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!

Sunday 30 January 2011

Snow, Bees, and Optimism

Cumberland County, Nova Scotia has enjoyed much snow this winter. (OK... so maybe I can't speak for the whole county when I say that...but I am enjoying the snow!) Today hubby and I decided to check on the hives to see how the bees are faring.
In the winter, we are unable to drive into the field where the bees are kept. Normally we drive in on a dirt road part of the way and hike in from there. Today we found that road had not been ploughed so we had to hike a little further, climb a barbed wire fence, and then...this mountain of snow. We sunk into the soft snow almost up to our hips. It was hard and slow...and lots of fun!
As we neared the hives, we spotted evidence of winter cleansing flights the bees had taken, some more successfully than others.
The hives themselves were secure and cozy. Many bees were flying around to greet us. All is well.
On the drive home, we spotted this car in a driveway....a little MG, top down, and a toboggan in the backseat. You have to love the optimism of youth!

Saturday 29 January 2011

Joan's Meadow Song

This is Joan's Meadow Song, which she began in my workshop last fall at Fibre Arts Festival.

Her colour selection is gorgeous, making those little pinwheels dance across the face of the quilt. I am expecting to see another version soon, as I know Mary is working away on hers (feeling pressured now, Mary? :) The pattern for my Meadow Song quilt appeared in the spring 2010 issue of Quilter's Connection magazine.

Friday 28 January 2011

Winter Sunshine

Jeannine Damstetter of Gardner, Masachusetts sent in this bright and cheerful version of Yuletide Jewel. Imagination is a wonderful thing; Jeannine saw this as a dream catcher and chose her colours with that in mind. (Her grandson turned it sideways and said it looked like an eyeball! :) Like elsewhere along the east coast, Massachusetts has seen their share of snow this winter and Jeannine's colour scheme is a cheerful boost of winter sunshine. Jeannine kindly commented on how simple the instructions were to follow. Next up for Jeannine is my Oriental Beauty and we will watch to see her unique interpretation of that design. The pattern for Yuletide Jewel is available from my website, or ask at your local quilt shop. Thanks Jeannine for doing such a spectacular job!

Thursday 20 January 2011

Farrago Blossoms Underwater

I just love when folks send in pictures of quilts they've made from my patterns; I learn and grow each time. These pictures of Farrago came from online quilt friend Joanne Colleaux from Armstrong, British Columbia, Canada.

Here's what Joanne wrote about her quilt:
"In the last 10 days, I had time to make my Farrago project. I'm very pleased - a lot of work, but worth it. I liked the blue-green palette that you and Carol Griffin used, and the fabric placements that she used to get the star points. My goal was to feature several fabrics that I'd purchased to commemorate great visits to the Atlanta and Newport Aquariums. Only the turtles didn't make the cut. Rather than try and piece those really deep arcs (which I was sure was beyond my skill level) I machine appliquéd the dark value narrow bands. I used freezer paper templates for pressing over the starched edges. I was pleased that I'd purchased your arc foundations - the paper was very easy to remove. In terms of the quilting, I took my cues from photos you posted of your work with various NYB pieces. Why mess with success?"
It really is beautiful, Joanne; thank you so much for sharing pictures as well as your process.

Friday 14 January 2011

Pictou County Beauties

Just look at these beauties from Pictou County, Nova Scotia! (and check out their quilts, too :)

Anne Mattie (on the left) and Wilma Jenkins have been busily working on their Maritime Beauty table toppers. As you can see, Wilma varied the centre of hers for a terrific look, pieced in colourful batiks. Wilma and I have only met through email as yet, but I had the pleasure of meeting Anne last August at the Northumberland Quilt Show at the DeCoste Centre in Pictou. I understand these ladies have a couple more projects up their sleeves, so we will look forward to seeing more pictures. Great job, Anne and Wilma! I hope all readers will click the word "comments" at the bottom of this post to let Anne and Wilma know you have enjoyed looking at their work. You do not need a Blogger account to leave a comment, simply click "anonymous".

Thursday 13 January 2011

No Treadmilling Today

Here's what I am working on for the next little bit...along with everyone else in the Maritimes! 30 cm of beautiful white snow. Fortunately school is cancelled so I have helpers.

Tuesday 11 January 2011

Black Clouds and Silver Linings

If anyone out there has ever wondered if it's possible for a household to fry two motherboards in a single day...I'm here to tell you the answer is "yes". Desktop and laptop both bit the dust in two unrelated, unfortunate (shmelting) incidents. Bad Karma indeed...

Lynn to the rescue, with a very snazzy loaner until things are sorted back to rights. The good far outweighed the bad today. Thank you, Lynn. for being such a stress reliever.

Friday 7 January 2011

Sew Much Fun

Because I had a magazine deadline to meet in December, there wasn't much time left to make gifts. The lavender socks were given away prematurely, with only one knit...although they did include a promise for a second to match. (thanks for your understanding, Nancy :) Thinking about what could be made quickly, I remembered the nifty "Humbug Bags" that the Bernina Lady was demonstrating at her visit last July. I rummaged through my zipper box and came up with a pink and a navy zipper and went looking for fabrics to match. This brightly coloured scrap of a Benartex batik was perfect for a pretty bag.
I simply layered it with a scrap of wool batting and a piece of matching lining, and free motion quilted around the butterflies in the print.
With the addition of the zipper, a hanging loop, and a seam across both ends, it was done.
I made mine the size of one I had received from Lynn, as it's perfect for my iPod and I thought the recipient might find a similar use.
They are neat little bags as they sit upright on their bottom. (Like me :)
It went together so quickly, there was time to make one more. For this one I chose a pretty Kaufman oriental print for the top and another as a contrasting lining. I did all over quilting using blue variegated YLI Ultrasheen thread.
Here's the lining:
I was unsuccessful in locating a bag of humbugs to put inside, but these kisses worked well. By strange coincidence, the recipient of this bag included a bag of humbugs in her gift to my son! She's obviously a better shopper than I am.
With Christmas behind us, I am back to work on a set of mats to fit a round table. I mentioned in a previous post that Rosa from Ohio and I have been chatting this project over and discussing sizes, shapes, etc. The design has gone through several drafts and revisions to reach this stage, and Rosa has not yet seen my final version. I got to see Rosa's this morning. A few minutes ago I started doing the straight line quilting in the ditch on the centrepiece and am now ready to tackle some free motion. The fabric is Forever Spring by Nancy Halvorsen for Benartex. After this are 4 placemats to layer, baste, quilt and bind.

Monday 3 January 2011

Special Gifts

We were blessed to have special gifts under our tree this holiday season, many hand made, others chosen with great effort especially for us. One in particular bears mentioning. I was surprised and delighted to open this parcel from my brother. It is an antique German toy sewing machine, in near perfect condition. He spotted this at an auction in October at the home of the late Edna Sutherland of River John, N.S. The home had been in the family since the early 1800's and there were many original pieces. The little sewing machine is exquisite. The hand crank turns perfectly and the machine stitches as it was intended many years ago. There is not a bit of rust on the machine; it has obviously been well loved and cared for.
The machine even has the original needle. It was fun to thread the machine, turn the crank and imagine the delight this brought a child many years ago. It certainly delights this child. Thanks, LR.
Another less tangible but still appreciated gift was one of good travelling weather over the Christmas season. The skiff of snow we had allowed us to visit and our house guests to return safely home without issue. Today the back yard is Christmas-card pretty. We awoke to 15 cm of snow.
No doubt it will be all cleared off in time for the students to return to class tomorrow but if not...well, not many would object to the gift of another day off school.

Saturday 1 January 2011

New Year, New Beginning

Inspiration is everywhere. I wonder who will be the first to transpose this new ball in Times Square into a quilt? These 32,256 rainbow LED lights projected through Waterford Crystal triangles would look gorgeous expressed in batiks sashed with black Kona cotton. Any takers? :)
Personal expression, interpretation and putting our own spin on things are important considerations for quilters. I was thrilled to read Joan's blog this morning and see how she has interpreted my Meadow Song design. It was a wonderful beginning to my year. I hope yours has also begun in such a positive way.
Happy 2011 to all.