Archive for the 'the workroom' Category

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WIKSTEN TANK COLLECTION

Wiksten Tank Collection

There’s just a week left for my #junefinish goal. I’ve finished up 7 things so far and I’m hoping to add a few more to that list. I’ve been so happy to see other people joining in and finishing up some of their projects too. It feels good!

One of the things I was able to finish was another Wiksten Tank. Once it was done, I decided to gather up all the tanks I had made and count them all. I’ve made nine Wiksten Tanks to date. This is definitely my most used pattern by far!

You can find the Wiksten Tank pattern here!

Wiksten Tank Collection

Wiksten Tank Collection

Wiksten Tank Collection

Wiksten Tank Collection

Wiksten Tank Collection

Wiksten Tank Collection

Wiksten Tank Collection

Wiksten Tank Collection

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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

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TRIANGLE SQUARED MINI QUILT TOP

Triangle Squared Mini Quilt Top

Here’s my second completed quilt top of the year (of 12). I’ve been wanting to try out some of the rulers from Creative Grids and got my hands on this one, Triangle Squared. Right away, I could see how wonderful these rulers are. Once I had decided on the height of my triangles, I just cut out strips of fabric (1/2″ taller than my finished triangle height) and was able to quickly cut out all my pieces. There was pretty much no waste and my cutting was very accurate. Did I say that it was quick to cut out? It really was! That alone makes me love this ruler. That top notch, in the tip of the triangle, ends being very useful when pairing your triangles together for piecing. The ruler also has a subtle texture on the bottom that prevents it from slipping around.

I randomly pieced the triangles together in pairs and then laid out all the pairs to determine a final layout. All the pairs were pieced into rows and then the rows were sewn together. I made good use of my Best Press Starch for this project to keep everything nice and flat.  I was able to cut and piece this top together within the same day. I love quick projects like this!

If I was to do something similar to this in the future, I might be more deliberate with my fabric placement. I can see how you can create some wonderful secondary patterns by playing with the colour value. I just basted this quilt top the other night, so I’ll be working to finish it off in the next few weeks!

Triangle Squared Mini Quilt Top

Triangle Squared Mini Quilt Top

Triangle Squared Mini Quilt Top

Triangle Squared Mini Quilt Top

Triangle Squared Mini Quilt Top

Triangle Squared Mini Quilt Top

Triangle Squared Mini Quilt Top

Triangle Squared Mini Quilt Top

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LEARNING CURVES TABLE RUNNER

Learning Curves Table Runner

Just in time for Spring, I’ve completed my new Learning Curves Table Runner. While I’ve sewn lots of curves in garments with sleeves, patchwork curves can be a bit daunting. This is where quilt master, Johanna Masko, always comes in to save the day. Just filter a new technique, pattern or idea through Johanna and it will come out being more efficient, logical and quick. the workroom is spoiled by her ability to simplify all things patchwork – English Paper Piecing, Machine Paper Foundation Piecing, Cathedral Windows, Double Wedding Ring Quilt, etc, etc.

This table runner is a fun and fast project. With just twenty blocks, I was able to practice my curved piecing enough to feel confident.  Following Johanna’s great insight and techniques, I finally understood what to adjust to get those curves pretty perfect.

I love how this quick project can give a new look to our dining room. Note to self : make more patchwork table runners.

Next up, Johanna’s take on the Lone Star quilt.  Superstar Quilt class starts tomorrow!

Learning Curves Table Runner

Learning Curves Table Runner

Learning Curves Table Runner

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FABRIC STACKS

Feather Bed quilt fabric stack

Without a doubt one of the best parts of making a quilt is choosing the fabric. What’s even better is if you can just ‘shop your stash’ for the fabrics. I didn’t really understand the importance of having a stash as a quilter when I first started out. All these stacks were made from just what I have at home. They represent a range of time and memories and they are all fabrics that I really like. My fabric purchasing strategy is to buy fat quarters of fabrics that I like. If I like it a lot then I’ll get a half metre. If I think a fabric is amazing, I’ll get between 1-3 metres so that I’ll have enough for a large project or for lots of projects and not have to worry about it running out. I’m also always on the lookout for great neutrals (greys! whites, creams) or background type fabrics – when I find those, I’ll usually get between 2-3 metres.

Let’s take a look at these fabrics stacks.

First up is a stack for an Anna Maria Horner Feather Bed Quilt. This quilt has been on my mental list, but last week I saw Lalu’s version and suddenly it’s at the top of the list. I started a test block on Sunday to see what it would look like. Love it! The background fabric is a Lecien Vintage Paper print that I got recently, knowing it would be amazing as a quilt background fabric.

Next is a stack that is mostly Lizzy House Constellations. I wanted to do a quilt that would showcase Constellations. I feel particularly sentimental about this collection. I have lots of wonderful memories of seeing this collection emerge from our visit to Salt Lake City and a year’s worth of Skype dates with Lizzy. I searched around for ages and finally found Sheila’s Oh My Stars! Quilt pattern. I love the layout and I’m looking forward to making this quilt and spending time with these fabrics that I adore so much.

The Hand Pieced Star Sampler class is coming up and these are my choices for the class. I’ve wanted to do a quilt with red for a while and I’ve also got lots of star fabrics that I’ve been collecting. I used the red & navy plaid as my inspiration for these fabric selections.

Superstar Quilt is Johanna’s version of the Lone Star. My idea for this quilt is peach and grey. I wanted to use some of my favourite prints from the new Architextures line. The pieces in this quilt are larger, so it’s the perfect place to showcase fun prints.

The last stack is for the Learning Curves Table Runner class. I’ve picked out fabrics to make two different runners. I plan on getting really good at doing curves!

I started a list in ‘My Crafty List of Things to Do‘ for my ’12 Quilt Tops in 2013′ goal (scroll to the bottom of the page). I’ve got fabric here for four, so I’m off to a good start!

My fabric stash

Oh My Stars! quilt fabric stack

Hand Pieced Star Sampler fabric stack

Superstar quilt fabric stack

Learning Curves Table Runner fabric stack

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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

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MOD BLOCKS QUILT TOP

Mod Blocks quilt top

My first totally new quilt project of the year is Johanna’s Mod Blocks pattern. I’ve been wanting to make it for ages and I finally pulled together all my fabrics in January. The quilt top is simple to make. I think the thing that took me the longest was figuring out my final layout and keeping it all organized while I was sewing it together.

Right now it feels like I’m on a kick to start as many new projects as possible. I’m running with this feeling and I’ll worry about finishing them later. I’ve got a few more of Johanna’s patterns lined up, starting with Trapezoids. I have this crazy idea that I want to make 12 quilt tops this year. Let’s see what happens.

Mod Blocks quilt top

Mod Blocks quilt top

Mod Blocks quilt top

Mod Blocks quilt top

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LOVE & RUMMAGE 5

love & rummage 5

It almost didn’t happen, but I’m so happy that our tradition of having a Valentines Trunk show is continuing this year. It’s been 5 years since we first teamed up with City of Craft to host the very first Trunk Show. It’s become a bright spot in the middle of winter to look forward to seeing lots of good friends, treating ourselves to special crafts, scooping up cool vintage finds and eating delicious snacks.

We’ve been sorting through our rummage for the show. We’ve got a new box of vintage patterns to share and all kinds of vintage fabric yardage & remnants. Most of our rummage is priced at $2! There are some serious deals here!

We also have lots of new fabrics & books on our shelves. Take a look here to see what’s new at the workroom.

The Junction Flea is also happening on Sunday from 10-5pm, just down the street from us. So much fun for a wintery day!

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PRE-INVENTORY SALE

Wow. Where on earth did this year go? To celebrate the last few days of 2012 and to get ready for our inventory count on January 2nd, the workroom is having a big sale! We have so much new fabric right now, it’s the perfect chance to replenish your stash after holiday gift making. As a bonus, today is also Quilt Sunday!

I’ve got some fun things up my sleeve for 2013, including getting back to posting here more often. I’ll be sharing some of my holiday projects in the next few days!

Happy Holidays & New Years!!

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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

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