Tuesday 7 April 2020

Y seams...

Hello and welcome to my day on the #keepcalmbrithop ingeniously thought of by Jo of The Crafty Nomad to help keep us sane and upbeat. I'm sure like me you are having good days and bad and on less good days what helps is connecting and reaching out, so here I am connecting and reaching out!

I am Karen and I am a fabric designer, screen printer, quilter and author amongst other things! You may know me as one half of the Retreat company The Thread House with my pal Jo Avery. When I am not busy with my creative endeavours I can be found roaming the fields and woods by our home with my dog, Scout in tow. I am making the most of doing a lot more of that right now. It's amazing how good getting out in the fresh air is for our sanity, now more than ever.

Whilst we are all at home self isolating, I thought I would share a tutorial for you to have fun with. Often people are very fearful of Y seams, but like anything with sewing, it's easy once you know how. It is one of those techniques where preparation is key. As long as you take the time to mark your fabrics, the rest is straight forward.

I posted a tutorial on my old blog, Blueberry Park and so click on the link here to read it. If you do and decide to make anything, please do show me. I would love to see!

I hope you are finding ways of keeping busy, safe and well.
Do follow the rest of this Brit Hop by clicking on the links below.

Stay safe...x

Saturday, 28th March:  Jo Westfoot | The Crafty Nomad
Sunday, 29th March:  Amy Ball | Coffee Rings Studio
Monday, 30th March:  Jo Hendy | Villavin Crafts & Retreats
Tuesday, 31st March:  Nicola Dodd | Cake Stand Quilts
Wednesday, 1st April:  Rachel Colcannon | Rachel's Textiles Studio
Thursday, 2nd April:  Lou Orth |  Lou Orth Designs
Friday, 3rd April:  Sonia Spence | Fabric & Flowers
Saturday, 4th April: Fi | Pins & Needles Grayshott
Sunday, 5th April:  Sarah Ashford | Sarah Ashford Studio
Monday, 6th April:  Abigail |  Cut&Alter
Tuesday, 7th April:  Karen Lewis  | Karen Lewis Textiles
Wednesday, 8th April: Joanna Kent| Crafty Quilter
Thursday, 9th April:  Jo Avery |  Jo Avery Stitch
Friday, 10th April: Round Up Post | The Crafty Nomad

Wednesday 25 March 2020

Scrappy Log Cabin Star Block

I hope you will enjoy making my Scrappy Log Cabin Star Block with a Sawtooth Star centre and design your own quilt with it. It has so much potential for individuality, whether you go completely scrappy with the star centres as well as the log cabin outer strips. Maybe you will throw caution to the wind and blindly dip into your scrap buckets or be more contained and keep some uniformity as in the couple of examples shown below. I think it works equally well with patterned fabrics as well as solids and I can't wait to see what you get up to with it! 

Please use the hashtag #scrappylogcabinstarquilt on Instagram and I can be sure to see what you are up to.

Fabric needed to make one 10 1/2" x 10 1/2" block...

Star centre: one 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" square
four 2 7/8" x 2 7/8" squares

Star background: one 5 1/4" x 5 1/4" square
four 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" squares

Scrappy log cabins: 1 1/2" x 38", made up of 1 1/2" scraps of various lengths sewn together.

1. Take the 5 1/4" x 5 1/4" background fabric square and the four 2 7/8" x 2 7/8" squares and make four four-at-a-time flying geese blocks. These should be 4 1/2" x 2 1/2".
2. If you are unsure about the four-at-a-time method go check out Amy's great tutorial here.
3. Arrange the four flying geese units with the remaining cut fabrics in the layout as shown above.
4. Sew these three rows together and then sew the rows together to make your Sawtooth Star centre.

5. Sew together all your log cabin scraps to make a 38" length strip. Cut this strip into four lengths: one 8 1/2"; two 9 1/2"; one 10 1/2".
6. Sew these strips in log cabin style around your star, starting with the 8 1/2" strip and following with the two 9 1/2" strips and finally the 10 1/2" strip.
7. Press your block well and you are done...you have your first Scrappy Log Cabin Star block!
8. Repeat to make as many as you desire and then sew these together to make your quilt.

Monday 1 April 2019

...and the winner is...

Thank you all for entering and if you didn't win this time do go to all the other people on the blog hop. You never know your luck. And if you still don't win go treat yourself to a copy!

Meanwhile the winner is...


...Nicole Gendy!

Congrats Nicole! An ebook copy will be wending it's way over to you shortly. x

Wednesday 27 March 2019

Love Flying Geese...C&T Publishing

Hello! A new book and a giveaway...if you make it that far!

Today I am introducing you to a new book by C & T Publishing...Love Flying Geese. The book is a culmination of 27 Flying Geese projects as previously featured in Love Patchwork & Quilting and now all in one place!  

I am lucky enough to have four projects in this book and it is great to see them along with all the other wonderful projects showing how different quilts with the same theme can be.

My projects were all done over a few years so vary according to what spoke to me at the time.
I'm often asked about my design process and that's not a simple question to answer but I thought I would try and explain a little about how I work.

I work in several different ways. My starting point is sometimes the fabric I am working with but other times I have a design in mind and look for the fabric that completes the whole story.

Take these four quilts for example...let's go clockwise from top left...

Fancy Flora p.25
I paired Outback Wife by Gertrude Made with some low volumes of my Blueberry Park 2 collection, wanting the low volume background to allow the big blooms of Outback Wife to really pop. By grouping the same fabric together over several blocks meant there was even more pop and at the same time became restful...an area where the same was going on so not too much darting around for the eye. As far as the quilt design for this fabric was concerned, I wanted to produce  something where it looked like the flowers were peaking through, hence the triangular design.

Sun Baked p.20
Euclid by Carolyn Friedlander is such a calm collection with each of the fabrics working so well with each other in a very soothing way. To me this collection was calling out for lots of variety but in a uniformed way, hence the row design. I kept the background fabric of all the rows the same which brings the whole quilt together . I threw in some of my screen printed fabrics to add some variety to the collection, printing on coordinating linens to Euclid.

Colour Study 2 p.31
For this quilt the design came first. The brief for this quilt from Love Patchwork & Quilting was to look at fabrics in the green/yellow colour range on a dark background. Since the brief was to show the colours I felt the design needed to have big blocks of the colours and to keep the design relatively simple. I went through my stash to pull fabrics within this colour story and played around with the layout until it felt cohesive. Even though there are a lot of different fabrics from a lot of different designers I love how calm the quilt is.

Colour Study 1 p.15
April Rhodes' Observer collection screamed out to me when I saw it and just knew as soon as I did what I was going to do with it. Each fabric design is relatively simple with each one being monochrome, so whilst there is a lot going on with each separate print they all work together so well so I knew I wanted to throw them all in a pot and randomly scatter them. I designed large and small Flying Geese, rotating some to produce some rows of diamonds to mix things up a bit. Like the Sun Baked quilt I screen printed some fabrics to go with Observer, printing on coordinating Art Gallery Pure Elements solids.

All these quilts, along with the other 23 in Love Flying Geese are all so different despite having the same quilt block element in them. I love how a block can look so different, by changing the fabrics and quilt designs and done by different designers! I think my favourite project in the book has to be Nicole Calver's Colour Twist (p.60) and yes this is a Flying Geese block, but what a clever twist on it...it's making me want to stop everything and make one!

C & T Publishing are kindly giving away an ebook copy of Love Flying Geese. If you would like to enter please leave a comment here and I will draw a winner on Monday April 1st...and no it won't be an April Fool's Day announcement!

Follow the rest of the Book Tour and see more about the book and the designers by clicking on the links below.

Tuesday 3/26: C&T Publishing at ctpub.com/blog
Wednesday 3/27: Karen Lewis at karenlewistextiles.blogspot.com
Thursday 3/28: Nicole Calver at snipssnippets.ca
Friday 3/29: Amanda Castor at materialgirlquilts.com
Sunday 3/31: Jenn Nevitt at mommysew.com
Monday 4/1: Moira de Carvalho at quiltdesignduo.com
Tuesday 4/2: Peta Peace at shequiltsalot.com
Wednesday 4/3: Julie Rutter at blackisleyarns.co.uk
Thursday 4/4: Jeni Baker at incolororder.com
Friday 4/5: Minki Kim at minkikim.com

Sunday 13 January 2019


How are you getting along with the Sewalong? 

All the makes are just looking so fab and I know some of you have managed to ship already so well done if you have!

I am loving seeing all your makes on Instagram and all your different versions. They are just great. Here are a few in process with the hashtag #wireflowersewalong. Go take a look and don't forget to tag yours with the hashtag and also #wireflowerfpp.

We have just under 3 weeks for makes to be sent. I hope you are on target but if not please let me know.

I am currently working on a second flower...maybe you want to include that in your Flower quilt.

Watch this space!

Sunday 25 November 2018

Wire Flower Sewalong

EDITED: Thanks for signing up! Sign ups are now closed and groups will be sorted and emailed next week.



Welcome to the Wire Flower FPP Sewalong!

Due to popular demand I am running a sewalong with my new foundation paper piecing pattern, Wire Flower. In reality this is a swap but a sewalong has a certain lovely ring to it!

The sewalong will consist of being put into groups of 9. You will then each make nine flowers, keeping one and swapping 8 with your group members and voila, you will have 9 varied blocks to make your own mini quilt!

So why join in the sewalong and not just make for yourself? Well, we all love our quilting community and making new sewing friends. Also, I don't know about you, but I am always drawn to the same fabric designers and sewing with the same types of fabrics and it's so refreshing to see what others do and mix it up a bit. You may discover new favourites along the way!

A few guidelines to make the Sewalong an enjoyable and smooth running experience...

1. You need to purchase the Wire Flower FPP Pattern from Etsy. Click on the link here.

2. You will be assigned to a group.  The number of groups will depend on how many participants we have.  Each group will include 9 people.

3. Everyone in your group will receive your mailing address so that they can ship to you directly.

4. You will sew a total of 9 blocks and send 1 to each person in your group (keeping 1 for yourself!).  You can either make them all different, or use the same fabric throughout...your choice! Just take into account people's colour likes and dislikes.

5. You may be required to ship internationally.

6. Please don't feel pressured into sending extras. This sewalong is supposed to be relatively quick, fun and inexpensive.

7. Please tag me on Instagram @karenlewistextiles when you make your final post showing all the blocks you are shipping. If you are not on IG, just send me an email when you ship.  This is just a way of keeping up with everyone. Please also tag any posts with #wireflowerfpp and #wireflowersewalong. It's great to keep up with what everyone is up to!

8. You will receive your group assignment by December 22nd via email.

9. You need to ship by January 31, 2019, unless you are swapping at Quiltcon.

10. You must email me when you ship to your group. I want to make sure that everyone sends so that everyone receives. 

Made it this far and still want to join in? Great!

Have any questions? Leave a comment and I will answer here for all to see. Someone else may have the same question!

Thank you so much for joining in...I'm really excited about this sewalong and can't wait to see what everyone gets up to! x

Friday 16 March 2018

Southwest Modern by Kristi Schroeder


I am very excited to be the final leg of the wonderful Kristi Schroeder's Southwest Modern book tour. Last year in Savannah Kristi was telling me about her impending book...I even got a few glimpses of the beautiful quilts she was making...part travel guide part quilt book. It sounded so fresh and original and it is exactly that.

I have long since been an admirer of Kristi's modern striking quilting style and just knew it was going to be unlike any other quilting book on the market. Even though I had had an insight into the book I was gob smacked by its beauty. Firstly can I say, New Mexico? When is the next flight leaving for there?? Secondly the quilts, boy oh boy every single one of them is beautiful beyond beauty. I want to make them all.

At first glance they seem simple on the eye (that's a good thing in my book) but looking at them more closely they will challenge both beginner and experienced quilters alike (another good thing in my book).

The styling of the book itself is exquisite. The layout of the patterns themselves is so fresh and clean and clear, whilst the photos, like the ones above, show off the quilts in all their majestic glory, in the most stunning New Mexico locations. Did I mention I want to go there?...now?

So what did I choose to make?

I could have done any one of them but I decided to choose by being fickle and seeing which one made me stop quicker than any other so I chose Mosaic, which happens to be on the front cover.

I have a few apologies about my make...

You may know if you follow me on IG that the last few weeks have been challenging personally which meant

1. I was running late for this...
2. I clearly wasn't reading instructions correctly so some of the low volume central pieces weren't placed correctly. The plus side to this is the pattern is flexible and unless you were looking at this next to the pattern you really wouldn't know!
3. I ran out of time to do the complete quilt so here is my Mosaic Mini...another plus to the book I feel...you can alter the patterns to your need/space/desire and still get a great feel for the original...ever the optimistic!

I hope you like my little mini...I sure do...but in case you wanted to see how it would look as it was intended, here's a little mock up I did with my new found Touchdraw skills...
I hope you have enjoyed my little book tour and if you would like to see more about the book check out the fab people and links below...ALSO the good news is you can be in with a chance of receiving a copy of this exquisite book. It is one you will most definitely want on your bookshelf.

1. Follow me AND follow Kristi Schroeder @initialkstudio on Instagram 
2. Please comment on this blog post to be entered to win. Bonus entries for contestants who comment/like on my IG post. (@karenlewistextiles)
3. Winner will be announced Monday.

ALSO NOTE... Kristi is having a Grand Prize Giveaway at the end of the blog hop courtesy of the following sponsors:
1. Signed copy of Southwest Modern by Lucky Spool
2. FQ bundle by Robert Kaufman
3. FQ bundle by Me & You Fabrics
Be sure you sign up for her (Kristi’s. Not mine…I don’t have that option.) email newsletter!