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 "Meadow Song"; you can download the pattern here.
Comments are always appreciated, simply click the word "comments" at the end of each post to leave your message. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

May Showers

The month of May is always a busy month for quilters, and an even busier one for (assistant) beekeepers.  When you combine the two ventures, the days just don't have enough hours!
The new queen bees arrived from California last week and we split the beehives on the weekend. This can be a tedious job, as you need to go through each hive carefully to find the current queen and make sure she goes in a different box from the new queen.  There can only be one boss :)
I've not been able to get many minutes at my machine, but today I managed to sew 3 whole blocks!  I started on my batik pile back in March.

It's unbelievable to me that I have only managed to sew 37 in all this time.  Hopefully, the remaining 63 will go together a bit more quickly so I can show you how I plan to set these together.
It's still definitely "quilt weather" here in Nova Scotia.  Last night, we pulled on this quilt I showed you awhile back.  We appreciated that wool batting!




Thursday, 11 May 2017

A Quick Reminder!

For those interested in purchasing Aurifil thread, this is a reminder that I will be at Mrs Pugsley's Emporium tomorrow from 11-4 and again on Saturday from 10-1.  This morning, a big order of thread arrived, with lots of new collections.
It's so much fun to open the boxes and see all these beautiful colours.  This collection by Angela Yosten is a great way to build your 12 weight thread stash, at a fabulous cost saving.  It can be used for either hand or machine stitching.


This looks like a perfect Mother's Day gift, in the pretty flowered box.  Quilter's Patch is an Edyta Sitar collection of pretty colours in 50 weight cotton Mako.

My favourite is this group of small spools of 12 weight by Lori Holt


All of the threads have been added to the checkout page of my website.  You can order online, and pick it up at Mrs Pugsley`s Emporium to save the shipping.  See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Following a Thread


 Mrs Pugsley's Emporium will be hosting my Aurifil pop-up shop tomorrow Friday and Saturday.  If you are needing an Aurifil fix, you can find me in the Clock Tower Building in downtown Amherst Wednesday, May 9 from 11:30 - 2 pm.  I'll also be there Friday, May 12 from 11- 4 pm, and Saturday from 10-1 pm.
There are lots of new colours and collections arriving this week, so drop in and have a look!

Weekend Spoils

Paradise was...well, pretty much how it sounds!  Our motel room was quiet, and cleaner-than-clean, and the welcome from the Paradise Village Quilt Guild was warm and genuine.  Saturday's workshop just zoomed by, and I was thrilled to receive this picture yesterday of a completed project.  Judith Murty did a stellar job stitching this free motion. I hope there will be more pictures arriving soon. (hint, hint :))
Friday night I presented a trunk show of  quilts which was well attended (including a surprise carload of quilters from Clare :))  I had hoped to have "Rhythmic" back from its tour of the US in the Hands All Around exhibit at IQF, however the courier arrived after we left Amherst. Once back home,it was a treat to open the waiting box,
 In addition to the quilt, the organizers always include some goodies, such as the show books.  It's very satisfying to see your name and hometown listed.
Better still are these labels to be sewn to the back of your quilt, testimony for the provenance of your work.
I can't wait to add these next to the previous patch the quilt earned from being displayed in Paducah in 2015
 As much as I would have loved to have shown this in Paradise, I made up for it with a surprise showing at the end. It was a "for your eyes only, no pictures please" quilt and one which I will share here in a couple of weeks' time.
Off to sew on my new bling!

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

A Trunk Show Of Quilts

This Friday night (May 5th), I will be doing a trunk show of my quilts at the Paradise Community Hall in Paradise, N.S., hosted by the Paradise Village Quilters. Admission is $5., and refreshments will be served. The show starts at 6:30 pm. After the show, I will have patterns and thread for sale. If anyone is looking for something in particular, kindly email me before Thursday and I will pop it in the trunk. See you there!

Friday, 28 April 2017

There are Mounties at Mrs Pugsley's!

If you've been looking for one of these very-Canadian fabric panels, they have just arrived at Mrs Pugsley's Emporium.  I will save this for a very special quilt, and no doubt use some of the other Canadian fabrics I purchased earlier at her shop. 
As an interesting aside, the clock tower building which houses Mrs P's quilt shop, was designed by the Chief Dominion Architect for the Government of Canada, Thomas Fuller, the same man who designed the original Parliament Building in Ottawa.


These patriotic fabrics seem very appropriate to the shop.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Bees A Buzzin"

We were out to visit the bees this morning, and  despite our overcast day, it was wonderful to find everyone out working.  See the little yellow pollen packs on their legs?  You can also see where some of the pollen has fallen between the cracks at the entrance.  Hubby tasted it and declared it very sweet.
It was quite windy, but you can still hear the buzz.
video
As you can see, the tar paper wrapping which is added for overwintering,has not yet been removed. Our uncertain spring can be full of surprises;  we had snow last week.  I can say for a fact that it was storming on this day 24 years ago.  I will never forget that,  as we welcomed our youngest son in the middle of a snowstorm :)
In a very short time, the blossoms will be out, and the bees will be moved into blueberry blooms. Now I am off to decorate a cake.  No quilting for me today.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

I.M.Q.E.

Have you heard about the International Miniature Quilt Exchange?

It's an initiative put forth by The Quilt Show folks to encourage quilting camaraderie around the globe. Click on the poster below to read the details.

I signed up and already have been matched with a partner - Terry, from New Mexico.  We've been emailing back and forth a bit, getting to know each other.  The goal of the IMQE program is to have 300 teams, and they are already over half-way to reaching that goal.
To participate, you need to have a Quilt Show membership, but that's free.  Go to thequiltshow.com to sign up. You have until next January to finish your quilt, and some of the entries will go to IQF fall and spring markets.  Sounds like fun!

Monday, 24 April 2017

Learning By Teaching

Although the days fly by, sometimes there isn't a lot to show at the end of each.  I've been working on stitch samples for an upcoming free motion quilting workshop.  Even though I have taught this class many times before, each one is new and different;  you can't just dial it in. You learn as you go what works and what doesn't...or as Bob Seger sings in Against the Wind, "what to leave in, what to leave out." I have one more filler stitch to settle on...and it may be just an echo. Or a scroll.  Or S lines...
For sure, we will be doing continuous curve quilting;  it's my favourite go-to stitch as it's so versatile. Whether you use it to quickly quilt squares, or as a background pumpkin-seed filler, it's a stitch every free-motion quilter should have in their repertoire. I piece scraps, and dig out orphan blocks, as I've learned that demos done on actual patchwork, not just plain cotton, give a more concrete understanding of the application.
I've decided to do clam shells, even though I usually avoid them in my own work.  (Imagine a gal from Five Islands not being a fan of clam shells! :)
This is my arsenal of feet, amassed over years of quilting, progressing from left to right.  When I started doing free motion on my old Kenmore, there was no foot available.  I used a spring needle (shown on the left). I was delighted to finally find a short-shank foot that fit my machine. Bernina has lots of fabulous feet for their machines. My newest acquisition - the ruler foot - is on the far right. See how thick it is?  That's so it won't slip under the ruler and damage your machine. It's made curved cross-hatching very doable on my domestic machine. I hope to be able to show you some of that soon.
For now, it's back to deciding on that final stitch to fill the last square on my sampler.  What would you choose?

Friday, 21 April 2017

Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival Workshops - Friday

On Friday, October the 13th (!) I will be presenting a new workshop on free-form curved flying geese as part of the 10th Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival.
In this workshop, we will learn to draft and sew a free-form curved flying geese unit which will then be added to a project. The technique used will be paperless paper-piecing (also known as freezer paper piecing) which results in perfect points but no messy paper to remove afterwards. Class project is this Christmas wallhanging shown above, however you are welcome to work on a project of your own choosing.  You may want to construct bands to add to different project, such as this:
This is an all day workshop, and the cost is $65.00 plus tax.  This class is almost full, so if you are interested, please email at once to secure your spot.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival Workshops - Thursday

Even though October seems like a long way off, it really isn't when there's lots to be put in place before then.  For this year's festival, I will be offering two different workshops.  The first - on Thursday Oct. 12 - is on free-form curved strip piecing.  It's back by popular demand, as there was a long waiting list for this one last time.

We spend the day cutting free form curves and sewing them back together to create a new piece of fabric which may then be used in a variety of projects.
The class project is a cushion with a piped edge.  I'll offer tips on how to add a hidden zipper to the back for easy insertion of the pillow form.
Here are a few of the finished pieces from the last workshop, the first from Sandy W:
I love this one by Donna G (and the handsome kitty too :))
 Glenda MacD made a very soft, feminine version:
Karen R. made several, for Christmas gifts:
It's always great to see projects finished up.  I will share more for inspiration as we get closer to the workshop.
Cost of the full day class is $65.00 + tax. Registration for both workshops (I'll tell you about the Friday class in the next post)  is underway, just email me if you would like you name added to the list.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

I Got The Blues...

No, not that kind of "blues" - the good kind.  The Aurifil thread kind!
So many shades of blue are now in stock, including # 1320 which is the signature Aurifil blue, used in their logo and packaging.
I also have 3 different weights (50, 28, and 12) of the shade of blue used in the Canada 150 logo, for those stitching sesquicentennial projects. (and by the way...did you know that "Canada 150" is part of the logo and needs to be included every time?)
The 28 weight is great for satin stitching:
The 12 weight can be used for either hand or machine embroidery.  You can find these threads here.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Aurifil Thread

Last year I decided to become a retailer for Aurifil threads. This was something I had dreamt of for some time as this very fine, long-staple, Egyptian cotton is not widely available in my area and I knew if I was having trouble finding it, others were too.  That first order was pretty small.
  I started out with a few different spools in various sizes, and weights. 
As the support for my venture slowly grew, so did my thread stock. I added cones...
and metallics, in gold and silver:
Last fall, I had a request for a collection, so I brought in a few "Basics" (as in Mark Lipinski Basics)

These collections offer a great selection of colours at a fabulous saving over individual spools, so I ordered in a bunch more.  You can see them all in my thread store.  

I also carry empty cases to store your spools.

Primarily, the thread is available for purchase on my website, but I also have it with me at shows and workshops.  If you are local or passing through the area, we can arrange for a pick-up to save on postage.  Mrs Pugsley's Emporium very kindly allows me to leave ordered thread at her quilt shop for pick up there.  Because I am a home-based business, my prices are very competitive (less than the online giant that begins with "C" - no $ exchange or import taxes to pay to get it across the border.  That's all been done. :)  Thank you for your support which allows my store - and my dream - to grow.