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!

Friday, 31 March 2017

A Kid In A (Canadian) Candy Store!

I've been steadily working away on a commissioned piece and I am almost finished.  I like to reward myself at the end of each big project, so today I tooled off to Mrs Pugsley's Emporium.  I've been watching their Facebook page and knew they had lots of new fabrics in this week...lots of Canadian themed fabrics, as we are celebrating our sesquicentennial this year.
I bought a nice selection because this opportunity to purchase Canadiana doesn't often exist. Naturally I started with hockey fabric:)  It was fun to read the jersey numbers and connect them to the players' names.
 This panel has the coat of arms of Canada, as well as the flag of Nova Scotia.  Had to have that!
 There was a print with the flags of all the provinces and territories. Nova Scotia is right in the middle.
Another panel, looking very flag like, printed on top of the words to O Canada. Beautiful. These are Robert Kaufman fabrics, designed by Harper's, and will coordinate with Kona solids.

This is my favourite; I hope to use some of it this afternoon.

There were also new pins and charms, and a couple of those came home with me too: this Featherweight pin is appropriate (I own 4 Featherweights!).
The little charm is a hand-crank machine (I have one of those, too!)  Not sure if it will go on a chain, or on a bracelet.

Do you reward yourself at the end of each project?  It's my solution to UFO's!

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Satin Stitching

Heavier thread weights can sure work to advantage when doing satin stitch!  I've been adding lettering to some quilt blocks, and practicing on scraps using different fonts.  I print out the size I want from WORD and then trace the letters onto fabric.  Putting two layers of tear-away stabilizer underneath my work means I don't need to use a hoop. Originally, I started with 50 weight thread going over the stitching twice.  Then I switched to a 28 weight thread and found it fills in the space between the stitches really nicely with just one pass. This is Aurifil colour 2725, a pretty soft blue. The needle is a size 90/14 metallic, which has an extra large eye.  50 weight thread in a matching colour is used in the bobbin.
Now I will gather my courage and stitch the letters on the top of the actual quilt.  Wish me luck! :)

Monday, 27 March 2017

Quilt Atlantic

If you are looking for a wonderful, quilty get-away this spring in a spectacular setting, take a look at what the Quilt Atlantic Retreat has to offer:

White Point, Nova Scotia - Now entering its 4th year, Quilt Atlantic Retreat is a tradition for fabric artists from all over Atlantic Canada. The 8 workshops offered this year, led by award winning instructors, include everything from quilting to miniatures and hooking. As in the past, but with a Canada 150th twist, participants will sew up as many new friends and memories as they do tips and techniques they’ll use in their future projects as they gather at White Point Beach Resort April 7 – 9, 2017.
Stitching together the perfect balance, the 2 night 3 day retreat combines half day and full day workshops amidst the schedule which also includes a Pop-Up Shop, Meet the Instructors Show and Share, and bonfires of course. Bev Crouse, the Retreat Coordinator and Host says the format continues to foster sharing of knowledge in a relaxed and welcoming setting. “Opening with a Meet & Greet really sets the tone for the weekend, and while the workshops are important, so too is the down time where experienced and beginner fabric artists mix, mingle and share their passion, even collaborate on new works. The energy and synergy is inspiring, it’s such a pleasure to curate” says Crouse.
The Retreat, guided by the Queens Quilt Guild, has stitched together a dynamic program. On opening day, Friday April 7th, participants choose from three half- day sessions. Miniature Landscape with Juliet Nolan, Stained Glass with Brenda Dunsmore and Wool Applique with Sue McEachern make for an all New Brunswick Instructor line-up. On Saturday the program evolves into a more intensive full-day workshop with a choice between Top Stitched Applique with Juliet Nowlan, Traditional Hand-Applique & Hand Quilting with Sue McEachern and Tiny Treasureswith Linda Hubbard (Part 1). Sunday wraps-up with workshops in the morning featuring Part II of Tiny Treasurer with Linda Hubbard as well as half-day sessions with Fabric Jewelry with Brenda Dunsmore Hooking-up Canada with Jane Steele.
Annually the sessions are selected based on feedback and trends. Juliet Nolan is a veteran fabric artist whose work in miniatures drew accolades from students at last year’s Retreat. Nolan says she’s honoured to be invited back. “I had a wonderful time teaching at Quilt Atlantic last year. The students were enthusiastic and their creations spectacular. It’s rewarding to see the craft so alive and celebrated” says Nowlan. Always a student, she too enjoyed taking in workshops by fellow instructors within the setting created by White Point.
It was following the completion of “Stitching White Pointers Together” that Quilt Atlantic was birthed. Donna Hatt, Marketing Manager for White Point Beach Resort, says it was the journey of creating, stitching and revealing the quilt that now hangs in the new Main Lodge that impressed upon her how meaningful handmade quilts really are. “We’d lost a 30 year old quilt made by a local quilt guild in the fire that took our Main Lodge. In an effort to replace it, we embarked on a Quilt Project with our good friend and fabric artist, Bev Crouse. Over 12 months we stitched our Story Quilt together with the help of more than 500 people.” Hatt says she and Crouse had been invited to show the quilt in progress at Quilt Canada in 2012 and it was there they’d gained inspiration for the Retreat.
With a goal to celebrate fabric artists, their craftsmanship and encourage its continuation within Atlantic Canada, annually the Retreat has kept to its promise to bring experienced and beginners together once a year to gain tips, techniques and create shared memories.
The ‘Pop Up Shop’ hosted Saturday April 8, is open to Retreaters and the public from 10am – 4pm. Participants this year include Lynns Quilting StudioRiver House Rug HookingBrother Sewing MachinesA Needle Pulling ThreadBriar Wood Farms and Atlantic Fabrics.
With a few spots still available, there are two options for quilters and fabric artists wanting to attend the Retreat. For those living in the area, the Day Guest Package for three workshops and events is $125, while overnight packages are also available.
Quilt Atlantic promises to wrap Retreaters in the timeless warmth and love that has been synonymous with quilts for generations. For more information and to register for the Retreat, visit whitepoint.com.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Thanks For Noticing :)

Oh my...where has the time gone?  I confess I have been AWOL from blogging...but I'm back :) Thank you for all the emails, phone calls, and notes in the mail asking if all is well.  It is. I've been busily and happily quilting away, and getting ready for spring and fall workshops.  I do appreciate that my absence was noted. Thank you.
So...for a quick catch up, here's a few things which have been on my machine.  This queen sized scrap quilt was finished up a couple of weeks ago.  We found a perfect fence in Five Islands to photograph it.
It's a big quilt, and I did have concerns about doing it on my domestic Bernina, but honestly it was no problem at all.  I used Legacy wool batting, which scrunches up nicely on the machine bed.
Much of the quilting was simply stitch-in-the-ditch with the walking foot, as I wanted it "puffy", but I did work in a free motion feather in the inner border.
I used my favourite Aurifil 50 weight tan thread both top and bottom, and it showed up nicely on the backing.
I've also been playing with geese - both in structured blocks, and free form.  The blocks below are for a secret project, but I'll show you soon.  It's rather exciting :) Since these blocks are small with lots of pieces, I switched to a finer 60 weight Aurifil so there was as little bulk as possible in the seams.
The free form geese are a blast to sew .  I made several "swooshes" before deciding where they would work in a project.
This red, glittery one made me think of Santa blazing across the night sky, with a trail of exhaust billowing behind him!
It ended up as this wallhanging, which I will teach at a workshop during our Fibre Arts Festival this fall.  
I can't wait to get the red one finished up;  I've been looking for the perfect background fabric, and think I've found it.  These "goosey" inserts add a nice bit of pizzazz to a project, and are surprisingly simple to stitch.
Since there was a waiting list for the free-form curved seaming class at last year's festival, I will be re-offering that as well.  You can find more information on both classes here: http://www.karenneary.ca/workshops_2017.htm
(Just know that these workshops are filling quickly, so if you want to join us, please contact me soon to get your name on the list.)

Now I am piddling away at 16 patch blocks to use up some batik from my stash.

Thanks for reading, and for your patience.  Don't forget, you can always catch me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sewkarenlycreated/