Sew Karen-ly Created...

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Thursday 26 April 2018

Sun Salutation

I have been posting"teaser" pictures for a couple of weeks on my Face Book page as I worked on my April challenge for Island Batik.  Now I am ready to show you the whole thing!
This month, the Island Batik Ambassadors were given the task of making something new inspired by a quilt design from the past. No surprise, I immediately thought of a New York Beauty! 
I have come to realize that most folks think of this as a "newish" pattern, but it isn't.  It's been around since the mid 1800's and known by a variety of names:  Crown of Thorns, Rising Sun, Rocky Mountain, and even Polk in the White House.  In the 1920's, the Stearns and Foster company started putting quilt patterns on the back of their Mountain Mist batting wrappers. I still have a few of those wrappers, inherited from my Grandmother...but unfortunately, not the NY Beauty one. Stearns and Foster renamed some of the traditional blocks, including this one which they dubbed "New York Beauty."  
There is an interesting short video here on New York Beauty's, showing quilts from the extensive collection of Bill Volckening.
I *love* New York Beauty quilts, and have made many of them over the many, in fact, they turned into a book with AQS.   I began making the traditional square blocks, but it didn't take long for those blocks to morph into other shapes - mostly circles and ovals. There's just something about the combination of curves and spikes that is really appealing. 
When my fabric arrived in February from Island Batik, I knew immediately that the collection called "Morning Sunshine" would be perfect for a New York Beauty design. Yellow sun, blue sky, green grass blades, sunflowers - it was all there!

I wanted the sunny yellows to be the focal point, so I drew the centre blocks into a sun, with partial coronas circling the points. The sunshine extended outward, dancing around blades of grass, and multicoloured flower petals, with sunflower centres. 
Here it is laid out for basting;  I used a Hobbs Poly-Down batting, which has a nice loft. 
The ditch-stitching was done with Aurifil monofilament, and the quilting with Aurifil 50 weight cotton, in colours 2120 Canary, 2520 Violet,4663 Baby Blue Eyes, and 2581 Dark Dusty Grape, on my Bernina 440.
I did curved cross-hatching in the centre, solar flares in the spikes, and swirls for the in-between spots. There is a small feather making its way around the outside sunflower bands. I left the coronas unquilted, as well as the blue sky surrounding the sun, because I like when there is a little pouf left in a quilt :)
The cream bands were quilted with circles (a few of which are actually round...!), and continuous curves outlined the spikes.
You can see the quilting better on the back.  I do like how those blue, unquilted arcs move your eye around the quilt.

I named the piece "Sun Salutation".
The Town of Amherst installed a sundial as part of a centennial project back in 1989 and I thought that would be a cool spot to photograph it...but it wasn't as easy to get both the sundial and the quilt in the same shot.
 (By the way...there was a difference of less than 10 minutes between that sundial and a watch!)
Here it is on the table.  It measures 28" x 42", and uses 16 different fabrics from the "Morning Sunshine" collection by Island Batik.
 The pattern is available for download at this link.
Thank you to Island Batik, Aurifil thread, and Hobbs Bonded Fibres for supplying the materials used in this project.  


  1. Absolutely beautiful! And I love both sunflowers and the colour yellow!

  2. I do Sun salutations every week at yoga. Maybe I should make this for my yogi!

  3. Oh my Karen - you have outdone yourself with this one!! Craftsy - here I come!

  4. Well......what can I say! This is absolutely gorgeous, and your quilting is superb. It shows off those luscious fabrics to perfection.

  5. So beautiful! And just what we need at this time of year especially.

  6. Oh my gosh Sun Salutation is stunning and what a perfect name. Total #CreativeGoodness.

  7. This one is another beauty, Karen. Love your designs and work.

  8. Such gorgeous work - the design and quilting are both knockouts!

  9. Oh, Karen, it’s beyond stunning! You are really raising the bar for all the Island Batik Ambassadors! I sure wish I had half your sense of color! Enjoy your week!

  10. Your quilt is stunning! I love the interesting shape and the beautifully detailed quilting.