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 a runner and placemats made from a pattern in Canadian Heritage Quilting. You can find this book 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!

Saturday, 19 April 2014


"Sunrise" is a word I associate with Easter as often the day is marked with sunrise services.  Here's an article in the Truro Daily News on a different kind of sunrise - The Sunrise Quilt Guild - located not too far from here. Way to go, ladies! 

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Taylor And Her Quilt

Here's an update on Taylor's quilt;  I really appreciate that her Mom and great-grandmother allowed me to share this photo.  First off, look at this sweet baby who is only a little over a month old - it's amazing how bright and active she is!
That aside, from my perspective there are a lot of things I like about this picture.  For starters, not only is the quilt being used, it's on the floor.  I love that. Think about it:  when you put a quilt on top of a baby to sleep, do they ever get to see it?  Taylor can play on this and when she rolls over - as she will do soon enough - will be able to look at lots of bright colours, and her name.  The quilt can be machine washed and dried, no problem, so when it needs to go back on her bed it's all good.  I could not be happier it is being used as intended.
Secondly...there's a very content looking cat in the photo :)  Mia is only a couple of months older than Taylor and has been welcomed in to the same family.  It's all good!
Thank you Jacklyn and Nancy for sharing the picture.

Friday, 11 April 2014

A Scattered Week

The wind is blowing a gale outside and with two cats in the house, I knew that even before I opened my eyelids this morning.  Gram always said the cats go crazy when there is wind and Polly is a wild woman today... she`s been into everything. 
Perhaps the wind scattered my week as well as it's certainly been off in many directions.  I had a great time at Mrs Pugsley's Emporium on Wednesday;  it was her first drop-in sewing day and it was a roaring success. I expect that will become a regular event as everyone had a very fun time.  (Linda S., thank you for the reminder to take my camera;  I did...but do you think I remembered to take any pictures?!) Yesterday I spent way too much time tracking down the perfect box in which to ship quilts and patterns...but I found it!  I am beyond delighted to say that my Quilt Of Learning and Rhythmic are both headed to Spring Quilt Market in Pittsburgh.  Both were made using Stof fabrics and they will be displayed in the Stof booth at Market. These are the two quilts:

It`s no small honour to have my quilts go and I am really pleased that there was opportunity to show both of them first here in Amherst, Nova Scotia.  They've been on display for the past month at Mrs. Pugsley`s Emporium.
I am home today waiting for UPS to come pick up the box.
While I wait, I will stitch on the latest design.  This will be the last I can show of it for awhile as I am pleased to say it will appear in the fall issue of Quilter`s Connection magazine, Canada`s premier quilting publication.
Look at Polly:  ears up, eyes intently focused, killer instinct engaged.. Be careful Maddie, I think she`s ready for another round!

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Quilt Atlantic

If you are looking for a quilty treat this spring, check out Quilt Atlantic at White Point Beach resort. (Click to enlarge).  If you'd like more information, contact Bev ;  I know she would be delighted to answer your questions.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

They Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth

Literally.  And posted them on their blog...along with the pictures I took.  Maybe it was just a dream that I wrote those posts...and that my name is actually "Slightly Off Quilter"???  Granted, many days I am a bit off, but not so much that I don't recognize what I've written and where I've posted it.  For those of you interested, please read about this on The Bitchy Stitcher site (some days I am this way too).  A sincere thank you to Linda for the heads-up about all this deceit.  If you do visit the quilt patterns pro site in question, please know that I am NOT affiliated with this site in any way, shape,or form, I do NOT write for them under another name, and they do NOT have my permission to lift material from my blog.  Be careful what you click on there; the site is peppered with ads which will take you who knows where.  I will also be lodging a complaint with GoDaddy, who apparently hosts the site's domain.

Safe blogging to all.  (Wonder if this post will make it to their site?!)

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Drop-In Sewing Day

I've drawn up another New York Beauty design to use with these fabulous batiks.  I *love* the colours and am itching to get stitching.  I'm not quite ready to do so as yet though;  I need to walk around the fabrics and the design for a day or two to make sure everything is where I want it to be.
This coming Wednesday - April 9th - my machine and I are heading to Mrs. Pugsley's Emporium for a drop-in sewing day.  It runs during store hours from 10-4 and I plan to be there the whole day.  There are more details here from Mrs. P. herself.  If you are in the area please join us for a fun day of sewing, or even just pop in to say hi.  I'll be working on my NY Beauty blocks!

Friday, 4 April 2014

Taylor's Quilt

The second of the baby quilts has been lovingly delivered and gleefully received.
I used the same selection of pre-cuts of Stof fabrics as in The Quilt Of Learning (Peppered Shadow Brights Maple Roll (2-1/2" strips). To get a random placement of colours in the blocks, I cut the strips into several shorter sections and shuffled them around a bit.The short strips were sewn together in pairs and then cut into 2-1/2" sections. This is much easier and faster than working with individual squares.
These 2-1/2"sections were sewn into 4 patch blocks which finish to 4".
The blocks were laid out 9 across and 8 down to give an unfinished measurement of 36-1/2" wide x 24-1/2" long. 
Stof Quilter's Shadow fabrics in yellow and red were used for the trim;  a yellow 6-1/2" x 36-1/2" was sandwiched between 2 red 3-1/2" x 36-1/2" strips.  Another 3-1/2" x 36-1/2"red strip was added across the bottom of the quilt. Letters from the Quilt Of Learning pattern spelled Taylor's name in red and purple.
Machine blanket stitch was worked in black thread around the letters.
The quilting was fun - lines and squiggles and curves.  I can picture giggles when she sees her quilt smiling back at her in the letter O.
 The squares were simply quilted in a continuous curve over the body of the quilt.
Choosing a thread colour made me pause for a moment, but I finally decided on a soft yellow 50 weight cotton (good and sturdy).
On the back I used a super soft flannel with little yellow ducks, and finished it off with a red binding.  I am told that month-old Taylor's favourite colour is red.
(If you are wondering about the strange watermark on the bottom of the photos...well so am I! Photoshop appears to be speaking Greek today!)
Unfortunately I didn't have this finished when Taylor came to visit us last week, but her Papa and GG have it now;  it will remain with them as a special quilt for Taylor for when she visits her great-grandparents.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

At Nancy's Window

My sister Nancy was visiting when the Hoffman Bali Snowflakes arrived.  Her suggestion was that they would look great in an attic window setting, so that's what I did (thanks, Nan!)  I added a bit of snow on the window (I didn't have to look far for inspiration as there has certainly been a lot of snow on our windows lately!)

The printed snowflakes remind me of the ones Nancy used to crochet and starch and hang in her windows.   If you look closely at the picture below, you can see that I have stitched a hanging cord from the top of the snowflake.
The snow is quilted in swirls with a holographic thread which gives a nice shimmer;  the snowflakes themselves are outlined in silver metallic.
For the photo shoot I placed some cattails in a red can...which turned out to be a bad idea with the cats in the house.  They were obsessed with those cattails!!  It was a constant struggle to keep Polly off the table long enough to get a picture;  I would shoo her off and by the time I had the camera in position, she was back at them.  Maddie, whose feet are permanently glued to the floor, stood on his hind legs beside the table to reach up and swat them.
This was a super easy project and took no time to stitch.  The snowflakes will be in stores soon, and are sold by the yard so you can buy as few or many as your project requires. In Canada, they are distributed by Trend-Tex Fabrics. I am very pleased with the look, especially with the red accent from the little bird, and have named the piece "At Nancy's Window."  The pattern will be coming along shortly.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Having a Ball With the Balis

The second baby quilt is all finished up and I will share a picture as soon as it is delivered.  The recipient reads this blog and I don't want to ruin the surprise!  I was itching to play with the Hoffman Bali snowflakes that arrived last week (see previous post).  There were a couple of colourways included to choose from;  I decided to start with the grey/silver snowflakes. They captured the mood and colours of last week's blizzard perfectly.
Hoffman batiks are a dream to sew.  I am piecing with 50 weight cotton thread (Wonderfil Konfetti) and a Microtex needle 80/12 in the machine.  All that's required is a hot, dry iron and the patchwork comes out perfectly flat and square.  When it comes time to quilt I will switch my needle to a Metallic 80/12.  With regular quilting cottons, I would probably use a 90/14 for the quilting, but with the higher thread count of the batiks a larger needle sometimes makes a visible hole where it punctures the cotton.  Mrs. Pugsley's Emporium got a nice selection of Schmetz needles in this week and it's heaven to have such a fabulous choice available locally.
You can see I am auditioning a little pop of cardinal to brighten up the snowy palette.

Friday, 28 March 2014

What a Week!

My  inner duck has been drifting quietly on the surface...but my feet have been paddling like crazy underneath.  We had another blizzard, which brought hurricane force winds (recorded at over 200 kms/hour in Cape Breton!) and more than 40 cm of snow.  To add to the excitement, in the middle of this we needed to make a run to the airport, and hosted house guests. Fortunately, we had enough shovels to go around!
A big batch of beautiful batiks arrived.
The motifs they are sporting are perfect for the occasion.  I hope I can get them sewn before the snow leaves to get some nice outside shots.  Isn't this gorgeous?
But the BIG news is that my editor at AQS sent a photo of the new book cover which I have her permission to share!  Scroll down to see...

It's beyond exciting.  There are still a few months between now and actually holding this new baby in my hands but it's been a huge feeling of satisfaction to see things this far along.

I am off to sew.  The second of my baby quilts stalled out during all the hoopla of the week but it will be finished soon to show you.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Kate's Posies

Hope on over to Kate's blog to see her very pretty finished version of Polly's Posies. Thanks for sharing, Kate!

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Sweet and Simple

The first baby quilt is all done and will be delivered this afternoon.  I used the letters from the Quilt Of Learning pattern to spell out the recipient's name. The rest is simply plain squares of pastel pink, blue and white. When a name is so unique, I always think a personalized gift is extra special.
As I showed in the last post, I put a little scroll inside each heart - some curled to the left and some to the right.
I also stitched scrolls running up the length of the quilt in the strips framing the letters.
The letters themselves were free-motion outlined;  the background was stippled to make the letters stand out.
On the back is a soft blue and white check flannel.

Everything was from stash other than the pink for the binding which came from Mrs. Pugsley's. Emporium.  I chose pink as the quilt is for a little girl.
Now on to the next one, which will be made using brights.  It will have a very different "personality."

Thursday, 20 March 2014

On Being One With Myself

When you quilt as a business, what do you do in your spare time as a hobby?  Quilt, of course!  While waiting for more fabric to arrive, I took the opportunity to stitch together a couple of baby quilts, for gifts to friends.
These are simple, no pressure quilts - soft, pretty, and meant to be used and loved.  Saturday was World Wide Quilting Day and today I understand (in addition to it being the first day of spring) is International Day of Happiness.  For me it's all the same, and all about quilting.  How Zen.