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 "Pearls"; pattern available here.
Comments are always appreciated, simply click the word "comments" at the end of each post to leave your message. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, 3 November 2019

A Piece of...Blog Hop

Tomorrow is the first day of a brand new blog hop by Island Batik Ambassadors. If you follow this intrepid band of quilters, you will remember that half of the group participated in an August blog hop (including me) and now the other half is having their turn. These hops are a fun way to showcase new collections which are arriving in stores now.

The remaining Ambassadors (including me :)) have been challenged with making a project using our favourite tool. Hmmm...as a non-gadget gal, that has taken me some thinking!

As always on these blog hops, Island Batik will be giving away some wonderful prizes, so please make sure you enter! You can visit the Island Batik blog for details. The entire schedule is posted below.

Monday, November 4:
Janet Yamamoto Black Pearl 
Emily Leachman Black Pearl 


Tuesday, November 5:
Dione Gardner-Stephen Blue Sea
Laura Piland Blue Sea


Wednesday, November 6:
Anja Clyke Islander
Lori Haase Islander


Thursday, November 7:
Suzy Webster Little Sir, Little Miss
Alison Vermilya Little Sir, Little Miss


Friday, November 8:
Blog Hop roundup Week 1


Monday, November 11:
Jennifer Fulton Magical Reef
Barbara Gaddy Magical Reef


Tuesday, November 12:
Sarah Goer Mermaid Cove
Stephanie Jacobson Mermaid Cove


Wednesday, November 13:
Anita Skjellanger Neptune’s Friends
Kim Lapacek Neptune’s Friends


Thursday, November 14:
Becca Fenstermaker Sand Bar
Carolina Asmussen Sand Bar


Friday, November 15:
Blog Hop round up week 2


Monday, November 18:
Denise Looney Speakeasy 
Geraldine Wilkins Speakeasy


Tuesday, November 19:
Jackie O’Brien Tropical Escape
Sally Manke Tropical Escape

Wednesday, November 20:
Jennifer Thomas Tweet
Leah Malasky Tweet


Friday, November 22:

Blog Hop roundup Week 3

Friday, 25 October 2019

Sweet Dreams, Little One...

While most folks involved in the quilting industry are currently enjoying Quilt Market in Houston this weekend, some of us remain home...sewing! However, one of my quilts is on display there, so I am feeling anything but left out.  This is the third Quilt Market in a row that I have designed a quilt to show off a new fabric collection for Island Batik.  It's a real honour to have a design accepted by this premier fabric company.
"Sweet Dreams" photographed in an antique cradle owned by Beth Munroe, Amherst, N.S.
The collection I chose to work with is called "Forget Me Not", designed by Kathy Engle.  As you can see from this flat lay, it's a  collation of sparkling blues and yellows. The entire collection is here.
Working first from digital images, I plugged the soft, dreamy colours into EQ8 and started in on the design.  Some of the batiks featured stars, so that was a good jumping off point.  Once I was happy with my sketch, I submitted it to Island Batik for approval and was ecstatic to learn it was accepted.  When the sampling arrived, it was harder than hard to keep it all secret!  Here is the entire collection, along with neutral "Moo Milk" for background and borders, and a mustard yellow for the back.
My design features interlocking friendship stars, with the blues shining in the foreground and the yellows twinkling in between.
Of course, Polly was on hand to help with deciding on fabric placement. (This picture is for you Elaine, so you can see Polly is still on the job.)
A pretty soft blue was used to make swags in the border.  I turned the edges under, and machine appliqued them using Aurifil monofilament clear.


For the actual quilting, I used Aurifil 40 weight thread in colours matched to the fabrics. Hobbs Tuscany wool batting was chosen to add loft. All stitching is done on my domestic Bernina 440.
Soft feathers run up each side of the swags.
The blue star centres were left unquilted so they would pop up, but the yellow background stars got freehand swirls.
Channel quilting using a free motion ruler foot finished off the space near the edge.
I don't like to over-quilt baby quilts, and you can see this one looks lovely and soft.
Yo-yo's were stitched where the swags met for a finishing touch.
Finished, the quilt measures 46" x 46".  As usual, I owe a big thank you to Cheryl Coville for her technical editing of the instructions.
The pattern for "Sweet Dreams" is available on my website, as an instant download here, and (as always) at Mrs Pugsley's Emporium.  If you are a shop owner, the pattern is distributed in the US by Island Batik;  Canadian shops may order wholesale directly from me.
If you are reading this while at Quilt Market, make sure you drop by the Island Batik booth to see this in person. "Forget-Me-Not" is available for pre-order now, and will begin shipping to stores in February 2020.  After Sweet Dreams leaves the booth, it will spend the next year travelling in a trunk show to quilt shops across the U.S., before returning back home to Nova Scotia. 

Monday, 7 October 2019

Holly Jolly

This month's challenge for the Island Batik Ambassadors is to make a seasonal table topper, using appliqué.
We could choose any season, colour, or size, as long as it featured appliqué.
No surprise I would choose to make something Christmassy, as it's by far my favourite season.  In EQ8, I drafted out a shape that featured curves, and then cloned those curves for the outside edge.  In between, appliqued holly leaves dance around the twisty red vine.  I chose an assortment of fabrics, some from the Island Batik Basics and Blenders line, and some from Stashbuilder rolls.  The background is a Neutral, call "Moo Milk."  It doesn't get much more Christmassy than red, white and green!
The leaves were backed with fusible web and ironed raw edge to the patchwork.  Aurifil 12 weight thread is used to outline the leaves and vines in blanket stitch.
28 weight stitched the details in the leaves.
Underneath the stitching, I used a layer of  HobbsThermore to act as stabilizer.
Doing this adds an extra bit of loft to the finished piece, but more importantly, it means I don't have to rip away any tear-away stabilizer afterwards.
The stitched top was then layered on Hobbs Tuscany wool batting before quilting. Nothing complements a curved edge better than a feather, so naturally that was my choice of quilting motif.  The quilting is done with a 50 weight Aurifil in natural white 2021.  It matched the Moo Milk background perfectly.


The bias binding was hand stitched to the back side using Aurifil 80 weight, which disappears into the fabric.
The two layers of batting really make the quilting stand out.
The holly in our garden is heavy with berries. The berries on the table topper are small buttons.
On the back, I chose to use the same moo milk as the front. 
It looks great with this hand made holly dish, which we fill each year with cranberries.

Thank you to Island Batik, Hobbs Batting and Aurifil thread for supplying the products used in this project.  As always, I am also deeply grateful for the help of pattern editor Cheryl Coville.  You are a treasure, Cheryl :)  The pattern is available from my website, as an instant download at this link, and locally at Mrs. Pugsley's Emporium.

Friday, 13 September 2019

From Cleopatra to King Arthur

The September challenge for Island Batik Ambassadors is to make a child's quilt using the new Accuquilt die sent in Box 2 in July.  Our instructions were to make something colourful and fun, with space for magic and whimsy. What a fantastic directive! 
The die I received was "Cleopatra's Fan".  This is a beautiful block, first published by Laura Wheeler in the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1934, and one I have long admired but never sewn.
Since the block looks flowery and feminine to me, when I sketched it out in EQ8, I started with pink blossoms, yellow centres, and green leaves.
My idea at this point was to create some sort of "Secret Garden" quilt.

As I often do when designing, I substituted white for some of the colours, just to see what would emerge.
I got this, and knew immediately where my design quest was headed.
One of my favourite reads when I was young was the King Arthur stories, and especially Thomas Malory's, Le Morte d'Arthur.  We all know at least some of this tale: the gallant Knights of the Round Table follow their King -who has pulled the sword Excaliber from a stone to prove his identity - on a quest to find the Holy Grail.
It's a story that has captivated our imaginations for centuries, and spawned many books and movies. 
If you follow The Curse of Oak Island on the History channel, there is much talk of Templar Knights visiting our beautiful province of Nova Scotia...and even theories that the Holy Grail is hidden here.
Even the Monty Python version shows the red flared cross on the knights' tunics.
It's very reminiscent of the cross depicted on the flag for the Knights Templar...and it's what I saw in the Cleopatra's Fan block. What fun: a King Arthur quilt!
In my Island Batik boxes were fabric which worked perfectly: solid black and grey, and a mottled red and creamy white.  
It took NO TIME to cut the pieces with the Accuquilt Go! cutter, and the notched sections made piecing a dream.
I appliqued grey fleur-de-lis in the corners.  Not only do they symbolize nobility, but to me they bear a striking resemblance to a sword...in this case, Excaliber.
I chose a polyester batting from the Hobbs Tuscany Collection;  the label says it "quilts magnificently", and it does.
 The piecing of the quilt was quick, but the basting took three tries to get it right.  It was one of those days where everything goes wrong...including having the joining seam on the outside of the back. Arrggh - that's a first for me!
Finally it all came together.  I used a solid grey for the backing, and in the centre simply quilted in the ditch along the seam lines.  
I used Aurifil 50 weight threads both top and bobbin in matching colours. 
The outside border is quilted in a rope design, which you can see in this shot. Measuring 45" x 60", it's a great snuggle size for a young Sir Galahad.
Fortunately, we live near the ruins of an old fort, and it was the perfect spot to photograph the quilt.
These shots were taken the day before Hurricane Dorian hit last weekend. (Just in case!)
Mind you, it's doubtful any actual Knights of the Round Table ever visited Fort Beausejour, but we can pretend.

A since thank you to sponsors Island Batik, Accuquilt, Aurifil, and Hobbs batting for supplying the products and inspiration, for what turned out to be a very fun meet up of Cleopatra and King Arthur.