Sew Karen-ly Created...

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Sunday, 8 April 2012

The Easter Antependium

This morning the first of 6 commissioned paraments was dedicated in church. Besides working within specific measurements, my instructions were, "happy, colourful...and with a palm branch." Here's how I interpreted Easter. Comprised of 252 pieces, the patchwork centre is a traditional Mariner’s Compass block surrounded by a ring of Flying Geese. The colours in the outer ring represent the Lenten journey, moving through purple to a single red (for Palm Sunday) and into darkening shades of grey before turning pure white. Palm fronds, reminiscent of laurel leaves, flank the top of the sunburst. Rays are machine quilted in the top section of the hanging.
I began with a sketch of the centre section in EQ7.
Then I added an outer ring, coloured it on the computer, and printed it out full-size (21-1/4" x 24") to use as a piecing guide. The cross on top is cut from white paper strips.
As the work is curved, most of the piecing was done using templates.
Some of the subsections were foundation pieced.
It grew slowly, but it was pure joy to do.
Here's the centre section pieced; it's interesting to see how closely it resembles the sketch.
The palm branches were appliqued and free motion stitched.
A thin layer of wool batting was added to give the piece dimension.
At the top, rays were quilted in the white shoulder sections.
I pondered for some time how to finish the rounded bottom and decided I did not want binding to take away from the design so the backing was added right sides together and the piece was "birthed". The white cross was lightly padded with another layer of wool batt for dimension and was machine blind-stitched to the front.

50 hours later, this was the result.
I have to admit, I am pleased with the piece and delighted with the reception it received at the church.
I wish you all a Happy Easter.


  1. Gorgeous! You should be very proud Karen. What an honor.

  2. You SHOULD be very pleased and proud Karen. It is absolutely beautiful!! I'm sure your congregation is equally pleased!

  3. It gives me goosebumps to think of arriving at church at Easter to see that beautiful quilt. Congratulations, Karen!

  4. Wow! Such a beautiful piece of art!

  5. It's absolutely stunning Karen! You must be so proud. Your congregation must be so proud too! Brava!! Happy Easter.

  6. It is absolutely wonderful. Congratulations on a work well done.
    Diane P.

  7. Bravo Karen that is an exceptional piece.Congratulations!

  8. Worth the wait to see this result. Beautiful interpretation of the seasonal journey and the joy of the resurrection.

  9. Dear Karen
    The prior messages say it all. But oh how beautiful.Your work is just amazing. Awesome comes to mind. Happy Easter to you & yours.

  10. That is absolutely gorgeous. What a n honor to have it displayed so beautifully. Love it!

  11. Stunning. Beautiful job. Thanks for walking us through your methods. You have a real knack for interpreting beauty.

  12. Karen - that is absolutely breathtaking - you have such a talent - I am truly in awe!

  13. Wow - that is so beautiful - I always love your designs but this one is the most amazing ever..

  14. That is totally fabulous. I'm so glad you showed the whole process. It's just incredible.

    I wonder if your church realizes how lucky they are to have you as a parishioner!

  15. Karen,This is a most beautiful piece of art. You have again done special work.Thank you for sharing

  16. : 0

    wow wow wow wow wow!

    Sheesh - those colors are just glowing and gorgeous! Look at all that piecing! Your perfectionism is incredible and so worth it.


  17. Are you on the Friday Feature waitlist for The Needle & Thread Network??
    hint hint

  18. This is beautiful. Thanks for the explanation of why you chose the various design components.