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!

Wednesday 23 January 2019

Grandmother's Blossoms

Welcome to my day on the Island Batik Getaway Blog Hop!  Today's hop is extra special, as you are being whisked away to Atlantic Canada, to visit with me in Nova Scotia, Leanne in Newfoundland... and a special unscheduled bonus stop (not even Island Batik knows about this one yet!) with Linda in New Brunswick.  This is a long post, with lots of links, but please make sure you click everything, and read to the bottom for a chance to win some prizes!
The products used were all provided by Island Batik, Hobbs Batting, and Aurifil thread back in the second Ambassador boxes we received last July.  We were to keep these fabrics secret until they started shipping to stores, which is right now.  Mine were wrapped in this pretty floral paper.
Here's what was inside:  a beautiful collection of pinks, purples, yellows and greens, fittingly named "Blossom". (Was the paper a happy coincidence, or chosen on purpose?  Hmm...)
The fabrics immediately brought to mind the wild roses which grow prolifically around here. There is great variance in the colour, ranging from pale pink to a dark, almost purple, rose. This shot is from the rose hedge at Jerry's Park in Amherst (which also had a bee visiting while I was there). The leaves also range from very light to very dark green.  Perfect!
I drew and coloured my one-patch design in EQ8, and printed the template.  It was super easy to cut from a strip, with hardly any waste. I had very little fabric left over from the 20, half-yard cuts received; I kept cutting and sewing until it was all gone, saving enough out for binding.
The result is a take-off on a Grandmother's Flower Garden setting, with half-hexagons used for easier machine piecing, and random, wild placement of the blooms - just like in real life.
For my batting, I used my favourite Hobbs Tuscany wool, generously supplied by Hobbs.
For piecing, I used from the large Aurifil cone of white sent in our first box last year. This fabulous 40 weight Aurifil thread collection by Barbara Persing had perfect colours to use in the quilting.
They match the tones of the Blossom fabrics so well!
I free-motion stitched loopy petals in the blooms, and pebbled in most centres, switching here and there to spirals, just to keep it interesting. With no marking, it was super fast (and super fun) to do.
The greens had continuous curves quilted in the hexagon shapes.  Originally, I intended to add leaf veins inside the curves, but decided that I liked how they puffed up with the wool batting, so left them as is.
I took the quilt back to Jerry's Park to photograph on the rose hedge. 
(Yes...those sticks are the rose hedge in winter! Perhaps we are the ones needing a getaway!)
You'll notice I did not trim off the ends of the half-hexies along the sides, as I like the zig-zag edge they create. I really like the old-fashioned, floral look of the quilt; it reminded me of something Gram would put on top of a white, chenille bedspread as a "coverlet". But those edges were bothering me a bit...something was missing. They had an unfinished look about them.  The quilt sat for a couple of weeks while I figured out what it was.
Of course: tassels! I found a bag of 100 on Amazon, with 20 different colours.
I hand-sewed a tassel to each point.
I like lots of colour :)
"Grandmother's Blossoms" measures 69" x 87"and hugs the top of a queen bed nicely. Thanks to speedy pattern editor Cheryl Coville, the pattern is available from my website, or as a direct download here. It's simple enough for a beginner, and can easily be sized up or down.
Please leave a comment below if you would like to be entered into a draw for 2 mini-charm packs of  Island Batik "Paisley Park.".
I'll also throw in a copy of the Grandmother's Blossoms pattern. Draw will be made Feb.3 when the hop is finished. Also MAKE SURE you enter the big give-away on the Island Batik blog - they are giving away TWO, 20 piece FQ bundles!

Leanne from The Devoted Quilter is the other "official"stop on today's hop, and I encourage you to visit her in NFLD. to see what she has made with Blossom. But first, here's a surprise. I had very little Blossom fabric left, so decided to pass along the scraps to my friend Linda in Fredericton who makes gorgeous miniatures from the tiniest pieces. She was sworn to secrecy, and promised not to show or mention the fabrics until today. As I write this, I have not yet seen her quilt, so click here, and let's hop over there together.
Thank you for visiting.  It's been a fabulous, fun year as an Island Batik Ambassador, and I look forward to more of the same for the coming year.  The quilts shown on this hop are phenomenal;  you can find all the links below. Happy hopping!
All links have been updated to each blogger's blog hop post!

Monday, January 7 - Crystal Ball
MaryEllen @ Mary Mack’s Blog
Sandra @ mmm! quilts

Tuesday, January 8  - Ditty
Michelle @ Creative Blonde

Wednesday, January 9 - Elk Lodge

Thursday, January 10 - Feline Fine

Friday, January 11 - Flea Market

Monday, January 14 - Fortune Teller

Tuesday, January 15  - Gypsy Rose

Wednesday, January 16 - Paisley Park

Thursday, January 17 - Soul Song

Friday, January 18 - Twilight Chic

Monday, January 21 - Winter Park
Jennifer @ Curlicue Creations

Tuesday, January 22  - Bazaar

Wednesday, January 23 - Blossom

Thursday, January 24 - Boho

Friday, January 25 - Brookview

Monday, January 28 - French Blue
Pamela @ PamelaQuilts

Tuesday, January 29  - Midsummer Night
Kathleen @ Kathleen McMusing

Wednesday, January 30 - Oh Deer
Jeanette @ Inchworm Fabrics

Thursday, January 31 - Snow Berry  

Friday, February 1 -

Candy Cane Lane

Wednesday 16 January 2019

"Felicity" in Paisley Park

I hope that you have been following along with the Island Batik Getaway Blog Hop - it's great fun to see the quilts, and the prizes are pretty fabulous, too!
My day to post is not until the 23rd of this month, but I had opportunity last fall to sew today's featured fabric collection, "Paisley Park" and this seemed an appropriate time to share the details.
I chose to work with these colours as I felt they would shine in this design. Aren't they gorgeous?
It's always fun to pull out my Aurifil threads to match and contrast with the fabrics.  I used both 40 and 50 weights for the quilting, as well as clear monofilament to ditch the seams.
 The table set is for a runner and matching placemats.  I love the unusual shape formed from the contours of the block.  The size is perfect for under a dinner plate.
The set was displayed in the Island Batik booth at fall International Quilt Festival in Houston and is now travelling with a trunk show to various quilt shops.
The pattern makes a terrific workshop project, as it features strip-piecing, gentle curved seaming, foundation piecing, a Y seam, and binding of inner and mitred corners all in a do-able sized project. I've had feedback from several enthusiastic instructors telling me this was their favourite class ever, with so many teachable points to cover.
Quilt shops may order the pattern wholesale from their Island Batik rep, or directly from me.  Individual patterns can be ordered in print from my website, or downloaded at this link.
I hope you will visit Island Batik Ambassadors Dionne and Nancy who have also used this collection in their projects. They've got some terrific surprises waiting at the links below:
Wednesday, January 16 - Paisley Park

Wednesday 9 January 2019

2018 in Review

It's that time when we turn the page to a new year, and take a sweeping look back on the one that's just passed.  It was a busy year for me professionally, and much was accomplished. 

As in previous years, I designed and made the Row By Row quilt for Mrs Pugsley's Emporium.  The theme was "Sew Musical" and the Musical Ride fit nicely with the Canada 2017 banner from the previous year, in terms of both colour and content.
It's not an easy thing to design a piece to fit in the bizarre 9" x 36" shape, have it adapt to hang both vertically and horizontally, be easy enough for a beginner to stitch...and yet not too easy that it lacks substance...and have the instructions fit on as few pages as possible.  Even trickier, was persuading a Mountie to lend his gear for the photo shoot! I am pleased with how it all turned out.

 Early in the year, I answered a call from the Quilt Show to be paired with a partner in the U.S. for an International Miniature Quilt Exchange.  Throughout the year, I got to know my partner from New Mexico and we sent our quilts to each other in October.  You can read more about mine here.
The beautiful quilt I received from Terry hangs in our bedroom:
It was a wonderful project and one I encourage you to look into for the next session.

My big news was being selected as an Island Batik Ambassador.  What an amazing experience this has been!  Monthly challenges stimulate creative juices and keep you on your toes to be a good steward of your time.  The goodies, sent by Island Batik and their partners,Aurifil and Hobbs batting, have been phenomenal!  It's manna from heaven when those boxes arrive. These are the projects I've created for the monthly challenges.

Island Batik also provided opportunity for projects to be shown at Quilt Market in Houston, and to travel in a trunk show to shops across the US, and my Felicity joined this program. The pattern is being distributed By Island Batik and is available for purchase from them, or directly from my website. I have another large quilt to be exhibited at Spring Quilt Market 2019, and I will show that later on. 
Additionally at Houston Quilt Festival this year, I had 3 previously completed quilts in the exhibit "You've Got Talent", one of which was Global Warming:
In the spring, I had the nail-biting opportunity to be interviewed by Pat Sloan for her podcast.
My involvement with the Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival kept me hopping in October.  I taught two workshops on machine quilting, and had a booth of Aurifil thread at the ever-popular Zonta Bazaar.  This was my 11th year as part of this festival, and I was thrilled to be asked to put in a display at Mansour's Menswear.  I chose to showcase my Island Batik projects.
My Aurifil thread store continues to grow, and I have big plans for its expansion.  Already there are over 60 colours in the 50 weight thread, various weights, and many beautiful collections.  I am happy to say that prices will remain the same for the upcoming year. Work is underway to improve the functionality of my website, including easier pattern downloads.

This month, I am participating in the final activity for the 2018 Island Batik Ambassadors. The Getaway Blog Hop is now underway, and I can't wait to show you the quilt I made from the gorgeous collection they sent!  Please check back on January 23rd.
2019 begins with news that I have been asked to return as an Island Batik Ambassador, and I am beyond happy to remain part of this incredible team.

It's been a busy year, and I thank you for allowing me to share that with you.