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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Monday, 25 November 2019

Tool Time: Amherst Point

This month, the Island Batik Ambassadors were divided into two camps:  one group would participate in a blog hop of quilts made from the new collections shipping to stores now, and the rest of us would make a quilt featuring our favourite tool.
Those who know me, can appreciate that this was no easy topic for this no-gadget gal.  Folks are shocked when I announce that I have, and use, just one ruler for all my work.  (It's a 6-1/2" x 24" Omnigrid ruler with markings for 30, 45, and 60 degree angles. If I need an angle different from these, I use the protractor from my high school days.  Seriously.)
After much thought, I singled out what has been the biggest help to me in my lengthy quilting career, and a tool I absolutely would not be without:  Electric Quilt. I have each and every version lovingly saved on a shelf by my computer.
Way back when the software was first developed, I was writing a monthly column for the now defunct Quick &Easy Quilting magazine;  my instructions were typed on my Royal typewriter and the piecing diagrams sketched with coloured pencils on graph paper.  I always marveled how editor Sandra Hatch worked her computer magic on my submissions to make them so professional looking.  When I learned that Electric Quilt existed, I mailed a cheque to the company in North Carolina and waited impatiently for over a month for the postman to arrive with the parcel. This was in 1992. It arrived on a floppy disk, which you can see on the top of this pile.  So high tech!  Shortly thereafter, I received a printer upgrade on another disk which would allow me to add an inkjet printer instead of  the then standard dot matrix.  Electric Quilt sent out newsletters periodically, featuring a little mouse and  I read them over and over to glean as much as I could.  As Electric Quilt released each new version, I would upgrade my software, to take advantage of all the new features.  I upgraded to EQ8 the day it was released. By this time, of course, it's an instant download so I no longer have to wait for the postman!  Undoubtedly, one of the highlights of my career is having a block I designed for Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks included in an EQ add-on.
Electric Quilt allows me to either draw pieced blocks, or use pre-drawn blocks from their extensive database.  So, for this month's challenge, I decided to use some of my bright colours, splashed on a pure white background. I envisioned a modified, modern take on the iconic Hudson's Bay Point blanket.
The fabrics I chose were from some of the Island Batik "Foundations" lines, which they are so generous in supplying.
Normally I work with blocks, but decided to try and do something different this time. I settled on alternating coloured triangles with white, cut across the full width of the fabric. Some of Island Batik's fabrics are built into the program, Basics, Blenders, Foundations, so I was able to find most of my fabrics there.
The yellow/gold used for the centre and binding is from the Garden Party collection, so I imported images of those fabrics from the Island Batik website.  Alternately, I could have scanned my fabric and imported it to the program.  Using the actual fabric images gives me a clear idea of how my finished quilt will look.
I fussed a bit about the size of this quilt...8 complete sections looked out of proportion - too long and skinny- and 7 made it a wee bit short.  It's no fun to have ones toes cold :) I settled on removing the top and bottom white sections,leaving an angled edge, which I quite like. EQ does not print piecing instructions, but it does give you options for different construction techniques, such as rotary cutting, foundation piecing, or printing templates.  I ruled out foundation piecing right away due to the size of the pieces, and decided to try rotary cutting.  I followed the measurements it gave.

It worked fine, but was a bit slow.
I tried printing a template to see if that made things go more quickly.  It did, so that's the method I used.
This is a quilt for snuggling on the couch, so it's backed with soft, cuddly, flannel.  The pointy sections have straight line quilting, and the plain white sections have orange peel free-motioned.
It was fun to choose the thread colours from my stash, both 50 and 40 weight.
The batting is Hobbs Poly-Down, which is a soft and lofty batting.
Here's the sketch from EQ8, which you can see is very similar to the finished quilt.

After snapping the picture above, I was called away for a minute.  When I returned, there was a pronounced bump in the centre of the quilt...which meowed when I went to smooth it down.
Polly!!
Thank you to Island Batik, Hobbs Batting, Aurifil thread and especially to EQ8 for developing a must-have tool for quilters. In tribute to the Hudson's Bay Point, I have named this colourful quilt Amherst Point. 

6 comments:

  1. What a fun quilt! You certainly used your 'tool' well, Karen.......Polly thinks so too, don't you Polly? I love your header pic too.

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  2. What a great post to showcase your challenge quilt! I'm pretty much gadget free, too. And I don’t EQ. I don’t really have a lot of patience on a computer. Sorry I didn’t get to see you this year!

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  3. I like the simplicity of this design. And I like that there's lots of room to show off fancy quilting. I have a very old version of EQ, too! (But I don't think I use it as well as you do, Karen!)

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  4. What a great design. Well done. I can't believe you only have one ruler.

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  5. Wonderful quilt! Templates are often the best for our wonky angles! Love the simplicity and elegance of this one.

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  6. Hi Karen! This sure is a wonderful quilt. I agree with Polly - I'd love to be snuggling underneath it myself. She's no dummy! Fabulously simple and elegant, and the fabrics really shine. ~smile~ Roseanne

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