Sew Karen-ly Created...

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Friday 26 December 2014

Boxing Day Blog Hop/Skip/Jump

Awhile back, I was invited by Mark Hordyszynski to participate in a blog hop which was making the rounds.  In this "hop" you were to link the readers along to the next group of bloggers, but after some discussion, Mark and I decided we would do the opposite and pay it backwards as it were and have it end here. To do this, I invite you to visit Mark at his blog, and then work your way backwards to meet Nanette, etc.

Although I've never met Mark in person, I've known about him for quite sometime and am a huge fan of his work. Mark personifies creativity:  he designs fabrics for Michael Miller (you may have heard of Fairy Frost and Mirror Ball Dot? Those are Mark's), writes books, knits, and cooks up a storm.  A native New Yorker, he is now living the dream in Hawaii.  Take the time to read back through Mark's blog to see some of the varied projects with which he is involved.

If I had to pin it down to the way my work differs from others, it would be in intensity and focus. I get consumed with an idea and will express in as many variations as possible before I am through with it and move on to the next thing.  The first time I sewed a Drunkard's Path block it resulted in 17 quilts, no two the same.  It's been pretty much the same with the New York Beautys.  I like to play around with colour placement and am over-the-moon when a new pattern emerges from doing that.  For me, the appeal of patchwork is all about the patterns formed from repeat and repetition...and the precision with which the tiny fabric pieces fit together.  I don't think anyone knows why they create, but for some of us it is as necessary as breathing.  It's part of you. Some of the designs come quite easily, and I see them finished in my head even before I start.  Others have a bit more difficulty being born, but it's seldom that I leave anything unfinished. Even though I can work on a couple of different projects at the same time, there are no UFO's here. Other than basting, I like all aspects of the quilting process; adding texture through machine quilting is as exciting as the surface design of the patchwork.

Very soon, I will get to show you the New York Beauty quilts from my book and I can't wait to do that.  In the meantime, I will share a whack of pictures of Christmas gifts made for this year since no surprises will be spoiled now.

These pillowcases in Christmas fabrics turned out beautifully.  You can find instructions for these on Mark's blog here. I wish I had more of this fabric for a set for myself, they were really pretty on the bed.

These microwave potato bakers were very quick to stitch. You can find directions on the batting package, or on the Pellon website.
I stocked up on zippers at Mrs. Pugsley's and had a great time making bags.
I made a lot of them, experimenting with different fillers to find a favourite...and I did:  In-R-Form from Bosal is fabulous.
It gives great structure to the project and is easy to needle.  

This one is for me, to carry my scissors and rotary cutters to workshops.
It isn't always easy to find things to make for men, but this Dopp Kit is perfect.  Guys carry stuff too.  This one for my Westphalia-obsessed husband used up fabric leftover from his pillowcase made earlier this year..
Mrs. Pugsley has several moustache fabrics at her shop and I found some furry stick-ons at the $ Store to accompany the bags.  Good fun for a laugh on Christmas morning!

The bags are all lined in coordinating prints and will wash easily.

For a feminine version, I used a gorgeous Hoffman print, and lined it with a coordinate from the same line.
Filled with Crabtree and Evelyn soap and lotion, it made a pretty gift.

Christmas 2014 was truly wonderful in this household; our family had such a good time together yesterday and I hope it has been the same for you.  Thanks for visiting, please take the time to say Aloha to Mark. and be sure to click back from his post to Nanette's, and so on and so on and so on...

Merry Christmas!


  1. Great post, Karen! Happy Boxing Day to you too!

  2. How fun are those bags......what a great array of fabrics! Have a great Boxing Day, Karen - later this morning when I sit down with a coffee, I shall embark on that backwards blog hop.

  3. What beautiful gifts!! Everyone on your list must have been thrilled.

  4. Glad you had a wonderful Christmas Day, Karen. I love making gifts for my family, but I really need to start earlier in the year. Did you buy the filler for your bags at Mrs. P's? I would like to try that. My Aunt just loved the" Beauty of Christmas" that I made for her. in case you didnt see, Check out my last blogpost. It didn't photograph well but believe me, it was just gorgeous.