifully fussy cut fabrics --- she did an absolutely amazing job of it.  
It was so very beautiful I was nervous to quilt it. 
the Challenge deadline was looming so I moved forward.
In addition to using the 50Wt Hoffman Challenge Collection by Aurifil,
I selected more Aurifil weights and colors
from my AuriStash ;)
In an attempt to compete in the "Best Use of Aurifil Thread" category I used 50Wt, 40Wt, 28Wt and 12Wt Threads and had a blast!
  Although "A Wing and a Prayer" didn't receive a ribbon, Jan and I were pretty pumped that it was accepted into the Challenge and will travel in Hoffman Challenge 2016 Trunk Show.  
I hope you get a chance to see it in person.

As with all domestic machine quilting I started in the middle of the quilt to FMQ around the beautifully fussy-cut and english paper pieced center...    
I chose to use an Aurifil 40Wt thread to give the center a bit of jazz.
This is what the first round of quilting with the Aurifil 40Wt thread looked like:
And here's a closer look at the quilting.
I call these feathers "fast feathers". 
They are inspired by Bethanne Nemesh...
A variation of  "Nemeshing"
Doesn't that Aurifil 40Wt and Dream Wool combo work perfectly here?
I love it!!
Ok - Now I moved onto the background fabric for the center POTC mediallion.
I thought a little top stitching with Aurifil 12Wt would look fabulous
I really do love the way the Aurifil 12Wt thread stitches with my walking foot.
Stay tuned for yet another blog post about the logistics of that... 
Working my way outward from the center I decided to echo stitch the beautiful Crystalia print -- but first I used an Aurifil 28wt thread to outline many of the butterflies.
Then I reached for the Aurifil 50Wt thread to get some echo quilting done.
Looking pretty good so far...
You'll notice in the center mediallion that I've yet to finish quilting. 
I decide to go back later with the Aurifil 40Wt and add some more fast feathers in the white space. You'll be able to see it a bit later.

Next up though, {I still question if I should have done this, but} I decided to do a teeny-tiny blanket stitch around all the POTC blocks.  Jan did a fantastic job of appliqueing them but I was afraid all my quilting was going to turn them up -- so I experimented with this setting on my machine and went for it...   
Here is one completed -- if you look close you can see the minuscule blanket stitch that goes around the POTC.
I did this with a walking foot and Aurifil 50Wt thread.
OK - up next let's get some quilting in that beautiful Hoffman Watercolor Batik -- this one was called "Shrimp".  It was fun to stitch.  I went back to the Aurifil 40Wt thread and the fast feathers.
Above... How about Jan's beautifully fussy cut butterflies!
OK -- Here's a close up of the fast feathers...
How about that thread and batting combination !!
Now the quilting is complete on
A Wing and A Prayer
Here's a close up of the center...
And here's a full view of the quilt before I sent it back to Jan.
I must say -- I was pretty excited about working on this with Jan.  She is an amazing designer and a wonderful person.  Again, although we didn't win any ribbons we're both pretty psyched at "A Wing and a Prayer" was accepted into the Challenge and will travel for the next year  in the Hoffman Challenge Trunk Show.   

My congratulations goes out to all the entries and ribbon winners -- beautiful work all.
You can see the Winners Online here.
You can read Jan's A Wing and a Prayer Blog Post here.
If you get a chance to see the quilt in person, I would love it if you could tag Jan or I in any post you make on any social platform.   Thanks so much.
Gotta run but stay tuned later this week
for another exciting blog post
and a fun tutorial on the Moda Bake Shop!
Woot - woot!

Keep on Quilting