A How-to on my Knife Edge Finish and Book Review

December 16th, 2016


I have been working on some wall quilt projects. I started playing with a knife edge finish and really like the results.  This is great for projects that don’t get a lot of wear.  As I was putting the knife edge finish on this little class sample, “Ornaments”, I decided to take some photos along the way.

(You can also find a printable version of these instructions on the website by clicking on the “Free Tutorials” Tab at the top of the page.)

Start by squaring your project so the backing, batting and top are all trimmed to the same size. I use my Karen Kay Buckley’s Perfect Adjustable Square(TM). I build the acrylic pieces to the finished size plus seam allowance so trimming is accurate and a breeze. And, don’t let the name fool you, it can be built to rectangular sizes, too.

All layers (batting, backing and top) trimmed around the outside.

  1.  Cut two strips 2″ wide and a little longer than the top and bottom measurement of your quilt. Press 1/4″ seam allowance along one side of each strip. Press this to the back of the fabric.

TIP: For an accurate 1/4″, mark a line 1/2″ from the raw edge and fold the raw edge to the 1/2″ line and press.


2″ wide strip with 1/4″ seam pressed to the back.

2. Place these strips right sides together along the raw edge, pin and sew a 1/4″ seam allowance. The pressed edge, from the step above, will be in towards the quilt.


3. First, press these strips, using steam. Press them flat and trip any excess along the outside edges.

Excess trimmed after pressing

4.  For the second pressing step, pull the strip towards the back and steam iron so the strip is not visible on the right side of your project. Ideally, I like the seam right on the edge or just slightly towards the back.

Strip Steam pressed over back.

5.   This might sound crazy, but, your next step is to fold those strips back to where you started, on the right side of the quilt. Pin them in place so they are nice and flat. (No pressing at this step.)

Strip pulled onto the front and pinned.


Make sure the ends are pinned flat and even with the top.

View from the front with both strips pinned.

6.  Now, we are ready for the side strips. Cut two strips 2″ wide by about 1″ shorter than the side. (This might sound odd but…keep reading.) Press 1/4″ seam along one side, following the previous directions in step #1 above. Center and pin these strips, even with the raw edge of your project. They will be shorter than your finished project.

Arrows indicate where strips end.


A close-up of this step.


7.  Sew these strips all the way to the raw edge. Then, sew across the corner and trim the corner.



8.  Press these strips the same as in steps #3 and #4 above. First, press flat and then fold and steam press over the edge.

View from the back with side strips steamed in place.


View from the side.

Pin the two side strips and applique along your 1/4″ pressed seam.

9.  After the side strips are appliqued, fold the top and bottom strips to the back. I used a tool called a “point turner” to push the corners out. I’m sure you can find something in your sewing box for this purpose.  After the points are pushed out, pin and applique the folded edge. Give it a good steam press around the outside after the applique is finished.

And, here it is pressed and ready to hang.

I hope you enjoy the process as much as I do!

Copyright 2016 Karen Kay Buckley


I just finished reading Jodi Picoult’s new book called “Small Great Things”.  I loved it.  It held my interest from beginning to end.  I have read every one of Jodi Picoult’s books and I was happy this one did not let me down. (Laura, thanks for reminding me to read this.)

The main character in the book, Ruth Jefferson, is a labor and delivery nurse.  She’s been employed at the same hospital in Connecticut for 20 years.  Ruth loves her job.  During a shift, she’s checking on a newborn while the parents are watching.  Ruth senses something is wrong because of the way the parents are looking at her.  She soon finds out they have requested she not touch their child….they are white supremacists and Ruth is a women of color.  The story takes some interesting turns.  This is a must read.

Until next week……


First Snow and Book Review

December 13th, 2016

We are so lucky to be home for the next few months with our aging puppies – Tillie 16 and Sasha soon to be 18. Yesterday, we had our first snow of the season.

Sasha was not impressed.


But Joe and I were, so we took off for a hike along the LeTort stream which flows behind our home.


Here are a few things we saw:

Look, there goes a big brown trout into the water cress.


The head waters are so pretty where the spring bubbles up from the ground.



The abandoned spring house is always a photo op no matter the season.



Jenny Wren was singing….



As were the Blues Brothers, get it?



Today the snow is gone, the temperatures are up and I am going to spend the next four weeks sewing on a new project. Best Christmas present ever. Happy Holidays to all my friends and quilting buddies.



I am a Tim Tebow fan.  I love people that have such conviction in their lives and don’t allow the bad stuff to define them.  His dedication to everything he does is impressive.  He was a high school football star, Heisman trophy winner and then went on to play with the Broncos, Jets and Patriots.  His parents must be so proud of him and his accomplishments.  His parents were missionaries and he was raised with a very strong Christian upbringing and it has served him well.  Keep paying it forward Tim Tebow.  Love you, your spirit and your book.



And Even More From the IQA Show and Student’s Work

December 5th, 2016

There were so many incredible quilts in Houston and I took tons of photos.  Here are a few more for you to enjoy.

“A Time for Lime” was made by Karen Grover from Rockford, Ill.  To find out more about Karen visit her website http://www.groverquilts.com

I liked the combination of piecing and applique.



I am a sucker for a quilt using lime green.  I love lime green.



And who doesn’t like a quilt with a lot of perfect circles!



“Lifetime Partners” was made by Barbara McKie from Lyme, Conn.  To see more of Barbara’s work visit her site at http://www.mckieart.com



“’57’ Chevy” was made by Victoria Rondeau from Ormand Beach, Florida



“Spot On” was made by Karen K. Stone from Southlake, Texas.  Another great combination of piecing and applique.



“Splash” was made by Susan Ennis and Ginny Eckley of Humble, Texas.  Oh, this quilt just made me happy.











I just received an email from Bonnie Fowler from the guild where I taught this fall in Kerrville, Texas.  Bonnie is sharing her finished project from our “Kansas Rose” workshop.  This is the most prolific guild I have ever worked with.  I have never had this many students send me photos of their finished blocks.  I love this.  Good job, Bonnie.



Until next week.

More Houston IQA Show, Tampa and Book Review

November 26th, 2016

I hope everyone had a relaxing Thanksgiving. We had a wonderful time with friends and ate way too much!

I had a quick trip to Tampa last week and taught for two guilds, Cypress Creek Quilt Guild and Quilter’s  Workshop of Tampa Bay. One of my comments….It’s always good to be  asked back to a guild because I know I did a good job the first time.  In this case I was back to both guilds….Cypress Creek for the third time!  Both guilds had fantastic members but I forgot to take photos. While I was teaching Joe did take a picture of our hotel restaurant. Ahhh! I did not want to leave.  It was my last day to wear sandals for a while….too cold here in Pennsylvania for sandals.



More quilts from the Houston Show:

“After the Storm” by Ruth Powers of Cabondale, Kansas won first place in the Art-Naturescape category. To learn more about Ruth and her work visit her website at http://www.ruthpowersartquilts.com.


a close-up




“Spring of the Watery Palace” was a ribbon winner in the Art-Pictorial Category.  This wonderful piece by Jin Dong of Qingdao, Shandong, China may have been the largest quilts in the judged show.



a close-up



I enjoy every quilt made by husband and wife team, Hiroko Miyama and Masanobu Miyama,  of Chofu City, Tokyo, Japan. “Lazy Afternoon” was no exception. It was also a ribbon winner in the Art-Pictorial category. To see more of their work visit their website http://www.hirokomiyama.com



Look at their masterful use of thread and fabric.



“Mayan Journey” by Judith Roderick from Placitas, New Mexico was another large and beautifully embellished quilt. Read more about Judith and her methods at http://www.judithroderick.com



Look at all the great buttons.



“Esperanza” by Jennifer Day of Santa Fe, New Mexico is magnificent. This digital imagery piece had 86 different colors of thread. Wow.


a close-up



To see more of her work and a list of her classes visit Jennifer’s website http://www.jdaydesigns.com


As many of you know, last year I had an artificial value placed in my heart and a cow gave its life so mine would continue. Thus, I feel a kindred spirit with cows.

“GMO?” by Suzan Engler of Panorama Village, Texas won first place in the Digital Imagery category. This piece was for sale and I so wanted it to be hanging in my home but waited too long. Find out more about Suzan and her work by visiting http://www.suzanengler.com





“Little by Little”  by Ximo Navarro Sierra of Canals, Valencia, Spain was a ribbon winner in the Merit Quilting Machine-Stationary category. This Spanish quilter had two great quilts in the show and both were awarded ribbons. Fantastic! All the light color is not fabric, but the quilting on a dark, solid piece of fabric!





The work of Susan Bleiweiss of Peperell, Massachusetts brings a smile to my face. Here is one of her newest works “Tutti Frutti Whimsy Way.”


blog-9aTo see more great quilts from Susan visit her site at http://www.susanbleiweiss.com


“Jacobean Duet” by Paula Doyle of Staines-upon-Thames, England, United Kingdom was inspired by an 1810 piece exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.









The Houston Show is truly an International Show by quilters from all reaches of the globe. I am so happy to be part of such a great group of ladies and gentlemen.



18722887Thank you to the person who highly recommended I read “Little Mercies” by Heather Gudenkauf.  It was a really good read.  Ellen Moore is one of the main characters.  She is a long time social worker with a very active family which includes her husband and three children.    A distraction one day changes everything.  The other main character is Jenny Braird who lives with her irresponsible father.  Very good book.  I would give it five stars*****


International Quilt Festival Houston

November 13th, 2016

I spent last week teaching at the International Quilt Festival in Houston and attending one of the best quilt shows ever! I was so happy that Cynthia England and her quilt “Reflections of Cape Town” won BEST OF SHOW.



This masterpiece had over 8,000 pieces of fabric. You rock Cynthia!!



This is not painted.  A gazillion little pieces of fabric were used to create this masterpiece.  To find out more about Cynthia and her techniques visit her site https://www.englanddesign.com



Kathy McNeil’s quilt is entitled “You and Me”.  Another beautiful quilt from Kathy.


To find out more about Kathy visit her site http://www.kathymcneilquilts.com



Lenore Crawford’s wonderful piece “Spanish Arches” made me think I was traveling in Europe. Her depth perspective and use of fabric painting and applique are spot on.  To find out more about Lenore visit her site http://www.lenorecrawford.com/



Debbie Lohman and Donna Lohman of Mechanicsburg, PA (members of my local quilt guild) had two quilts in the show. Way to represent ladies!!

Here is their work “The Doctor’s Wife”.  It is based on an antique quilt.



A close-up of Debbie’s quilting.



And a close-up of Donna and Debbie.

blog-4bDonna and Debbie assisted me at Festival and were a tremendous help. Thanks you, thank you!


Hollis Chatelain won second place in the  “Art-Painted Surface” category for ” Compassion.” When it was announced that this piece had won a second place ribbon, Joe said he was calling the Houston Police Department and reporting that Hollis had been robbed.


Wow!  To find out more about Hollis visit her site http://www.hollisart.com



The “King on His Throne” was created by Nancy Sterett Martin.


To find out more about Nancy visit her site http://quilt-patches.com/



The work of Aki Sakai of  Japan always brings a smile to my face and her work is incredible! This miniature piece “Merry Christmas” was in a special exhibit of holiday themed quilts.


The attention to detail is so impressive.







During last year’s Houston Quilt Festival, Melissa Labella of the show’s education department was a student in my class “Circular Garden”. Her finished project hung in the education/teacher’s room all week for us to enjoy. Great job!



Two students from my Kansas Rose Workshop sent me photos of their blocks.  Both of these students attended my very recent classes in Kerrville, Texas.   Nice work ladies. And, quick turn around!

Debbie Fetech sent this one.


And, this was sent by Donna Scofield.


Until next week.

More From Texas, Students Work and Book Review

October 31st, 2016

I missed a photo that I intended to share in my previous blog.  This was taken on our early morning walk across the river from Baylor University in Waco, Texas.



We left Waco and headed to Fredericksburg in the Hill country to teach and lecture for the Vereins Quilt Guild.  To find out more about the guild go to http://vereinsquiltguild.org



What a great town with some fantastic shops and restaurants.  As we were driving around, we saw a field with thousands of butterflies. We, of course, stopped for a few photos.





We headed to Kerrville and the Hill Country Quilt Guild. Sue, my contact, was a blessing. What a great guild. Here are some of the ladies busy in class.



The Kerrville area  is another great place for restaurants. And, maybe, one of the nicest quilt shops in the world!



When I die, I want to go to Creations. The shop and the quilting retreat next door are amazing. Their displays, products, fabric selection and employees are simply the BEST.






I think some of the greatest quilt shops are in Texas!


We were driving down a dirt road, yes, Joe does loves to explore and came upon some longhorns.



What magnificent animals.


New York may be for Lovers, or is it Virginia??? Not sure,  but Texas is for Quilters and I’ll be headed to Houston tomorrow for another week in the Lone Star State. Yippee!!!


Students’ Work

Karen Ishii from the Faithful Circles Quilt Guild in Downers Grove, IL sent me these pictures.  After taking my Fiesta Mexico-Block Three workshop, Karen finished her block and then adapted Block Eleven from the Fiesta Mexico pattern, as well.  Way to go Karen.  I love it when students share photos.





Great job Karen!



On audio, I recently finished Daniel Silva’s book “The English Girl”.  This is book #13 in the Gabriel Allon series.  I don’t think you have to read the previous books to enjoy this one.  Allon, a former Massad agent, is enlisted by MI6 to find a missing British girl. The girl is the Prime Minister’s mistress.  Allon has an interesting background as an art restorer and a spy.  He convinces an old friend/enemy to assist him in finding the young lady and also bring justice to an ever changing series of twists and turns.  Love Daniel Silva’s writing style and his ability to keep you guessing until the very end.

Until next week…..

Bryan/College Station and Waco, Texas and Book Review

October 25th, 2016

Just returned from a trip to Texas. Howdy!! I love Texas and Texans. They may be the friendliest people on earth. Our first stop was Bryan/College Station, home to Texas A&M. What a wonderful campus. Here is a photo taken on our morning walk.



I was the guest of the Brazos Bluebonnet Quilt Guild. Here are some of the ladies hard at work during our class.




Texas A&M University is the site of The George W. Bush presidential library.



The library had a special exhibit of Barbara Bush’s wedding photo and gown.



Here is a close-up: simple, yet, oh-so elegant.




Bryan/College Station is also home to Lone Star Quiltworks quilt shop.  We had a nice visit with the owner, Terry Skrabanek.  You can find out more about the shop www.lonestarquiltworks.com



Terry has built a fantastic shop, with such exquisite fabrics, great classes including every thread and notion imaginable.







We, then, headed to Waco…. just for a visit. I watch waaaaaay too much HGTV so I had to visit Chip and Joanna’s new Magnolia shop and Silos.  Below are some photos in and around Magnolia.












While I was teaching, Joe said he was upset about the Russians hacking our systems. So, he placed a call to Putin.


I think we should all vote for Joe for president. His motto is “Make America Quilt More”




This cookbook has beautiful photography.  Just looking at the photos would have been enough for me.  But, there is so much more.  There are 47 different vegetables spotlighted.  For each one, there is a beautiful photo and then some general information about that vegetable.  On the following pages, there is more detailed information, like how to store it and how long it can be stored, grilling it, roasting it, steaming it…..nutritional information and then several recipes.  I have three friends who are all very, very good cooks. They taught me to not just purchase the cookbook but to read it from cover to cover, high-lighting recipes that you want to try.  I high-lighted lots of recipes in this cookbook.

More from Millington and Frankenmuth, MI and Book Review

October 10th, 2016

What I really liked about Millington, Michigan, other than all my new quilt friends, was how warm and welcoming the community was. Even the town’s water tower is smiling.




Here are some of the Millington Quilt Guild members taking a break from our day-long Ocean Sunrise class. Thanks again: Cindy, Carole, Doris B, Jan S, Karen, Jan H, Julie, Cheryl, Jean, Julie, Doris S, Maggie … and Jeananne (taking the photo).



As usual, while we were working on our project, Joe was out doing his favorite thing: eating. The local restaurant had fantastic cinnamon rolls. This was the regular size:



Our friend, Frank, loves cinnamon rolls. So, we got him the large size:


We gave it to him last Saturday and he says he hopes to finish it by Thanksgiving! Wow.


There are some things that I enjoy so much about traveling. Like visiting quaint shops and businesses. The Zeilinger Wool Company in Frankenmuth is one such place. Begun in 1910, the company processes wool and other animal fibers for local and national ranchers. They handle wool from a multitude of sheep, llamas and alpacas. The wool arrives on their docks in bags:


It is then washed….




Dyed, bleached or left natural.




Then, milled and rolled by equipment manufactured in 1910.



Check out the original leather belts used to run these great “mature” machines.



The finished product is bagged and returned to the owners. How wonderful.




During some of our recent car trips, we’ve been listening to some audio books.  We just finished “The Last Mile” by David Baldacci.


I am a fan of David Baldacci.  The beginning of this book had me so hooked I could not wait to hear where the story was going.  This is the second in the series with lead character Amos Decker.  Melvin Mars is on death row for killing his parents.  At the very last minute, he is granted a stay.  Seriously….I was hooked after reading that first part of the book.  Amos Decker was recently hired to work with the FBI on a special task force.  The death of Mars’ parents has some similarities to the death of Decker’s family.


Until next week……

Frankenmuth – Millington Quilters Guild

October 2nd, 2016

Joe and I just returned from one of our most amazing visits with a quilt guild: The Millington Quilters Guild.  The group is in East Central Michigan and they are Wonderful!!!

Here are the members and their guests at the luncheon (all 250 of them). Fabulous!




I was the guest speaker for their annual invitational luncheon held at the famous Zehnder’s Restaurant in Frankenmuth.



Winner, winner, chicken dinner!



The restaurant and grounds were beautiful…




The village of Frankenmuth looks like someone traveled to Bavaria and transported an entire German town to Michigan. Here is what were saw:







Wonderful sights, warm and happy people, fantastic food and a week we will never forget.





We got home and were greeted by our puppies: Tillie, who just turned 16 and Sasha 17 1/2.They were ready for some Sunday football!



Until next week.


Rockville Centre/Freeport, Long Island, NY and Book Review

September 25th, 2016

I love Long Island, New York…especially in the fall. This past week, I was so happy to return and spend three days with the Long Island Quilter’s Society. To learn more about the guild and their programs visit http://www.liqs.org

Here are some of the happy members just before my lecture….


and then at a workshop.




Joyce Fischer stopped by to share her finished Kansas Rose project. I love, love, love the fabric choices. Joyce added a little, covered cording before her binding for some added fun.  Well done Joyce!



Many of the communities on Long Island have fabulous community centers.  The lecture and workshops were held in some of these community centers.  The Freeport Community Center had a great mural of some of its famous residents.





Jones Beach, located close by, is beautiful.  I am certain it is packed during the summer months.



There are large, beautifully designed and constructed bathhouses every mile.





Also, in the fall, the State of New York hires a bunch of Canadians to man the beach parking lot toll booths.


Many of you may remember my stories of Margaret and Frank Senft, the older couple who always helped keep all my class packets in order. As you may know, Margaret passed away at age 91 in 2015. Frank, now 97, is still going strong. Frank’s church will be honoring veterans for their service this November and asked for info on Frank. Frank was an original Boggie-Woogie Bugle Boy during World War Two, serving in the Army’s Concert Band. I had to share this great photo. Thank you, Frank, for your service.







Bullseye is James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge’s newest thriller and the latest entry in the Michael Bennett series. I like his character development and want to read more about the Bennett household. Bennett is a detective with the NYPD and helps foil an assassination attempt on the President. Bennett won’t stop until he can find the assassin but fails to see some strange happenings at home with his son.


I am off to Michigan Tuesday.  Until next week…..