Archive for the 'scraps' Category

FEATHER BED QUILT TOP

Feather Bed Quilt Top

It was about this time last year that I started my Feather Bed quilt. The quilt top has been done for a little while now. I still need to finish off the back and decide if I’m going to quilt this one. I want to catch up on photographing my quilts in progress, so I took the quilt top with me last week when Maisy and I went down to the Humber River for our Monday adventure.

When we got down to the river that day, the entire park was filled with huge ice chunks that had started to melt over the weekend, cracked and then been pushed down downstream and eventually pushed over the sides of the river bed and across the fields. This has already happened a couple times this winter, but not to this extreme! I’ve never seen anything like it, but it made the perfect backdrop for these photos! These photos were actually taken on the river and you can see how thick the ice is.

I love this quilt top. I had a lot of fun making most of it at our 2013 winter cottage weekend. Both Jacqueline and Katherine let me raid their scraps and stash to add to the fabric I had chosen and to me those additions truly make the quilt top shine. I got the majority of the blocks done over this one weekend, but in the end, I had decided I needed to make the quilt top bigger and add a few more blocks.

The pattern for this quilt top is a free pdf download from Anna Maria Horner! I definitely recommend it. There is one piece of advice that I’d give, that I didn’t catch on to until I was through a lot of the sewing. There is a better way to sew & cut your strips for the plumes that is much more efficient! Luckily, Meredith at Olivia Jane wrote a great tutorial on the method.

I love seeing other versions of this pattern. I was originally inspired to make this pattern when I saw Lalu’s version. I love it on the grey background. Julie made a blue version with the Liberty Stiles collection which is really wonderful, too!

Feather Bed quilt fabric stack

Feather pieces

Feather Bed Quilt

Feather Bed Quilt Top

Feather Bed Quilt Top

Feather Bed Quilt Top

Feather Bed Quilt Top

PATCHWORK IPAD CASE

Patchwork Ipad Case

I bought myself an iPad about a month ago and the first thing I knew I needed was a case of some sort. I researched all kinds of hard cases but in the end I really couldn’t resist making one. I decided to try Shabby Chick’s tutorial which was very easy to follow. It would have been even easier if I hadn’t made it patchwork, but I’m really happy I took the extra time to do some improv piecing for this. There are some scraps from both my Swoon quilt & my Feather Bed quilt, along with a pretty pink Liberty scrap from Amanda in this case. Instead of batting, I used canvas inside for protection. On the inside I added a small patch pocket that I keep a little cloth to clean the screen with. I also decided to do snaps instead of velcro on the tab.

I love how this case turned out ALOT. Sometimes it’s the little things and the simple things that you end up loving so much.

The iPad was something I treated myself to as a pre-reward for working so hard on the workroom’s new website. For the last few months, I’ve been taking and editing photographs, organizing content and putting everything in place. The website just launched last week and I couldn’t be happier with how it all turned out. The stunning design is by Andrew Cloutier, who designs all the workroom’s graphic elements.

This website has been a dream of mine for so many years. I really wanted to have everything that the workroom embodies represented for all our local friends, but also our friends from far away. I am very excited that we now have a full web store that will include just about everything we sell in the store. This includes fabric!!! The shop is up and running, but we are adding new items to it every day. You may notice a couple of the store categories are empty right now. It will take us a little bit longer to be fully up to date, so keep checking back. I hope you’ll take some time to explore the site, there is so much to see!

Patchwork Ipad Case

Patchwork Ipad Case

Patchwork Ipad Case

Patchwork Ipad Case

Patchwork Ipad Case

Patchwork Ipad Case

CHERYL ARKISON

Cheryl's Colour Value Quilt

We had the pleasure of having the lovely Cheryl Arkison visit the workroom to teach a couple classes a month ago. What a fun, but too short two days we had with her. Cheryl is one of the co-authors of the book, Sunday Morning Quilts, which is all about how to organize and use your scrap fabric. The book is wonderful and filled with so many great ideas and projects to use up those precious scraps of fabric. I am a scrap fabric hoarder, so this book totally validates my behaviour. (and makes me feel good about it!)

The first class Cheryl taught was the Quilted Storage Box. I LOVE this project!! You use your scrap fabric to make improv patchwork boxes that are colour coded to hold and organize all your scraps. I want to make a hundred of these! We started by making a large improv block that Cheryl calls ‘slabs’. The slab is then cut up and used to make the sides and bottom of the box. The design is pretty brilliant. I loved getting to line up all the boxes at the end of the class together to see them as a group. In my dream world, I have a craft room at home and the shelves are lined with these colourful boxes.  I can’t wait for a free afternoon so I can whip up some more of these.

On Monday morning, we gathered together for Cheryl’s second class Colour Value. I know that colour is something that most people struggle with when choosing for their patchwork, so this class was really useful to help pinpoint some good tips and tricks to recognize and use colour value to your advantage. I used a charm pack from the collection Twenty-Three to make my HSTs (half square triangles). It was particularly interesting because when I laid out all the squares, the colour from the collection appears to have very little contrast, so I was a bit concerned that I wouldn’t be able to achieve any visible colour value difference within my blocks. Paying attention to even small differences in colour value created a pretty nice result in my final piece. I still need to sew all the HSTs together, but I kept them organized in the layout from class.

Cheryl is such a great teacher, I’m already hoping to convince her she needs to return to the workroom for more classes! In the meantime, you can take a class with her on Craftsy or pick up a copy of Sunday Morning Quilts. Cheryl’s new book will be coming out this summer and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!!

p.s. Cheryl wrote a really nice post about her experience teaching at the workroom here.

Karyn's Slab

Karyn's Quilted Storage Box

Karyn's Quilted Storage Box

Karyn's Quilted Storage Box

Karyn's Colour Value

Karyn's Colour Value

Sunday Morning Quilts

PERFECT ZIP POUCH IN AQUA & ORANGE

Perfect Zip Bag in Aqua & Orange

Here’s another version of the Perfect Zip Bag, the pattern is by Elizabeth Hartman. This is based on Style B, but I had to make size modifications so that it would fit my 2013 agenda. I based the colour palette on the agenda, which must be my colours for the year, since my new wallet is somehow matching.

Once I had determined the size for the pieces, I made a few improv patchwork pieces that fit the dimensions. I made a few mistakes with my calculations initially and had to add on a bit here and there, but since it’s all patchwork, you’d never know that. I’ve been missing my Sunday Patchwork routine for a while now, so I’m trying to find a way to get back into the habit.

This year I’m also trying to balance electronic organization with good old fashioned pen & paper. I have a bunch of good apps that I use to make lists (Things & TeuxDeux) and I just added MailTags to my Mail program to help tame my inbox. At the end of the year, it’s nice to have an agenda filled with notes and lists and little bits of memories. I’m making an effort to write things down, especially personal stuff and it feels nice to have that back in my life.

Perfect Zip Bag in Aqua & Orange

Perfect Zip Bag in Aqua & Orange

Perfect Zip Bag in Aqua & Orange

Perfect Zip Bag in Aqua & Orange

Perfect Zip Bag in Aqua & Orange

PERFECT ZIP BAG IN SKINNY LAMINX

Perfect Zip Bag in Skinny laMinx

I love to try out new zip bag patterns. I will NEVER have enough of them and they are always quick and satisfying to sew. I decided to try out the Elizabeth Hartman Perfect Zip Bag pattern over the holidays to make as a gift. The pattern includes 3 different styles and I especially loved Style A, which is more like a little clutch.

Elizabeth offers lots of variation within the pattern to either make the bags from one fabric or do do some patchwork. You can also add a handle/strap, which I thought was pretty cute. I’ve been saving my little bundles of Skinny laMinx canvas scraps and I knew this would be a fun place to use some. For the lining, I went with a colourful Liberty of London Bloomsbury print. It’s pretty cheery when you peek inside this bag.

The pattern is excellent, very easy to follow and I loved the details, like the darts at the bottom and the contrast tabs at the end of the zippers. It was simple to make and I’ve already started to make another one of this version for myself. This one went to Andrew’s mom for Christmas and I slipped a little 5 year Journal inside that fit perfectly!

Perfect Zip Bag in Skinny laMinx

Perfect Zip Bag in Skinny laMinx

Perfect Zip Bag in Skinny laMinx

Perfect Zip Bag in Skinny laMinx

FABRIC SCRAP BUNDLES

Fabric Scrap Bundles

When is a scrap bundle more than just a scrap bundle? At the workroom, these are more than just leftover fabrics that are stuffed into a bag. They are little time capsules of the workroom’s history.

For the past month we’ve been working on preparing as many scrap bundles as we can for this weekend’s City of Craft show. Elisa has been diligently going through our boxes of colour sorted scraps, cutting them up into sizable pieces. Ayalah, Rosalyn and I have been folding all the scraps into stacks that will surprise you as you peel away each layer to discover the treasures inside. As we’ve been folding, I feel like we are also re-living all the memories associated with different prints. We’ve put a lot of work & love into these bundles and unfortunately there is only a limited quantity. I wish we could have made more, especially since at the Spring City of Craft show we sold out of 100 bags within the first hour.

To sweeten the deal, each bag contains at least one, if not two scraps of Liberty of London. These are scraps we received from a local designer and we’ve never had these prints in the shop. I’ve also reached into my secret stash to divide up a half metre of Heather Ross’ VW Vans print. 8 lucky people will find a piece hidden inside their bundle. Even though this print is blue, it might be hiding in any of the other colour bundles!

We will try to reserve a few of the bundles for Sunday, but the majority will be available, first come, first serve on Saturday. There are only 150. Scrap bundles will be cash only.

We’ll have lots of other great items at our table too! Our wooden cross stitch pendants, fat quarter sets, patterns, floss palettes, needle minders, mini scissors, Soak Boxes, coloured baker’s twine, and more!

This is by far our favourite show of the entire year. We’re super excited that this is our first year having a table. To preview some of what’s in store – take a look at the beautiful look book designed by Arounna here. Can’t wait to see you there!

City of Craft
1087 Queen Street West at Dovercourt
Saturday December 8, 11am-6pm
Sunday December 9, 11am-5pm
$2 admission

Fabric Scrap Bundles

Fabric Scrap Bundles

Fabric Scrap Bundles

IMPROV PATCHWORK

Karyn's Improv Patchwork

I love improv patchwork so much. Right now, I’m loving sharing it with my new Improv Patchwork class. Working through these techniques with a group is incredibly inspirational. I’m learning so much and having so much fun seeing what everyone creates. I made two blocks during class this week that I’m really excited by. Both of them are outside my usual colour palette, which makes them even more awesome to me.

I’m especially smitten with the pink and cream block. I can’t stop staring at it. I’m pretty sure this is the start of something bigger.

Karyn's Improv Patchwork

CEDAR NECKLACE + JEWELLERY BOX

Cedar Necklace & Jewelry Box

Can you believe how perfect this gift is? This cedar bead necklace came in a cedar jewellery box, both designed and handmade by Andrew. The necklace is so beautiful. I just love the lightweight feel of these faceted cedar beads. The box matches the other jewellery box Andrew made for me a couple years ago. The wood is reclaimed and has so much character, you can just stare at it and see a new detail every time. It’s pretty amazing to watch Andrew explore wood as a medium. Especially since he almost exclusively uses reclaimed or scrap wood.

Like I said perfect gift.

Cedar Necklace & Jewelry Box

Cedar Necklace & Jewelry Box

Cedar Necklace & Jewelry Box

Cedar Necklace & Jewelry Box

Cedar Necklace & Jewelry Box

SUNDAY PATCHWORK #11

Sunday Patchwork #11

I was thinking about herringbone the other day and wanted to see what it would look like in patchwork. I’m going to try some more, but I’m liking this idea a lot! This version is very random, but perhaps more organized and with high contrast fabrics, next time? This block is still a work in progress. We’ll see where it goes next.

I very rarely plan much when I sew improv patchwork. I know that some people will draw sketches beforehand. But I really like to just see what happens. Sometimes when I set out to create something specific, something totally different will happen. Like the last block, for instance. That was not even close to what I was trying to do, but sometimes you just have to listen to what the fabric tells you to do. There are so many happy surprises with improv.

p.s. Look for my improv patchwork class coming in January. (!!!!!)

Sunday Patchwork #11

Sunday Patchwork #11

Sunday Patchwork #11

Sunday Patchwork #11

Sunday Patchwork #11

SEWING SUMMIT MINI

Sewing Summit Mini

Here’s my improv patchwork from Sewing Summit. Half the scraps for this came from Amanda and the other half came from Lizzy, who let me & Katherine dip into her collection for some bits we wanted for our stash. I really like sewing with other people’s fabrics. It’s fun to sew with fabric that I might not normally use.

I’ve been a bit afraid of free motion quilting. Okay, ALOT afraid. So far all the machine quilting that I’ve done has been straight lines, using a walking foot. I mean, after all the time that I’ve spent putting together a quilt, the last thing I want to do is ruin it with some bad quilting. This is why I knew I had to sign up for the Free Motion Quilting class at the Sewing Summit.

Our teacher, Alison, showed us lots of examples of different styles of quilting and quilts that she had done. She gave us some tips and gave demos on her technique. Then we just had to go for it. We had quilt sandwiches to practice on. This is definitely the best way to learn. Practice on little fake mini quilt sandwiches! There was a lot of wonky stitching on my practice mini, but I really liked the look of the overlapping square pattern, so I kept practicing that pattern over and over.  Finally, I just decided to just go for it. SCARY! If you look really closely, this quilting is hardly perfect. But it was really exciting to finally let go and stop worrying about how perfect my little squares are. From a distance, it looks pretty good. Of course, now I want to do all kinds of free motion. I’m going to stick to mini quilts for now, but I can’t wait til I am ready to tackle a larger quilt. Bring it on FREE MOTION!

Sewing Summit Mini

Sewing Summit Mini

Sewing Summit Mini

Sewing Summit Mini

Sewing Summit Mini