As many of you may have heard, we launched our newest product, Stick & Soak tattoos, over the weekend at Vogue Knitting Live. We wanted to share some of the fun photos we took of the fantastic people that stopped by our booth and got ‘inked’. Do you recognize any of these faces?
Didn’t get a chance to buy a sheet at VKLive? You can order yours today at soakwash.com.
It wasn’t far down the coast when I realized my fancy new needles wouldn’t hold all my stitches. One of the yarn reps back in Seattle had suggested circulars, but I favored Rosewood.
I used my handy-dandy ravelry app to find a nearby LYS and lucked out at T-Spot in Manzanita. We were just passing it when I saw it pop up on the map. Circular needles, here we go!
I started again, loving the pattern.
And continued knitting along the coast. I think I’ll wear it tomorrow! Might have to make another one too! The drop stitches are lovely and the color matches my coastal trip perfectly.
We are on the road.
After a successful weekend at the North West Needle Market in Seattle, we are heading down the coast towards LA for VKLive. While I have my new socks to knit, I found a new and quick car-friendly pattern. I was saying a quick hello to my friends at Be Sweet and fell in love with this sailor inspired t-shirt yarn. I’m at The Commodore Hotel in Astoria this morning (thanks to Sarah @ Lille boutique in Portland for the recommendation!) so perhaps it’s the proximity to ocean that drew me in, or the fact that this lovely necklace is just my kind of accessory: fun, fashionable, unique and crafty. My friends at Lantern Moon hooked me up with some needles and with a local map in-hand, I’m off to cast-on.
See you soon!
Do you ever feel like your entrepreneurial skills are not up to par with your creative instinct? Do you wish there had been just one business class at art school? Are you facing more questions than answers related to your craft business? Our very own Jacqueline Sava has the solutions for you.
From Maker to Making a Living is a workshop series designed to guide craftspeople through the process of understanding, designing and building their individual businesses. Led by maker and award winning business leader Jacqueline Sava, attendees will be guided through an eight-part series of lectures, exercises and activities focused on the development of their own craft-based business practices.
The knowledge and skills obtained in these workshops will allow makers to successfully balance their personal craft philosophies with the realities of marketing, selling and profiting from their businesses. At the end of the workshop series, each craftsperson will have a custom plan to ensure a successful transition from where they are to where they want to be, and balance their personal craft philosophy with the realities of marketing, selling and profiting from business.
WHEN: From Maker to Making a Living will take place as eight evening sessions between 6:30 – 8:30 pm on the following dates, in Toronto, ON Canada:
• Monday, October 3: Myth busting. Making money is okay.
• Tuesday, October 4: Options. Exploring without losing your soul.
• Tuesday, October 11: Personal branding. Understanding your purpose.
• Wednesday, October 12: Business goals. Defining a vision.
• Monday, October 17: Costing per product. Am I really making money?
• Tuesday, October 18: Costing in general. All the other expenses.
• Monday, October 24: Selling. Wholesale, retail, pricing, and all that jazz.
• Tuesday, October 25: Charting the course. Deciding which way to go.
To register for this course, visit the Ontario Crafts Council website here.
We were going through our warehouse the last week and came across our last few bottles of the limited edition fragrance, Sola. We’ve been holding on to these bottles as they have all been specially signed by Amy Butler herself. Since we’ve had some customers asking us if we will carry Sola again so we’ve decided to put the rest of our stock online. Order your bottle today before they are all gone from soakwash.com.
Yarn testing at Shall We Knit in Waterloo!
Sunday night. Hanging out at TNNA, the knitting tradeshow. Next to me is Alasdair Post-Quinn who has a book coming out shortly with Cooperative Press on extreme double knitting. It’s going to be a great instructional book combining design and technique on double-knitting. Watch for it!
Sarah from Ravelry, is crocheting bunting from our creative juices yarn by Soak for Louet for the Ravelry booth at TNNA! We are all hanging out at the hotel knitting. The perfect Friday night.
-Jacqueline and Chris.
Home is where the heart is and where I go to sew.
Summer as usual. Great classes at the workroom and my schedule is too busy to take one. Class in question this summer? Johanna Masko’s Machine Paper Foundation Piecing: Houses class. I’ve been meaning to make a wall hanging for home, (translation, smaller quilt project that can actually be finished and enjoyed in newly renovated apartment) and I’ve also been meaning to take one of Johanna’s classes. I keep daydreaming while reading Karyn’s blog, watching progress, enjoying the project sampler, dreaming of making my own house.
Weddings are also part of summer and I was looking forward to the wedding of my friend (and award-winning photographer, in case you need one) from college Karen, who lives in Brooklyn, NY. Originally from Montreal (we were immediate friends, both Canadians at RISD), Karen may soon be moving to LA. They’ll likely keep residences in both locations, as home is where the heart is.
While looking through their bridal registry, I realized that I really wanted to make them a wedding gift rather than buying one. I know their Brooklyn pad is small, so a full size quilt seemed neither practical nor realistic. Plus, if they are moving to LA, large objects are not ideal for transportation.
After a bit of thought, and growing jealousy as I saw students from Johanna’s class begin to construct their houses and landscapes, I realized that I could transfer my envy into a house of my own. A Brownstone, for Karen and Chandler, so that even if they move to LA, they can take a little piece of Brooklyn with them. Okay, so they don’t actually live in a Brownstone, but it is a beautiful building that called out to be drawn in fabric.
Here is the process of how this little building came to be. From Google maps, to drafting, fabric hunting, cutting, sewing, pressing and sewing again. Birds, flowers, windows and clouds all came together to make a one of a kind gift, a labour of love for my good friends. In my usual way, I paid great attention to the back as well as the front, drawing inspiration from the invitations for this personalized patchwork homage to their home.
Both tutorial and roadmap, may this journey inspire you to draw your own home in fabric.
Additional images can be found here. Enjoy.
Google Maps. Satellite. Perhaps the first useful reason to look up a friend’s home. The ability to retrieve many photographs of a building in another country, without having to send a friend into the street. For future reference, I did confirm with Karen that she did live in this building. Be aware, too many questions draws unnecessary suspicion.
I then sketched out a section of the building and used the handy dandy office photocopier to enlarge it to a reasonable ‘wall hanging’ size. From there, I taped it together and placed some graph paper on top. I am pleased to say I used the last giant piece of drafting paper I have held onto for decades. I never wanted to throw it out, knowing that one day, I’d actually use it. I am both glad I had it for this project, and glad it is out of my life. Storing rolls of paper is challenging.
I stopped at the workroom on the way home one night, to seek out the perfect stash of fabric for this project. Some sky, some brick, window materials and trim. I also asked a couple of unsuspecting crafters if this project seemed a bit crazy to take on, with less than a month until the wedding. They said yes. In retrospect, they were right, but I loved every minute of it, day and night.
Even though this piece will be wall art, I felt compelled to pre-wash all the fabrics with Soak. It was an Unleash kind of day. I am the one at the office who receives the calls when wall art quilt pieces suffer colour runs or other laundry crises, so always best to pre-wash.
First section first, a simple panel with some angles and sky. I wanted to ‘test the waters’ on this project. I realized, that unlike the formal class at the workroom, where paper piecing is an art form and each student’s house is the same size, I was drawing with fabric and my grids and graph paper were becoming more guides than gospel. As I completed the first panel, the project began to take on its own life and I became consumed.
The windows are my favourite part. I created tiny tuck pleats to replicate the panes of glass seen in the building. As I worked across the image, I took a break from bricks and windows to create the front entrance.
I made larger than life flower pots with liberty print flowers (what else?) and allowed the feature light bricks to become the focal point of the structure.
Since my satellite images blocked most of my view, I allowed myself creative freedom to imagine the building, or at least how the building might appear as if it were made of fabric. The castle top of the building proved great fun. An homage to my friend Katrina, I actually cut and measured exact squares with exact seam allowances so they’d be even.
When I finally finished the front, I realized I hadn’t yet considered the back. That same day, Karen’s wedding invitation arrived by post, providing inspiration for the back and finishing details. The shade of red and variety of prints in the invitation ( I LOVE envelope linings) sent me rummaging through my fabric stash in search of reds, dots and lines. I found the off-cuts of a quilt I made last year, pieces 6-12 inches wide from the trim of a patchwork back, in all shades of red. It was perfect.
Using my free-motion stitch regulator (thank you Ted) I named, dated and signed the quilt before assembling the various pieces of the back. It’s hard to see the writing, but that’s the point, I guess. It’s not obvious, you just need to know it’s there.
Once I finished the back, I pieced it with the front, batting et al.
I used my walking foot for most of the quilting, following the diagonal brick work designs of the original building and outlining some of the windows. I’m a bit addicted to stitching in the ditch. In my next project, I might purposefully avoid the ditch, in an uneven, asymmetrical kind of way. Once I had covered enough brickwork, I used the free-motion foot to embellish the lighter front of the building. I put the building number on the awning and swirled around until the fabric itself told me I was done.
I added some clouds to the sky and I was set.
I tried to find the perfect binding fabric and realized that the building needed to be a continuation of each pattern piece. The sky needed to continue and the building needed to continue. No framing necessary. I added three hanging ribbons along the top and sewed on the binding. I made a note to myself that I must either find my box of binding clips (clean my studio) or buy more. Random bobby pins will not cut it. It is worth noting though, that the paper clip worked shockingly well.
I’m giving them a Lantern Moon bamboo hanger as well. This is the kind I have at the office holding up another quilt. It’s my favorite. I don’t think it’s fair to give someone a hanging quilt without telling them how to hang it. Some people prefer invisible hangers, although upon investigation, I couldn’t find one that was both fantastic and readily available. I like this design, it matches the brickwork and hopefully Karen and Chandler’s home, be it in Brooklyn, LA or wherever their life takes them.
Baby quilts. In between all the large quilts, beyond the list of wishful projects, regardless of how many times we promise ourselves we won’t start another project, there is always room for one more baby quilt.
I am about to start a new one, for my cousin and his wife in London. They are having a baby this summer. Baby quilts are the perfect place to explore new fabrics, try new techniques and be a bit adventurous, on a scale that is manageable both at home (be it dining room table or living room floor) and on the sewing machine.
Here are a few of my favourite recent baby quilts. They represent love and comfort, happiness and family. They are all pre-washed with Soak and machine washable. They are functional pieces of art meant to be used for generations to come.
Dafina, our office administrator is soon to return from her maternity leave. As English isn’t her first language, I felt that the ‘eye spy’ quilt was the perfect design for her young family. They can practice words in English and other languages for years to come. Ask if you can dip into your friend’s fabric stashes for this type of quilt- so you can find even more prints, images and animals than you have yourself.
Sofia enjoys her quilt at community play groups. Her mom, Patricia likes to have a piece of home wherever she goes. This quilt is made of squares and strips of Japanese baby prints. Word to the wise don’t make squares and even/ symmetrical borders on both the top and bottom of a quilt if you are a novice machine quilter. Lining up both the front and the back on both axis is challenging.
At quilt market one year I picked up this charming set of prints put together by a local quilt shop. I was itching to try this Amy Butler free pattern and thought this project was the perfect place. Both Ailie and Katie love this quilt. It is cozy, feminine and charming.
This quilt is made of my favourite collection of baby prints. It’s a cotton, linen blend and perfect for the sophisticated family that will soon acquire it. I learned many years ago, that while we want to gift our baby quilts as soon as the baby is born, babies don’t typically use quilts as blankets or floor mats for several months, so be patient with your project- it’s okay if the baby comes before the quilt.
This lucky boy enjoys this modern bright quilt. Fabrics with feature patterns and vivid prints make charming additions to any play room.
While there is no shortage of baby inspired fabric, little quilts made from modern prints are timeless, unique and filled with love. Baby quilts have no size constraints, no formal rules and most importantly are always received with open arms.