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

Thursday 18 December 2008

Clara's Beauties

Today is the annual Christmas Bird Count, and our backyard is once again on the list of spots to visit. The cardinals were here briefly in early November, but have not made their return to stay as yet. It's normally about Christmas when that happens, so it could be any time. Last year they came on the actual day of the bird count - how did they know? Yesterday's snow should make the feeders busy today.
When the representative called yesterday she mentioned that Baltimore Orioles have been spotted in Amherst, which is very unusual. I am hopeful that we will get to see one at our feeders. P.E.I. is also reporting new feathered residents: Snowy Owls. This makes for great opportunities for birders in our area to see species not normally spotted here.

In the mail this morning are pictures of two Maritime Beauties stitched by Clara from Fredericton, New Brunswick. Clara travelled down in October to attend a workshop held during FibreFest. This top one is made from a colourful assortment of batiks:
The colour choice in this one really makes the spikes spin around the perimeter. Beautiful work, Clara; we thank you for sharing.
And a P.S. on the bird count: we received a call that the cardinals were spotted in our back yard. Yah!

Sunday 14 December 2008

Quick Christmas Project: Patchwork Sachet

Patchwork Sachet
Here’s a quick and simple idea that can be used to dress up a package, a tree, or as a sachet in a room or drawer. This one is made from cotton and lamé and filled with scented rose hips; hung on hooks or doorknobs, it will impart a Christmassy scent throughout your house.
I buy the rose hips every year at Mrs. Pugsley’s Emporium, located on Victoria Street in Amherst. These rose hips are one of the few scented things that don’t make me sneeze! At Mrs. Pugsley, the rose hips are kept in a big enamel bowl on the front counter. They are scooped out and sold by the pound.

Finished Size of Sachet: 3-1/2” square
Materials Required:
Gold lamé centre: 1-1/2” sq
6 strips green, 1” x 4” long
3 strips cream 1” 4” long
4" square backing (I used lamé to match centre)
10” thin gold cord
1 tassel
Sewing thread to match
The block is constructed in the manner of a Courthouse Steps Log Cabin. Sew a green 1” strip to top and bottom of 1-1/2” gold centre square. Trim ends. Press.
Sew green 1” strips to both sides of gold centre. Trim and press as before. Add cream strips next in same order - top/bottom then sides, trimming square after each addition.
Continue in this manner, adding the second strip of green to the outside in the same order as before. Trim ends even and press block.
Lay block face down on backing. Sew together on 3 sides, leaving 3” opening on 4th side to turn. Turn right side out. Fill with rose hips.

Hand sew opening closed. Tie cord into a loop. Attach tassel and hanging loop to opposite corners of the block with a few hand stitches. I used a tassel cut from a length of braid.
Ta da!

Wednesday 10 December 2008

Another Beauty

Look what arrived in the email this morning! Sharon from Oxford, N.S. attended a fall workshop on Maritime Beauties and wowed us all that day when we learned she was a beginning quilter. She zoomed right through this, encountering no obstacles to slow her down. Sharon writes that she is working now on another, in blues and golds. Won't that be gorgeous?
Here's a peek at some blocks on my design wall. This is a fun, relaxing piece for me, adding patches here and there as time permits. I am working away on a baby quilt for a magazine, which has a Monday deadline, and trying to sneak stitches in on the QT for a pair of socks in time for Christmas. Shhhh...

Sunday 7 December 2008

Moncton signings and Show and Tell

Moncton turned on the sunshine in full force yesterday for the book signing. It was a great day, first at Chapters and then at Coles in Champlain Place. Moncton has a reputation for being a very friendly city, and lived up to that yesterday as many folks stopped to chat and share quilt stories. Several members of the Moncton Quilt Guild arrived including Jerri who brought along her latest Maritime Beauty to show. We had a hard time getting a good picture in all that sunshine; in person the colours are lush shades of lavender, mauve and purple: very, very pretty. It's always a treat to see quilts and I appreciate Jerri's thoughtfulness in bringing it along.
If you have yet to pick up your copy of Canadian Heritage Quilting, signed copies are available at most of the Chapters/Coles stores I have visited as well as at Mrs. Pugsley's Emporium in Amherst where you can still enter your name to win one of the quilts shown in the book. Those outside the local area perhaps can connect with Diane at one of her appearances. If you'd like a copy mailed, I'd be pleased to do that; please email for postage rates.
Nothing quilty planned for today as youngest has two band concerts at the high school. We will sit back and (proudly) be entertained.

Tuesday 2 December 2008

Book Signings

The book signings last Saturday in Halifax were very busy, and a big thank you to all who turned out to make the day a success. It was a wonderful time to connect with friends and family I hadn't seen for awhile and also to meet up with quilters. Folks from several area Guilds stopped by to say hello as well as Bev Crouse from The Quilter's Net. One of the best parts of the day was meeting up with Jane, whom I had "met" virtually on a Cyberquilters list. She was so helpful in supplying precise driving directions to both the Halifax bookstore locations; a great time (and frustration) saver.

This coming Saturday, December 6th, I will be in Dieppe at the Coles and Chapters stores: 12-2 at Chapters and 3-5 at Coles in Champlain Place. If you happen to be in the Moncton area on Saturday, I do hope you will drop in to say hi.

Wednesday 26 November 2008

Christmas Shopping

The snow has put us in a real Christmas mood. Here are a few ideas to help with that long list we all have this time of year...
If you are in Halifax this Saturday, November 29th, I will be around signing copies of Canadian Heritage Quilting. From 12-2, look for me at Coles in the Hfx Shopping Centre and from 3-5 at Chapters in Bayers Lake.

Those of you unable to get out to shop may enjoy doing so from the comfort of your computer chair. There is a new site called Quilter’s Net, which is the brainchild of Nova Scotia quilter Bev Crouse. Bev writes, "The Quilters’ Net showcases quality handmade Canadian quilts and quilted accessories, all in one convenient internet market, complete with shopping basket. Our products have all been individually crafted by skilled Canadian Quilters and, when purchased, will be shipped directly from the Quilter, to you." There are some beautiful pieces, including Christmas designs, and more added regularly as the site grows. Be sure to check back often.

Another interesting spot is Truly Canadian Made. This site showcases a variety of hand made products . Here you will find "the webshops of artists and artisans, galleries and cooperatives from across Canada displaying handmade art: from glowing glasswork, to finely worked gold, silver, and gemstone jewellery. Decorate your world with unique pottery, paintings, drawings, photos, graphic art, woodcraft, sculpture, and metal art. Relax with colorful textiles, quilts and knits, luxurious soap and candles, and gourmet food and drink. Worldclass Art - Truly Canadian Made."
I do hope you will be able to drop by on Saturday to say hi. I am looking forward to meeting up with a lot of Mayflower Quilt Guild members.
And...for those of you doing your shopping here in Amherst, be sure to drop into Mrs. Pugsley's Emporium and put your name in to win the Flannel Nap Quilt shown in the book. Because of last week's snow, we decided to run the draw a little longer. There are also signed copies of Canadian Heritage Quilting both there and across the way at Pugsley's Pharmacy.

Saturday 22 November 2008

Snow 2

Guess what we did today? I was supposed to be signing books at Coles in the Amherst Centre Mall this afternoon, but Mother Nature had different plans. Everything in the area is closed, including a couple of highways, so it gave good opportunity to catch up on things here. Hopefully, we will be able to arrange another time to do the signing (and the parade!)

I've been receiving lots of pictures of completed Maritime Beauty workshop projects and am gradually getting them posted to the Sew and Tell page of my website. There are more pictures coming soon, so please check back to see the wonderful display of colours chosen by the participants. Don't forget to refresh your browser each visit to see the updates.

Janet completed three Maritime Beauty Centrepieces:
I especially like that last one, as she used a different background colour under each spiked section. Janet is now beginning work on my Beauty of Christmas design. In conversation, she suggested a neat idea for adding extra interest to the piece which hadn't occurred to me. I look forward to seeing what she comes up with. If any of you would like to be added to Janet's Christmas gift list, contact me and I'll see what I can do *-)

This one came from Chris; how lovely to see it all in Christmas colours. Great timing, as we begin our Christmas decorating. It was fun to see how many of these same prints Chris used that I have in my own stash!
Suppose hubby got the shovelling finished while I blogged away? :) It was only 30 cm or so...

Thursday 20 November 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like...

...Christmas! Our first snow arrived with a vengeance last evening and caused a bit of havoc on the roads. It is Christmas card pretty outside. The timing is rather appropriate, as tomorrow night is Amhert's light up festivities. We will attend the ceremony in Victoria Park and the carol sing at the Baptist Church to hear our youngest play in the school band. Afterwards, we will head to Dayle's Department Store for their annual light up, which is nothing short of spectacular. I dropped in yesterday to peek at their decorations and Jackie was busy working her usual magic. Saturday is the Santa Claus parade, and again our youngest will be marching and drumming with the school band. I will be at Coles Bookstore in the Amherst Centre Mall on Saturday from 2-4 pm, signing copies of Canadian Heritage Quilting. If you happen to be in town, please drop by to say hello.

Sunday 16 November 2008

3...2...1...Blast Off!!

And what a blast it was! We launched Canadian Heritage Quilting in fine style Friday night. I can't begin to thank everyone enough (most particularly Beth Munroe) for making this such a memorable occasion. The fun started Friday afternoon with an anonymous delivery of flowers, left quietly on my doorstep. who could that be...?There were many emails and phone calls from well wishers throughout the day as well. At 7 pm, the doors opened at Mrs. Pugsley's Emporium. The Old Clock Tower looked so inviting; on approach, you could see the quilts hanging in the windows. Beth Munroe, owner of Mrs. Pugsley's, is nothing short of amazing. The creative touches she adds never fail to astound and delight. She came up with the idea of having cookies made in the shape of a quilt block from the book's cover, and generously distributed these to all in attendance. The decorated cookies from Noelle’s Custom Cookies were incredible. Noelle even custom-matched the frosting colours to fabric samples from Gram's Baptist Fans, the quilt gracing the book cover. How cool is that? Needless to say, the cookies were a huge hit and the recipients went home with a delicious piece of edible art.
Throughout the evening, folks mingled and chatted...
examined the quilts...
and bought books!
We even had a delightful moment to oohh and aahh when Bernice arrived with her latest version of the Maritime Beauty, this one done in Christmas colours.
Here's a shot of me (l) with Lynn Bourgeois, past president of The Cumberland Quilt Guild. Lynn was a big help in checking and editing the instructions in the book:
Alie Cameron from Antigonish also helped in this capacity, but was unable to attend due to health issues. Her good wishes were delivered via the telephone.
Thank you to all who attended, and a special thank you to Beth. We had intended to take the quilts down after the weekend, but decided that perhaps they could stay a bit longer. This coming Saturday (Nov 22nd) is the Christmas Parade in Amherst, so if you are in town that day and would like to see the quilts in this spectacular setting, you are welcome to stop in at 50 Victoria Street. Mrs. Pugsley's Emporium is open afternoons from 1-4:30.
Oh...and the flowers? They turned out to be from the Moore family. Thanks Charlene and Drew for your thoughtfulness.
When I packed up to come home, I couldn't leave without this adorable little plum coloured sequined purse:
As Steve and Morag used to sing on Smith & Smith, “it’s all part of the fun…”

Saturday 15 November 2008

Mrs. Pugsley's Emporium- Book Signing

It was so much fun at Mrs. Pugsley's Emporium last night! I will post some pictures shortly. We're doing the same thing again today, from 1-4:30 pm. You won't believe the cookies Mrs. P has...just incredible. Too much fun!

Tuesday 11 November 2008

Mrs. Pugsley's Emporium

The week is zipping away and Friday is almost here! The comments on the book so far have been heartwarming (thank you!) and I am floored to hear so many of you are planning to come Friday night to the launch. Mrs. Pugsley’s Emporium, located at 50 Victoria Street, is the perfect location for such an event. The 11 foot ceilings provide ample space for hanging quilts and the warmth and character of the building lends the perfect ambiance. This building was constructed of local sandstone between 1884 and 1886 by Rhodes Curry Co. Thomas Fuller, who is also credited with designing the first House of Parliament and the Parliamentary Library in Ottawa, designed the building which is known locally as “The Old Clock Tower.”
For those coming from out of town, this building is pretty much just across the street from the downtown Tim Horton’s. Most of us can usually find a Tim’s! :)

Beth Munroe, owner of Mrs. Pugsley’s, has spent a great deal of time and energy putting together this event. I will be there Friday, Nov 14th from 7-9 pm and again the following (Saturday) afternoon from 1- 4:30. I sincerely hope you can join us. Please email if you require further information. If you are unable to attend, the rest of my signing schedule is posted here. Coauthor Diane Shink will have her schedule posted shortly, and that may be found here.

Wednesday 5 November 2008

Canadian Heritage Quilting

It's here!!
Quilt appraiser and historian Diane Shink and I have been working on a book with Formac Publishing of Halifax. The book is a mixture of old and new; we've showcased vintage quilts from museums as well as from Diane's extensive personal collection and updated the sewing methods using today's quicker techniques. As an example, the cover quilt "Gram's Baptist Fans" features a very gentle curve. It is easily pieced by machine rather than appliquéd as our grandmothers would have done.
The book contains instructions for 16 projects, ranging from postcards, to totebags, to full-sized quilts.
More details to follow, both on ordering and on the big launch planned for downtown Amherst. I'll be adding that information here so please check back.
In the meantime, you are welcome to join with me in a big "Woo Hoo"! :)

Tuesday 4 November 2008

Bernice's Beauty

Last week I heard whispers that there were a lot of Maritime Beauties from the workshop almost finished. Bernice has beaten everyone to the punch and gets to have her Beauty posted first. It is indeed a beauty! You can click here to see it on the Sew & Tell page of my website, along with a few others. Great job, Bernice. Was there a special occasion for those flowers? :)

Friday 24 October 2008

Cumberland Colours

Jack Frost has been visiting our area a lot lately, giving demonstrations on blending colours for a landscape quilt. He began with a background fabric of blueberry fields... ...and continued to add a few sugar maples to his artwork:

Wednesday 22 October 2008

Dangerous Chocolate Cake in a Mug

Oh My...every so often something so clever and good comes along that you just have to share. Thanks to Kathi from Kuwait for posting this on an online quilting list. This is just too much fun!

1 coffee mug
4 Tbsp. cake flour (plain, not self-rising)
4 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. cocoa
1 egg
3 Tbsp. milk
3 Tbsp. oil
Small splash of vanilla
3 Tbsp. chocolate chips, optional
Add dry ingredients to mug, mix well with a fork. Add egg,mix thoroughly. Pour in milk and oil and vanilla, mix well. Add chips, if using.Put mug in microwave, and cook for three minutes on 1000watts. Cake will rise over top of mug--do not be alarmed! Allow to cool a little; tip onto a plate if desired.Eat!
And WHY is this the most dangerous cake recipe in the world? Because now we are all only five minutes away from chocolate cake any time of the day or night!

Perfect for the quilter who has worked all day stitching on the latest masterpiece and has no time to bake. Now we can have our cake and quilt it too! :)

Off to Japan! quilt is, not me... I am thrilled to learn that Simply Stated: A Portrait of Anne As A Young Girl has been awarded first place in the 100 Years of Anne category in the Kindred Spaces Textile Show. This show was organized to honour the 100th anniversary of the publication of Anne of Green Gables. In addition to the $1000. cash prize, the quilt travels to Yokohama, Japan to be exhibited in their International Quilt show, November 6 -8, 2008.
If anyone is lucky enough to be travelling in the area at this time, and would like more info on how to get to the show, here's the site:
(And if anyone has a couple of extra tickets to Japan just lying around, well...!

Saturday 18 October 2008

Maritime Beauty Workshop

Yesterday was such a fun time, gathered with a very enthusiastic group of women attending one of the Nova Scotia Fibre Fest workshops. The Ralston Room where we met was huge; it was a real treat to have so much space.
We spent the day foundation piecing, sewing curved seams and making bias binding.
These are the only pictures I took, and they were from the beginning of the class. Hopefully, the participants will all be sending along a picture of their finished Beauties which can be posted here. My thanks go out to the Cumberland Quilt Guild, Carol in particular, for all the work they did to organize and make the day a success.
After the workshop, we all went upstairs to take in the guild's quilt show. The number of quilts, the diversity in colours and patterns, and the beautiful sanctuary of Amherst's First Baptist Church all combined to make a spectacular exhibit. It was a "wow" moment entering that space.