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. The picture above shows "Log Canada" photographed at the Public Gardens in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The pattern appears in the book Canadian Heritage Quilting, by Karen Neary and Diane Shink. Comments are always appreciated, simply click the word "comments" at the end of each post to leave your message. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, 25 June 2015

The Stuffle

No one guessed from the previous post what I was working on...in fact no one was even close!
So, here is it: The Stuffle! It's a brightly coloured, head-turning Duffle bag that you can fill with... stuff. (Blame my sons for the name suggestion, they thought "stuffle your duffle" was hilarious) With the soft sides, it's going to be great to carry quilts when I travel around.
It's pieced from a luscious summer collection of Hoffman hand-dyed Bali Watercolours. With all due modesty - it's gorgeous! :)
As with all of my designs, the construction is kept super simple and the pattern contains lots of coloured photos to guide you through the process of creating your own. The bag is constructed flat with quilting, straps and pocket added before any shaping is done. Super easy!
The Stuffle is sewn with 50 weight cotton Aurifil, and quilted with heavier weight Aurifil threads - both 12 and 28 weights.  I really love these threads as it's like adding quilting and embellishment in one step. My sewing machine loves them too; with a size 16 topstitch  needle and regular Mako 50 in the bobbin, you're all set.  These are the ends, quilted first...
...and then trimmed to size.
There are open pockets on the inside, sewn into each end.
 The Stuffle also has an inside zippered pocket.
I took it down to the Amherst Train Station for the photo shoot.




Thank you to Cheryl Coville for her very efficient checking of the instructions and also to Polly who inspected all the seams before pronouncing it fit for action.
She worked so hard she actually fell asleep in the bag :)
A print version of Stuffle pattern # 515 is available from the pattern page of my website , at your local quilt shop - including, of course, Mrs. Pugsley's Emporium.  You can download the pattern instantly at Craftsy.

Now...where shall I go?


Tuesday, 23 June 2015

A Real Jewel

I have been watching my email for a picture of a quilt I knew was going to be spectacular.  And it is! Here is Alisa Aymar's project from the Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend workshop in Clare:
Alisa put a great deal of thought into her project before class- as she always does - and decided hers would have a nautical theme.  You can see this in the motifs she fussy cut for her outer block centers. I love the contrasting blues; she chose to add the strips in those outside diamonds in the traditional log cabin fashion - all the way around the centre - instead of side to side as we had done in class. Alisa has attended several of my workshops and her work is always amazing, with colours carefully chosen and masterfully placed.  In fact, her version of Roundabout Again was one of only two student quilts chosen by the AQS editors for inclusion in the gallery section of my Quilting Beauties book (Joan Tufts made the other.)  Alisa has a second diamond top started and I look forward to seeing how she works her magic on it.  Please leave a comment below to congratulate Alisa on her beautiful quilt.
Edit:  Alisa tells me she can't take all the credit - she had help from Smokey, her 4 month old Himalayan.  I am glad she is making a quilter out of Smokey!


Monday, 22 June 2015

Almost Done!

I am having an absolute ball stitching together Hoffman 1895 watercolours with Aurifil thread.  Can you guess what I am making? This project is SO me!  I love the bright colours.
Even with just a super simple wavy line, the 12 and 28 weight Aurifil threads make a statement -the quilting stands out spectacularly.

Any guesses as to what this will be?

Sunday, 21 June 2015

A Wee Mousie

Too cute! Check out Grandma Coco's latest creation!

Friday, 19 June 2015

Father's Day Reminder!

If you've left your shopping late, don't forget this quick little mug mat for Dad.  Instructions here.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Another From Clare!

Here is another completed top from the "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend" workshop held in Saulnierville at the end of May.  This top belong to Charmene Robichaud. Beautiful!
In placing the light strip between her two reds, Charmene has really defined the star shape in her design. Colour placement makes such a difference, and this is fabulous Charmene.  I am awaiting permission before sharing another, but stay tuned.  You can see other projects from this workshop here.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

In The Summertime Update

Thanks for the terrific response to the In The Summertime pattern.  It's now being distributed in Canada by Trend-Tex Fabrics, so ask at your local quilt shop!


Thursday, 11 June 2015

In The Summertime

It's finished! Just in time to help you kick back and enjoy summer living!
Awhile back I showed you these gorgeous Hoffman watercolour batiks, and I've been having a grand time playing with them,
The happy colours are perfect for a pool party, or a get-together at the beach; flip-flops were a natural subject choice.  I used a sand-coloured print batik for the background which had diamonds scattered across it, much like pebbles on a beach.  The flip-flops don't tessellate but, as pattern editor Cheryl Coville playfully suggested, they "nestle-late" from one to the next! They are done using raw edge fusible applique, outlined in a blanket stitch with blue 28 weight Aurifil thread.
A wavy swirl was quilted with that same thread in each sandal using a stencil from Mrs. P's.
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The border is really the fun part, all easy-to-do, gentle free hand curves to make the waves.
Here's what it looked like before I cut it into smaller sections.
I was excited to try my new  12 weight and 28 weight Aurifil cotton threads for the quilting and they are BEAUTIFUL.  It's like adding embroidery embellishment and quilting all in one step. 
In the bobbin is Aurifil 50 weight cotton Mako; the needle is a Schmetz size 16 Topstitch.  I had to reduce the top thread tension a bit to balance, but you can see the back of those heavy threads here, and thread tension was not a bit of issue.
. I switched back to the 50 weight through the needle to do the pebbling on the "beach", using a silver- to- white Aurifil variegated for this.  Perfect!.


Check out these cool coasters!
One single flip-flop!
Also included in the pattern are directions to turn the design into a nap-sized beach blanket:
A mail-order print version of this pattern is available from my website  or ask at your local quilt shop.  You can download a pdf version here.

A big thank you to Cheryl Coville for help in proofing these instructions!

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

The Reviews Are In!

Summer magazine issues are hitting the shelves and I am thrilled to read two very positive reviews of Quilting Beauties from two very popular Canadian publications.  A thank you to editor Heather MacArthur of  Quilter's Connection for her kind words about the book.
I confess that my favourite part of  Heather's review is the little red maple leaf beside my name, signifying that I am a Canadian author. No small thing :) 
Beth Cameron of the Canadian Quilter's Association also gave the book two thumbs up in her review!

Last month was a busy one for book signings and sales but I have received more books and have lots in stock now.
You can order your signed copy of the book from my website. (Polly and Maddie's signatures are included as well *-)
I also have more pins as they've been popular, and I am happy to include one with your order.
On a side note...the summer 2015 issue of Quilter's Connection also includes an article about an inventive quilt retreat hosted by The Greater Moncton Quilt Guild. You can read all about "The Festival Of Broken Needles" in a fabulous article by Jennifer Scantlebury Vienneau...(and perhaps finally find a use for that tofu you keep buying and wondering what to use it for !)
Quilter's Connection Magazine may be downloaded from their website, and is available locally at Mrs. Pugsley's Emporium,

Monday, 8 June 2015

Sunday, 7 June 2015

A Maritime Beauty

As part of a challenge at the Cumberland Quilt Guild, members put fabric in a bag and passed it along to another to make something.  Here's what Lynn Bourgeois made with the fabric she received from Nancy - a Maritime Beauty. Isn't it pretty?  Just the perfect thing to brighten up a table in our warmer weather.
If you'd like to try your own Maritime Beauty pattern # 108 is available from my website in both a print and downloadable version. Beautiful job, Lynn;  I know Nancy will love this!

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Gold!

I was at Mrs. Pugsley's Emporium yesterday when a new shipment of Hoffman Christmas fabrics arrived. SO beautiful...these two pieces had to come home with me.  The one on the left is from the Peacocks Ornaments collection;  you can see tiny snowflakes in the background.  On the right is the cream/gold colourway from Berries and Blooms, and the gold in this fabric is stunning.You really have to see it in person to appreciate how gorgeous it is.
Mrs. Pugsley's has it in several colours, including a rich red, a burgundy, and a black (there may have been a green, too;  I was so enamored of the red and cream I could hardly see anything else!).  I will finish sewing my summer waves with Christmas in my head now.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Catch the Wave!

I am having a ball with the new Hoffman 1895 Watercolours, flipping back and forth between three new designs.  One project is almost finished and the pattern *should* be available by next week. In addition to this really fun and curved patchwork for the border, there's a bit of appliqué.  I decided to try a heavy weight Aurifil thread.
Green or blue?  Hmm...it's water, so I chose blue.  It is a 28 weight cotton Mako and it works a beautiful machine blanket stitch (#46 on my Bernina).  The thread has a gorgeous sheen and I am really pleased with how it fills in the stitching on the raw edge appliqué.  In the bobbin I used a 50 weight Mako cotton and reduced my top tension just a bit to account for the different weights of thread.  Perfect!

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Workshop Photos

Joan Tufts sent these photos along, the top one of some of the members, and the others of the projects we worked on Saturday.  You can see they wasted no time putting these gorgeous pieces together, which may now be used as a table topper or tree skirt.
Anna Aymar: You can see Anna also tried her fabrics out using isometric perspective principles to create the tumbling block on the left.
Christina Boudreau:
Clara Melanson:
Elise Saulnier:
Lorna Comeau: (I can picture a beautiful poinsettia in the middle of this on the table!)
Marilyn Comeau:
Margaret Melanson:

Great job to everyone! This makes 7 of the 25, so we look forward to seeing more. Thanks Joan for taking and sending the photos.