Last Quilt-Along Post & { Giveaway }

Posted by on Sep 21, 2016 in Blog, Giveaways, Janome, Quilts, Tutorials | 94 Comments

tamara-kate-whatever-the-weather-quilt-detail2

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.

tamara-kate-fabric

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.

fabric-giveaway-banner

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: info@eccololtd.com or call at 787-686-8486 ext. 107

Nature Walk ABC Sewing Challenge Winners

Posted by on Mar 29, 2016 in Blog, Nature Walk | No 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.

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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.

Matching Solids with Nature Walk

Posted by on Feb 19, 2016 in Blog, Nature Walk | 6 Comments

A few of you have asked now, so I thought I’d do a proper post on co-ordinating Cotton Couture solids with NATURE WALK.

Firstly, in case I haven’t mentioned it before, or if I have and you missed it, Nature Walk is printed on Cotton Couture base cloth, which is a finer and lighter fabric than regular quilting cotton, so the CC solids are really the best option for incorporating solids into the mix for your projects so that there is a consistent weight and feel when finished.

So… What works with what?

Firstly, let’s look at the alphabet panel, ABC Nature Walk.
nature walk abc

Here are the colours used in the letters:

nature walk - cotton couture co-ordinates

Most of those will also co-ordinate with the other prints in the collection, but here are some more:

photo #3 - cloud - nature walk - tamara kate

nature walk - cotton couture co-ordinates2

photo #4 - mineral - nature walk - tamara kate

nature walk - cotton couture co-ordinates3

I hope this is helpful in planning your projects!

Nature Walk Sewing Challenge

Posted by on Feb 2, 2016 in Blog, Nature Walk | 4 Comments

OK, all you wonderfully talented sewers out there, Michael Miller Fabrics & I have a challenge for you!

abc nature walk sewing challenge

Yesterday, as a bit of inspiration, I guest blogged on the MMF site about the many ways I sewed with the “ABC Nature Walk” panel for Quilt Market a couple months ago. Now it’s your turn. We want to see how creative you can get with this panel!

Of course there are some cool prizes! Lots of NATURE WALK and COTTON COUTURE fabric up for grabs and something I’ve been keeping a secret… I have a couple of adult colouring books in the works. You could be one of the first to get your hands on a copy of one, based on ABC Nature Walk.

artist's alphabet colouring book - tamara kateThe Artist’s Alphabet, published by Eccolo

So, hop on over to the Michael Miller blog for all the details and get sewing! If you don’t yet have any of the fabric, it is easily available at most online stores (and hopefully at your local shop too… Just ask).

Can’t wait to see what you create!

Off the Beaten Track Quilt

Posted by on Jan 21, 2016 in Blog, Nature Walk, Quilts | 4 Comments

With NATURE WALK arriving in stores over the last and coming weeks, I want to start sharing a few sewing ideas to hopefully inspire some projects of your own.

off the beaten track quilt - tamara kate

First up, my “Off the Beaten Track” quilt. This was a fun and easy quilt to make. I love Flying Geese blocks for their simplicity. Like most good traditional blocks, they lead to a wide range of more modern possibilities where design is concerned, all based on playing with colour placement and block direction.

nature walk - cloud - tamara kate

I chose some of my favourite prints from the Cloud colour group as inspiration and for the most part I worked with white ground, but added a few spots of medium and dark grey (Fog & Clay Cotton Couture) for a bit more contrast and creativity.

off the beaten track quilt detail - tamara kate

I didn’t want to make things too visually chaotic so kept prints grouped together to give the eye places to rest, and chose to send some of the geese horizontally in just a few areas to keep things dynamic.

off the beaten track quilt binding

And the binding… well, let’s just say I have found my new favourite binding fabric. I have always loved stripes for binding a quilt as they add a bit of fun, but these little watercolour lines, Tall Grass, are soft, fade in and out and even offer occasional rows of spots for variety. And they come in four different colours to co-ordinate with a variety of projects. Fun! Fun! Fun!

tall grass - tamara kate

Nature Walk is Starting to Ship to Stores

Posted by on Jan 14, 2016 in Blog, Nature Walk | 9 Comments

Hi friends and Happy New Year to you!

Last year was a full and frenzied one for me with many hiccups along the way, but also many accomplishments, most of which I will finally have a chance to share with you as this year progresses. I am hoping this year is a bit smoother, but am looking forward to what it might bring, regardless. Hope you are too!

nature walk cover

One of my favourite projects I worked on last year was designing my latest fabric collection for Michael Miller Fabrics that just started shipping to stores.

NATURE WALK marks a return to working with watercolor and pen & ink for me, something I haven’t done since Flight Patterns. There is something so direct and natural about working by hand versus on the computer that I realized I was greatly missing. The designs flowed easily and I often felt like I was relaxing with a much-loved hobby instead of working, I was enjoying the process so much. I hope this comes across in the fabric.

nature walk abc

The first piece I worked on was an alphabet panel that runs the entire width of the fabric. There is so much detail to discover in this piece and its uses are really versatile. I will be doing a post just on that shortly.

nature walk abc detail - tamara kate

The collection on the whole was inspired by my family’s weekend outings. We always try to get out all together on the weekends, regardless of the weather, to wander nearby forests, paddle in a canoe, wander a beach or a garden and see what we encounter. I am constantly inspired by the creatures, colors and textures I see and the way my children delight in the treasures they discover along the way. So here I have tried in some cases, to replicate nature we observe and in others, to let my imagination wander and create fantastical versions of reality.

The end result is a collection for the little curious ones in our midst (with a few pieces for us grown naturalists too). And it is printed on the divinely-soft Cotton Couture, so you will love sewing with it!

nature walk mineral group
The MINERAL colour story.

nature walk cloud group
The CLOUD colour story.

I will have Nature Walk projects to share over the next few weeks, so I hope you pop back in here from time to time to find a bit of inspiration.
See you then.

Making Merry with Janome – Reversible Gift Tags

Things are starting to feel festive around here. Some holiday shopping has been done and we are just starting to pull out decorations to make our home more festive for the season.

tamara kate - gift tags stack

making-merry-red

I haven’t been sewing since the wild rush of preparing for Quilt Market back in October and started to feel the itch to get back to it last week. A quick project is always a good way to begin and so I was thrilled to be asked to participate in Making Merry with Janome, a fun daily sewing project inspiration blog hop to help get all of you wonderful sewers in the mood to create a little holiday magic of your own.

Here are some fun reversible gift tags I whipped up for kids’ gifts. After gift-opening, they can be reused as personalized Christmas ornaments (oh, how they love personalized ornaments) for years to come.

tamara kate - gift tags 3

Should you wish to create some yourself, here is a quick guide:

What I used

– solid coloured fabric (I used Cotton Couture)
– co-ordinating patterned fabrics (I used scraps of Festive Forest)
– iron-on interfacing (something mid-weight will work well)
– cookie cutters for shapes
– scraps of quilt batting
– co-ordinating ribbon
– fabric pen; thread (the colour of which will contrast well with your solid fabric), scissors
– a sewing machine that has embroidered letter options or embroidery thread and needle to do it by hand

tamara kate - cookie cutters

What I did

Iron interfacing to one side of the solid fabric. This will make the embroidery much smoother and help avoid fabric puckering.

Embroider the desired name approx. 3″ from sides of fabric (I found it easier to work with a larger piece of fabric and then cut it down after embroidering to ensure the name would be centred). Below are a bit of the embroidery options I am lucky enough to have at my disposal on the Janome MC8200.

janome machine embroidery

Place the cookie cutter on the fabric, centre name and trace around the outside of the shape with a fabric pen. Cut a basic square or rectangle around the traced shape, with about an extra inch of fabric all around. Cut a piece of batting and of patterned fabric, all roughly the same size. Sandwich the batting between the 2 fabric layers with right sides of both fabrics facing out.

Cut a 10″ length of ribbon. Place the two ribbon ends inside the sandwich at the top of the shape, inserting the ends about a half inch. Pin or hold in place.

With a small straight stitch, sew all the way around the shape about 1/8″ inside the drawn line, anchoring the ribbon in the process.

Cut through the 3 layers all the way around on the drawn line, being careful to not cut the ribbon.

tamara kate - gift tag sewings

And that’s it!

tamara kate - gift tags row

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Sewing!

tamara kate - gift tags tins