Saturday, October 23, 2010

Process Pledge

Something I  learned from doing these give aways was a lot of you asked for more photos and more information on my process. I guess I never really thought that other people wanted to know that kind of stuff. But hey, I'm happy to share that too. :) 

So...I've seen a lot of other bloggers take the Process Pledge and I've also jumped in too. I will definitely try harder to share my thought process in designing and quilting in general. 

The Process Pledge

I'll even start right now! LOL! How is that for fast? ;)

I love wonky stars. I don't care for wonky in itself, but wonky stars, I love those. Try and figure that out.  Anyways, I signed up for the pillow talk swap again and this was a little bit for practice and a little bit for a gift. (***psst...actually it was totally for the gift, but shhhh... :)***) So let's begin with that. 

I would say 99% of my designs begin on my favourite graph paper.  This particular one is 4 squares per inch. I like to use each square in 2" increments. I also have other paper that is 10 squares per inch. Sometimes that is easier for bigger projects, but those squares are tiny!

I am almost embarrassed to show you the inside of this notebook.  Mostly because there are pages that look like this.... 
Scribbled on. Math written out. A lot of I have to do this though, to keep in all in one place. If I do it on scratch paper it will get thrown away and I will end up having to do it all over again. 

However, ALSO in this book are my designs. Such as my very first one for Moda Bake Shop, Random Reflections. This is how that began....
I made an angel pillow for the last round of of the pillow talk swap and the only amount of design that I did for that was this....
Notice the page on the right with more chicken scratching? Heh!

This is how it turned out afterwards...
There's not a lot of high tech stuff going on there is there? Nope. This just goes to show you that you can do it too! Just grab some graph paper and a pencil and a good eraser and start drawing. Heck, I don't even use a ruler to draw straight lines. I just get the idea on the paper with the measurements and go with it. It doesn't matter if you "can't draw". What matters is that YOU can interpret your own work to put it into your project.  Go ahead...try it. :)

I mentioned the wonky star pillow.....let me show you how it came to be. 

First. I needed a gift. A good one. One that I loved just as much as I think the recipient would. Personally, I feel that if I don't love a project that I did, how can I expect the person it is going to, to love it?

I started drawing, knowing that I wanted it to be a wonky star pillow. 
See? I don't even worry so much about straight lines. :)
Next, comes choosing the fabrics. This varies from project to project. Sometimes I will stay with in the boundaries of one single line, sometimes I will venture and grab some from different lines. Just depends on the mood I am in. :)  For this project, I decided on Riley Blake! Mmmm!

It's a bit blurry. Sorry about that.
After I had my sketch, I figured out what I needed to cut for the entire pillow. I don't want to have to stop sewing when I get in a good groove to cut more pieces. I usually do this for each project. Cut everything, then sew.

Then of course, piecing the blocks and sewing them together according to my sketches. 
Isn't it pretty??!! Oh how I love this! :)
Then I layer the backing, the batting, and the "quilt" top together. Then I stare at it aimlessly until a quilting design jumps out at me. No really! Sometimes I will even get my daughter and ask her how I should quilt something. She's 12. :) 

For this one, I thought,'s wonky. Let's quilt it wonky too. So I took my blue painters tape and created a straight line from the left edge to the right edge at an angle. Stitched my line next to the tape, removed it and did the same thing going from top to bottom. This created 4 quadrants. When I straight line quilt, this is how I work. Quadrants seem to make it much easier to handle.
This is one quadrant completed.
Part of the process is also showing what NOT to do. Uh. Anyone who has read my blog for some time now, knows that I'm not afraid to show my mistakes. Well guess what? I did it again. I sewed the batting to the backing because it flipped over on me while quilting. Doh! 

However, I didn't fret. This was a pillow after all so the back of it really wasn't ever going to be showcased because I still had to add the casement part so I made a funny out of it and left it like this. :)
I think the new owner of this pillow will get a kick out of me leaving that there. Mistakes remind us that we are all human. No one is perfect, even those really famous quilty people that if we ever met we'd probably stand there and go "ga ga ga"..haha! They make mistakes too so don't worry about them. Use it to your advantage and learn from them. Me, well this was my THIRD time making this same mistake....perhaps the third time is a charm. :)

After all of that....this is how it turned out. Had it not been going to a very special person, I may have kept it for myself because I adore it that much. However, I will share that I plan to make this design into a quilt. :)

Dear recipient...I hope you love it!! :D

I hope you enjoyed my process and if you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment, leaving your email address in the box provided, and I will happily get back to you. :)

Much Love!!!


  1. Karrie I love this! The wonky stars, the wonky quilting, and the mistake=perfect pillow! It's got character and charm. I'm sure the recipient will love it! I wish it was me! :)

  2. It's beautiful, Karrie! I like your subtly wonky quilting, and your REALLY wonky whoops!

  3. I just need to sat that I sat and read your blog today and you know it was really good. I kinda felt like I was reading something one of my quilting buddies had written nothing too high fallooting just real stitching and real happenings - thank you

  4. Oh how I love Bloom & Grow!! I have a little of it waiting for just the right project.

    Love the pillow. And one of these days I'll try my hand at some wonky stars.

  5. Oh my goodness! How beautiful is your pillow ?!?!?! Wow! :) Your mistake is very do-able and thank you for sharing!!

  6. Hi, Karrie! I love this post - you did such a great job showing your process! I love graph paper because it's so easy to adjust the size of your design - it can be a pillow top or a block or a lap-size or bed quilt, depending on the value you give each block of the graph. I use bound graph paper journals so I can save them, and the pages don't fall out! And that pillow is a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e!! The wonky quilting is perfect for the design. Just a thought - perhaps by the third time you make the same mistake, you should start calling it your design signature..... ;-)

  7. How beautiful! I love it. The mistakes sure do happen but that is part of the fun of quilting. Thank you for this great post. I do love seeing the process also. It helps me to learn. Thank you!

  8. loved seeing the process. :) Mistakes included. My graph paper looks a lot like that too. :)

    this isn't your pillow talk pillow is it?

  9. Love your pilow! So glad I am not been the only one to ever flip the batting like you did! I was so disgusted with myself at the time!

  10. That is so AWESOME!!! I.LOVE.THIS.PILLOW!!! Too bad it's not coming to me because I would love and cherish it forever and it would have a home on my red leather chair in my family room!

  11. I love your cushion - mistake included !

    Thank you for taking the process pledge and for being honest and humble enough to share your mistakes and lessons learnt. That is the kind of sharing and sense of community I love about quilting. I think we get so worried about results and outcomes it is easy to lose the joy of the journey.

    I haven't tried the electronic quilting programs yet, I still love good old fashioned pencil and paper and scratchings of calculations all over it.

  12. It is MARVELOUS!!! Love the quilting too!

  13. Great post, KarrieLyn!!!
    I have a shelf full of notebooks such as yours.
    But enjoy learning your entire process.

    BTW, I love those wonky stars, also! ! !

  14. I was just drawing up some blocks on graph paper last night--something I have rarely done. I was annoyed by the small squares. This seems silly, but I need to get some graph paper with bigger squares! Thanks for sharing that info!

  15. KerrieLyne...I love that you left the mistake in. I know I would treasure that. and yes I have done that too...and yes more than once. The pillow is so sweet.

  16. Thank you for sharing that! I also like wonky stars buthave yet to try it. I think i need to quit my job, it's totally interfering with stuff i WANT to do :)

  17. Hi, I cant tell you how good it is you put your mistakes on here. I am new to all this and have been trying so hard to get things perfect. But, you know what, it doesn't really matter does it. My first attempt at free motion quilting on a lap quilt is pretty rough, but, I love that quilt and that's all that matters. My second one is much better, not perfect but much better and now realise that I can start making things for friends and family and if there are small mistakes in be it...I am sure they will love them just as much as me. Thank you for making my day. x
    Oh and I love both of your pillows, both are now on my to do list.

  18. I love wonky stars too! What size is your block?
    I have also joined the pledge, my posts have gotten wordier but I am still getting the hang of it!

  19. Loved seeing the process and both pillows are so cute! I was wondering if you simply eyeball it when quilting those lines or if you use some sort of guide to keep your stitches parallel. I like graph paper, too, and will have to buy some that's spiral bound so it all stays together. Great tip!

  20. LOVE this pillow, what a great block!

  21. I love, love, love this star pillow and can't wait until you share a quilt pattern from it!

    I saw your lollipop quilt on the Bake Shop today and wandered over here to see what's new. I love your work!

    Thank you for sharing your process. It's very similar to mine. Even though I have the EQ software, I still find myself preferring my good old fashioned graph paper spiral :-)


  22. i LUV your wonky star pillow it is absolutely adorable!!! I think you need to share your measurements with us so we can make one too ;o)

  23. I love this post!! I need to start posting more like this. And I ALWAYS make the same mistake, uncountable times. I decided that Im going to try to leave less backing around when I quilt it so there is less of a chance....because I really do it all the time!

    How about you have a fast basting tip? Like other than pinning them. I have had my quilt laid out for three days trying to baste it and its only lap size...sigh


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Happy Quilting!

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