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. Shown here is "To Be Where You Belong", presented to Sir Paul McCartney on his visit to Nova Scotia in 2009.
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Saturday, 11 September 2010


During the summer, I pieced a New York Beauty quilt from silk. It features a gorgeous navy jacquard, paired with two lighter blues, a pure yellow and some cream coloured silk dupioni. My intent is to have this piece hung with my display during Fibre Arts Festival. As always, I started the quilting by stitching in the ditch around the blocks. This allows me to remove the safety pins used for basting so that I can free motion quilt without having to stop and remove them. The thread I am using to quilt this piece is Invisifil, a 100 weight thread which is as fine as silk.
The foot-work is the easy part. After that begins the dreaded "how am I going to quilt this" conundrum. For a couple of days as I mulled this over, I carried around a printout of the block and would glance at it as I did other things. I wanted to quilt something different in the space between the points than I had done on my other Beauties...something that radiated out from the centre and followed the gradual shape of the V, but also something that curved. Stacking a loonie (our 1$ coin for non-Canadian readers), a nickel and a small button created a shape that reminded me of bubbles. I like it.
There are a couple of ways that this shape could easily be quilted in a continuous line. The one easiest for me was to start at the bottom, do half of one circle, cross over to do the opposite side of the second circle, cross over to the top and then reverse to come back down. Can you follow my arrows to see the path? One could also do semi-circles up one side and down the next. Crossing over from side to side was more like a smooth handwriting exercise for me.
I won't be showing the whole quilt here, only bits and pieces - it will be a surprise for Fibre Arts Festival. I am thinking I will go back and echo quilt around the circles to allow them to stand up a bit.
This morning the bees surprised us with a shape they had created also. The hive cover was lifted to reveal a big letter K (for Karen) formed from burr comb. Can you see it?
We did smoke the bees off the wax and the "K" appeared more distinct, but by then my camera batteries had you'll have to take my word that their penmanship is top drawer...and their cleverness knows no limits.

We looked in all the other boxes hoping to find the letter J (hubby's initial) but to no avail. I guess we know who those bees like best, huh? :)


  1. Smart bees for sure!!! Love that Blue Beauty- can't wait to see it all!! I hope to get to the Festival on Friday...

  2. The New York Beauty is a true beauty! Love how you are quilting it. I think Invisifil is great for machine quilting!
    Fantastic "K" - must be a sign for you?!

  3. Love yhour beauty and what clever bees for sure.

  4. Wow! I love the quilting. As usual your work inspires me to want MORE! See you at the Festival!

  5. Cant wait to see your silk beauty. Hopefully in person!

  6. What a great idea to use the silks for the NY beauty. When you quilt with the Invisifil thread, what size needle do you use?

  7. Hi, Laura: Surprisingly, I am using a size 90/14 Cordonnet (topstitch) needle with this thread to quilt the silk. I did try a smaller needle on a sample as I was concerned about holes in the fabric, but the larger needle seemed to work better on the quilt. I am using a wool batting so this piece has a fair amount of thickness and loft. I am liking how it looks.

  8. I think the bees know who their Queen Bee is :))

  9. Oh, yes, I see the "K". Man you have smart bees.

    If in your travels, anybody from Fredericton happens to drop in to see you. I'd like to have a Tub of honey and 8 waxes. I'll settle up with you later.