giveaway day winner!

Thank you so much to everyone who entered last week's fat quarter giveaway---I appreciated each and every comment! The lucky winner is Sandra. Congrats, Sandra! And thank you to everyone for playing along!

P.S. You can still snag your own Hearts in Cherry Blossom fat quarter over in the shop!


giveaway day!


For everyone that's visiting today as part of Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day, welcome! My name is Caitlin, and I'm a quilter and owner of a small fabric shop specializing in fabrics from independent designers from around the world. A few random things about me:
  • I love working on English paper-piecing, especially when I travel, and am excited about an improv hexagon project I started while visiting the Outer Banks over Thanksgiving.
  • I recently started designing a few simple embroidery patterns---Joy and Hello---which are available through Spoonflower.
  • I'm a member of the Wish Circle of do. Good Stitches, and this Arkansas Traveler quilt we made is one of my favorites.
For today's giveaway, I am offering up a Cherry Blossom Hearts fat quarter by the Australian fabric company Umbrella Prints! This pretty organic cotton fat quarter measures 19" x 27" and is perfect for quilts and crafts projects.

To enter, please visit my Etsy shop, and then leave a comment here telling me your favorite item or the name of an independent fabric designer you'd like to see added to my virtual shelves.

This giveaway is open to everyone and closes December 13 at 8:00 pm EST. A winner will be drawn at random and announced Sunday, December 15th. Good luck!

>>> Giveaway is now closed. Thanks to all who entered! <<<


joy embroidery sampler

As a follow-up to my popular Hello embroidery class in September, I'll be teaching a second class in the Spoonflower Greenhouse on December 14. For this class, we'll be stitching up a holiday-themed sampler I designed, which features French knots and lots of satin stitching.

For more info and to sign up for the class, check out the event page here. In case you can't make the class, or want to stitch up a few samplers for holiday gifts, you can purchase your own here.

P.S. Today's the last day to use the code "THANKS" in my Etsy shop to receive 20% off your purchase!


thankful + a sale

This holiday season, I'm thankful for all of the customers, blog readers, and friends who've supported my little shop. I've been having so much fun sewing and sourcing pretty fabrics. As a small token of my appreciation, I'm offering 20% off everything in the shop---including fabrics, quilts, and pillows---through Monday. Simply enter the code "THANKS" at checkout to receive the discount.


latest finishes

This past weekend, my husband and I drove around looking for a place to photograph two of my recent finishes. We wound up at this pink brick wall in downtown Raleigh, and were actually soon joined by a photographer and a family, who were looking to use the wall as a backdrop as well (they awkwardly stood behind me as I snapped my last few pictures). First up was a low-volume Scrappy Trip Around the World quilt I made from solid and almost-solid cottons and linens. I stuck with a low-volume theme, throwing in strips of color here and there.

I backed it with one of my favorite Anna Maria Horner prints and quilted it with a light peach thread. I've listed it here in my Etsy shop, if you'd like to take a closer look.

My second recent finish is this Tatami Mat quilt, using a pattern designed by my friend Melissa, of Lunden Designs. Melissa and I met at Quilt Market in Houston last year, and have kept in touch since. I've had the chance to test out a few of her amazing quilt patterns, including this one, and have loved how they've turned out.

For this quilt, I pulled a stack of peach, pink, orange and brown prints by Anna Maria Horner, Amy Butler, and Art Gallery Fabrics. I enlarged the quilt's borders a bit, and backed it with larger cuts of floral prints by Art Gallery Fabrics and a vintage daisy pillowcase I'd been hoarding. It will be heading off to its new home soon, joining a matching pillow.


new fabrics in the shop!

I'm so excited to share that I've added more fabrics to the shop! You can now find a selection of prints by the British textile designer, Sarah Waterhouse, on my virtual shelves. Sarah hand prints all of her beautiful designs onto organic cotton and hemp blends in her Sheffield, England, studio.

Sarah's prints are bright and bold, and great for so many projects, including throw pillows and zipper pouches. I've started on an improv quilt using swatches of her designs that I'm really excited about.

In addition to new fabrics, I've also added some finished goods to the sale section of my shop, in preparation for a move into a larger home studio next week. The less I have to move the better, and there are some great potential holiday gifts in there!


honeycombs wall quilt

For a dear friend's birthday this month, I stitched up a small wall quilt, using prints by Umbrella Prints from my fabric shop and some scraps of chambray.

Inspired by Betsy's honeycombs, I stitched up my own by hand, using an English paper-piecing technique.

I then machine-appliqued the honeycombs to my quilt top and did echo quilting around the edges.

I stuck with my now-favorite rounded corners, and used up the rest of the binding I had made for this quilt. I used a coordinating vintage blue print for the backing, and I added both a label and a hanging sleeve.

I loved having the chance to work with these prints (they're among my favorites) and I'm happy to report that the birthday girl loved her gift.


fold-over clutch class


This Saturday, October 5,  I'll be teaching in the classroom space at Gather in downtown Cary. I'll walk students through the steps of making a fold-over clutch based on one of my favorite patterns, by Eighteenth Century Agrarian Business, using a gorgeous large-scale heart print by Umbrella Prints.

All supplies (including outer and inner fabrics, binding, a metal zipper, and leather zipper pull) will be provided. All you need to bring is your sewing machine, thread, and pins.

Interested in signing up? You can register for the class over here. Questions? Shoot me an email. Hope to see you this weekend!


free shipping week!

Now through Friday, October 4, I'm offering free domestic and international shipping in my Etsy shop! Simply enter the coupon code YAYFREESHIP at checkout. I've got lots of pretty fabrics by Umbrella Prints in stock, including a few fat quarter packs, along with quilts and pillows. All orders will ship on Saturday, October 5.

Happy shopping!


hello embroidery sampler

Last week, I had the pleasure of teaching a group of 15+ students the joys of basic hand embroidery in the Spoonflower Greenhouse. For the class, I created a simple sampler, which incorporated four basic stitches: back stitch, detached chain stitch, fern stitch and French knots. I designed the pattern in Illustrator, with the help of a friend, and printed it on Spoonflower's linen-cotton canvas, a great fabric for stitching on.

The class was a lot of fun, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and learn a few new stitches. In case you're interested in stitching up your own sampler, I've posted the design for sale on the Spoonflower web site. It fits perfectly on an 8" x 8" swatch, and can easily be framed in a 6" embroidery hoop.


salty oat: the fabric shop!

Today, I'm so excited to announce the next phase of Salty Oat: an online fabric shop! I've always loved screen-printed fabrics (both their modern aesthetic and their handmade, earth-friendly nature), but have often been unable to find the designers I love in shops in the U.S. So, I decided to do something about it, and am so excited to add the first batch of screen-printed fat quarters to my virtual shelves.

You can now purchase prints by Umbrella Prints in the shop, including a few from their newest collection, Floating World, which launched just last week. Umbrella Prints makes beautiful, organic fabrics and is run by two talented women, Amy and Carly. I've loved working with their fabrics, and competing in their annual Trimmings Competition (you can see my past entries here and here). 

I have a few other designers lined up for the shop, which I'll be adding in the coming months. If you have any favorite independent designers you'd love to see in the shop, please let me know!


triangle baby quilt

Little Bits Quilting Bee is by far one of my favorite quilting books. Its pages are filled with quilts that feature a fresh, modern perspective; its author, Kathreen Ricketson, had such an amazing style. I recently finished this triangle baby quilt---my second quilt using one of the book's patterns (my Prismatic quilt was the first)---and love how it turned out.

The front features triangles cut from a reproduction print charm pack that I picked up in New Hampshire at Keepsake Quilting's annual summer tent sale, arranged in color order.

I backed it with an apple print by Alexander Henry and quilted it with straight lines that follow the angles of the triangles' sides. Inspired by my Craftsy class potholder, I rounded the corners and bound the quilt with a red-and-white bias tape. The rounded corners are probably my favorite part.

You can find the quilt for sale in my Etsy shop.


open studio this friday!

For the past two months, I've been dividing my time between my home studio and a new shared studio in downtown Cary, which is part of the co-working space Gather. Moving into the new studio has been just the kick in the pants I needed to try out some new things, including reopening my Etsy shop and stocking it with previously unfinished projects, and re-imagining the future of Salty Oat---with more details to come soon (there's a mini hint in the photo above)! I'll also be teaching two classes at Gather this fall, and will share details about those in the coming months.

In the meantime, this Friday is Gather's grand opening, and I hope you'll stop by and say hello! I'll have my wares for sale, including some pieces that aren't currently available in my Etsy shop, and there will be food trucks, coffee, local vendors, and more. It promises to be a fun night!


log cabin baby quilt

I first made the blocks for this quilt three (three?!) years ago, as part of a mystery quilt along that never finished. I finally pulled all of the blocks out this summer, and made a soft and crinkly baby quilt.

I paired the Heather Bailey, Amy Butler, and Cloud9 prints in the quilt top with another Amy Butler print on the back.

I quilted it in straight lines with green thread, and bound it with a blue and white seersucker for a bit of unexpected texture. 

You can find the quilt for sale in my Etsy shop here.


rounded corners + a giveaway!


This weekend I fell in love with rounded corners and bias binding. I typically avoid bias binding in my quilts---straight-grain binding is so easy to cut and creates little waste---but while taking Tara Rebman's Quilt-As-You-Go Patchwork Bags class on Craftsy, I was inspired to branch out.

The kind folks over at Craftsy (an online video classroom specializing in a variety of crafts including quilting) recently gifted me a spot in Tara's class. I always learn new skills best by watching someone else demonstrate them first, so I found that Craftsy's video platform worked well with my learning style. In the class's first lesson, Tara walks you through the steps of the quilt-as-you-go technique, in preparation for creating a bag, which is how I came to make my scrappy potholder with rounded corners.

The quilt-as-you-go technique was a lot of fun to try, and I love how it uses up scraps of all shapes and sizes. I'm already brainstorming ways to use the technique on zipper pouches and pillows.


Thanks to the class, I'm also already thinking about ways to incorporate rounded corners into the quilts I'm currently working on for my shop. I think they add such a nice touch to a project. (Jolene over at Blue Elephant Stitches often incorporates rounded corners into her quilts---like this one---which I love!)

And now for the exciting part: Craftsy has offered to give one of my readers a spot in the class as well! To enter, simply head on over to Craftsy and sign up for an account right here. If you already have an account, you can simply log in here to enter. A winner will be drawn on Wednesday, July 31. Good luck!

Update 8/1/13: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to the winner, Sarah!


recent commissions

I'm very lucky to have kind friends and family members who support my craft and commission me to make things for them and for gift giving. This month, I had the chance to work on two projects: a Kindle case for an aunt and a stuffed elephant for a college roommate's new niece.

I dragged my feet for quite a while on making the Kindle case (surely I'm not the only person who tends to put projects without a due date on the back burner!), but when I spotted Karen's iPad case, I was immediately inspired and motivated to whip up that case.

I pulled bright blue and green scraps from my stash, and pieced them at random until I had slabs large enough for the case's sides. I used batting scraps to add a bit of structure to the case, and quilted it with turquoise thread.

For the elephant, I returned to the pattern I used from Last-Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts to make Peanut, the Wee Elephant, last year.

Peanut gets easier to make each time I use the pattern, so luckily I was able to whip up this gray + pink + turquoise elephant in just a few hours.

The little tail is my favorite part! What are your go-to handmade projects for gift giving?


my etsy shop is back!

I'm so excited to announce that after taking a bit of a break, I've reopened my Etsy shop! It's currently stocked with quilts and a few other goodies, most of which I've never actually blogged about here.

I also have lots of quilt tops in the queue (and a new studio space to work in!), and hope to finish them in the coming weeks. I hope you'll stop by the shop and take a look around!


twin quilts

At the end of April, I became a proud, first-time aunt to beautiful twin boys. One of the best things about being an aunt, is having the chance to make lots of handmade things for my nephews; however, since they live in Japan, I have to spoil them from afar.

To celebrate their arrival, I made each of them a quilt. For the first quilt, I made yellow and gray half-square triangles using some of my favorite prints, and laid them out in a manner similar to my Prismatic quilt.

For the second quilt, I did scattered green plus signs, using Jeni's tutorial as a starting point. I included lots of fun prints, including some Alexander Henry cars, Ed Emberley elephants, and Heather Ross horses.

I loved making these quilts and can not wait to meet the boys they were made for---hopefully that will happen this fall!