Blog / improv

custom quilts for the fall 2017 spoonflower magazine

custom quilts for the fall 2017 spoonflower magazine

Salty Oat in the Fall 2017 Spoonflower Magazine
Last fall, Spoonflower (my former employer) interviewed me for a small spotlight in their second-ever magazine/catalogue. In addition to answering a few questions, I also created two quilts for the publication using a selection of Spoonflower designs printed onto Kona cotton. For the first quilt, pictured above, I pieced together rectangular improv log cabin blocks using a selection of indigo, mustard, and peach prints. I also pulled together a pair of quilted pillow shams at the last minute to round out the bedding. You can see all of the prints I used in this helpful online collection
Interview with Caitlin Topham in the Spoonflower Fall 2017 Magazine
For the second quilt, pictured folded and under the lamb softie above, I created a flying geese baby quilt using a graphic black-and-white print background and a selection of sherbet-color-inspired prints for the geese. You can see the full collection of prints I used here. Both quilts were beautifully quilted by Sarah at Crinklelove.
This was such a fun and different project to work on, and it's been so humbling to hear from so many people who've spotted my work in the magazine. If you'd like to see more, the entire digital publication is available online.
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2016 umbrella prints trimming competition

2016 umbrella prints trimming competition

This year, I'm so excited to once again participate in the Umbrella Prints Trimmings Competition, an annual sewing competition to transform a pack of scraps from the Australian fabric company into something fun. (You can see my 2013 entry here, and my 2012 entry here.)

Improv Wall Quilt by Salty Oat

As many of you know, my husband and I recently purchased our first home, so I set out to make a wall quilt from the trimmings to hang above our new bed. I took an improvisational approach to making this quilt, allowing the trimmings themselves to dictate the size of the blocks and the width and number of strips I created from each. I paired the trimmings with white and cream solids from my stash, and built of up each block until it was a uniform 8.5" square. 

Improv Wall Quilt by Salty Oat

After assembling the top, I basted the quilt and quilted it with matchstick lines, something I tend to reserve only for small quilts since it's a time-consuming process (but well worth it!). 

Improv Wall Quilt by Salty Oat

The quilting lines bend and pivot, creating right angles throughout the quilt. I also left a few rectangular areas unquilted to mimic the strips and vary the texture of the top.

Improv Wall Quilt by Salty Oat

For both the binding and the backing, I used a pretty peach-and-mustard print by Carolyn Friedlander that coordinated perfectly with the scraps, which I picked up in a fabric shop on a recent trip to Michigan. 

I'm so happy with how this quilt turned out, and I'm most excited to have our new bedroom finally start to come together!

Voting for the competition opens on June 1, and I can't wait to see what everyone else has created! If you'd like to vote for your favorite entries, simply re-pin, like, or comment on them on this Pinterest board until June 6. Happy pinning!

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modern sampler quilt along: block G link-up


The Modern Sampler Quilt Along is an informal and virtual quilt along where we make a block from Yoshiko Jinzenji's Modern Sampler Quilt pattern each month. You can follow the hashtag  #modernsamplerquiltalongon Instagram to get a peek at everyone's blocks, fabrics, and progress, as we work our way through the pattern together. On the last Tuesday of each month (or Thursday, in this case!), we...
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playing with color


Happy New Year, dear readers! I hope 2015 is off to a great start for all of you!

Over a year ago, I discovered Sarah Waterhouse's screen-printed fabrics and fell in love. I quickly decided that I wanted to stock her designs in my shop, and selected a number of prints from her Geometrics collectionto carry. Though her organic fabrics are a heavier weight---perfect for upholstery, tote bags,...
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improv slab quilt


I was recently commissioned to make a quilt for a family member, with the only parameters being that it needed to fit on a twin bed and should feature light blue fabrics.


Using the slab technique from Sunday Morning Quilts, I constructed blocks from light blue and aqua fabrics, including vintage prints and men's dress shirts. To keep the quilt from becoming too busy, I alternated the improv blocks...
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