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.
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Tuesday 30 January 2018

The Aurifil Train Case

Behold...the ultimate in Aurifil thread collections.  You will be the envy of everyone at your next quilt retreat when you arrive with this!  This special, limited edition, train case comes filled with 24 large (1300 m) spools of 50 weight Aurifil cotton Mako thread. This weight is perfect for both piecing and quilting.
 The inside of the case has pockets to hold small items like seam rippers, needles, etc.
The case itself is built to last, made of a heavyweight napped fabric, with a double-ended heavy-duty zipper.
Inside are two spooled trays which lock together to hold your thread securely for transport.  

Colours included are: 1114 Grass Green;1135 Pale Yellow;1148 Light Jade;1154 Dusty Orange;2000 Light Sand;2021 Natural White;2024 White;2110 Light Lemon;2250 Red;2310 Light Beige;2314 Beige;2326 Sand;2340 Café au Lait;2360 Chocolate;2423 Baby Pink;2479 Medium Orchid;2520 Violet;2600 Dove;2605 Grey;2610 Light Blue Grey;2692 Black;2715 Robins Egg;2740 Dark Cobalt;2870 Green

I love mine :)  Click here to order yours!

Wild Side

As if the wild storm outside wasn't enough, today was off to an exciting start when the front doorbell rang a little after 6:30 this morning. That always means a delivery, and this time is was a shipment of Aurifil thread to add to the online store.  What fun!
 Included in the goodies is this new collection by Libs Elliott.
Appropriately named "Wild Side", the colours are strong and vibrant.
The collection contains 12 large spools (1300m) of 50 weight Aurifil cotton thread in the following colours:  2600 – 2410 – 4020 – 2535 – 2277 – 5015 -1147 – 5023 – 1148 – 1200 – 2120 – 1158
The collections sell for $139.00, which is a fabulous price for this much thread, and a reusable case. It's been added to the checkout here.  We ship across Canada!

Monday 29 January 2018

A "Small" Diversion

Yesterday, I took a break from quilting to make some Barbie doll clothes for a young niece with a pending birthday. Part of me was hesitant to do this, as I remembered from past experience that the sewing of these small garments is very fiddly. I was pleasantly surprised at how my quilting skills made this task much easier.  I started with something which didn't need to be fitted - a hooded cape. The 1/4" quilting foot was perfect for the seam allowance.  I made the red one first, out of velveteen, then decided that a washable cotton would be more practical, since apparently Barbie likes to go in the bath often.  Michael Miller's "Fairy Frost"in gold, leftover from a quilted wallhanging, seemed a perfect choice as the glitter is very glamourous.
The gold cape has a velcro closure at the neck...and since I might just have to keep that red one here with me for a couple of years (!!!), it will have a small hook and eye.  Notice that there are even arm slits cut in the seams of the cape.

Life is not all glamour, and Barbie needed a casual outfit too, so here she is in slimming stripes, and black pants. Again, both pieces close with velcro.
Next up, I tacked a pair of jeans.  From my extensive thread stash, I found actual blue jean thread, which I used to topstitch the hems, and fly.
Turning the skinny legs on the jeans was the tricky part.  I enlisted the help of a small wooden stick I use for turning the edges of appliqué. It did the trick.
How cute as these? :)

I decided to wait before I make any more to try these on the recipient's Barbie, as I understand that Barbie's shape has changed somewhat since the 60's, and my dolls are a bit thinner than the current models. There will probably be another red cape made to replace this one, perhaps of red fleece.
This was fun.  I may have discovered a new hobby. :)

Sunday 21 January 2018

Every Day is a Quilt Day

Every day is quilt related...even when not spent at the machine! Took advantage of our beautiful weather (-3) to photograph my entry for the International Miniature Quilt Exchange. I can't show you the quilt until March, but I thought the "Welcome To Nova Scotia" sign made a perfect backdrop for some glamour shots. My exchange partner lives in New Mexico and doesn't see much snow! We spread the quilt on the large rock just to the right of the lighthouse.
The sun was so bright you can see it ghosting through my photos. I love that :)
I feel fortunate to live so close to this beautiful Welcome Centre for our province. It's a wonderful spot to photograph quilts, in all seasons.

Tuesday 16 January 2018

Has It Really Been 52 Weeks Since Jan. 2?

The scrappy 5-patch and snowball blocks are all sewn.  I have failed the 52 week challenge miserably, as I knew I would (and apparently others have too - right, Jeanne Kaye? :))  These blocks are a sew-along with A Needle Pulling Thread quilt shop in Digby, and the challenge was to sew one block a week for 52 weeks, using scraps from your stash.
The blocks went together quickly and easily, barely making a dent in the scraps.  I did have to purchase 3 Fat Quarters of cream as I didn't have enough 8" squares for the snowball centres. 
I drew up the design in EQ8 and decided that I wanted a 5-patch in each corner.  An 11 x 11 layout makes the top 82-1/2" square, before borders. That sounded like a good size. I laid out the blocks on the bed, spacing my darker creams and pure whites across the top. Then I picked up the blocks in rows and labelled each row.

We had a bit of snow overnight, so I took it outside this morning for a picture.  I wasn't terribly the sheet of clear plastic I use under my quilts stiffened up and buckled in the cold, refusing to lay flat.
 For once, the lumps and bumps under the quilt are not Polly (her feet got cold and she went inside.)
 Those lovely plain spaces are just begging for pretty quilting.  I keep seeing feathered wreaths. :).
I will set this quilt aside for a bit and decide what it needs for borders.  I've never made a square bed quilt before, and not sure I will like it.  I may end up making two more rows of blocks, and leaving a border off all together...although a plain border would look great quilted with a big, winding feather.   
 A traditional quilt needs feathers, right? :)

Wednesday 10 January 2018

New Thread!

The Canada Post delivery man was at our door before 7 this morning, with big, heavy boxes of Aurifil thread. It's Christmas morning excitement opening up the boxes.
One box was filled with Mark Lipinski "Basics" collections, which are a fabulous (and economical) way to build a thread stash.
 There are other new collections too, including my favourite "Deep Gems", by Paula Nadelstern.
 The colours are so rich and vibrant.

Also new, is clear monofilament thread, which is great for stitching in the ditch, doing machine applique, or to use in couching specialty threads or yarns. Aurifil's invisible thread is 100% nylon, strong, and non-reflective.  It virtually disappears into your fabric. 
If you are following Pantone's colour of the year, we've got lots of violet!
The new threads have been added to the online store, which you can find here.  Sew Karen-ly Created...offers competitive pricing on these threads, and we are happy to ship anywhere in Canada.

Monday 8 January 2018

Snow and Sew

Between the snowstorms and the freezing temperatures, it's been a week of stay-inside-and-sew weather. I've put the time to good use, stitching up an overflowing box of scraps into some very pretty blocks.  The credit for this quilt goes to Darlene D'Eon, who owns A Needle Pulling Thread quilt shop in Digby, Nova Scotia.  Each year, Darlene comes up with a one block a week challenge, for 52 weeks, the idea being that at the end of the year you have a quilt top without a whole lot of concentrated effort.  This year's blocks are a 5-patch and a snowball. (That's not a dark spot on the fabric at left, by the way...that's a shadow from the handle on the end of my sewing table.)
Once I start anything, it's hard to stop.  Lots of folks are starters, but I am a finisher.  This is why I have no UFO's!  By my count...less than a week in, I am up to about week 74 on the 52 week challenge... :)  The blocks finish at 7-1/2", which means each small square measure 1-1/2".
So far, I have enough blocks for a 7 x 10 layout,  but think I will continue for a 9 x 11. Border decisions will come later.
Despite making all these blocks, the scrap box looks just as full as when I started.  How is this possible...?

Tuesday 2 January 2018

2018, Here We Come!

Did everyone have a good Christmas?  Ours was much quieter than normal since we stayed home this year for the first time...ever.  For Polly, that meant she had company (an audience!)and she was her usual crazy self.  She was in and out of every gift bag under the tree, attacked each snippet of ribbon she saw, and in general, totally exhausted herself partying.  She slept the entire day on Boxing Day, recovering.  
Without the travelling, it meant I was able to get lots accomplished, including finishing up a pair of socks for my big brother, made from Briggs & Little "Tuffy".  He loved them! 
I completed my year end Aurifil thread inventory, and put in a huge order which will arrive in a couple of weeks.  I am excited to see the new collections! One of my goals for this year is to grow my little thread store even larger.  I love this thread!
Most of my sewing time was devoted to working on the miniature for the I.M.Q.E., which I am not able to show yet.  It is coming along very slowly (but surely).  I also started poking away at a few blocks for another small wallhanging for me - so no deadline or pressure on this one.  Just fun. Kona red, white, and black.
Yesterday, shop owner Darlene D'eon from A Needle Pulling Thread in Digby, N.S., posted her annual block for a 52 week quilt challenge.  One block a week is very doable, and since I already have a box of blue and white strips left over from making St. F.X. quilts, it seemed a good project to use up these scraps.
 As a devout "finisher", the challenge for me will be to make this last 52 weeks.  (I doubt I can!!!)
My big news for 2018 is that I have been chosen to be an Island Batik Ambassador!  More details to follow - can't wait to get sewing!
Wishing everyone a creative and productive 2018.