Spring Shimmer, it's in our nature...
Hi All! You know how much I love SHIMMER with its pearlescent print on top of gorgeous, hand drawn designs. I am so thrilled to be introducing my SIXTH Shimmer Collection with Robert Kaufman! 26 vibrant, sophisticated 100% premium cotton prints produced in Japan. I complied my photos and files of inspiration for months, revisiting and curating the best ones tucked in a special folder labeled SPRING SHIMMER 2020 long before we actually got here. I begin at least a year in advance and the collection evolves and projects are dreamed up to the last minute! Drawing, painting, pitching colors, creating mood boards to solidify my visual dreams of which I love to share with you. So here it is, I hope you love it.
Official releases are when RKC account managers can finally show the world a new collection yet it feels like forever until it gets to the makers! SPRING SHIMMER ships worldwide November 2020 so be sure to ask your favorite shop to stock up for you! We have put together a fabulous LookBook featuring 8 projects all with patterns from myself, Noodlehead, Then Came June, Assembly Line, Rachel Rossi and Hello Stitch! Great stuff I think you'll love. I will be rolling out the projects over the next few months so not to overwhelm in one blog post! Plus I've selected 20 essex and yummy basics that coordinate with the prints. More eye candy below.
Keep making everyone! On somedays its the only thing that really fills me up, to get lost in the beauty of color, fabric and creating. It feels so good. Busy hands quiet the mind.
Sending blessings and love to all. See you again soon!
PDF Download Patterns 100% of proceeds goes to Meals on Wheels America
Us makers tend to do pretty well hunkered down in our nests as we feather our surroundings, creating heart felt textiles to express ourselves and give to loved ones. We're used to writing TO DO lists in our creative spaces, making in isolation often, contemplating piles of fabric, reorganizing our collections, deciding what project we're gonna work on next. But after this long spell of hunkering down? What's going on for you? Some days I relish the solitude and others I feel downright awful and blue. Yesterday, I felt like a cat trapped in the dryer that keeps churning round and round on Air Fluff: Disoriented and aimless...Yup... I have Covid Brain.
What to do? Be in nature. Count blessings. Help others. Exercise. Stick to a project. Give to charities. Make masks. Zoom with friends and family. I wanted to share that this Memorial Day weekend, I am donating 100% of PDF Sales to Meals on Wheels America. If there is a pattern or Ombré Quilts Book you've been holding off on, you get a double bonus. All of your dollars go directly to this great charity and you get the pattern too. A win-win! We all know the elderly need more care now than ever.
Speaking of elderly, anyone watching Leslie Jordan on Instagram right now? I bust out laughing! A delightful southern, gay sexegenarian tickling all my funny bones with his daily quips and stories delivered in a thick Tennessee drawl. Interior decorating, nosepapers, mood boards (aka hot pics of Dylan McDermott) mama's recipes etc... I love him. Who else makes me smile? George and Eliot: Denyse Schmidt's kitties. She posts entertaining clips of their mischief making. Her keen observations, I believe, cross into every aspect of life. To connect with a range of makers, I watch Pokey Bolton's IGTV where she has just finished her 47th day of interviewing creatives in our industry. What a gift she has given all of us, and if you can't watch it live, its on her feed. She's relaxed, inquisitive and having candid conversations with so many interesting people. This makes me happy. Enjoy the images of color, humanity and kitty beans. Keep making. Stay in touch. Take care and be kind to yourself and others
STOCK IS REPLENISHED! SKY Half to Have It Bundles, Madras Table Runner Bundles and More!
Make The Elephant and I Jumbo Tote! Free tote instructions below.
Elephant and I is a best selling quilt/pillow pattern in which I offer an instructional YouTube video to help you make it! When I finished filming, I had this teaching sample and I thought, Let's make this into a jumbo bag and give away free instructions to fans!! I absolutely love how it looks, functions and feels. I use my new bag to haul quilts to events, it's big enough for a weekender and a catch all for just running around- Last week it was stuffed with warm clothing for 4! It's huge and can hold a ton stuff, has sturdy handles which are hand stitched and it's comfortable to sling over the shoulder. My favorite match stick quilting gives body, style and stability. Below is the free bag making instructions but you need to buy the pattern to make the elephant and person. I have posted lots of detail photos to show techniques. Also go to my YouTube video for all three videos for more info on color selection, my favorite paper piecing tips and how to get that professional looking appliqué finish!
For the background strips, I used my Shimmer/Studio Stash fabrics mostly, a few beautiful prints from Karen Lewis and a variety of bright prints and solids for the woman and elephant, who wraps around to back of bag. Leather handles and suede trim are from my dad's 1970's workshop that I am up cycling. Waxed linen twine is heavy duty and I was sure to create my stitch holes with my chisel before stitching.
ELEPHANT & I JUMBO TOTE: 22.5"x 25"
•Elephant and I Pattern by JenniferSampou.com/C&T Publishing
•Colorful scraps for elephant and person. See pattern for details
•12 strips of light value background fabrics 2 ½” to 8 ½” widths by 28” long. 1 1/2 yd lining fabric
•Two premade purse straps approximately 31” x 2” or make your own from thrift shop vinyl/leather belts.
•Grommets, 4 D rings or heavy floss to attach handles to bag details. Maker’s choice
-Watch YouTube Elephant and I for tutorial https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEGXP4_bQpM&t=424s
-Watch C&T YouTube for tutorials about bag making and Kraft-Tex https://www.youtube.com/user/CandTPublishing
-Expectation is maker has some experience with bag construction or see The Better Bag Maker (C&T Publishing 2014)
Layout Strips: Choose 11-12 strips cut for background fabrics. Lay out to your preference.
1. Strip Rectangle: Sew 2 ½” to 8 ½” widths by 28” long strips right sides together. Press seams open. Continue stripping until rectangle measures 46” x 26”.
2. Follow Elephant and I pattern: Make person, elephant based on pattern instructions and YouTube tutorial.
3. Position elephant and person to background. Place elephant and human 5” up from bottom, person’s hand 3 ½” in from right side. Back elephant foot 15” in from left side It wraps around to back of finished bag. See photo above.
4. Quilt Sandwich: Cut lining and batting a bit larger than the top rectangle. Baste.
5. Matchstick Quilt: Topstitch across entire surface. Begin in the center and work outward, trim edges.
6. French Seam: Bag Side/Bottom: Make French seams by folding wrong sides together and sew a ¼” seam. Turn wrong sides out and sew a ½” seam to bury raw edges. Or sew right sides together along one side and bottom and finish raw seams with 1" Kraft-Tex or leather trim. Maker's choice.
7. Grocery Bag Bottom or Boxed Corner: With bag inside out, pinch bottom corners matching side seam to bottom center. Measure up 3 ½’ from tip and pin at the 6 ½” width and draw a stitching line and pin. Sew from each side to center French seam. Backstitch for durability.
8. Bag top edge: Cut or sew together a strip of up cycled leather or Kraft-Tex 45”x 1”. Fold in half and press. Fold strip over top raw edge making sure both edges of leather/Kraft-Tex are equidistance ½” from edge. Glue down or use binding clips to hold in place. Top stitch along edge, with slight over lap where strips meet.
9. Handles: Attach handles 3 ½” below top edge and approximately 5 ½” from outside edge using grommets, D rings or hand stitch with heavy duty thread. If working with heavy material such as vinyl use a heavy needle on your machine or if by hand, be sure to create your holes with leather chisel prior to stitching so threads go through layers with ease.
This pattern designed and made by Jennifer Sampou is for personal use only. Please contact JenniferSampou@gmail.com if you’d like to teach to a class. Must have permission. Thank you. Visit jennifersampou.com, Instagram and @Jennifersampou YouTube for instructional content. A special thank you to Becky McCoy for sewing assistance.
Hope you enjoy making a new version of Elephant and I. As always, part of the proceeds of this pattern are donated to Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mal Thailand co-founded by Lek Chailert the most ethical sanctuary to visit where elephants are in their natural habitats, just being elephants: Not being ridden, doing tricks for human amusement or mishandled by mahouts. The animal kingdom is most precious and it's our job as stewards to respect, honor and protect. Above is my current book of choice, Animalkind, by Ingrid Newkirk and Gene Stone, It's really insightful and I am learning so many fascinating things- there is so much we don't know about the amazing world of animals. Last year, my husband and I changed our diet to 90% Whole Food, Plant Based, which we now understand is the way to a sustainable future on our planet. Changing old habits takes commitment but it's been fairly easy to do together- we both grew up eating meat and raised our children on meat but the more we learn, the more we grow and understand adverse health effects, question the ethics and sustainability of eating animals. To the right, my zip bags made from recycled coke bottles and a sweet pic of a happy romp in the grass from the sanctuary. Always, I send my blogs with kindness and hope you are all well and safe. Now go CREATE!
Let's play with color this year. Let's get inspired to make beautiful things with SKY Ombrés!
Today's post will focus on the SUNSET color story that makes up the precut Half to Have it bundle in my SKY fabrics called SUNSET. It consists of 15 colors (half the collection) and it comes in a precut tower 1/2 yard each as well as on full bolts at your local quilt shop or favorite online retailer. I wish I could tell you I have it in my shop, but I don't! The collection is super popular and many stores have sold out! But don't worry, more is coming across the Pacific and headed to Robert Kaufman's warehouse arriving next month. There are online retailers that still have some stock but many shops are waiting for the next shipment! Be sure to stay tuned and ask for it! We have put the book into its second printing already! OMBRÉ QUILTS- It's available everywhere!
SKY Ombrés have lots of nuance of colors reminiscent of the heavens above. Photos don't do justice to the variety and texture of the fabrics, however we try to show you from selvage to selvage just how wonderful they are. I'm featuring a few projects in this post that use the SUNSET Color Story (next time I will do the SUNRISE story). Above shows all 15 pieces in the precut with their appropriate color names. Each piece represents 44" across and about 24" repeat.
The fabrics cut up beautifully and you don't need to be a color maven to get amazing results. The beauty of SKY Ombrés is that the color work has already been done for you! Add solids, prints or yarn dyes to give even more dimension and interest. Below is on of my students at Jen Kingwell's shop, Amitie Textiles, who chose a midnight solid to put her polygons on. I love how they pop.
Australia was fabulous, by the way! I love the people, the ocean, the sky and the animals. We are all so sad about the fires and the hardship they all are enduring since November. Best thing you can do is send money to help them take care of all the living beings that are affected. Every little bit helps. Thank you for caring.
The Australian skies were breathtaking and yes, different than my Californian skies I see along our coast. The water is a different hue, the air feels smoother, the smells are full of eucalyptus and some kind of mint....And the light is all it's own too. There are many similarities to California as well, but I think I was most enchanted by the exotic animals: Koalas, Kangaroos, Echnidnas and Parakeets.
Another favorite quilt highlighted above is made by Amanda McCabe. We became friends on IG bonding about the women's world cup soccer champs last summer- THE BEST!!! And then I found out she is also an amazing quilter with tons of talent. So I sent her the Sunset Half to Have It bundle and asked her to work with it. Needless to say, she made a breathtaking piece with just 15 of the half yard cuts. You too can make this quilt by buying the precut and the book and taking the time to study, cut, piece, study, play, piece! Below shows two ways she was thinking about when laying out the blocks. Every quilt will be unique, as the ombré will cut differently and you will make different choices. This is not a copy cat quilt, but a copy cat technique. Even if you do try to make exact one, (go for it!), it will still be unique. Also it's important to remember to cut out more than you need and be ok with the having extra blocks that may not make it into your final quilt. Put them on the back, or make another project. These colorful stars are too pretty not to use. All instructions are in the book under Dawn Star (colors will be different so substitute accordingly)
Ombré fabrics are all the rage now. And they have been admired in our industry, especially hand dyes. Now with digital printing, I can create complex art with any medium and it is printable! I used pastels for SKY and we interpreted hundreds of colors in SKY. It is my first digital printed line and I am over the moon with the results. C&T and I made a few YouTube videos showing you how to use them. Don't be afraid! They are so fun and forgiving to work with, they make all of us look like color pros! Kick your feet up and watch a few. Let me know what you think.
Sunset Lake WIP- Back when I was "Almost Done" and book deadline were pressing! I was debating whether or not to add another section at the bottom... hence the hanging blocks sweeping onto the floor. IT was a YES! So this quilt is jumbo at 88"x105.5" with the fabrics I used laid out on the floor in front.
Kristen Takakuwa, One of the founders of HELLO STITCH in Berkeley California has been a friend of mine for some time now. We have worked on many projects together, she has helped me meet deadlines and shared with me her ways of quilting, garment making and design. She mentioned a while back that she wanted to do a flying geese bordered skirt and wondered if I had some early designer samples I could part with...This is just two strips: one Blush, one Sky. I love how it turned out. She posted on her Instagram @mamacatquilts and used the Cleo Skirt pattern from Made by Rae.
Finally, I'd like to invite you to upcoming events I am going to be attending, teaching and would really love to see you. 2020 is going to be a colorful, creative year and I hope we get a chance to see one another. This week is Craft Napa, Napa Ca. to kick off the 2020, followed by QuiltCon in Austin, TX in February where I will be having a booth (#1010) and showing my Ombré SKY quilts, leading into an exciting summer teaching all week at Quilter Affair in Sisters OR and a very special fall retreat at Madeline Island School of the Arts, which still has some spaces left. Treat yourself to a fabulous week. It's a 5 day intensive and it's going to be an amazing, soulful time where we'll settle in for some ombré exploration and discover the beauty of island life making.
That is all for today. I wish you a wonderful new year!
May 2020 bring you joy, curiosity, love and a renewed desire to make this world a better place.
Stories from the Studio
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