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!

Monday 26 March 2018

Easter Carrots

Easter is quickly approaching and it's always fun to sew little cute things. I found this tutorial for carrot treat bags on the Make It & Love It site, designed by blogger "Stitched By Crystal"

As an Island Batik Ambassador, I was sent a very generous supply of fabrics and I knew there were perfect shades of orange and green included. I chose "Round Petal Floral - Cantaloupe" and "Marble - Leprechaun" from their Batik Foundations.  I matched them with Aurifil thread #1114 Grass Green and a variegated orange 4657 called Tramonto a Zoagli. 
Following Crystal's excellent instructions, these came together in no time.
I did make a few "quilty" adjustments, such as using a 1/4" seam allowance instead of the suggested 3/8". Doesn't that variegated orange thread work perfectly with the batik?
Using a sleeve board made pressing the seams open very easy.  Island Batik uses cotton with a very high thread count which means the seams do not ravel the same way a regular woven cotton does.  For this reason, I chose not to drag out my serger to clean finish the edges, as shown in the instructions.
I also folded the cuff down to meet the seamline, so that I could stitch in the ditch from the right side, a trick quilters learn from machine binding. When it came time to make the 1/2" channel for the drawstring, I simply switched to my walking foot, which I know from experience is 1/2" from the left side to the needle.  Quick and easy - no marking!
The treat bags are adorable, and can be filled with all kinds of goodies.  Chocolate eggs are one choice...
 ..but other things fit inside too, depending on your recipient. I am thinking perhaps even a Barbie dress for a special little gal-pal would tuck in nicely :)
Bunny approved!
A fun, quick project.  Thank you, Island Batik and Aurifil thread for supplying the materials, and to Crystal for sharing her pattern.

Sunday 18 March 2018

How Much Thread To Quilt A Quilt?

Did you ever wonder how much thread it takes to quilt a quilt?  I've discovered that as a general rule of thumb, 1000 m of thread will cover a Queen-sized quilt with a medium amount of quilting. If you are adding lots of dense quilting, you may need more like 1500 m.  Let's use this scrap quilt (more pics here) from last year as an example.  It's around 90" x 100", and had a lot of seams.
To keep it puffy, it was quilted in the seam ditch of each strip (2" x 6") in the top, and in the piano key border (1" keys).  A feather was free-motioned up the plain 4" borders. That's a fair amount of quilting.
I used a new, large spool of Aurifil #2314, 50 weight, in both my needle and bobbin. These spools contain 1300 m of thread.
When I finished, I had this much left  - maybe 150 meters.
 Those large spools of Aurifil really go a long way! 

Monday 12 March 2018

Interlocking Herringbone

The products featured in this post were given to me by Island Batik.
I mentioned in a previous post that all Island Batik Ambassadors were challenged to try a new technique this month.  Over the past couple of years, I have been whittling away at my "some day I want to try..." list, so it took some thought. Many years ago, I saw an antique quilt made in a herringbone pattern where the strips interlocked and joined together like magic. That quilt stuck in my head like a herring bone would in my throat.
Technically, the piece "builds" like a braid quilt, and I've done several of those.  But with the braid method, the sides of each column are squared off, creating a straight seam line up the quilt. You can see what I mean on Bonnie Hunter's braid, where the seam between the blue and white in the second picture is quite distinct. Easy to do, but not as aesthetically pleasing for those of us who want the patchwork to flow uninterrupted across the face of the quilt. (I almost wrote, "to flow seamlessly..." but that would be silly! :) Obviously there was a way to do this, and it was fun figuring it out. The best part?  I used up nearly every little inch of my beautiful fabric, except this small pile of trimmings:
I started with some Island Batik "Stashbuster" rolls.  Love the colours! The piece with gold was chosen especially to match a favourite pitcher.
Then I started building my patchwork.  The colours were all added in a random, scrappy fashion.
Because I have a penchant for odd-shaped, pointy things, I didn't trim off the points on the ends.I let the shape of the patchwork naturally determine the shape of the finished piece.
I chose a 50 weight Aurifil 4644 - Smoke Blue - for both the piecing and quilting. It blended right in.
Because the patchwork is fairly busy, I chose to quilt simple, straight lines, 1/4" away from all seams. The batting used is Hobbs Thermore, which you can purchase locally at Mrs Pugsley's Emporium. It was very easy to work with, and gave just enough loft to each little pillow.

Here's the finished runner;  you can see the points left on both ends.
It's a perfect size for my table with the extension leaf in.
I thoroughly enjoyed learning this technique, and...well...actually have a queen sized quilt underway, using batik scraps.

You can download the pattern for the runner here.  In addition to instructions for the runner, I've also included cutting charts for Lap, Twin, Double, Queen and King sizes.
Thank you, Island Batik, not just for providing the fabrics for this challenge, but for the challenge itself.  I thoroughly enjoyed learning how to do this.

Saturday 3 March 2018

Take A Walk On The Wild Side...

Are you feeling inspired by all the pictures from Quilt Con? We've got just the thread you need to get sewing: "Wild Side" by Libs Elliott. 

This beautiful Aurifil collection contains 12 large spools of gorgeous, rich shades.  
12 LARGE SPOOLS COTTON 50 Weight. Colours included are:
2600 – Dove
2410 – Pale Pink
4020 – Fuchsia
2535 – Magenta
2277 – Light Red Orange
5015 - Gold Yellow
1147 – Light Leaf Green
5023 – Medium Green
1148 – Light Jade
1200 – Blue Violet
2120 – Canary
1158 - Medium Grey

While quantities last, we are offering FREE SHIPPING anywhere in Canada.  That's a wild deal!  Click here to order.

Thursday 1 March 2018

Something New

As a new month begins, so does a new challenge as an Island Batik Ambassador.  This month we are are to try a technique we've never done before.  Yikes!
I've been quilting a really long time... a REALLY long time (!), and I've tried most everything.  This is taking some serious thought! With a germ of an idea, I've chosen the following fabrics from my "Stashbuilders" bundle, and am about to start slicing into them. Stay tuned!