Friday, September 30, 2016

Deb Karasik

At the Utah Quilt Fest they invite four national teachers every year, who teach classes throughout the week, and also lecture at one of the luncheons.  I was able to go to the luncheon on Friday and the National Teacher speaker was Deb Karasik.  Here we are at the luncheon - as you can see, it's a full house!  Below is Deb speaking.  She is a VERY funny lady and a talented quilter.  She told a funny story about Johnny Dep.  Apparently she used to be an interior designer and has designed three of his houses!  He still owns a quilt that she gave him.

Deb brought a LOT of quilts to show us.  She designs her quilts using EQ software.  Following are several of her quilts that I could get a good picture of.
You can find out more about Deb on her website:

Oh, one more thing, someone asked her what black fabric she uses for her background fabric in all of the bright quilts pictured below.  She said she uses 1895-4 fabric from Hoffman.  She said technically it's not black but a very dark blue!  Here is is:
They call it black, but it does look rather blue in the picture.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Zentangle Class

Last Friday I took a Zentangle class at Quilt Fest from a Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT) Tonya J. Adams-Mendez!  I had not had that opportunity before so I was excited. She said to get certified you have to fly to Boston for several days and learn all of the Tangles from founders Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas.  I cannot remember exactly how many there are, but there are a lot.
This was a very fun and relaxing class and I learned a lot.
Here are some websites you might be interested in to learn more about Zentangle:

Tonya's website is:
She lives in Utah, but is willing to travel and teach!

for more information, free newsletters, blog, stories, new tangles and inspiration!

And go to:
For tons of tangle patterns

You will also find a lot of Zentangle ideas on:

We made a couple of little tiles and a bookmark in class.  We learned the SEZ tangle.  Here is Tonya's and below is mine.  She taught us how to shade, which I haven't really learned properly before.

Our kit came in the cute little bag above and included Fabriano Paper tiles, micron pens, and a tortillon ( a tortillion (or tortillon) is “an artist’s tool used to smudge and blend drawings made from charcoal, graphite pencil, or pastel. The tool consists of a tightly-wound stick of soft, fibrous paper …Wikipedia)

I had never used a tortillon before!  My shading does not look as good as Tonya's but with a little practice....

We also learned HOLLIBAUGH and then started a piece just for fun.  I'm really glad I had this opportunity to take Tonya's class.  I see more Zentangle Inspired Art (ZIA) in my future!
Yesterday I wrote about entering quilt shows.  This morning I was walking with a friend and she blurted out, "I will never enter a quilt show!" I guess I wasn't very convincing!  She is worried about the judging and a lot of people are.  Here are my thoughts.
1. Enter a non judged show.  There are a lot of shows that are not judged, and perhaps just let viewers vote on their favorite.
2. If you enter a judged show, take the judges' comments and use them to improve your techniques in some way or another, but don't let them kill your creativity. A few years ago I posted a picture of one of George Siciliano's quilts and made the comment that had I been the judge, his quilt would have won.  He made a comment on that post and said:
Hi Karen, This is the first time I saw your blog about "Some Assembly Required". Two things you must keep in mind, first the judging is VERY subjective. When I was a kid I marched in a Drum and Bugle Corps in New York. We did a marching and maneuvering routine and competed all over the North East. In one show we came in 4th place, the only time we ever failed to finish first or second. At the end of the show they give each unit the judging sheets from all competing units. There were 2 horn judges, one scored us as the best horn line in the show and the other scored us last. 
The second thing to keep in mind at quilt shows is the quality of the of the quilts. This was a tuff show. While I do not have to agree with the judging I just smile congratulate the winners and go on to the next show.
Unfortunately due to an injury I could not attend. I understand it was great. Virginia (my wife) and I will be in Paducah at the National Quilt Museum demonstrating just how I make these tiny blocks. My wife will be demoing her quilting skills. We both have quilts hanging in the museum. If you or any of your friends come to the show be sure to come to the museum and say hello.
Thanks for your support. Usually I find out what cars belong to judges and flatten all four tires. (Just kidding)

You can read the whole blog post and see George's quilt here:

Have a great day!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Share Your Talents

This beautiful quilt is hanging at the Pavilion Imaging Center.  I appreciate whoever is letting it hang there for all to enjoy!

Entering a quilt show can kind of be a pain!  You have to fill out an entry form, pay an entry fee, wait and see if your quilt is accepted (if it's a juried show), then perhaps mail the quilt to the show, or arrange drop off and pick up.  Winning a prize can be fun, but only a small percentage of those who enter win an award.  But what would happen if no one took the time, effort, or expense to enter shows?  Then we wouldn't have all these beautiful quilts to look at and be inspired by!  I used to enter more shows, but have gotten kind of lazy the last few years.  It's kind of selfish to keep our talents all to ourselves. We need to share our work, teach and help others to enjoy.  Even if you think your work isn't "good enough", I guarantee you someone will be inspired by it.  So let's not be lazy - let's share our work and what we love about quilting!
(I will be sharing some photos from the UQG Quilt Fest over the next several days. Thanks to all who entered something in the show!)
Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Tuffet Fabric

I found some fabric that I like at the quilt show vendor mall to use for my tuffet.  I bought a Jelly Roll, as that is what the pattern calls for.  I also bought a Layer Cake.  I spread the fabric out yesterday and then hmmm..... wasn't so sure.  I only want to make ONE tuffet, so I have to get it right the first time!
I asked my Hubby for advice and he spread it out in thin strips like it will appear in the tuffet and yes, I think it will do!  I wanted some fun color in there, but also wanted it to read a bit neutral so it can live in any room in my house that I decide to put it in.
I'm open to all opinions though!  Leave a comment if you have a great idea that I'm missing!  Like I said, I want to get it right the first time :)

I am quite sad that this is the last issue of Quilter's Newsletter magazine.  The magazine has been in publication for 47 years!  I've been a subscriber since I began quilting over 20 years ago.  I liked the fact that it wasn't just a project magazine, although there were projects, it also contained a lot of information about the quilting world, new techniques, famous quilters, famous quilts etc.  I will miss it very much.

On a happier note, check out this beautiful handmade dress that my brother bought for my granddaughter when he was in Mexico! The women who make these dresses use their wonderful embroidery talents to make clothes to help support their families.  The handwork on this little dress is wonderful.

I hope your week is off to a great start!  I'm trying to catch up from being out of town!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

I'm Going to Do It!

I mentioned that we drove further north on Thursday to visit my husband's mother.  Well, we also stopped by My Girlfriend's Quilt Shoppe in Logan and picked up my ..... TUFFET KIT!!  Yes, I finally decided to make one!!  My sister-in-law bought her kit from them and it turned out so cute that I decided to buy one there and use their method.  I'm even signed up for the second half of the class, if I can piece the top and get back up there in time, then I can get help putting it together.  I am very excited :)  Now, I need to decide on the fabric because I'm only going to make one, so I don't want to mess it up!

And most importantly we were able to visit a lot of family while in Utah, especially this little cutie :)  What a lucky grandma I am!!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Quilters are Resourceful

Utah's Quilt Fest was a blast! I'll be sharing more photos over the next few days 😊 This first photo is their opportunity quilt - very beautiful.

In these two photos we are eating our sandwiches in semi darkness after the tornado swept through. The show was at the Davis Conference Center connected to the Hilton Garden Inn. The hotel staff and conference center staff were amazing and helpful in every way. As we were heading back to our rooms there were friendly people everywhere with flashlights helping guide us back to our rooms in the dark hallways. The hotel staff also commented on how nice and easy going the quilters were, as we just "rolled with it". I read on my iPad until I went to sleep and then heard the power come back on at 5:25 AM. It was nice to hear that sound! Oh and somehow we lucked out with a room on the first floor. My sister-in-law was on the the third floor and yep, no functioning elevators for 14 1/2 hours!
The photo below was taken in my Color Theory class which went on in the darkness. The teacher was from Idaho State University and she was fantastic. She couldn't use her projector but we could see her computer just fine! She is actually standing there holding it. We couldn't see her too well either. We used flashlights for the fabric portion of the class. The quote below refers to the color wheel 😊
More later! Fun time! Oh and I have something fun to share tomorrow!!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Tornado at the Quilt Show!

I came up to Utah to attend the Utah Quilt Guild's Quilt Fest and look what blew our way! This picture was on the local news Thankfully I didn't take it.
We had actually driven further north yesterday to visit my mother-in-law and got caught in the bad weather on our way back to Quilt Fest. Luckily we missed the worst of it here, but driving back into town we saw power lines down, trees uprooted, emergency vehicles keeping people away from the downed power lines etc.
This poor tree was in the parking lot of our hotel. The power went out at Quilt Fest around 3:00 PM. We got back around 4:30 PM and the power just came on at 5:25 this morning. I had a class at 7:00 last night, mostly in the dark with flashlights. I'm looking forward to a class at 8:00 this morning.
No restaurants in the area were open because the whole town was without power, so some nice people in charge of Quilt Fest went somewhere and bought rolls and lunch meat and fruit and most quilters convened in the lobby for dinner. Here I am with my sister-in-law Cathie, enjoying ourselves in spite of the weather 😊 That said, I do hope the worst of this storm has passed through! Today I am looking forward to seeing the QUILTS! In the LIGHT! Oh I've also bumped into several people from Grand Junction! Fun!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Ready to Quilt

My Mom wants to make a fleece blanket for a friend for Christmas.  My daughter and I picked out this pretty fleece fabric and I got it ready for my Mom to tie.  Arthritis has done mean things to her hands!  She still loves to make pretty things though - she's always been so talented at so many crafts.  We definitely need to use and appreciate what we have while we can.  A friend told me yesterday that she'd never felt so grateful to be able to mow her lawn.  She fell a few months ago and had a long recovery, but is now doing better and enjoying mowing her lawn more than ever before!

I have three quilts that are now ready to quilt.  I have a couple of other projects to work on before I get to them though!
Have a happy day!  Be creative!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Fat Quarter or Quarter Yard?

I pieced another quilt back for a twin size quilt I'm making for my granddaughter.  I loved the pink castle fabric (top) but the store didn't have enough so I bought the pink floral fabric (bottom) with plans to piece a back, but I still didn't have enough.  I really wanted to use all pink fabrics, but didn't want to go buy any.  I pulled out my pink tub of fabric and pretty much everything in there are fat quarters.  I needed 24 inches!  I've kind of decided for me, I'm better off buying quarter yards of fabric versus fat quarters.  With the projects I make it gives me a little more versatility.  I ended up using some of the green fabric, that does appear on the front of the quilt quite a bit, so it won't be terribly out of place, but I wouldn't have liked pink to blend better :) Ah well....

Monday, September 19, 2016

Piecing 101

Inspired by Sharon Wright's lecture/class when she visited CO West Quilt Guild in March, I pieced a back for my Mom's Amish quilt.  I had a lot of black fabric left over since I didn't do the appliqué borders, but not enough for the whole back, so I used pieces of the solid colors on the edge and pieced this back. I like how it turned out!

Normally I do not like to piece backs.  By the time I get the top all pieced, the last thing I want to do is piece a back, even if it's just sewing a seam down the middle to piece two large pieces together! I just don't want to do it, but of course I almost always have to at least sew two large pieces together.  It makes sense however to piece backs if you have a lot of fabric left over from the quilt top, because 1. You're putting it to good use and 2. You don't have to go out and buy more fabric (even though it is fun to buy fabric - it's not as much fun to buy backing fabric :)
This pieced back took a little planning.  I figured out how big it needed to be and cut the colored rectangles on the edges accordingly.  Then I made a huge mistake.  One of the first things we learn in quilting is to MEASURE your borders and MEASURE the center of your quilt and MATCH those measurements and sew careful, so you don't end up with WAVY borders.  Well, I was essentially just adding borders to the black middle and I just sewed them on the black fabric WITHOUT MEASURING and ended up with a LOT of wavy black fabric in the middle.  You can tell how bad it is in the photo above, but I knew if I left it, I would end up with puckers when I quilted it....

So, here I am unpicking both sides of the quilt back, MEASURING and resewing carefully.  I don't know why I am smiling in this picture because it was NOT fun.

Just as you cannot see all the waviness in the top photo, you can't really tell how much better it looks in this photo, but trust me - it does!  And when I quilt it, I will be so glad I took the time to "un-sew".  Where is my youngest son when I need him?  He is very handy with a seam ripper :)

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Top Complete

I completed the Amish quilt top!  I really like it!  The pattern calls for an appliqué border, but if I make that border, the quilt will be too big for my Mom's bed, so I'm stopping here.
It is very colorful and cheery and the black background really sets off the colorful solids.  The black fabric also shows every piece of lint.  I guess that is to be expected.
Feeling inspired by Sharon Wright's class and lecture at our guild meeting last March, I pieced the back.  More on that tomorrow :)

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Framing the Blocks

I have been working on this Amish quilt kit all week for my Mom. (She purchased it from the Keepsake Quilter catalog.)  I started really loving it when I began framing the blocks with the different colors paired with black sashing strips.  The instructions in this kit are excellent and it's going together beautifully.  I don't usually like kits but I have to say I never would have put some of these colors together on my own, yet I'm loving the way it's turning out.  In fact using ALL solids is a stretch for me! This is one kit I am learning a lot from!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Machine Embroidery??

At the CWQG meeting the other night Gini showed me this beautiful Sashiko quilt that she made.  I was admiring her beautiful handwork when she totally shocked me by saying it was all done on the embroidery machine!  What??  I've never seen any machine embroidery work like this before.  It's absolutely beautiful!

I must say that I still do love handwork.  I love doing handwork!  I know some people don't but I find it very peaceful and relaxing.  I also admire people who can run their embroidery machines because it takes a lot of talent to digitize and program and stabilize and all these other terms I'm unfamiliar with!

Kudos to all of us for being creative and enjoying what we love to do.  I wish that for everyone!
Have a great day and I hope you find some time to create!

Oh one more thing....
Look at these cute decorations that were at the guild meeting.  We had a homemade dessert contest and these were decorating the table.  This one is a little teapot of some sort and the one below is an actual real, very small, sewing machine!
Too fun :)