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

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, but...it 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!
















Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Aurifil in Tata


I will be heading over to the Sunrise Quilt Guild show in Tatamagouche, Friday and Saturday. I will NOT be vending there, but if anyone would like to order Aurifil threads and pick them up at the show, I'd be pleased to bring them along. You can order from my checkout and on the first page select "pick up" from the drop-down shipping menu; this way, you don't get charged postage. I am very well stocked with beautiful threads and collections at the moment in anticipation of the Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival, and there is lots to choose from...including these sweet 12 weight sets by Lori Holt, of Bee In My Bonnet!
See you there!

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Curvy Strips

As a sample of curved strip-piecing for my upcoming workshop, I have stitched this bright and colourful wall hanging using my favourite Hoffman 1895 Watercolours.

Last year, I made this "Stuffle" using the same fabrics, and loved how the colours worked together.

In July, La Guilde Acadienne de Clare posted this photo of a new sign for their quilt expo and member Joan and I both commented on how it looked like what we had done in our recent workshop.
Naturally, I had to try alternating black with the colours, and the result is fabulous.
Since this is going to be used as a wallhanging, instead of batting I used a product called Bosal In-R-Form.  This is normally used in bags to give stiffness, but it worked great for this application as well. It has a fusible side, so I ironed it on to the back of the patchwork before quilting.  The backing still needed to be pin-basted to the top.
I chose a plethora of Aurifil thread in various weights and colours to quilt the piece.
The quilting is all free-form free motion wavy lines.
Despite the stiffness of the In-R-Form, it does quilt easily.
Once quilted, I marked a wavy line on each side with my flexible ruler and a white Clover marker. The top and bottom edges were kept straight.
I stitched along the curvy line, then trimmed it with my scissors just outside the stitching.  Because of the curved edge, the binding needed to be cut on the bias.
With the addition of a hanging sleeve, this brings a nice, simple pop of colour to an otherwise plain wall.
If you'd like more information on the curved strip-piecing workshop, please email.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Only in Canada...

If you are looking to grow your thread stash, here's a great way to do so.  I am offering a limited number of Mark Lipinski "Basics" thread collections for $139.00, plus free shipping in Canada
The collection includes 2, 1300 m spools of finest quality 50 weight Aurifil cotton thread in basic colours (plus a reusable case):
#'s 2021, 2370,2310,2326,2000,2314,2325,2024,2610,2600, 2605, 2692

Click here to order. Quantities are limited (and they sold out quickly last time!)

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Midnight Magic

This fall at the Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival, I am presenting a new workshop on curved flying geese.  Although the technique is fun and fairly straightforward, it's a fair process to develop a consistent, professional looking pattern to use in the class.  I have tried drawing the geese on the computer and although the results look fabulous, it seems the curves, or the placement of the geese, are never QUITE what I was aiming for.  For me and these geese, hand-drawn is the way to go. Our class project is this one, which I have finally decided to name "Midnight Magic." (It's a catchier title than the previous "Santa-zooming-across-the-sky-thing".)
I drew out the pattern on a big sheet of newsprint and transferred it to freezer paper.
I copied and stitched it 4 times to make sure I liked how it looked.
 I did.
I liked the swoosh, but that pattern needed work. Patterning has been a trial-and-error learning process over the years, but I've finally figured out a method that works for me. The first stage is to digitize the design. The newsprint original would not fit on my 11 x 17 scanner glass, so I chopped it across the middle.
Once scanned, it looked like this...still a long way from a decent looking pattern.
I opened the jpg version in Windows Paint, and cleaned up the lines. Then I imported it into Word, and printed it out on all three of my wide-format printers to make sure that the size came out precisely the same as the original.  It did.  From Word, it was converted to a pdf file.
Opening the pdf in Adobe Acrobat allowed me to number the foundations, and add labels to the page.   You'll notice I did not add the outside seam allowance on the curved edge;  that's one of the easy tricks I will share in the classroom :).
This slow, methodical, process gobbled up more than a few hours, but I am pleased with the results.
Quite a change from my messy hand-drawn, Sharpie marker original! The magic of computers rivals that of Santa :)
I spent a few days last week helping out at the very busy Mrs Pugsley's Emporium, and of course I came home with fabric! This line from Hoffman called "Radiant Gradients" will look gorgeous in the geese units.  I actually have this collection in four colourways now, including a very pretty green.
Sprinkle some magic dust, Santa; I need time to sew!