Monday, September 15, 2014

World Wide Blog Hop

I've been nominated to participate in the World Wide Blog Hop by Jo of Explorations In Stitch. Jo writes that she likes to "explore stitch in all its variations. From Quilting and embroidery to mixed media and art dolls". She promises to share the techniques discovers, the books she reads and the artists who inspire her. I know that Jo is planning a tutorial on making coil baskets and that's something I'm itching to try!
Jo's coil baskets

The purpose of thus blog hop is to answer a few questions and then introduce readers to three blogs. What a great way to discover new blogs and perhaps pick up some helpful tips along the way. So here we go with my answers to the questions!

What am I working on?

I can't even begin to count the number of projects I've got on the go! They do say variety is the spice of life which means my life is VERY spice! Lately I seem to be spending more time working on hexagon quilts which I've been making for years. One such quilt is Lozagons. The centre medallion of roses is stitched and the remaining hexagons are in various stages of construction.

This is the centre of another hexagon quilt that is waiting in the wings. It needs a border and then it can be quilted!

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I'm not sure that it does differ but since I have to say something I guess it is the little details. I can spend a  little time on those details and it will take a block (or quilt) from pretty to extra pretty. Some of the techniques One of my favourite techniques is fussy cutting. This is the start of my centre hexagon from my Soupcon Quilt Along (you can find links to the instructions are under the tab Quilt Alongs by Karen H),

I like to add embellishments and surprises one of which is little grasshoppers. One grasshopper hidden in a block makes the quilt special for the recipient. I just tell him or her there is a grasshopper hidden somewhere! It doesn't have to be on the front - it could also be on the back.

I really like to add embroidery details too! Sometimes I just don't know when to stop because I'm having so much fun.

There's a Snail in Grandma's Flower Garden by Karen H

My machine quilting makes my work different from others because it reflects my aesthetic which is that "more", whether it is fussy cuts, hexagons, beads, embroidery or quilting, is always better! In addition I strongly dislike planning my quilting so I generally wing it and the quilting evolves as I go along!

Why do I write/create what I do?

I write/blog because I want to share what I do and how I do it with others. I create (quilts and other things) because I've got an overwhelming urge to do so. I just can't help myself and it has been that way all my life. I grew up in a home where we were encouraged to use our hands to create. It is now part of my DNA.

How does my creative process work?

In short it is sleep/routine and play!

For me the most important thing is having a routine. Sounds crazy but its true. I try to go to bed and get up at the same time in the morning. I get cleaned up, go for a walk to lubricate the joints and clear the head, have breakfast and then start my day of being creative! When my routine is disturbed I find it difficult to get into the creative mindset. During my morning walk ideas or solutions to problems will often come to me!

I often start of with a vague idea of what I want to do and I usually start with that basic idea for the focal point and work my way out. If it is a hexagon quilt I typically start in the centre as is the case with my quilt Hexagreens and Mom's Flowerbed.

Hexagreens by Karen H 2009

Mom's Flower Bed by Karen H 2011

The focal point for Owl at Night was the owl. Once I constructed her I worked my way around her and out.

My colour and value inspiration comes from the world around me but I find that playing with scraps of fabric is a great learning experience and it boosts creativity. I like to make 3" nine patches (or variations thereof) with my scraps. I find I learn a great deal about what works and what doesn't work in terms of colour and value and I end up with interesting combinations. Those nine patches can be turned into a great quilt!

Playing around with nine patches leads to creative design ideas. I made Piccadilly to the Nines and it started out playing with nine patches!

Enough about me! I would like to introduce you to three bloggers you may not know.

Missie of Traditional Primitives  Missie is a very talented quilt maker, designer and rug maker. She is currently working on her version of the King George coverlet and will have a pattern available in the near future. Missie's quilt combines English paper piecing and applique! Lucky me - I'm testing her pattern and I can assure you it is great fun! If you love things folksy, old timey or historic you'll enjoy Missie's blog!

Chantal of Ramblings of a Quilter  Chantal is a self taught quilter. Like me she enjoys English paper piecing but she also crochets and knits beautifully. On her banner you will see a hexagon pillow and she published a tutorial so you can make your own. I know that it is on my to do list! Chantal's blog is fresh and lively and loaded with colourful pictures all of which make for a lovely blog!

Lyn of Liniecat@Large  As you can probably guess from her name Lyn is a cat lover! But she is also a maker of all sorts of things from quilts to papier mache to knitting and of course quilts. One of the things I enjoy about Lyn's blog is her car boot sale finds which she recycles, reuses or repurposes. She is currently refinishing some great chairs. Earlier this year Lyn participated in the yarn bombing of Kingston upon Hull. She wrote several posts about the wonderful sea creatures that were created for this event. Lyn's blog is sure to put a smile on your face.

So there you have it! I hope you've enjoyed this post. Don't forgot Friday I will publish Block 12 in my Value Proposition Hexagon QAL. All of the previous patterns are available under the tab Quilt Alongs by Karen H.

Until I post again, enjoy whatever it is you do to make you happy!
Karen H


  1. Hi Karen! It has been so much fun to read your post and learn a bit more about what makes you tick. Wonderful to see so many of your finished quilts - stunning work.

  2. Lovely post Karen and I love what you have done with nine patches , very creative.

  3. Great post Karen! I enjoyed reading about your work and ideas, and of course all the lovely quilt photos. What an inspiration :)

  4. Great to learn a little bit more about how you work and how you are inspired.

  5. wonderfull post, i'm goinig to read in again and looking at the photo's

  6. I love your blog Karen. Very inspirational and of course I love all the quilt alongs!

  7. So much to look at and learn. Thanks for sharing your routine and how to get creative.
    Great new blogs to be inspired.

  8. I love your blog! So many beautiful quilt, so inspiring. Thank you for the incentive and idea to try in my own quilts.

  9. Theres always so much to see and lust ( fabricly!) after on your blog,
    I am however convinced that you have a magic way of warping time and you get more hours out of your days than the rest of us lol

  10. very pleasant to read you Karen et admire your beautiful quilts

  11. Great post Karen and lovely to see some of your earlier quilts. Love the Hexagreens and the owl quilt. How lucky you are to spend your days being so creative.

  12. Just found your blog via A Quilt Reader's Garden blog and am now a follower. Love your work.

  13. Over from Angie's to let you know how I like your blog, but I this you already know it's one of my favorites.

  14. You work never ceases to amaze me and seeing samples of it throughout the post was incredible. Thank you for taking part in the hop and sharing so much of yourself.

  15. Popping in from Angie's - I love the grasshopper!!

  16. Wow! What wonderful eye candy. Angie gave us the link and I am so glad that she did. The owl in flight is super great and I love the red leaves around it. Keep up the great work.

  17. Thank you for this wonderfully inspiring post! I love your work and it's interesting to read your thoughts about it.

  18. Piccadilly to the Nines is stunning! What an inspiration, thanks.

  19. I enjoyed looking at the pictures--motivating me! The hexie is awesome!

  20. I came over from Angie's. Those hexies are incredible! thanks for sharing!

  21. I also posted a comment on Karen's blog. Her hexies are just incredible!

  22. Wow, Karen, I'm amazed at your quilts. I see how fussy cutting can really make details stand out. I have been working on some hexies. Just need to finish and put them together. I like to have everything finished before I see how I want them to flow. Thanks for all your ideas and sharing with us.

  23. Hi Karen - wow! I have enjoyed reading about your work and I have never seen such beautiful hexagon quilts - I had no idea you could create such lovely designs with hexies.

    perry94022 at hotmail dot com

  24. when you make your baskets which technique do you prefer, wrapping folded strips and covering the raw edge as you go or do you cover using the length of your fabric, I've seen both ways, in fact some don't cover their raw edges at all. just curious

    1. Hi Susan - you are a no reply blogger so I couldn't email you back. The baskets are made by Jo of Explorations in Stitch. I've never made one but Jo will be publishing an online tutorial. You could contact Jo through her blog for an answer to your question!