Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Quilter Karen at Picking Daisies

Meet Karen Petersen, our Official Picking Daisies Quilter

Using Picking Daisies' selection of cotton fabrics, Karen has made some wonderful quilts not only for our store, but as donations to local auctions (as this one is), and has even worked with customers to put together custom quilts using our fabrics.

Here is the lovely Karen showing off her latest creation:

We think that Karen has such a great talent for mixing colors and prints. Though this quilt is predominantly brown and orange, she adds such flourish with occasional splashes of teal blues and aquas. Pictures never do justice .... stop by Picking Daisies before mid-May to see it for yourself!

If this quilt is for you, then be sure to attend Cal Poly's Mustang Madness on Saturday, May 21st at the Alex Madonna Expo in San Luis Obispo so that you can bid on it.

Or, contact Picking Daisies and arrange for Karen to make you your very own custom quilt from our wonderful fabrics.

At our request, here is more about Karen in her own words:

"My love for quilts began early as my grandmother would make quilts for the grandkids out of scraps of fabric that my mom had sewn for me and my two sisters. We all learned to sew our own clothes, especially with the encouragement from my dad. He would pay for as much fabric as we wanted as long as we finished the project. (he was not so generous with store bought clothes) We made a lot of halter tops and summer shifts back then.

The first baby quilt I made was in a high school Home Ec class for my favorite English teacher. (it was yellow gingham and eyelet-ugh) After a few changes on my college path, I graduated with a degree in Home Ec from Cal Poly. I have continued making baby quilts for friends and family, and larger ones for those that were 'worthy' of this labor of love. Difficult to put a price on the time involved but I have always believed that there is good karma that goes into something that I spend so much time measuring, cutting, sewing, and just the feeling a good quality cotton.

My sewing projects have been diverse over the years. I rarely sew clothes for myself anymore, but I have made numerous dresses, shirts, Halloween costumes, and doll clothes for my kids. I have made home furnishings too, but still get the most satisfaction from making quilts. (My friend's seven year old still sleeps with the baby quilt I made for him)

I have entered several of my quilts in various shows. The most impressive is the 1999 Orange County Fair, where I won "Best in Show". I was awarded 'Best Use of Color' at the 2008 Mid-State Fair, along with two firsts and a third place ribbon that year.

I have been making quilts for my niece's and nephew's high school graduation. I am almost finished with Allison's which is turning out incredibly beautiful. She is a swimmer/water polo player, so this quilt is all blues, purples, green batiks. So pretty! And most of it was with fabric I already had in my stash! A quilters dream come true.

Fun quilts I have made include my son's 'boxer' quilt. Bryan unceremoniously brought all his boxers down from his room one day and said he wasn't 'doing' boxers anymore. I wasn't sure I wanted to know what he was doing, all I could see was a pile of fun, super soft, cotton fabrics that would make a great quilt. (who wants his old boxers?) I cut them all up into five inch squares, including the seams and fly when possible and put together a great 6x6 foot quilt. Very cool. Boy was he surprised! For my daughter, I have been saving five inch squares from the scraps of all the dresses I had made her. She has it in her dorm room. I also machine stitched words of wisdom around the border like, "get lots of sleep" "make good choices" and "call your mom". That one is pretty cool too.

I go in spurts when I get in the quilting mood. Rainy weather is great for sewing. I often get so wrapped up that nothing else gets done until I am finished. It has been a good way to fill my time. I have also watched a ridiculous amount of HGTV and Oprah while sewing. But at the end of the finished project I know that I have created something special; a lasting memory that will comfort and warm someone that is special to me."

-Karen Petersen


  1. Karen that is so wonderful! I didn't even remember that you quilted until you said something last night, and now I wake up to see this great article. I love the quilt and the story. Sheryl

  2. beautiful!! Aunt Karen makes the most amazing quilts!

  3. Hi Sis, Cool!! Remember when we used to carry the sewing machine from bedroom to bedroom depending on who had a project going? Those were the days. We'll have to have a quilting weekend soon. Anna

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  5. Auntie Karen~
    How awesome! I know Oprah would love one of your homemade quilts, maybe not the one from Bryan's underwear but one! :) Keep quilting if it's fun for you and is your passion I know all us grandkids have enjoyed them!

    Lots of love,