Featured Quilter of the Week @runsewfun
Karen Burton is an enthusiastic runner and sewer, as her handle (@runsewfun) suggests. She loves signing up for fun events in both the race and quilt worlds, and has been to exciting locales and met wonderful people doing both of those things!
All photos courtesy of Karen Burton (@runsewfun)
Pickle Dish Variation tutorial by Red Pepper Quilts
How did you get started on your quilt making journey?
My story is similar to that of so many others. I learned to sew as a young girl when a neighbor was teaching my mom. I wanted in on that! She had me start by making a dress for myself to learn a bit of everything; zipper, button and button hole (with only a zig-zag stitch), set in sleeve, and hem. I loved making and wearing the dress and my sewing continued. When my children were born my time and the expense of fabric vs. ready made clothing had me pack away my machine and it only appeared at Halloween time or for home dec needs. Fast forward to sitting on a beach in Florida with my sister a few years ago talking about finding a new hobby. She reminded me how much I used to love sewing. It really was an aha moment for me. I started researching online for a new, updated sewing machine and discovered the world of Modern Quilting (and blogging!). I not only updated my sewing machine, but this past summer purchased a new camera as well. Turns out I enjoy photographing the quilts as much as making them.
Wallflowers Pattern by Cluck Cluck Sew
Do you have a favorite pattern or block that you consistently turn to?
I couldn’t possibly pick a favorite pattern but once I discovered the “Quilt in a Day” Flying Geese ruler that became my favorite block. Actually my favorite quilt to date started out as just play with the ruler. I used 99 cent fat quarters from JoAnn’s because I didn't think I was good enough for good fabric. I love online quilt alongs and currently I’m participating in both the 1930’s Farmer’s Wife and Splendid Sampler groups. I’m starting to notice that if flying geese are in the block I’m more apt to make it!
Flying Geese Quilt
You have been on a number of sewing retreats in the last couple of years. What keeps you going back for more?
They’re fun! My favorite thing about the Modern Quilting community is all the sharing. There is such a wealth of free information and inspiration everywhere. Attending retreats and taking classes helps support the pattern and fabric designers who’ve really excited me. Meeting other quilters and following them on Instagram and now Ello is part of the whole Modern Quilting movement. Sometimes registration for these retreats is like that of a popular race. You need to set an alarm to be at your computer at a specific time.
I signed up for Sewtopia Chicago just to meet Rita Hodge (@redpepperquilts). I ended up shop-hopping with Latifah Saafir (@latifahsaafirstudios)! Other attendees included Angela Pingel (@angelapingle), Faith Jones(@freshlemonsquilts), and Lee Henrich (@freshlypieced). (These are three of the first bloggers I ever followed.) Best of all, I find everyone to be even lovelier in person than you imagine them to be. It really is a wonderful community.
Kansas Dugout pillow from Sewtopia Chicago class
How long have you been a runner?
My running story started 7.5 years ago. I was heavier than I’d ever been and decided I needed to pick up the pace, length, and frequency of my walks. I started by running a block here and there. I worked up to running all the east-west streets and walking the north-south. It took 6 months until I could run my 4 mile route without stopping. That was a big day for me. I continued running and a friend asked me if I wanted to run a leg of a relay of the Detroit Marathon. I declined (it was 6 miles, too far for me) but it got me to thinking…maybe a marathon was in my future. I learned the next year’s marathon was on my 50th birthday and I decided that was a sign for me. I set some mileage goals and met them so in late June, on the last day of registration, I signed up. I followed Hal Higdon’s training schedule and on my 50th birthday I successfully ran from Detroit, across the Ambassador Bridge, through the streets of Windsor, Ontario, back to the US through the tunnel, through some beautiful old neighborhoods of Detroit, around Belle Isle, along the Detroit River Walk and across the finish line! It was absolutely the most amazing day of my life!
You once mentioned a past running event in Paris, and I must know more! Were you there just for the race, or were you already in France for another reason?
You really have been reading my blog! Yes, a year after Detroit a friend who was turning 50 invited a few friends to join her in the Bordeaux region for the Marathon du Medoc. 42km and 22 Chateaux. It’s an event to take up running for…even if you’re not a runner. The entire village puts on quite a weekend. There is a pasta party worthy of a movie set the night before and a 10K walk through the vineyards followed by a brunch the day after. It was my first trip to Europe. After the race my husband and I rode the train through France to Italy. We hiked through the villages of the Cinque Terra (before the mudslides) and finished our trip in Florence where I finally got to meet Michelangelo’s David!
A late repost to get this in my feed.