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 "Felicity" .You can find the pattern link on my website.
Comments are always appreciated, simply click the word "comments" at the end of each post to leave your message. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, 27 March 2017

Quilt Atlantic

If you are looking for a wonderful, quilty get-away this spring in a spectacular setting, take a look at what the Quilt Atlantic Retreat has to offer:

White Point, Nova Scotia - Now entering its 4th year, Quilt Atlantic Retreat is a tradition for fabric artists from all over Atlantic Canada. The 8 workshops offered this year, led by award winning instructors, include everything from quilting to miniatures and hooking. As in the past, but with a Canada 150th twist, participants will sew up as many new friends and memories as they do tips and techniques they’ll use in their future projects as they gather at White Point Beach Resort April 7 – 9, 2017.
Stitching together the perfect balance, the 2 night 3 day retreat combines half day and full day workshops amidst the schedule which also includes a Pop-Up Shop, Meet the Instructors Show and Share, and bonfires of course. Bev Crouse, the Retreat Coordinator and Host says the format continues to foster sharing of knowledge in a relaxed and welcoming setting. “Opening with a Meet & Greet really sets the tone for the weekend, and while the workshops are important, so too is the down time where experienced and beginner fabric artists mix, mingle and share their passion, even collaborate on new works. The energy and synergy is inspiring, it’s such a pleasure to curate” says Crouse.
The Retreat, guided by the Queens Quilt Guild, has stitched together a dynamic program. On opening day, Friday April 7th, participants choose from three half- day sessions. Miniature Landscape with Juliet Nolan, Stained Glass with Brenda Dunsmore and Wool Applique with Sue McEachern make for an all New Brunswick Instructor line-up. On Saturday the program evolves into a more intensive full-day workshop with a choice between Top Stitched Applique with Juliet Nowlan, Traditional Hand-Applique & Hand Quilting with Sue McEachern and Tiny Treasureswith Linda Hubbard (Part 1). Sunday wraps-up with workshops in the morning featuring Part II of Tiny Treasurer with Linda Hubbard as well as half-day sessions with Fabric Jewelry with Brenda Dunsmore Hooking-up Canada with Jane Steele.
Annually the sessions are selected based on feedback and trends. Juliet Nolan is a veteran fabric artist whose work in miniatures drew accolades from students at last year’s Retreat. Nolan says she’s honoured to be invited back. “I had a wonderful time teaching at Quilt Atlantic last year. The students were enthusiastic and their creations spectacular. It’s rewarding to see the craft so alive and celebrated” says Nowlan. Always a student, she too enjoyed taking in workshops by fellow instructors within the setting created by White Point.
It was following the completion of “Stitching White Pointers Together” that Quilt Atlantic was birthed. Donna Hatt, Marketing Manager for White Point Beach Resort, says it was the journey of creating, stitching and revealing the quilt that now hangs in the new Main Lodge that impressed upon her how meaningful handmade quilts really are. “We’d lost a 30 year old quilt made by a local quilt guild in the fire that took our Main Lodge. In an effort to replace it, we embarked on a Quilt Project with our good friend and fabric artist, Bev Crouse. Over 12 months we stitched our Story Quilt together with the help of more than 500 people.” Hatt says she and Crouse had been invited to show the quilt in progress at Quilt Canada in 2012 and it was there they’d gained inspiration for the Retreat.
With a goal to celebrate fabric artists, their craftsmanship and encourage its continuation within Atlantic Canada, annually the Retreat has kept to its promise to bring experienced and beginners together once a year to gain tips, techniques and create shared memories.
The ‘Pop Up Shop’ hosted Saturday April 8, is open to Retreaters and the public from 10am – 4pm. Participants this year include Lynns Quilting StudioRiver House Rug HookingBrother Sewing MachinesA Needle Pulling ThreadBriar Wood Farms and Atlantic Fabrics.
With a few spots still available, there are two options for quilters and fabric artists wanting to attend the Retreat. For those living in the area, the Day Guest Package for three workshops and events is $125, while overnight packages are also available.
Quilt Atlantic promises to wrap Retreaters in the timeless warmth and love that has been synonymous with quilts for generations. For more information and to register for the Retreat, visit whitepoint.com.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Thanks For Noticing :)

Oh my...where has the time gone?  I confess I have been AWOL from blogging...but I'm back :) Thank you for all the emails, phone calls, and notes in the mail asking if all is well.  It is. I've been busily and happily quilting away, and getting ready for spring and fall workshops.  I do appreciate that my absence was noted. Thank you.
So...for a quick catch up, here's a few things which have been on my machine.  This queen sized scrap quilt was finished up a couple of weeks ago.  We found a perfect fence in Five Islands to photograph it.
It's a big quilt, and I did have concerns about doing it on my domestic Bernina, but honestly it was no problem at all.  I used Legacy wool batting, which scrunches up nicely on the machine bed.
Much of the quilting was simply stitch-in-the-ditch with the walking foot, as I wanted it "puffy", but I did work in a free motion feather in the inner border.
I used my favourite Aurifil 50 weight tan thread both top and bottom, and it showed up nicely on the backing.
I've also been playing with geese - both in structured blocks, and free form.  The blocks below are for a secret project, but I'll show you soon.  It's rather exciting :) Since these blocks are small with lots of pieces, I switched to a finer 60 weight Aurifil so there was as little bulk as possible in the seams.
The free form geese are a blast to sew .  I made several "swooshes" before deciding where they would work in a project.
This red, glittery one made me think of Santa blazing across the night sky, with a trail of exhaust billowing behind him!
It ended up as this wallhanging, which I will teach at a workshop during our Fibre Arts Festival this fall.  
I can't wait to get the red one finished up;  I've been looking for the perfect background fabric, and think I've found it.  These "goosey" inserts add a nice bit of pizzazz to a project, and are surprisingly simple to stitch.
Since there was a waiting list for the free-form curved seaming class at last year's festival, I will be re-offering that as well.  You can find more information on both classes here: http://www.karenneary.ca/workshops_2017.htm
(Just know that these workshops are filling quickly, so if you want to join us, please contact me soon to get your name on the list.)

Now I am piddling away at 16 patch blocks to use up some batik from my stash.

Thanks for reading, and for your patience.  Don't forget, you can always catch me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sewkarenlycreated/

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Ribbon Winner

Marilyn Eparvier continues to wow judges with her version of "Florentine".  First, it was juried as a semi-finalist at the prestigious AQS show, and now she has won a coveted first place blue ribbon at the West Michigan Quilt Guild 2016 show.  With over 500 members in this guild, it had lots of competition. 

The judges were very impressed with Marilyn's work.
Thank you Marilyn for sharing your good news.  It's a proud moment for sure when that blue ribbon gets pinned on your quilt!

Monday, 3 October 2016

Tickets!

Wouldn't you love to win your Christmas baking supplies?!  Each year, La Guilde Acadienne de Clare puts together a fabulous (practical) basket of goodies, worth well over $300.00.  The tickets are $2. each, or 3 for $5., and it is drawn for at the Christmas tea on November 20.The winner does not need to be present to win, and the guild will deliver the basket up to Amherst if the winner is from here.  Perfect!
Members from this wonderful guilde have supported our Fibre Arts Festival from the beginning. There are a couple of carloads of quilters coming again this year for the week.  I have tickets available on this basket, just let me know how many you'd like! :).

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

A Piece of Home

On a recent trip to Five Islands, we went for a walk on the beach and I picked up a small piece of driftwood.  It made me think of all the times my friend Betty and I spent scouring the beach there for treasures when we were young. We couldn't wait for the snow to leave in the spring so that we could see what the harsh winter tides had washed up. Often there was amethyst;  I still have this rather sizeable chunk we found!
 The driftwood made a perfect hanger for this little beach scene.
All kinds of weights and types of thread were used in the quilting, including a silver holographic which added the sparkle of sun dancing on the waves.  Rather than binding the edges, I "faced" them for a clean edge finish. (You can find directions for this in my book, Quilting Beauties.)
This will go with me as a sample for my curved strips class at Fibre Arts Festival, and then hang here in my work room as a reminder of home.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Counting Our Blessings

Our garden has provided us with much delicious produce this season.  Even today, we harvested pole beans, peas, tomatoes and zucchini for our supper.  It was fun to pull out some scraps in fall colours for a new table runner.  I decided to use my Felicity pattern, as even though it was designed in the spring, the base of the fan always reminded me of a cornucopia.  I fussy words for the centres:  Hope, Family, Peace, Friends, Give Thanks, and Counting Our Blessings.
 I quilted swirls and scrolly leafy shapes using Aurifil 50 weight thread in green, gold, and natural.
My Grandmother made the little pumpkin in a senior's ceramics class many, many years ago and it's always part of our fall decor.
You can download the pattern for Felicity from Craftsy.  

Friday, 9 September 2016

Festival Prep

There's lots of excitement here this morning, as orders have started to arrive for Fibre Arts Festival. W hat fun to open the boxes!
Included is a new shipment of my book, Quilting Beauties.  I love the line, "Live, breathe, quilt", that AQS has on the box. Words to live by :)

 Polly was particularly taken with the Aurifil box.
Perhaps an Italian cat helped pack it...? 
Inside were lots of goodies, including a few new items - cases, and thread collections. 
The thread cones have turned out to be a popular item, both with stand-up and sit-down quilters. These large spools hold 6,452 yards (5900 m) of 50 weight and offer great saving if you use a lot of thread.  They are in stock now in basic colours.
 There is also a "Basics" collection of 12, 50 weight 1300 m spools in a reusable case.
The 12 weight cotton has been replenished and several new colours added, including light blue and a really pretty rose.  Polly and I will be playing with thread all day!

Monday, 29 August 2016

"Home Sweet Home" For Ghoulies and Ghosties

With its Gothic arched windows and a clock tower reaching high into the night sky, it's not a big stretch to associate the building housing Mrs Pugsley's Emporium in Amherst with Hallow e'en. Owner Beth found the perfect fabrics to use in a special limited edition kit of her "Home Sweet Home" for this year's Row By Row experience. 
I had the fun of quilting this piece, and added some funky spiderwebs in the sky.  For the hands on the clock, set to a few minutes after the midnight witching hour, I stitched with a glow-in-the-dark thread from YLI.
The background of the building was quilted first in black 50 weight Aurifil thread, and then over-quilted using a bright red 28 weight Aurifil, to look like blood dripping down the building.  I do confess I was nervous about going over-board on this part in case it looked a little too gruesome, but it was all in fun. Beth added a broderie perse spider to her front door. (He's the busy fellow who spun all those webs in the sky!)
I'm not sure of the fabric line used in this piece, but it is perfect fit.  It contains snippets of Poe's "The Raven" as well as the old Cornish prayer, "From ghoulies and ghosties, and long-leggedy beasties, and things that go bump in the night, Good Lord deliver us!"
Kits go on sale tomorrow (August 30) at 1 pm at Mrs Pugsley's Emporium. Quantities are limited.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Maritime Beauty Redux

Nancie Wiseman Attwater of CA needed something eye-popping for her new table, and this Maritime Beauty she created certainly fit the bill.  Using Kaffe Fasset brights along with Moda solids, her beauties look like big, beautiful blossoms. Over-the-top gorgeous, Nancie!
You can see she has changed the inside of the centre blocks,adding smaller spikes in the quarter circle. She writes, "I love the way the colors all went together This is a great first time pattern for New York Beauties."  Nancie was so pleased with her results, she made another, smaller piece, which turned out equally gorgeous. Thanks so much for sharing the pictures, Nancie.
You can download the pattern for Maritime Beauty here.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

AQS Quilt Week - Grand Rapids

AQS Quilt Week at Grand Rapids, MI, is now a sweet memory for Marilyn Eparvier, who was honoured to see her Florentine hang at the show. (You can see the complete list of semi-finalists here.) I just love how her quilt looks against the black curtains - it almost glows!
And speaking of glowing...here's a shot of Marilyn with her quilt - tired, but happy, after her long week of volunteering.
Sincerest congratulations, Marilyn!

Monday, 25 July 2016

Smart (alec) Phones

As mentioned previously, I've been tripping around the province with hubby for the past 3 months, acting as photographer on his project. (I took well over 8,000 pictures!) We've made a lot of friends along the way, including this friendly, welcoming bunch:
We were like ships passing in the night with the rest of the family, so we kept in touch mostly via text. I've come to appreciate that the auto-correct function on a Smart phone is a bit of a curse...One day I texted eldest son about leftovers, typing: "there is a chicken breast in the fridge."  He responded immediately with, "Lol!  I sure hope not!!" Puzzled, I scrolled down to see the auto-correct had changed my words to, "there is a chicken breast-feeding in the fridge."
We're still laughing!! :)

Thursday, 21 July 2016

QB

A full year after its release, it's heart-warming to see that Quilting Beauties is still going strong!  This greeted me yesterday when I logged onto the website of the Canadian distributor for the book.

It's been awesome to read reviews like this:
You know times are changing when a new book includes a CD-ROM of printable full-sized templates and foundations for making your sewing easier! Besides giving instructions for making nine quilts, several pages are devoted to explaining how to hang unusual-shaped quilts. Great photos help with that understanding. "Quilting Beauties" is a book for the confident beginner who wants to focus on foundation paper-piecing, and perhaps discover for the first time how quilters get those precise spiky points!

Receiving photos from readers of the finished quilts has been such fun. This is "Thistles In The Heather" by Kate Chamberlain:

This stunner is by Joanne Colleaux - "Ostentation":

Several versions have been entered into major quilt shows, like Florentine, by Marilyn Eparvier.

...and jazzed up with embroidery, as in this one by Diane Zdep.

A big thank you for your continued support.  If you have made a quilt from Quilting Beauties, please send along a picture.  You can purchase an autographed copy of the book from my website.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

String Workshop Sample X

I have been working steadily on samples for two new fall workshops. Earlier, I showed you these blue and white string blocks in progress.  I decided 48 of these 8" blocks would be enough for a lap quilt.
Polly and I pondered how to set them together, and it suddenly struck us that using the same layout as for my son's Log Cabin "X" quilt would be perfect. String blocks are SO much less work than log cabins, with no seam matching or need to keep the block true; the foundation paper does that for you.
When I opened the folder of pictures of the log cabin quilt, I had a smile over how much Polly has grown since we made that first X quilt.  She looks so scrawny!
Here's the log cabin version:
 Here are the string blocks in the same layout (although the quilt is turned sideways in the photo).
This is the string quilt on top of the log cabin.  The blocks for the latter were 12" instead of 8". 
I think this is a great way to show off the power of the lowly string block;  it imitates a log cabin nicely, and works beautifully in traditional settings such as barn raising, or straight furrows. There are a couple of spots left in this Beginner String Quilt Workshop to be held Wednesday October 12 during the Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival. Just email if you would like a spot saved.
Although I am not big on plain borders, I may add one to this lap quilt, just to flesh it out a bit. It will be feather quilted, as per the original.