Thread Riding Hood Sews Frolic Tees

Posted by on May 25, 2017 in Blog, Frolic | One Comment

The wonderful Canadian sewing blogger, Sherri of Thread Riding Hood is the second talented sewer to contribute a project to the FROLIC blog tour.

Sherri whipped up these kid-friendly Banyan Tunics for her girls using FROLIC Knits. On her blog post she shares some great info on the quality of the fabrics as well as her shrink test findings.

Skip on over to see her full post with lots of great photos of her sweet girls sporting their new tees & cute headbands as well as Sherri’s adorable diy clothing labels.

Thanks for the cute inspiration, Sherri! Makes me want to pull out the serger.

Elegance & Elephants Sews Frolic!

Posted by on May 23, 2017 in Blog, Frolic | No Comments

As a countdown to FROLIC being shipped to stores in a few weeks, I promised it, so here goes… the first in a series of posts sharing lots of sewing inspiration with FROLIC!

One of my very favourite Canadian children’s pattern designers, Heidi of Elegance & Elephants has created two lovely dresses with FROLIC.

Firstly, she used the Frolic Border in conjunction with Summer Portrait, a sweet flowered porcupine print in this adorable dress for her daughter.

Then she chose to use one of her recent patterns, the Skola Dress for this charming knit (Still so excited I now have knits!) dress. This one uses Frolicking in Raspberry.

Jump on over to Heidi’s blog for lots of pretty pictures including a look at the capri leggings and headband she also sewed up with the knit. So cute!

Thanks for enchanting us with your fabulous sewing, Heidi!

Introducing FROLIC and my First Knits!

Posted by on May 16, 2017 in Blog, Frolic, Quilt Market | 2 Comments

After a long spell of being busy working on other projects, I am so thrilled to let you know I have a new fabric collection making its debut at Quilt Market in St Louis later this week and shipping to stores mid-June.

Inspired by a Mexican fiesta, FROLIC is a sweet, bright and playful collection where hand-painted critters cavort in a whimsical flower garden, where multicoloured blossoms replace the spines on the back of a hedgehog, where the air is full of petals and where love abounds.

Classic blue and white mixed with touches of pinks, oranges and fresh greens for a true Spring/Summer collection that is full of life. Oh, and do you recognize the print right at the top of the blues? Yep. It’s a mini remake of Bargello from Flight Patterns, my first collection with Michael Miller that showed at Quilt Market exactly 4 years ago.

Saturated, clear colours take centre-stage with many prints on clean white grounds to add lots of fresh air to the mix.

One of the highlights of the collection is the double border print, Frolic Border that offers all kinds of sewing possibilities, from sweet dresses and skirts to pillows and certainly lots of fun fussy cutting for quilts. It also works wonderfully as a whole cloth baby quilt top or back.

Here’s a little peak at where the collection began, playing in my watercolour sketchbook. A little secret… While she resembles a fox, that’s actually our border collie, Lilou, lower right, that jumps to pick up her toy just like a fox would in the snow. And under the book, the end result, Frolicking, available in 4 luscious colour ways.

A big thrill for me with FROLIC is the inclusion of my first ever KNITS! There are 9 in total. These knits are so very soft with just the right amount of stretch (95% cotton and 5% spandex) and are a dream to sew with. Bring on the sergers! Just imagine all the cute kiddo leggings, t-shirts and dresses.

Over the next few weeks a number of wonderfully creative bloggers and friends will be sharing some fun FROLIC projects they have in the works and I will also be sharing the quilts and clothing I have sewn over the past couple of months. Hope you check in here regularly to have a peek.

Oh… And there’s a great collaborative FROLIC project with a fabulous sewing-related company I can’t wait to share with you too.
All coming in the upcoming days…

{ Happy Sewing } … Fabric Trays

Coming up with original teachers’ gifts is far from easy. While some years I leave things too late and jump in with the class group gift certificate, I usually try my best to make something as a show of appreciation for all the hard work my kids’ teachers do on a daily basis. In years past, I have made hand warmers, zippered pouches and fabric buckets. For this Christmas, I found a great tutorial for fabric trays by Noodlehead and my search was done.


This was the perfect project to try machine embroidering some letters from my Nature Walk alphabet that has recently been digitized by OESD. I am very new to machine embroidery, so am learning as I go. Janome Canada generously loaned me a Memory Craft 450E to try my hand at it and, while I will tell you I love hand embroidery, watching this being done by machine is quite magical and the result is far more refined, interesting and textured than I had imagined. I love it! And, for those of you who haven’t tried one of these machines before, let me tell you the best part: the only work you have to do is change the spool of thread and press the start button! So excellent!

Here are a few progress shots of one of the letters being stitched. I really like that the “P” presser foot directs your eye to exactly what is being stitched while not hiding any of the action:




I could have just use the suggested colours that come with the embroidery files, but I had fun tailoring each letter to the recipient… trying to remember the colours she tends to use or wear most. Knowing the total number of colours needed to complete the design and where each colour would be used (the file gives you all this information), I created my own palette for each letter and thus ended up wth some truly personalized gifts.


Wanting a neutral exterior to the trays that would wear well, I opted to use “Pollen Burst” and “Hop, Skip & Jump” and the binding is either “Stepping Stones” or “Little World”, all from my Nature Walk collection.


I could see these being used to contain some jewellery on a dresser, keys and phone on a console in an entryway or if it were for me, some yarns and threads from my latest hand sewing project on a side table in the living room.


If you would like to make a few yourself, the tray pattern can be found here and the alphabet files here.

A few technical notes:

– To properly fit a letter in the bottom of the basket without possibly cutting off some details with the corner darts, I adjusted the size of the cut fabric for both the interior and exterior to 9″ x 12″ (starting with a larger piece all around to create the embroidered letter first, and then trimmed to the correct size).

– I switched the thick interfacing to the exterior fabric and the thinner one to the embroidered fabric (opposite to what Anna suggests in the pattern). This avoids too much bubbling on the interior.

Happiest of Holidays to you all!
xo Tamara

Charm Pack Winner

Posted by on Sep 29, 2016 in Blog, Giveaways | No Comments


The winner from this post of the Tamara Kate Charm Pack is Janie M who said “I am always drawn towards blue. Your quilt is simply stunning thank you for the detailed tutorial.” Congratulations Janie! I have sent you an email.

Blue was definitely a popular choice for quilting fabrics in my oh-so-official poll. While aqua and teal have shown up a lot in my fabric collections, blue is not a colour I have used much. That is until the past few months. I hope you will like the next collection to come your way. It’s still in its initial phases (I’m anxiously awaiting my first strike offs any day now), but it definitely features BLUE in many of its playful prints.

Can’t wait to share it with you!

Last Quilt-Along Post & { Giveaway }

Posted by on Sep 21, 2016 in Blog, Giveaways, Janome, Quilts, Tutorials | 98 Comments


Today Janome Canada is featuring the last of three blog posts I did to walk you through creating the Whatever the Weather Quilt. Day 1 was about quilt layout and picking colours, Day 2 tackled piecing the quilt top and dealing with all those angles (there really aren’t that many) and today, Day 3 talks about how I quilted it.


To wrap things up, I am offering 2 charm packs of all 72 coloured Tamara Kate fabrics I used in the quilt. You can enter on the Janome Canada blogpost for one and right here for the other.


To enter, leave a comment below telling me what colour fabrics are your favourite when you are making a quilt. Entries close next Wednesday, September 28th at 6pm EST. Contest open to Canadian residents only.

Whatever the Weather Quilt for Janome Canada

Posted by on Sep 7, 2016 in Blog, Janome, Quilts | 6 Comments

A new quilt, a Quilt-Along and a free pattern all in one!

whatever the weather quilt - tamara kate

The Whatever the Weather Quilt made its debut earlier this summer at Quilt Canada in Toronto in the Janome Canada booth. I created it to mark the launch of the Whatever the Weather Sewing Tote Collection that features this bicycle logo I designed (Those of you who know me from my early days on Spoonflower may recognize it as part of my very first fabric design that won the “rain” contest).

whatever the weather sewing luggage embroidery

A little about my design thoughts: I wanted to design a quilt that was inspired by the bicycle in some way and the element that spoke to me the most was the fun wheels. The theme of “Whatever the Weather” played out in the rainbow of fabric choices that I chose to pull from each and every one of my collections with Michael Miller Fabrics, while the ground is made up of a number of low-volume black on white Michael Miller prints.

whatever the weather quilt2 - tamara kate

Come join me for a 3-part series Quilt-Along over on the Janome Canada blog starting today and make your very own Whatever the Weather Quilt! There is a link to the free downloadable pdf there too.
Psst… There just may be a co-ordinating fabric give-away at the end of the series.

Happy rainbow making!

Whatever the Weather Sewing Luggage

Posted by on Sep 2, 2016 in Blog, Janome | 4 Comments

As a Canadian designer it is a regular frustration that what I design is more readily available in the US and overseas than here in my own backyard. Finally I can say I had a hand in designing something specifically for the Canadian sewing market… a set of sewing luggage, manufactured by Blue Fig, available through Janome Canada.
whatever the weather sewing luggage

This collaboration was one of those “dream come true” projects for me. I had the honour of having a design from my portfolio used as the embroidered logo for all the bags in the collection. We started with 4 different designs, tried a few colour options, presented options to a highly astute & educated focus group (i.e.. my fabulous quilt guild) and landed on this fun, light-hearted design.

whatever the weather sewing luggage embroidery

I think it fitting that the design chosen is the first design I ever created for fabric when I was designing on Spoonflower (It won the first weekly Spoonflower contest I entered, which in turn gave me the encouragement to pursue fabric design with gusto). Feels like things coming full circle for me.
whatever the weather sewing luggage2

The bags are such great quality! They are so sturdy and the fabrics are soft, yet durable (we chose grey as a nice neutral ground, which I think quilters will approve of). They are all loaded with a multitude of handy zippered pockets for all those rulers, presser feet, scissors and other accessories we always need to have on hand.

Here’s the line-up: There is the wheeled sewing machine carrier that holds most large sewing machines (I use the Janome Memory Craft 8200 & it fits like a glove). It has super-smooth ballbearing wheels, steel frame, top- or front-load options, a stabilizer strap for machine safety & extra side handles for getting it in and out of your trunk. The shoulder bag, project tote can carry a small machine or current projects & has an adjustable strap and extra pockets. The notions bag has a total of 12 clear pockets in a range of sizes for anything & everything you may need for your project. And below, the mini carrier, touting a cute pillbox design, can be used with or without the handy thread trays (included) for stylish storage & travel.

whatever the weather mini carrier

The bags are available through Janome Canada dealers across the country. Click on the “find a dealer” button at the top right of this link, click on your province and scroll through the list for contact info. If they don’t yet have them in stock, just ask them to please bring some in.

In celebration of the launch, there will be a few giveaways of different bags over the next bit of time. I will do my best to direct you to the appropriate spots when they happen over on my Instagram feed, so stay tuned.

Hope you like them as much as I do!

My Very First Colouring Books Come To Life

Posted by on Mar 31, 2016 in Blog, Colouring Books, Licensing | 4 Comments

A dream job came my way last Fall. One that I was so excited to get up every day and pour myself into. With great excitement, I can finally let you know that not one, but two colouring books that I illustrated are now shipping to stores.

tamara kate coloring books

First, there is The Artist’s Alphabet, which is an elaboration on Nature Walk ABC, the alphabet panel from my latest fabric collection.

artist's alphabet cover coloured

There are more elements on each page than in the fabric, giving you more nature to delight in colouring.

tamara kate - f - colouring book

The pages are perforated, allowing for sharing, framing & hanging you artwork, and the book contains multiples of each letter, so you will have no problem spelling names and inspirational words.

tamara kate - alphabet coloured 4 images

The second book is Words of Wisdom.

words of wisdom cover coloured

Over 90 unique pages (again perforated) full of inspirational words and phrases to help push us to great heights, remind us to think positively and get us out of that funk we sometimes find ourselves in. Here are a few examples of what you will find inside:

words of wisdom pages2

choose joy coloured

The books are published by Eccolo. The quality of their products is impeccable and they did not disappoint when it came to putting together these two books that I am so proud to have my name on.

You can find the books here & here.
If you have a store and are interested in carrying the books (perhaps to co-ordinate with my Nature Walk fabric line) you can contact Eccolo directly: or call at 787-686-8486 ext. 107

Nature Walk ABC Sewing Challenge Winners

Posted by on Mar 29, 2016 in Blog, Nature Walk | 2 Comments

So, we had a challenge… To sew something amazing with the Nature Walk ABC panel. The team at Michael Miller Fabrics & I were delighted with the creativity shown in the challenge and now we have our three winners!

sweet julia
Third place went to Paola of Sweet Julia who created this adorable dress for her daughter. The ABC panel with the dress body & knots in the rich amber colour of Little World (coupled with the cowboy boots) is truly delightful.

Second place was taken by Sherri Noel of Rebecca Mae Designs for this truly awesome sewing machine cover. Her creation of words with the individual letters is skillfully done and just perfect to house her beloved machine.

candice ayala
And our winner is Candice Ayala who, with some incredible painting help from her daughter, Abigail won our hearts with this Mori dress.

candice ayala2
Not only did Abigail use silk paints and dimensional fabric paints, but she also went to every little girl’s happy place with glitter. Great job, Abigail & Candice!

Congrats to all the winners! I hope you enjoy your new fabrics coming your way and Abigail and Candice, I hope you have as much fun with my colouring book as you did with the dress.