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.
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Tuesday 24 February 2009

Mardi Gras

This week I am putting the finishing touches on several quilts: making labels, sewing hanging sleeves, writing Artist's Statements...and looking for just the perfect box in which to ship. Often it takes as long to get the paperwork completed as it does to design and make a quilt!
I am thrilled that Log Canada has been chosen as part of a special exhibit of Canadian quilts at International Quilt Festival and will be touring the U.S. in 2009 (assuming it gets there on time, of course...) Log Canada is having a good year, and has recently been featured in Canadian Heritage Quilting and even briefly on ASN's Breakfast Television. More on the exhibit as the time draws closer...The quilt is much showier in person than you see in the picture.
It's also time to get a small packet off to Halifax for the Mayflower Quilt Guild's annual show and sale in support of the I.W.K. Hospital. That's coming up in March and promises to be a wonderful event. And then there's the Trend Tex Challenge "Roots"... which I have been dragging my feet on this year. The steps in construction of this quilt have been photographed and I will post it shortly as I did for last year's entry.
Later today we will enjoy a traditional dinner of pancakes and sausages to mark Shrove Tuesday. Here's a no-fail recipe for pancakes which came from my sister Nancy:
Fluffy Pancakes
2 cups flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
2 cups milk
2 Tbsp. melted butter (I use olive oil)
In a large mixing bowl add dry ingredients. Blend. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, milk and oil. Pour into dry ingredients and mix well.
Pour 1/3 cup batter for each pancake on a hot non-stick griddle. Bake until puffy and bubbly around the edges. Flip and bake other side. Serve hot with Nova Scotia maple syrup. Delicious!

Wednesday 18 February 2009

Anne in Japan

The Fed Ex man left a wonderful surprise this afternoon! Tourism P.E.I. had telephoned yesterday to alert me that my Anne quilt would be returned today. This is "Simply Stated: A Portrait of Anne As A Young Girl" which went to Japan last fall to be exhibited at International Quilt Week Yokohama in Pacifiko Yokohama. Turns out the Anne exhibit was so popular that they decided to send it along elsewhere, and it ended up at International Quilt Week Fukuoka in Fukuoka Yahoo Dome.
The surprise part came when I opened the box to find some goodies inside, sent from Japan. There is a 2009 Quilt Calendar of Japanese quilts:
...and a copy of the December issue of Patchwork Quilt Tsushin.Inside, some of the quilts from the exhibit are shown, including the Anne Portrait. I have no idea what the caption reads! There are some wonderful pictures of scenery of P.E.I. taken when the editor and show organizers toured the province in October. The magazine is beautiful - so many quilts featured, and the work on the Japanese quilts is exquisite.
Best of all, there was a packet of 9 Fat Quarters of Japanese Fabrics.
I am so thrilled to have the fabric. Even though I didn't get to go to Japan with the quilt, I now have a delightful souvenir of the exhibit.

Sunday 15 February 2009

Quilty News Bits

There's a new blogger in town! Maritimers familiar with Linda Hubbard's name and lovely work will be pleased to find Linda online here. Be sure to leave a comment if you visit...and tell her Karen sent you! :)

As a special for CQA members, another of the vintage quilts shown in the book Canadian Heritage Quilting has been patterned and is featured in the Spring issue of The Canadian Quilter. My issue arrived Friday and I was so pleased to see the lovely layout editor Marsha Cleveland came up with for the article. The crib sized version was inspired by a Ship of Dreams quilt made by Diane Shink's mother back in the 1930's. I was pleased to be able to find a print very similar to one Mrs. MacLeod had used way-back-when - a soft, creamy white with cornflower blue. I believe the line was called "Threads of Time" by Moda. To emphasize the "dream" aspect in the quilt name, the border was cut in a gentle scallop.

Once the quilt was finished, more creative thought went into finding a suitable setting for the photograph. Luckily, the small lighthouse at the Nova Scotia/New Brunswick border is a perfect spot, with not too many big rocks to climb over to reach the lighthouse. You can just catch a bit of it peeking out at the top of the picture.

Saturday 14 February 2009

Bird Treats

I've been spending so much time lately making suet balls for the birds that my 12-grain breakfast cereal this morning looked suspiciously like birdseed! I told hubby this only confirms that I eat like a bird :)
This week I tried a new recipe, found in the pages of Birds and Blooms magazine, which the feathered folk in the backyard seem to be enjoying. I varied the recipe somewhat, and will give you my version if you'd like to try it. Starlings, Northern Flickers, Black-Capped Chickadees and both Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers give this two thumbs up (well...figuratively speaking. They don't really have thumbs...)
Tropical Bird Treat
1 cup lard
1 cup peanut butter (I used crunchy)
2-1/2 cups oats
2-1/2 cups cornmeal
1/3 cup coconut
Raisins, nuts (I used chopped peanuts), birdseed (optional)
Melt lard and peanut butter. Stir in other ingredients. When cool enough, shape into balls and roll in birdseed. Wrap in waxed paper and freeze. Cut a mesh onion bag into a circle, remove the waxed paper from the frozen ball and wrap ball in the mesh. Tie a string around the top of the bag for hanging. This made enough for 5 suet balls.

Tuesday 10 February 2009

Chaos and Creation...

Paul McCartney coined the phrase so brilliantly (do you recognize it?)...but then again, Paul does everything brilliantly. Not literally in the backyard, but it has been both chaos and creation around here, the former from an ISP connection issue. How cut off one feels when it is no longer possible to write email, upload pictures, forward notes, blog, or fiddle on a webpage! Hubby would say it's always chaos in my workroom, but I don't know how to make things happen otherwise. It always floors me to see perfectly ordered sewing rooms, with fabric stacked neatly and threads tame and untangled. I tell hubby he is the calm in the eye of the storm...and I'm the storm :)
The creation part has been going strong and this week I have the pleasure of working with Michael Miller Fairy Frost and Mirror Ball Dot fabrics. I am just about finished, and then will send this creation off to be featured in the pages of an upcoming issue of McCall's. No sneak peeks, other than at the colourful array of fabrics being used in this project.

As for the backyard...The only chaos and creation there today was caused by a pheasant who came to check out the bird feeders, and didn't really care for a couple of crows who tagged along:

Pheasants certainly can make a lot of noise!

Wednesday 4 February 2009

Another Snow Day

Here it is only Wednesday and youngest son has had two days off school already this week (coming on the heels of two days off for storms last week also!)
That means, of course, that there are lots of muscles to help with the shovelling...and there is certainly lots of that to be done in Amherst today.
These wintry days are conducive to quilting; this afternoon, I am putting the finishing touches on a dresser scarf made from recycled silk. I really love working with silk, despite the slow speed and care one must take with this fine fabric.
Yesterday I delivered some new patterns down to Dayle's, including the Yuletide Jewel. It hasn't been added to the checkout page on my website as yet (patience, I'll get there...) but if anyone is interested in ordering online, simply send an email and I'll give you the details.