Archive for the 'the workroom' Category

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FARMER’S WIFE : COLOURS

Blue + White

I’ve been thinking really hard about what I wanted to do for a colour palette for my Farmer’s Wife Sampler Quilt. With so many blocks to make and such a big time commitment, I wanted to settle on a range of colour to create a framework for all the blocks.

I had quite a few ideas. The front runner was a rainbow palette with each block being tonal in just one colour. For instance, three shades of pink, red, purple or yellow. Then I could arrange the blocks in a rainbow gradation in the end. My other idea was solids only. This was completely inspired by how amazing these blocks look. I also considered doing the City Rain palette that was inspired by this photo. My last idea was to do white + one colour. This was inspired by this red and white vintage quilt and this quilt exhibit that I really wish I could have seen in NYC.  See some great photos of the exhibit here.

Here’s how I finally decided. I got out all my boxes of fabric and started to pick out fabric for each of those palettes. I knew right away the City Rain palette would be impossible for me for 100+ blocks. It felt too limiting and difficult. The rainbow palette seemed fun and would give me so many options, but I realized that I had more than two boxes full of blue fabric. I really like blue. I also really like the idea of creating a quilt that will have a bit of a traditional feel with the colour but will hopefully also look modern with my fabric choices. I’ll be doing all shades of blue + white.

I feel so good now that I’ve got my colour choice sorted out. Have you decided what colours you’re going to use? Please feel free to post a comment here to tell us what fabrics you’ve chosen, or even a link to a photo or blog post you’ve written about the topic. I can’t wait to see!

Blue + White

Blue + White

Blue + White

Blue + White

Blue + White

HOLIDAY WINDOW

Holiday 2011 Window

I like things pretty simple. Plain, even. I have a hard time ‘layering’ clothing, choosing bright colours over grey tones and the phrase ‘ with wild abandon’ doesn’t usually apply to me. But, I do like to mix it up and I definitely like to challenge myself when I can. You’ll notice that the holiday windows at the workroom this year are all about that.

This year’s holiday window was put together by the fabulous Tiffany Pratt of Glitter Pie Studios. Tiffany is all those things that I am not, in the very best way, so I knew she would create a window very different from what you would normally expect at the workroom. I had one little request for ‘glitter stars’ and I left the rest up to her.

Tiffany arrived at the shop armed with the hugest jars of glitter and mod podge that I’ve ever seen. She gathered cardboard from our recycling pile, scraps of fabric and put us to work. (or rather put us to ‘play’) Painting and covering things in glitter is FUN. This is really what Tiffany does best. Her Art Studio in a Box (we have these at the workroom!) is designed to get the recipient to be creative using all the fun bits and bobs found inside. I love checking out her YouTube videos. You will also find her doing fun DIY segments on the Steven & Chris show.

Debbie, Rosalyn & I had lots of laughs putting the window together with Ms. Glitterpie and those glittery stars in the window cheer me up every single day.

p.s. Check out Tiffany’s super cute button down vest that she made in our class!

Holiday 2011 Window

Holiday 2011 Window

Holiday 2011 Window

Holiday 2011 Window

Holiday 2011 Window

Holiday 2011 Window

Button Down Vest

Holiday 2011 Window

Holiday 2011 Window

MAKE SOMETHING FOR THE HOLIDAYS

holiday sale

We’re in the middle of our Holiday fabric sale! Perfect time to get supplies for your gift making and stash building. Practically all the fabric in the shop is included, with just a few exceptions (Outfoxed, Curio & Putting on the Ritz). Even these new adorable arrivals are on sale!

Art Gallery

Sarah Jane for Michael Miller

Sarah Jane for Michael Miller

Cosmo Cricket : Circa 1934

Sweetwater : Hometown

FIELD STUDY QUILT : QUILT TOP

Field Study Quilt

This was a fast quilt top to make. Really fast. I kinda love it.

I cut out all the pieces for it in less than an hour and a half. The main reason for this was that I actually had the exact size rulers that you need, a 6.5″ square and a 12.5″ square. If you can, make sure you have these rulers! They are handy to have in general but seriously made the cutting for this a breeze.

I sewed up all the blocks in one night. It was actually pretty fun and incredibly satisfying.

PLUS! I used a trick that Katrina taught me to save the triangle off cuts and create easy half square triangles (HSTs). You simply draw yourself an extra sewing line that is 1/2″ over from your first sewing line. Sew both lines and then cut in the middle. You get your main block and a ‘free’ HST. By doing this I made 72 HSTs that are about 5.5″ and there was ZERO waste. This will all make sense if you get the pattern. I’ll be using these extra blocks to create something for the back of the quilt.

All in all, the quilt top took me less than 2 days. Whoo!

Field Study Quilt

Field Study Quilt

Field Study Quilt

Field Study Quilt

FIELD STUDY QUILT : FABRICS

Field Study Quilt fabrics

My goal right now is to finish as many quilting projects as possible before the end of the year. I’ve been making good progress and I’m close to finishing three quilts!! Somehow, I started pondering a new pattern and before I knew it, I had picked fabric and started working on it. When inspiration hits in sewing, I like to run with it and see what happens.

This is another Christmas gift and I’m really hopeful that it will actually be done in time. The pattern is Tula Pink’s Field Study quilt. I’ve chosen to do the Medium size (72″ x 72″). What I like about this pattern is that I think it is perfect for a guy and it’s very simple to make.

The fabrics are Tula Pink ‘Prince Charming’ Aqua Snail, Lizzy House ‘Outfoxed’ Brown Vine, Basic Grey ‘Curio’ Aqua Grunge, Lizzy House ‘Outfoxed’ Hunter Green Jewel, Michael D’Amore ‘Wordplay’ Espresso Text and Lizzy House ‘Outfoxed’ Yellow Hedgehogs.

I am actually almost done the quilt top. It took me one day to get the blocks cut and sewn! I’ll take some photos and show you what I’ve got so far this week.

Field Study Quilt fabrics

Field Study Quilt fabrics

YELLOW SHOPPING TOTE

Karyn's Shopping Tote

I am often guilty of starting up my holiday gift making quite late in the game. Usually on Christmas eve I’m up late rushing some final stitches on projects.

Last week I made my first holiday gift of the year. Not bad, it’s the middle of November. The shopping tote is my own design and I’ve made it so many times now. It’s such a useful bag to have around. (and it’s reversible!) I used a lovely yellow floral Japanese linen/cotton fabric for the outside and a pink ‘1001 Peeps’ fabric for the lining. When I picked out the fabrics, I knew exactly who the bag would be for. I’ll be sending it off to NYC really soon so that it arrives before Christmas.

Now to get organized with the rest of my holiday making!

Karyn's Shopping Tote

Karyn's Shopping Tote

WIKSTEN TANK IN MARTHA NEGLEY

Wiksten Tank

I’ve admired everything Wiksten for so long and finally I ordered her two sewing patterns a couple months ago. So far, I’ve just made the tank top (twice!), but I’ll be making the Tova as soon as possible. I’ve had a crush on that shirt for ages.

The tank pattern is awesome. Jenny’s patterns are hand drawn and incredibly well designed. You don’t even need a serger for this project, since it is sewn with french seams and bias finished hems. Genius.

I am MOST proud of the pocket on the tank. I PERFECTLY matched the pattern on the fabric so that you can barely even see that the pocket is there. Small details like that make me so happy.

With winter approaching, I’ll be wearing it layered with cozy cardigans.

It doesn’t at all seem unreasonable to me that I might need a rainbow of colours in this tank. It’s clearly a wardrobe essential.

You can order Jenny’s Wiksten sewing patterns from the workroom’s online shop!

Wiksten Tank

Wiksten Tank

Wiksten Tank

Wiksten Tank

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

FARMER’S WIFE SAMPLER QUILT

Farmer's Wife Sampler

I can’t stop thinking about the Farmer’s Wife Sampler Quilt. Several months ago, Angela & Amanda started a quilt-a-long for it and it seems like everybody has joined it. I have been trying to resist since I have so many projects on the go already and was feeling intimidated by it.

But everyday, I have been seeing blocks like this and this and this and especially this. Now I’m so jealous and I’ve decided that I’m going to start this project in January. New year, new project! In the meantime, I’m going to finish up some lingering quilting projects. It’s a win-win situation.

Any friends out there thinking of joining in? There’s lots of great info and support in the existing group on Flickr. Toronto peeps, we could meet up at Quilt Sunday every month to compare notes and cheer each other on. If you’re somewhere else, let’s share photos and blog posts with each other. All you need is a copy of the book to get going. (We have LOTS of copies of the book at the workroom!)

There are 111 blocks in this quilt. It’s a big commitment, but you certainly don’t need to do all of the blocks. There are versions of the quilt with as little as 50 blocks. The online quilt along is aiming for 2 blocks every week, but I’m just using this is a guideline. Life is busy and some weeks I might not make any blocks and other weeks, I might make four.

Can we do this together? Wanna join the Farmer’s Wife movement with me?

p.s. I’m already obsessing about fabric choices. (Best!)

SEWING SUMMIT DISCOUNT

Cosmo Sparkle Floss

I’m pretty excited that in less than two weeks I’ll be in Salt Lake City for Sewing Summit. I’m heading down with Katherine, my sewing retreat partner. We’re rooming with Amanda and hanging out with Lizzy, so now matter what we’re going to have a blast.

Sewing Summit is a 2 day sewing and blogging retreat where we’ll be taking all kinds of fun classes, like Improv Piecing, Marvelous Minis and Free Motion Quilting. I’m really looking forward to meeting so many internet friends in real life. Finally!!!

For those of you heading to the Sewing Summit, I wanted to offer you a discount in our online shop. If you place your order by October 3rd and use the code SEWINGSUMMIT, I will bring your order to the Sewing Summit and hand deliver it to you, so there will be no shipping charge.

If you’ve been thinking of treating yourself to a Cosmo floss palette, Japanese Dress book or Sparkle floss, now is the time.

Can’t wait to meet you in Salt Lake City!

Cosmo Embroidery Floss Palette

Stitch Idées Vol. 13