Wednesday, May 29, 2013


I am working on a new pattern for a bright chevron doll quilt. Here is a little sneak preview.

I like the look of the chevron pillows and blankets out all over, but I don't like the short cut of making half-square triangles. I have been looking into all of the different ways to make chevrons from sewing on paper to sewing scraps together and cutting at an angle. Which technique really makes sense and when? Once I have everything figured out  or the simple-easy-practical-way, I will upload the pattern for all of you.

I hope you check back on this one to download the pattern. I am really liking this one and Barbie will like it even more! :-) If she doesn't reside in your home, you can always put it in a nice frame and hang it in the hallway.

Enjoy your weekend and holiday if you have one!


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

kunsthandwerkermarkt in Gundelfingen

Hello everyone!! We visited a really nice crafting festival in Gundelfingen on Pentecost Monday. We were warmly welcomed with music and a free glass of champagne. That is where I picked up this really cute little doll cradle. Now how modern can you get? Sadly enough, there was no business card inserted into my shopping back so information is lost to who or how this was crafted. (Something to remember when you sell at one of these markets - always put a business card with the sold item to get repeat customers.)

The weather was rather cold but luckily it didn't rain. This year we are doomed with cold, rainy weather almost everyday. Summer is never going to come. Spring has barely arrived.

Most of what you could find at this year's market were jewelry items, quilted and felt apparel/crafts as well as every deco article for your garden. My kids liked the balloon artist the most. They even found some felt notebooks that each one of them had to have.

I was rather stunned to see how cheap some of the vendors were selling their handcrafted items. But maybe some are too stingy to pay for quality handcrafts. 

The next festival ist on Nov. 9 & Nov. 10, 2013 from 10am - 5 pm at the Brenzhalle in Gundelfingen.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

micro quilts

I've been toying around with the idea of making some miniature-quilts. Does anyone remember these goodies? There was even a really awesome magazine that put them in the spotlight, called Miniature Quilts.

I am not talking about mug-rugs or inches, but actual miniature quilts that look like the real, life-sized blankets. It is great when you see them photographed next to a Barbie-doll. Everything is scaled down. They are very challenging, because you have to sew them together perfectly and usually with 1/8" seam allowance or cut down the seam allowance. Most are sewn to paper like a sew and fold or foundation piecing technique.
In the meantime, I have joined a very nice group of ladies at Doll Quilters Monthly! I am all psyched up to try new things and am anxious to receive small doll quilts from other fabulous quilters from around the world. I started practicing for my first swap. My Barbie-Doll Chevron Quilt has just 1/8 inch binding! You can check out the rest of the photos at flickr.

If you would like to explore this genre with me, please drop me a note so we can put our heads together to go retro with our "micro quilts." The format should be smaller than 11 inches².

Enjoy the spring-time sun! Karen

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

the new modern quilting?

There has been a lot of talk in the last few years and a bit of a movement called modern quilting. I find it strange to use this term "modern" over and over again throughout the years. What is modern?

I remember reading about the "modern housewife" from the 1950's who stayed at home to take care of her household, her husband and the children. She would have a drink for her husband as soon as he walked through the door, his slippers and the current newspaper. The daily tribulations with the kids would not be discussed in order to shone her husband the extra stress. Now, by today's standards, this is anything but modern. So, I think the term is always relative and should be given some sort of anchor like 20-ten modern, 21st century color blocking or something else. The actual term will probably be printed 20 years from now. Were the 1980's called the "Big 80's" back then?

Thinking back through the centuries to see the pioneers in quilting who were probably kicked out of quilting circles, because they were doing something different, innovative, or just not normal. What did people think about the women of Gee's Bend? There was not a lot of 5x7 layouts nor were there written patterns to follow. Yet we have those available for mass public. Look for a true pioneer in our decade - their talents will probably not be value for many years to come.

Think about the women who sewed applique quilts in the 1920's or in the 1930's when they used primarily pastel colors such as pinks, green, and white. How is that really different from today? In the 20-ten modern we are using white, gray and lots of solids to make geometric designs. I tend to think the geometrics come from the 1950-1960's. Does our current movement come from a combinations of those decades?

How do YOU feel about the current movement or trends? I wanted to go "modern" but stopped and told myself to find my own style. I could classify myself as "rustic modern" but don't really think I should put myself in any "Schubladen." I love to mix it up. I love color. I love traditional. I love spotting trends. I love to learn new techniques. I love a challenge. I Iove to design. I love to share my knowledge and experiences.

Stay true to yourself and quilt/sew/patch according to YOUR tastes. Be aware of the trends and most importantly, make your own!

Karen Ackva signing out. Have a great day.