After graduation from Lock Haven University (a Pennsylvania State Teachers College) with a bachelor’s degree in Education in 1978, I found teaching positions were not only difficult to find, but nonexistent. While my husband was attending post graduate school, and I was working full time in the insurance industry, I enrolled in a quilting class at the local high school.
Since my first quilting class in 1982 I sought every quilting class possible to improve my techniques. In early 1986 my husband was offered an executive position in the Philadelphia area. As an incentive to my agreeing to move from Carlisle, Pennsylvania to a metropolitan area, we decided that I could open a small shop devoted strictly to quilting and quilting instruction. I immediately began to develop a business plan and using my education background, began developing classes and lesson plans.
On November 26, 1986, I opened The Country Quilt Shop in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The business grew by leaps and bounds. I taught beginners through advanced classes, dozens of workshops and gave many lectures. I continued to attend workshops myself. I used some of these quilters ideas for classes and workshops, and by 1988 began creating my own classes and patterns.
In the summer of 1989, my husband was appointed a position with the government in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. After selling The Country Quilt Shop, we returned to Carlisle, Pennsylvania. At the time we sold the business I had taught over one thousand students how to quilt and many others on mastering different techniques. I left that aspect of quilting behind me and devote my time to teaching, designing and writing.
After finishing a book on beginners quilting during the summer of 1990, I entered into a publishing contract with the American Quilter’s Society, and my first book FROM BASICS TO BINDING: A COMPETE GUIDE TO MAKING QUILTS was published in the Spring of 1992. My second book, ABOVE AND BEYOND BASICS and my third book, LOVE TO QUILT: BEARS, BEARS, BEARS, were released in December, 1996. Along with several other authors, I worked with Rodale Press on a wonderful book called THE ULTIMATE VISUAL GUILD, which was released in the Winter of 1997. I have written several articles for quilting magazines. My fourth book APPLIQUE BASICS: FLOWER WREATHS was released in March, 2000. During the past several years I have self-published several patterns and then my own book called Earthy Delights: The Perfect Finish was released in 2006. At the end of 2008 I released my DVD, Hand and Machine Applique: The Karen Kay Buckley Way. I think it is the best thing I have published. I have also been busy the past several years developing my own products.......Perfect Circles, Perfect Ovals, Bigger Perfect Circles, Perfect Stems, Perfect Scissors, Perfect Adjustable Square and the Perfect Adjustable Rulers.
I have over 350 quilts to my credit, and my personal work has received numerous awards including twelve Best of Show awards, including the 2013 and 2015 Best of Show at the American Quitler's Association Show in Paducah, Kentucky. I was voted teacher of the year by the PROFESSIONAL QUILTER MAGAZINE in 1997. My work has been featured in numerous magazines and calendars. I have eighteen cover quilts to my credit (I consider myself very lucky!). One of my quilts was chosen by Senator Wofford’s wife to be placed on display in the U. S. Capitol in 1992, and another was chosen for the same display in 1993. I have appeared on Simply Quilts and AQS show American Quilter. I have a very busy schedule teaching, judging and designing.
(Fiesta Mexico-now owned by the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky)
Yours in quilting,