My name is Karen Ackva of easypatchwork. I am an American living my dreams with my bi-national (German-American) family overseas. I design quilts, blocks, patterns, and tutorials (most of which are free). Sometimes, I even blog about my day-to-day challenges and experiences living in Germany. I have been quilting (called patchwork here) for more than 13 years and designing just as long.
|Gristmill Star Block with House and Garden fabrics from Cloud 9|
I am excited to share with you my very first block for Quiltmaker's! I am extremely honored that they chose my block for their eleventh issue and to be published in such an awesome magazine alongside so many other talented designers! Thank you, Quiltmaker especially Carolyn Beam and Kelly Eisinger. You two are the greatest!
I love making patchwork that is balanced. I usually do that by mixing prints and solids, warm colors and cold colors as well as the use of balanced designs, sometimes symmetrical and sometimes not. I love geometric prints and contrasting colors.
The Gristmill Star Block
This consists of a framed star with triangles in the corners. The emphasis in this color scheme is the star being the darkest color (a solid brown) and the frame and rays of middle tones/fabrics. This is also the original block found in the magazine, signed by me, and will eventually be raffled off or given away by Quiltmaker's.
|Gristmill Star Block #1033 from Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Summer Edition|
You can change it up by exchanging the white frame stripes with printed fabrics to get a contrasting block. Also change the corner triangles to a lighter fabric but everything else should stay the same.
|Gristmill Star Block Variation using some Tula Pink Fabrics|
You can swap out the the four corner block fabrics in the star to get a spinning friendship star as shown on the right side of the quilt below. Make five blocks of each, add some interesting strips (plain and pieced) to get this beautiful full-sized quilt.
|Quilt size ~ 50 x 60 inches with Gristmill Star and Variation|
Or you can make just one block then add some improvised borders to make a great modern pillow. Fabrics from Windham Fabrics - Mimosa.
|18 x 18 inch Pillow using the Gristmill Star Block|
|Table Runner using Three Blocks|
|Wall Hanging or Table Topper ~ 24 x 24 inches with Gristmill Star Block|
My Test Block
As a designer, you not only create new designs, but you want others to have an easy block or pattern that is truly do-able! You need to know it works and isn't just a designer block that no one can or would sew! Right? Well, I sewed this block together four times wanting to get it just perfect. And, sometimes, the first block is not the one that makes it into the magazine. Even though I should have know not to use the best fabric I have for a test block, I still went ahead and did it anyway!
|Gristmill Star using Fussy Cut Tula Pink fabric|
This was my very first block that I made. But since it is 1/2 inch smaller than the requirements, it didn't make the cut. Isn't it just too cute with the raccoons! I love Tula Pink fabric! Unfortunately, I didn't have any more fabric to make a second block with the special fussy cutting, the one featured in the magazine! I would have preferred this one! My three other blocks came out perfect, btw. :-)
And just the past weekend, I acquired some new fabric at the Patchwork Days in Dinkelsbühl sponsored by the German Patchwork Gilde. I absolutely loved this fabrc and wanted to make something out of it immediately! I did just that, too!
|Windham Fabrics, Paint Collection by Carrie Bloomston|
I decided I would make a quick pillow case. I make a lot of pillow cases at the moment, because I am having so much fun with our group Pillow Swap Four Seasons found on flickr or with the hashtag #pillowswapfourseasons. BTW, registration for the Fall Round will open on June 1st if you love to make pillows according to the different seasons as well! We have room for 50 beautiful male and female patchworkers if you are interested!!
And by the afternoon, I had this! See all of the beautiful things you can make with this great new star block?! You can see more pictures of the Gristmill Star on my flickr account.
|Gristmill Star featured in Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Summer Edition 2015|
Stop by all of the designers featured on the blog hop today for your chance to win a copy of the Quiltmaker's 100 blocks. Follow their directions. ;-)
Stop by Quilty Pleasures (Quiltmaker's Blog) and enter for your chance to win a copy of the magazine as well as many other daily prizes! You might even find a pattern from me there. <wink, wink>
And if that is not enough chances to win a copy, I also have one copy of the magazine to give away to one very lucky reader that will be shipped directly from Quiltmaker's. Are you excited? Not yet? Then what about this..... I will send you, the winner of the magazine from my site, a copy of EACH PATTERN I have for sale in my Craftsy shop! This includes Mystic Rainbow Chevron, Destiny's Trail Nine Patch, Wrist Pin Cushion for Sewists, Perfect Wrist Pin Catcher, Autumn at the Peaks Wall Hanging + Template, Tilted Kimono Butterfly Foundation Template and the Simple Four Inch Star Foundation Template all for one lucky patchworker!!
|Copies of Patterns from easypatchwork to GIVEAWAY!|
All you have to do is leave a comment in the section below stating your favorite fabric designer or the fabrics you would choose to make this block. (One entry per email address.) Also, please leave your email address if you are a no-reply blogger. If you don't know if you are one or not, put your email address down anyway. I will contact you per email for your shipping address. On Friday morning, 9am (German time), I will choose a random number for one lucky winner of the magazine - Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Vol. 11 and all of my listed patterns!
Please don't forget to stop by each blog featured on Quilty Pleasures on the date listed for an additional chance to win a free copy of the Summer Edition of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks as well as some other very juicy prizes such as fabrics, notions, patterns, and other quilty goodies!!