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 "Sunset"; 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!

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 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.

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Beat The Heat Winner

We have a winner!

"Nancy J" has won 2 patterns of her choice from Sew Karen-ly Created.
Thank you all for your lovely comments on "Garden Party" - most appreciated.
You can find winners announced on the Island Batik blog.  Congrats if it's you!

Monday, 12 August 2019

Beat The Heat

Welcome to today's stop on Island Batik's "Beat the Heat" blog hop.  Although we can't actually help reduce the heat and humidity, we perhaps can offer some distraction by showing off the new Island Batik collections shipping to stores now.
We've had wicked heat and humidity this past month, so it was
nice to think back to January when the
first Island Batik Ambassador box arrived.

In that box were two parcels wrapped in paper marked "Surprise",
which we were to keep secret
until now.
Inside my parcels, was a collection called "Garden Party".  Designed by the Colourworx team, the collection  includes 20 different batik prints in saturated rainbow colours.
I received a sampling of the entire collection, plus an additional 2 yards each of a light and a dark.
Our instructions were: lap size or larger, with the goal of featuring as many fabrics from the collection as possible. The batiks headed for the laundry...
...and I headed off to the open EQ8 on the computer.  I wanted to use large pieces to show off the fabrics;  these are 8" squares, with triangle corners added to give a star shape. Alternate blocks with an X made from the cranberry yardage give the stars the appearance of floating.
The triangle point at the edges were pieced into the inner border to complete the star shape.
I auditioned many styles of borders, but in the end I went with my favourite piano key border, in 1" strips.  My quilt ended up a fair bit larger than this sketch, as I liked it so much I kept going.
To make the borders, I pieced 1" width of fabric strips of each colour together, then subcut them into 6-1/2" widths.  It made the piecing go really quickly to do it this way.
I decided to mitre the corners, and everything lined up perfectly.
This time, instead of basting on the floor as I always do, I decided to clamp it to my cutting table (which just happens to be in an air-conditioned room!) Polly was her usual helpful self when it came to basting...  The batting chosen is my favourite Hobbs Tuscany Wool;  you can see a bit poking out at the edge. It's Polly's favourite too, and the cut-off scraps go into a box for her which we call her nest, as she snuggles down inside to nap.
 The backing is a plain muslin from Mrs Pugsley's Emporium, for which Aurifil #2000 in 
50 weight was a perfect match.
For the blocks, I free motioned a flowery motif. 
The borders got a squiggly line free motion stitched across the seam, rather than in the ditch.
The alternate X blocks have the same squiggle stitched through their centres. As this is a bed quilt, I wanted it left soft and squishy.  The quilt is sized to fit a twin bed.
Hubby and I took it downtown to photograph at Amherst's beautiful Victoria Square.

A sincere thank you to Island Batik, Aurifil thread, and Hobbs Batting for supplying the products used.

As a small thank you for stopping by, at the end of the hop (after August 31/19) I will draw a name for two free pdf patterns. This giveaway is open to everyone, but please make sure you leave an email address in the comment where I can reach you. Make sure that you visit the Island Batik blog for a chance to win some fabulous fabric, as well as the links below to see gorgeous quilts:
Monday, August 5
Leanne Parsons 
Sherry Shish

Tuesday, August 6
Bill Locke
Lisa Nielsen

Wednesday, August 7
Sandra Walker
Terri Vanden Bosch

Thursday, August 8
Pamela Boatright
Kathleen McCormick

Monday, August 12
Karen Neary
Carol Moellers

Tuesday, August 13
Michelle Roberts
Laticia “Tish” Stemple

Wednesday, August 14
(Debora) Anne Wiens
Gene Black

Thursday, August 15
Tina D Dillard
Bea Lee

Monday, August 19
Joanne Hart
Carla Henton

Tuesday, August 20
Connie Kauffman
Vasudha Govindan

Wednesday, August 21
Vicki Schlimmer
Mania Hatziioannidi

Thursday, August 22
Gail Sheppard

Monday, August 26
Maryellen McAuliffe
Jennifer Strauser

Tuesday, August 27
Connie K Campbell
Joan Kawano