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.
Comments are always appreciated, simply click the word "comments" at the end of each post to leave your message. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Every Day is a Quilt Day

Every day is quilt related...even when not spent at the machine! Took advantage of our beautiful weather (-3) to photograph my entry for the International Miniature Quilt Exchange. I can't show you the quilt until March, but I thought the "Welcome To Nova Scotia" sign made a perfect backdrop for some glamour shots. My exchange partner lives in New Mexico and doesn't see much snow! We spread the quilt on the large rock just to the right of the lighthouse.
The sun was so bright you can see it ghosting through my photos. I love that :)
I feel fortunate to live so close to this beautiful Welcome Centre for our province. It's a wonderful spot to photograph quilts, in all seasons.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Has It Really Been 52 Weeks Since Jan. 2?

The scrappy 5-patch and snowball blocks are all sewn.  I have failed the 52 week challenge miserably, as I knew I would (and apparently others have too - right, Jeanne Kaye? :))  These blocks are a sew-along with A Needle Pulling Thread quilt shop in Digby, and the challenge was to sew one block a week for 52 weeks, using scraps from your stash.
The blocks went together quickly and easily, barely making a dent in the scraps.  I did have to purchase 3 Fat Quarters of cream as I didn't have enough 8" squares for the snowball centres. 
I drew up the design in EQ8 and decided that I wanted a 5-patch in each corner.  An 11 x 11 layout makes the top 82-1/2" square, before borders. That sounded like a good size. I laid out the blocks on the bed, spacing my darker creams and pure whites across the top. Then I picked up the blocks in rows and labelled each row.

We had a bit of snow overnight, so I took it outside this morning for a picture.  I wasn't terribly the sheet of clear plastic I use under my quilts stiffened up and buckled in the cold, refusing to lay flat.
 For once, the lumps and bumps under the quilt are not Polly (her feet got cold and she went inside.)
 Those lovely plain spaces are just begging for pretty quilting.  I keep seeing feathered wreaths. :).
I will set this quilt aside for a bit and decide what it needs for borders.  I've never made a square bed quilt before, and not sure I will like it.  I may end up making two more rows of blocks, and leaving a border off all together...although a plain border would look great quilted with a big, winding feather.   
 A traditional quilt needs feathers, right? :)

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

New Thread!

The Canada Post delivery man was at our door before 7 this morning, with big, heavy boxes of Aurifil thread. It's Christmas morning excitement opening up the boxes.
One box was filled with Mark Lipinski "Basics" collections, which are a fabulous (and economical) way to build a thread stash.
 There are other new collections too, including my favourite "Deep Gems", by Paula Nadelstern.
 The colours are so rich and vibrant.

Also new, is clear monofilament thread, which is great for stitching in the ditch, doing machine applique, or to use in couching specialty threads or yarns. Aurifil's invisible thread is 100% nylon, strong, and non-reflective.  It virtually disappears into your fabric. 
If you are following Pantone's colour of the year, we've got lots of violet!
The new threads have been added to the online store, which you can find here.  Sew Karen-ly Created...offers competitive pricing on these threads, and we are happy to ship anywhere in Canada.

Monday, 8 January 2018

Snow and Sew

Between the snowstorms and the freezing temperatures, it's been a week of stay-inside-and-sew weather. I've put the time to good use, stitching up an overflowing box of scraps into some very pretty blocks.  The credit for this quilt goes to Darlene D'Eon, who owns A Needle Pulling Thread quilt shop in Digby, Nova Scotia.  Each year, Darlene comes up with a one block a week challenge, for 52 weeks, the idea being that at the end of the year you have a quilt top without a whole lot of concentrated effort.  This year's blocks are a 5-patch and a snowball. (That's not a dark spot on the fabric at left, by the way...that's a shadow from the handle on the end of my sewing table.)
Once I start anything, it's hard to stop.  Lots of folks are starters, but I am a finisher.  This is why I have no UFO's!  By my count...less than a week in, I am up to about week 74 on the 52 week challenge... :)  The blocks finish at 7-1/2", which means each small square measure 1-1/2".
So far, I have enough blocks for a 7 x 10 layout,  but think I will continue for a 9 x 11. Border decisions will come later.
Despite making all these blocks, the scrap box looks just as full as when I started.  How is this possible...?

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

2018, Here We Come!

Did everyone have a good Christmas?  Ours was much quieter than normal since we stayed home this year for the first time...ever.  For Polly, that meant she had company (an audience!)and she was her usual crazy self.  She was in and out of every gift bag under the tree, attacked each snippet of ribbon she saw, and in general, totally exhausted herself partying.  She slept the entire day on Boxing Day, recovering.  
Without the travelling, it meant I was able to get lots accomplished, including finishing up a pair of socks for my big brother, made from Briggs & Little "Tuffy".  He loved them! 
I completed my year end Aurifil thread inventory, and put in a huge order which will arrive in a couple of weeks.  I am excited to see the new collections! One of my goals for this year is to grow my little thread store even larger.  I love this thread!
Most of my sewing time was devoted to working on the miniature for the I.M.Q.E., which I am not able to show yet.  It is coming along very slowly (but surely).  I also started poking away at a few blocks for another small wallhanging for me - so no deadline or pressure on this one.  Just fun. Kona red, white, and black.
Yesterday, shop owner Darlene D'eon from A Needle Pulling Thread in Digby, N.S., posted her annual block for a 52 week quilt challenge.  One block a week is very doable, and since I already have a box of blue and white strips left over from making St. F.X. quilts, it seemed a good project to use up these scraps.
 As a devout "finisher", the challenge for me will be to make this last 52 weeks.  (I doubt I can!!!)
My big news for 2018 is that I have been chosen to be an Island Batik Ambassador!  More details to follow - can't wait to get sewing!
Wishing everyone a creative and productive 2018.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Santa's Helper

From now until December 15th, I am happy to offer selected Aurifil thread collections with free shipping and gift wrapping, to any address in Canada. The parcels will be shipped Canada Post and are within their Christmas delivery mail times. These collections contain 12 large spools (1300 m) of 50 weight cotton thread, in a reusable storage box. 

Three different collections are available, including the ever popular "Basics" by Mark Lipinski:

Pat Sloan's "Let's Go Sew" collection:

 ...and my favourite, Paula Nadelstern's "Deep Gems".

I would be happy to ship this directly to your recipient and provide a tracking number to you so you can see when it's delivered - just let me know where to send it. Quantities are limited, so let hubby know asap!

Click this link to order  and kindly email if there is a special inscription you would like on the card.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Nesting Santas

Every year I try to come up with a new and fun project for Christmas.  Nothing too heavy, or involved - just cute, fun, and happy.  It's no secret I have a "thing" for the jolly fellow in the big red suit, and it seems every year my Christmas offering involves him, like these Santa Sacks...
...or this Santa runner:
...and these personalized Santa ornaments...etc.  You get the picture :)  So this year I decided that my Christmas project would not involve Santa; I was going to make something with trees, and lots of greenery.
I headed down to Mrs Pugsley's Emporium and chose this elegant, rich green print.  Perfect!  I set about designing in my new EQ8 program, excited with the possibility of what I would create.
I ended up with these!!!  Nesting Santas! They remind me of the Russian Matryoska dolls that are so fun to play with.  Since these are just cloth - and unbreakable - I think they'd be great for  little hands.
The Santas are 3 sizes:  12", 8", and 6", and I also made a runner using the 12" foundation. (Note the boots: my favourite holiday salt & pepper shakers!)
The fabric I used is a gorgeous red and gold from Hoffman called Berries and Blooms.  The background green is from the Hoffman "Merry Birds" collection.

I quilted the runner using Aurifil gold metallic in the background, and 50 weight white cotton for the beard. It's got lots of sparkle.

The eyes are a simple straight stitch made with Aurifil 12 weight thread.
I took the Santas outside and posed them in the holly bushes. We had had snow that morning, but by the time I got outside, it was long gone.
This next shot struck me as funny;  I was trying to get a group photo, but it ended up looking like Santa is hanging upside down.  I expect this is the way he looks coming down the chimney.
The funniest picture is this one, below.  My elder son mischievously set one Santa on top of the salt and pepper shakers, to make it look like he is wearing boots.  I am not sure why this is so funny, is.
I hope you enjoy this latest addition to my Santa obsession.  (Even though I didn't get a tree, I did get a TRI-O so that counts, right? :)My sincere thanks goes out to pattern editor Cheryl Coville.
The "Nesting Santas" pattern is available as an instant download through Craftsy , or as a printed version from my website.  It includes the pattern for the 15" x 29" runner/wallhanging.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Curvy Inspiration

Here are some photos of completed cushions from last year's "Curved Strip-piecing" class at Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival, offered as inspiration to this year's participants.  Enjoy!