Even during lockdown, you still need ideas and we're still making samples, so welcome to our virtual show and tell! Until you can visit us personally, we hope that by showcasing new fabrics and patterns, we'll spark some thoughts of new possibilities for you. Enjoy!
Stof Fabrics, from Denmark, always come up with innovative designs that are distinctly European in feel. Their Colour Brush
collection is bold and graphic, plaid-ish in nature, with some really interesting colour combinations in the pieces. It's perfect for a "guy quilt", so we used it in a simple big-block quilt that showcases the fabric. 15" blocks with 1" sashings went together really quickly to give us this 65.5" x 75.5" quilt that any guy would love to claim.
It Takes a Village ...
Or, in this case, a charm pack or two. We made these adorable mix-and-match houses with Sweetwater's Spring Chicken
collection, along with a white-on-white background, following Carrie Nelson's Village
pattern. The pattern gives instructions for a 60" x 75" quilt (297 charm squares!), but we opted for baby quilt size. We also went girly, but the beauty of this pattern is that you can custom-build your village to suit your mood.
While we stuck to one collection for the houses, it's fun to mix in other fabrics for even more variety. If you don't have charm packs, you can still cut your own 5" squares for endless possibilities and very effective stash-busting. In either case, we think you'll find the Stripology Mini
ruler to be invaluable in the cutting process.
The pattern is currently on order, so give us a call or send us an email if you'd like to be notified when it arrives.
The Great Blue.
The great blue heron is a fairly common sight on Ontario rivers and marshes. But you have to be in the right place at the right time. If your sighting attempts have been continually frustrated, here's the solution for you.
Our beautiful wall hanging (or lap quilt -- it measures 43.5" x 57.5") captures the majesty of this magnificent bird in its natural habitat for you to enjoy anytime, anyplace. The oversized panel
features a Sir John Seeley-Lester painting which has been digitally printed for Northcott, and a number of coordinates
have been designed to go with it, but, for extra convenience, we've kitted
this project for you. Only eight simple seams will net you a top ready for quilting!
Contact with nature is known to have many health benefits, both mental and physical, and sewing is a proven de-stressor. And you don't even need a prescription!
Flying geese is a perennial favourite quilt pattern, but this version has been updated significantly: 1/ the geese are made from strips of ombre fabrics, giving extra interest and movement; 2/ the sky, with its half-black-half-white construction, is very dramatic and makes the colours pop; and 3/ the geese are BIG (7" x 14"), for even more impact.
The pattern, Ombre Geese from Needle in a Hayes Stack
, is very easy to follow and the blocks go together quickly. The pattern includes a full-size paper template for making the goose strips -- we like to call them feathers -- but cutting is made even easier by using the companion 90 Degree Triangle Tool
. And Mary Ellen's Best Press
is definitely recommended to help with the bias edges.
One other thing about this pattern: it's not a one-trick pony. We made another sample (second picture, below on right) with a variety of colourful prints instead of the ombres, and we arranged the blocks a little differently, into a crib size, just to see what would happen. It's amazing! We think so, anyway.
The lowly snail plays a very important role in our ecosystem, feeding birds and moving calcium up the food chain. He's also extremely cute, with his little camper on his back, so let's pay him some attention!Pen + Paper's Garden Snails
pattern is adorable on its own, but we upped the cute factor by using Dear Stella's Escargot for It!
fabrics and a hot pink background. The piecing is easy -- don't let the small bits scare you; the pattern is good -- and you can have loads of fun giving each little guy his own per-snail-ity through your fabric choices.
If a trail of snails is too much, individuals also make great pillows and wall hangings. You could even coat them with Odicoat
to make them water-resistant so they could set up camp on your deck!
Laura Heine is the queen of collage, and recently she has introduced a super-cute line of minis that celebrate the "whatevers" of life -- things like scissors, teacups, poodles, snails (yes, snails -- they're having a moment; see above.), and this old-timey rotary dial telephone
, with cord. Each is only 8" square and what you do with them is limited only by your imagination.
Laura's patterns are for the adventurous appliqué artist and, while she gives complete instructions for her techniques and a drawing of the finished whatever, individual templates are not included. If you have experience with fusible appliqué, you'll be fine, but if you're a novice, it's probably best to wait for a class.
In either case, you'll need Steam-a-Seam II Lite
and, very importantly, an appliqué pressing sheet
to go with it. Ask us how we know.
This little quilt is the bargain of the century! First off, the pattern is FREE, included as a bonus with Eleanor Burns' 4-1/2" On Point Ruler
. And secondly, one charm pack plus a background fabric is enough to make two
adorable baby quilts!
We used a charm pack of Moda's Spring Chicken
collection from Sweetwater to make this sweet quilt (and a second companion quilt, too). And, while charm packs are certainly ideal for this project, you could also use up your stash -- cut your own 5" squares easily with a Stripology ruler
Trifecta and Retreat.
No, this is not a battle plan, it's a couple of quick bags that you can make to store and carry your stuff in style. Trifecta
(top), from Emmaline Bags, is a versatile little bag that you can customize in two sizes, three styles each -- that's a total of six
variations! Both sizes require wire frames
inserted by the zipper. They allow the bag to open wide (and, more importantly, stay
open) for great visibility of the interior and easy loading and retrieval of items.
We used Mochi Dot
Linen for our sample, which is a perfect blend of cute and sophisticated. Retreat 2.0
which you can make in two sizes, is a FREE pattern download
from Emmaline Bags and it's a great introduction to both Emmaline's patterns and those amazing wire frames.
As you can see, here's your chance to go wild with fabric. We don't have these Solana Sunflowers any longer, but take a look at Robin Pickens' Blue Cottage
collection -- those hydrangeas would make a fabulous Retreat!
Let's Play Hearts.
Terry Atkinson, of Atkinson Designs, is one of our favourite pattern designers -- her instructions are clear, her techniques are brilliant, and her designs are super-cute. In Let's Play Hearts
, she lays her cards on the table with this winning hand of hearts.
The pattern is very adaptable -- fat eighths will yield matching pairs of hearts, fat quarters produce four of a kind, and 10" squares will give you a hand full of singletons. Go with traditional reds and pinks for a Valentine vibe, or choose your own colour scheme to suit your decor and/or mood. It's so easy, you can make several!
We've put all the fabrics you need for our indigo-inspired runner, along with the pattern and binding, into a kit
, which means you can get straight to the fun of sewing. All you need to add is backing and batting (we like to use fusible fleece
for the batting, since it stays nice and flat, eliminating the risk of spilling the wine!).
We've got them in our gardens and our hearts, so why not welcome a gnome into your home? In return, he'll provide the same service to your guests (as soon as we're allowed to have them!).
Bird Brain's Welcome Gnome
is a nice small (8" x 8") project, a lovely introduction to handwork. A linen or linen-look fabric makes a perfect background (try Moda's Maryland Linen, Kaufman's Quilter's Linen, or Hoffman's Twenty Four Seven Linen
), with Eleganza
8-wt thread and Tulip Embroidery Needles
for the stitching. A Gypsy 7" spring hoop
will keep your fabric taut and your stitches even.
There is something incredibly relaxing about handwork and we certainly can use some de-stressing these days. So set yourself up on the patio and enjoy the warm spring sunshine while you stitch away.
Then, once your guests start arriving, you'll be ready!
Now here's some inspiration for you! Our very own Astrid Bordush, of Apples & Beavers, made this super-cute quilt by combining her Dragon Dreams
and Little Kingdom
patterns with Pen + Paper's Tiny Town pattern (on order, currently not in stock, sorry). Make it in solids, textures, or small-scale prints for a fresh, modern feel and choose your colours to suit any nursery's scheme or child's desires.
If you want to make just the crib size dragon quilt, we've kitted it in three colourways for you (coral, green, and teal), so you can start sewing right away.
Astrid's instructions are perfect, exceptionally clear and precise, with excellent pressing instructions. Until we can have classes again, using one of Apples & Beavers' patterns is just like having Astrid by your side.
Big Island Sky.
Bold and modern, Big Island Sky from Whole Circle Studio is the ideal showcase for your favourite solids. Detailed instructions make piecing the updated Drunkard's Path blocks easy and effective, and the quilt can be made into baby, throw, twin or queen size. We chose the smallest version, but went really big with the colours for maximum impact.
Equally at home on a wall or on a bed, this cheerful piece of art will lift everyone's spirits. How could you possibly look at it and not be happy? We think it would be fun to make a series in different colourways, too -- maybe now's the time to invest in a colour wheel. The possibilities are endless!
is an oldie-but-goodie from GE Designs and it's a classic for a reason -- fat quarter and jelly roll friendly, easy to cut (use the Stripology Squared
or XL ruler to make it even easier), easy to sew, and easy on the eye.
We made the crib size (42" x 48") in Contempo's Baby Buddies
collection, which gave us a nice gender-neutral look, but it's great in any size and any fabric style (we have a very cool black and apple green version in lap size hanging in the store and it still attracts attention after many years). Instructions for five sizes, crib to queen, are included in the pattern, so you can cover any bed and any occasion with just one pattern.
Another winner from Gudrun Erla at GE Designs, Elvira is ideal for big, splashy prints. We used Katie Pasquini Masopust's Dance Moves collection, and Elvira's big blocks handle the combination of bright colours and jazzy movement with aplomb.
As with all GE patterns, you can make this quilt in a variety of sizes, from crib to queen. We went with full, which measures 77" x 105", long enough to allow for a pillow tuck. Also, we used the Stripology XL ruler to make cutting a breeze, even with the angles for the accent strips (speaking of which, GEasy Point Trimmers made for super-accurate insertion of the strips -- they fit in perfectly, with no uneven edges).
By now you probably have the song Elvira going through your head, so cue up The Oak Ridge Boys and bust out your Dance Moves!
Elizabeth Hartman's patterns are always spectacular, thanks to her attention to detail and her use of colour. Rapid City requires precision in both cutting and piecing in what is essentially a log cabin variation, but the colour play is so worth it! Remember the joy of opening a new box of crayons?In our store sample (left), we stuck to a six-colour scheme, as Elizabeth did, but we've also made it in a more scrappy batik version (right). Either way, this pattern works very well with small-scale prints that "read" a certain colour, tone-on-tones, solids, and tonal textures -- no big fancy focus fabrics required. Concentrate on the colours for best effect.The pattern can be made in baby, lap, or picnic size (we made lap), from either 10" squares or yardage (we used yardage), so it offers options. But no matter how you approach it, this quilt will add a vibrant pop to any decor while giving you a chance to play with your crayons fabrics.
One of the many (13!) cool offerings in Stripology Mixology 2 by Gudrun Erla, the Trixie quilt is a perfect layer cake project. One package of 10" squares (or you can cut your own), some background fabrics, and a jazzy accent strip -- that's all you need for a big, splashy quilt that goes together quickly. We made the twin/full size of 72" x 90", but, as with all GE patterns, there is a variety of sizes from which to choose. And cutting is vastly simplified with the aid of the Stripology Squared ruler.We used Moda's Blooming Bunch fabrics, but it would work well with any bright, medium-to-large scale fabrics. The primary pinwheels and secondary design squares make this pattern perfect for kids and teenagers, so go wild with your fabric and colour choices -- this quilt is meant to be fun!PS: For the grownups, Gudrun includes a cocktail recipe with each quilt pattern. Trixie's is a Quarantini (which is delicious, by the way. We've tested it!)
We all need some stress relief these days, and this wall hanging is just the ticket. A cozy cabin, nestled in tree-covered hills and overlooking a tranquil pond -- transport yourself to cottage country without breaking the stay-at-home order.
Available as a kit
, here's everything you need to make a 44" x 53" wall hanging (pattern, fabric for top and binding; you just need to add batting and a backing). Or purchase the panel
separately and create your own oasis in the woods.
Summer is coming, and we'll all be outside, so protect your noggin and those of your loved ones with these adorable and practical bucket hats. Adorable because you can make them with fun novelty fabrics and practical because they're reversible (which also means you can use two
novelty fabrics for each hat, which takes us back to adorable!).
We got our pattern from www.afternoon.co.za
, which offers the pattern as a free download in various sizes.
So choose your fabrics and start sewing. Oh, and here's a thought -- make some masks to match! You can find supplies here
This is a great pattern for so many reasons -- it makes very efficient use of fat quarters, it's a perfect introduction to curved piecing, it can be made in several different sizes, it's equally suitable for sweet little babies, grumpy old men, & everyone in between, and it's fun to make. We aimed ours at a funky, not grumpy, man and had a blast playing with interesting fabric and colour combinations*.
The pattern is by Everyday Stitches
, who have also produced a brilliant template
set to make construction super-easy. They have videos, too, so success is guaranteed. This one will definitely be a class, once conditions permit, so stay tuned.
*We used fabrics primarily from Lewis & Irene's Feel the Void
and Moda's Forme
, with some Canvas
, and Toscana
from Northcott thrown in for contrast. Have fun with it!