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 20 December 2013

Winter Star Mug Mat on Craftsy

Awhile back I offered this free pattern for a mug mat here on the blog.  At that time, the technology demanded that you contact me and I email the pdf foundations to you.  A great many of you did that.  This morning I added it to Craftsy, where you can go and download it yourself directly to your computer with just a click.  Go ahead, it's free!  And there's no cost to join Craftsy either:  you create an account simply to have a spot to download your patterns.  This is a great little pattern on which to practice foundation piecing, and sewing a gentle curved seam.  Enjoy - winter is almost here!

Thursday 19 December 2013

Snow Fun

Our snow continued throughout the day yesterday.  It's a beautiful snow - angel soft and perfect for snowmen and coasting.  Polly was excited for a ride in the scoop (her ears are up in this picture as she was not impressed that I stopped to take a picture.  She likes to sail over the drifts!)
Maddie ran in circles, chasing snowflakes... 
 ..and then a game of chase with Polly.

The kitties got towelled off when they came inside.  They're not into hot chocolate but opted for a nap curled up on a warm blanket.

Wednesday 18 December 2013

Rushing The Season

We are having a lot of winter, despite the fact it is still officially fall.  We had 25 cm on Sunday and the same amount or more is on its way down now.
Polly came out for a second, shook her paw, and headed back inside.  Maddie waited patiently while I dug out the steps.
Then he tried to catch every single snowflake as it fell, much like we did as kids catching them on our tongue.
Polly watched us from the front window.  I expect she will be happy to go for a ride in the snow scoop once it stops snowing....if it ever does.  We are hearing whispers of another 45 cm for this Sunday...but that's ok as it will be winter then. 

Thursday 12 December 2013

Adding Some Colour

I haven't been sewing so haven't had anything to share but here's a bit of news you may not have heard.  Beginning early in 2014 Schmetz sewing machine needles will now be colour coded for size and type.  That will make it much easier on our ageing eyes to identify the proper needle for our project.
You can read about it here on the Schmetz site or download the new chart in pdf format here. As a user of these needles, I will print the chart and hang it near my machine for reference.

Tuesday 3 December 2013

A Little Christmas Nonsense

I've been goofing off...making fudge, going shopping, cutting holly...  Over the weekend after the bees were wrapped for the winter, I decided it was time to get a Care Package ready for my youngest at university. Exams start next week and he and his 4 room mates are up late hitting the books.  I figured they could use a little nonsense. Gathering my box of Christmas prints I sketched out a stocking shape, a little on the stubby side so that large hands could reach down inside.

 It was fun to mix and match the prints for the contrasting cuff.

Because these are not intended as heirlooms, stitching the names on free motion was a quick and easy way to go.  I had the 5 stockings done is less than an hour.
Stuffing them was so much fun:  packets of hot chocolate, Christmas Eve tea, peppermint kisses, caramels, boxes of raisins, fruit snacks, bags of Santa jujubes, chocolate coins, and of course a candy cane.
The stockings nestled in snugly with some other Christmas goodies and were couriered out this morning.  It was a fun surprise on the other end when it arrived this afternoon, and the boys loved having their names stitched on the socks.
We never grow too old for such nonsense.

Thursday 28 November 2013

The Big Reveal

Did you guess it?  It's  Yuletide Jewel, (Pattern 109) one of my very favourite designs.  Yesterday I showed you the quilting threads I chose.  For the continuous curves around the spikes, I used a matching Sulky rayon.

The centre cross-hatching uses gold metallic thread;  micro-stippling in every other grid section gives great texture.  Circles were quilted in the wide blue band, and then 3 sprays added to each.

These photos were shot in early morning, natural light and the colours are pretty funky (but I confess, I like the effect!). If you are local and would like to see this in person, drop down to Mrs. Pugsley's Emporium. Who says Christmas can't be purple? :)

Wednesday 27 November 2013

Purple Asian Peony

Last week I showed you some gorgeous Hoffman "Asian Peony"  fabric I picked up at Mrs. Pugsley's Emporium.
 Sewing my favourite New York Beauty blocks has been so much fun.
 Do you recognise the pattern I am making?
 It only has four blocks so I am almost finished.
The dots of colour on the selvedge help with thread selection for the quilting.  The fabric sparkles so I also chose threads which do.  I am off to quilt;  hopefully tomorrow I can show you the finished project!

Tuesday 26 November 2013

Gift Scrapped - The Printed Version

Last year I designed this fun Christmas quilt and offered it via download through Craftsy.  I've since heard from many who would prefer a printed version.  So, here once again is Gift Scrapped, this time in a more traditional format.  You can read my original post on the quilt here. 
The pattern, which includes directions for a lap quilt, table runner and placemats, is available for purchase through my website, or locally at Mrs. Pugsley's Emporium.  And if you are more of a digital devoteé, it's still available on Craftsy as well!

Friday 22 November 2013


What a thrill to open the new (Nov/Dec 2013) issue of Saltscapes magazine and see my Clare quilting friends profiled!
The article by Marjorie Simmins entitled "A Stitch In Time" looks at the long quilting tradition in Clare, Nova Scotia and at the amazing work being done by La Guilde Acadienne de Clare.  Not surprisingly, guild founder Joan Tufts is pictured and quoted extensively.
I had the pleasure of attending this spectacular show at Saulnierville's Sacre Coeur church last summer;  you can read my blog post here.  Fittingly, the magazine issue also includes an article on "An Acadian Christmas" with some pretty tasty looking recipes.
Congrats to La Guilde Acadienne de Clare for all the wonderful work they do to promote and encourage the tradition of quilting in the Maritimes.

Sunday 17 November 2013

Woodland Tree Skirt

The new pattern for Woodland Tree Skirt is finished and the instructions are ready and waiting to go out to you.  It is super quick and simple, with large pattern pieces and all straight seams.
It began with the notion that I wanted to sew something new for Christmas, something fuss free.  I sketched it out first in blue and silver;  an angled edge on each tree creates a dynamic secondary design where the seams connect.  I love how the silver points look like frost.
When it came time to sew however, I found myself gravitating towards more earthy, traditional tones of green and gold.
You can use it for a table topper as shown in the blue sketch, or easily leave out the top tip of the tree for a centre opening on a tree skirt.
It finishes to 40" across, but is easily made larger by adding an outside border.  Three little snaps hold the skirt closed.  The pattern is being offered for sale in two formats:  a regular printed pattern for $12.95, or as an instant pdf download through Craftsy for $9.00.  If you purchase through Craftsy, that price includes all taxes and delivery is immediate to your computer so you can start stitching right away.  If you have never used Craftsy before, there is no cost to join and it's a very simple process.  Locally the pattern is available at Mrs. Pugsley's Emporium, or directly from my website.
This has put me in the mood for more Christmas projects;  I never tire of sewing Christmas!  

Friday 15 November 2013

Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough

After such a lapse in blogging it's hard to know where to start again...with apologies, explanations, or pages and pages recapping all that's happened in the interim? It's best perhaps just to give a nod of acknowledgement to the difficulties of the past few months, and start back in.  We can kid ourselves into believing we are in control of our lives but all it takes is one hard knock to remind us otherwise..

Somehow in all the chaos, the book got finished and was couriered out to the publisher last week - a full 10 days before the deadline.  To design, sew, quilt, diagram and pattern 13 quilts plus write the narrative in under 4 months is no small feat, especially when the entire month of September was lost. There were many long days and short nights. I am so grateful to Lynn Bourgeois, Kari Lippert and Darlene Gerber for their willingness to proof and test the instructions.  It amused me to read this line from Kurt Vonnegut yesterday: "writing a book is an enormous ball of cotton batting, which sops up thousands of hours, giving almost nothing but a little lint in return..."  I am hoping that since I used wool batting and not cotton, there will be more to it than lint :)
So now it's time to get myself back on track and do some fun things.  I've been itching to get some of Mrs. Pugsley's gorgeous fabrics under my needle so I made a beeline for her Christmas prints.  I designed a super simple Christmas tree skirt, the pattern for which will be available very shortly.  It went together like butter and I can't wait to share some more pictures with you.
And then - because it's absolutely no fun just to work on one thing at a time - I started in on this gorgeous Asian Peony collection by Hoffman. I love the gold sparkle in the fabric;  it's like stitching a Paragon china tea cup.
The picture at the top of the post shows Maddie decked out in his Mt. A. colours in support of his favourite Mounties football team. The Mounties are having an amazing season and this weekend play in the Uteck bowl against Laval. If you are lucky enough to have scored a ticket, maybe you'll see Maddie there (if you do, please send him home!)

Friday 8 November 2013

Thé de Noël

La Guilde Acadienne vous invite à un « Thé de Noël » le 17 Novembre 2013
“Christmas Tea”

  • Prix de presence/ Door Prize
  • Exposition d’Articles à vendre/Display of quilting projects/items for sale
  • Loterie/Lottery
  • Bon manger/ Good food 
  • Sandwiches, douceur, thé. café/ sweets, tea, coffee.

La Salle Paroissiale de Saulnierville Parish Hall

November 17th 11h00 à 16h00 / 11 :00 to 4:00

Billets/Tickets 5,00$/ $5.00 à la porte / at the door.

Thursday 31 October 2013

Out Of The Nest

Out of the ballpark, really...

These beautifully executed feathers were stitched by Joan of ouvrages d'une acadienne.  I hope you leave a round of applause on Joan's blog.  Congrats, Joan;  we knew you had it in you :)

Sunday 20 October 2013

Feather Quilting Workshop

The 6th annual Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival is now a fond memory.  Class participants in my Beginner Free Motion Feathers class came from such places as Antigonish, Northport, Saulnierville, Moncton, Sackville,Springhill, Truro, Parrsboro, PEI...and even two from Amherst!  Our two Island gals especially had a lot of free motion experience under their belts and they really flew with the feathers (ahem...)... but for everyone, there was marked improvement in the stitching of the feather plumes between the start and end of the day. Folks went home pleased with their renewed  quilting confidence.

Sitting and stitching hours on end as you try to do your best work makes for an intense day, but the smiles stayed intact to the end. It's a privilege to spend time with such enthusiastic quilters dedicated to learning and improving their skills.

 Leave it to Joan to do something this beautiful on her feathered wreath:

Thanks to all for a great workshop.  It's both humbling and gratifying to have students return year after year and I appreciate your support immensely.   l look forward to meeting up with all my quilting friends for next year's festival - mark your calendars!