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 New York, New York which was featured on the cover of Quilter's Connection magazine. Comments are always appreciated, simply click the word "comments" at the end of each post to leave your message. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Button, Button; Who's Got The Button?

Me and Polly!  The mailman just delivered the hand-made buttons I ordered last week from "Funny Business Buttons" and they are ADORABLE! Personally, I can't imagine making anything this small turn out so perfectly.
Polly is every bit as impressed as I am.
You can find these great buttons here.  Now I have to come up with something worthy of their cuteness! (maybe Polly needs a sweater...??)

Monday, 13 April 2015

A Little of This, A Lot of That

There isn't much of interest to share from my quilting world;  for the last little bit it's been preparing for workshops, packaging pattern orders, and brain-storming new ideas for designs and teaching. Some days it all goes in circles and you end up back where you started. I've also been playing with threads, and exploring possibilities which hadn't before occurred to me.  This is a white/silver grey Aurifil variegated I bought to use on the Hoffman Challenge quilt.  Even though I won't be stitching it on white, I wanted to see how it looked in a feather.  I think it will be fabulous on the challenge fabric.
I picked up new 12 weight thread at Mrs. Pugsley's Emporium, and each spool came with a fun thread wrap.
The wrap will not only keep the thread ends tidy, but will also keep the dust off.  Sewing rooms generate a lot of dust...or at least mine does (!).
I didn't do anything too serious with the thread...yet;  it's all still in the thinking stages, but it's got the potential to be a really fun workshop.
The weather has been beautiful - it's supposed to go up to 12 degrees today! - and the snow in the backyard has gone down significantly in the past few days. This shot was taken a few minutes ago, and the back of the bench is now exposed.  Last week it was covered.
For my friend in "Upper Canada" tending her seedlings, here's a shot of our garden which is just to the left of the picnic table.  I don't think there will be fresh rhubarb for awhile's still about two feet under snow...but we're optimistic!

Thursday, 9 April 2015

It's Time For Colour!

This fabulous show is coming to Mrs. Pugsley's Emporium!

(Click the poster to enlarge the details.)
See you there!

Monday, 6 April 2015

Quilting With A Twin

This post is not about working with my hubby (who is a twin) but about the use of a twin needle for quilting.
Like regular machine needles, twin needles are sold in various sizes and gauges but they have two number designations.  The sizing on this one - 2.0/80 - signifies it is a size 80 needle with 2 mm between the needles.You can buy sizes with the needles spaced further apart;  it all depends on the look you are going for.  Twin needles are most often used in decorative stitching, but there is also a use for them in quilting. I made this little satin bow tie quilt many years ago, on my old Kenmore, using a twin needle to stitch pintucks to recreate a tuxedo shirt front
I stitched the pintucks on the top layer of cotton only, for use in the patchwork.
I used a special pintuck foot on my machine but you don't have to have one;  any foot with a wide opening (like a satin stitch foot) will work.
 This is a 5 channel foot, and the grooves ride along the tuck to keep your rows straight.
I have used pintucks in several of my quilts, including one in this book by Leisure Arts called Quilts For Babies and Kids. 

This isn't a very good picture, but the shirt front of Thomas Mouse featured pintucks.
You can also use a twin needle with your walking foot to quilt evenly spaced parallel lines on your layered quilt. 
Depending on how far apart you want your rows of double lines, you can use the edge of your presser foot (or a bar guide) to space the rows.
 On the back of your work, the stitch looks like a narrow zigzag.
I am using a double needle and metallic thread on my Hoffman Challenge quilt to stitch rays from the centre section of the quilt. I like the effect. The downside of quilting with a twin needle is that you can't travel between sections very discreetly, so there is a lot of starting and stopping (and a whack of thread ends to darn in!).
The little zigzag stitch on the back doesn't look a bit out of place.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Funny How It all Works Sometimes!

An email this week really made me was from Marjorie in Sarnia, Ontario who sent along two pictures of Maritime Beauties she had made.  She made this beauty from her batik stash, but it wasn't just the quilt that made me smile, it was her story.
About five years ago, Marjorie et al were returning from a camping trip to Newfoundland, and on the ferry struck up a conversation with a fellow passenger who was also a quilter. That quilter turned out to be someone I knew, BevCrouse.  When Marjorie mentioned they were headed to a campground near Amherst and that she was looking for something to quilt that would be a reminder of the trip, Bev directed them to Dayle’s department store to buy one of my patterns. She chose Maritime Beauty.  It took her a bit of time to finish her quilt, but when she did, she showed her friend in Calgary who immediately asked for one. Marjorie dipped in to her batik stash again and came up with this one for Donna, similar but not identical.  
Donna's version:

Marjorie's projects are beautiful and as she says, "a delight to make!"   Thanks so much, Marjorie, for sharing the pictures of your work as well as the story behind your project.  (and thanks, Bev,for recommending my pattern!). The pattern is available for purchase on my website  or as an instant download through Craftsy
You never know when a chance meeting will connect you to a quilter...we're everywhere! :)

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Roxanne's Rhythmic

This gorgeous version of Rhythmic was made by Roxanne Miner of Alberta. It is exciting to see her linear quilting, as it complements the modern look of her quilt so very well.
It's perfect!  Looks like she has used the edge of her walking foot to space her lines, thus eliminating the need for marking.
Roxanne downloaded her pattern through Craftsy and posted the finished picture of her quilt in the Community section of that site, where members share photos.  You can see more of Roxanne's lovely work on her blog.  Thanks so much, Roxanne, for the inspiration!

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

IQF - Chicago

The Red & White exhibit of quilts for the Jubilee Celebration of IQF will be shown in Chicago (Rosemont) March 26-28 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Centre.  My Log Canada is part of this travelling show, and if you are headed there, I hope you will share some pictures.
This is actually the second time that Log Canada has appeared at this show.  It was part of the original "O Canada" exhibit which toured the U.S. in 2009.  Here's a link to a post from back then. Hmmm...wonder if Regina is planning to attend again?

Monday, 23 March 2015

Dorothy's Coat of Many Colours

I had a lovely surprise email from someone I hadn't seem in ages, made even more special by the fact it contained a picture of a quilt.  Dorothy Travis was one of the first people we met when we moved to Amherst 20+ years ago.  I showed up at Trinity United one hot summer day to register a very excited almost-four year old for vacation Bible school, and Dorothy welcomed him in. 
Dorothy has been busy making quilts for her grandsons as graduation presents, and this one shown above is for Blake who requested one with lots of colour. Dorothy writes that she spotted this pattern at Dayle's during last year's Fibre Arts Festival and knew it was perfect for him, as her colour-loving grandson had often read scripture at church and knew the story behind the coat.  She used materials that her daughter brought back from one of her trips to Australia, making the gift even more special.  

My original Coat of Many Colours is below, and you can see that Dorothy improved upon it with the addition of a bright print border - much jazzier than my plain one!  It also brought the quilt out to a good size for the bed. 
Joseph's Coat of Many Colours is a very simple patchwork pattern, perfect for beginners and for using up lots of scraps.  
If you'd like to try your hand at a Coat of Many Colours, the pattern is available from my website, or as an instant download from Craftsy.
Thanks for sharing this, Dorothy -  I know Blake will love his quilt!

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Worldwide Quilting Day...?

That's every day in my world!
Wishing all a creative, fun, and relaxing day.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Spring Hare Runner Kits

Just in time for the first day of spring, Mrs. Pugsley's Emporium has kits available for the Felicity Table Runner - a world exclusive!

Kits are $42.95 and include pattern and fabric enough for a runner and two placemats.  These are available via mail-order, just email Mrs. P.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Playing With New Toys

I went to Mrs. Pugsley's Emporium on Friday to get some black fabric to make a backing and hanging sleeve for Rhythmic.  One of the requirements of the Paducah show is that odd-shaped quilts be mounted on a plain black backing to make it easier for the organizers to hang the quilts.  1.5 m of solid black isn't a very interesting purchase, so I looked around to see what was new in the shop. There were a lot of new notions in, and a pile of stencils caught my eye.  Isn't this sailboat sweet?  It's designed by Hari Walner, a woman whose books were a great help years back in my machine quilting. I decided it needed to come home with me...because you never know when you might need a sweet little design like this.
At the counter, I caught sight of a jar of what looked like dismembered digits...but upon closer inspection turned out to be rubber finger cots for use in machine quilting.  Ooowww, I'd better have some of those.  
These odd do-hickeys come in three sizes, small to large, so I chose 2 of each size.
While the blizzard raged outside, I decided to try out both the stencil and the finger cots.  I cut out a simple bib shape and layered it right sides together with backing and batting.
It will close with a piece of Velcro instead of ties, so I left the bottom open for turning.  Notice how when I start and stop sewing, I turn my work to run the stitching right off the edge.  Doing it this way makes the edges turn in much easier.
All the curved edges were clipped before turning.
Then the fun part.  I centred the stencil on the bib, and traced through the openings with a Frixxion marker.
Wearing those sticky finger cots, I followed the lines with free motion stitching using a YLI variegated blue thread. The rubber fingers gripped the fabric well and were not as cumbersome as gloves.  A breeze came up and knocked my stitching a little crooked on the sail (hey - I mentioned there was a blizzard outside, right?!) but it was a simple path to follow, and really cute.  
I can't wait to try this design out on a real quilt.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Beware The Ides Of March

I guess it's not like we weren't warned that the Ides of March could be a troublesome day.
We had warning that a big snow was coming;  up and down the street, windshield wipers were raised in anticipation. (that's so they don't freeze to the windshield, Jennifer, or get damaged under the weight of the snow). Reading online reports, it appears Amherst got around 40 cm in yesterday's blizzard.
 Here's what we shovelled through at the end of the driveway.
 The driveway is a work in progress, exactly one car-width at present and not a flake more.
 Here's the view of our house from the street.  From inside we can't see over the snowbanks...nor could Polly see us out the front window.
She had to come out for a minute to check on us.
Spring is how many days away...??

Saturday, 14 March 2015

A Picture to Share

I cannot take any applause for this quilt as I had no hand in it, but the picture was sent along by my friend Shari and it's just too pretty not to share.  It's a disappearing Nine Patch made by Karen Reed of Amherst. I am not sure how large it is, but since I see two sets of hands holding it up, I'd say it's a good size.  It's lovely.  (How could a red quilt be anything but?!)
I *think* the fabric is Mark Lipinski's "Krakow" collection (and how weird is my brain that I would remember that after all this time...)  The reason I do, is because I used that same collection in a quilt made to showcase the fabric Dayle's was featuring one year for Fibre Arts Festival:
If I have the story correct, the fabric for Karen's quilt was won by Shari in a big basket of goodies donated by Dayle's one year for the block contest they sponsor for Fibre Arts Festival.  Since I seldom ever delete anything (!), I went back through my files to see what I could find, and sure enough - I think the fabric is in this basket, from 2010.  Look at all the goodies in there!
Shari shared her bounty with Karen and writes that there is enough of the fabric left to be used in a second quilt, with the addition of a few other prints.
Thank you Shari and Karen for sending along the picture of the quilt.