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!

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Do You Need Thread?

Because of your amazing support at the Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival (thank you!), our thread cupboard is sounding a bit hollow! There will be a new order for Aurifil thread going in very shortly.  If you are looking for a special colour, weight, or collection, kindly email your request to me before Saturday, Oct. 20. You can see what's available at the online store here. 
Thank you for your support!

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Festival Threads

I love it when a new shipment of Aurifil thread comes in!  These have arrived just in time for the Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival, in town next week. 
 There are lots of cones in both 40 and 50 weight Mako cotton, perfect for both piecing and quilting.
Paula Nadelstern's "Deep Gems" collection is restocked; this one keeps selling out!  This perennial favourite has deep, rich, colours.  I love every shade in that box!
The "Kansas Troubles" collection is another favourite.

New this time, are 80 weight cotton threads.  This thread comes wound on charming cherry wood spools, each containing 300 yards of thread. The spools are available individually, or in a collection which offers savings per spool.
The Carolyn Friedlander Appliqué collection has a lovely assortment of colours, and this super fine thread is wonderful for English Paper Piecing,as well as hand or machine appliqué.
I've even quilted with it, with great success.  It looks fabulous on silk: (the 80 weight is the plume at the top)

From now on, for me it will be the go-to thread for hand binding;  it virtually disappears into the fabric.
The threads have now all been added to the online store, and I am happy to mail across Canada.  If you are in town next week for the Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival, I will have all the threads available at the Zonta Bazaar on Saturday, October 13, 10 - 4, at the Colonel James Ralston Armoury, 36 Acadia Street, Amherst.  Mrs Pugsley Emporium also graciously allows me to drop any orders down to her quilt shop for pick up there.  To do this, complete your order online and indicate in the comment field that you would like to pick them up at the quilt shop (50 Victoria Street E, across from Tim Horton's).  If you are accidentally charged shipping, no worries, I will promptly refund it to your card.
Hope to see you all next week!

Monday, 1 October 2018

Midnight Magic!

October''s challenge project for Island Batik Ambassadors was to create a piece any size, using any of the fabric they sent, using paper piecing.  We were given leeway to choose either foundation piecing, or English Paper Piecing (EPP). 
I decided to go with paperless paper piecing, also known as freezer paper piecing. It's a method I taught last year at our Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival.  I decided this would be a good time to write and release the pattern for my original design, called "Midnight Magic".
The construction method varies a bit from traditional paper piecing, in that you do not sew through the lines on your freezer paper, but rather beside the lines. 

The shiny side of the paper adheres to your fabric as you work, so no pins or glue stick required to keep things in place. This method produces the same sharp, perfect points as traditional paper piecing...but there is no messy paper to remove afterwards.  You simply peel off the freezer paper foundation from the fabric, and set it aside to be reused a second, third, and even a fourth time. It does feel good to make it to the top of the swoosh!
I chose fabrics from the "Basics" line by Island Batik. We were also supplied with plain black, which I used to cut the silhouette shapes. This gorgeous red looks fabulous against the light blue, and there is no mistaking who is the red streak across our midnight sky. 
The moon, as well as Santa's sleigh and reindeer, are machine appliquéd using Aurifil monofilament thread.
For the batting, I used a piece of Hobbs wool/cotton blend left over from last month's twinkle quilt.
I chose a holographic thread from Mrs Pugsley's Emporium to stitch wild, flowing feathers freehand up both sides.  I like the sparkle it adds to the magical night sky.
12 weight Aurifil is perfect for stitching the details of reins, antlers, and Rudolph's nose.


Not sure if you can see, but I also added more of the holographic thread in red up through the centre of the geese.

As always, my sincerest gratitude goes to Cheryl Coville, for her help with editing the pattern.  The pattern is available in print form, from my website, and soon to be in stock locally at Mrs Pugsley's Emporium.

Thank you to Island Batik, Hobbs Bonded Fibres, and Aurifil thread for supplying the products used in this wallhanging.

Sunday, 30 September 2018

Last Call!

Tomorrow begins a new month - a super busy month! - so today is "last call" for students to sign up for the Beginner Feathers workshop at this year's Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival.  There are two spots left. Below is the sample we will stitch:
You will be provided with various weights of beautiful Aurifil thread so that you can see the effects each has.  I am particularly fond of stitching with the 12 weight:
There is more information and a registration button on this page. Come join us, for a very relaxed, no pressure class.
This week, in preparation for the festival, I will be setting up a display of my Island Batik quilts in a downtown store window.  I am also putting in the last touches for my October Ambassador project, beginning to get November's underway...as well as working on a project for Quilt Market. Later this week, a big order of Aurifil thread is arriving...and somewhere in there, is a Thanksgiving meal to prepare! (The pumpkin pie was such a disaster last year, I am not sure anyone wants me to try that again...:) Thankfully, I quilt better than I bake...

Sunday, 16 September 2018

twinkle...little stars :)

For September, the Island Batik Ambassadors were given the theme "Star Struck" for the monthly project.  We had free reign to choose any fabrics from either of the boxes sent to us this year, any method of construction, and any size for our project.  A veritable blank sky for our stars!
I've been quite taken with this "Paisley Dots Brights" collection since it arrived, and decided it would be perfect for little pops of light here and there on a neutral background. 
The background is called "Almond" and although it is hard to see in the picture, it too has a subtle marbling of colour popping out here and there throughout.  Perfect! I used 12 different colours for the stars, so that there is only a little of each showing.
Wanting the effect of the stars to be "barely there", I drew them out with very thin points in EQ8.  So that there would be no division between blocks, I chose to piece this as a sashing star, rather than in traditional block construction.
As I worked, the star points reminded me of bunny ears!  I used a foundation for the points, to keep them sharp.
You can see in my sketch above that originally I intended the quilt to be borderless, but in the end, decided to add colourful points around the piece in the form of half-square triangles.

The coloured triangles circle the quilt in sequential order.
For the batting, I chose the Hobbs Tuscany cotton/wool 80-20 blend we received in our second Ambassador box.  It quilted beautifully.
I free motion quilted spirals in the star centres, and also in the corner squares of the border. For this I used Aurifil 50 weight in a natural white, 2021.

Here's the finished piece, which demanded to be named nothing other than "twinkle"...with a lower case "t".   And here's the surprise for this quilt:  the shapes are all outline quilted with a glow-in-the-dark thread, so it will continue to twinkle and glow gently after the lights go out :)

Measuring 34" x 42", this simple-to-stitch quilt is a great size for a baby, especially backed in a lovely soft flannel.

The pattern for twinkle is available from my website, as an instant download through Craftsy and soon to be in stock at Mrs Pugsley's Emporium.

I would like to thank Cheryl Coville, of Grandma CoCo Designs, for her help with pattern editing, as well as Island Batik, Aurifil, and Hobbs for supplying the materials for this quilt.

Friday, 7 September 2018

Winner!

The awesome Island Batik Ambassador "Great Outdoors Blog Hop" has ended.  Thank you for all the lovely comments. It was fun to select a winner for my prize draw.
Initially, I installed a give-away widget, but decided that kicking it old school would be way more fun.  So I printed the names of those who left comments, and put them in a special china dish (names are blacked out for the picture, as there were email addresses.) The bowl has a bit of a story.  The pattern is Johnson Brothers Pareek  "Jasmine", and it was my grandmother's china pattern.  When we ate Sunday dinner on this set, Gram always referred to it as her "leave home dishes"...i.e, if you broke a piece, you had to leave home!  Fortunately, none of us did, and my older sister inherited the set.  My youngest son found this dish on eBay and made it my Christmas gift one year, so that I could have a piece of this china.  I treasure it.
Sadly, as much as she would have liked to help, Polly was not able to fish out one of the papers with her paws, so hubby volunteered to make the draw. 

The winner is Barefoot Thunder. (What a great name!) 
Ms Thunder has been notified, and her 3 patterns were sent out right away.  She received copies of all the patterns I have released during my year as an Island Batik Ambassador:   Sun Salutation (pictured under the bowl), Interlocking Herringbone, and Sunset. This was a fun event in which to participate, and I thank you for hopping along.  You can visit each Ambassador to see all the quilts at the links below. We will do it all again next January!

Monday, August 6 - All A Flutter - Yellow Cat Quilt Designs, Creative Blonde
Tuesday, August 7 - Birds N’ Bees - Ark Angel Creations, Patterns By Jen
Wednesday, August 8 - Canterbury Manor - Sally Manke, Powered By Quilting
Thursday, August 9 - Eclectic Garden - Desert Bloom Quilting, Sew Karen-ly Created
Friday, August 10 - Vintage Morris - MooseStash Quilting, Devoted Quilter


Monday, August 13 - Safari - Sew Incredibly Crazy, SweetGrass Designs
Tuesday, August 14 - Spring Blossoms - Mary Mack Made Mine, If These Threads Could Talk
Wednesday, August 15 - Victoria and Albert - Bejeweled Quilts, Clever Chameleon
Thursday, August 16 - Wild Things - Freemotion By The River, Kauffman Designs
Friday, August 17 - Petting Zoo - Den Syende Himmel, Sarah Goer Quilts


Monday, August 20 - Ocean Odyssey - Gateway Quilts, The Quilt Rambler
Tuesday, August 21 - British Rose - Busy Hands Quilts, Mania for Quilts
Wednesday, August 22 - Dear William - The Inquiring Quilter, MMM Quilts, Living Water Quilter
Thursday, August 23 - Dragonfly Dreams - Inchworm Fabrics, BeaQuilter
Friday, August 24 - Fur-ocious Friends - Quilting Affection Designs, Dizzy Quilter

Monday, August 27 - Globetrotter - Pamela Quilts, Curliecue Creations
Tuesday, August 28 - Jungle Cruise - Vicki's Crafts and Quilting, Little Bunny Quilts
Wednesday, August 29 - Lavendula - Carole Lyles Shaw, Masterpiece Quilting
Thursday, August 30 - London Calling - Quilt in a Not-Shell, Lizard Creek Quilting
Friday, August 31 - Spirit Rhythm - Steph Jacobson, Whispers of Yore

Monday, September 3 - Sweet Tweets - Kathleen McMusing, Adventurous Applique and Quilting
Tuesday, September 4 - Whatnot - heARTS Creations, Slice of Pi Quilts

Thursday, 9 August 2018

The Great Outdoors Blog Hop!

Welcome to the my stop on The Great Outdoors Blog Hop, a five-week showing of quilts made by Island Batik Ambassadors using the newest collections.  These fabrics will be shipping to stores very soon.
Back in February when the first box of goodies arrived from Island Batik, each contained a bundle of not-yet-released fabrics that were (literally!) under wraps. Not everyone received the same collection, of course, as Island Batik has many beautiful lines, so you will be seeing a fabulous variety of quilts and colours. 
I was thrilled when I opened my surprise packet to find a gorgeous collection called "Eclectic Garden." Lush purples, greens, and yellows, with dragonflies, and blooms in rich, saturated colours.  If only I could grow such a garden.  You can see the entire collection at Island Batik.
We received very generous half-metre cuts of all 22 fabrics in the collection, as well as 2 yard cuts of light and dark for borders.
Much thought went into deciding what design to use for the quilt;  I knew I wanted to use as much of the fabric as possible, in fairly large chunks to show off the prints.  I decided on a reverse Irish Chain, where the colours are used in the centres and the white forms the connecting chains.  This is a rough sketch I drew in EQ8 to give me a visual to work from.  As I wasn't planning to pattern this, I didn't spend a lot of time arranging my colours on screen, or adding borders to the sketch, so it doesn't much resemble my finished quilt. It just kept me on track for layout. To keep the math easy, I cut 9" blocks.
I had JUST enough creamy white for the background;  what you see cut off below is literally what was left over.  Whew - talk about cutting it close!
I added a 3" mitred inner border with the deepest purple yardage.
Then I gathered up all that was left of my pieces and sewed 1" strips together for a piano key border.
This is a very colourful quilt.
Hobbs Batting is one of the Ambassador program sponsors, and I was pleased to use this fluffy Poly-Down batting.  It quilts beautifully.
For the first time in years, I decided to send this quilt out to be long-arm quilted.  I contacted the very talented Denise White of West Branch Quilt Studio and was delighted that she agreed to fit me in. She was happy to come up with a custom quilting plan that suited this piece to a T. Aurifil had sent along some 40 weight thread and we chose a neutral Dove Grey, #2600, which Denise used both top and bottom.  She used about a spool-and-a-half of these 1000m cops in her beautiful quilting.
Denise's work is so pretty; you can contact her via email here.

One of my favourite gardens in which to photograph quilts is Alumni Gardens on the Agricultural Campus of Dalhousie University, in Truro, Nova Scotia. (Hubby's alma mater.) Recently they've added this barley ring at the entrance to the grounds, which is reminiscent of the school ring.
 

We took a couple of pictures in various spots in the gardens.




This planting of lavender in front of a stone wall was the perfect shade of purple.

When we returned from there, we headed to the Purdy Crawford Centre for the Arts at Mount Allison University (my alma mater) to get a front-on shot.
The quilt is a good size, 92" x 110".

Thank you to Island Batik, Aurifil, and Hobbs for supplying the product used in this quilt.  Ambassador Jessica at Dessert Bloom Quilting is also working with "Eclectic Garden", so please visit to see what she has made with this collection.

I have a small giveaway of 3 patterns designed using Island Batik fabrics: Sun Salutation, Sunset, and Interlocking Herringbone. To enter, please leave a comment on this blog (and make sure I have an email address to contact you if you win!) The draw will be made September 5, 2018, at the end of the blog hop.  Don't forget to also visit Island Batik to enter to win one of 3 great prizes. Good luck, and thanks for visiting!
Here's the full schedule for the hop:

Monday, August 6 - All A Flutter - Yellow Cat Quilt Designs, Creative Blonde

Tuesday, August 7 - Birds N’ Bees - Ark Angel Creations, Patterns By Jen

Wednesday, August 8 - Canterbury Manor - Sally Manke, Powered By Quilting

Thursday, August 9 - Eclectic Garden - Desert Bloom Quilting, Sew Karen-ly Created

Friday, August 10 - Vintage Morris - MooseStash Quilting, Devoted Quilter

Monday, August 13 - Safari - Sew Incredibly Crazy, SweetGrass Designs

Tuesday, August 14 - Spring Blossoms - Mary Mack Made Mine, If These Threads Could Talk

Wednesday, August 15 - Victoria and Albert - Bejeweled Quilts, Clever Chameleon

Thursday, August 16 - Wild Things - Freemotion By The River, Kauffman Designs

Friday, August 17 - Petting Zoo - Den Syende Himmel, Sarah Goer Quilts

Monday, August 20 - Ocean Odyssey - Gateway Quilts, The Quilt Rambler

Tuesday, August 21 - British Rose - Busy Hands Quilts, Mania for Quilts

Wednesday, August 22 - Dear William - The Inquiring Quilter, mmm! Quilts, Living Water Quilter

Thursday, August 23 - Dragonfly Dreams - Inchworm Fabrics, BeaQuilter

Friday, August 24 - Fur-ocious Friends - Quilting Affection Designs, Dizzy Quilter

Monday, August 27 - Globetrotter - Pamela Quilts, Curliecue Creations

Tuesday, August 28 - Jungle Cruise - Vicki's Crafts and Quilting, Little Bunny Quilts

Wednesday, August 29 - Lavendula - Carole Lyles Shaw, Masterpiece Quilting

Thursday, August 30 - London Calling - Quilt in a Not-Shell, Lizard Creek Quilting

Friday, August 31 - Spirit Rhythm - Steph Jacobson, Whispers of Yore

Monday, September 3 - Sweet Tweets - Kathleen McMusing, Adventurous Applique and Quilting

Tuesday, September 4 - Whatnot - heARTS Creations, Slice of Pi Quilts