Mountain Top Quilt Guild, Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival in Hampton, VA and Book Review

February 28th, 2017

The Mountain Top Quilters in Prescott, Arizona made my pattern, “Fiesta Mexico”, for their opportunity quilt.  I am very impressed ladies.  I hope you sell lots and lots of tickets.


Here are just a few of my favorite quilts from the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival.

Barbara Korengold from Maryland made “Threads of Friendship”.  She won Best Hand Workmanship in the Traditional category.






Nikki Hill from Florida won the Best Machine Sewing award in the Innovative category for her quilt, “Moonswept”.





Gail Smith from Illinois won 3rd place in the traditional category for “Sarah’s Revival in Blue”.



“Hana” was made by Michiko Yonemaru from Virginia.





Linda Thielfoldt from Michigan made “Midnight in Baltimore”.





“Wisteria Wonder” was made by Roxane Lessa from North Carolina.  She won Best Pictorial Wall Quilt.



Vicki Ruebel from Nevada made “The Big Pickle”.  She won 2nd place in the Modern category.




Here are some of the lovely ladies in my classes hard at work:




Book Review

While driving to the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival, Joe and I listened to David Baldacci’s book “The Guilty”.  Will Robi works for the government as an assassin.  He is highly trained to eliminate threats to the US before they reach our shores.  He has an unsuccessful mission and is second guessing himself.  His father, who he has not seen since he departed the small town where he was raised twenty years earlier, is charged with murder.  Robi goes back to his home town and has lots of issues to resolve.  While trying to find the truth about the murder for which his father is charged, he stumbles unto several challenging issues.  Good read.


Until next week…..

Best Winter Ever and Book Review

February 21st, 2017

This past week, we awoke to five inches of snow and it was beautiful.

Our bluebirds were not real happy.


Their puffed out blue and orange feathers looked great against the white snow.


Tillie was so happy to get to play in the snow.  She loves the snow.



Within two days, the snow disappeared.

We heard a local newscast mention a massive flock of snow geese near us and it just happened to be within two miles from my favorite fabric store, so off we went. Here is what we saw….




With a whoosh, they rose and took off, all 75,000 of them.


See you next year!!



Then, this weekend, temperatures hit 70 degrees in Carlisle. See what bloomed this morning!?! Best winter ever!!  We are having some record breaking warm temperatures.  What is not to like?



The Kathy Dunigan Applique Academy

I was so happy to teach at Kathy Dunigan’s Applique Academy in Texas for the third year in a row. My students were great.

They had too much fun.


If you get a chance, sign up for next year’s classes at the academy. Visit the website to find out more.




I am still working on preparing edges for a new applique project and listened to this Michael Connelly book, “The Wrong Side of Goodbye”.  I like the reoccurring character Harry Bosch.  Harry worked with the LAPD for 30 years but is now doing some private investigating work.  A billionaire needs Harry’s help finding a possible heir.  Harry also volunteers as an investigator for a small, under staffed, police department and gets involved in serial rape case.  This audio book kept my interest throughout and I would add it to your reading list for sure.

Thailand and Book Review

February 15th, 2017

Joe returned this past week from his annual trip to visit his brother and nephew in Thailand. He spent a week on Koh Chang (Elephant Island) and, as always, took some great photos. I thought you might enjoy seeing some of them.

View from his deck.

View from the dive boat.


This tree is over 1000 years old and over 200 feet tall!


Each town has a Wat or temple,  similar to our churches. Their exteriors are marvelous.



Here is one dedicated to elephants.  Remember, he was on Elephant Island (named because it is shaped like an elephant’s head).

Incredible sculptures and colors.






Upon seeing guys ride baby elephants down the street, Joe had to follow.



They were going to get a shower.



What a great face.



Also, some other locals: monkeys. Thanks for the grub, Joe.




One day, Joe visited some waterfalls and saw this little guy along his journey.  He might look good in one of my quilt designs…….


Beautiful waterfalls.

Check out this school of fish.

Hope you enjoyed seeing some of Joe’s photos.



Again, as I am working on a new hand applique project, I am listening to audio books.  I love doing this.  There are so many books I want to read. Honestly, there are not enough hours in the day because when I have some open time on my schedule, I really like to sew/quilt.  Sewing and listening to audio books…..perfect combination.

In 2008, Samantha Kofer is working at a very large Wall Street law firm putting in 80+ hour work weeks.  (Does not sound like fun to me.)  When the recession hits, many employees of the firm, including Samantha, are furloughed.  It is suggested that they work for a non-profit without pay for a year and then they could possibly get their jobs back.  Samantha ends up with a non-profit in Brady, Virginia. Samantha goes from New York City to a town of around 2,000 residents to work at a legal aid clinic.  Many of the cases have to do with coal mining and Samantha has a lot to learn.  Definitely kept my interest as I was sewing.  There were some slow parts but I still enjoyed this book.

Until next week…..

Steve’s Sewing and Vacuums and Book Review

January 30th, 2017

Recently, I had the great, good fortune to teach at Steve’s Sewing and Vacuums in King of Prussia, PA.  If you have never been to the store, it is worth your time to make the trip.


One of the employees I spent time with was Lou.  She is the marketing director.  As I have mentioned in previous blog posts, I really like working with organized people and Lou is one of those.  She helped to make my trip easy and relaxed.


I also did a lot of correspondence with Liz.  Another bright smiling face in the store.  And, check out all the sewing machine accessories behind Liz.  One very well stocked store.


In addition to selling sewing machines, and so much more, Steve’s carries some appliances.  This actually benefits the students, teachers and employees as Steve had lunch brought in for everyone.  Very nice.


Then you see Karen’s bright smiling face as she stands in my favorite part of the store….the fabric.  The shop has a very nice selection of fabric and notions for quilters. Good news for me….fabric was on sale while I was there.  Guess what?  I did make some purchases…..


And then, of course, there is Steve.  Apparently crowned king/queen/princess of the day, he demonstrates at the machine while wearing his tiara. Love people who have a sense of humor.

It would appear that they are all having a fun time in the store.



As I’m preparing a lot of applique edges for a new block, I listened to the Lisa Scottoline book, “Most Wanted”.  It was great to keep my mind occupied while I was preparing edges, as this is a very mindless job.  But, preparing the edge…….worth every minute.  The book is about a young couple, Christine and Marcus who cannot get pregnant and decide to use a donor.  The donor’s name is unknown but they have seen his picture and know some background.  During Christine’s baby shower, the TV is on in the background and Christine sees someone who looks like their donor and he is accused of being a serial murderer.  I was intrigued as I listened to the story unfold.

Best Dog Ever, Students’ Work and Book Review

January 24th, 2017

Our dear Sasha passed away this week.  She was three weeks shy of her 18th birthday. Almost 18 years ago, when we went to pick a puppy at the breeder, our Vet advised us not to pick the feistiest puppy or the shiest puppy in the group.  But, when we visited and saw the five puppies , one little girl sat shaking in the corner of the sofa. I picked the shiest and we named her Sasha.  Best decision ever!  So glad I did not take the advice of the vet. Below is a photo of  Joe the day we brought her home.  Who could resist that face….Joe’s and Sasha’s.


She was the BEST:  Whether fishing with Joe…



or helping me pick fabric!



Congratulating me on finishing my first marathon….



and putting up with her little sister. What a great puppy.



Sasha had a wonderful life. RIP sweet girl.  You will be missed terribly.



On to good news.  Many of you hear me talk about my friend, Frank Senft.  He turned 98 this week.  Happy Birthday, Frank.





I just got back from teaching at Steve’s Sewing, Quilting and Vacuum in King of Prussia….more on Steve’s later….  Fay Ann Grider brought a project she made in class with me a long time ago.  Fay Ann and I are not talking about how long ago.  Here is a photo of Fay Ann with her finished, “Pineapple Log Cabin”.  Great job, Fay Ann.


And, in my email I received a note from Anne King.  She took my Fiesta Mexico-Block Three class with the York Quilters Guild in the spring.  She finished her border very differently than mine.  I really like your border Anne.  And the addition of the covered cording is very nice.  Thanks so much for sharing your photo.




Stephanie Plum and her side kick, Lulu, are at it again: bounty hunting and undercover work. People are being murdered at a local ice cream factory and the girls need to go undercover. And, free ice cream for all. Grandma Mazer is in love again. This time to an octogenarian biker who likes to take her for rides on and off his motorcycle. Could not stop laughing through the entire book. Bravo Janet Evanovich and thanks for the memories.

Sayre/Athens, PA, Students’ Work and Book Review

January 15th, 2017

The first week of 2017 was a wonderful driving trip from Carlisle PA to the Endless Mountain Quilt Guild in Sayre, PA. I was a little worried because driving north in Pennsylvania in January usually means cold, snow and ice, but we were lucky and the temperatures soared into the 50s.

The Endless Mountain Quilt Guild is very active and my contact person Linda was great. Here is a shot of the group.  To learn more visit their website at

Two ladies from the guild brought finished projects from classes they had taken prior to this visit.

Here is Charlotte Stevens with her finished Garden Medley, very nice!



And here is Mary Ann Cleary with here finished Kansas Rose project. Wonderful.



While I was teaching Joe drove out into the countryside and came upon this open field. He said there were four cars stopped and taking photos. See the white dot in the center upper left.


A close-up


It was an arctic owl which came to freezing cold Pennsylvania for the winter. Joe had seen an article in the local paper and drove an hour through the back-roads of Bradford County until he found it.

On our drive home we came upon Stonestown Covered Bridge. It was built in 1850 by Sadler S. Rodgers, and was magical.



Shrouded in mist.



A front view.



And of course we had to drive through it.





I am a Nicholas Sparks fan.  I think I have read every book that he has written.  I know I’ve said this before when writing reviews on his books…..I really like that he takes a limited number of characters and really develops those characters.

Russel Green is in his early thirties, lives in Charlotte, NC with his beautiful wife and 6 year old daughter.  He’s working as a very successful advertising executive.  He decides to start his own business and his life drastically changes.  Because his business is very slow to start his wife goes back to work and he takes on the “stay at home” dad role.  He’s lucky to have his parents and only sister also living in the Charlotte area.  As always with Nicholas Sparks, you might need a tissue or two……

Until next week



The Beach, New Year, Book Review and Students’ Work

January 3rd, 2017

The  Outer Banks for Christmas

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is placed on hold at the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

We left the ice storm which hit the east coast the week before Christmas and arrived in Corolla to 72 degrees and sunny. Ahh, life is good.

Great sun rises



and sunsets all week.



And……… lots of relaxing! I spent the week sewing and reading. I did not have to do my hair or makeup for an entire week.  Awesome.

We returned home on Christmas Day to a wonderful gift: The Pittsburgh Steelers making it to the playoffs!




Book Review

On our drive to and from the beach, we listened to Lee Childs’ newest “Jack Reacher” book, Night School.


This prequel is set in late 1990s and Reacher is a major in the Army. He has just been awarded a Legion of Merit Medal and receives orders to attend an advanced training school but is given no time limit. When he arrives for his classes, he finds an FBI agent and a CIA operative, both who had recently received special recognition, his only “classmates.” The instructor turns out to be the President’s National Security Advisor and his deputy.  The class is advised that a terrorist group is about to pay 100 million dollars for something from an unknown American. Class assignment: find out who is selling what for 100 million and why. Jack Reacher is up to the task and if he has to kick a little butt to find answers, let’s just say he opens a few cans of whoop-ass. Thank you Lee Childs for another great book.

Students’ Work

Estelle Frederick and her mother, Olivia Wiley, took my “Garden Medley” workshop in November with Everybody’s Quilt Guild in Westminster, Md. Here is Estelle’s finished project. Good Job!


And, here is Olivia, her mother’s, finished project. Like mother like daughter! Good job, Olivia!



Cheers to a great year of health, happiness, prosperity and quilting to all!!!

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

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



“’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.