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!!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

orange peel pincushion tutorial

It's been a while since I put out a free pattern or tutorial, and I know how you all just love here is a goody for you. This idea came to me last Friday when I was walking home from dropping my daughter off at school. I love orange peels and cathedral windows, and this is a combination of those. I made (4) one-inch scrappy (foundation paper pieced) diagonal blocks, basted two pieces of same-sized squares folded on top and sewed all four blocks together. I threw on a couple of borders, sewed some lovely Robert Kaufman Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in black on the backside, filled with cornmeal, finished off with a ladder stitch and there you go. BOOM!

If you didn't quite understand all of that, we'll go through this step-by-step. I love pictures and hope there are enough for you to understand where this is going.

Materials Needed:

Various rainbow scraps for diagonal blocks
(8) 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" Low Volume fabric squares for windows
(2) 1" x 2 1/2" purple fabric strip for border
(2) 1" x 3 1/2" purple fabric strip for border
(1) 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" backing fabric
about ½ cup or 100 grams of small grain or filling 
such as crushed walnut shells, cornmeal or grits
(4) 1-inch diagonal strip block templates for foundation paper piecing found on Craftsy
Hand sewing needle & thread 

  • Makes one, three-inch pincushion. 
  • Knowledge of foundation paper piecing is required. 
  • Knowledge of how to make a pincushion can be helpful as well as a ladder stitch
  • Please use a scant 1/4 inch seam allowance when sewing. 
  • Reduce your stitch length to 2.0 or 1.5 to allow for easier paper removal and better endurance.

Let's get started....

Cut out four templates from the one-inch diagonal strip blocks template sheet free for download.

Make four blocks in four different colorways using the fpp templates. I chose yellow, red/orange, greens and blues. Make sure you overlap the seam allowance on the foundation paper with ample fabric. You can always cut off the extra.

Trim up your one-inch blocks using the seam allowance guide on the back, a good ruler and rotary cutter. (My, oh my, how those blocks look so much cuter when they are squared up.) Take your papers out now. (I left mine in.)

Take all eight (8) 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" squares and fold them in half diagonally. Press with a warm iron. 

Place one folded square (now a triangle) over each foundation pieced block as shown below.

Place the second triangle over the block and baste using a 1/8th seam allowance. Please be very accurate in this step. If you are not, the windows might not line up on all four blocks. (The blue and green diagonal strip blocks are swapped in this foto. I just wanted to see if you were paying attention.)

Once all four blocks are basted, connect two blocks. Press seam open or to one side. Sew the other two blocks together and then connect to make a four patch. Attach borders.

Open your windows and pin in place. Now doesn't that look pretty!!?? 

NOTE: You could put a little piece of fabric in the middle to make a Cathedral window.

Still using a stitch length of 2.0 to 1.5, top stitch the windows in place.

Layer your backing fabric and pincushion top right sides together (RST). Sew around the outside leaving a two inch gap along one side to flip. Trim corner at a 45° angle to get a sharp corner. Flip. Thread a hand needle with a color matching your backing fabric. 

Sorry - NO FOTO for this step! I was sewing instead. : )


Start to sew the seam shut. Using a small funnel, fill your pincushion up with the small grain filling. I used (organic) cornmeal, because if flows through my funnel easily and has the right grain size.  Continue to sew the seam shut and filling with more grain. All finished.

You also can make a classic orange peel like this:

Or you can make all kinds of other variations such as only using one triangle per block.

Or flip the block around to make a pinwheel.

I would love to see what you can come up with. Please post your photos on Instagram so we all can see. Use the hashtag #orangepeelpincushion. Or drop me an email. Or post on Flickr. If anything is unclear, please feel free to drop me a note, and I will try to make it clearer for all.  

Thanks for dropping by! Happy sewing! Feel free to look around. I have a lot of other tutorials and freebies here on my blog and on Craftsy.

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