sewing with mini charms + a new quilt

Thanks to my job at Spoonflower, I've had the good fortune to attend a number of Quilt Markets over the years. As anyone who has attended this event knows, many fabric companies give away mini charm packs (2.5" squares) of fabric to attendees to promote upcoming collection releases. I managed to snag two mini charm packs of Vanessa Christenson's fabrics in the past few years, and recently took the time to turn them into a quilt.

Inspired by this Amish Hourglass quilt, I cut each of the squares into triangles, and sewed them to the corners of solid white squares. Unlike the original inspiration, I sewed the triangles to each of the squares' corners, so that once sewn together, they created scrappy squares on point.

For the backing, I used a long-saved gray-and-mustard print from Amy Butler's Midwest Modern line, which turned out to be the perfect complement to Vanessa's prints.

Continuing with the backing's color scheme, I quilted a large grid in gray thread, and made a gray, scrappy binding from some favorite prints.

I love how the quilt incorporates so many colors and prints, yet thanks to the block's minimal design, remains simple and modern. This is definitely a block pattern that I would like to experiment with more, especially by limiting the number of triangles I add. This quilt is now available in the shop, ready for gifting.


ribbon blog tour

Welcome to my stop on the Ribbon Blog Tour, a celebration of Bonnie Christine's line of woven ribbons for Renaissance Ribbons

If this is your first time here, hello! I'm Caitlin, proprietress of Salty Oat, a quilt studio and online fabric shop.

Bonnie's ribbons, like her fabrics, are colorful and bright, and inspired by nature. As a quilter, I tend not to work with ribbons very often, so I was excited to try something new. Aneela Hoey's Hold it All Pouch had been on my to-make list ever since she announced its release earlier this year, and I immediately thought it would be the perfect complement to Bonnie's ribbon.

I sewed the pouch together in an afternoon and used this pretty aubergine ribbon on the handle, allowing it to be the focal point of the natural canvas exterior.

For the pouch's interior, I used my new favorite polka dot, which is from Bonnie's latest fabric collection, Hello, Bear. The pouch zips up with a pretty blue vintage metal zipper. I enjoyed keeping the pouch's palette clean, simple, and fun, and look forward to stashing some sewing notions in it.

The Ribbon Blog Tour continues through Wednesday, so be sure to check out some of the other bloggers participating, including Shannon Orr of Eva Blake's Makery who made a Reversible Studio Apron on Friday, and Kitty Wilkin of Night Quilter who will be posting her project tomorrow.

Inspired to sew with ribbon yourself? You can purchase Bonnie's ribbons from A Stitch in Time (a North Carolina fabric shop!). And if you'd like to keep up to date on Salty Oat, you can sign up for the newsletter right here.


the salty oat newsletter + a new logo

In the coming weeks, I'll be launching the Salty Oat newsletter, the source for shop news, exclusive discounts, and announcements about upcoming events, including classes and craft fairs. Each monthly issue will also include link round-ups, designer interviews, and behind-the-scenes shots of the studio. I've been brainstorming features and gathering up lots of fun links, which I can't wait to share with all of you!

Interested in joining in on the fun? Sign up right here:

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(If you can't see the sign-up above, click on over to the site.)

Also, as you may have noticed above, or if you've clicked over to this site or the shop lately, you probably spotted the new Salty Oat logo. I worked with the lovely and kind Katie Michels of Off Switch to design it, after spotting her beautiful hand lettering online. I'm excited for the new look and will be incorporating it into packaging materials and rubber stamps in the coming months. Many thanks, Katie!


my first magazine mention

Over the Christmas holidays, I was contacted by the lovely folks at Love Patchwork & Quilting, who had stumbled upon my shop and wanted to include a blurb about me in their news section. I was very flattered, to say the least, and so excited to see a short write-up about Salty Oat in the pages of Issue 18.

Here's what the kind blurb said:

The ever-so lovely Caitlin Topham is a quilter with a passion for printed fabrics, and when she struggled to find the fabrics she loved locally or all in one place, she went ahead and launched Salty Oat. Fully stocked with beautiful screen-printed and organic fabrics sourced from a handful of creative female entrepreneurs (including an exclusive collection of prints by Maze and Vale) the store is one to watch. Salty Oat can be found online at saltyoat.com and on Instagram and Twitter at @saltyoat.

Many, many thanks to Love Patchwork & Quilting (and to Alice, in particular!) for including me in their pages, and to Caroline Okun for photographing my shop's fabric. To pick up a copy, please visit the magazine's stockist list.


embroidery basics class

Local friends! I'm so excited to share with you that I'll be teaching an intro to embroidery class on Tuesday, March 31, at Gather, a co-working space and coffee and gift shop in Cary, and the location of my former studio. The class includes all of the supplies you'll need to whip up the Hello sampler pictured above, and I'll be giving one-on-one instruction on how to do each of the necessary stitches. It should be a really fun night in a beautiful space, and I hope you'll join me! Class registration can be found here, and please feel free to shoot me an email if you have any questions.


de-cluttering + quilt tops

If you read a significant number of blogs or magazines, you've probably heard about the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. The book is by the Japanese organizational consultant Marie Kondo, and has a magical effect of inspiring you to clean out your closets and drawers. I started reading the book in December, and ever since, I've been employing its tips for simplification and de-cluttering, which includes taking the time to clean and organize my sewing room.

While sorting through drawers, I came across a number of cut fabric squares from past projects. Rather than letting them languish any longer, I decided to turn them into quilt tops for my local chapter of Project Linus, and get them out the door.

Each top is crib size, and features polka dots, solids, calico prints, and white borders. Each was a quick and satisfying finish, and it's so nice to know that these fabrics will now be put to better use!

Have you read Ms. Kondo's book? Has it left you feeling similarly inspired to organize and de-clutter your space?


sashiko mini quilt

I gifted my mom this sashiko pillow a few years ago, so for her birthday last month, I made her this mini quilt featuring blocks of hand-stitched sashiko embroidery.

The fabric squares were actually from a coaster kit (here's one place that sells the same kit that I used), but since coasters tend to be in abundance in our family, I decided to use the small squares to make a wall hanging instead.

I alternated the squares with a chambray, and backed the quilt with a navy and white Japanese print. Since the squares already featured so much stitching, I kept the quilting simple and stitched in the ditch. I bound the quilt with a topographical print from Carolyn Friedlander's Architextures line.

I really love how this mini quilt turned out, and thankfully, so did my mom!

P.S. There are still a few spots left in the embroidery class that I'm teaching at Gather in Cary, NC, tomorrow night, and I'd love to have you join if you're local and interested!