My Work at Surtex ’14

Posted by on Apr 24, 2014 in Blog, Licensing, Surtex | One Comment

surtex 14 - tamara kate

I’ve finally taken the leap and decided to pursue licensing my artwork on more than just fabric. While fabric is my passion, I have had many a daydream of how delightful a pattern I am creating would be on a roll of wrapping paper, a child’s cup or a sweet lamp shade. I have signed on with a wonderful artists’ rep, Painted Planet Licensing, have spent the last countless weeks pulling a portfolio together, and I am just about ready to have my work shown at THE big trade show where artists, agents and licensors connect with manufacturers and retailers, Surtex (May 18-20).

confetti mug
I would just feel happy every morning having my tea from this thus-far imaginary mug.

Why work with an agent, you ask? I have internally debated this question for a long time. The thing is, I know my strengths and my weaknesses, I know what I enjoy about my work and what I try to avoid every single time. Up until a year ago, my job for many years entailed seasonally exhibiting at trade shows. Other than organizing the physical booth set up, the process has always been a highly stressful one for me. One would think that with time I would have gotten used to it, but in fact, the opposite seems to have happened, which my poor family can attest to. I tend to heap a whole lot of stress on my own shoulders which tends to build and build the closer a show gets, until the inevitable (not at all pretty) moment when it all explodes. Who needs that in their life? Well, I have, at least for the moment, decided that I don’t. I am fine with relinquishing some control to someone who knows her industry well and who’s job it is to build and maintain partnerships with companies. That means I can focus on what I love, the creating.

I have been having fun creating a few wee posters/flyers to hopefully draw some potentially interested eyes to where my work can be found at the show. If you follow my work here, you will know this collection:

surtex 14 - tamara kate2

As the show approaches I will post a few more, but right now, time to get back at it!

Pattern or Solid?

Posted by on Apr 17, 2014 in Blog, Montreal Modern Quilt Guild, Quilts | 2 Comments

The Montreal Modern Quilt Guild is making their banner. Members were asked to contribute a 6.5″ unfinished block of their choice using fabrics with the guild colours.

guild banner coloursThis challenge has driven home the importance of knowing one’s techniques. A 6.5 inch block tends to put a focus on detail, measurement & technical ability and eliminates the philosophy that I can just wing it. A challenge indeed! It has also opened my eyes a bit to modern quilters’ use of solid (or almost solid) fabrics. Something for me to ponder …

As penance for discovering after the fact that the oldest of all quilt blocks is not constructed as I thought, I decided on a simple border on border on border log cabin block.

quilt guild banner block

While I measured and cut everything very accurately, my scant quarter inch seams were not quite as precise as I would have liked (I choose to blame that on my crummy sewing machine). Not bad, though. And, yes, I know purists would balk at my haphazard placement of long and short sides of each border, but, quite honestly, it is more the overall look I was going for and I am not very good at following rules.

Then I thought of doing something that is quintessentially Montreal. A quick google search of graphic Montreal images brought me to the map of the city’s subway system.

montreal metro map

It could not have been more perfect in terms of colours. There’s the orange, blue and green lines, and I could take artistic license with the yellow one and make it chartreuse. Alas, time has been my enemy of late and I could not get it all figured out and sewn prior to our meeting. Perhaps down the road…

guild banner blocks

When all the blocks were put up on a board at our last meeting I realized I tend to use much more patterned fabrics than many in the group. While I love the look of many solid fabric quilts, as you can see on my Pinterest board, I just can’t seem to help myself … the pattern just keeps creeping in there. A designer recently said to me while reviewing a collection of mine, that most people, while they might appreciate pattern and colour, don’t actually use them much in reality. That they tend to opt for neutrals in their homes, their clothing, what have you. She said she was one of them & asked if I was the same. I had to say a resounding no! I love colour and I love pattern. Given the choice of buying a plain grey or striped cushion or one with some fanciful colourful pattern, give me the pattern and happy colour every time, please.

I am wondering, are you one who opts for pattern or plain? I see merit in both, I just tend much more heavily in one direction.

Twice in One Week!

Posted by on Apr 11, 2014 in Blog, Helen's Garden, Les Monsieurs | 2 Comments

Just had to take a micro moment of your time to toot my own horn, ’cause this surely doesn’t happen often.

Castle Blocks - Multi

While browsing the ever-influential Print & Pattern blog on Wednesday, I came across an image of one of my fabrics, Castle Blocks from Les Monsieurs, in a post about her “faves”. I thought “… well, that’s pretty cool!” and went about my business.

But then this afternoon, just a mere 2 days later, look what else was there

Enchanted - Plum

In a post with an intro that went like this: “… for our regular Friday eye candy (where we post designs just for the enjoyment of gazing at lovely patterns)”.

For any of you who aren’t familiar with her blog, Bowie Style (not her real name) writes one of the worlds most influential design blogs. The biggest names in design-savy manufacturers and retailers keep a close eye on her leads.

Well, thank you for ending my work week on a high note, Print & Pattern!

And thank you, dear readers for indulging me if you’ve made it to the end of this post! Have a great weekend!

Helen’s Garden Parterre Quilt

Posted by on Apr 10, 2014 in Blog, Helen's Garden, Quilts, Tutorials | 2 Comments

Oh my goodness, this post has been a long time coming.

helen's garden parterre quilt

I promise you, there is a story & a good reason for its delay, partially of my own doing, partially delivery company gremlins in the works. Long story short, this, my favourite quilt was lost, but now is found. Whew!

And so many of you have asked for a tutorial, so without further ado, this is where you will find it (you will find an instruction-download button if you scroll down the page). Enjoy!