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 29 October 2018

Stitch Witchery

The witching hour is fast approaching, and this little stitchery is a fun and easy project you can whip up in no time!
Optical illusions fascinate me, and this super simple drawing trick is one we learned in elementary school.  I started out with plain white Kona cotton, and 12 weight Aurifil cotton thread. It stitches beautifully with a size 100/16 topstitch needle. Regular 50 weight cotton was used in the bobbin.
I began by tracing the outline of my left hand on the fabric with a removable marker.
 Then I added straight horizontal lines across the background. 
 The lines were stitched once, but I did a double pass on the hand to make it more distinct.
 Stitching slightly curved lines within the hand itself gives it a raised illusion.
Just to be a bit gruesome...I added a little stitching with red thread at the bottom of the wrist for effect.
 I think this would be a fun way to quilt a background in a Hallowe'en quilt!
You can watch a You Tube video here for inspiration on drawing the hand.  The 12 weight thread is available from my online store.  Happy Hallowe'en!

Sunday 21 October 2018

A Happy User!

You know I've mentioned how wonderful the Aurifil 80 weight thread is for hand-stitching? Well, here is an (unsolicited) email I received this morning from Jeanne Kaye Speight, who tried it for the first time yesterday:
"For my recent birthday, my sister sent me a cheque to buy a treat. Oh, the possibilities of that! But without much hesitation, I decided that a real treat, something very special, would be some of Karen’s thread! I know it is really Aurifil, but in my house it is simply called Karen’s thread. And what does she have in her shop but the new 80 weight, sold singly and in collections. One of the collections was the exact price of my birthday cheque, and a quick email to Karen ensured that I could get what I wanted.
I used this miraculous thread yesterday for the first time. I was making a set of placemats without binding, so I needed to turn them right side out and blind stitch the opening. The thread absolutely disappeared in this three inch closure. I used a colour to match my fabrics, but I think I could have used flaming flourescent pink and the stitches still would not have been visible. This will definitely be my "go to" thread for hand work, especially for hand sewing bindings in place (which I love to do). What a wonderful product.
If you have been thinking of giving the 80 weight thread a try, please do it! You will be delighted with it, and will want a variety of colours for all your handwork. Thank you, Karen, for stocking, and promoting, this product. It is a Winner!"
Wow! Thank you, Jeanne Kaye, for sharing your thoughts on the thread. I like it so much, I've ordered in more, but you can see my current selection here
And see Jeanne Kaye's beautiful placemats!

Tuesday 16 October 2018

Do You Need Thread?

Because of your amazing support at the Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival (thank you!), our thread cupboard is sounding a bit hollow! There will be a new order for Aurifil thread going in very shortly.  If you are looking for a special colour, weight, or collection, kindly email your request to me before Saturday, Oct. 20. You can see what's available at the online store here. 
Thank you for your support!

Wednesday 3 October 2018

Festival Threads

I love it when a new shipment of Aurifil thread comes in!  These have arrived just in time for the Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival, in town next week. 
 There are lots of cones in both 40 and 50 weight Mako cotton, perfect for both piecing and quilting.
Paula Nadelstern's "Deep Gems" collection is restocked; this one keeps selling out!  This perennial favourite has deep, rich, colours.  I love every shade in that box!
The "Kansas Troubles" collection is another favourite.

New this time, are 80 weight cotton threads.  This thread comes wound on charming cherry wood spools, each containing 300 yards of thread. The spools are available individually, or in a collection which offers savings per spool.
The Carolyn Friedlander Appliqué collection has a lovely assortment of colours, and this super fine thread is wonderful for English Paper Piecing,as well as hand or machine appliqué.
I've even quilted with it, with great success.  It looks fabulous on silk: (the 80 weight is the plume at the top)

From now on, for me it will be the go-to thread for hand binding;  it virtually disappears into the fabric.
The threads have now all been added to the online store, and I am happy to mail across Canada.  If you are in town next week for the Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival, I will have all the threads available at the Zonta Bazaar on Saturday, October 13, 10 - 4, at the Colonel James Ralston Armoury, 36 Acadia Street, Amherst.  Mrs Pugsley Emporium also graciously allows me to drop any orders down to her quilt shop for pick up there.  To do this, complete your order online and indicate in the comment field that you would like to pick them up at the quilt shop (50 Victoria Street E, across from Tim Horton's).  If you are accidentally charged shipping, no worries, I will promptly refund it to your card.
Hope to see you all next week!

Monday 1 October 2018

Midnight Magic!

October''s challenge project for Island Batik Ambassadors was to create a piece any size, using any of the fabric they sent, using paper piecing.  We were given leeway to choose either foundation piecing, or English Paper Piecing (EPP). 
I decided to go with paperless paper piecing, also known as freezer paper piecing. It's a method I taught last year at our Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival.  I decided this would be a good time to write and release the pattern for my original design, called "Midnight Magic".
The construction method varies a bit from traditional paper piecing, in that you do not sew through the lines on your freezer paper, but rather beside the lines. 

The shiny side of the paper adheres to your fabric as you work, so no pins or glue stick required to keep things in place. This method produces the same sharp, perfect points as traditional paper piecing...but there is no messy paper to remove afterwards.  You simply peel off the freezer paper foundation from the fabric, and set it aside to be reused a second, third, and even a fourth time. It does feel good to make it to the top of the swoosh!
I chose fabrics from the "Basics" line by Island Batik. We were also supplied with plain black, which I used to cut the silhouette shapes. This gorgeous red looks fabulous against the light blue, and there is no mistaking who is the red streak across our midnight sky. 
The moon, as well as Santa's sleigh and reindeer, are machine appliquéd using Aurifil monofilament thread.
For the batting, I used a piece of Hobbs wool/cotton blend left over from last month's twinkle quilt.
I chose a holographic thread from Mrs Pugsley's Emporium to stitch wild, flowing feathers freehand up both sides.  I like the sparkle it adds to the magical night sky.
12 weight Aurifil is perfect for stitching the details of reins, antlers, and Rudolph's nose.

Not sure if you can see, but I also added more of the holographic thread in red up through the centre of the geese.

As always, my sincerest gratitude goes to Cheryl Coville, for her help with editing the pattern.  The pattern is available in print form, from my website, and soon to be in stock locally at Mrs Pugsley's Emporium.

Thank you to Island Batik, Hobbs Bonded Fibres, and Aurifil thread for supplying the products used in this wallhanging.