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 "Global Warming".
Comments are always appreciated, simply click the word "comments" at the end of each post to leave your message. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Curvy Inspiration

Here are some photos of completed cushions from last year's "Curved Strip-piecing" class at Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival, offered as inspiration to this year's participants.  Enjoy!
















Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Aurifil in Tata


I will be heading over to the Sunrise Quilt Guild show in Tatamagouche, Friday and Saturday. I will NOT be vending there, but if anyone would like to order Aurifil threads and pick them up at the show, I'd be pleased to bring them along. You can order from my checkout and on the first page select "pick up" from the drop-down shipping menu; this way, you don't get charged postage. I am very well stocked with beautiful threads and collections at the moment in anticipation of the Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival, and there is lots to choose from...including these sweet 12 weight sets by Lori Holt, of Bee In My Bonnet!
See you there!

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Curvy Strips

As a sample of curved strip-piecing for my upcoming workshop, I have stitched this bright and colourful wall hanging using my favourite Hoffman 1895 Watercolours.

Last year, I made this "Stuffle" using the same fabrics, and loved how the colours worked together.

In July, La Guilde Acadienne de Clare posted this photo of a new sign for their quilt expo and member Joan and I both commented on how it looked like what we had done in our recent workshop.
Naturally, I had to try alternating black with the colours, and the result is fabulous.
Since this is going to be used as a wallhanging, instead of batting I used a product called Bosal In-R-Form.  This is normally used in bags to give stiffness, but it worked great for this application as well. It has a fusible side, so I ironed it on to the back of the patchwork before quilting.  The backing still needed to be pin-basted to the top.
I chose a plethora of Aurifil thread in various weights and colours to quilt the piece.
The quilting is all free-form free motion wavy lines.
Despite the stiffness of the In-R-Form, it does quilt easily.
Once quilted, I marked a wavy line on each side with my flexible ruler and a white Clover marker. The top and bottom edges were kept straight.
I stitched along the curvy line, then trimmed it with my scissors just outside the stitching.  Because of the curved edge, the binding needed to be cut on the bias.
With the addition of a hanging sleeve, this brings a nice, simple pop of colour to an otherwise plain wall.
If you'd like more information on the curved strip-piecing workshop, please email.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Only in Canada...

If you are looking to grow your thread stash, here's a great way to do so.  I am offering a limited number of Mark Lipinski "Basics" thread collections for $139.00, plus free shipping in Canada
The collection includes 2, 1300 m spools of finest quality 50 weight Aurifil cotton thread in basic colours (plus a reusable case):
#'s 2021, 2370,2310,2326,2000,2314,2325,2024,2610,2600, 2605, 2692

Click here to order. Quantities are limited (and they sold out quickly last time!)

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Midnight Magic

This fall at the Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival, I am presenting a new workshop on curved flying geese.  Although the technique is fun and fairly straightforward, it's a fair process to develop a consistent, professional looking pattern to use in the class.  I have tried drawing the geese on the computer and although the results look fabulous, it seems the curves, or the placement of the geese, are never QUITE what I was aiming for.  For me and these geese, hand-drawn is the way to go. Our class project is this one, which I have finally decided to name "Midnight Magic." (It's a catchier title than the previous "Santa-zooming-across-the-sky-thing".)
I drew out the pattern on a big sheet of newsprint and transferred it to freezer paper.
I copied and stitched it 4 times to make sure I liked how it looked.
 I did.
I liked the swoosh, but that pattern needed work. Patterning has been a trial-and-error learning process over the years, but I've finally figured out a method that works for me. The first stage is to digitize the design. The newsprint original would not fit on my 11 x 17 scanner glass, so I chopped it across the middle.
Once scanned, it looked like this...still a long way from a decent looking pattern.
I opened the jpg version in Windows Paint, and cleaned up the lines. Then I imported it into Word, and printed it out on all three of my wide-format printers to make sure that the size came out precisely the same as the original.  It did.  From Word, it was converted to a pdf file.
Opening the pdf in Adobe Acrobat allowed me to number the foundations, and add labels to the page.   You'll notice I did not add the outside seam allowance on the curved edge;  that's one of the easy tricks I will share in the classroom :).
This slow, methodical, process gobbled up more than a few hours, but I am pleased with the results.
Quite a change from my messy hand-drawn, Sharpie marker original! The magic of computers rivals that of Santa :)
I spent a few days last week helping out at the very busy Mrs Pugsley's Emporium, and of course I came home with fabric! This line from Hoffman called "Radiant Gradients" will look gorgeous in the geese units.  I actually have this collection in four colourways now, including a very pretty green.
Sprinkle some magic dust, Santa; I need time to sew!

Monday, 14 August 2017

Aurifil Special!

One of the new Aurifil thread collections which arrived last week is Angela Yosten's “Sew Modern Essentials”.  It’s a beautiful assortment of 50 weight threads, in colours which appeal to both modern and traditional quilters. 

The colours which Angela chose for the collection are:
2024 2606 2692 1243  2588 2250 2150 2135 5017 2865 1148 2783. The large spools contain 1300 m (1422 yards) of finely spun, extra long staple, Mako Egyptian cotton.

I have a *limited* number of these collections on sale for $139.00 + tax, which is a terrific price.  (This thread usually sells for $13.00/spool plus $11.95/case.)  If you order from this link, I will also ship it to you for free – anywhere in Canada! Act quickly - when they're gone, they're gone!
EDIT: Thanks for the terrific response - the thread is all sold out! Please watch for more specials coming soon.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

A Fussy Beauty

I love seeing email with a paperclip icon arrive from Joanne Colleaux of Armstrong, B.C., as she always sends something special.  This time is no exception.
Awhile back, Joanne saw this fussy cut version of Maritime Beauty I had made from Hoffman batik snowflakes.
My original piece looked like this one below: fussy cutting the snowflakes certainly brought it to life!
Joanne decided to do the same, but with my Beauty of Christmas pattern. This pattern was written having the curved seams appliqued instead of pieced.
 Here's how Joanne's turned out - a far cry from the original!
 I *love* the warm coffee/mocha colours of the fabrics she has chosen, and the subtle arrangement of lights and darks, both in the spikes and the background wedges under the spikes. The arcs were foundation-pieced by machine, but the rest of the sewing was done by hand, Joanne's preferred method to ensure perfect placement of the motifs. ("fussy" indeed *-)
 Joanne writes, "I used gold thread for quilting within the batik motifs, which brightened them up considerably; just following the shapes seemed to be the only reasonable way for me to quilt within them...I am definitely pleased with the outcome"
 What a clever (and brave) way she has added her label, penned directly on the quilt back.
Thanks so much for sharing these pictures, Joanne - fabulous work as always.  You can see more of Joanne's magic at these links:
Farrago: http://sewkaren-lycreated.blogspot.ca/2011/08/pacific-west-quilt-show.html
Ostentation: http://sewkaren-lycreated.blogspot.ca/2015/05/joannes-ostentation.html