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 Rhythmic; the pattern is available on my website. Comments are always appreciated, simply click the word "comments" at the end of each post to leave your message. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, 20 November 2014

An Update On The New Book

Many of you have been asking when the book will be arriving and believe me, no one wants it more than me!  It's like the last few weeks of a pregnancy where you just want that baby in your hands. Patience isn't always easy.  The original release date was October 7 and obviously that didn't happen...but for a very good reason.  The editors at AQS decided that it would be a wonderful thing to include a CD of templates with the book so that you can print your own at home full-sized, instead of trucking out to get things photocopied and enlarged.  Honestly, I love the idea...but it has added a bit of time to the project.
It is imperative that these templates are perfect - it is patchwork after all, and the pieces HAVE to fit together with exact precision.  It takes checking, rechecking, and RECHECKING by many individuals before we get the go ahead.  I am part of the checking process, and I am really happy that AQS is being so diligent in their work. This is not a place to make mistakes.
The book part is done - and beautifully done I must say.  The piecing diagrams are incredibly well drawn, I could not be more pleased, and I want this CD of templates to be perfect too.  It will take a bit longer, but the wait will be worth it.  Thank you for your patience (I am working on mine :))

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

A Useful Self

Self-threading needles:  have you tried them?  They are a great time (not to mention frustration!) saver.  On my latest quilt, I used a 12 weight topstitching thread to do a bit of accent stitching over top of the quilting.  There were a lot of ends to darn in, and I was not looking forward to threading this thick thread into the small eye of the needle over and over again.
This packet of self-threading needles was perfect as it has a variety of sizes in the package and I found one which handled the heavy thread with ease.  These unique needles actually have two eyes, and a slot at the top where you lay the thread and simply pull it down into the bottom eye.  The top eye acts as a buffer in case the thread slips out mid seam.

 I got these at Mrs. Pugsley's.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Welcome Blogathoners!

If you are visiting this week as part of Blogathon Canada, welcome aboard!  I am pleased to be included on the list for my province as a Nova Scotia Blogger (Bluenose Blogger sounds like a good title, actually!) Please have a look around;  if you type "tutorial" in the search this blog field on the left, you will bring up a few free projects from the past. My patterns may be purchased from my website. I hope you enjoy the posts, and will make this a regular stop on your daily blog reading.
The host for Nova Scotia is Linda, who blogs here;  visit her site to see the complete list of N.S. bloggers and enter to w in some great give-aways!

Saturday, 15 November 2014


I feel like I've been spinning my wheels for the past month or so, getting caught up from Fibre Arts Festival and with yesterday's snow now my wheels are literally spinning!  Our first real snowfall of the season...and it's a pretty one!
Inside, I've been working away on the colourful fabrics from Mrs. P's that I showed you in this post.  I am about half way through the quilting, and have a few more fiddly details to work out on the pièce de résistance (the accompanying canopy) and then it's on to writing the directions.  Barring interruptions, that's a good week's worth of work before it's ready to post.
 There are also a few chores which need putting the patio furniture away :)

Wednesday, 12 November 2014


Jeanne Kaye Speight has done it again!  She has finished another top, this one my Quilt Of Learning pattern.
Jeanne Kaye writes, "I loved making this pattern! It reminded me of all the wonderful hours I spent watching Sesame Street with my two little boys...Thank you for another terrific pattern. I used a mini jelly roll, a pack of 6 fat quarters, and 3 yards of aqua fabric from the same line."  Jeanne Kaye's quilt is now waiting for her favourite longarmer to work her magic.  I can't wait to see how she quilts it.
Thank you Jeanne Kaye;  if you scroll back a few posts you will be able to see several more of Jeanne Kaye's projects. No wonder Linda from Stitch Lines refers to you as the Energizer Bunny!

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Meet A Quilt Dude

As I've said many times before, I meet a lot of interesting people on my quilt journey and today I will introduce you to one who really stands out: Jose Hermosillo from San Diego.  First let me clarify the word "meet" because it's used in a virtual not a real sense.  I encountered Jose when he posted this picture of his Simply Santa table runner on Craftsy.  His moniker there is Quilt Dude.
What really caught my attention was his fabulous attitude, and sense of humour.  His response to the standard Craftsy question of "What are you most proud of about this project?"  was " It looks just like the picture! LOL".  This is someone having fun with quilting.  I left a comment, he responded, and eventually we had a nice little chit chat.  He generously shared more pictures of his work and a little about himself which I found very interesting, so I asked his permission to share it here with you.

"I live in San Diego, and started quilting in the mid 90's for a bit, really, on a whim. My first quilt, needless to say, was a disaster, but I was proud of it. More than the quilt itself, though, I liked the process of creating, so I decided to buy a book [my quilting bible is what I call it and still have it and refer to it regularly!]... I wanted to quilt the right way, and started making quilts - mostly for my then infant nephews and nieces. All those quilts are long gone, too. After a few years, I stopped quilting, and in 2010 one day I just decided Hey, I liked quilting, let me start doing that again....I love quilting, it relaxes me, I get lost in it for hours, sometime without meaning to."  

Much of the work from this quilt dude's hands is given as gifts.  Last Christmas he made 25 of these small Christmas trees to share (you can see on the blue one how they light up!).

This is a family tree quilt made for Christmas 2011 for his parents showing brothers, sisters, and cousins.

One of his first quilts, held by its happy owner, remains one of Jose's all time favourites.

 " I don't know what my style of quilting is, I don't want to say "modern", but I don't really like those "grandma" quilts, either. I do take inspiration from them, however. I love color, I like to play with composition [I mean, I don't stick to making symmetrical, evenly spaced and centered blocks on quilts, they can be boring to me], there is no rule, I do what I want! LOL. I also try to learn a new technique with every quilt. I'm not a big fan of curves, so I just say, I like geometrical quilts... 
This quilt is an homage to his favourite artist, Prince. It's a whole cloth on the front, with lyrics from his songs as the quilting. The back is pieced scraps of purple and white.
Below is Jose's exquisite interpretation of a Piet Mondriaan painting. 
This gorgeous quilt is pieced from batiks, with colourful squares surrounding Hoffman Bali tiles. Wow!
"As most of us do, I see through quilter's eyes, always looking at color combinations, patterns, and inspiration to possibly be put down into a quilt top. Again, as most of us do, I'm sure, I always have two, three, four projects in mind that I want to do while I currently work on finishing the two, three projects on my table and in my sewing machine."
Thank you Jose for sharing your talents in this virtual quilt show;  I for one have enjoyed it very much.  You are one creative quilt dude!   

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Craftsy Design Award Winners

My sincerest thanks to all who voted for my quilt Rhythmic in the recent Craftsy Design Awards.

You can check out the winners here!

Thursday, 6 November 2014

The Quiltmare was a Nightmare

We've hit a few snags in our latest quilt - including running short of fabric twice - so we have called a halt to production as we reassess and see where it is headed.  Polly is tired of jumping through hoops to make it come together.
This is not unusual in the development of a new pattern because it requires lots of tweaking to make things gel, and in the simplest way possible.  The latter is key to a successful design.  As Einstein said, "make things as simple as possible, but no simpler". We are working towards that end. 

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Christmas Tea

La Guilde Acadienne de Clare is busily preparing goodies for their Christmas Tea and they invite you to join them on November 23, from 11 - 3 pm.  You can do some Christmas shopping while enjoying your treats, and the hospitality is second to none!

Sunday, 2 November 2014

A Recurring Quiltmare

I've had a quilt stuck in my head for over a year.  I have sewn it virtually in many fabrics and colour combinations, tweaking the design each time.  When I saw this striped fabric at Mrs. Pugsley's, I knew it was time to make it for real.
The coordinates are solids and subtle dots;  the red and white polka dot will be backing. It makes me think of Minnie Mouse, but the design has no mice. It will include all kinds of geometric shapes: circles, squares, diamonds, triangles...and stripes. This will be a fun project to sew and I am excited to start cutting.

Friday, 31 October 2014

No Trick - All Treat!

You are so awesome!  Welcome to all the new readers of this blog, and thank you to the regulars for your continued support.

I am excited to say that Rhythmic has been chosen as one of 4 finalists from THOUSANDS of nominations in the Craftsy Pattern Designer Awards. (There were 9, 774 patterns in the running!) Thank you SO MUCH for voting for my pattern. We are now down to the final round and I am asking for your support one last time.  Kindly follow this link  and click the radio button next to Rhythmic.  If you would like a chance to win a free class from Craftsy, then add your email address (not mandatory)  Then click Submit.  That’s it! 
My sincerest thanks…and good luck in the draw for the class!

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Santa's Workshop

There is an energetic elf taking over production at the North Pole and her name is Jeanne Kaye.  She's on a roll!
I'll share what Jeanne Kaye wrote because it's so much fun: "Here I am in Fredericton sewing Santa's belt in vast quantities, and it seems I have a shortage of plain red fabric!  Not wanting to stop the production, I searched my stash and found a red with decorative touches, and then I found piece called "Santa's Beard" which looks a lot like fluffy fur. So I pressed on, and made this one. I've decided that this must be Santa's "dress" costume, for all the holiday parties that he probably attends after his busy night on the 24th. :-) Love the pattern; can't get stopped!"
I am familiar with the "Santa's Beard" fabric she mentions, as Mrs, P. carries it in her shop.
Thank you so much Jeanne Kaye for sharing your projects - keep them coming!  The pattern can be downloaded here if you'd like to make your own.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

From Quilt Market

I was delighted to receive this photo from fellow fabric enthusiast and Amherstonian James Austin..He is shown here standing next to my Log Canada which is part of the Ruby Jubilee Red & White Exhibit in Houston, Texas.
Thanks, James.  This is way better than a postcard!

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Simply Santa is Simply Finished!

Jeanne Kaye Speight from Fredericton downloaded the Simply Santa pattern about 45 minutes ago...and here's her finished runner!

How many do you think she will get made by Christmas? :) Thanks Jeanne Kaye!  You can download the pattern for Simply Santa here.

Ruby Jubilee: 40 years of Red & White Quilts

I am blown away by this stunning display of red and white quilts at Houston Quilt Market in celebration of the IQF Ruby Jubilee.  It's amazing to know that my Log Canada is one of the quilts hanging here.  If you happen to be at Quilt Festival, I'd love a close up picture showing my quilt; you can send it to me here
When this show ends, the quilts will travel for showings across the U.S.A., and return home in October 2015.  You can watch a slideshow of more pictures from this exhibit on the Quilt Show blog.