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.
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.
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.
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.
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)