The Radiant Maple Wall Hanging

Posted by on Nov 29, 2017 in Aurifil, Blog, Janome, Patterns, Quilts, Tutorials | 2 Comments

Today I have one final tutorial for you to round out the Canada 150 celebrations in conjunction with Janome Canada.

As I’ve mentioned here before, in celebrating Canada’s big birthday this year, Janome Canada and I teamed up to offer sewists a series of fabulous products and projects. Here’s a quick recap…

1. I designed the logo for the Canada 150 Limited Edition Sewing Machine. {Snap yours up through your local Janome Canada dealer quickly before they’re all gone).

2. My Oh Canada! paper pieced cushion project was released. Pattern & instructions are available here.

3. The show-stopper Oh Canada! quilt toured a few Canadian quilt and sewing shows with the JC crew. The pattern & instructions are available here.

4. Inspired by the afore-mentioned quilt, I worked with Aurifil to put together an exclusive thread kit that is available through Janome Canada dealers.

Which brings us to No. 5, the Radiant Maple wall hanging!

A more subtle take on highlighting the maple leaf, this quilt is all about the thread. If you don’t feel up to piecing a quilt top, what about embracing the simplicity of white fabric (though it would be equally stunning and more dramatic on a charcoal grey ground, for example) and pulling out a rainbow of thread colours to execute this project. All it takes is a couple hours at the machine, then a bit of binding and you are done.

THE TUTORIAL

What I Used:

– 2 pieces white cotton 38″ x 38″

– batting 38″ x 38″

– 10″ x width of fabric (WOF) binding fabric

– a rainbow of thread colours. I used the 9 non-neutral colours from the Canada 150 Aurifil thread kit (red, orange, apricot, lime, jade, turquoise, blue, lilac & pink)

– A hera marker and a long acrylic ruler

– the Accu-Feed Dual Feed foot (walking foot). This will keep all your fabric layers in place when sewing, making for an easy and enjoyable project.

What I Did:

– Press both squares of fabric and make a quilt sandwich (fabric, batting, fabric), pinning at regular intervals to keep layers from shifting.

– Mark the centre of the quilt top with a pin.

Radiant Maple pattern PDF

– Print & prepare the above pdf pattern following these instructions:
– Page size is 8.5″ x 11″
– Select File, then Print
– Set Page Scaling to “None” (do not select “Shrink to Fit”)
– Press Print
– The 6 pages need to be cut (remove the 1/4″ frame around all pages) and taped together matching the grey triangles along the edges as in the following graphic. Cut out the maple leaf & discard the exterior paper.

– Mark the centre of the maple leaf and position this mark directly over the centre mark on the quilt sandwich, keeping the leaf straight in relation to the fabric edges.

– Using the hera marker, mark the fabric along the edges of the maple leaf by pressing the marker’s sharper edge into the fabric to reproduce the leaf shape.

– Using red thread and the walking foot, stitch all the way around the leaf. I started and ended the contour using the Auto Lock option which makes 3 or 4 stitches in one spot, creating a tiny “knot” on the back rather than having to bury bury threads later. Keep the needle down, raise the presser foot and pivot the fabric at each corner.

– Use the acrylic ruler to extend all the angled border lines of the leaf out to the edges of the fabric, marking each with the hera marker.

– As in the above diagram, using red thread, start at the fabric edge and stitch a line all the way to where it pivots, stitching along the previous stitching lines along the leaf, then pivot out to the fabric edge again. We will call these V-lines. Continue doing this for all the V-lines extended to the fabric edges around the quilt, always starting & stopping at the fabric edges.
You now have a double line of red stitching all the way around the leaf to accentuate it and red lines radiating out to the edges of the quilt.

– Again using the ruler and hera marker, mark V-lines at random intervals within each previously-sewn V-lines, as in green below. Where the red Vs are wider, you may want to do 2 new sets of V-lines, but only one set where the V is narrow.

– Choose another thread colour and stitch along these lines, again starting and stopping along the fabric edges. Continue working in this fashion, changing thread colour after you have created new V-lines within all the red Vs.

– You can see above that I didn’t use every thread colour within every red V and that the new colours of V-lines all converge at the same spot within each red V.

– When you have used all your thread colours and are satisfied with the density of the stitching, square up the quilt top.

– Cut the binding fabric into 4 strips, 2 1/4″ x WOF. Stitch together binding strips and bind the quilt sandwich.

Project finished!

Wise Words Quilt – Free Pattern

Posted by on Nov 7, 2017 in Blog, Quilts, Tutorials, Words of Wisdom | No Comments

When I received yardage of Words of Wisdom, I was faced with the question of “What kind of quilt would you make if you were going to use the whole Words of Wisdom panel print”?


Words of Wisdom Panel Print

I chose to highlight each saying in the panel by framing it with coordinating prints from the collection.

Rather than placing the coordinating prints randomly around the sayings which might make it confusing to look at, organizing them in a particular layout creates a secondary pattern that helps move the eye diagonally across the quilt.

While I used the fabric as-is for this project, you could certainly personalize it by embellishing the individual sayings prior to making the quilt. A bit of embroidery, anyone?

This is an easy sewing project with everything based on squares, rectangles and half-square triangles and at 58″ x 68″ it sews up as a lovely throw or lap quilt. Placed in a living room, it provides positive vibes for all to feed off of.

You can find the fabric here & the free quilt instructions right here. Enjoy!

{ Happy Sewing } Embroidered Wallhanging

Here’s a tutorial for this sweet little wallhanging that you can fully personalize with embroidery.

I love the quiet process of hand embroidery. I learned how as a child from my Mom and still enjoy it today, though I have narrowed down all those stitches I learned early on to a few favourites I use on high repeat now. This project focuses on 4 favourites: The French Knot, Satin Stitch, Back Stitch and Chain Stitch.

One of the main things I enjoy the most about hand embroidery is that one can be as detailed and colourful as desired. Using the Words of Wisdom panel print for this project is great in this respect as you could pick and choose which elements to fill in or outline, or you could go all-out and fill in every last detail. That’s the beauty. It’s all up to you to make it your own! I chose to leave a fair bit unstitched as I felt it gave a clean, modern feel to the finished work and leaves places for the eye to rest.

I opted to use the prints from the Words of Wisdom fabric collection as my colour jumping-off point. The blue was already the ground in the panel (the panel print comes with either a white ground or a soft-blue one), so I focused on corals, yellows, greens and pinks as my pallet.

THE TUTORIAL

What I Used:

– A saying of your choice from the Words of Wisdom Panel, cut to 8 1/2″ x 10 1/2″.
– Embroidery floss in your choice of colours (I used 6 colours of DMC embroidery floss)
– Embroidery needle
– Embroidery hoop (approx. 5″ – 6″ diameter)
– 2 coordinating fat eighths fabrics from the Words of Wisdom collection
– Backing fabric (8 1/2″ x 17″)
– Sewing thread
– 2 pieces wooden dowel (3/8″ diameter x 9″)
– A 24″ length of yarn for hanging

What I Did:

The first step is the most fun… the embroidery. Here are the 4 stitches I used:

The French Knot: This can be used as individual small dots, or clustered for greater impact and to fill shapes.


Knot end of thread & pull thread up through fabric. Close to needle, twist loose thread twice around needle.


Put needle tip back through fabric at the same spot the needle came up. Pull thread taught around needle.


Carefully pull needle & thread through to the back of the fabric making sure to not upset the knot forming on top.


Pull thread taught at back. 1 french knot done!


Pull the needle back through to front of fabric wherever you’d like to create more. When finished, knot thread at back of fabric & cut.

Satin Stitch: Used to fill in a shape with uniform stitches that sit side by side, giving a smooth, satiny look and feel.


Knot end of thread & pull thread up through fabric. Insert needle point at the opposite side of the shape you are filling in (HINT: do not make stitches too long. Stitches much longer than 1/4″ can easily get caught on things & cause your fabric to buckle). Pull the thread through to the back (not too tightly).


Pull needle back up through fabric to the front, right beside where you started your 1st stitch. Stitch back to the back of fabric, following the contour of your shape.


Continue in this fashion, keeping stitches snug against each other and carefully following the outline of the shape you are filling. When finished, knot thread at back of fabric & cut.

Back Stitch: For creating straight or curved lines of stitching. Can also be used to trace fine lettering or outline shapes.


Knot end of thread & pull thread up through fabric. Insert needle point back through fabric about an eighth inch along the line you are creating.


Pull thread through to back and bring needle back up through fabric another eighth inch along the line. Insert needle point back through fabric at the point the last stitch ended (in essence, going backward).


Repeat the last step, again starting an eighth inch along the line and going back down through fabric at the point the last stitch ended.


Continue in this fashion to finish line. When finished, knot thread at back of fabric & cut.

Chain Stitch: Creates a wider, open line of stitching, or can be used to create individual leaves or petals.


Knot end of thread & pull thread up through fabric. Insert needle point back through fabric right beside where it came up, then re-insert point back through to top of fabric about an eighth inch away.


While the needle is in this position, make sure the loose thread runs underneath the needle.


Pull the needle and thread through (not too tightly), creating a loop. If creating a single chain (like for a small leaf) skip the next step.


Repeat this process, first inserting the needle point through to back right beside where the thread emerges from the fabric, then bringing the needle point back up to the front of the fabric about an eighth inch along the line you are creating, running loose thread under needle tip. Continue in this fashion along the line you are creating.


To end your chain, put your needle through to the back immediately on the other side of the loop created, just beyond where the thread comes up.


Pull the thread through to the back, securing the last chain in place. When finished, knot thread at back of fabric & cut.

Assembling the Wallhanging:

Refer to this diagram for the following instructions:

– Cut one of the coordinating fabrics to 2 pieces (1″ x 10 1/2″)
– Cut the other piece to 2 pieces (3 1/2″ x 10 1/2″)
– With 1/4″ seams and right sides together, sew together the pieces in the following order to make one long 10 1/2″ wide piece: One piece 3 1/2″ x 10 1/2″, one piece 1″ x 10 1/2″, the embroidered panel, the 2nd 1″ x 10 1/2″ piece, the 2nd 3 1/2″ x 10 1/2″ piece. Press seams toward the narrowest pieces.
– Right sides together, sew assembled piece to backing fabric along 2 long sides.
– Turn right-side-out. Press.
– Fold top and bottom ends under to the back 1 3/4″. Pin in place. From the front, topstitch in the ditch between the 1 1/2″ strip of fabric and the 3 1/2″ of fabric on both ends, thus securing the ends and creating a channel on both ends.
– Insert dowel in both ends.
– Double the yarn and attach to both ends of the top dowel to hang.

All done!

Words of Wisdom

Posted by on Oct 16, 2017 in Blog, Fabric Collections, Words of Wisdom | 4 Comments

My second fabric collection this year, Words of Wisdom has started shipping to stores!

Words of Wisdom is a positive little collection centred around a panel print of words, phrases and quotes to inspire us, give us guidance and get us back on track. It offers all kinds of imaginative possibilities for thoughtful gift giving and brightening our own days.


Words of Wisdom Panel

The panel, available in white or soft blue, is a full yard of fabric and consists of 15 images, each 8″ x 10″. I chose some of my very favourite pages from my Words of Wisdom colouring book for this print so that all you creative sewists could work your magic bringing them to life through embroidery and embellishment, fabric painting or colouring, thread painting or creative piecing.


Say Yes to New Adventures, Enjoy the Little Things & Dream it, Believe it, Do it.

And then there are just 3 sweet co-ordinates, but in the prettiest rainbow of harmonious colours.

Stores can get more information on the collection directly from Michael Miller Fabrics.

I will be back shortly with more on the embroidered wall hanging at the top of the post and a fun quilt project that uses the whole panel print and the co-ordinates too. Hope you’ll join me!

Last Week For the Free Pattern & Chance to Win an Aurifil Thread Kit

Posted by on Sep 25, 2017 in Aurifil, Blog, Giveaways, Janome, Patterns, Quilts | No Comments

As I mentioned last week, I have teamed up with Janome Canada to celebrate sewing & to offer a few awesome giveaways.

For info on the free Fabric Bucket pattern, look here.

And here’s the link for this week’s thread kit giveaway.

Best of Luck & Happy Sewing!

Limited Time Free Pattern Offer & Thread Collection Giveaway

Posted by on Sep 18, 2017 in Aurifil, Blog, Giveaways, Janome, Patterns, Quilts | 2 Comments

A couple months ago I introduced you to this quilt and its pattern.

Well, exciting news… Janome Canada and I are back with a limited time free pattern offer and thread box giveaway!

First the free pattern:

Over the next 2 weeks, every purchase of the Oh Canada! Maple Leaf Quilt pattern will entitle you to a free copy of my Variable Size Fabric Buckets Pattern.

This pattern is a popular one I teach at classes and offers full instructions and templates for six different sizes of this fun accessory. You can see details about it here.

How it Works:
– Offer open until midnight, September 30th, 2017.
– Available internationally.
– Both the quilt pattern and the Fabric Buckets pattern are PDF download patterns.
– Simply purchase the Oh Canada! Maple Leaf Quilt pattern and the Fabric Bucket PDF pattern will be emailed to you within 24 hours (to the email address associated with your Paypal account). It’s that easy!

And the Thread Box Giveaway:

You’ll love this! There are actually TWO boxes being offered by Janome Canada for this giveaway, one per week over the next two weeks.

All 12 of these pretty 50wt Aurifil threads, specially chosen to co-ordinate with the Oh Canada! quilt, come in a handy collector’s box.

How it Works:

– Go to the Janome Canada post here and comment.
– Shipping of thread boxes to Canadian addresses only.
– Only one entry per person during the 2 week draw. Duplicate entries will be deleted.
– Entries will close at 12 midnight on Saturday 30th September. ONE winner will be drawn from entries during week 1: 18-23rd September and a SECOND winner from entries during week 2: 25th – 30th September.

Best of Luck to you!

A FROLIC Aurifil Thread Kit

Posted by on Jul 24, 2017 in Aurifil, Blog, Fabric Collections, Frolic | 4 Comments

This is an exciting project I had the pleasure of collaborating on this Spring. A FROLIC thread collection with Aurifil. How cool is that!?

Twelve large spools of gorgeous 50wt. Egyptian cotton threads housed in their own collectors’ box.

I chose the colours based on the saturated hues of the fabric collection’s grounds, including 2 white spools, and added a light blue variegated spool as a little something special.

So if you’re looking for that perfect colour blue thread to topstitch your daughter’s Maggie Jean dress, look no further.

While the colours are specific to the Frolic collection, they were also chosen as standards for all you sewers who love working with lots of colour (cause I know there are all kinds of rainbow lovers out there).

If you ‘d like a box, be sure to ask your local fabric store to bring them in with the fabric collection.

And, as a little hint of what’s coming up, the threads have been doing double duty in my sewing room lately as they may just work really well with a certain fabric collection of mine (that of course, I can’t show you pictures of yet) that’s soon to be shown to stores and will be coming your way in the Fall.

The Oh Canada! Maple Leaf Quilt Pattern

Posted by on Jul 19, 2017 in Blog, Janome, Patterns, Quilts | 6 Comments

I’m so excited to finally share this pattern with you!

Earlier this year I designed and made this quilt based on the logo I created for Janome Canada for a limited edition sewing machine (available until the end of 2017 through your local Canadian Janome dealers) to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.

It is a 44″ square, foundation paper pieced project that has been touring Canadian quilting and sewing shows with the Janome Canada team since this Spring and will continue to do so for the rest of the year.

I finally got the pattern properly drawn up for you and have written some pretty thorough instructions so that even if you haven’t previously paper pieced, you should be able to accomplish this quilt as long as you are a confident sewist and can sew a straight line.

The quilt was made with Michael Miller Cotton Couture solids and a full list of colours is included in the Fabric Requirements list in the pattern. If you don’t have easy access to these solids though (they are easily accessible on many large US online fabric stores like Hawthorne Threads), you can easily substitute similar colours from other fabric houses.

I had a lot of fun with straight line quilting it, using a light grey thread on the leaf and a few rows of light grey, a row of red and lots and lots of rows of a darker grey thread for quilting the ground.

I hope you enjoy making it as much as I did. I’ve included a multitude of hints and tips in the pattern to help you out along the way. I think you’ll find it goes together surprisingly quickly due to its large scale pieces.

You can purchase the pattern here.

And I’d love to hear your feedback and see your quilts, so please send me an email or share on social media with the hashtag #ohcanada!quilt

A Couple More Frolic Quilts

A couple weeks ago I shared the first 2 of 4 quilts I made with FROLIC for Quilt Market. Today it’s time for the other two.

As FROLIC is a pretty young, playful, bold collection, I wanted to create a quilt that worked along the same lines. My mind went to children’s sorting games where colour, shape and counting play a principal role. The Building Blocks Quilt is what resulted.

5 different blocks for 5 colour groupings. Squares turned on point for orange, half-square triangles for green, equilateral triangles in blue, petals in pink and circles for the multicoloured print, Mini Bargello. Arranging the blocks in groupings of varying numbers results in a bold, playful quilt… Just what I was going for. With all that colour, a white ground keeps things from getting too intense.

You can find a complete list of fabrics used & the free downloadable instructions here.

Beyond the last 2 quilts I shared and the 1 above, I was asked to do a larger, really eye-catching quilt for one wall of the Michael Miller Market booth, so I chose to go full on with colour in this Over the Mountain Quilt.

Simple equilateral triangles arranged in an inverted V formation according to colour makes for a striking quilt top.

I paired each print I was using with a solid Cotton Couture partner, keeping the lighter of the 2 for the triangle in each block. This formation makes for some fun fussy cutting where some FROLIC critters can be highlighted.

Lots of luscious colour!

Find the list of fabrics used and the full instructions here.

{ Happy Sewing } My First Attempt at Sewing Knits

Posted by on Jun 28, 2017 in { Happy Sewing }, Blog, Fabric Collections, Frolic | 2 Comments

A quick post to show you my first tiny tentative efforts at sewing with knit fabric (I used FROLIC Big Love in Candy). For all you uninitiated soles out there, it was surprisingly simple & painless & oh-so-rewarding!

I made these teeny-tiny baby leggings using this tutorial, a baby headband using this one, and a baby bonnet based on this one. All really easy and a good introduction to the serger for me.

Happy Wednesday!
Tamara