Sew Karen-ly Created...

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Friday 25 October 2019

Sweet Dreams, Little One...

While most folks involved in the quilting industry are currently enjoying Quilt Market in Houston this weekend, some of us remain home...sewing! However, one of my quilts is on display there, so I am feeling anything but left out.  This is the third Quilt Market in a row that I have designed a quilt to show off a new fabric collection for Island Batik.  It's a real honour to have a design accepted by this premier fabric company.
"Sweet Dreams" photographed in an antique cradle owned by Beth Munroe, Amherst, N.S.
The collection I chose to work with is called "Forget Me Not", designed by Kathy Engle.  As you can see from this flat lay, it's a  collation of sparkling blues and yellows. The entire collection is here.
Working first from digital images, I plugged the soft, dreamy colours into EQ8 and started in on the design.  Some of the batiks featured stars, so that was a good jumping off point.  Once I was happy with my sketch, I submitted it to Island Batik for approval and was ecstatic to learn it was accepted.  When the sampling arrived, it was harder than hard to keep it all secret!  Here is the entire collection, along with neutral "Moo Milk" for background and borders, and a mustard yellow for the back.
My design features interlocking friendship stars, with the blues shining in the foreground and the yellows twinkling in between.
Of course, Polly was on hand to help with deciding on fabric placement. (This picture is for you Elaine, so you can see Polly is still on the job.)
A pretty soft blue was used to make swags in the border.  I turned the edges under, and machine appliqued them using Aurifil monofilament clear.

For the actual quilting, I used Aurifil 40 weight thread in colours matched to the fabrics. Hobbs Tuscany wool batting was chosen to add loft. All stitching is done on my domestic Bernina 440.
Soft feathers run up each side of the swags.
The blue star centres were left unquilted so they would pop up, but the yellow background stars got freehand swirls.
Channel quilting using a free motion ruler foot finished off the space near the edge.
I don't like to over-quilt baby quilts, and you can see this one looks lovely and soft.
Yo-yo's were stitched where the swags met for a finishing touch.
Finished, the quilt measures 46" x 46".  As usual, I owe a big thank you to Cheryl Coville for her technical editing of the instructions.
The pattern for "Sweet Dreams" is available on my website, as an instant download here, and (as always) at Mrs Pugsley's Emporium.  If you are a shop owner, the pattern is distributed in the US by Island Batik;  Canadian shops may order wholesale directly from me.
If you are reading this while at Quilt Market, make sure you drop by the Island Batik booth to see this in person. "Forget-Me-Not" is available for pre-order now, and will begin shipping to stores in February 2020.  After Sweet Dreams leaves the booth, it will spend the next year travelling in a trunk show to quilt shops across the U.S., before returning back home to Nova Scotia. 

Monday 7 October 2019

Holly Jolly

This month's challenge for the Island Batik Ambassadors is to make a seasonal table topper, using appliqué.
We could choose any season, colour, or size, as long as it featured appliqué.
No surprise I would choose to make something Christmassy, as it's by far my favourite season.  In EQ8, I drafted out a shape that featured curves, and then cloned those curves for the outside edge.  In between, appliqued holly leaves dance around the twisty red vine.  I chose an assortment of fabrics, some from the Island Batik Basics and Blenders line, and some from Stashbuilder rolls.  The background is a Neutral, call "Moo Milk."  It doesn't get much more Christmassy than red, white and green!
The leaves were backed with fusible web and ironed raw edge to the patchwork.  Aurifil 12 weight thread is used to outline the leaves and vines in blanket stitch.
28 weight stitched the details in the leaves.
Underneath the stitching, I used a layer of  HobbsThermore to act as stabilizer.
Doing this adds an extra bit of loft to the finished piece, but more importantly, it means I don't have to rip away any tear-away stabilizer afterwards.
The stitched top was then layered on Hobbs Tuscany wool batting before quilting. Nothing complements a curved edge better than a feather, so naturally that was my choice of quilting motif.  The quilting is done with a 50 weight Aurifil in natural white 2021.  It matched the Moo Milk background perfectly.

The bias binding was hand stitched to the back side using Aurifil 80 weight, which disappears into the fabric.
The two layers of batting really make the quilting stand out.
The holly in our garden is heavy with berries. The berries on the table topper are small buttons.
On the back, I chose to use the same moo milk as the front. 
It looks great with this hand made holly dish, which we fill each year with cranberries.

Thank you to Island Batik, Hobbs Batting and Aurifil thread for supplying the products used in this project.  As always, I am also deeply grateful for the help of pattern editor Cheryl Coville.  You are a treasure, Cheryl :)  The pattern is available from my website, as an instant download at this link, and locally at Mrs. Pugsley's Emporium.