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. Shown here is "To Be Where You Belong", presented to Sir Paul McCartney on his visit to Nova Scotia in 2009.
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Thursday, 16 May 2019

Pearls At Quilt Market

Most of the quilt world is off to Spring Quilt Market in Kansas City this weekend. I am not there, but I am thrilled to be represented by one of my quilts in the Island Batik booth!  Designing quilts for the new lines of Island Batik fabrics is not one of the requirements of being an Island Batik Ambassador, it's a separate pursuit. It's awfully hard not to be inspired by the gorgeous fabric scans of these hand-stamped fabrics from Bali when they arrive (I want to sew them all!!). I totally fell in love with this one, designed by Kathy Engle, called "Black Pearl".    
When I plugged the scans into EQ8, I played around with blocks that would show large pieces of these gorgeous batiks.  I settled on this block which is one of my favourites, decided on my layout, and sent off the proposal.  That was last August. The proposal was approved, the fabric was shipped from headquarters in California, and it arrived to me here in Nova Scotia in late October.  
October is always a time-crunch month for me because of the Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival, where I was teaching two workshops and vending at a market.  I also had an Ambassador challenge quilt to make.  As always, organization is the key, and before the fabric arrived, I contacted Denise White of West Branch Quilt Studio to see if she was on board to longarm this queen-sized quilt for me.  She was as excited to quilt it as I was to sew it!  I did a mock-up of the tessellating clamshell design in scrap fabric and mailed it off to her, so she would know what was coming and we could hit  the ground running. She came up with all kinds of quilting ideas, and we both agreed on a kind of feathery shell she sketched out.   I pieced the quilt and couriered it to her (she lives a couple of hours away.)  

Her design fit the space perfectly.  Denise quilted with Aurifil 2600 Dove Grey in a 40 weight, used in both top and bobbin. I really admire Denise's quilting, her confidence, and her passion for her art. Naturally, with a layer of Hobbs Tuscany wool batting inside, the quilting plumped up nicely.

Here's the back of the quilt; the fabric is mostly plain grey dots but I added a row of blocks from the front down one side.
Denise couriered the quilt back to me in jig time, and I cut the scalloped edge and applied the binding.  By now, it's November, and we have snow!! It's awfully hard to get a straight on picture of a large quilt.  Hubby and I invaded Beth's yard to try some outdoor shots, but wind and sun and shadow were not on our side.

As in the past for large quilts, we took it to the Purdy Crawford Centre For The Arts, on the campus of Mount Allison University. The building allows lots of natural light.
Even so, the quilt hung high to get it all in the picture, and it made for a sharp angle for my shot. Both the tessellating design of the quilt and the fabrics used give "Pearls" a very contemporary look.
Regardless, the quilt got sent off to California;  part of my angst in getting this done quickly was that, not only would this be caught in the Christmas rush, but Canada Post was entertaining rotating mail strikes, and there was no guaranteed delivery time .  Thankfully, it arrived on time and without issue.

Island Batik has the very talented photographer Jerry Khiev on staff who clearly had no problem photographing the quilt for the current catalogue.  You can see "Pearls" on page 92.  Jerry graciously shares his pictures with the designers, so with his permission this one graces the front cover of my pattern.
Photo credit:  Jerry Khiev of Island Batik
"Pearls" is available from my website as a mail-out pattern, or you can download it directly here . The patterns have been delivered to Mrs Pugsley's Emporium, so you can also purchase them there.

For shop owner, the pattern is being distributed by Island Batik, or you can contact me directly to order wholesale. Fabrics from the Black Pearl collection, along with many more, are being shown at Market this weekend, and can be ordered by shops.  I encourage you to please ask your local quilt shop to carry this beautiful collection!

As you can see, there were lots of hands involved in making this project happen. I'd like to thank Island Batik for supplying the fabric, Denise White for her quilting, hubby Jamie for help with my photo shoots, Cheryl Coville for editing my pattern, and Jerry Khiev for a great photo.


  1. Tessalated? If this is what the curved pieces are called, I tried that once in a class, from a tutor from Australia. Lots of pins, lots of adjusting, and your colours show off the pattern beautifully. The catalogue, I scrolled through the pages, and wish I was at least 50 years younger and had the time and talent to make so many of those beautiful projects.And the fabrics, even those in colours I don't usually like are stunning.Your finished quilt with the photos,love every one.

  2. How beautiful, a necklace of Tahitian pearls! Congratulations!

  3. Another beauty! Great design and what's not to love about those Island Batiks? ♥ ♥

  4. That's a great design. Congratulations on the pattern.

  5. Wonderful quilt! Congratulations on its success and the release of the pattern.

  6. what a cruise this quilt has been on; if it could only talk! it's stunning!