Early Holiday Quilt by Dizzy Quilts

Isabelle Jean of Dizzy Quilts is a fellow Montreal Modern Quilt Guild member and impressive quilter who, I am thrilled to say, has whipped up (she’s really quick too) this sweet Patio Quilt using each and every fabric from my Festive Forest collection.

Isabelle Jean Festive Forest Quilt

It really shows off the fabrics beautifully, looking like bright, clean windows out onto the forest world. Isabelle chose to quilt with a free motion random floral motif that adds great texture.

Isabelle Jean Festive Forest Quilt detail

This quilt is fat quarter friendly, even though it is very generously sized at about 70″ x 80″. Have a closer look at Isabelle’s blog to see more on this quilt and her other beautiful creations.

Isabelle Jean Festive Forest Quilt detail2

Thanks for your fabulous contribution Isabelle.

Festive Wreath Quilt

Posted by on Apr 14, 2015 in Blog, Festive Forest, Quilts | 5 Comments

When I received yardage of Festive Forest just before the holidays, I knew right away I wanted to make a statement quilt with it, but I wasn’t sure just what. Something clean and bold. I started hunting for inspiration and found this image in sorry-I-forget-which holiday home decor magazine.

wreath magazine shot

That’s it! A big wreath on a white ground. I explained it to my younger sister and she said, “Oh, like the Color-Wheel Quilt”. She flipped through Joelle Hoverson’s beautiful book, Last Minute Patchwork & Quilted Gifts and there it was, so similar to what I had in mind, it seemed silly to try designing my own.

tamara kate - festive wreath quilt

I picked the boldest prints in the collection and repeated them around the wreath, interspersing extra pieces of Festive Nest in snow to soften the look a little.

tamara kate - festive wreath quilt3

It was a fun, easy quilt to piece together, and I extended the simple lines of the segments in the walking foot quilting, keeping everything graphic, simple & clean.

tamara kate - festive wreath quilt2

It’s a large piece (almost 60″ square) that will be hung on a bare wall in our home every year during the holidays, bringing colour and warmth when those things tend to have disappeared outside.

A Fun Festive Forest Table Runner

Posted by on Apr 10, 2015 in Blog, Festive Forest, Holidays | One Comment

I’ll start this off by warning you, I’m pretty excited about this new happy fabric collection of mine, so it’s going to be a bit like Winter holidays in April here for a bit. Hope you enjoy!

First up on the list of inspiring projects made with Festive Forest:

A cheery table runner by Brooke Sellmann of Silly Mama Quilts. Brooke is a talented sewer and quilter who whips up fun, happy pieces.

festive forest runner

I love the way she has positioned the Winter Woods fabric along the long edges, facing out on both sides, so it can be admired from both sides of the table. So smart! That jagged line of stronger prints down the middle keeps everything centred & balanced. And take a closer look… her quilting (which is always impressively neat) is done with variegated thread that plays on the christmas colors.

festive forest runner dtail

Head on over to Brooke’s blog for a closer look and a tutorial, should you wish to make one yourself.

Thanks for your fun contribution, Brooke! Great way to start this off!

Festive Forest

Posted by on Apr 8, 2015 in Blog, Festive Forest, Holidays | 12 Comments

Things have been pretty sparse around this blog lately. My apologies, but I’ve been working away furiously for the past few months on a number of projects, none of which I’ve been able to share yet. Finally, however, there is a fun something that is finding its way out onto the market.

It seems to be a good time to introduce you to a new fabric collection of mine that will start to be available in stores over the next week or so. This is FESTIVE FOREST, my first holiday fabric collection with Michael Miller Fabrics. I know… you probably don’t want to think about Christmas right now, but think how in advance you will be for later this year if you start planning now!

festive forest swatches

Festive Forest is a winter wonderland collection… Because all little creatures should feel festive & cozy as the air turns chilly and the flakes start falling. A place where sweater-clad foxes enjoy a light snowfall…

DC6602_Sweater Weather_Hollyberry

… where winter birds find a soft spot to make and decorate their nests in a buck’s antlers…

DC6603 Festive Nest - Snow

… and where deer wear striped scarves while wandering the woods.

DC6601 Winter Woods _Garland

Over the next few weeks, a couple talented sewers and I will share some projects that this line inspired, from quilts to apparel to accessories in hopes that they inspire a little something festive for you to create.

Quilting With Solids – Bloomin’ Quilt

Posted by on Feb 19, 2015 in Blog, Quilts, Tutorials | 3 Comments

Part 2 of my venture into the world of solids.

We had a bout of grey days here a few weeks ago and I’m one of those people who feels the lack of natural light down to my core. Needing a pick-me-up, I decided to create a quilted garden in my sewing room.

tamara kate - bloomin quilt

Like the Cobblestone quilt, I kept the shapes and layout simple and graphic so that I could really just play with, and highlight colour.

tamara kate - bloomin quilt detail

On a bed of white, I opted for a range of pinks, from cool to warm, light and soft to deep and rich and everything in between. Then I contrasted them with a range of greens. They are all luscious shades of Michael Miller Fabrics’ Cotton Couture line. The result just makes me happy.

tamara kate - bloomin quilt detail3

The quilting was achieved by tracing a large gradual arc with a stylus, then quilting with a walking foot. The Janome 8200 that I sew with has a gizmo attached to the walking foot that can be set to any width to echo quilting lines. I was thus able to create lines set 3/4″ apart with great ease and rapidity. I repeated this process in 4 or 5 spots to keep the eye busy and to create interesting shapes where the arcs intersected.

tamara kate - bloomin quilt detail2

When it came to binding, I was undecided as to which soft colour to choose so I randomly cut a number of colours and patched them together to create a little more happiness.

tamara kate - bloomin quilt detail4

There is a free tutorial for the Bloomin’ Quilt on the Michael Miller site here with a list of all the yummy shades I used.

Happy Quilting!

Quilting With Solids – Cobblestone Quilt

Posted by on Feb 12, 2015 in Blog, Quilts, Tutorials | One Comment

I love pattern! I know … big surprise. I thought however that it was about time I tried my hand at quilting with solids. Michael Miller’s line of Cotton Couture solids is so dreamy soft to work with and they just keep adding more & more colours to the range. They’re up to 150 now!

tamara kate - cobblestone quilt

For my first attempt, I decided to work with a colour palette I would not usually tend towards with muted shades of greys, teals and mauves and a punch of gold to perk up the range.

tamara kate - cobblestone quilt detail

I worked out a layout based on a dream tile floor and set it all on a 45º angle. To avoid a monotonous look and keep the eye moving about, I also interspersed smaller squares within a few of the larger ones.

tamara kate - cobblestone quilt detail2

To keep things interesting I opted to quilt each square a bit differently (yes, there’s a bit of duplication, but not much), all using a walking foot.

tamara kate - cobblestone quilt detail3

You can find a free tutorial for the Cobblestone Quilt on the Michael Miller website here with a list of all the luscious colours I used.

Oh, and if you’re heading to Quiltcon next week, stop by the Michael Miller booth and you’ll see the Cobblestone Quilt in person!

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 4″ (coin purse flap)
B – 1 piece 7½” x 3½” (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 3″. 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 4¼” x 7½”. 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


Origami Oasis – Oasis Frolic Quilt by Jenn Topp

Posted by on Dec 1, 2014 in Blog, Origami Oasis, Quilts, Tutorials | No Comments

Jenn Topp is another Montreal-based quilter I have had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know through the Montreal Modern Quilt Guild. Her quilts that I have seen thus far are joyful, playful and colourful. She also has a little boy at home who shares his room with a 5ft tall giraffe, so I thought she might like to play around with Origami Oasis. This delightful quilt for her son is what she came up with, playing on the kite shapes in the collection’s Mountain & Valley print.

jenn topp - oasis frolic quilt

Jenn has generously written a tutorial for the quilt, providing the paper piecing pattern for those kites as well. To download your free copy, head on over here to the Michael Miller website.

Fiesta Lap Quilt

Posted by on Nov 10, 2014 in Blog, Quilts, Tutorials | 8 Comments

tamara kate - fiesta quilt2

One of the new fabric lines by Michael Miller that made its debut at Quilt Market this fall is Fiesta. I love the warm Southwestern vibe, captured so beautifully in these Michael Miller mood boards.
QM panel v1

QM panel v2

The chocolate colour way really caught my eye and inspired me to create an easy lap quilt.

tamara kate - fiesta quilt5

Whether you look at it vertically, as above, or horizontally, the way I was working on it, I hope you can sense the arrow inspiration.

tamara kate - fiesta quilt

I quilted it very simply, with straight lines, and cut the binding fabric to look like a row of tiny arrow heads, though tiny hearts are probably what jump out more.

tamara kate - fiesta quilt4

I have written up a free downloadable pattern if you would like to create one yourself. Just hop on over to the Michael Miller website right here.

tamara kate - fiesta quilt3