TEAM MEMBER and INSTRUCTOR
Karen grew up on the Bar-U-Ranch, 60 miles southwest of Calgary, in a family of very active artisans. This gave her a solid grounding in an exceptionally varied field of craft skills, from moose hair tufting to willow basketry to needlework.
Karen holds a Liberal Arts degree from Trinidad State Junior College (Trinidad, Colorado) and a BSc degree in Clothing and textiles from the UofA (Edmonton, Alberta). Karen has been instructing all over Alberta in the Fibre Arts field for the past 30 years. She has been a mainstay at Earthly Goods Quilting since 1989 an instructor and sales associate, “loving every minute”.
Karen is very active in many areas of fibre and needlework. She has taught for other organizations including the Edmonton Needle Work Guild at their Fibre Potpourri festival in 1987, 2007 and 2008 and at Quilt Canada in 1988 in Calgary and in 1991 in Ottawa. She is long-time member of the Edmonton & District Quilters Guild, Edmonton Needlecraft Guild and is a board member of the Focus on Fibre Art Association. Karen belongs to the National Button Society as well as the Edmonton Button Club. Another favourite group she belongs to is the Wooly Bees – a 10-member group who meet once a month working strictly with wool fabrics. Karen also enjoys her membership in the Wild Rose Antique Collectors Society!
Although Karen is officially retired, she keeps very busy enjoying her family (46 years married to Dan, two children and two grandsons), gardening in her beautiful backyard, and a variety of friends. She is a member of the Queen Alexandra Community League.
Her teaching portfolio for Earthly Goods currently includes Applique Basics (part of the Quilting by Degree program), Beading Basics, Needle Felting, Stargazey techniques, It’s A Wrap (baskets), Summer/Winter Pears (embroidery). Together with Wanda Cracknell, they host Grad Club, an exclusive program for graduates of the Quilting by Degree program.
Karen’s love of fine needlework can be found in such projects as silk ribbon embroidery, rug hooking, cloth dolls, crazy quilting, punch needle embroidery and wire ribbon basics. Karen’s work these days focuses on a collage of her favourite techniques – rug hooking into a wall hanging made of wools, exquisitely embellished with embroidery, beads and buttons. Karen has won a few ribbons for her pieces.
Winners of The Prairie Rose Challenge (Edmonton & District Quilt Guild bi-annual contest) have been fortunate to receive one of Karen’s heavily embellished prize ribbons. Each of the seven category ribbons are encrusted with beads and buttons, taking Karen 5 hours each. “I love beading and making these ribbons is my chance to give back to the Guild.”
Karen has a lifetime of memories tied up in her projects and a stash like no other! “I keep the majority of my stash in the attic and my husband fears if I add anymore, the ceiling will probably give way!” Some finished pieces are proudly displayed while others are given as special gifts. “Life is great…. Do what you love to do and don’t mind what others think!”