Today’s feature is Karen of Blooming Poppies!  Karen has been blogging for a year, and attended the Sewing Summit with us!  I hope you enjoy getting to know Karen better —
1. When did you begin quilting?
I began quilting when my oldest daughter was almost two, just over 5 years ago.  We were at Joanne’s, looking for glue or something, and she pointed out this cute little pink and purple fairy/star fabric.  I don’t know what came over me but right then and there I had the vision of a quilt for her.   I didn’t know the first thing about quilting but had seen my grandma make a few when I was little.  I bought that fairy fabric, some coordinating fabric and went home to find where my old sewing machine was buried.  After getting reacquainted with my machine- a ten year old Kenmore I bought a Sears, I got to work designing her quilt.  I don’t think I even knew that patterns existed.  I have to laugh about it now, how much I didn’t know that I didn’t know; 1/4 inch seams, matching seams, rotary cutter??? ha!!  Ignorance is bliss I suppose,  I enjoyed the process  much more than I expected.

"time traveler" quilt

 With a brand new baby as well as my toddler at the time however, my ability to keep making quilts was limited.  So I made a couple more in those first three years but I would say it was just in the last two years, after our third and last baby got a bit older,  that I have really become serious about quilting and sewing. I have learned so much, all self taught, so mostly by the many mistakes I have made.
2. Why do you quilt?
I quilt because I have to.  I feel happy when I’m designing a new quilt.  I love the process of creating things, and am drawn to all things artsy/crafty, but quilting is by far my favorite “medium”.  I see my design wall as a blank canvas just calling out for some color, line, design, etc.  I love the limitless possibilities in quilting and I have grown to love the community as well.  I have been so inspired and supported by the Modern Quilting blogging world, my own personal quilting blog,  Flickr groups, and my local Modern Quilt Guild. I still consider myself a newbie quilter and I look forward to continuing this path and growing as a quilter/designer.
3. What is your favorite quilting tip?
Pay attention to detail,  but relax and have fun with it at the same time!!! In my best moments, I like to treat it like a form of meditation.

"Fact or Fiction" quilt front

4. What was your inspiration for your Quilt Festival quilt?
My inspiration came from my Kona Solids Sampler Card that I received at the Sewing Summit-Thank you very much!!  That combined with all the colors of fall and the Indian Corn I was seeing at the pumpkin patch, farmer’s market, grocery store, etc. all came together in this quilt.
 5. Do you sew other things?
Yes, I enjoy making bags, pillow covers, hot pads, etc.  although I have only made a handful, I also like making clothing-dresses, skirts for my three young daughters.  I will try just about any sewing project because I love learning new sewing skills and adding to my repertoire of knowledge.  I am so inspired by all the creativity I see from other crafters, quilters, sewers. I love it all and, like probably all of us, just wish I had a bit more time for it all.

"what's for breakfast?" quilt

6. Anything else you would like us to know about you?
I am a closet bird-watcher/lover, and I love black jelly beans!!
Thank you for sharing your quilts, and your story with us Karen!  I love the freedom in your quilts, and your tip is perfect!  I love the hum of the machine as I work through a new design.
Have a great weekend everyone!