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. Pictured is "Grandmother's Blossoms"; pattern is available here.
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Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Midnight Magic

This fall at the Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival, I am presenting a new workshop on curved flying geese.  Although the technique is fun and fairly straightforward, it's a fair process to develop a consistent, professional looking pattern to use in the class.  I have tried drawing the geese on the computer and although the results look fabulous, it seems the curves, or the placement of the geese, are never QUITE what I was aiming for.  For me and these geese, hand-drawn is the way to go. Our class project is this one, which I have finally decided to name "Midnight Magic." (It's a catchier title than the previous "Santa-zooming-across-the-sky-thing".)
I drew out the pattern on a big sheet of newsprint and transferred it to freezer paper.
I copied and stitched it 4 times to make sure I liked how it looked.
 I did.
I liked the swoosh, but that pattern needed work. Patterning has been a trial-and-error learning process over the years, but I've finally figured out a method that works for me. The first stage is to digitize the design. The newsprint original would not fit on my 11 x 17 scanner glass, so I chopped it across the middle.
Once scanned, it looked like this...still a long way from a decent looking pattern.
I opened the jpg version in Windows Paint, and cleaned up the lines. Then I imported it into Word, and printed it out on all three of my wide-format printers to make sure that the size came out precisely the same as the original.  It did.  From Word, it was converted to a pdf file.
Opening the pdf in Adobe Acrobat allowed me to number the foundations, and add labels to the page.   You'll notice I did not add the outside seam allowance on the curved edge;  that's one of the easy tricks I will share in the classroom :).
This slow, methodical, process gobbled up more than a few hours, but I am pleased with the results.
Quite a change from my messy hand-drawn, Sharpie marker original! The magic of computers rivals that of Santa :)
I spent a few days last week helping out at the very busy Mrs Pugsley's Emporium, and of course I came home with fabric! This line from Hoffman called "Radiant Gradients" will look gorgeous in the geese units.  I actually have this collection in four colourways now, including a very pretty green.
Sprinkle some magic dust, Santa; I need time to sew!


  1. I've become a little obsessed with the idea of curved flying geese, and I'm envious that you have figured this out! It's way too bad I can't take your class.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Linda. The flying geese are a lot of fun!

  2. The fates are making it difficult to make your class, again this year. I will make it eventually!
    Meanwhile, thanks for your detailed instructions for making patterns. I just might try it, for applique.

    1. You would enjoy the festival, Kate - there's always lots to see and do. Some year the stars will line up for you.

  3. "Santa-zooming-across-the-sky-thing" is a great name - nothing wrong with it at all! I can see why that luscious fabric came home with you, it would have come home with me too.

  4. You know,Jennifer, I thought of you every time that "Santa zooming thing" went through my head. It sounded rather like a name you would come up with :)

  5. I am so ashamed of myself for missing another fantabulous post! Sometimes I keep so busy, I don't access the Internet for a couple of days. I'm glad I have taken a few minutes to catch up this morning. I enjoyed reading about your process for developing this incredible pattern. I certainly wouldn't have the patience or the know how. I'm sure your workshop was spectacular! I wish I didn't have my own commitment at the Fibre fest and could have been a participant!