Valentine Quilts

Posted by on Jan 20, 2015 in Blog, Holidays, Quilts, Tutorials | 4 Comments

Have you heard? Michael Miller Fabrics has a new valentine fabric collection, Sweetheart. I love a good heart fabric, so I was inspired to get creative when I saw the collection, along with a few other prints like their charming Cherry Dot. I decided that a couple Valentine themed quilts were in order.

valentines quilts

First, there’s “Lots of Love“, which I am quite enamoured with for its graphic simplicity. Once I figured out how to connect all the hearts together (lots of staring at them, shifting them around and trying to get my head around the geometry of it all) I came up with something that is quite easy to make using a 60° triangle ruler.

Lots of Love quilt

I quilted it with a walking foot, framing each heart, then randomly selected a few hearts to echo this frame a number of times.

Lots of Love quilt detail

In this next image you can catch a tiny glimpse of the backing fabric, Crossing Paths in Red, one of my own fabrics with Michael Miller.

Lots of Love quilt folded

Then I made “Cupid’s Arrow“, adding some low volume black & white prints for the ground. This one is a bit more involved, but pretty simple to create as well, with half-square triangles for the heart and some strip piecing that’s then cut on an angle for the arrow tails.

cupid's arrow quilt

I also threw some Cotton Couture solids into this one and used this fun script print on the back. It is quilted with simple straight horizontal & vertical lines.

cupid's arrow quilt folded2

I love that when it’s folded and displayed on a ladder it can be hung horizontally or vertically.

cupid's arrow quilt folded4

cupid's arrow quilt folded3

Free tutorials for both these quilts can be found on the Michael Miller website here and here. Sending love your way!

Machine Embroidered Boy’s Wallet Tutorial

Posted by on Jan 13, 2015 in Blog, Janome, Origami Oasis, Tutorials | 4 Comments

Happy New Year, just a mere almost two weeks late! I hope you all enjoyed festive and relaxing holidays.

It seems like I have been quilting and quilting and quilting lately, and not much else (not necessarily a bad thing). I finished up the latest one on my list last week (more on that next week) and decided I needed a decidedly smaller sewing project that would be quick and fun.

My son has a bit of a fixation lately with carrying his money with him whenever we head out the door to a store. The only problem with that is that he does not have a proper wallet, so uses a coin purse or whatever small bag he can put his hands on at the moment. As his birthday is coming up in a few days, I decided to make him a real big boy wallet.

tamara kate machine embroidered wallet

He is fascinated by all the stitch possibilities on the Janome machine I use (MC8200) and frequently asks me to stitch little airplanes or scissors on some scrap of fabric lying around to give to a friend at school, so I thought I’d do a mini embroidery sampler for the main wallet fabric.

janome stitch library
Just a taste of the many stitches available on the MC8200

As this machine is computerized, it’s as simple as pressing a button to choose your stitch and then adjusting the width as desired. I did a practice run of a number of stitches to choose the ones I thought would work best. I cut a rectangle of denim from an old pair of jeans of his that were ripped, penciled 1″ marks along one side edge and started a new line of stitching at each mark. Where there seemed to be a bit too much of a gap (after the waves), I inserted a line of tiny stars.

tamara kate janome machine embroideryt

A few lines of orange really makes it pop.

tamara kate machine embroidered wallet detail

Wanting to make it fun, with colourful compartments for most of what he might need, I made 2 gift card compartments, a velcro-closing change purse and a space for bills (and/or important drawings and notes). Interior fabrics are: Spot in Starfruit (yellow) and Scribble Cars in Clementine.

tamara kate boys wallet

Wanting to make sure there would be no chance of anything sliding out, I positioned the card openings toward the centre fold of the wallet, the velcro on the change purse goes almost the whole width of the purse & the bills are held in by the centre fold.

I worked out all the kinks on this one, then made another to hone the pattern so I could offer you the following tutorial:

What I used:

For all following fabrics, the 1st measurement is the VERTICAL, the 2nd HORIZONTAL.

A – 1 piece 2½” x 3½” (coin purse flap)
B – 1 piece 7½” x 4″ (coin purse front)
C – 1 piece 4½” x 13¾” (card panel)
D – 1 piece 8½” x 7½” (bill fold)
E – 1 piece 5″ x 7½” (external fabric)
F – 1 piece 2½” x 2″ (snap tab)

tamara kate fabric wallet fabrics
Fabrics: Spot in Starfruit, Crossing Paths in Lime and Stand Tall in Grass.

– Mid-weight iron-on interfacing: Cut the same size of pieces C, E & F.

– 1 piece velcro 2″ x 1/2″

– 1 plastic snap (you will need snap pliers to attach this) OR you could use velcro.

What I did:

All seams are 1/4″.

Iron interfacing to back of C, E & F.

Refer to the following diagram where indicated.

wallet instructions

Piece F: Fold in half , right sides together, so that piece measures 1¼” x 2″. Sew along long edge. Move seam to the centre of the tube & press seam open. Sew along 1 short edge. Clip corners & turn right side out. Press & set aside.

Piece A: Fold in half, right sides together, so that piece measures 1¼” x 3½”. Sew along 2 short sides. Clip corners & turn right side out. Top stitch along 2 short edges and folded edge. Securely sew velcro to the underside, centred, 1/4″ above folded edge.

Piece B: Wrong sides together, fold in half so piece measures 3¾” x 4″. Choose a front & a back.

Piece C: Measure and lightly mark along 1 long edge the following, starting at the right edge: 1¾”, 1½”, 2¼”, 1½”. Fold and press accordion style, as in fig 1.

Place piece B on piece C so that front of B is against right side of C, bottom edges align and left edge of B is 3¼” from left edge of C (as in fig 2). Sew 3½” from left edge of piece C. Sew velcro onto front of piece B (only B), 1/2″ from seam line and 1/8″ below fold.

With back of B against C, place A in position at top of B so that velcro lines up. Pin top of A onto C, then move B to the left, out of the way. Place the base of D, right sides together on top of C, aligning top edges. Stitch across top edge (fig 3).

Fold D to back of C along seam. Press flat. Measure down 3½” from seam on D and fold up, right sides together. Press (fig 4). This is the completed wallet interior (WI).

tamara kate fabric wallet4

Place F, seam side down on top of WI so that raw edge of F is centred along & aligns with right edge of WI.  Place E, right sides together on top of WI. Pin in place.

If available, I suggest using a walking foot to sew this next step: Starting 2″ in from right side at top edge, sew all the way around, stopping 2″ in from left of top edge (fig 5). Clip corners. Turn right side out. Close top opening by hand stitching with an invisible stitch. If desired, top stitch around exterior perimeter.

tamara kate fabric wallet3
tamara kate fabric wallet2

Attach one side of the snap to the snap tab and the other half to the wallet, through to the inside of the bill fold (2 layers of fabric).

tamara kate fabric wallet