The Big & Juicy Quilt for Janome

Posted by on Sep 30, 2014 in Blog, Quilts, Tutorials | 14 Comments

I was recently asked to participate in a September-long sewing event, An Apple A Day with Janome. We were asked to create some small sewing project to post at some point during the month. So what did I do? I made an 1800-piece pixelated Big & Juicy apple quilt.

photo #4 tamara kate - apple quilt bound

As it is the 30th today, The Big & Juicy Quilt has been posted as the grand finale of the event. I walk you through my simple design process and I have even included a downloadable chart so you can make a Big & Juicy of your own, should you desire. Come read all about it on Janome Life.

And if anyone has suggestions on how to finish the quilting (of the apple & leaf – the ground is complete), I’d love to hear them below.

Origami Oasis pj’s by Elegance & Elephants

Posted by on Sep 22, 2014 in Blog, Origami Oasis | No Comments

elegance & elephants

Heidi of Elegance & Elephants sews lovely children’s clothing and designs gorgeous sewing patterns so that the rest of us can try to emulate a bit of her creativity for our own little ones. Today she has posted about creating this sweet sleepwear for her adorable children with Origami Oasis fabrics.

Head over to her blog to take a peek.

Thank you, Heidi!

ROAR! Elbow Patches – A Tutorial & A Giveaway!

Posted by on Sep 19, 2014 in Blog, Origami Oasis, Tutorials | 3 Comments

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Jazz up your little one’s long sleeve t-shirts or sweaters! It’s really simple … and cute too!

Come visit me on The Michael Miller blog for a guest post today, a tutorial for the ROAR! Elbow Patches, and a great giveaway!

fabric giveaway banner

Yes, ANOTHER GIVEAWAY, and not just fabric this time. There’s some artwork up for grabs, too! I’ll post more about that here shortly.

Origami Oasis Kite Dress by Probably Actually

Posted by on Sep 19, 2014 in Blog, Origami Oasis | 2 Comments

OK. I have to admit it… I have a sewing crush on Gail of Probably Actually! She makes the most lovely clothing for her children with well thought out fabric choices and her attention to detail is always spot-on! She was thus an automatic choice when I was thinking of bloggers I would like to approach about creating something with Origami Oasis. I have been waiting to see what she would come up with, and with this morning’s post, she certainly did not disappoint.

probably actuallyShe has created this sweet dress made with Mountain and Valley. This print is one that I imagined as a dynamic and easy-to-use accent for a gazillion projects, and so I am delighted to see it shine on its own here. Hop on over here and have a closer look at all the details (it is even lined in a gorgeous hot pink from Michael Miller’s Cotton Couture line) and while you’re there, I warn you, it’s easy to get lost in hours of browsing her previous sewing projects. If you have a little one to sew for, you will love it!

Thanks, Gail for inspiring and creating as you do!

Origami Oasis Fawn Lily Dress by EmmylouBeeDoo!

Posted by on Sep 17, 2014 in Blog, Origami Oasis | No Comments


The talented Sarah of EmmylouBeeDoo! (remember the Shandiin Tunic?) created this sweet Fawn Lily dress for her daughter with Pride and Fold from Origami Oasis. I love that she opted for the bolder colour way of these fabrics for this pretty dress. Head on over to her blog to see more and to find out about the adorable pattern she used.

Thank you, Sarah for this delightful collaboration!

Origami Oasis Baby Quilt WIP by SewCanShe

Posted by on Sep 15, 2014 in Blog, Origami Oasis | No Comments

To get a taste of what other talented sewers are creating with Origami Oasis, I’ll lead you through the next few weeks to a number of wonderful blogs.

sew can she

We’ll start today with Caroline from SewCanShe who is hand quilting the sweetest whole cloth baby quilt. This is a wonderful example of how the Oasis Border fabric can be used to its full potential. And, well, you know how much I love hand stitching

Thanks Caroline for the loveliness. Can’t wait to see it all finished!

Origami Oasis – Starry Migration Quilt

Posted by on Sep 12, 2014 in Blog, Origami Oasis, Quilts, Tutorials | 6 Comments

origami oasis starry sky

When I was originally designing Origami Oasis, I imagined it full of luscious colour, as I do just about all my work. Part way through the process Kathy Miller of Michael Miller suggested adding a black and white grouping, as many of the prints were so graphic. I was initially a little hesitant, but once I saw what they had in mind, I started to get pretty excited about getting my hands on some of it to start sewing. While I am not a black and white kind of person myself (I see the world in a gazillion shades of grey and a rainbow of colour, can usually see all points of view… I’d make a horrible judge, and rarely purchase black clothing for myself), I started to envision projects playing with the bold patterns, like playing with illumination and darkness.

tamara kate origami oasis starry migration quilt

This quilt is the very first project I envisioned when I finally saw the fabrics in person. I imagined herds of animals migrating across the open savannah on a starry night, with the sun just starting to show itself and colour the world at one edge.

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I wanted their trail to almost disappear in areas, while being doubly strong in others.

tamara kate origami oasis starry migration quilt detail

A simple nine-patch with some half-square triangles inserted here and there makes for an easy-to-piece quilt. I used all the prints from the Starry Sky group as well as Fold and Spot, both in Starfruit, and Show Your Colors in Blue (though I fussy cut almost all the blue out of this one to showcase the golden-coloured zebras). I backed it with yardage of Fold in Starfruit and the binding is the happy, lighthearted Freckled.

tamara kate origami oasis starry migration quilt back

I designed it as a baby quilt, but it could very easily be adapted to larger sizes. You can find the free quilt pattern on the Michael Miller website. Happy sewing!

Origami Oasis – Shandiin Tunic and Giveaway

Posted by on Sep 10, 2014 in { Happy Sewing }, Blog, Origami Oasis | 58 Comments

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You know how, when we see a few fabrics together, sometimes we can immediately envision what we want to create with them? Well, that was the case with these two prints, Show Your Colors in Confection and Crossing Paths in Raspberry. I wanted to make a dress or tunic for my daughter. I searched for just the right pattern… something with clean lines that had just the right detailing to highlight the little butterflies of Crossing Paths. And that’s when I came across the Shandiin Tunic pattern by Sarah of EmmylouBeeDoo!.

tamara kate - shandiin tunic - origami oasis

I adore the cutout back and fine straps, allowing for a light and breezy summer outfit, without being too revealing. There is just the right amount of open ground for those zebras to roam around while the little butterflies seem to fly up the shoulders. Just perfect!

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The pattern is full of customizable options, so whether you want a button-up front, a puffed hem (with elastic at the bottom), a tank or a longer tunic, it’s all detailed therein! And the size range goes all the way from 1 to 8 years. I have recently praised well written patterns and bemoaned poorly written ones, and this one definitely goes in the praise category. Sarah very clearly walks you through getting beautifully finished details that lie just right on a young girl’s body. And if your girl is anything like mine, she will delight in the fact that she has something extra-special that probably no-one else in the neighbourhood has. You can find the pattern in Sarah’s Etsy shop, along with many other delightful styles.

tamara kate logo rectangle

I would love for one of you talented sewers to be able to whip up one of these yourself, so I am offering some lucky someone enough of the two fabrics featured here, Crossing Paths and Show Your Colors to create one, and Sarah has generously offered a pdf downloadable copy of this lovely pattern for the winner as well.

Each of the following will earn you one entry:
– Visit LouBee Clothing’s Etsy shop, then comment here letting me know which of her patterns is your favourite.
– Like the Tamara Kate Design Facebook page
– Comment on the related Shandiin Tunic post on the above Facebook page.

One entry will be randomly drawn the morning of September 17th.

UPDATE: The giveaway is now closed. The winner is Lorna (I have sent you an email)

Best of luck!

Origami Oasis – Boys’ Button-Up Shirt in Fold

Posted by on Sep 8, 2014 in { Happy Sewing }, Blog, Origami Oasis | No Comments

My last post was on my school-loving daughter’s back-to-school dress. Today I wanted to show you what I made for my boy… my boy that went on a short-lived hunger strike the morning of the first day back to demonstrate his lack of desire to start first grade, as that would probably mean he would have homework. Don’t worry… about 6 minutes into his strike, he caved and his sweet smile appeared as he remembered he’d be seeing his buddies too.

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I always want to sew clothes for them that they will happily wear regularly, so I almost always ask them to choose the fabrics. I was hoping he would go for this Fold print from Origami Oasis, and he did not disappoint. And in typical Max fashion, he went for the boldest colour choice of them all, Clementine.

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I won’t tell you what pattern I used, as it was not a very well written or drafted one. When a pattern says to sew something and then states that you could optionally skip that step as you will probably have to rip it out a few steps later, you know you’ll be lucky if you come out with a decent looking garment in the end. There are a few details, however that I enjoy, like the centre back pleat. And it was my first time sewing a collar with a collar stand which, well, it makes the collar stand more than flop down, which adds a nice touch. While I haven’t tried either this or this one, I am pretty sure they would be a much safer bet based on the designers’ reputations..

tamara kate - fold shirt - origami oasis

And I can happily report that the first day back was full of fun, laughs, corn on the cob and apparently marker drawing on hands. Oh yeah, and no homework… he’s warming up to first grade.

Origami Oasis – Stand Tall Dress

Posted by on Sep 5, 2014 in { Happy Sewing }, Blog, Origami Oasis | 4 Comments

tamara kate stand tall dress3

When did the tradition of “dressing” for the big back-to-school event die out? I don’t know, but it has certainly fizzled to nothing around here. I, however, have a girl who loves school. She loves learning and treasures being back among her friends whom she hasn’t seen all summer. Oh, and she loves getting dressed up. So what better occasion than the first day back to make a bit more effort with one’s attire? I thought a new dress was in order.

tamara kate stand tall dress2

To play with the straight lines in the Origami Oasis prints, I searched for a pattern with some structure, and as this girl of mine is growing so fast (eight years old already?!?) I figured it was my last chance to look into some great children’s sewing patterns. This was my first attempt at an Oliver & S pattern, the Jump Rope Dress, and it did not disappoint! Easy-to-follow instructions and a well drafted pattern make all the difference and Em and I are both delighted with the outcome.

tamara kate stand tall dress

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For fabrics, I opted for Stand Tall in grass, with just a little hit of Spot in citrus at the neck. It’s fun and young without being too juvenile, and I love the whimsy of the butterfly landing on the nose of the blue giraffe. As these fabrics are printed on Michael Miller’s lovely Cotton Couture, they are just perfect for dressmaking. They drape beautifully and are so soft to the touch that they are effortless to wear, and a dream to sew with. I even found the perfect simple orange flower buttons to compliment the print.

tamara kate stand tall dress4

Next up, I’ll show you a little something I sewed for the boy in my life.