Quiet Time Comes to Life (almost)

Posted by on Sep 2, 2014 in Blog, Quiet Time | 5 Comments

I stumbled upon this a few days ago and was so bowled over by the creativity and the details that I just had to share it.


Courtney Portner created a Quiet Time inspired slumber party for her daughter this summer. It all revolved around this collection.

The fabric goodies included bunting, bookmarks, party hats, sleeping masks, dolls’ sleeping bags and personalized pillow cases.


But the edible treats are what stole the show. All my favourite details from Quiet Time were either reproduced in cookie icing or three-dimensionally in fondant as cupcake toppers.



And the birthday cake topper is the bed with all its detailed mattresses from Princess & the Pea.


I just love seeing what talented people out there are inspired to create with what I create. It really does bring it to life for me. And I am always touched when someone chooses my fabrics for their creations, because, let’s face it, there’s a lot of fabric out there to choose from! Courtney, I hope your daughter loved her birthday!

All the details and sources can be found here.

Baby Quilt with a Super Soft Back

A sweet little girl has just been born into my husband’s family. The perfect occasion for a baby quilt, handmade with love, ready to keep this wee one all cuddled up.

tamara kate - heart baby quilt

I was told her room is fuchsia, lavender and pink with butterflies and hearts, so I designed this accordingly. The heart is made of a selection of my fabrics from Flight Patterns, Helen’s Garden and Quiet Time and the background is random lower volume fabrics with the odd bit of mine thrown in for little mini-bursts of colour. I like how the grey softens the very vibrant heart.

tamara kate - heart baby quilt detail

Once the top was complete I searched for a soft option for the back. I didn’t want the quilt to go unused because it wasn’t cuddly enough for a baby. And I also didn’t want to use anything with man-made fibres, so minky was out (not to mention the stories I’ve heard of it shedding all over one’s sewing machine while stitching it). The search for a natural and soft substrate was on. So I contacted Michael Miller Fabrics to see what options they had and I hit the jackpot. Organic cotton fleece or sherpa.

michael miller organic fleece & sherpa

They are both ultra soft and cuddly, so I played eenie-meenie-minie-mo & went with the fleece. The picture above shows a piece of each, sherpa on the left, fleece in the centre, with a piece of the fleece once washed (far right). It shrinks, so pre-wash is necessary, and it also fluffs it up, adding extra body, which is lovely.

tamara kate - heart baby quilt fleece back

I hand quilted diagonal lines throughout. I am determined… my next quilt will be my first machine quilted attempt, but for this one I opted for patient, caring stitches.

tamara kate - heart baby quilt fleece back2

A last finishing touch. All done, ready to fly across the ocean to France to welcome this little one into the family.

tamara kate - heart baby quilt embroidery

{ Happy Sewing } … Party Loot Bags

Posted by on Mar 26, 2014 in { Happy Sewing }, Blog, Quiet Time, Tutorials | 4 Comments

princess & the pea fabric loot bags

This is one of those super easy projects that I turn to every time one of my kidlets is having a birthday party. Emma turns 8 tomorrow and we threw a birthday breakfast celebration with a few special young friends on Sunday. We have always had birthday celebrations in the afternoon which has typically meant the whole morning is devoted to organizing and decorating with over-excited kids underfoot. and the day is thus consumed. This time I thought that if we did it in the morning instead, pyjamas and all, we would still have half the day left for some other fun family adventure.

While I enjoy the idea of loot bags, giving some little special thing or collection of things to guests to thank them for coming, I am not a fan of all that instantly disposable plastic. Preferring to offer something that’s pretty and that continues to be useful after the bedlam dies down, I make these little cotton sacs and typically fill them with some crafty stash. The bag hopefully lives many lives afterward. I often find one around the house filled with a collection of wild animals, lego pieces, marbles, pinecones … you name it.

Here’s this year’s stash: a few sweet colouring pages, glitter glue, plastic lacing bundles, googly eyes, mini pompoms, wooden beads, jewellery findings, mini bottle of sequins, paint brush & a pretty flower.

fabric loot bag contents

For a pyjama breakfast party, what better fabric than Princess and the Pea …

What I used:

– For each bag you will need either 1 piece of fabric 24″ long x 6.5″ wide, or if using directional fabric as I did here, 2 pieces 12″ long x 6.5″ wide.
– 1 yard elasticized cord, or a few inches more if it’s not elasticized.

What I did:

Use 1/4″ seams unless otherwise indicated.

Measure and cut your fabric pieces. A clear acrylic ruler & rotary cutter make this easy, but they are certainly not essential. I have a long 6.5″ wide ruler that I place on my fabric to aid in fussy cutting the perfect piece … just zip around the edges.

cutting fabric for loot bags

If using one long piece of fabric, fold it in half widthwise, right sides together. If using 2 pieces, place them right sides together, making sure to match fabric top ends together. As per the following diagram, mark points on either side ¾” and 1½” down from top. Start stitching from top edge on one side. Backstitch when you get to the 1st point. Raise your needle & advance the fabric to the next point. Backstitch to secure stitching. Continue around the base (If using 1 piece of fabric, backstitch at bottom and start again on other side) & up the other side. Treat 3rd and 4th marks the same as the first two.

loot bag instructions

Press top few inches of side seams open. Press under 1/8″ along top edge. Press under again just over ¾”. Stitch ¾” from top edge. Turn bag right side out.
Cut cord length in half. Use a bodkin or safety pin to thread it through the casing, starting and ending along the same side. Knot ends together. Do the same with the other length of cord on the opposite side.

princess & the pea fabric loot bags 4

A yummy cake & a few colourful decorations were peacefully organized the night before, and thus we were set for the festivities.

balloon wall

{ Happy Sewing } … Quiet Time & Les Monsieurs Pyjama Pants

Posted by on Feb 23, 2014 in { Happy Sewing }, Blog, Les Monsieurs, Quiet Time | One Comment

pyjama pants

A fresh pair of spring pyjama pants (I know, it’s only February, but a girl can dream) for my little monsters in cheery colours and patterns.

I followed this tutorial. The only adjustment I would make, especially for a boy with no hips, is to use elastic in the waist instead of the cute drawstring tie.

les monsieurs pyjama pants

pyjama pants detail

I asked them both to choose their fabrics. For Em it was Freckled in Coral & Sky from my Quiet Time collection, and Max opted for Monsieur Blocks in Sky & Tire Treads in Wave from Les Monsieurs.

So easy to make, I made a few for nieces, too.

quiet time pyjama pants2

princess & the pea pj detail

quiet time pj detail

All fabrics in these two are from Quiet Time. There’s Princess & the Pea in Robin’s Egg paired with Freckled in Lilac and Quiet Time with Sweet Dreams in Orange.

Princess & the Pea Quilted Wallhanging

Posted by on Feb 7, 2014 in Blog, Fabric Collections, Quiet Time, Tutorials | No Comments

princess & the pea wallhanging

Brooke of Silly Mama Quilts made a second little quilt last fall, using fabrics from Quiet Time. This one focuses on Princess & the Pea.

As a child I loved this tale, but not for the princess aspect, but rather for the mental image of all those mattresses stacked up high (patterned mattresses, of course), and in my mind, her bed was in a magical pea garden, lush with greenery, hidden nooks & colourful blossoms. I think that is well captured in this sweet hanging for a little girl’s room.

princess & the pea wallhanging detail

The back is quite delightful as well, with long strips of colourful patterns, echoing the stacks of mattresses.

princess & the pea wallhanging back

Brooke walks us through her creative process today with a tutorial on her blog. Enjoy!

{ Happy Sewing } … Quiet Time Little Backpacks

Posted by on Jan 31, 2014 in { Happy Sewing }, Blog, Quiet Time | 2 Comments

little backpacks

I recently whipped up a set of these little bags for a friend’s trio of daughters. What young girl doesn’t need another bag for toting a favourite stuffed friend, book or change of clothes for a sleepover, or set of gym clothes for school? And hopefully there are a lot of little girls out there who can find a likeness of themselves in the main fabrics of my Quiet Time collection, so they feel they have an item personalized just for them.

little backpacks detail

I co-ordinated different colourways of Floating Blossoms to use as the lining for each one.
quiet time fabric pairings

If you would like to create a similar bag for a young girl in your life, you can find the very easy tutorial here. Happy sewing!

Quiet Time Wallhanging

Posted by on Jan 29, 2014 in Blog, Quiet Time | 3 Comments

quiet time wallhanging

A sweet wallhanging made by Brooke Sellman that graced a wall of my Quilt Market booth last fall.

quiet time wallhanging detail

I love how her choice of small strips of fabrics echo the stack of books hanging from the tree branch. Brooke used a variety of fabrics from my Quiet Time collection, along with Gem (for the binding) and Budding from Helen’s Garden. I deliberately coloured these two collections to co-ordinate well together, so as to give you sewers out there many options of pattern combinations.

Brooke has graciously written a tutorial for this piece. Head on over to her blog to see how she so expertly managed to keep those tree trunks intact with all that cutting, and to get an insight into her choice of quilting motif.

Quiet Time is Shipping!

Posted by on Jan 27, 2014 in Blog, Quiet Time | 9 Comments

Coming to a store near you, a little collection for the girls in your life.

quiet time banner

There are two focal prints in the collection (Princess & the Pea, which comes in two colour ways, and Quiet Time), a stripe, a floral …

quiet time stack & crown

… and a dot, named “Freckled”.

freckled stack

While full of bright, happy colour, Quiet Time was designed to inspire calm moments in the often over-stimulated lives of our girls.

Here are a few of my favourite little vignettes in the Quiet Time print: Stacks of books; freckles; carving in the tree trunk & squirrel, the avid reader.

quiet time crop2

quiet time crops

And in Princess and the Pea: Polar bear best friend & bunny slippers.

princess & the pea crops

I have a few posts lined up to share ideas and tutorials for sewing with this line, so stay tuned. In the meantime, here are some images of sweet items I had in my Quilt Market booth to get those creative juices flowing.

quiet time pj's2

quiet time dress2

princess & the pea bed

My Quilt Market Booth

Posted by on Nov 4, 2013 in Blog, Helen's Garden, Quiet Time, Quilt Market | 11 Comments

Welcome to my Quilt Market booth!

In comparison to my last booth at Quilt Market, this season’s was simpler, with a greater emphasis on the quilt. I have discovered the wisdom in some of the most rudimentary of quilters’ rules (measure ACCURATELY, press seams, obey the scant 1/4″ seam allowance, etc), and making quilts for this season was less stressful and more rewarding … I am learning.

Once again this time, I was presenting two fabric collections in one tiny space. The collections’ colours play off each other well and they met with a resoundingly positive response.

First up, I present you with Helen’s Garden:

Helen is my Mom. She keeps, and has always kept, a beautiful, inspiring garden. There is occasionally order within, but generally colour and scent abound. Her current garden includes a range of lovely blooms, as well as a forested area that wanders down to the ocean, wherein one can find berries, mushrooms, fiddleheads and other treasures. This collection is a little nod to what she has taught me.

I made some simple pillows that show off some of the collection’s prints in their two colour families. Spy some dragonflies? That’s Garden Dancers. And see those gorgeous bags, they were created by the very talented Jennifer Ladd. She makes the most lovely bags and purses and whipped up these with solid wood handles just for the show.

Here is another quilt I created, based on the traditional log cabin.

I completely lucked out this time to have my baby sister, Tanya join me for a few days. Here she is sporting a Schoolhouse Tunic  (by Sew Liberated) she made with my Pirouette fabric in coral. She had so many compliments on that tunic … she even had someone offer to buy it off her back! I am wearing a peasant-style dress of my own creation (sorry, no pattern yet available) in Enchanted in plum.

My other collection is for young girls … Quiet Time. It has two main prints, the Princess & the Pea (in lavender and robin’s egg) and the Quiet Time print of girls reading in trees.

Those two sweet small quilts you see were created by the wonderful Brooke Sellman of Silly Mama Quilts. Brooke was completely up for the challenge of making pieces to highlight the two focal prints. Stay tuned for a tutorial on each of these shortly.

The dress and short pyjamas came from my head, but I think these pj’s by Marie-Madeline Studio would be equally sweet in the Princess & the Pea fabric.

I made a modern Princess & the Pea bed out of queen-size bed pillows. The majority use Freckled in it’s many colour versions. I had grand ideas of doing a crocheted edge on each pillow, but after the third, I came to terms with the fact that a crochet hook is not my favourite tool, and opted for pompom fringe for the others. The top pillow is edged with a beaded trim I had purchased years ago, that I was happy to finally put to use. Oh, and the “pea” is a wooden ball covered with some Floating Blossoms.

I will be writing up tutorials for both of the Helen’s Garden quilts in the next while. They will be posted when the fabric becomes available in stores. December 15!

Thanks for stopping by and visiting!