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!

Wise Words Quilt – Free Pattern

Posted by on Nov 7, 2017 in Blog, Quilts, Tutorials, Words of Wisdom | No Comments

When I received yardage of Words of Wisdom, I was faced with the question of “What kind of quilt would you make if you were going to use the whole Words of Wisdom panel print”?


Words of Wisdom Panel Print

I chose to highlight each saying in the panel by framing it with coordinating prints from the collection.

Rather than placing the coordinating prints randomly around the sayings which might make it confusing to look at, organizing them in a particular layout creates a secondary pattern that helps move the eye diagonally across the quilt.

While I used the fabric as-is for this project, you could certainly personalize it by embellishing the individual sayings prior to making the quilt. A bit of embroidery, anyone?

This is an easy sewing project with everything based on squares, rectangles and half-square triangles and at 58″ x 68″ it sews up as a lovely throw or lap quilt. Placed in a living room, it provides positive vibes for all to feed off of.

You can find the fabric here & the free quilt instructions right here. Enjoy!

{ Happy Sewing } Embroidered Wallhanging

Here’s a tutorial for this sweet little wallhanging that you can fully personalize with embroidery.

I love the quiet process of hand embroidery. I learned how as a child from my Mom and still enjoy it today, though I have narrowed down all those stitches I learned early on to a few favourites I use on high repeat now. This project focuses on 4 favourites: The French Knot, Satin Stitch, Back Stitch and Chain Stitch.

One of the main things I enjoy the most about hand embroidery is that one can be as detailed and colourful as desired. Using the Words of Wisdom panel print for this project is great in this respect as you could pick and choose which elements to fill in or outline, or you could go all-out and fill in every last detail. That’s the beauty. It’s all up to you to make it your own! I chose to leave a fair bit unstitched as I felt it gave a clean, modern feel to the finished work and leaves places for the eye to rest.

I opted to use the prints from the Words of Wisdom fabric collection as my colour jumping-off point. The blue was already the ground in the panel (the panel print comes with either a white ground or a soft-blue one), so I focused on corals, yellows, greens and pinks as my pallet.

THE TUTORIAL

What I Used:

– A saying of your choice from the Words of Wisdom Panel, cut to 8 1/2″ x 10 1/2″.
– Embroidery floss in your choice of colours (I used 6 colours of DMC embroidery floss)
– Embroidery needle
– Embroidery hoop (approx. 5″ – 6″ diameter)
– 2 coordinating fat eighths fabrics from the Words of Wisdom collection
– Backing fabric (8 1/2″ x 17″)
– Sewing thread
– 2 pieces wooden dowel (3/8″ diameter x 9″)
– A 24″ length of yarn for hanging

What I Did:

The first step is the most fun… the embroidery. Here are the 4 stitches I used:

The French Knot: This can be used as individual small dots, or clustered for greater impact and to fill shapes.


Knot end of thread & pull thread up through fabric. Close to needle, twist loose thread twice around needle.


Put needle tip back through fabric at the same spot the needle came up. Pull thread taught around needle.


Carefully pull needle & thread through to the back of the fabric making sure to not upset the knot forming on top.


Pull thread taught at back. 1 french knot done!


Pull the needle back through to front of fabric wherever you’d like to create more. When finished, knot thread at back of fabric & cut.

Satin Stitch: Used to fill in a shape with uniform stitches that sit side by side, giving a smooth, satiny look and feel.


Knot end of thread & pull thread up through fabric. Insert needle point at the opposite side of the shape you are filling in (HINT: do not make stitches too long. Stitches much longer than 1/4″ can easily get caught on things & cause your fabric to buckle). Pull the thread through to the back (not too tightly).


Pull needle back up through fabric to the front, right beside where you started your 1st stitch. Stitch back to the back of fabric, following the contour of your shape.


Continue in this fashion, keeping stitches snug against each other and carefully following the outline of the shape you are filling. When finished, knot thread at back of fabric & cut.

Back Stitch: For creating straight or curved lines of stitching. Can also be used to trace fine lettering or outline shapes.


Knot end of thread & pull thread up through fabric. Insert needle point back through fabric about an eighth inch along the line you are creating.


Pull thread through to back and bring needle back up through fabric another eighth inch along the line. Insert needle point back through fabric at the point the last stitch ended (in essence, going backward).


Repeat the last step, again starting an eighth inch along the line and going back down through fabric at the point the last stitch ended.


Continue in this fashion to finish line. When finished, knot thread at back of fabric & cut.

Chain Stitch: Creates a wider, open line of stitching, or can be used to create individual leaves or petals.


Knot end of thread & pull thread up through fabric. Insert needle point back through fabric right beside where it came up, then re-insert point back through to top of fabric about an eighth inch away.


While the needle is in this position, make sure the loose thread runs underneath the needle.


Pull the needle and thread through (not too tightly), creating a loop. If creating a single chain (like for a small leaf) skip the next step.


Repeat this process, first inserting the needle point through to back right beside where the thread emerges from the fabric, then bringing the needle point back up to the front of the fabric about an eighth inch along the line you are creating, running loose thread under needle tip. Continue in this fashion along the line you are creating.


To end your chain, put your needle through to the back immediately on the other side of the loop created, just beyond where the thread comes up.


Pull the thread through to the back, securing the last chain in place. When finished, knot thread at back of fabric & cut.

Assembling the Wallhanging:

Refer to this diagram for the following instructions:

– Cut one of the coordinating fabrics to 2 pieces (1″ x 10 1/2″)
– Cut the other piece to 2 pieces (3 1/2″ x 10 1/2″)
– With 1/4″ seams and right sides together, sew together the pieces in the following order to make one long 10 1/2″ wide piece: One piece 3 1/2″ x 10 1/2″, one piece 1″ x 10 1/2″, the embroidered panel, the 2nd 1″ x 10 1/2″ piece, the 2nd 3 1/2″ x 10 1/2″ piece. Press seams toward the narrowest pieces.
– Right sides together, sew assembled piece to backing fabric along 2 long sides.
– Turn right-side-out. Press.
– Fold top and bottom ends under to the back 1 3/4″. Pin in place. From the front, topstitch in the ditch between the 1 1/2″ strip of fabric and the 3 1/2″ of fabric on both ends, thus securing the ends and creating a channel on both ends.
– Insert dowel in both ends.
– Double the yarn and attach to both ends of the top dowel to hang.

All done!

A Couple More Frolic Quilts

A couple weeks ago I shared the first 2 of 4 quilts I made with FROLIC for Quilt Market. Today it’s time for the other two.

As FROLIC is a pretty young, playful, bold collection, I wanted to create a quilt that worked along the same lines. My mind went to children’s sorting games where colour, shape and counting play a principal role. The Building Blocks Quilt is what resulted.

5 different blocks for 5 colour groupings. Squares turned on point for orange, half-square triangles for green, equilateral triangles in blue, petals in pink and circles for the multicoloured print, Mini Bargello. Arranging the blocks in groupings of varying numbers results in a bold, playful quilt… Just what I was going for. With all that colour, a white ground keeps things from getting too intense.

You can find a complete list of fabrics used & the free downloadable instructions here.

Beyond the last 2 quilts I shared and the 1 above, I was asked to do a larger, really eye-catching quilt for one wall of the Michael Miller Market booth, so I chose to go full on with colour in this Over the Mountain Quilt.

Simple equilateral triangles arranged in an inverted V formation according to colour makes for a striking quilt top.

I paired each print I was using with a solid Cotton Couture partner, keeping the lighter of the 2 for the triangle in each block. This formation makes for some fun fussy cutting where some FROLIC critters can be highlighted.

Lots of luscious colour!

Find the list of fabrics used and the full instructions here.

A Couple FROLIC Quilts From Quilt Market

Posted by on May 29, 2017 in Blog, Frolic, Quilt Market, Quilts, Tutorials | 4 Comments

I sat out Quilt Market this time around, but FROLIC was there in full force in the Michael Miller Fabrics booth.

In preparation I made four quilts, two of which I am sharing with you today (and yes, you have access to the free instructions for both).

The first is a baby quilt. Happy, young and colourful.

The Frolic Field Baby Quilt is a play on colour (as I like to do) moving gently from saturated floral colours to shades of leaves and sky, all mixed with white.

Simple, graphic half-square triangles with some shots of plain white squares keep things light, airy and easy on the eyes, while meandering quilting lines move horizontally across the quilt to give a wind-swept feel.

As the finished quilt is 35″ x 44″, it was the perfect opportunity to back it with the Frolic Border fabric. This print is a double border print, so regardless of which way you hold the quilt, there is a happy border facing the right way.

And really, what babe wouldn’t love these critters and colours? You can find the list of fabrics used and the full instructions here.

Next up is Frolic Migration.

This is a second take on the Starry Migration Quilt I made a few years ago with the black and white prints from my Origami Oasis collection.

Migration of colour from the most intense blues through to much gentler ones with a shot of hot orange make this a bold quilt, while the use of the white fabric for the ground keeps it spare and clean at the same time.

At 41″ x 53″ this is a good size for a lap quilt or for a toddler. Simply expand on the pattern to make a fun single or double quilt size for a child’s bed.

The list of fabrics and complete instructions can be found here.

I will share the other 2 quilts shortly. See you then.

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.

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

Flight Formation Quilt

Posted by on Jul 20, 2015 in Birds & The Bees, Blog, Quilts, Tutorials | 2 Comments

Quilt Number 2!
When I first received yardage of BIRDS & THE BEES, the Bluejay colour story quickly inspired this quilt.

flight formation quilt - tamara kate

While I almost always have ideas of what I would like to sew while I am designing fabric, it usually takes having the finished yardage in hand for me to really be able to envision how I would like to use it. For this quilt, it was the intensity of the indigo alongside the jewel tones and soft white grounds that dictated direction. I simply wanted to play with colour in a dramatic way. I incorporated squares of Cotton Couture solids, some complementary, some contrasting, to break up all the pattern a bit and arranged everything in a strong “V” down the centre for impact. Even the simple quilting lines follow the “V” throughout, as does one’s eye, that then darts around catching little glimpses of a butterfly or flower here, a bird’s head or feather there…

flight formation quilt detail - tamara kate

For the binding I chose Baby the Stars Shine Bright in Navy which frames the quilt well, with little bright stars adding a happy, confetti-like feel.

flight formation quilt detail3 - tamara kate

There is a free downloadable tutorial on the Michael Miller website for this quilt, should you desire to whip one up yourself. Enjoy!

Flight Medallion Quilt

Posted by on Jul 14, 2015 in Birds & The Bees, Blog, Quilts, Tutorials | No Comments

Something I’ve been meaning to share here are two quilts I recently made with Birds & the Bees fabric. Today, number one… FLIGHT MEDALLION

Playing with the Ladybug colour story of BIRDS & THE BEES, I created a simple medallion quilt made of squares and half-square triangles that lets the birds of Feathered Flock take centre stage.

flight medallion quilt - tamara kate

I didn’t want fabric choices to be perfectly symmetrically placed around the quilt, so it was fun playing with the different values of the coral and teal fabrics to create an effective arrangement. Likewise, the pops of charcoal, green and apricot help keep the quilt dynamic.

flight medallion quilt detail - tamara kate

A big step for me in my quilting efforts was to finally try a bit of free-motion quilting (most apparent on the dark teal fabric with the stars, Baby The Stars Shine Bright). It went surprisingly well, though of course, most of the praise must go to the fabulous Janome machine I sew on for making it go as smoothly as it did.

flight medallion quilt detail2 - tamara kate

At 48″ square, this is a fun wall quilt that will brighten a spot in our home, keeping things light, young and happy.
If you are interested in making one for yourself, I have created a free downloadable tutorial for this project on the Michael Miller website. It’s a fast and fun sew, as all the pieces are quite large. Enjoy!

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