BLOCK BREAKDOWN

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Exciting News!

So while I was away teaching in Seattle and Portland I received some awesome emails!  And let me tell you, these never get old!

Andromeda Crossing has been accepted to AQS Grand Rapids! 

And email number two was the acceptance of Journeys Thru Art Guild Challenge - Spirals!

Don't you just love happy emails!

Monday, June 10, 2019

May was a blur...

Seriously... did May even happen?  There was so much going on in my little world during May that I barely remember, except for photos!  Aren't they the best - at least for me.  They actually prove that May did happen, and apparently I participated!

So let's rewind back to the beginning - 5/1 - that was the first day of Gammill's Quilting with Confidence 2019 Tour - and well, I was a part of it!  I was honored to be on the first three stops -- Kansas City, Oklahoma City, and Lubbock.  That was exciting enough on its own, but add in lots of eager students and magic happens -- so much learning and confidence building!  If you want to see oodles of pictures - just check out my Instagram, that's where I put most of the tour pics.

Then a quick stop at home for my old Gammill's spa day... my dealer, Itching for Stitching was out and pampered old Gam so now she's feeling brand new!

Then I snuck over to Florida's west coast and had an awesome time with the Peace River Quilters Guild of Punta Gorda.  The morning I shared a lot of my quilts during the trunk show and then in the afternoon a fills workshop.  What an awesome group of ladies!

And then back to the QWC Tour - next stops were Casper, WY and Pierre, SD.  More awesome students!  I couldn't be happier, being a part of this tour is amazing... watching that spark when a student tries something new... and gets it!  It is the most awesome part of being an educator!!

Another perk of being on the tour is if you wake up at an hour before dark-thirty on travel day you might get to squeeze in a super-fast speed version of sightseeing.  Jodi and I did just that, on our way to Pierre, we swung through Badlands National Park -- and even at super speed mode, it was incredible!  If you want to see some fantastic pics from that day, check out my photo blog - Peek of Inspiration.


And the day after I got home, the momma came for a visit.  And we started tiling...
I did manage to do one client quilt - it was a t-shirt quilt and the quilting was an all-over meander just to hold things together.  At the very end of the month, I did start on an awesome custom for another client, but it's now the 10th of June and I'm still not finished - Florida rainy season has started with daily thunderstorms.  It won't be finished for another week or so as I'm off again tomorrow touring away...

Stay happy peeps... stitch often!

Friday, April 26, 2019

A whole lotta catch up!

I've been traveling my tushy off so now it's time to pay the piper and blog all about it... so fair warning, it's probably going to be a long post (but lots of pics)!

So let's rewind two weeks ago, back to MQX.  It was a blast (as always), my students were awesome, and I had a bunch of fun!

Let's start out with... S N O W
No, it's not something we see in Florida, but remember, I'm a Jersey girl and I really do miss snow!


Here's part of my class during a lecture/demo -- haha, I'm still a hands-on teacher - everyone had a chance to try something from class!  And apparently, this is the only photo I took in any of my machine classes...

A peek of me with my Prince Challenge!

I awarded my Faculty Ribbon to this awesome quilt - Big ASS(terisk) by Becky Everett - such a cool piece!

And a pic with Gods Eye and yes, Trippy was there, but I didn't get a picture with it?? - must be show brain...

 And, seriously, the best class ever - Dyeing to Cut It Part 2 - where we took all the amazing dyes that the students made in Cindy Lohbeck's class and cut them up to make little bits of awesomeness!!

And then on Friday night, Kyra Reps was using a bunch of us as guinea pigs to test out her dot painted mandalas - so we (the Gammill crew) all participated!  What fun it was!!

Oh!  I almost forgot... I had new headshots done by the uber talented Bonnie McCaffery - here's my sneak peek!  I can't wait to see the others!  New headshots were kinda a must as my grey has really grown in nicely.

So right before takedown, I had a few minutes to stitch... fun stuff!

And of course... takedown - I have the best work family!

So from MQX it was a direct (haha...delay, delay, cancel, new flight) shot out to the Mothership (aka Gammill headquarters) in West Plains.  It was our dry run of the new Quilting with Confidence 2019 Tour - and from West Plains, we headed up to the Satellite Mothership (aka Statler) - and also to the hatchery (Warehouse).  Keep reading to learn more about the tour, I promise, it's coming.  So some of these pics are mine and some are from others... and no, I can't possibly remember who I've borrowed them from, but thanks!  So... in no particular order:











So... the tour - Quilting with Confidence!  I know I've talked about this recently, but here it is again - you know because not everyone sees every single thing.  Let me start with...

I am crazy excited about the tour!
I am honored to be a part of this amazing educational team!
No, this tour is not a sales pitch - we have been working our tushies off creating educational content to make YOU a more confident quilter - whether hand guide or computerized, or both!

The tour will be traveling to 50+ cities worldwide!  The classes, schedules, descriptions, and location information can be found here.  But wait... there's more... you don't have to be a Gammill user, owning a Gammill is NOT a requirement.  The only requirement is the desire to learn and gain confidence!

So... here's the really important part - registration is open for almost half of the cities, and new ones are opening every few days.  Go, check it out, see if there is a city near you and sign up!!  Next week is the kick-off event in Kansas City -- I can't wait!  Hope to see you at an event soon!


Sunday, April 7, 2019

Quilting with Confidence 2019 Tour

I'm sure by now you've all heard about Gammill's Quilting with Confidence 2019 Tour.  If, by chance, you haven't, read on!  I am super crazy excited about the tour!

Gammill is having an educational tour and will be traveling to 50+ cities worldwide!  For real... we'll be all over the place!  I say we'll because I am honored to be part of Gammill's Educational Team.  There are fourteen of us, each with our own amazing specialized talents -- all very accomplished quilters.  And I truly mean honored -- this is a fantastic group of brilliant quilty people.  

The preparation for this tour has been going on for quite some time behind the scenes... we are ready!  And hopefully you, the students, are too!  The class schedule and descriptions for the 2019 tour can be found here -- both for hand guiding as well as computerized users.  But here is the really awesome part about this tour -- you don't have to be a Gammill user, owning a Gammill is not a requirement.  The only requirement is the desire to learn and gain confidence in your skills!  How cool is that?!!  

So, where are we going?  Wow... kinda everywhere, or at least pretty close!  You can find all the locations, dates, and details here.  Registration has started for the first set of tour dates, and every week or so registration opens for more locations.  You'll definitely want to check the website often!!

I can't wait and I hope to see you at an event soon!!

Friday, April 5, 2019

Journeys Thru Art - Spirals

So, I'm in an art group, Journeys Thru Art - usually referred to as Journeys or JTA.  Well, we've just finished our latest challenge -- Spirals!

You might remember our Bridges Challenge, our Famous Female Faces Challenge, or our Door Challenge.  Yes, we love a good challenge!

So here are the Spirals:
Aren't they awesome!!!  I am truly honored to be included in this group of amazingly talented people!

So... you'll be able to see a few of these at MQX next week, but you'll have to wait until AQS Grand Rapids to see them all together!

Oh and I just have to share my label... sometimes I have the most fun with them!

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Block Breakdown Episodes 15-19

Wow, what a total slacker I've been...
I have been so busy I neglected to share the latest episodes of Block Breakdown with all of you.  Hopefully, you've been following along with the Gammill website or their YouTube Channel.  That's the best place to look if you don't see anything here.

So, let's catch up!

Block Breakdown Episode 15 - Old Maids Puzzle
Old Maids Puzzle Printable


Block Breakdown Episode 16 - Kansas Troubles
Kansas Troubles Printable


Block  Breakdown Episode 17 - Bear Paw
Bear Paw Printable


Block Breakdown Episode 18 - Flying Geese
Flying Geese Printable















Block Breakdown Episode 19 - Card Trick
Card Trick Printable

Monday, February 11, 2019

Up Next... MQX

My next teaching event is in April at MQX in Manchester, NH - if you've never been you really need to!  If you have been, you already know how awesome this event is!

I'm teaching a bunch of lecture classes, an exclusive-to-MQX design class, as well as a couple of hands-on classes.  Don't worry, I'll explain more in a bit.

So... lectures.  Yeah, these are more design and draw classes.  If you know me, you know I can't just stand in front of class and talk... haha, I can talk, but I can't speak... if that makes any sense - I like to keep it more personable.  I like to share, so we'll draw and demo, and draw and demo, and you, the students, totally participate.  This isn't a sit-back-and-listen for two hours kinda thing - that's not me, well, unless you're really tired, then maybe okay.  

The lecture/demos I'll be teaching are:


Build-A-Stitch - In Build-A-Stitch we start with a very basic stitch and then add one element at a time.  This class is great for beginners as well as those wanting to move from pantos to free motion.  The technique improves muscle-memory all while increasing confidence.  By the end of class, you'll have a full library of go-to stitches!  Bring a notebook and a pen for practice!

Scrollwork - Scrolls... so much more than just sashing fillers!  We'll cover several variations of a basic scroll and then move on to using them in blocks as well as all overs.  There will be lost of curly, scrolly fun all while adding a bunch of scroll options to your go-to stitch library.  Bring a notebook and a pen for practice!


Spunky Funky Feathers - Formal feathers? Not in this class!  I'll share a bunch of super fun, no backtrack, whimsical, and creative feathers.  They definitely aren't traditional, but they sure are fun and fill space rather quickly.  Also, you might not know it, but this is the class that started the idea for my newest book, Fast Forward Feathers (in the book there's 160+ of them).  Again, bring a notebook and a pen for practice!

Functional Fills - Fills are fantastic, fun, and functional too!  Whether filling oodles of empty space or accentuating beautiful applique, fills are a very necessary part of quilting.  In this class, I'll share many of my favorite background fills, including my signature fan fill, as well as combining fills for maximum effect.  I'll also cover density and scale of various designs and when to know which to use.  Bring that notebook and pen for practice!!



Now on to the hands-on classes - I have two, and yes, at MQX it is one student per machine so there will be no time waiting to stitch!

Pop Those Lines - Using straight and curved edge rulers and some amazing background fills on a custom-printed panel, I'll share how to make your ruler work pop! You will take basic ruler work to the next level as well as learn some unique ruler ideas. Straight edge and curved longarm rulers are required – bring your favorites; I will have my rulers available for purchase.




Breaking Down the Block - What a fun class this is!  I'll share several stitch path variations of several common blocks using only one start and stop.  You'll then have the opportunity to stitch your favorite version of each block on a custom printed panel.  Maybe you'll even add your own flair to each block making it uniquely your own!  You'll get so many design ideas in class that what to quilt on samplers will be a thing of the past!

This is a spin-off of my Block Breakdown series with Gammill -- and no, not a single repeat!!  Since so many people love the series I thought bringing it into a class would be the next best thing!



Now, the exclusive design class.  It is Part 2 of the Dyeing to Cut It class.  In Part 1 you'll be learning how to do some amazing dyes with Cindy Lohbeck of Hands on Hand Dye (one of my dear friends).  Then you'll do all the rinsing, washing, drying, etc.  Next will be Part 2 where I'll be sharing how to take these awesome dyes and cut them up into wonderful pieces to create this (no, it's not yet quilted - I'll share that pic soon):

This class was a brainchild of Cindy and me- I had taken her mini mandala dye class and then created my latest quilt, Andromeda Crossing.  When Andromeda Crossing won 1st Place at MQX MidWest, Cindy and I started thinking... so many people take her dye class and are apprehensive to cut the fabrics.  Yes, they are beautiful on their own, but can also be chopped up into even more beautiful things!  Why is everyone so afraid to cut up dyes?  We do it every day with regular fabrics... let me help you with that cut-the-dye-fear!  So here's a peek at Andromeda Crossing - the quilt that started the class idea:

Yes, this quilt is a massive 83x83 with a lot of detail - the design we'll construct in class is approximately 45 square with a little less detail - but that doesn't mean you have to stop.  Once you're home you can continue cutting and creating even more!

So... that's my scheduled week at MQX -- who will I see? Hope you can join me for a class, or two, or possibly more!

Thursday, January 24, 2019

BIG NEWS!... almost

I have been so busy in a spectacular creative world... I like to call it December. 
Haha, let me rewind.  I always try to take the month of December off to work on my own stuff -- new products, new books, maybe even design a new quilt idea (or several). 

Well, in December I was a creative fool!... yes, it did totally run into January, but it's all good.

I finished writing my fourth book, Fast Forward Feathers, and the preorders flew out the door.  The books arrived early (yay) and the preorders were shipped.  Whew... but, on a back burner (slightly over-simmering) was the other project I've been working on... I'm now realizing that working on two creative ideas at the same time takes a lot of energy.  Oh, did I mention that I also have that yearly cruddy cold... yes, that too!  So needless to say, my brain has been working in overdrive and not quite at 100% even though it has been required... I need to thank several people for the use of their brain cells during this time.

So, the big reveal isn't quite ready... soon, I promise, but read on - there might be a little hinting going on.  I have some prototype testing to do this weekend.  Next week I'll be in Washington State (ooh, is there snow? - a girl can hope, right?) doing some really important stuff, which I'm sure will require full brain cell capacity (is it asking too much to be totally over this cold in three days??).  More on that soon too... I really can't wait to share all about that too!

As soon as I get back I am doing a trunk show and fun workshop at Manatee Patchworkers Quilt Guild over in Bradenton.  We'll be creating this fun mandala applique project:

Hmm... if you've been following along with my posts you may have been following the clues.  This project is what started the creative idea that is going to be revealed in the coming weeks.  So, I'm sure you can guess it is mandala related... it is, and it is so awesome.  No really, it is so awesome that it is almost magical.  I am super excited about it and I hope you all will be too! 

Oh, and here's a quick peek of project birth... Candace from Barn Catz Studio has been so helpful in bringing my idea and drawings into real life usable things!!  Enjoy it -- it is your only peek until I share the products!!

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Math is Painful...

Yes, math is painful... at least for me.

Some might say I'm a creative genius and hopefully so, at least as pertains to my latest product line that I'm feverishly working on (almost daily).  The reveal is coming soon... probably within the next couple of weeks if all goes well.  More on that... soon!

Anyway, back to this post.  I suck at math.  Yes, I can balance a checkbook with the best of them, but once we get into adding letters with numbers I am lost.  So, tonight I asked a question on Facebook, which in hindsight probably wasn't the smartest thing.  But, I needed to know a calculation.  Being the math-idiot that I am, I couldn't even properly ask my question... I needed questions asked of me in order for a helpful friend to get the correct information to come up with the answer.

I am NOT ashamed of being a math-idiot.  It does not make me any less of a person... in fact, even with being math-defunct I still fall into the highly-intelligent/gifted IQ range.  Pfft... who knew!  But as I commented on that very Facebook post - I know my faults and issues and I wear them proudly!

This math dilemma all goes hand-in-hand with my latest product line.  Almost a year ago I was asked to adjust one of my classes - the group wanted their own special project.  What, change a class just because.  Yes, and let me tell you, it has turned into something bigger than I could have ever imagined.  Again, more on this later - and no, I'm not trying to create hype... tonight's incident got me thinking.  I didn't always hate math, so what happened?  Well, while pondering on it over a delicious cup of evening coffee, it hit me... ninth-grade algebra class.  And it wasn't even algebra that did it... it was Mr. ________ (I'll leave his name out of this, we'll just call him psycho).  So... psycho - strong word, right?  Well... my class of 26 or so students consisted of only two girls.  And I'm not going to say that Mr. Psycho was a chauvinistic jerk or anything, but the first day of class he did mention that two of us would most likely fail his course.  I truly hope this man was removed from education and wish that I had made a bigger deal out of everything that happened that year.  That first-day statement was the *nicest* thing that happened all year.  Oh, other than the two days a month he would leave for National Guard duty - they were kinda nice.  But all the others day, no.  Like the time he lifted his metal desk up and let it slam to the floor because the kid in front of him was tapping his pencil on the desk, or when he smashed the piece of chalk into dust on the chalkboard when someone questioned the equation he was writing out.  And on... and on... and OMG thinking back actually gave me heart palpitations.  So, you may or may not know that I have some serious anxiety... yep.  I definitely think that was what started my hate for math.

Now... wasn't that a fun little piece of self-counseling - and now you all know yet another odd thing about me!  Okay, time for me to get back to writing instructions...

Thursday, January 3, 2019

My newest book

I've been crazy busy writing, drawing, editing, and now finishing! 
Let me introduce you to Fast Forward Feathers, my fourth book.
Well, almost... it is headed to the printer and I plan to have copies in my hands the first week of February.  In the meantime, it is available for PRESALE here:  https://creativelongarmquilting.com/

It has over 160 fast forward feather options -- all of which require ZERO backtracking!  The book is 106 pages and will be spiral bound.  The PRESALE link is for US orders only, if you're international and would like to order, email karen@creativelongarmquilting.com for shipping rates.

Oh, and a little teaser... there's more big news coming very soon!

Monday, December 10, 2018

Last Two Wedding Star Sets!

Finally, the last two sets that I designed for use with Quiltworx/Judy Niemeyer Wedding Star patterns are available!

SET 400 is now available on the Gammill Quilting Pattern Cloud - available as a set or individually


SET 500 is also available as a set or individually.

Let me know if you like them - and even better, if you have purchased and used them, please share pics!

And to answer the non-stop question, yes, I am working on offering them in other formats, please be patient.  I will surely let you know when they become available!