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

Reversible Kid’s Apron Tutorial

Posted by on Jun 1, 2015 in Blog, Festive Forest, Holidays, Tutorials | No Comments

festive forest aprons - tamara kate

This is one of those great little gift ideas for a child who loves helping in the kitchen as my two do. A simple apron that’s got a few somethings extra. Firstly, it’s reversible so you can play around with a few of your favourite co-ordinating fabrics. Second, it can have a bit of extra pizzaz along the bottom edge with some added trim, ribbon, pompom fringe, you name it! And third, it’s done up by a third contrasting fabric tie around the waist & neck and a fun button at the top edge. What more could you want? Oh… That it’s easy & quick? Yes, it’s that too!

festive forest apron - tamara kate

As these were Christmas gifts for my kids last year, I made them in FESTIVE FOREST fabrics. For Em’s I chose Winter Woods in Garland, Budding in Santa for the reverse side and Gem in Holly for the straps. For Max’s I used Sweater Weather in Ribbon, Gem in Evergreen on the reverse side and Freckled in Santa for the straps.

festive forest fox apron - tamara kate

Getting these two to agree to model for photos is becoming increasingly difficult, hence this post is decidedly later than I had planned. There was bribing involved (a trip to our favourite art supply store, so it wasn’t hard for me to agree) in accomplishing this shoot and much silliness (which I love) in the resulting shots. These are but a few (and yes, my son definitely needs a haircut):

festive forest aprons - tamara kate

festive forest aprons2 - tamara kate

festive forest aprons3 - tamara kate

THE TUTORIAL

What I Used:

– 2 co-ordinating pieces of fabric 17″ x 22″ each. These can be fat quarters, but if using directional fabric, keep in mind the pattern needs to run along the 22″ length.
– 1 piece of fabric 30″ x 9″ for the neck band & waist ties.
– co-ordinating thread.
– optional 18″ co-ordinating ribbon, fringe, trim, etc. You could even use a few pieces of ribbon, each 18″ long, as indicated below.
– A button, roughly 3/4″ diameter.

What I Did:

A little note about sizing: My kids are 7 and 9 years old and this is great for them. If making it for a much smaller child, you may want to shrink the measurements by a couple of inches, but don’t make it too much shorter as they grow so quickly.

reversible apron cutting & sewing

– Fold both large pieces of fabric in half so they are 8½” x 22″. Measure 13″ up from the bottom on the non-folded edge. Put a mark. Measure 4″ in from non-folded edge along the top. Put a mark. Join these 2 marks with a straight line and cut. Unfold your fabric.

– Cut 30″ x 9″ strip of fabric as follows:
– 2 pieces 30″ x 2½”
– 1 piece 21″ x 2½”

– Fold each of these fabrics in half, right sides together, to form long narrow band. Press. Stitch with ¼” seam along the long unfolded edge & one short edge on all three pieces. Turn right side out. Press.

– If adding ribbon, pin ribbon about 2″ from the bottom edge of whichever fabric you choose (you could add to both if desired), straight across fabric. Topstitch in place along top & bottom edges of ribbon. If adding multiple pieces to one side, stagger them from ½” to 1″ apart, as desired, going up the front.

– If adding pompom fringe, you will insert it in this next step:

– Place 1 main piece of fabric on flat surface, right side facing up. Lay 2 longer sewn bands ½” below the bottom edge of the cut angle with raw short edge of bands protruding from main fabric side edges by ½”. Lay shorter sewn band ½” in from the top right edge of the cut angle with raw short edge of band protruding from main fabric top edge by ½”. If using pompom fringe at bottom edge, lay it so that pompoms are toward the top of the apron with edge of fringe’s solid band placed 3/8″ from bottom of apron. Carefully place other piece of fabric right side down on top of this and pin all the way around, pinning heavily along pompom edge. If not using fringe, simply place fabric on top & pin all the way around.

– Sew with a ½” seam all the way around, leaving about a 5″ gap along one side. Turn right side out. Press. Topstitch all around main apron, 1/8″ from edge.

– Make a button hole ½” from top edge, ½” from angled edge on left side. Sew button to neck band (doesn’t matter which side) about 16″ from apron top edge. This strap can be twisted a half-turn for fastening, depending on which side of the apron the wearer chooses to have showing at any given time.

All done!

festive forest aprons4 - tamara kate

{ Happy Sewing } Festive Tunic

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

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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.