Sew Karen-ly Created...

If you have arrived here via a link (such as to a tutorial) click on "Sew Karen-ly Created" to return to the latest blog post. I invite you to my website to see a gallery of quilts and patterns available for purchase. The picture above shows "Log Canada", photographed at the Public Gardens in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Comments are always appreciated, simply click the word "comments" at the end of each post to leave your message. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Bordering Global Warning

It's taken awhile to decide how to finish up the Global Warming quilt.  At 80" x 80", it's too large to be a wall quilt, so it's destined to be used on a bed. Lots of folks tell me they prefer square quilts, but I don't.  A bed is rectangular, so for a quilt to cover it properly, it needs to be rectangular too...right? This is one area where I think we should do what suits our purposes instead of sticking to a size set by a chart found on the internet.
My grandmother's beautiful quilts are all too short on our beds;  Gram didn't like the quilt to come up over the pillows.  I do.  But I also don't like the quilt dragging on the floor at the sides, so to make this one work, I am only adding borders to the top and bottom of the quilt.
Next was to decide what the border should be - plain? circles to echo the central one? stars for a sky? Hmmm...lots of options. I didn't want anything too cute, as this quilt will have a male owner. In the end, I decided on triangles, to complement the geometric squares and circles of the centre. They were cut from leftover fabrics used in the body of the quilt.
I sewed the triangles together in two long strips, and gave them a good spritzing with homemade starch. I also starched and pressed the quilt top well. You can't see it in this shot, but there is stay-stitching around the perimeter of the pieced top, 1/8" away from the edge.  The stitching and the starching make a big difference in having a nice, smooth border seam.
I added a 3" plain black strip before the pieced border, just to separate the patterns.  You can't see this in the black, but my method for joining the plain strips for length differs from the way most around here do it.  I butt the short ends together and sew a straight seam.  I press this seam open, and centre it on the quilt top. (If this were a print fabric, I would match the pattern.)  The joining seam disappears into the quilt. I never understand why folks use a diagonal seam to join a border strip, and then place it off-centre on the top.  It sticks out like a sore thumb.  :)
The pressing is done with a hot, dry iron, and you can see how nicely the fabrics have joined - no puckers in the seams.

The quilt top now measures 103-1/2" x 80" -longer than it needs to be, but it will take up a bit in the quilting, and all will be well...after the dreaded basting is done, that is... 

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Another Free Motion Workshop Project

A lovely completed project from my "Free Motion Quilting For The Absolutely Terrified" workshop in Paradise, NS. This was stitched by Frances Veinot, who certainly added lots of artistic flair to her background. Way to go, Frances!

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Learn to machine quilt

If you are looking to improve your machine quilting skills, check out this post from Linda Hubbard.

Linda is offering two different classes during this year's Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival, set to take place October 10-14, 2017.  Registration for all classes (including mine!) is now open.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

My First Tattoo! :)

Hubby and I are back from a mini-vacation to the South Shore of Nova Scotia. 
 We spent some time kicking around Lunenburg, including an interesting tour of the Academy.
 We stopped in at the Lunenburg Makery to purchase their Row By Row kit.
 It's a sweet pattern, which features the Bluenose II, which was built in Lunenburg.
This shot of the churches in Mahone Bay is de rigueur for visitors.

 For fun, we checked out Oak Island to see if anything was going on there.
 We did not cross the causeway :)
The water around the island is an amazing shade of dark blue.

The next day, it was time for the tattoo:  The Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo, that is!  It was our first time attending, and what a show. We had backstage passes and a guided tour of the whole operation.
The show lasted nearly 3 hours and the time flew by - precision defined.  In addition to being Canada's sesquicentennial anniversary, 2017 is also the 100 year anniversary of the Halifax Explosion, and the battle of Vimy Ridge, and the show included lots of history of these events.
Perfect weather, and a perfect trip...including having a bear safely cross highway 104 in front of us. That's a good omen, right?

Monday, 3 July 2017

Tall Ships 2017

Hubby and I spent a fabulous couple of days touring the Tall Ships which came to ports near us over the Canada Day weekend.  This is a shot from the Canadian ship "Oriole".
On Friday, we headed to Pugwash, and were pleased to see the Katie Bell, from our province.

 Atyla from Spain featured beautiful woodwork.

 Saturday morning, we left early for Charlottetown, PEI.
The waterfront is beautiful;  I love the hedges of Ottawa roses
There were lots of people in attendance, and we did have line-ups for some of the tours, but nothing too major.
The CBC was broadcasting on site.  We even caught a glimpse of anchor Heather Hiscox getting ready for her next segment.

 There were even a few pirates on hand!
 The masts from the "Union" out of Peru were massive. 
 Inside were displays of handwork. This ship is a great ambassador for Peru.

 The Europa, from The Netherlands.
 We have toured the U.S. "Eagle" many times.
After leaving these ports, the ships will head up the Saint Lawrence to Quebec, before returning to Halifax later this month, where they will be joined by many others. Then a race across the Atlantic to France.  Imagine!  

Friday, 30 June 2017

"Mon Canada"

There are many quilts being made in honour of Canada's 150th birthday, but none more unique than this one from Clare, Nova Scotia.Guilde Acadienne de Clare made this quilt which depicts the Acadian contribution to Canada. Designed by guild president Joan Tufts, many members had a hand in stitching the patchwork, appliqueing and embroidering blocks, as well as the hand quilting. Entitled "Mon Canada", the centre of the quilt features the Grand-Pré church, considered the most important historic site of the Acadian people, and recalls their saddest and most heroic moments. You can see colourful houses,forests, fishing boats, lobsters, and the local lighthouse overlooking Baie-Sainte Marie. Poppies represent the Acadian veterans who served to defend our country. Also shown is the Acadian Métis Association symbol, and examples of 3 languages: French, English, and Michif (mixed language that uses French nouns with Cree verbs and Cree grammar.) Look for the N.S.tartan and the Canadian maple leaf, a thistle and laurel, as well as the Acadian star.
"Mon Canada" had its debut exhibit at the Canadian Quilters' Association "Quilt Canada" conference in Toronto last month, and will be officially unveiled
at tomorrow's July 1st municipal ceremonies in Clare. It will travel the region throughout the year, including the annual Quilt show in Saulnierville (watch for more info to follow)..
Its permanent home will be at the Saulnierville Parish hall where the guild meets to sew every week. (A little bird told me it might also pay a visit to Amherst during the Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival!) Thank you to Joan Tufts for sharing these wonderful pictures and story of a very meaningful quilt.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Four Grand

I've been sewing up a storm, and have a new pattern available for a set of really cool table mats.  The design was inspired by this gorgeous,mostly black and white fabric collection called "Sparkle and Fade" from Hoffman California Fabrics.
The fabric is elegant and rich, the ebony and ivory of a grand piano.  Or even better -four grand pianos! I chose different prints for each, two white and two black.  This one made me think of John Lennon's famous white piano :)
A pure white low loft needle punch batting was used, since place mats shouldn't be too puffy. The white keys were quilted heavily with pebbles, and the black ones left as is so that they pop up. I used 50 weight Aurifil thread for quilting the keys, and Aurifil silver metallic to work a simple serpentine stitch on the piano itself.
After quilting, 12 weight Aurifil was used to topstitch straight lines down the keys.  Simple, but effective. This thread is available from my thread store.

I love the black polka dot binding!

The mats measure about 16" each way.  What's really cool is that they all fit together to make a centrepiece. They are very easy to make, as the keyboard is strip-pieced, and the body of the piano is just one piece.

 The pattern is available as a printed copy from my website, or as an instant download here.