Sew Karen-ly Created...

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Thursday 11 September 2014

Quilting Connections

Life is all about connecting. Networking and teamwork are paramount to any successful endeavour. When things come together it's a pretty wonderful feeling!
Because our Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival will roughly coincide with the release of my new book on New York Beauty quilts (being published by AQS in Paducah, Kentucky) my focus for festival this year made sense to be NY Beauty related.  I decided to make a New York Beauty quilt to donate as a fundraiser to the festival.  Mrs. Pugsley's Emporium chimed in and went one better for her contribution to the festival by donating a trip for two to New York City.  Wow!!!!
I set to work on a new design that would somehow connect to NY and capture the essence of the city for which the block is named. I thought of blue/greens for the water, blue sky, the spikes of the Chrysler Building and Statue of Liberty, and a splash of yellow and black chequerboard to call to mind the iconic taxi cabs. My quilt is named New York, New York...which brings to mind the line from Sinatra's song. Here's how the quilt turned out:
It's vibrant and busy like the city itself. Machine pieced and quilted with gorgeous hand-dyed Hoffman batiks, New York, New York features free form feather quilting and a hand-stitched binding on the scalloped edge. (Seen in person, you realize that no one does batiks like Hoffman of California. They are spectacular.)

Even the construction was by no means a solo undertaking;  Faithful Polly was ever-present ensuring those points were sharp.
On a lark, I contacted Heather McArthur of Quilter's Connection magazine in British Columbia to see if she would like to offer the pattern in her publication.  She loved it and was kind enough to fast-track it into the  fall issue so the magazine would be out in time to coincide with our festival.  Thank you Heather, we appreciate the effort it took for you to accommodate us.  Next I connected with the multi-talented Cheryl Coville from Ontario to ask her to check my instructions.  In addition to being a trained fine artist who has authored a couple of books, and designs unique "fusion" knitwear, Cheryl also used to be an editor for a quilt magazine. (What a handy friend to pull out of your pocket *-)  
Cheryl worked her magic in double time; the quilt got sent off to the editor, and made the cover.  I know I am biased, but what a stunning photograph!
Mrs. Pugsley has ordered a whole carton of these  magazines for her Emporium!  They are available for purchase now, and during Fibre Arts Festival.
Quilter's Connection is a beautiful publication and we are so proud it's published right here in Canada.  For international readers, the magazine is available at this link as a digital download from the Quilter's Connection website for a very modest $4.95.  It includes all instructions for the projects pictured, including of course New York, New York. (There is one more surprise in the issue I would love to share, but it's not my news so I will wait until someone else mentions it on her blog...)
The quilt is on display now at Mrs Pugsley's Emporium, where the tickets to win the quilt - or a trip to New York! - are also on sale.  Stop in and pick up a copy of this lovely magazine.
Because of these connections made from Amherst, to Kentucky, California, British Columbia, Ontario and back to Amherst again... you may actually get to wake up in the city that never sleeps.
It truly takes a lot of team work to make something like this happen and I am so grateful to have the help and support of such a fabulous crew.


  1. How exciting! CONGRATS cover girl!!! Can't wait to get my issue, and buy tickets so I can win! I don't know which I'd be happier winning- the quilt or the trip. Either would be fabulous and cause for great celebration. :)

  2. Congratulations on making the cover - it came through recently on their monthly newsletter, and even though it wasn't named I could tell that quilt had "Karen" all over it! (and Polly too, sorry Polly, didn't mean to leave you out)

    It's a stunning quilt, and the colours are wonderful.

  3. Congratulations Karen and well deserved! Can't wait until I get my issue! Also can't wait for your book to come out - I hope you will autograph my copy when I order it!!

  4. And that quilt is gorgeous as well - it is now on my bucket list!!

  5. Beautiful! Beautiful! And being a native New Yorker I applaud your design sensibilities in paying homage to the city... I especially like the yellow and black checkers for the taxi cabs. Kudos to you, great success with your book, andI look forward to more of your inspiring creativity! Congratulations!

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  7. The quilt is lovely. It's a good thing you had Polly there to help you finish it on time. I will check Chapters today to see if they have a copy yet.
    Now that your Maritime Beauty pattern has taught me how to make a NYB block, I am looking forward to adding your book to my collection.

  8. I subscribe to Quilters Connection - and loved this quilt when I saw it on the cover. It's on my to -do list!

  9. Wow, Karen!! Such excitement. Your work is just exquisite!! I just don't know how you find the time.

  10. Beautiful quilt Karen. Such a well deserved honor for you and your team of helpers to get it published so quickly. You are a very talented quilter and this is even more proof. The colors are so eye catching and pleasing. Wonderful job.