Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Josée Carrier, Origami Oasis & an awesome quilted pillow tutorial!

Today, I was invited to contribute to MMF's blog to present you with projects made from Origami Oasis Collection by Tamara Kate. Lets start with an introduction. I'm Josée Carrier and I blog at The Charming Needle. I'm the co-founder and current vice-president of the Montreal Modern Quilt Guild. This is where I met Tamara.

I come from an engineering background. I've always been a crafty person. My mom loves exploring different medium and she transmitted this to me and my sister. I think this is a great combination for quilting and sewing in general. As they require both some logic and creativity. I started sewing when I got my first apartment, mainly doing home decor projects. I would say I got into sewing and quilting more seriously after becoming a mom, about 5 years ago. As I wanted to make projects for my little ones, I discovered modern prints as well as an amazing online quilting community. I love creating and designing projects of my own. For me, quilting and patchwork projects are a great way to express my creativity. I started blogging not long after I started quilting. And since then, I have published several projects in different magazines.

The first designer fabric I've ever bought was from Michael Miller Fabrics (Zoology print) and it was to decorate my younger son's bedroom. The timing was perfect when Tamara contacted me this summer to do a project with her new collection. We were planning on changing my son's bed from a toddler size to a twin size and on redecorating his room. Not only was the timing perfect, but Tamara's collection was perfect too! My son and I loved it. So, I took the opportunity to make him a pillow case and a new pillow.

Lets start with the pillow case. This was a quick and fun project to make. My son was happy to contribute to sewing it. The Oasis Border print was just perfect for this. I've combined it with the Spot print in Starfruit for the band. I followed the Roll It Up pattern by American Patchwork & Quilting found on allpeoplequilt.

Tangram Pillow-039.JPG

As for the pillow, my design was inspired by tangram puzzle games. I had the idea of making different blocks showing tangram pieces in a square arrangement and other configurations. I thought that the prints from the Origami collection were a great fit for this. I used paper piecing to piece the different blocks. For the different tangram shapes, I've used tone on tone prints (or limited color prints) in different colors: Spot, Fold and Crossing Paths prints. I've used some white for the background.

Tangram Pillow-038.JPG

For the back, I've used the Mountain & Valley print which is one of my favorites from the collection. I just love how Tamara played with asymmetry in those diamonds. I particularly like the combination of colors in the print from the Grass Land color way. I thought I was missing some navy from that print on the front, so I decided to put a navy piping on my pillow.

Tangram Pillow-040.JPG

I prefer when a pillow is quilted on both sides. On the front, I used straight line quilting in different directions. On the back, I really enjoyed using free motion quilting to add texture to the print. It was fun and quick to quilt in the white in between the mountains and valleys.

Tangram Pillow-041.JPG

My pillow finishes at 20" square. So, it's made out of a combination of four 10" blocks. If you would like to make those blocks, you'll find the paper piecing templates I've prepared here. I used a 1/2" seam allowance for assembling the front and back panel of the pillow cover. However, I used a 1/4" seam allowance for joining the blocks together. If you want to do the same, you'll need to be careful when paper piecing to add the right seam allowance to the different block edges. Take care to add a 1/2" seam allowance to the outside edges. The sketch on the first page of the templates shows the seam allowance on the different edges.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my projects and that it will inspire you to create some projects of your own with the Origami Oasis Collection by Tamara Kate.

~ Josée Carrier
(co-founder and current vice-president of the Montreal Modern Quilt Guild)

Friday, September 19, 2014

Tamara Kate, Origami Oasis & a Giveaway!

Hello! I’m delighted to be back here doing another guest post with you all today. My fifth collection with Michael Miller, Origami Oasis, started shipping to stores over the past week or so and I have been posting sewing projects galore over on my blog. I have a number more lined up over the next few weeks, with links to other talented bloggers’ creations as well. From kids’ clothing to accessories to quilts, there is something for all the young spunky animal lovers out there that we love sewing for so much, and even a little something for us too.
Here is a sampling of projects already posted about, as well as a few peeks into a couple of the upcoming posts:

From the Flower Field grouping, there is the pretty Shandiin Tunic and a young gentleman’s bow tie (and don’t forget the Lined Tote Bag Tutorial I created for the MMF Craft Camp last month).

From Grassland, a button-up boy’s shirt and a quilt detail, along with the Stand Tall Dress.

And from the fun, graphic Starry Sky grouping, a detail of the Starry Migration Quilt and another bow tie for the well-dressed lad.

Today I want to share a simple, cute project with you, to add a bit of pizazz to your little one’s plain sweater or long-sleeved t-shirt.

The ROAR! Elbow Patches

These lion heads are a favorite of mine. In designing them, I wanted them to be proud and strong, yet gentle, hence the flowery manes.

All you need is a fat quarter of Pride. This print comes in three versions: a white background with primary pops of color, a midnight navy ground with similar coloring, and a more feminine version on a white ground.

Choose the background color accordingly, based on the sweater color (and, by the way, I think this would be an equally charming project for a girl’s sweater as it is for a boy’s).

What You Will Need:

- A fat quarter of Pride in your chosen color

- Sewing thread to match the background color

- Needle & scissors

Fussy cut two lion heads from the fabric, leaving about a quarter inch ground all around.

Carefully iron about an eighth inch of fabric to the wrong side, all the way around.

Have your child try on the sweater so you can accurately locate the elbow center on each arm. Mark this point with a safety pin, or with a fabric marker.

Place the sweater so that the sleeve is flat on your work surface and place the center of the lion head over the marking. Pin in place. Repeat with the other arm. Stitch all the way around with an invisible stitch (there is a great tutorial here).
The result: clean-edged patches with personality that are ready for action!

Since you’re on a roll, why not make use of some more of the fabric. These peacocks, found just above the lions, would also make sweet patches.

Happy sewing!

And now for the Giveaway!

To celebrate Origami Oasis’ release into the world, we wanted to offer you the chance to win some fabric as well as a little something extra. Some of the Oasis creatures have found their way onto delightful paper prints and canvases at CC Art Children’s Decor, a company that reproduces Canadian artists’ work to promote creativity and wonder in children’s lives.

Michael Miller is offering two fabric bundles, one in the Flower Field group and one in Grassland. And to coordinate with each, CC Art is generously including a corresponding print (8” x 10”, unframed) to add some colorful artwork to your child’s environment.


To enter, let us know below which fabric group you would prefer to win and what you would sew with it. We will randomly choose a winner for each

Best of luck,


And, the winners are.....

"Beautiful Fabrics...& Prints! So hard to choose! But decided on Flower Fields...would make something Special for my Grangirlie, will let her help choose what it will be. Am teaching her to sew this year...she is 7 now."


 Barb in Mi
"Great prints! Love both but if you need to know: I would love to make a kids quilt out of Grasslands. Thanks so much"

Congratulations and Happy Sewing!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Felicia's World :: The Migration Pillow!

Do you remember the feeling as a child of getting a brand new set of crayons, or markers?
All the tips were sharp, none of the crayons were broken, none of the markers dried out. At least for me, these packages of new markers were full of promise. When I drew with them, I was extra careful. I put more detail into my picture and tried new techniques.

Well, here is the fabric equivalent:  I recently got a color chart and a few yards of fabrics from Michael Miller’s Modern Basics collection. I have to say, this is not just like getting the cheap pack of 12 markers from the discount store. This is reminding me of when my dad came back from a business trip and brought me a huge tray of high-end watercolor pencils!
Available in 35 colors and 5 different patterns, my first thought when I saw the color chart was that I thought I needed a yard of every single color and pattern to use as baseline fabric in my designs. Many of the colors have a decidedly feminine or childlike hue, just as is the case with a lot of Michael Miller’s other fabrics.  I am a huge fan of polka-dots in general – and in the Modern Basics collection, I can have them in three different sizes. Awesome.

Accompanying the modern Basics was a silky pile Cotton Couture which is Michael Miller’s 130+ line of solids. I am a huge fan! The Cotton Couture has a soft touch and drapes beautifully. These fabrics have a surface that makes you want to roll around on them, but they also have a higher thread-count than standard quilting fabrics. I have tried them both for piecing and applique and they stitch up great.
My best friend had been looking for some large pillows to throw on the floor for her toddler to sit on and I thought I could use my new “crayons” to make her one.  It gave me a cool project to use my new fabrics on, and to try out the big 15-degreetriangle ruler from Creative Grids that I hadn’t had a chance to try yet.
To contribute to the industrial-bohemian whimsy of her house, I used a coarse natural linen for the pillow itself. Then I made a large Dresden plate using the 15-degree ruler.  Applique birds give the pillow whimsical movement.
All the fabrics, except the linen, are currently available from Michael Miller. See how nicely the Modern Basics and solids play with the happy-looking bird prints? And how gladly all these beautiful fabrics play with their new owner.

The complete instructions to make the Migration Pillow can be found on my website, Felicia's World.

Happy sewing!


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Michael Miller & MQG Spring Cotton Couture Challenge!

 Here's how it works...
Modern Quilt Guild Members will receive eight fat eighths of fabric when they sign up for this challenge. Quilts primarily use solids from Michael Miller’s Spring Cotton Couture Pastels. Additional solid Michael Miller Cotton Couture fabrics are permitted.  Michael Miller prints are permitted on the binding and the back. These quilts will then be entered into the Michael Miller Spring Cotton Couture Challenge category! The top prize for this category is $500! All MQG members have been emailed a newsletter with details of how to get fabric from Michael Miller. Space is limited, so if you’re interested you’ll have to sign up now! Remember that you don’t have to get the free fabric to be involved – all you have to do is use the Michael Miller Spring Cotton Couture line in your quilt!
~The MMF Spring Cotton Couture colors are listed below~ 

For more details and information, please visit the Modern Quilt Guild Blog by clicking here.

For a list of stores that carry our Cotton Couture, please click on the link below!

 We can't wait to see what you create!