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!

Friday 30 November 2012

Calming TheTerror

Last year at Fibre Arts Festival, I taught a workshop entitled Free Motion Quilting For The Absolutely Terrified.  This was our project for the day, a small wallhanging:
It was a very successful day and the students left feeling much more in control of losing control of their machines. Lynn decided to turn her stitching into this very pretty tote bag. As Lynn says, "It is not dramatic in colour, but it does have a soft beauty that I like."  It's always difficult to get a good picture of a wholecloth, but if you click to zoom in you can see the stitching details she has added. 
Thank you for sharing the photo, Lynn.  I hope readers will leave a comment to pat Lynn on the back for tackling - and conquering - her fear. 

Wednesday 28 November 2012

Time For Something Sweet...

If you are looking for some tasty Neary honey for your sweetie's Christmas sock, you can find it at Mrs. Pugsley's Emporium in the Old Clock Tower Building at 50 Victoria St., Amherst, N.S.
Hours are Thursdays and Fridays 11:30 am til 4pm-ish and Saturdays 11am til 3pm-ish. Evenings may be by appointment or chance. 

Monday 26 November 2012

Roots And Wings

The Tradition in Transition show opened yesterday at the Joshua Creek Heritage Centre in Oakville, Ontario.  Originally this exhibit was presented at the 18th Carrefour Européen du Patchwork in Alsace, France in September.  Curator Sandra Reford has put together this show with tremendous vision and extraordinary attention to detail.  I am both proud and humbled that my Log Canada is included.  Here you see a picture of the hanging of the show last week.  You can read more on this post on  Sandra's blog.
The gala opening was held yesterday where Sandra once again gave a talk on the show to over 50 guests. This same lecture she delivered in four languages in France, so this must have been a milk run for her!  Previous to this, Sandra hosted a dinner party at her home for all the artists involved. Sadly, I was not in attendance.
This exhibit of 36 quilts chosen from each of Canada’s 10 provinces and 3 territories reflects the diversity of styles and characteristics of Canadian creators and the regions from which they come.  Sandra's mission was to produce an exhibition of textile work of an exceptional technical level and which represents the current state of quilt and textile art in Canada.  The quilts run the gamut from traditional to modern and show how our quilting has grown and "transitioned" from utilitarian to art.  As a Maritimer with my roots firmly planted in traditional patchwork, I love the acknowledgement of where it all started, and the excitement of seeing where we are now.  Our grandmothers laid a solid groundwork to allow us to soar.
The show runs until January 6, 2013 so if you are in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) please stop in and have a look at this exceptional presentation.
All photos in this post are courtesy of Sandra Reford.

I love this last photo with the Tim Horton's cup;  how very Canadian!

Sunday 25 November 2012

50 Shades Of Green

Nope, I am not writing a novel...but choosing paint colours for a kitchen reno.  Hubby and I studied a lot of shade cards before choosing one we both liked.
We opted for Kennebunkport Green to complement the warm tan. (We've been to Kennebunkport many times and felt it was a safe bet.)
It was a lot of work removing old wallpaper and of course Polly was right in there helping.  By late afternoon, she conked out.
And where was the other helper?  Maddie had no interest in the work;  he opted for the soft couch in the family room.
After choosing the colour, the paint chips were no longer needed.   Rather than toss them, I cut them into tree shapes and will use them for Christmas tags.
If my kitchen ever does turn into a screenplay, maybe Simon Baker will play the contractor...

Thursday 22 November 2012

In Progress

The Advent Antependium has been blocked, photographed and delivered to the church (relief!).  I will post photos as soon as it is presented to the congregation. 
The committee and ministers had a look earlier in the week when I took it for a fitting and seemed pleased.  I am always nervous that they really won't get the point but this time I think the effect has been realized;  we are all drawn inexorably towards The Big Event. Next in the series is Christmas;  after two full days of work, it is coming along nicely.  The ivory and gold silks are beautiful together.

Sunday 18 November 2012

Christmas Antependium

The Advent parament is ready for a fitting (fingers crossed there are no changes needed...) and I am ready to start in on the Christmas hanging.  In total contrast to the complex patchwork used for Advent, this appliquéd one will be simple and classic.  The liturgical colour for Christmas is white;  I have chosen an off white silk dupioni to use as the background.  Yesterday on a trip to the city, I picked up some gold dupioni as well as some tassels.  I will decide later on which colour to use.  I love the richness and sheen of the fabric.  I admit to a real silk fetish.

This will complete my last obligation before Christmas and I am anxious to get going on some projects which have been rattling around in my head,

Wednesday 14 November 2012


A note about comments...thank you to the visitor from Scotland who left  a note yesterday mentioning the similar names in our homelands.  Some will not realize that "Nova Scotia" is latin for New Scotland, and attests to the origins of many of our early settlers.  In French it's a bit more obvious: Nouvelle Écosse.  Some of my ancestors came from Paisley, Scotland and set up housekeeping here. 

Still on the topic of comments...I had long resisted putting word verification CAPTCHAs on the comment form as frankly, they frustrate the heck out of me when I have to figure them out on other sites. However, the spam comments piled up and up, sometimes as many as 60 /day and I finally gave in.   After a couple of complaints I took it off yesterday to try it out and immediately the spam started again.  I apologize, but the word verification is going back on.  If it's difficult for you, kindly email your thoughts and comments. 

The bees are busy getting their houses in order for the winter.  The mild weather has provided them relief from staying inside and they are out enjoying the sunshine.  There are not many blooms around for them to feed on (still some dandelions) so hubby has added feeders.  The tan coloured box on top of the hive on the right in this picture shows the feeder.  Basically it is a trough with a wire cage at one end.  Sugar syrup goes in the trough and trickles through the mesh where the bees can access it.  The mesh keeps the bees from getting into the bath of syrup and drowning.
You can see them crowding around to enjoy a sweet treat.  They are able to convert the sugar syrup into honey which they will eat during the long winter ahead.
When we remove the top covers to the hives, there are always lots of ladybugs who have gathered to find shelter.  They are separated from the bees so there is no interaction, they've just found a nice winter home in the hive lid.  Everyone needs a place to set up housekeeping.

Tuesday 13 November 2012

An Escape In An Escape

Hubby (who drives an Escape) and I took off for a couple of days.  He called it a date;  I called it awesome.  Our final destination was Halifax but we took the long way there heading up along the shore road through Pictou and on to Antigonish.  We visited places where we used to live, and ventured into spots where we had never been.  One of these - Arisaig - I found particularly beautiful and hope to return soon. The goal of our trip was this:

Yup - we went to the opening of the new James Bond movie "Skyfall" at the iMax in Halifax!!!  (This is where the 'awesome' comes in). Loved it, loved it, loved it.
It was great to spend time in the city with no real agenda beyond the movie.  We got up early Saturday morning and attended the Seaport Farmer's Market at Pier 20.
What a busy spot this is.  We were surprised to see vendors from Cumberland County there as it's a long drive.  They told us they are up at 3 am and on the road before 5 to make it there in time.  I'm not sure how many times I could do that...
Our son had sent us with the directive to check out The Naked Pickle.  We were glad we did.  Owner Jim Dillman had a wonderful array of homemade pickles, jams, mustards and salsas.  We came home with several jars of salsa, including one aptly named Rocket Fuel.  Best salsa ever!
From here we moved on to the original Halifax Farmer's Market, located downtown in an old brewery on Water Street.
The boardwalk on the waterfront was deserted this early on a Saturday morning.  We enjoyed our stroll in peace.
Of course we stopped for a minute to greet Theodore.
Then it was back to Amherst with a stop in Truro before turning around and heading back to Antigonish.  We covered a lot of territory in a few days, all of it great fun. 

Wednesday 7 November 2012

Purrfectly Polly

It's been awhile since Polly made an appearance here on the blog;  she hasn't had much time to quilt as there have been other distractions in her life. Despite her small size, Polly is actually 1-1/2 years old and well past time for her to make the family-planning decision.  She decided to do the responsible thing and duly made the required trip to the vet.  Polly decided if she were to have a kitten, she would adopt.
The thought had barely formed when we began hearing faint, baby mews from under our front door step.  One often hears about babies being left on the their doorstep, and I guess that's what happened here.  We could hear it but not see it, as the kitten would not come near us. It just cried and cried, a lost forlorn wail. Naturally, I left food but kitten came out only when no one was around.  For over a week that little baby was outside, during rain and chilly nights.  With the forecast of one particularly cold night,I made a flanellette blanket stuffed with double layers of wool and pushed it under the doorstep.  The next morning when I went out to talk to kitten, it purred in response;  I could see the little paws kneading the edge of the quilt, so I knew it had brought him comfort.  Where was Polly through all of this?  I was keeping her inside as I was afriad she might chase the kitten away.  Finally, I could stand Polly being cooped up no longer and I let her out.  She immediately came to the doorstep and began sniffing suspiciously.  As soon as the kitten saw her, he came right to her with love in his eyes.  "Mama!!"
Polly wasn't so sure this was her baby...and it took her a bit of getting used to the idea.  Finally, we propped the front door open and the kitten followed Polly into the house.  Look at that face, and the little black nose.  It horrifies me to think this little baby was on his own, outside.  Here he is cuddled in hubby's arms; hubby named him Maddie.  Maddie purrs so loudly you can hear him in the next room!  Now that we have his trust, he's very affectionate.
Polly took to motherhood like a duck to water.  She showed the kitten where to sleep...
...and allowed him to play with her favourite toys.  Maddie trots along behind Polly wherever she goes.  When they go outside, Polly watches him like a hawk and herds him back into the yard if he ventures too far.  She's very protective. 
After a month of non-stop eating, Maddie is almost the size of Polly (that's Polly on the right).