3.23.2015

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!

3.19.2015

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.

3.16.2015

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.

3.02.2015

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?

2.23.2015

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!

2.18.2015

now in stock: maze and vale


Though I posted about it on Instagram, I realized that I never shared the news here on the blog: I am now stocking a selection of five unique prints by Maze and Vale in the shop!


Leslie is the powerhouse behind Maze and Vale, designing and printing all of the fabrics that are sold by this Australia-based company. She is also the organizer of the yearly Handprinted: a fabric swap, which I've had the pleasure of participating in twice (blogged here and here).


I worked with Leslie to select the designs and colorways you see in the shop, each of which are printed on an organic quilting-weight basecloth. These design-and-color combinations are completely unique to Salty Oat; you can't purchase them anywhere else! Additionally, Leslie recently announced that she'll be retiring two of the designs I stock---Gathering and Love Hearts---so now is definitely the time to grab them if you love them as much as I do.


Happy sewing!

2.10.2015

scattered squares quilt



Do you have projects that begin in one place and wind up in another? When I started this quilt a few years ago, my idea was to create a colorful, scrappy checkerboard quilt, inspired by those by Red Pepper Quilts. At the time, I pieced five blocks and set them aside, assuming I would continue to add to my pile as I collected more 2.5" scraps.


Fast forward to earlier last year, when I came across these blocks again while cleaning my studio. Rather than doing any more checkerboard piecing, I decided to make a quilt by mixing the blocks I had with large white and cream squares.


The resulting random and scattered layout, with its wide open spaces, is perfect, and I think better than what I'd originally envisioned.


I backed the top with a Marimekko large lime green dot, and quilted it with intersecting straight lines in a matching bright green thread. The binding is a navy-and-white stripe from Sew Modern.


This quilt is now listed for sale in the Salty Oat Etsy shop, and I can attest to its crinkly fluffiness, which makes it perfect for snuggling.


All quilt photos by Caroline Okun.