Thursday, December 8, 2016

pillow swap four seasons - a wonderful experience

Hi everyone! The closing round of Pillow Swap Four Seasons is coming to a close. All pillows have been shipped and more than half have been received. I have to admit too, I have gotten very sad over the last few weeks, because our group is breaking up. Sandra (hohenbrunnquilterin) and I decided not to extend the swap another year. We had two very successful years of designing and quilting pillows for one another four times a year for two years in a row. Instead of going out with a whimper, we wanted to go out with a bang!

These last two years have been really incredible, too. I never imagined to have met such warm and loving women who share exactly the same interests as I do. I am ever grateful for this exchange of knowledge, skills, friendship, camaraderie, as well as warm hearts and pure love from each and every participant in our group.

It is not easy running a swap. Some of you out there know what it takes to be a swap mama, because you are one. It takes a lot of time, energy, and organization as well as people-person skills and flat out patience. The organization was never really a problem for me, but my soft skills could be better. I am not a fluffy person and sometimes get down to the nitty gritty pretty fast. I know this is a major failure/negative point about me. I know it and try to change this behaviour when I think about it. Sandra, the real leader of this swap, on the other hand has magnificent soft skills. She is what held this group together, especially when my fluttered brain didn't see things clearly, she knew exactly what was going on. An incredible thank you goes out to you, Sandra! Thank you for helping me through these two years by keeping me straight especially when I was wrong.

A big thank you to all of my the people whom I wrongly accused of not shipping on time too or mixing up names of people who sent me a pillow. Man, am I a total idiot when I insult a quilter by thanking someone else; I did that!! Of course I apologized, but it didn't make it any better, from my side that is. I think she took it much better than I would have.

Sometimes I got a little disappointed when I received a brief thank you in the headlines of a posted photograph of my received package. All a lot of thought went into every pillow I designed especially  for each partner I've had. Although I like to incorporate a bit of me into my designs, most of the pillows were truly drawn from the inspiration mosaics from my partners.

Here are all of the pillows made over the last two years for my partners:

Spring 2015 for Dorrie
Summer 2015 for Rita
Fall 2015 for Bettina
Winter 2015 for Rosemarie
I learned how to sew a covered zipper, make covered button, make a double cathedral window, learned about color value, understood the power of scraps.

Then there was 2016....
Spring 2016 for Julia
Summer 2016 for Sabrina
Fall 2016 for Ines
Winter 2016 for Andrea (Stay tuned for more photos.)
I learned my style and how to use contrast to make a design pop. I learned how to make two different kinds of piping - cross grain and bias as well as keeping my stash stocked always have to be ready for the unexpected.

Then I helped making some angel pillows...

2015 for Astrid
2016 for Wendi
I learned the rainbow colors and starting using their color order to influence design.

And then there were those two special pillows I made for Sandra (hohenbrunnerquilterin)...

2015 - Winterverwirrung
2016 - Playful Plus
I learned that I could stitch in the ditch without it looking terrible. And I learned how to make foundation paper piecing to my advantage.

So over the last two years, I have extremely improved my pillow making skills! I even learned how to make buttonholes (but still needs a lot of practice. I learned that I love piping and dislike binding on my pillows.) I also love a covered zipper to keep everything nice and tidy inside. I learned to make a pillow just a little smaller than the size of the insert to make the design stand out better.

Once again...I am going to miss everyone from this group! Thank you for your kindness and your support. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

quiltmaker's 100 blocks vol. 14 blog tour

We had a really long summer here in Germany and autumn appeared the middle of October quickly followed by a sudden appearance of winter with a touch of snow. Today it looks like a typical autumn day though - overcast, raining, I would like to cheer you up with some pretty quick quilt blocks to pep up your day. Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks is having another great blog tour of fabulous designs from today's hottest designers and giving away gorgeous fabrics as well as other prizes every day this week. Please stop by and check it out.

Oh, I almost forgot! My block is also published in the magazine. You can find it in the centerfold (again). I just love being in the centerfold. My newest block is called "Mountain Range." As you might have guessed, I like to design blocks with nature in mind. This block was inspired by the Appalachian Mountains of N. Carolina, my home for more than a decade before I moved to Germany.

Mountain Range designed by Karen Ackva

Some of you might look at this block and think it is complicated as far as sewing it together. It is much simpler than you think. The magazine gives an excellent explanation as how to sew it all together and your points will match up perfectly, I promise you.

Mountain Range made with Cotton & Steel Fabrics
Have I gotten your creative juices going about what to make with this block? If not, here are a couple of suggestions:

Make a full-sized quilt with the 12" blocks adding multiple sashings and borders. No one ever said you had to make 48 quilt blocks for a quilt - 16 blocks are enough.

Scrappy Mountain Range Quilt ~ 72 x 72 inches

Or shrink the blocks down to 6 inches, make four, set on point and make a modern throw pillow.

Mountain Range Throw Pillow ~ 19 x 19 inches

Go go for an ultra modern look by adding blocks and changing up the arrangement. Add an  interesting border in contrasting colors and you have a new masterpiece your the house. Now wouldn't that make a nice holiday quilt?

Ultra Modern Mountain Range Quilt ~ 70 x 85 inches

Thank you for joining me today. I hope you join up to the other participants along the blog tour Quiltmaker Blog Tour and see all the blocks from extremely creative quilters and designers. Along the way, you will find great prizes, fabrics and always the great quilt publications from Quiltmakers!!


And let us not forget, I am also giving away a copy of the magazine (maybe more than one) to a lucky person (or more and maybe a few other goodies). Just leave a comment below stating what your favorite block is and why. One entry per person please. (My personal block favorite is the Sweet Cupcake by Krista Lea of Quiet Play at, because I love cupcakes!!) I will pick one (or more) lucky winner on Saturday, November 19, 2016.

Good luck and happy patching!

****WINNERS chosen******

Congratulations to PrairieKat and to the Swedish Scrapper for winning. Please contact me so I can get your winning prize out to you. Thank you everyone for participating. Have a great weekend!

Monday, October 17, 2016

a fun little mini swap

It's time again to have some fun. Would you like to make a new patchwork friend? Would you also like to get your creative juices flowing? Well, here is a fun, little, mini swap where you can make scented sachet for someone and receive one in return. No need to worry about high expenses for international shipping either, because all of the sachets will be sent unfilled. You decide what you want to fill it with and do so yourself. How fun is that?

You are allowed to use any pattern you like. You may use any technique you like keeping in mind your assigned partner. It should be something she/he may like.Your finished sachet may include a ribbon for hanging or not. It should be a size that can fit into an ordinary letter envelope. Please send unfilled. Some countries will quarantine for biological (lavender, roses, etc.) hazards. We don't want that to happen, do we? This will also limit the expense everyone has to pay. It should not cost more than a dollars, euros, etc. Remember, you should complete the sachet in less than one hour; it should not be elaborate to time consuming but fun to make!

Please fill out the information below. I will contact you on/before Oct. 21 with your partner information.

You will have until the end of November to complete your sachet. Please send whenever you are finished but before the deadline. Please contact me to let me know you have sent.

Everyone will be assigned a partner. This is an open swap and not secret. You are allowed to contact your partner, and they are allowed to contact you. However, please keep their information (mailing address) confidential.

No mosaics are needed for this swap. You will be sew according to your partner's interests, social media feeds, and direction along the way. We really want you to guide your partner on the right path. If you have trouble making contact your partner, please get in touch with me.

You may post pictures on Instagram of your progress using the hashtag #yourchoicescentedsachetswap. Contact me if you have any problems:

Registration: 17 - 20 Oct. 2016
Partner assigned: 21. Oct. 2016
Shipping: before Nov. 30, 2016

Please send your unfilled sachet with a note card. You may send other items, but please don't over do it.

Are you ready for a little swapping fun? Then go ahead and register.

Click on the link below:

Registration is closed. You will receive a partner shortly.

Have fun!!
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