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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Sunday, 28 October 2012

Advent Advancing

I am busily working on the Advent antependium...and very behind schedule.  My original plan was to have it finished and delivered before the end of August;  now  I will do well to get it delivered by the end of November.  My design involves rather complex piecing, with the eye drawn to a star in the centre of a vortex.  Years back I learned how to draft these perspective pieces from Angela Madden, hand drawn full sized on freezer paper.  I drew the sketch three times before it suited, and then once more in mirror image so my final patchwork would be oriented in the desired direction.
I've done similar patchwork before.  This piece below was entered in the Trend Tex Challenge at Quilt Canada (thus the gaudy fabrics, which were not my choosing!!) the year it was in Fredericton, N.B. (What year was that, Linda?)  The theme was "Time" and it features an hourglass of flying geese units. It was a challenge to piece, mostly because I kept running out of fabric (extreme patchwork and Fat Quarters don't mix...)
I used the same method again in 2010 for another Trend Tex Challenge piece the year Quilt Canada was held in Newfoundland.  The theme was "Quilting On The Edge".  I had sense enough this time to make the piece smaller although I still used every available scrap of those five Fat Quarters.  You can see where I had to insert a strip of the peacock blue in the bias binding to have enough to finish.
Running short on fabric won't be an issue this time around, the issue will be running out of time.  The colour this church uses to celebrate Advent is a deep, rich purple.  Some denominations use blue for Advent.  I am using lots of Fossil Fern fabrics in my palette.
Because of the odd angles, no two pieces in the patchwork are the same size.  I number each strip before I cut it from the master and then assign a letter to each block in the strip so I don't mix up the sequence.  The freezer paper is ironed to the wrong side of the fabric and each patch is cut and joined individually. It's slow going.
I work one row at a time and join it immediately to the previous one so I don't mix anything up.
To deepen the effect of the vanishing point perspective, darker colours are used at the bottom switching to lighter shades towards the top and centre.
The bottom, one side and half of the sky are finished.  This silver lamé star may or may not be the one used, but it is helpful for now to get a sense of how it will look.
Even though it may look as though it's almost together, if it doesn't please my eye it will get redone...and redone...until it suits.


  1. Oh wow - Karen, that is going to be a beautiful piece! The design certainly draws one's eye to the centre, doesn't it.

  2. Quilt NB was in 2003!
    This is going to be another beautiful piece - I look forward to watching it progress!

  3. It will be a spectacular piece I am sure!! I can't wait to see it completed!!
    Lori S.

  4. Wow! I just wish I could borrow your brain for a few minutes. You are the greatest designer... I can just hear God looking down and saying " that one knows what to do with the talents I sent her way" ♥♥♥

  5. Such process, such beauty. And you are definately one of Amherst's great treasures.

  6. Oh, wow, Karen. I think you have another winner, here. Our Advent Antependium is a piece of blue fabric with a single silver star. I am so jealous.

  7. Amazing process! I wouldn't know where to start. I would need a week-long workshop!!

  8. it's not that often that I see a photo of a quilt on someone's blog or website, only to look left from my computer and see the actual quilt on my wall. I was the lucky purchaser of the Newfoundland Trendtex piece a few years ago.

  9. Thanks Karen for giving me a credit for starting you on this technique. For anyone else interested in using my ideas and techniques the book which explains the whole process is called 'Pieceful Scenes' and is available along with my other books and tool from my website ..... none of my techniques are difficult as I develop. for the fastest and easiest methods, and many folk all over the world have learnt to do this from following my instructions.
    Happy Quilting!