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 "Log Canada" from the book "Canadian Heritage Quilting".
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Monday, 7 February 2011

Valentine Sewing

My last post ended with this picture of a pile of silk scraps in colours appropriate for Valentine's Day. Hmmm...what shall I make? Here's what I came up with: a quilted heart sachet/pillow and a flax-and-lavender-filled eye mask, which can be heated in the microwave or cooled in the freezer. I was less than 2 hours from start to finish, including time spent figuring out the designs.
I started with the square heart sachet, and drew a simple shape on paper. It's a little wonky, but that suits me; it's only a rough guide, after all. I stitch much better than I draw.
Then I added some feathery looking scrolls and do-dads around the heart.
The silk was thin enough that I could see to trace the design when I held it against a window. Several marking pens were tried before I settled on a blue, water soluble marker with a soft, thick tip. The fine tipped ones dragged on the silk.
I layered the red silk on a scrap of wool batting and free motion quilted following the marked lines. YLI silk thread was used on the top and regular cotton sewing thread on the bottom. You can see I am not very close to some of those lines :) Originally I planned to add cross hatching in the centre of the heart but decided I liked the way it was puffing up.
The markings were washed off and the heart was left to dry; I moved on to making the mask.
I spent some time figuring out the shape of the mask. I considered tracing around the black part of this Hallowe'en mask and adding an inch or so to make it larger...
...but in the end I found the largest pair of sunglasses around, traced the general shape and added a good inch or so all around. I made the top edge straight across.
Because the China silk was so thin, it needed medium weight fusible interfacing.
It was ironed to the back of the silk.
The template was used to cut two layers, a front and back.
Then the pieces were sewn right sides together, leaving an opening at each side: a small one to add elastic, and a larger one to allow turning.
The curves were clipped along the bottom and at the nose piece.
The mask was turned and pressed - carefully, because silk does not take a hot iron well.
The elastic was cut rather loosely, as this isn't anything you want tight around your head when sleeping. 13" seemed a good length. This lingerie elastic has a pretty picot edging which seemed appropriate. I slipped it in the smaller opening and topstitched it closed.
Through the large opening, I added flax and lavender. It was tricky to decide how much, and I may have gone a little overboard on this part, but I ended up using about 1 cup of flax and 1/4 cup of lavender. The flax is just the regular grocery store kind found in the cereal aisle at Sobeys and the lavender came from the health food store in Sackville, N.B. It smells wonderful.
The opening was then stitched shut. I also stitched across the nose piece, just to keep the contents from shifting too much from side to side.
To dress it up, a little ribbon rose was added to the centre. Ta da - all done!
By now the quilted heart was dry, so I placed it face down on a piece of silk lining and stitched around the edge, leaving about a 4" opening on one edge to turn.
A chopstick was used to gently coax out the corners and then the sachet was stuffed with leftover bits of wool batting with lavender mixed in.
It's about 6" square...and smells wonderful!
I plan to make more of these masks as they were very simple to do and will make a nice little gift...useful on those sleepless nights we all have when planning our next quilt.


  1. Love your silky creations, especially love your feathery heart. Bet they smell wonderful!

  2. Awesome as usual. Two in one. Great tutorial
    Happy Valentines Day to you.

  3. Hi, Karen: I read and enjoy your blog every day but have never left a comment before. It must have taken a long time to write such a detailed post like this one. Thank you for sharing your talents and ideas.
    Sharon in VA