Karen McTavish

(218) 391-8218
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McTavish Quilting Studio

Karen McTavish ~ Award Winning Longarm Quilter,

Author, Instructor, Speaker, Judge and APQS Dealer


longarm service

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Some YouTube demonstration videos...

Art videos with Karen and Kathy McTavish:
the quilt / i
madrigal for snow and heat

Here are a few examples of me teaching McTavishing:
McTavishing 1
McTavishing 2
McTavishing 3

Here I am showing how to quilt Victorian Feathers:
Victorian Feathers.

Here I am trying out my brand new 2009 APQS Millennium with the new Quilt Glide feature:
APQS video

Here's a video from my time teaching at Cranberry Quiltworks:
Cranberry Quiltworks video

Here's the video re-introducing Whitework Quilting:
Whitework Quilting video.

The products I like...

People often ask me what machine I use and what thread I like. The machine I use is an APQS Millennium: www.APQS.com and the thread I like is Fil-Tec's "Magna-Glide." Visit Bobbin Central to read my testimonial about their thread.

I found a source for those who want to find the trapunto batting I use but do not want to buy the entire ROLL. Check out www.battylady.com or email: sales@battylady.com or phone: 909-816-2545 for more information.

Cotton Sateen Source: 118" wide, 320 count, first quality cotton sateens in white, ivory, black, tan, navy, burgundy and scarlet. Free swatches, same day priority service, sold in half yard continous units or full bolts. We ship all over the world. Christian Lane Quilters, Jim and Wilma Cogliantry / Ph: 860-829-2821 / Email: clquilters@sbcglobal.net, or visit our web site: www.christianlanequilters.com for more information.

Wide wholecloth fabrics: The Ulster Linen Co. / 148 Madison Ave. / NY, NY 10016-6704 / Telephone: 212-684-5534 - ask for Yoselin Songco

My past work...


This is video is from the last wholecloth I was commissioned to do for the wedding couple you will see in the video. It's a nice video set to cello music by Kathy McTavish. It's also set to a poem done by the Duluth Poet Laureate, Sheila Packa. The three of us plus Lee Zimmerman are doing a project together with DAIP (Domestic Abuse Intervention Program) in October.

Silk Painting+Cello+Poetry+Quilting

Facing Truth and Reaching for Hope featured Lee Zimmerman (silk painter), Kathy McTavish (cellist), Sheila Packa (poet) and Karen McTavish (quilter). This event celebrated the thirty year anniversary of the Domestic Abuse Intervention Program (DAIP). This event was held in the Clyde Iron Works Building / 2920 West Michigan Street / Duluth, MN, 55806 / (218) 727-1150. Visit the website for more details: Brave Performers

The July 2010 issue of The Quilter features an article detailing my history with quilting, how I developed McTavishing, and it shows multiple quilts which have been quilted either by me or in my style by my students.

I was featured on HGTV's Simply Quilts (episode #1005) in April 2004. The episode featured my book, Whitework Quilting, a Trapunto how-to demonstration and some longarm techniques. The episode replays occasionally. To see when you can catch it check their website for more information:


My work appears in several instructional quilting books such as Joanne Line's Quilts from the Quilt Maker's Gift #1 and #2. I have quilted for Foundation by the Yard, Sharon Hultgren's tour with Hobbs Bonded Fibers. Also, my machine quilting appears in the October 2002 Issue of Quilters Newsletter Magazine.

My work was featured in Helen Squire's new quilting design book - Helenís Mix & Match Quilting Patterns. I quilted her design for the front cover and she named a new design after me. For more information on Helen's book see her website:


I have authored five books, Whitework Quilting, Mastering the Art of McTavishing, The Secrets of Elemental Quilting, Quilting for Show, and Custom Curves. Check my products page for availability. For more information about my publisher click the link below:


Fun stuff...

Amy K. Johnson from Amy's Free Motion Quilting Adventures is running a McTavishing quilt-along in March 2014. Here's the direct link if you would like join: McTavishing Monday: A Free Motion Link Party.

If you are looking for a good machine quilting magazine look no further than Machine Quilting Unlimited.

Here's a great site with lots of quilting related links: The Ultimate Guide to Quilting.

Some of Karenís quilt photography by Wanda j. Pearcy- assistant professor / university of minnesota / art + design / 317 humanities / 1201 ordean court / duluth, mn / 55812 / email: wpearcy@d.umn.edu / website: www.d.umn.edu/~wpearcy / phone: 218-726-6286. See bio pics on my Karen & Quilts Gallery page.

I've been featured on the Subversive Stitchers website: www.subversivestitch.blogspot.com

There is a board game for quilters on the market and it is really fun. Check it out at:


My mom's Angel quilt is in this CBS News online video at least twice. It shows up a few minutes into it and then again at the end. To view, just click on the link and it will play after the commercial. Click on full screen for better viewing. www.cbsnews.com.

My mom is teaching pictorial art quilting techniques. If you are interested in learning about art quilting or to see her teaching schedule click on the link below:


Custom Quilting Signs

Some of my dad's customs quilting signs. Some of my dad's customs quilting signs.

These Quilting Signs are custom made wood signs by Karen McTavish's father.
Point your customers to your studio or sewing room!
The dimensions of these signs are 5 1/2" x 30".
Ready to hang.
Colors available: Navy blue, royal blue, light blue, teal, forest green, red, custom colors available.
When you order, specify which direction you want (pointing left/right).
Shipping is generally UPS and very well shipped to avoid damage to the sign.
Now available through my Etsy Store. Click here for more info.
Custom signs also available.

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