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. Pictured is "Sun Salutation"; pattern available on Craftsy.
Comments are always appreciated, simply click the word "comments" at the end of each post to leave your message. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 20 July 2018

Ambassador Box 2 Is Here!

I've been waiting - not so patiently - for this box to arrive. It's the second box this year for Island Batik Ambassadors, and is filled with goodies from Island Batik, Hobbs Batting, and Aurifil thread.  17 lbs. of goodies!!
 The box had obviously been opened and inspected at Customs, as it had been re-taped.
Regardless, our in-house inspector Polly still gave it a sniff or two, just to make sure.  She approved its contents, so on we went with the unpacking.
It's an exciting moment, to open a box filled with such potential.
As before, we are sent a packet of as yet-unreleased fabric which cannot be shown at this time;it will be used for the blog hop next January.  Having just finished sewing with the first surprise packet, I couldn't wait to see the collection, so I tore into it right away.  I was not disappointed.  I invite you to check back in January 2019 for a look-see. :)

Aurifil sent along an assortment of some of their wonderful product, including 2 colour cards, brochures, a large spool of red thread (my favourite colour), a thread pack in green, a tote bag that will see lots of use, and a sticker that says "Powered by Aurifil". where will I put that? Maybe right on the wheel of my Bernina, because it's ALWAYS powered by Aurifil!

This thread pack is going to be so much fun!  Seven spools of 2890 "Very Dark Grass Green", in all the weights :12,28,40,50,80,Aurifloss, and wool. I know exactly what I want to do with it.
The Island Batik fabric is luscious. The collections we received are shipping to stores in August, I believe, so you should be able to find them shortly. This is a "stack" of 10" squares from the Jungle Cruise collection.

 Another "stack", this one of Paisley Dot Brights.
Love it, love it, love it!

Polly's pick was this collection called Wild Things.  It features a pack of 40 pieces of 2-1/2" strips, as well as 2 yards of light and 2 yards of dark coordinates. You can see the beautiful presentation of the fabrics as they arrive to us, this one tied in a shiny silver ribbon.
 Each Ambassador received one yard cuts of solid white, grey, and black.
 We were also all sent 1 yard cuts of a line called "Check It Out".  Ambassador Sherry, who blogs at "Powered By Quilting", has used hers already in a project, to great effect.
 We were also given a very generous 5 yards of a light neutral.   Mine is called "Almond".
 A batik "Foundations" bundle contained 8 colours, in 1/2 yard measures. I didn't add up all the yardage in the box, but it's significant.  Wow, Island Batik! :)
Hobbs Batting totally pampered us with cotton, wool and wool/cotton battings from their premier "Tuscany" and "Heirloom" lines, in sizes from Throw to Queen.  The Tuscany wool is my go-to batting, and I am so pleased to receive these.
I will take a little while to admire all this, and dream about what each could become, before I begin cataloguing and washing the fabric. I keep a binder with snips of each fabric beside the name of the collection, the fabric SKU's, as well as a finished picture of what I made.
My sincerest thanks to Island Batik, Aurifil thread, and Hobbs Bonded Fibres for their generosity in providing this wonderful selection of materials.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Outside The Box

A little bird told me that a second big box of goodies is on the way from Island Batik. ( was really a heads-up from the tracking number :)  As an Ambassador, we are each sent a supply of fabric, batting, and thread every six months or so.  Here's my first box, which arrived back in February.  There was so much in that box - thread from Aurifil, batting from Hobbs, as well as beautiful Island Batik collections - that I thought it would take ages to use up.
But use it up I did, and here's what I made: table-toppers, runners, a cushion, a baby quilt, wallhanging, and some sweet little carrot bags at Easter time.

I still can't show completely what was in the package marked "Surprise", but if you look hard in the group picture above, it's peeking out behind the rainbow trout.  I am looking forward to showing the king-sized quilt during the Island Batik Ambassador blog hop in August.
This was my favourite collection in the box, called "Morning Sunshine." Those yellows were soooo enticing.
 From this, I made a New York Beauty quilt, called Sun Salutation, which I really like:
In addition to what you see above, I also designed and made a project for Island Batik's Fall Catalogue, and it will be with them at Quilt Market in the fall when they roll out the new collections for the coming year.  It's been a busy six months of sewing, but I am really happy to say that I have used nearly every bit of fabric in that box.  No waste here!
I am impatiently checking my tracking number, watching for those magic words, "Out For Delivery".  Soon, I hope, and I will show the contents here. In the meantime, you can check out these posts for more information on this year's projects so far. A big thanks to Island Batik for their continued support.

Friday, 6 July 2018

Full Of Surprises

The Island Batik Ambassador challenge for July is to use blocks that create an unexpected design - i.e., a secondary surprise - when placed side by side.  Imagine my surprise when fiddling around with my blocks to find not just a secondary but also a tertiary (third) design emerging.

I started out sketching what I knew as an "orange peel" block, only to discover that when there are four peels in a single block, EQ8 calls it Joseph's Coat. Regardless of the name, it's a great block, and one that provided great structure and movement to this very simple quilt.  This is Joseph's Coat:

 I placed it next to a plain block.
I love the rather arabesque shape it gifted to the plain block.
Pretty...but with a little tweaking of colours, this emerged.  The orange peels no longer looked like flower petals, they were now more of a curvy chain, dancing between the coloured blocks.
With a little more colour play, immediately, the tertiary design of small border stars emerged.  
I love it!
Now to find fabrics in my stash that would work in this quilt... Island Batik very generously provided a good amount of fabric in the first ambassador box which arrived in February.  I confess, I have used nearly everything in that box! It's a very good thing that a second box is on its way here now. I chose "milkshake" from the "Foundations" line for the peels;  I started to cut the pieces out with a seam allowance to piece my blocks with curved seams, only to realize I would not have enough fabric.  Plan B was to use raw edge appliqué instead, which meant I did  not have to have a seam allowance.  Gaining that extra 1/2" per peel was just enough for me to cut enough shapes (88 peels) for a 42" square quilt.  Whew!
The pieces were fused in place, and blanket stitched using Aurifil 2021, Natural White. My favourite Hobbs Tuscany wool batting was used for the fill, and a plain piece of robin's egg blue for the back.
I had a stencil from Mrs Pugsley's Emporium that was perfect, and it fit the plain spaces to a T when placed on point.
My Bohin marker is quickly becoming my go-to marker. Its fine lead is great for a stencil, the lines show up clearly, and it's easy to remove afterwards.  

One of the most enjoyable parts of this project was choosing which threads to use.  I admit to a rather extensive Aurifil stash, and it was great fun mixing and matching the colours. Variegated threads work particularly well with batiks, IMHO.

I had just enough pale mauve dot to bind the 42" square quilt.
It looks a bit dreamy;  I think this would be spectacular in a bed-sized quilt.  I will work away at sewing it again a couple of times to tweak the design before I release a pattern. Please check back later.
 It looks very summery on a table. (Thank you for the flowers, Taylor :))

Thank you to Island Batik, Hobbs Bonded Fibres, and Aurifil thread for supplying the materials used in this full-of-surprises project.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

New Thread!

I love it when the doorbell rings early in the morning (sometimes before 6 am!) as it means a parcel delivery.  Today, the delivery man brought all kinds of Aurifil goodies to add to the on line store.
 Included were several new collections.
This one, by Angela Walters, called "It's Midnight Somewhere" is brand new in stores.  The colours are great blenders.
We also restocked some of the better sellers, including Mark Lipinski's "Basics", and this small Kansas Troubles collection.

There were also lots of colours to add to the ever-growing 50 weight line-up, including this one.  Can you guess the name?
It's Bubblegum!

Because of your great support, this brings us up to this many colours of our individual 50 weight, large spools:

The 1300m spools sell at a great price (below MSR) of $13.00 plus tax.  We are happy to ship anywhere in Canada.
Check out all the goodies here:  Sew Karen-ly Created thread store.