{ Happy Sewing } Festive Tunic

Posted by on May 15, 2015 in Blog, Festive Forest, { Happy Sewing } | 2 Comments

I created this tunic for my daughter as soon as I received yardage of FESTIVE FOREST last December and feel it is a good example of how the collection lends itself not only to quilting and home decor projects, but also to clothing.

festive tunic - tamara kate

It is sewn from the Audrey Dress pattern from Violette Field Threads in Festive Nest in Snow

festive tunic2 - tamara kate

While I’m not one that goes for overly Christmassy clothing, I wanted to offer fabrics with a little nod to the holidays that would be appropriate for a fun skirt, dress or top and definitely for pyjamas. And because the prints are not overly holiday-themed, Em decided to wear it to school today, smack in the middle of Spring. It looked just right with a pair of jeans and the trees in full bloom in the gardens on our morning walk.

festive tunic3 - tamara kate

I have one last Festive Forest project to share with you along with a free tutorial so I’ll see you back here next week.

A Forest Quilt by Patty Sloniger

Posted by on May 4, 2015 in Blog, Festive Forest, Quilts, Tutorials | 2 Comments

My fellow Michael Miller designer, Patty Sloniger designs beautiful fabric. She also designs beautiful quilts. She made a lovely tree forest quilt with Festive Forest that I love for its graphic nature.

Patchwork Forest patty sloniger

Her balance of colours throughout is just right and her free motion quilting is something for me to aspire to.

FESTIVE PATCHWORK patty sloniger

Patty did a great write-up on her blog and has made the free quilt pattern available on the Michael Miller site for all you tree-quilt lovers out there.

A Merry Pillow Cover by Brooke Sellmann

Posted by on Apr 24, 2015 in Blog, Festive Forest, Holidays, Tutorials | One Comment

Feast your eyes on this charming pillow:

brooke sellmann merry pillow

It was created by the talented Brooke Sellmann of Silly Mama Quilts with FESTIVE FOREST fabric.

Don’t you just love those evergreens? They are so effective in the different green fabrics from the collection, looking like they are all decorated for the holidays. And the band of red Budding fabric across the top and bottom frame it perfectly.

You can see a tutorial on this project, including the fun back, on Brooke’s blog.

Thanks for another great project Brooke!

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!