The Radiant Maple Wall Hanging

Posted by on Nov 29, 2017 in Aurifil, Blog, Janome, Patterns, Quilts, Tutorials | 2 Comments

Today I have one final tutorial for you to round out the Canada 150 celebrations in conjunction with Janome Canada.

As I’ve mentioned here before, in celebrating Canada’s big birthday this year, Janome Canada and I teamed up to offer sewists a series of fabulous products and projects. Here’s a quick recap…

1. I designed the logo for the Canada 150 Limited Edition Sewing Machine. {Snap yours up through your local Janome Canada dealer quickly before they’re all gone).

2. My Oh Canada! paper pieced cushion project was released. Pattern & instructions are available here.

3. The show-stopper Oh Canada! quilt toured a few Canadian quilt and sewing shows with the JC crew. The pattern & instructions are available here.

4. Inspired by the afore-mentioned quilt, I worked with Aurifil to put together an exclusive thread kit that is available through Janome Canada dealers.

Which brings us to No. 5, the Radiant Maple wall hanging!

A more subtle take on highlighting the maple leaf, this quilt is all about the thread. If you don’t feel up to piecing a quilt top, what about embracing the simplicity of white fabric (though it would be equally stunning and more dramatic on a charcoal grey ground, for example) and pulling out a rainbow of thread colours to execute this project. All it takes is a couple hours at the machine, then a bit of binding and you are done.

THE TUTORIAL

What I Used:

– 2 pieces white cotton 38″ x 38″

– batting 38″ x 38″

– 10″ x width of fabric (WOF) binding fabric

– a rainbow of thread colours. I used the 9 non-neutral colours from the Canada 150 Aurifil thread kit (red, orange, apricot, lime, jade, turquoise, blue, lilac & pink)

– A hera marker and a long acrylic ruler

– the Accu-Feed Dual Feed foot (walking foot). This will keep all your fabric layers in place when sewing, making for an easy and enjoyable project.

What I Did:

– Press both squares of fabric and make a quilt sandwich (fabric, batting, fabric), pinning at regular intervals to keep layers from shifting.

– Mark the centre of the quilt top with a pin.

Radiant Maple pattern PDF

– Print & prepare the above pdf pattern following these instructions:
– Page size is 8.5″ x 11″
– Select File, then Print
– Set Page Scaling to “None” (do not select “Shrink to Fit”)
– Press Print
– The 6 pages need to be cut (remove the 1/4″ frame around all pages) and taped together matching the grey triangles along the edges as in the following graphic. Cut out the maple leaf & discard the exterior paper.

– Mark the centre of the maple leaf and position this mark directly over the centre mark on the quilt sandwich, keeping the leaf straight in relation to the fabric edges.

– Using the hera marker, mark the fabric along the edges of the maple leaf by pressing the marker’s sharper edge into the fabric to reproduce the leaf shape.

– Using red thread and the walking foot, stitch all the way around the leaf. I started and ended the contour using the Auto Lock option which makes 3 or 4 stitches in one spot, creating a tiny “knot” on the back rather than having to bury bury threads later. Keep the needle down, raise the presser foot and pivot the fabric at each corner.

– Use the acrylic ruler to extend all the angled border lines of the leaf out to the edges of the fabric, marking each with the hera marker.

– As in the above diagram, using red thread, start at the fabric edge and stitch a line all the way to where it pivots, stitching along the previous stitching lines along the leaf, then pivot out to the fabric edge again. We will call these V-lines. Continue doing this for all the V-lines extended to the fabric edges around the quilt, always starting & stopping at the fabric edges.
You now have a double line of red stitching all the way around the leaf to accentuate it and red lines radiating out to the edges of the quilt.

– Again using the ruler and hera marker, mark V-lines at random intervals within each previously-sewn V-lines, as in green below. Where the red Vs are wider, you may want to do 2 new sets of V-lines, but only one set where the V is narrow.

– Choose another thread colour and stitch along these lines, again starting and stopping along the fabric edges. Continue working in this fashion, changing thread colour after you have created new V-lines within all the red Vs.

– You can see above that I didn’t use every thread colour within every red V and that the new colours of V-lines all converge at the same spot within each red V.

– When you have used all your thread colours and are satisfied with the density of the stitching, square up the quilt top.

– Cut the binding fabric into 4 strips, 2 1/4″ x WOF. Stitch together binding strips and bind the quilt sandwich.

Project finished!

Last Week For the Free Pattern & Chance to Win an Aurifil Thread Kit

Posted by on Sep 25, 2017 in Aurifil, Blog, Giveaways, Janome, Patterns, Quilts | No Comments

As I mentioned last week, I have teamed up with Janome Canada to celebrate sewing & to offer a few awesome giveaways.

For info on the free Fabric Bucket pattern, look here.

And here’s the link for this week’s thread kit giveaway.

Best of Luck & Happy Sewing!

Limited Time Free Pattern Offer & Thread Collection Giveaway

Posted by on Sep 18, 2017 in Aurifil, Blog, Giveaways, Janome, Patterns, Quilts | 2 Comments

A couple months ago I introduced you to this quilt and its pattern.

Well, exciting news… Janome Canada and I are back with a limited time free pattern offer and thread box giveaway!

First the free pattern:

Over the next 2 weeks, every purchase of the Oh Canada! Maple Leaf Quilt pattern will entitle you to a free copy of my Variable Size Fabric Buckets Pattern.

This pattern is a popular one I teach at classes and offers full instructions and templates for six different sizes of this fun accessory. You can see details about it here.

How it Works:
– Offer open until midnight, September 30th, 2017.
– Available internationally.
– Both the quilt pattern and the Fabric Buckets pattern are PDF download patterns.
– Simply purchase the Oh Canada! Maple Leaf Quilt pattern and the Fabric Bucket PDF pattern will be emailed to you within 24 hours (to the email address associated with your Paypal account). It’s that easy!

And the Thread Box Giveaway:

You’ll love this! There are actually TWO boxes being offered by Janome Canada for this giveaway, one per week over the next two weeks.

All 12 of these pretty 50wt Aurifil threads, specially chosen to co-ordinate with the Oh Canada! quilt, come in a handy collector’s box.

How it Works:

– Go to the Janome Canada post here and comment.
– Shipping of thread boxes to Canadian addresses only.
– Only one entry per person during the 2 week draw. Duplicate entries will be deleted.
– Entries will close at 12 midnight on Saturday 30th September. ONE winner will be drawn from entries during week 1: 18-23rd September and a SECOND winner from entries during week 2: 25th – 30th September.

Best of Luck to you!

The Oh Canada! Maple Leaf Quilt Pattern

Posted by on Jul 19, 2017 in Blog, Janome, Patterns, Quilts | 6 Comments

I’m so excited to finally share this pattern with you!

Earlier this year I designed and made this quilt based on the logo I created for Janome Canada for a limited edition sewing machine (available until the end of 2017 through your local Canadian Janome dealers) to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.

It is a 44″ square, foundation paper pieced project that has been touring Canadian quilting and sewing shows with the Janome Canada team since this Spring and will continue to do so for the rest of the year.

I finally got the pattern properly drawn up for you and have written some pretty thorough instructions so that even if you haven’t previously paper pieced, you should be able to accomplish this quilt as long as you are a confident sewist and can sew a straight line.

The quilt was made with Michael Miller Cotton Couture solids and a full list of colours is included in the Fabric Requirements list in the pattern. If you don’t have easy access to these solids though (they are easily accessible on many large US online fabric stores like Hawthorne Threads), you can easily substitute similar colours from other fabric houses.

I had a lot of fun with straight line quilting it, using a light grey thread on the leaf and a few rows of light grey, a row of red and lots and lots of rows of a darker grey thread for quilting the ground.

I hope you enjoy making it as much as I did. I’ve included a multitude of hints and tips in the pattern to help you out along the way. I think you’ll find it goes together surprisingly quickly due to its large scale pieces.

You can purchase the pattern here.

And I’d love to hear your feedback and see your quilts, so please send me an email or share on social media with the hashtag #ohcanada!quilt

{ 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.

tamara-kate-nature-walk-machine-embroidery-trays2

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:

tamara-kate-nature-walk-machine-embroidery-stitching-f

tamara-kate-nature-walk-machine-embroidery-stitching-f2

tamara-kate-nature-walk-machine-embroidery-stitching-f3

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.

tamara-kate-nature-walk-machine-embroidery-v

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.

tamara-kate-nature-walk-machine-embroidery-trays

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.

tamara-kate-nature-walk-machine-embroidery-f

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

Last Quilt-Along Post & { Giveaway }

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

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

Back to School Quilt for Janome

Posted by on Aug 20, 2015 in Blog, Janome, Quilts, Tutorials | 4 Comments

Earlier this sumer I was asked to contribute a project to the 2015 Janome Institute gathering. The theme was Fall. I could’t get my mind beyond the obvious coloured leaves and pumpkins, which I wasn’t terribly inspired by. I pondered what Fall brings and landed on “back to school”. As last year I had created the Big & Juicy Quilt, I thought a companion piece would work well, and thus I had my colour pallet all worked out for me.

big & juicy quilt - tamara kate
Big & Juicy Quilt

My version of a graphic, modern alphabet quilt seemed like a good balance to the big, bold apple (with a little something extra to keep it young and fun). Michael Miller Fabrics kindly provided me with a generous mountain of black & white and grey fabrics, with the odd hit of metallic thrown in for good measure (and there’s the occasional piece of fabric from my own stash in there too).

back to school quilt - tamara kate
Back to School Quilt

back tosSchool quilt detail - tamara kate

back to school quilt detail2 - tamara kate

I mentioned bits of metallic… Isn’t this fabric great? It’s called Bow Ties and is soon-to-be-available from Michael Miller.

back to school quilt detail3 - tamara kate

The letters are all paper pieced… yes, I finally focused on a good tutorial and got my head around the technique. Really pretty easy.

I have provided Janome with instructions for the quilt that were given out at Institute and once I get the ok from them, I will post them here as well.
For all you Institute attendees, the alphabet templates are available for download below. Enjoy! And if you have any questions, feel free to ask below.

Back to School Templates