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  • Writer's pictureKaren

📐 🧰 Everyone Loves A Good Hack

🎉 For this week's video I gathered together some of my favourite measuring hacks. Because sometime you don’t have a ruler, or you're not in the mood to do the math. I actually made the video before I left for Hawaii. But with the distance and poor bandwidth, it had to wait until I returned to finalize the edit.

I know it’s been awhile since my last newsletter. So much has happened this past year and I have had to be strict with myself to keep my priorities in order. Family, health, youtube channel, social media, emails, newsletters, lectures etc. And with my daughter’s wedding, the loss of my assistant and managing my trigeminal neuralgia, there has just not been enough of me to go round. So the tasks at the bottom of the list had to be cut.

But now I am back from Hawaii, it’s time to get some help and get a team in place. And I am starting with this newsletter.

First Hawaii was spectacular. I just cannot say enough adjectives to describe all the fun that we had. We started with the Hawaiian quilting class with sisters Cissy and Rae of Poakalani Co. Then we went island hopping. Look for next week’s video and I’ll tell you all about it.

Next on the agenda is finishing up some UFO’s and WIP before the end of the year. I have

  • crumb quilt,

  • traveling quilt

  • New Mexagon Mille fiore

  • #trending quilt

  • One wedding gift (from 2021)

  • One commission quilt

  • Two longarm projects

Now that I see them written out, it does look impossible.🙄 I will have to focus on the top 4 and go from there.

The 2024 Declutter challenge is also on the launching pad. Look for the sign-up the first week of December. Personally, I feel that I have kept a really tight ship with the clutter in my sewing room this year…but I am often surprised during the challenge to discover what sneaks in. For this year’s challenge my intention is to take a hard look at my studio and focus most of my efforts decluttering there.

Also on the to-do list this month is finalizing the plans for next year’s trips. There is the cruise to Iceland June 27-July 8, 2024 and a Textile Tour through Holland & Belgium September 4 - 14, 2024. If you are interested in joining me on either adventure you can find out more information here on my website.

Karen’s Quilt Circle has also returned. I have just interviewed some fascinating guests and I can’t wait for you to discover them too. If you have not seen my lastest podcast it was my very first with two guests Masey Caplan and Jen Simonic of the Loose Ends Projects. Their aim is to connect unfinished projects with makers with the skills to complete them. Thank you viewers for recommending them.

Now to get back to sewing some crumbs together.

All the best. Karen

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Hi Karen, I follow you on Social Media. I saw above that you have been dealing with trigeminal neuralgia. I'm so sorry to hear that. I had it about 3 years ago and was Blessed to find a qualified surgeon to treat me. I'm hoping you have had that same Blessing as this disease is not pleasant by any stretch of the imagination. I'm holding you in my heart and praying you have relief from this very painful disease. I LOVE your videos. I learn from them EVERY TIME. Your declutter ones should be required for anyone who needs ANY downsizing in their life (like every seamstress I've ever met). Best wishes in the coming year for great healt…


Hi Karen......I am so sorry to hear that you suffer with TN. I have suffered since 2001 and tried every doctor and drug in the book. Some days I just wanted to cut my head off. Then in 2011 I had other awful neurologic symptoms and after a lot of research and reading I found it was caused by having an oil-based contrast injected into my spine in 1980 for an was left in there instead of removing it. They did the same to my father. Although I had 4 MRIs of my head I am glad I resisted the offer of having neurosurgery to release the wasn't squashed. I now have it under control with a muscl…


sorry to hear youve been suffering from trigeminal neuralgia - i have suffered in the past. Fortunately i have had homeopathis treatment that worked. Actually, it worked for 28 years then returned - tried the medical route again but it didnt help so went back and saw a different homeopath. The first one had retired. I dont know how it works but it has and been clear for another 8 years. Hope you have found something to help


Sue Hudson
Sue Hudson
Nov 13, 2023

Karen, thanks' for the update. You are right Family and Health first, (and that includes mental health). Glad you took time for yourself. Look forward to your posts and down to earth approach to this passion (addiction?) called Quilting. Your suggestion to the Home Depot Husky table has been a game changer for me. Just love it.

And here is a hack of my own. Needed a travel ironing mat that could be rolled up. I saw some that used the silver quilted material to make one. My ironing "table" is a lateral metal file cabinet (24" high) right next to my sewing machine (it was too heavy to move). I have my wool mat there. And I know i…


Ann Guss
Ann Guss
Nov 13, 2023

Hi Karen,

I'm a long time sewer and a new quilter. We turned my small dining room into a sewing room (windows on 3 sides, so lots of light). No remodeling, but careful selection of furniture for form and function. I'm thinking about rid of the ironing board; what do you think of wool mats? I loved your remake of the kitchen cart but I may need to just put a pad of some sort on top of my bookcase. My son will help me get it to ironing board height. My worktable is my new kitchen island and I love it! No more getting down on floor (that's harder these days) or leaning over the bed (ditto).

I'm enjoying…

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