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March 24, 2017
Dance of the Goddess from Quilt Art by Olena Pugachova

Almost a month ago I wrote about starting a show quilt which had lots of "first time" elements for me. I was so uncertain of every step along the way, I couldn't write about it. But finally it's finished and I can show you the end result:

aurora borealis quilt

The quilt is for this year's Hands Across the Border exhibition with the theme "Aurora". I spent hours looking at Aurora Borealis photos on Pinterest and some of them looked like huge sways of fabric or ribbon, reminiscent of the skirts and shawls of flamenco or gypsy dancers.

So I ...

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March 23, 2017
Write the Formula from Texas Quilting

I feel like I’m constantly saying things to our son like “show your work” for math class.  They recently were working on figuring out the volume of spheres, cubes, pyramids, etc. which involves knowing a lot of different formulas.  As a result, the teacher was telling them at school what I’ve been saying at home – write down the formulas at the top of your sheet before you take the test and then it will be fresh in your mind before you start to tackle the individual questions.

In fact, the teacher said she was so tired of having ...

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March 20, 2017
Spring pillow for spring from Texas Quilting

20170320_155858.jpgI love these pillows because they’re such a quick finish.  Yesterday I ironed all the pieces into place and stitched around them.  That’s actually the part that takes the longest.  I think I’ve officially decided a straight, short stitch about 1/16″ from the edge is the way to go on these.  With some really tiny pieces, a zigzag, satin, or blanket stitch can end up not looking as pretty.  I’ve seen variations of this quilting pattern and thought I’d give it a try. Overall it went pretty well and I think there was only ...

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pillows from remember your karma

Sometimes I need a small project. And recently new pillows for the den.

This is all scraps. I love flying geese! FMQ in matchstick lines.

This is 4 paper-piece blocks from an old quilting magazine. I think it was Quilters Newsletter from the 1990s. I made each block to represent the 4 seasons. 
All scraps, improvised piecing. Love the colors, reminds me of a gated flower garden.


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My Timing Sucks from Red Delicious Life

Luckily, I'm not talking about any of the timing on my machines, rather the timing of my life in general. I got this brand, spankin' new long arm machine - wait -- I haven't blogged about it yet? Well, no, not really. Because I haven't been able to really use it yet BECAUSE IT'S SPRING BREAK. And there is my wonderful sense of timing.

My Handi Quilter Avanté

My machine got set up late Thursday afternoon and Friday was the first day of a 10-day holiday break (well, 6 days off of school with 2 weekends) where I ...

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The Splendid Sampler – complete! from Texas Quilting

img_20170318_230959_289.jpgKathy, thank you for being the “kick in the pants” to get me back on the blog again.  I did indeed finally finish The Splendid Sampler quilt and yes, that finger that was sewn through was a huge factor in why it’s taken me so long.  That hurt.  It still hurts.  Anything that involves using the tip of my finger (it was just about 1/4″ in from the tip where the needle hit) is still very sensitive.  But wait!  There’s more!

In 6 weeks time, my mom passed away.  My husband was involved in a major car ...

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March 14, 2017
Five Years - 150 Posts from Quilting & Learning

Five years ago in March 2012, I wrote my first blog post. Who would have thought that I would keep going with another 149 posts, or that I would love it? I still remember how great it felt that first time, to see my words and my creation on the web.

My very first blog post - March 2012
I'm also extremely lucky that I've been able to take web writing and design courses through work. It's great to be able to do some of what I love at work. Part of my job is to teach employees ...

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The Caboose-A Machine Quilting Tutorial from The Inbox jaunt

Good Morning, Quilters! Today we are finishing our Circus Train with The Caboose… 1-2-3 Caboose!  1-2-3 Caboose ( A game we used to play to pass time while waiting for loooong trains in Chicago!) You can find the Circus Train Engine … Continue reading

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March 7, 2017
The Coal Car-A Machine Quilting Tutorial from The Inbox jaunt

Good Morning, Quilters! I can feel YOUR excitement about Free Motion Machine Quilting 1-2-3 from across the world wide web straight to my sewing studio in Minnesota!  The response has been overwhelming!!  Thank YOU!!! We even made it to the … Continue reading

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March 5, 2017
Let's Quilt It -- A Winner and More from Karen's Quilts, Crows, & Cardinals

Many, many thanks for the kind feedback
on my latest Free Motion Quilting tutorial
"Let's Quilt It - A Valentine for You"
recently published on the Moda Bake Shop.

I do hope the diagrams,



recently added YouTube videos,

and never ending chatter,

Yadda, Yadda Yadda !!

aid in your quest to improve your 
free motion quilting

Now to announce a winner of the 
"Let's Quilt It - A Valentine for You" 
which includes some seriously
beautiful Moda Fabric
4 Large Spools of Aurifil Thread

I combined the entries from the blog post with the comments on the ...

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Let's Quilt It - A Valentine and Giveaway For You! from Karen's Quilts, Crows, & Cardinals

Greetings quilty friends...

I'm excited to share a Free Motion Quilting
recipe on the Moda Bake Shop today.
We start with a little

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March 4, 2017
February Finishes from Quilting & Learning

Batik Lap Quilt Top
Batik Lap Quilt Top
Does this look familiar? I finished this quilt lap top on a retreat last May. I used 2 packages of North Country Trail Batiks Charm Pack by Holly Taylor for Moda as well as some 5" squares from my batik stash since I should have bought 3 charm packs!

This was my One Month Goal (OMG) for February with Elm Street Quilts. I also had a few other goals. Let's see how I did:

  1. To FMQ this colourful batik lap quilt for my brother (the one who got me fabric in Paris) - this is my ...

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March 2, 2017
From Jenny’s Studio: The Word of the Year from The Cutting Table Quilt Blog - A Blog for Quilters by Quilters

I don’t know about you, but I love looking into the minds of creative people. Every creative person has their own unique thought process to bring about a finished work of art! Have you ever wondered how Jenny thinks up so many wonderful tutorials for you? Well, we hope to be able to give you a glimpse into Jenny’s creative process through this new series, “From Jenny’s Studio”. Stay tuned, and follow along with Jenny’s journey. #jennyquilts


A new year is a new opportunity to reflect. Many people choose one or several New Year’s Resolutions ...

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February 28, 2017
The Circus Train-A Machine Quilting Tutorial from The Inbox jaunt

Good Morning, Quilters! The Circus has come to town! (Sadly, Ringling will perform its last act this May–Read more at This tutorial was requested by several readers, however it took me a long time to create a continuous line … Continue reading

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February 27, 2017
To Boldly Go ... from Quilt Art by Olena Pugachova

It's been a busy week, so just a quick update here before I dive headlong into some unknown waters :))

The theme for this year's Hands Across the Border exhibition is "Aurora", and the idea I had for it required searching for other materials than the "normal" quilting cotton. After some deliberation (and some purchases) I chose deep blue velvet for the background and bright netting for the image. I wasn't sure they would behave well in quilting, so I made a small sample to try it out.

It seemed to work well in small scale, so I ...

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February 26, 2017
February Dragon from remember your karma

My most recent quilt has been in development for several years. I sketched it and hung on to it, then got brave enough to do it!

The background is a patchwork of batiks, the dragon is Moda Cross weave. I added dense matchstick quilting to suggest dragon scales. 
I do like the stencil-look, but there wasn't much contrast between the dragon and the background.
I decided to add some thread work around the dragon in black. This added contrast, and emphasized the dragon more.
Much better. Although I can tell you I will revisit the dragon in a different ...

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bordering the Splendid Sampler from Texas Quilting

20170225_165914.jpgShiver me timbers!  An arctic freeze passed through our fair town today and temps were in the 50’s this morning. As I was picking up a few things in the backyard I came across one of many sights of spring.

I don’t recall what this is called, but it ends up making enormous leaves and covers a pretty large area.  I noticed next door our neighbor’s azaleas are in full bloom.

I could’ve spent the entire day outside.  I’m still waiting for some of our other spring flowers to make their appearance, but it’s ...

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February 25, 2017
Second in the Series from Quilting & Learning

Two fabric flowers
Two fabric flowers
My second Escape Art Quilt is done! It had to sit and percolate a while before I was ready to finish it.

I knew that there would be 2 fabric flowers that I had made, although I wasn't sure of their placement. I also wanted to add more embellishment, but didn't want to go overboard (something I can easily do!)

I went in my jewelry box and found a lovely chunky red flower - it's perfect!

Details of Escape 2: English Garden Art Quilt
I really wanted to add some rose quartz, but where and ...

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finished quilting the blocks from Texas Quilting

I had 2 rows to go by the time I picked this up this evening and decided one way or the other I was going to finish the blocks tonight.  I still have the borders to go but I’ve drawn something out that I’m hoping to use.  I can’t believe I quilted all of that without micro handles!  For the cover photo, I echoed the zig zag and then just kept it going around the rest of the block.

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I decided to quilt little balls around the block with the 3 balls in it.  And that block ...

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February 23, 2017
still quilting the Splendid Sampler from Texas Quilting

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I went to a machine quilting bee this evening – my first time there – and it was a lot of fun! There were quilters who quilt on a domestic machine, sit-down, and long arms.  Some who quilt for themselves, some who get paid or even make a profession of it, some who have quilts in shows coming up.  Some who have just started and others who’ve been at it for years.  It was a lot of fun!

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I’m still quilting on the Splendid Sampler.  I figure since I know so many people who are working on theirs also or ...

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