giveaway day!

It's time for Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day once again, and I'm so excited to be participating. If it's your first time here, welcome! Just to get you up to speed, I'm Caitlin, and in addition to posting recent projects here on the blog, I make quilts, sell hand-printed fabrics by amazing designers in my online shop, and work at the digital fabric-printing company Spoonflower.

This year, I'm giving away your choice of one fat quarter or fabric panel from my Etsy fabric shop. To enter, simply leave a comment below telling me your favorite design in the shop. I stock a rainbow of modern fabrics by Maze and Vale, Umbrella Prints, and Sarah Waterhouse. For an additional entry, follow Salty Oat on Instagram and leave a comment saying you're an Instagram follower.

The giveaway will remain open until 11:59 pm EST on Friday, December 12, and a winner will be announced by Sunday, December 14. Please be sure to enter your email address in the space above the comment form, so that I have a way to contact you if you win. 

And! As a bonus, now through December 12, use the code SEWMAMASEW at checkout and receive 10% off anything in the shop!

>>> This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Commenter #70, Sandi Timmons, for winning the fat quarter of her choice. Thanks to all for entering! <<<


alphabet embroidery + weekend reading

For the past few months, I've been stitching my way through the alphabet, using the pretty patterns I receive every week as a member of Polka and Bloom's Alphabet Motif Club. I started in September (my first two letters are above) and I'm currently working on K. The letters up through U have been released though, so this weekend I'm hoping to set aside some time to stitch and get caught up. In the meantime, here are a few links to take you into the weekend:

Apartment Therapy did a nice round-up showing quilts in modern interiors.

Target has teamed up with Faribault Woolen Mills in MN to produce a line of products featuring their US-woven wools.

A quilt made from wetsuits.

Rennes makes my favorite leather bags, and I love this honest interview Rennes' owner Julia Okun did on the real costs of producing and selling domestically produced, high-quality goods.

This vintage quilt pin is the perfect way to incorporate a bit of patchwork into your wardrobe, and is going onto my Christmas wish list.

I just discovered Griswold Textile Print, a mill in Rhode Island that produces hand screen-printed fabrics for lots of great makers, including a new favorite, Fayce Textiles.

This Joy embroidery pattern I designed is easy to stitch and a perfect last-minute holiday gift.

There are so many exciting events and workshops coming up in 2015 that I want to attend, travel budget permitting: The Makers Summit in Greenville, SC; a sewing weekend with Anna Graham in Burlington, VT; and Improv Patchwork with Denyse Schmidt in Bridgeport, CT. Will you be at any of them?

Happy weekend, friends!


annual holiday sale!

For those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you had the most wonderful holiday yesterday with family and friends! 

I'm so thankful for all of you---friends, blog readers, and customers---and in celebration of you, I'm offering a special discount! Now through the end of the day on Monday, simply enter the code "THANKS" at checkout in the Salty Oat Etsy shop and receive 20% off your purchase. This is my biggest sale of the year, and it's the perfect time to snag a handmade quilt or stock up on fabrics for your own holiday gift-making. I just added some new swatch packs (grab one while you can!) and a custom, embroidered quilt label option to the shop, so I hope you'll stop by!


do. Good Stitches: A Circle of Geese Quilt

Every few months, it's my turn to select a pattern and color palette for a quilt for the members of the Wish Circle of do. Good Stitches to put together. Last week, I finally finished and photographed a quilt that our members started in May, and I'm completely smitten with it.

Using the Circle of Geese pattern---which Christina of Sometimes Crafter featured a paper-piecing tutorial for on her blog back in 2009---our circle members pieced together triangles in shades of mustard, pink, and black, using these two pins I shared for color inspiration.

After piecing the top, I assembled the back, surrounding two of the blocks with pink and black prints which have been sitting in my stash for many moons, waiting for the perfect project.

I quilted it in a one-inch cross-hatch grid, with various shades of pink thread, and bound it with a scrappy black binding.

Our quilt will soon be heading off to the Raleigh chapter of Project Linus, and my group members have already started assembling blocks for our next quilt, using this pretty color palette for inspiration.


my go-to quilt pattern

Do you have a quilt pattern that you return to over and over again? I do. For the past year and a half, one of the patterns that I keep coming back to is for the Scrappy Trip Around the World quilt by Bonnie of Quiltville. Each quilt I've made from the pattern is different, and each time I've been able to experiment with fabric placement, color palettes, and block layouts.  I've used bright, colorful prints for one, and white and cream solids with pops of saturated colors for another.

For this most recent iteration, I pulled white, cream, and light blue strips from my scrap bins. I incorporated some unexpected fabrics, including a vintage eyelet, a hand-printed fabric I received in a swap, and a lightweight linen-cotton canvas.

I pieced the back using largish scraps from my stash, and quilted it in light blue thread with a cross-hatch pattern. It's now for sale in the Etsy shop, if you'd like to take a look.

And this is not my last pass at this pattern---I already have blocks made from bright solids ready to be turned into a quilt top!

All quilt photos by Caroline Okun.


weekend sale!

It's sale time! Now through Monday, enjoy free shipping---domestic and international---on everything in the shop, including quilts, fabrics, and scrap packs. Just use the code "YAYFREESHIP" at checkout to receive the discount. Enjoy!


flying geese + feathers

This quilt has been a long time coming. Back when my husband and I got married, my dearest friend from my high school days gifted us with a beautiful, bed-size quilt. So when she got married in New York City last summer, I knew it was my chance to return the favor and make her and her new husband a quilt.

My friend loves purple (this wall quilt was for her), so I looked around on Design Seeds for purple inspiration. I wound up using this color palette to inspire my fabric pull. My friend had mentioned her love of Anna Maria Horner's feathers, so I knew I wanted to use those in the quilt. When I discovered how long it took to make each feather, and knew that I needed to wind up with a queen-size quilt, I decided to revise my plan a bit. I made stacks of feathers, flying geese, and half-square triangles, and then began piecing improvisationally, adding blocks of fabric as I went along to fill space.

The results were admittedly chaotic---so much randomness!---but completely different than anything I've done before.

Since it was so large, and I'd already done so much piecing, I decided to use a purple sheet for a seamless backing. I was pleasantly surprised with how soft it was! Lindsay of Eileen Quilts quilted it for me and I bound it with one of Carolyn Friedlander's cross-hatch prints. I added a hand-embroidered label with the couple's wedding date, along with a new leather Salty Oat tag.

I gifted it to my friend the weekend before last (over a year after her wedding---oops!), while visiting my parents in New Hampshire. The timing worked out well, since the changing fall foliage provided the perfect backdrop for photos.


triangle scraps + a finished quilt

I'm so excited to share today's quilt with you! I started this quilt earlier this year, on a quest to clear out my scrap bins---at least enough to fit the lids back on top.  While I didn't manage to do that---my scrap pile keeps growing!---I did fall in love with this scrappy quilt.

The quilt pattern is "Up, Up, and Away," by Amanda Jean Nyberg, and is found in the book Sunday Morning Quilts. I paired white, cream, and khaki squares with little triangles of color, ranging from vintage to modern fabrics. Piecing took forever---lots of trimming and experimenting with the layout---but I think it was well worth the effort.

I used a saturated and bold blue Marimekko print for the back and a coordinating cobalt-blue-and-white stripe for the binding. I stuck with my favorite cross-hatch quilting, which added a nice texture to the quilt.

This quilt is now listed for sale in the Salty Oat Etsy shop, and I'd love to know, what are your favorite scrap-busting projects?

All photos by Caroline Okun


keeping it simple

Though I finished this quilt last year (and am only getting around to blogging about it now!), I actually started it back in 2010, not long after we moved to Maryland. I made the blocks as part of the Stitch DC Mystery Quilt Along, and stashed them away until last year.

I stuck with a lime green and periwinkle color palette, using prints from Amy Butler, Heather Bailey, and Cloud9 Fabrics. Though I played around with numerous layouts and considered incorporating borders and sashing, I wound up laying out the blocks in a simple grid pattern, which I think suits it perfectly!

I selected a fun, bright Amy Butler print from my stash for the back and love how it coordinates with the front. For the binding, I used a light blue and white seersucker stripe for a pop of texture. After quilting and washing, the quilt came out so soft and squishy---perfect for snuggling.

It's so nice to finally have this quilt done! It's now for sale in the Salty Oat Etsy shop.

UPDATE 11/21/14: This quilt is now available for purchase at Cary Quilting Company, in downtown Cary, North Carolina.

All photos by Caroline Okun


roadside quilt inspiration

When I first started working at Spoonflower over three years ago, my husband still lived in our Maryland apartment, so I spent many weekends driving up and down I-95 to visit him. Along the way, I kept an eye out for quilt inspiration, snapping pictures of rest stop bathroom floor tiles and highway signs.

The black-and-white chevron signs posted below the highway exit signs stuck with me, and I decided to translate them into a baby quilt.

Using half-square triangles, I constructed the chevrons from Kona solids. I loved the simplicity of the quilt top and the graphic pop the black and white lines created.

I backed the quilt with a blue Lizzy House Pearl Bracelet print, straight line quilted it with black and white thread, and bound it with a bit of the backing and a coordinating blue solid. The quilt is now for sale in my Etsy shop.

I've started a Pinterest board where I'm gathering other images of inspiring patterns for future quilts, if you'd like to see. Where do you find quilt inspiration? Please share your favorite images!

All quilt photos by Caroline Okun


hello, hello

This weekend, a friend helped me take tons of new product photos for the blog and shop, and I'm so excited to share new fabrics and quilts with you in the coming weeks! In the meantime, I'm going to go ahead and pull a new winner for the Lunden Designs pattern giveaway, since I never heard from the first winner.

Drumroll please....

Congratulations, Rachel! I've sent you an email. Thanks again to all who entered!


giveaway winner!

Thank you so much to everyone who entered last week's giveaway for two quilt patterns from Lunden Designs! The lucky winner is...

Congratulations, Tana! Please send me your contact info, and I'll get the patterns in the mail to you!

P.S. I just restocked the shop with some favorite fabrics, so be sure to stop by if you haven't already!


star system quilt + a giveaway

When I attended my first Quilt Market back in 2012, I had the pleasure of meeting Melissa Lunden, of Lunden Designs. Melissa designs gorgeous quilts, and I've had the chance to test a few of her patterns. The first pattern of hers that I tested was the Star System.

When Melissa sent me this pattern, I knew I had a stack of fabrics that I'd pulled months earlier that would be perfect. Fabrics included Lizzy House pearl bracelets, polka dots, Japanese florals, and Alexander Henry's Heath cross-hatch.

This pattern definitely used techniques previously outside of my skill-set---like machine sewing hexagons and sewing Y-seams that lay flat. I feel like I learned so much through Melissa's instructions and was really proud to have a finished quilt top in the end.

I stuck with simple straight line quilting and backed the quilt with the ubiquitous Ikea numbers print, which I thought tied in quite beautifully with the front. Since the quilting isn't terribly dense, the quilt is quite squishy and soft, perfect for snuggling.

It's listed for sale in my Etsy shop here, along with a few more photos.

Melissa kindly sent me some extra patterns, and I'd love to share them with one of you! For a chance to win both patterns, simply leave a comment below. I'll select a winner at random next Wednesday, July 23. This giveaway is open to everyone!


christmas in july

Before mailing off Christmas gifts last December, I snapped a few photos, which I'm finally getting around to posting, if you'd like to see...

For my twin nephews, I made two sets of bibs from this excellent pattern, using a crab print I picked up on a trip to Nashville last fall and prints from Denyse Schmidt's Chicopee line.

I also made some simple quilted placemats, using fabric from Cloud9 Fabrics' Monsterz collection and a kitchen print gifted from a friend.

I used my favorite tutorial and a Leah Duncan print from Grey's Fabric to make some pillowcases for my parents.

And finally, I made a pair of quilt-as-you-go potholders with rounded corners, using green scraps.

Have you started planning any handmade projects for next Christmas? Any favorite tutorials you'd recommend?

P.S. I'm posting more over on Instagram these days. Come follow along!