Thursday, October 19, 2017

More Silkie Images Available on Etsy Shoppe

If you are in need of some image sheets for printing, there are twelve new sheets just loaded to my Etsy Shoppe page.

All of these images are sized to either 2" wide or tall depending on their individual orientation; just the right size for any crazy quilt block size. You can add them on top of existing blocks by turning under the seam allowance and stitching down...then embellish with a border similar to a "portrait frame"; or piece the image (printed on fabric) directly to the patchwork of a block not yet constructed.

Here is the run-down of each PDF file download:

[#0 - Floral Girls] and [#1-Floral Ladies] would be great if you enjoy over-stitching the flowers with small ribbon or thread accents.

BTW, the Shawkl Design Studio watermark will not be on your downloadable sheet of is just there to protect these from being saved/used directly from a screen print.

[#2 through #6 Butterflies) are copies of actual vintage cigarette silkie images. While they can be used as is, I also think these would be great to cut out and just use the butterfly images alone. I can envision each tiny wing with over-stitching in silk or metallic threads. The addition of beads and sequins is another good option. Ideas are almost endless on how to create stumpwork butterflies with these too!

[#7 - Pin Up Gals] are some 50's era advertising models. Images like these were also used for calendar pages. A themed quilt would be fun to create using these slightly risque' models.

[#8 - Cats & Friends] are a must if you love cats! I've included a bird and chicken image as well so that there is a bit of a surprise in the group as well.

[#9 - Marilyn] is all about Marilyn Monroe. While certainly an icon of her time, she is also a natural beauty and makes a wonderful themed project.

[#10 - Tea Time] included images of tea pots, tea cups, tasty treats, and good friends all ready to have a lovely tea party.

[#11 - Landscapes] is mostly landscape images with one window box image that I could not resist using. These are glorious when pieced into a project and the tiny flowers over-stitched in wee little silk ribbon knots!

Each printable sheet is $4.50 and can be printed as many times as you you can have unlimited fun creating blocks with these! You can purchase printable fabric sheets on line ( of course) or create your own using this tutorial. Use an inkjet printer since you want the images to remain...rather than the laser printer used in the tutorial (which was for embroidery designs that would be stitched over). Use white, neutral, or pastel colored cotton or silk fabrics rather than linen for these.

Create or purchase your fabric sheets; select/purchase your pdf dowload file from Etsy ...and print as many as you like!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

TQC-201 MugRug (Traditional Quilting Course) is OPEN for Registration 19-21 October

Traditional Quilting Course (TQC) - October 2017

Free Online Machine Piecing Course

This new class was first offered last year, and it went over fabulously! So, here it is again...a TRADITIONAL machine quilting course…this is NOT crazy quilting. For this course, we'll be creating a group of Mug the photographs throughout this blog post. Each has an optional embroidery panel attached to the quilt block we will be piecing. The embroidery designs are provided in the course...or you can use your own designs...or you can use machine embroidery...or you can omit the embroidery all together and create a square Mug Rug rather than these rectangle ones.

As you may (or may not) know…I’ve been quilting and teaching quilting for decades. While classes that are "taught in person" are honestly still my they give me great joy is instructing students and watching their faces light up as they “get it”. I really have missed that so much being retired and not living near my quilting guild friends any more. But, I have found unexpected peace and joy in teaching on-line courses to fill this void in my life and share my love of quilting. It was odd at first, but now…I’ve gotten a process down that is easy for me and seems very beneficial to the participants.

So far, crazy quilt classes have been the main focus. But, even crazy quilts have to begin by piecing a block…so these "crazy" quilters can also benefit from a traditional quilt course. Plus, folks that might want to learn about traditional quilting may stumble into the crazy quilting classes too! So, win – win either way!

This course, as all of my courses, are free. There is no fee to sign up or to take the class. Of course you do need supplies…as we can’t produce quilts from thin air!

I’ve tried to keep the costs as low for you as possible by designing a course that consists of small quilt blocks, rather than create blocks for a large quilt. Also, these blocks will be “used” as part of small projects rather than stored away in a drawer or box. The finished project will be a set of “mug-rugs” which could be a gift or a personal keeper.

You will need some tools for machine piecing of quilt blocks. Here too, I’ve tried to keep the costs down by creating my own patterns and guides for your use…printable of course. And the fabric costs are low because the amounts needed are minimal. While there is still an “up-front cost” for a rotary cutter, mat, rulers…at least the other costs are at a minimum requirement.

You can use whatever cotton fabrics you have on hand…or select a nice palette of pretty cotton fat quarters from your local quilt shop or online fabric store.

The genesis of this course is my Adult Education Course that I sometimes teach at the local community college. That course produces a full-size quilt using 12-inch blocks. So, the lessons had to be totally re-done to accommodate the smaller 6-inch blocks in this TQC module.

The embroidery work is optional, but I think that the projects really benefit from that. The quilt squares are paired with this small embroidery panel to create a finished 6 x 9 inch rectangular Mug Rug. If the embroidery is not stitched, then the panel is omitted and the finished size will measure 6 inches square.

A Mug Rug is basically like a quilted coaster or hotpad. It sits on your table and you place your hot cup of tea (or other beverage) and perhaps a wee little treat (chocolate anyone?) on it. It protects your table top…and looks pretty alone as well.

The course will include general information at the beginning…then we will work each Mug Rug as individual tasks. The first Mug Rug to be created will be at Task #4 and there will be nine of these all together.

As the course progresses, each quilting block technique introduced at the Tasks will get progressively more technically complex. Not harder (well maybe a bit harder)…just more Thought Provoking…and probably requiring more Patience.

 Here is the order of Tasks to be Completed:
Task #1 – Orientation to Quilting and Obtaining Supplies
Task #2 – Learning to Sew Precise Seam Allowances on the Sewing Machine
Task #3 – Learning to Cut Precise Strips and Shapes from Fabric using a Rotary Cutting System
Then we begin the Mug Rugs…actually sewing!
Task #4 – Simple Nine Patch Block: Learning the Basics of Assembling Rows and Columns of a block design
Task #5 – Bars Block: Learning strip piecing techniques
Task #6 – Diamond Bars Block: Learning to create corner triangles with “flip-squares”
Task #7 – Churn Dash Block: Learning to create double triangle patches from square pairs
Task #8 – Card Game Block: Learning to piece with bias edge patches
Task #9 – Star Block: Learning to use a paper grid system for piecing smaller patches
Task #10—Dresden Plate Block: Learning to piece wedges, adjust seams, and applique a curved edge
Task #11 – Fan Block: Learning to piece convex and concave curves together
Task #12 – Flower Block: Learning to paper piece

The course will run from a Blogger class blogsite just as all of my CQ Courses do. You’ll receive an invitation to this blog before the course starts. When received, accept the invitation…and remember the URL of the site. The invite only works once, so it is good to bookmark the class blog once you have arrived at the site. If you need help, let me know by emailing me at

Each lesson in the course has a “TASK” at the back of the handout. It is clearly marked by a red box. Once you have completed this task, a photo of your work will be uploaded (posted) to the class blog. I’ll see that and leave you some comments on the class blog. If you have problems…email me…don’t post about them as I see my emails several times a day but may only check the class blog once or twice a day.

Also, once I’ve left you some feedback below your blog post…I may not be going back to that post again since you have completed the task.

When I finish leaving feedback on all of the current class blogs (this course and the crazy quilt courses open at the moment)…I’ll send out new tasks. So, when you have finished a task…posted your photo of that finish…I’ll comment to that..and THEN will send out the next task to you. This may take a day. However, if you see that I have left you a comment on the class blog post…and have not yet sent you the next task…email me. I do sometimes mess up and forget to send the next task. I try not to…but, it does happen…so, this is my admission and request for your help.

So…if you are interested in taking this course…Registration is NOW OPEN. It will close at midnight, CST...on Saturday night, 21 October 2017. 

Here's how you sign up for the class: Just email me at and provide this information about yourself:
First/Last Name
Email that you want to use for this course (handouts will be sent to this email address)

Once I get your registration information...I'll add you to the class roster and email you back with a "Welcome" to the course. Then, in the next day or so...I'll also have a "Class Invitation" emailed to you so you can access the class website; remember this URL once you get to that site.
THIS IS AN ON-LINE you must be a little knowledgeable about reading and getting to a blog. But, since you are on THIS one at present...that should not be too hard to do. If you have me and I'll try to help.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

OPEN Registration for ICQC-105 (Silk Ribbon Embroidery) Course

Open Registration 12-14 October (Thursday through Sunday)

IMPORTANT: This course DOES REQUIRE that you have completed the Basic Crazy Quilt Course (BCQC-1) before registering. So, please ensure that you have finished the BCQC-1 before submitting your registration information. While it is also good to have completed the ICQC-103 and 104 is not required. You can also take this course at the same time as the ICQC-103 or 104 course (if you can make the time for both).

Completion of the BCQC-2 course or any of the other ICQC courses is not necessary to sign up for this Ribbon Embroidery course...only the BCQC-1 has to be finished first.

There will be TEN different tasks to complete in this course, with about twelve different motifs to stitch. All of the designs will be printed on fabric (or optionally you can trace the designs in the handout to your fabric). (The tenth task is a surprise and any ribbon size/color can be used)

The motifs for this module will be stitched directly to fabric rather than to crazy quilt blocks. Most of these designs are very detailed...and tracing them through layers of fabric is just not feasible. So, consider these "technique tasks". After you have learned each of these can pick/choose which ones to use again in the future for your existing CQ projects. The finished motifs CAN of course be used in new pieced blocks as well as stitching samples for current blocks. If you want to create these on existing blocks, that is fine...but will require some extra work on your part to create tissue paper or soluble sheet transfers; and the results are not guaranteed to work out (just so you know).

I will be providing all of the designs to you as "printable" designs. Each page of the PDF handout for the first task will be able to print directly to fabric sheets. These will then be hooped and the stitching done on top of the printed design. You do not need to "trace" any of the designs...unless you just don't want to print them on fabric sheets as I recommend.

I created my own printable fabric using freezer paper (tutorial is in the links above) for almost all of these motifs. (I forgot to print one...and then had to use a sheet of my purchased fabric sheets for that design). Or, if you can order printable sheets for your inkjet or lazer copier/printer from or other source for all designs. You will need only one standard 10-page package to print all of the designs provided (Wild Rose Blossoms, Daisies, Berry Vine, Apple Blossoms, Tiny Rose Frames, Birds & Insects, Pomegranate, and Ribbon Lady). I have tried very hard NOT to repeat the specific lessons in the Crazy Quilting Volume II: Ribbon Embellishments book, even though some stitches are of course the same. The "Ribbon Lady" is the only direct cross-over...and she has been requested so much that I knew you would demand she be in this course. So this course AND the book will give you all of the ribbon experience needed to create just about any motif you may desire to stitch!

You will  of course need silk ribbon for this course. Multiple sizes (2mm, 4mm, 7mm & 13mm). You can use white for all tasks...and color then with ink markers (Promarker brand recommended)...or purchase various colors in the needed sizes. Substitution is possible...but not encouraged. Here are the sizes/colors the stitched models used. You can change the colors to suit your own personal "vision" of the flower/fruit/animal being created (read left side for task topics). (Satin and organza are poor substitutes for silk ribbon...but I know some of you international folks may have no choice but to use these. If so, you will work harder and the results will not be perfect...but it is managable for most of the tasks.)

Here is the chart for supplies (ribbon/thread): [click to enlarge the photo]

A package of large chenille and tapestry needles are used for ribbon work. I expect you already have these from the work we did on the BCQC class.

Please print the above Silk Ribbon Size/Color Table image for your reference. Note the Color Substitutions information on the right side and the size substitution information at the bottom when determining what ribbon you may need to purchase and what you already have.

Ask questions via email to me if you need to; and I can let you know if your substitutions will work. However,  I will not be available until Tuesday most likely to answer questions. Monday will be filled with responses to registrations and getting the class blog up and running. 

To register, please email me your NAME, State/Country, Email Address you wish to use for this course to

PLEASE do not register if you have not completed the BCQC as it is a pre-registration requirement. (Note: the next open registration for BCQC-1 will be 26-28 October, and this ICQC-105 course will repeat again next year if you miss out this time around.)

After sending your registration, I will respond with a "Welcome" email. If you don't receive this within ONE DAY of your registration email...then assume that I did not receive your information and resend it. Note that I don't accept late registrations because these classes fill so fast.

This course (and all courses) will be held at an assigned Blog for this specific class. You will need access to a working computer to take this online course. If you are especially "tech saavy" perhaps you can manage with an Ipad or other tablet...but you will need to be able to print from it and take/upload photographs to the private class blog. In the past, laptops and desktops perform great...but tablets did not usually.

Looking forward to this new course!


Monday, October 9, 2017

Finishing Hexagon Blocks -- Easily!

Do you like creating hexagon shaped quilt blocks for crazy quilt embellishing...but don't like to create and attach the "binding" along the edges? If so, you might like this method of finishing instead. I use this myself and here are some finished blocks assembled in this manner, and then attached to each other to create a larger grouping of blocks (eventually, this will be an entire quilt):

This block-finishing method requires 3 layers: a) embellished CQ Hexagon Block, b) backing fabric and c) medium weight interfacing (fusible type) like you would use for sewing clothes (not fusible webbing like Heat'n'Bond").


Step 1 -- Determine the size of your block (and shape as this method works with any shape, not just hexagon). Cut a template out of poster board (thin cardboard) the size/shape of your finished block (not considering seam allowance). This template will be used in the cutting and pressing of the fabrics.

Step 2 -- Use the template to trace the same shape/size on to fusible interfacing (like you use for sewing, this is not fusible webbing like Heat'n'Bond).

Step 3 -- Press the interfacing to the reverse side of your backing fabric.

Step 4 -- Use a rotary cutter/mat (or scissors) to cut out the backing fabric leaving about 1/2" seam allowance around the interfacing shape.

Step 5 -- Press the seam allowance of the backing fabric over the interfacing center shape. Do this on alternate sides until all sides are pressed neatly. Set this unit aside for now.

Step 6 -- Trim the excess foundation fabric (if present) away from your hexagon embellished block, leaving at least 1/2" seam allowance in place.

Step 7 -- Turn the embellished block over and place the template shape on top, use this edge to guide your seam allowance over as you press the seam allowance down.

Step 8 -- Place the embellished block and the backing fabric block together with seam allowances touching. Match the corners and pin the two parts together.

Step 9 -- Using small stitches, hand stitch the two parts together around the entire block.

Step 10 -- Repeat the process for every hexagon block.

To complete the quilt, arrange the blocks and hand sew them together. You may want to create half-hexagons and quarter hexagons to finish the layout and create straight edges.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Fall Cleaning & Organizing: Home Tour

It's been a tiring and yet really rewarding few days. I've been going since morning to night and getting into bed usually after midnight.

What have I been doing? Well...sit back and let me catch you up on my life of late.

First thing...this apartment has turned into a clutter nightmare! It so needed a "make over". I sat down and really thought about what was really a good solution for MY  life...and not about what might be the expected layout of the space.

This is also a good "spot" to stop and just say...I'm very content with my life. I'm enjoying each day (even the really hectic ones)...and an not at all concerned over what other folks might think of me or my home. If I'm happy...that's what is important.

Oh, now don't get me would be great to have more space. Been there...had that, and loved it! My home (pre divorce and retirement) was a 3-story brick with a full basement converted to my sewing "heaven". I loved that house. But, I have learned to love this cramped little apartment too...because it allows me to live within 12 feet of my Mother's front door. My entire family is no more than a few miles away...all can be reached within an hour's drive. So, THAT is much more important to me than any structure can be.

But, if you feel the need to judge...go honestly won't bother me. I'm not living my life for what anyone else might want...but what I want. So, getting back to that "thinking"...I've turned my little oasis topsy turvy!

Let me take you on a little walking tour:

Here we are at my front door. Yep, when you enter my are walking right into my galley kitchen. It is only 7 ft across...but is 25 ft long. It is divided almost in half by the double door size opening to the left (where the flowers are). This was originally a large window on the home and the kitchen area was a 2ft wide porch. The very first structure was a double apartment; kitchen in the enter and a single bath/bedroom on either side. We (the family) have changed it a few times over...the last effort took the small porch off and replaced it with this wider version...which was enclosed. The initial plan was for this to be a living room where I'd enjoy the days...sewing. So, it included many windows.

After a couple of years, it became really apparent that I didn't spend a lot of time in my kitchen...which was the largest room in the apartment...but a lot of room wherever my recliner was. :)

So, we tore out all of the plumbing in the existing kitchen and plumbed this smaller room. Of course, the windows were a challenge...because you can't "hang cabinets" in front of a window.

So, my "organizational solution" was to hang any pots, skillets, etc, that had a handle on the wall over the sink and stove. My actual 'counter space' is that little sliver aside the sink over the dishwasher. I get really creative and use my stovetop and freezer top for big projects. :)

Here is a shot with me standing with my back to the window in the last photo. We are looking back down my kitchen at my front door. My little table (sits four when open) is my welcome area when not in use. If you look closely you'll see that I have some purchased short cabinets sitting on either long shallow tables or wooden dressers. I use the drawers in the dressers for baking dishes, silverware, plastic ware, etc. The cabinets hold my waffle iron, stand mixer, blenders, choppers, baking pans, etc. This leaves the floor under the table open and helps the space to appear less "cluttered" to me. It is a very functional space but has to be kept organized so everything will "fit" into it's pre-determined little spot.

If we turn by the freezer to enter the structure that was the kitchen...but is not the center can see my two bookshelves. These hold all of my cookbooks, bibles, and some family photos. This wide opening is "half-ed" by the small chest freezer on the kitchen side and a tall wooden dresser on the "living room" side. The dresser has the top/back covered with a sheet and huge doily. The top has a milk jug of flowers. Even with this on both sides of this wide opening we have installed open shelves (covered by lace curtains) on either side of this entry area to hold canned goods and other pantry items. Right in front of the two bookcases is the "hallway" which lets us turn right into Aidan's bedroom and laundry or turn left into the sewing room, bathroom, and office area.

This center room is now my little haven. I get away from the laptop and sit and stitch! Of course, the space is the project has to be organized and supplies pulled from the sewing room before I begin. In this photo you can see a bit of my red Irish Chain quilt on my bed (right bottom corner) and the design wall to the left with my Hexagon Quilt blocks pinned in place. The long table is only abour 14" it holds my purse (and some clutter right now). My recliner is in the corner with my pole lamp...3-sunlight bulbs give me plenty of light along with the windows at the end of the room.

The television is in the corner and I have this tray that pulls right up to my recliner so I can stitch and watch movies at the same time. At present, I'm working on a HUGE project...which required me to construct 140 sampler quilt blocks! More about this a bit later on...

but for how, I'm about 1/3 of the way through these blocks...

and have this many more to still stitch on. So, if you are taking a course...and wondering "why" I'm not checking on the class blogs multiple times during the is because of THIS project. Hugs!

Okay, on with the tour!

This is the other spot in the house that takes hours of my day. My laptop! This is the smallest room in the apartment (well, other than the tiny bathroom or the laundry room). It was a walk-in closet when the apartment was first constructed some 40 years ago. It is floor to ceiling shelves on three walls with added little single shelves where-ever I can put them. In the above photo, we are sitting in my chair...and you can see my small television on my antique treadle machine cabinet (it still works!). My class rosters and CQI Round Robin rosters are on the stand to the left of my these are checked each day.

Next to the office is the sewing room. At present, all of the "stuff" that I have taken out of the other rooms because they were actually sewing/crafting supplies are in this room. THIS room is in real need of organization since it has become a "dumping ground" during this Fall Clean Up. But, it will have to wait until I get my second burst of it will take days to go through all of the boxes, plastic containers, and such to re-shuffle and find new space for things. I seriously need to "reduce my stash" but perhaps by Spring Cleaning Day it will be done. :)

You can't see my sewing machine...but if you "sit down" in the little brown/blue chair at the bottom right...and move the 3 stacked shoe-box-size plastic can then sew. :)

Lastly, here is the 2nd largest room in the apartment...the back bedroom. This is Aidan's room and has her table (desk w/laptop), her twin bed and a small sitting area for watching television. It needs some re-arranging perhaps...but I have no "idea" yet. This room may need my daughter's help to get organized. 

While taking this photo, I'm actually standing in front of the washer/dryer combo closet. The "mess" at the bottom of the photo are the things I've pulled from the closet shelves and piled on top of Aidan's bed...awaiting my decision about "where to put this?".

So, you can see by these photos that my home is not fancy...but it is functional FOR ME. I have found that by really using my space...I'm happier in it!!

Hoping you enjoyed this little tour...and are inspired to get up and get busy enjoying your own space!

...(now, I'm off to that sewing contemplate what my blocks should be like to begin stitching my "Fancy Seam Designs" on)...check out the last post for more info on THIS! Hugs!

Announcing a "Stitch Along" group for my latest book of seams...

I'm going to begin stitching EVERY SEAM of my Crazy Quilting Volume III:  Fancy Seam Designs Book soon. I thought you might want to join in and stitch them yourself! I know a lot of my blog followers have purchased the book (thank you again!), so this may be the gentle nudge you have needed to get you going. :)

If you don't have the book, it can be obtained on (international Amazon sites as well). But, you don't have to purchase the book to stitch along. Of course, you'll be just relying on my photos rather than having the templates or other instructional help that this book (and the Volume I & II books) have to offer if that's the case...but that's okay by me, if that's good by you.

I will be posting photos of my finished seams on this Shawkl Blog...but have also started a Facebook Group site. So, photos will also be posted there too. The difference is that members of the Facebook Group can also add their own photos to the group site. Just set up an album with your name so you can save your photos there on the group site.

The group name is: "Modern Crazy Quilt Seams" on Facebook. Here is the link to the group if you want to join:

I've sent "invites" to many of those in my Facebook listings...but, well frankly, I'm not a huge FB not everyone is in my listing of FB contacts. So, feel free to share the site address with anyone that might like to stitch along with us.

At present I'm doing some Fall Cleaning..which is taking days instead of hours. But, I'll get down to constructing my blocks within a week or so...and then can being the actually stitching. So, I'll set a planning date of 1 November as the first posting date of the first stitched seam from the book.

I'll post a seam each day...and look forward to stitching all 500 of these with you!