The Design Studio Blog

We’ve had our hands full this Tuesday, convincing our in-house bulldog Roxy to pose for pictures of dog-themed DIYs. Not a bad task for a Tuesday, right? Well, it took a little coaxing but she sat for us in the end.

Pet Themed Projects in Dog-Gone It

Fortunately for us, the DIYs took no convincing. For the dog-lovers out there (and we know there are a lot of you!), here’s a couple of playful little projects for your favourite pup. The fabrics? We dug into our Dog-Gone It collection, of course! This preppy group by Jackie McFee walks the line between sartorial style and lovable doggishness. Our gal Roxy may not have been too impressed by our choice of breed, though – both the collection and the table runner feature Dachshunds, not bulldogs.

Pet Themed Projects in Dog-Gone It

We kept the bow tie classically geeky and chic in a tight gridded check. The pattern comes from Awaiting Ada, where Skylar addresses the important stuff: “how to make your dog fancy.” Spoiler: a bow tie does it. This one sits nicely on a pet’s collar, thanks to a small elastic loop mounted on the back of the bow.

You can find full instructions for the bow tie in Skyler’s post at Awaiting Ada.

The other project modelled by Roxy is a scrappy leash from Sew Can She, and for this one we mixed it all up! Houndsteeth, starbursts, darts and Dachshunds all come together here. The group’s tight colour palette and the narrow dimensions of the leash keep things calm and orderly.

Caroline walks you through the steps of making this project in her Scrappy Leash Tutorial at Sew Can She.

Pet Themed Projects in Dog-Gone It

Finally, let’s talk about that table runner. The pattern came to us from Revel Designs in the form of a beautiful little booklet for The Ziggy Quilt. The original pattern makes a 56″ x 61″ quilt, featuring five rows of Dachshunds nested head-to-tail, but we opted for a table runner made from a single row. By the way, Revel includes tips for adapting this quilt pattern to be a bolster pillow as well.

Pet Themed Projects in Dog-Gone It

Pet Themed Projects in Dog-Gone It

We love the bold look of a colour-blocked back, taking advantage of these prints’ textural qualities.

What we showed in this post:
Dog-Gone It collection by designer Jackie McFee
Dog Bow Tie from Awaiting Ada
Scrappy Pet Leash from Sew Can She
The Ziggy Quilt from Revel Designs

Like this collection? We’ll be following up with a Dog-Gone It giveaway on Instagram next week, and this time it’s your turn to share pet photos!

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08 August

 

Camelot designer Jackie McFee talks about the inspiration for her collection My Gray or the Highway (in stores now!) and offers up a tip for creative expression.

Camelot Fabrics:  Please introduce yourself and tell us what you do.

Jackie Mc Fee: Hello! I’m Jackie McFee, a surface pattern designer and a busy working mom of 3! You can read more about my story on my website.

CF: What inspired you to design the My Gray or the Highway collection?

JM: I am obsessed with color and how it permeates every aspect of our lives: from the food we eat, to the clothes we wear, to the paint on our walls. My current color crush (and has been for a while) is gray. It is simply the best neutral with so many shades that can translate across multiple ages, products and designs.

CF: Can you tell us a bit about your creative process? What do you most enjoy?

JM: The spark. That moment when you get inspired from just one thing. The idea begins to form, then you start to sketch, then patterns start to take shape, then colorways, then you can feel it in your bones that a collection has been born. I love that feeling!


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CF:
What is your creative work space / studio like?

JM: My husband and I built my studio as an addition to our home in Charlotte, NC back in 2009. It is a large, beautiful space filled with windows, sunshine, design books, fabrics, ribbon, and inspiration from all over the world! There may be an occasional glass of wine in there too : )

CF: The title of the My Gray collection is cheeky & fun, but it also speaks to the concept of expressing your own creative voice, and being yourself. What are your tips for quilters, aspiring textile designers (and anyone who works creatively with fabric) to find and express their own creative voice?

JM: Ignore everybody. Go with your gut. There is so much “noise” out there that it is hard to literally think sometimes. Don’t listen to it. Do something creative, something, anything. Make progress. Hit road bumps. Make a mess. The magic is always, always in the mess!

  
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CF:
If you could be on a road trip anywhere in the world, where would you be driving and in what kind of car?

JM: NO ROAD TRIP FOR ME PLEASE!!! As a busy mom, I am in my car 24/7! I’m basically a glorified über driver! Put me on a beach, with a frozen drink, and a really good book. #heaven

Thanks Jackie! We’d love to hear/see what you are making with My Gray or the Highway. Tell us in the comments below or tag us #camelotfabrics in your social media posts. Follow Camelot’s Facebook page and Cora’s Quilts’ Instagram feed, for TWO (!) chances to win a fat quarter bundle of My Gray and a copy of the Flora quilt pattern by Cora’s Quilts. Giveaway details will be posted starting this Wed, August 2nd.

Happy sewing!

1- Wallet by Lins Handmade
2- Flora Quilt & Pattern by Cora’s Quilts
3-Pom-pom Tote – Camelot Fabrics Free Pattern – designer: Made by Marion

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27 July

 

 

We asked Cindy Willingham, from Revel Designs, a few questions about her work and the inspiration for her quilt pattern “The French Macaron”. See what she has to say below.

And don’t forget to enter our Winsday contest on Facebook to win a copy of Cindy’s pattern, kitted in Fresh Solids!

Camelot Fabrics:  Please introduce yourself and tell us what you do.

Cindy Willingham:  I’m Cindy Willingham, a designer located in rural Maine. I not only design sewing patterns, but am also an artist/illustrator focusing on making pretty patterns and art for commercial use. I sew, paint, collage, collect, cook… basically a creative and maker at heart. When not in my studio, I’m outside with the horses and chickens breathing in the fresh pine air, dreaming of what I’m going to make next.

CF:  What inspired you to design a quilt based on the French Macaron?

CW: How can you not be inspired by these pretty little cookies? They have such a simple beauty about them. I love the sweet, soft colors and the girly little ruffle brings such a great finishing detail.

CF: Do you have any tips or tricks for making this quilt?

CW: Having a ruffling foot can definitely make this project go quicker, but isn’t a necessity. Although, if you’ve been waiting to treat yo’ self with this fun accessory, now would be a good time!

CF: What new patterns or projects are you working on now?

CW: I’ve always got my hands in a few cookie jars at a time. I’m working on incorporating video into my sewing patterns and tutorials. New art is always blooming from my studio and I strive to see my patterns out there in the world on fabric and home decor.

CF: What is your favourite flavour of macaron, and why?

CW: STRAWBERRY, hands down. The strawberry tastes like summer, which living in a place that has winter for 6 months, I’m a sucker for.

Happy Sewing!

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12 April

In what is now a yearly event, The Modern Quilt Guild showcases the talent of modern quilters around the world via a juried exhibition, lecture and workshop series.  Modern quilters flock to admire each others’ work, learn something new and get inspired.

You know what I love about QuiltCon most of all? Passion ignited and shared.  The floor of the show (and the workshops and lectures) is abuzz with modern quilters who are truly inspired by quilting and modern design. They are passionate about discussing the finer points of techniques or fabric and colour selection and debates about hot topics in the modern quilting world.  Opinions may differ, but everyone is committed to enjoying, exploring and celebrating our craft.

The exhibition of the show never fails to inspire – so many interesting, thoughtful and exciting quilts. Some are quiet in their statement and others are powerful. The thing they all share is that the personality of the maker is inevitably stitched into the quilt, a unique result that comes from the mind, heart and hands.

Here is a roundup of some of our favourite quilts from QuiltCon East 2017 in Savannah, Georgia, including a video of the Best in Show winner Katherine Jones, talking about her quilt ‘Bling’ that won the top prize. Bask in the glory of these beautiful quilts, and then go start your own project…the weekend is waiting!

 

Congrats again to best in show winner @twocatsquilts! Hear more about her quilt bling. #quiltcon #quiltconfromhome

A post shared by The Modern Quilt Guild (@themqg) on

 

Each year, Quiltcon asks member guilds to make a charity quilt, to donate to the charity of their choice.  The quilts are displayed at QuiltCon for everyone to admire before they are sent back home to be delivered to the recipients.  It’s such a good vibe to take in so much love in one location. We were happy to contribute the fabric for The Montreal Modern Quilt Guild‘s Charity quilt this year.  The result is stunning! The quilt will go to a refugee family who has recently arrived in Montreal from Syria. If you are interested in modern quilting, consider joining a guild in your area.

 

Prism Waves by Tara Faughnan

 

Say Anything by Lysa Flower

Say Anything by Lysa Flower. @lysaflower

A post shared by Laura (sounds like) Har•trick (@laurahartrich) on

 

The Blue and Green Quilt by Shannon Page

The Blue and Green Quilt by Shannon Page. @nerdcamp Check out that trapunto quilting! “Today was a good day.” ??

A post shared by Laura (sounds like) Har•trick (@laurahartrich) on

Happy sewing everyone!

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03 March

A few fabrics from the Bright Side collection by Alisse Courter, and the Bright Side Quilt – available as a kit.

 

Have you pinned a million quilt inspiration images? Or maybe you’re dreaming of making a quilt for someone you love, but aren’t sure where to start? Creating a quilt might seem a little overwhelming if you’ve never done it before.  Today I sat down with Camelot’s in-house quilting expert, Cinzia, to ask her for some tips for beginner quilters.  She had these six tips to make the process less daunting:

1-START SMALL. If you are new to quilting, Cinzia suggests choosing a small project to start.  By choosing a small project, you are able to work through all the steps of creating a quilt, but without a huge time or cost commitment.  If it doesn’t work out as well as you’d hoped, you haven’t lost much time or money, but you’ve gained experience.  A small project also helps you feel the reward of completion.  And as a bonus, it generates a quick feedback loop, helping you understand what works and what doesn’t more quickly (therefore improving your skill).

2- CUT WITH A SPIDER HAND.  One challenge for beginning quilters is learning how to use an acrylic quilting ruler and rotary cutter to cut fabric precisely. Quilting rulers are notoriously slippery when you apply pressure with a flat hand, palm pressed against the ruler.  Instead try using a ‘spider hand’, where only the tips of your fingers and thumb press firmly on the ruler to hold it in place.  Slipping is greatly reduced with this method.

3- STITCH ACCURATE SEAMS WITH POST-IT NOTES.  To accurately sew all of your seams at a scant ¼” you can create a simple seam allowance guide with a block of post it notes about 1/8” high.  Measure ¼” to the left of the sewing machine needle and affix the block of post-it notes at this exact mark.  When you sew, you can simply align the edge of your fabric to this guide to get accurate seams every time.  The height of the Post-It note block helps you do this by feel as well as by sight.  And finally, because the Post-It’s are sticky on one side, they will hold in place without leaving a sticky residue behind.

4- USE MASKING TAPE FOR A WRINKLE-FREE QUILT BACK.  Once your quilt top and back are complete, you’ll need to make your quilt sandwich (the layering of quilt back, batting, and quilt top).  The quilt back goes down first, wrong side up. When you build your quilt sandwich, you can use masking tape to keep the back wrinkle free and facilitate the process. To tape the back in place:
1- Lay the back down on your work surface, wrong side up.  2- Tape the back to the table in the middle of the top edge.  Gently pull the back at on the opposite side (middle bottom edge).  There should be enough tension that there are no wrinkles, but not so much tension that if you were to let go, the back would spring back more than about a ½ an inch. 3- Tape the middle bottom edge.  4- Repeat this process with the sides, taping first at the middle of one side, and then the next.  5-Tape the corners by gently pulling one corner just taut enough to remove the wrinkles, and tape. 6- Proceed to tape all corners, always working diagonally opposite to the previous corner. When you are done you can easily lay down your batting, smooth it out to remove any wrinkles, and then lay down your quilt top (seams down), once again smoothing out any wrinkles and ensuring the top is centered on the batting and quilt back.

5- HIDE QUILTING IMPERFECTIONS.  Quilting your project is a skill that is developed over time, and by working on different kinds of projects. When starting out, there are a few tricks to get the best results.  Choosing a busy pattern for the backing fabric and choosing a thread colour that matches or disappears into your quilt top and bottom hides imperfections in quilting. Straight line quilting or outlining the piecing pattern are probably the easiest quilting patterns to use for your first projects. Using a walking foot for quilting  prevents pulling of the fabric.

6-WALKING FOOT BINDING.  Use your walking foot to attach the binding to the quilt.  The walking motion of the foot helps prevent any pulling of the multiple layers you are stitching through.  Don’t forget to start attaching your binding away from a corner.  And to get neat and clean corners, there are many tutorials on the web to help.  Try a few of them to see what you like.

One final tip for beginning quilters:  If you find the process of choosing fabric and coordinating colours and prints overwhelming, or you like to have an idea of what your project will look like before you start, a kit, like the Bright Side Quilt Kit, is a great way to solve those challenges.  And sometimes you just happen upon a kit that you really love, so why not?

We’d love to hear about your first quilting project in the comments, or any questions you have as a beginner quilter.
Happy sewing!

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01 March