Victory Patterns : Roxanne
Liberty of London Tana Lawn Cotton in Susanna
I have had the pleasure of watching Victory Patterns emerge from dream to reality in the last couple years. When Kristiann Boos, one of the workroom’s instructors, told me she wanted to start a pattern company I was absolutely thrilled! Kristiann’s sense of design and style is so unique, I knew right away that she would produce patterns that were unlike others out on the market. She started out with PDF patterns and finally this year launched printed patterns. Kristiann’s patterns are lovely to work from. They are clearly written & illustrated, plus beautifully packaged.
The Roxanne pattern is a beginner level pattern. I chose to make the sleeveless version, mostly for the amazing collar detail. I went with the dark navy Susanna print from Liberty. The pattern was very simple, with the most complex part being that collar. The design of the collar is very clever and I got huge amounts of satisfaction sewing it. Once you’ve completed the collar, the rest of the top flies together. The top has a lot of volume, there are pleats that fall from the yoke at the back. With the right fabric, such as the Liberty Tana Lawn this volume creates a gorgeous silhouette and movement with the high/low hemline. I love that this top feel very elegant and dressy. I can’t wait to try a version with sleeves next.
This is the second Victory Patterns pattern that I’ve tried. I made the Hazel first, but still need to photograph it now that the weather has cooled down enough for long sleeves.
See all the Victory Patterns here & see the Roxanne pattern here.
Hoodie pattern by Guy Latulippe
Alice’s Garden : Liberty of London Linford Fleece
As soon as September arrived, the temperature at night seemed to drop down to chilly. I’ve been enjoying throwing on my cozy new hoodie for my night walks with Maisy. Making a hoodie has been on my wish list for a long time, so I was thrilled when Guy told me he had a hoodie pattern that he had designed.
The first Hoodie class was held as a day camp in August. Day camps at the workroom are one of my favourite things!
Let’s talk about the fabric first. This Liberty of London fleece is incredible. Not only is it a cotton fleece printed with a gorgeous Liberty print, but it also so thick and soft. We had received two prints (Manning & Alice’s Garden), just in time for the Hoodie class. This print is called ‘Alice’s Garden’ and I just know it will cheer me up in the winter months when I am missing my garden.
I’m always excited to demystify basic pieces of clothing like the t-shirt and underwear. We sewed the hoodie up on a regular sewing machine and used the serger as we went along to finish the seams. I usually will do all my serging at the start before I sew, but for this project it made sense to serge the seams together as each step was sewn and then they got top stitched down. I used a light shade of mauve for my sewing and did a double line of stitching for all my top stitching. Little details like that make me pretty happy. But my most favourite detail on this hoodie is that I did a pretty great job of pattern matching the pocket. I’ve had a lot of practice pattern matching my Wiksten Tank pockets, so this one was a piece of cake!
All the hoodies made in class were so beautiful. Each one different and very professional looking. Guy talked to us about variations on the pattern, so I think my next version will have a zip front. The fall session of the Hoodie class starts soon and I can’t wait to see the next round of hoodies.
I fell in love with this Market Tote before it was even born. I had dreamed of a really BIG bag, with lots of exterior pockets. The kind of bag you can fill to the brim at the Farmer’s Market, the LCBO (those pockets were tested to fit bottles of wine!), or on a cottage sewing weekend. Guy Latulippe is the kind of guy who makes your bag dreams come true. This original design, like all his others, is so perfect.
I made my Market Tote in the same exterior fabric as my Sling Pack. I’ve decided that I’m making a set of bags that all use the same outside fabric (and pink top stitching!) with different linings. For this bag, I pulled out my coveted pink Paris Map fabric by 3 Sisters. It just made sense.
Every bag I’ve made of Guy’s design has taught me so many little techniques and tricks. When I looked at the Market Tote sample, I thought I could see how it would come together. When we received our pattern pieces in class, I realized, yet again that Guy’s technical mind is much more clever than that. His approach to bag construction is absolutely fascinating. I also love working on projects where you feel like you are making something that is of professional quality. You can see it in the beautiful edge stitching all over the bag, it is a detail that all of Guy’s students become very good at. Details like that are what set his designs apart.
My Market Tote has not been empty for a minute since I’ve made it. Mostly I use it to carry my current projects around, but it’s been to the grocery store and up to the cottage. I just love this bag to pieces and I will surely make a few more.
Everyone always asks. All of Guy’s patterns are available as classes at the workroom and soon in the future there will also be patterns for you to buy.
It’s been a couple months since I made this Sling Pack and I’ve been getting so much use out of it. It’s been the perfect bag for my adventures by the river with Maisy, to throw on when I go bike riding or when I pop out to grab some groceries.
The design is really ingenious. The straps connect through the top to form the closure, so there is no hardware on the bag. I used a canvas lined with a number fabric from the Twenty Three line. There’s a big pocket on the outside closed with a button and another patch pocket on the inside. A little sweet detail I added was to do all the top stitching and edge stitching with a light pink thread. I love the way it looks.
The Sling Pack is designed by Guy Latulippe, the workroom‘s resident bag genius. What til you see the Market Tote I’m just finishing up!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.