Hey guys! It’s Friday again!
I have someone special for you today! My Friend Karen Gass! I met Karen I want to say about 5 or 6 years ago online in a knitting group! We hit it off right away! She is just so much fun and a GREAT source of knowledge and always always ready to jump in the breach and help you out if need be! She also test-knits a lot of my patterns for me and is responsible for them looking so nice! (She’s a whiz with formatting!) We have worked on and off on diverse projects together for some time now and it’s always fun and interesting. Now she does not only do test-knitting and formatting! No! Not by a long shot! She also is VERY crafty and has a shop and all.. but don’t let me hog the floor! I will let her tell you all in her own words what she is up to!
I give you:
I’m Karen Gass, and I’ve been sewing since I was 8 yrs old. Sewing is my main love, while knitting, crocheting and all types of embroidery compete for second place. I learned to sew in 4-H club after school. But my grandmother was also a great seamstress. She sewed for people ever since I can remember, up until the day she passed away.
I sewed my own clothes through school, even my fancy prom type dresses. After I got married, I made most of my kids clothes, and knit them simple sweaters. When they got older they weren’t interested in my ‘home made’ clothes any more, they wanted clothes from the mall! And I was a little tired of sewing my own clothes, they turned out ‘ok’ but weren’t as good as I wanted them to be.
So, I turned to quilting. I taught myself to quilt and was soon making quilts left and right! My sister and I started doing craft shows and we kept a booth in the local craft mall. I wasn’t sure what I was going to make for the booth and the shows, but I hung up one of my quilts while we were setting up our booth, just to have something in it. It sold right away and then it seemed as though I’d decided! I’d make quilts! So, I made ‘I don’t know how many’ hand quilted wallhangings. Most were in the 36” square range and then smaller ones about 6 x 8 primitives that I hung from a small stick with twine, and quilted pillows. Our booth became very popular and at the start of each show we had a crowd at our booth, vying for the newest things and buying most of what we had. It certainly was an ego booster!
I started designing quilts and selling patterns. In 2005, my book came out ‘Log Cabin Quilts: A Brand New Story’ by Karen Murphy. Then I got married and all that name recognition went out the window! 🙂 That’s ok, I’d rather have my husband than any recognition for anything. He’s a wonderful husband!
Then my daughter and I started an online Quilting magazine called Cotton Spice. Actually the first four issues were printed and distributed, but as the subscribers grew, it wasn’t enough to pay for more copies, so we decided to publish online and on CD. It went well, but not well enough. I chalk it up to being ‘before our time’ as now there are lots of online magazines and I even work for one as a copy editor! The Quilt Pattern Magazine.
In the past few years, I’ve started polishing my garment making skills, because I do love to make nice clothes. I’ve been reading some couture technique books and learned quite a bit. I have a few clients I make clothes for, and myself, and then also for my grandchildren of which I have 14 🙂 None living me tho 😦 They are spread out between Alaska, California and Idaho. Well, I do have two of them that live here in Joplin, two teenage boys, and they way past of the age of having stories read to them 🙂 So, I just signed up for Skype and hopefully can do some chatting with them and at least seeing the little ones play and listen to them speak their own funny language.
So, besides all that I also have my own personal blog where I talk about a lot of things, mostly sewing. You’re more than welcome to visit Karen’s Needlework and an Etsy shop where I sell natural laundry soap and my newest product Quilt Soap! Quilts need to washed in a mild laundry soap, not detergent, and my soap just fits the bill! A friend of mine who does quilt repair and restoration has been using it to wash the quilts in, and they come out clean as a whistle! They are packaged up cute as a button, so you can include them in quilt you give as gifts, or quilts you sell
So, I’d better wrap this up, because I have sewing to do! 🙂 It was nice to meet ya’ll, please come visit my blog and Etsy shop. I’ll also give you a coupon code for my Etsy shop for Free Shipping, just because you were nice enough to read this and stop by to see what I have! FREESHIPPINGINT is the code, just enter it in the coupon code box when you purchase and your shipping fee will vanish right before your eyes! (for US orders only) Have a wonderful day!!!