Hi everyone! I’m the last stop on the Warp & Weft Sewing Society Wildwood Blog Hop and I’m so pleased to have been able to work with this Cloud9 Fabrics collection. Wildwood was designed by Elizabeth Olwen, who just happens to live near me in Toronto. I was fortunate to be able to meet her, and “hang out” last weekend during the Warp & Weft Weekends event. I almost don’t know where to start this post, there’s so much to cover – but don’t worry, I’ll do my best to be short – here goes! (Here’s another post about the weekend.)

Photo Courtesy of Cloud9 Fabrics & Elizabeth Olwen

First off – my contribution to the Wildwood Collection projects on this blog hop.  When I first met Elizabeth, she gave me a few design board printouts she’d put together – lots of inspiration behind her ideas for Wildwood. Her designs were inspired by fairy tales, (My blog name being Thread Riding Hood is such a fun coincidence!) Forest walks, nature – and the small details of nature. Princesses and wanderers on adventure (or escape!) through the forest. Knowing all of this, I got to create a satchel pattern. What an amazing opportunity!

The “Forest Glen Satchel” was directly inspired by Elizabeth Olwen’s Wildwood collection and I’m so pleased with how it turned out. I’ve been using one of my prototype bags for the last month or so and it is the perfect size for carrying everything you might need. It’s easy to open and close by way of a front closure strap – perfect for quickly storing things on your way out of the castle! The adjustable cross-body strap allows for multiple carrying options. And the front and side details allow you to show off more lovely fabric – and, if we are being more practical,  keep it from showing the dirt!

The Forest Glen Satchel is going to be my very first real pdf pattern – yay! It will be released for sale on my blog in late October. But until then (and as of next week) you will be able to get the satchel pattern directly from Warp & Weft. They will be selling a kit that includes the Forest Glen Satchel pattern along with the Wildwood fabric you need to create it. And, this is a big deal – because Elizabeth Olwen chose the fabric combinations for each of the three variations! I have always liked “the story behind the design”. And this process has been an amazing, eye-opening adventure. I can tell you, I won’t look at another piece of fabric again without thinking of the designer behind it!

The fortunate thing about being the last stop on the Wildwood Blog Hop is that you can see all of the other projects, since they are now all posted! And the fortunate thing about being in Toronto is that I could attend the Warp & Weft Weekends Event last weekend where all of the projects were featured. So I got to see them myself! Let me tell you – the photos are so great, but seeing them all together was something else. The care taken with each seam and detail was evident in each project. The creativity of the Sewing Society produced a gorgeous display. Take a minute and hop over to each of the links below to see what I mean!

September 26 – Carla from “My 1/2 Dozen Daily”
September 27 – Cynthia from “Cynthiaf”
September 28 – Lysa from “Lysa Flower”
September 29 – Cathy from “Blueberry Patch”
September 30 – Esmari from “Warp and Weft”
October 1 – Shannon from “The Finished Garment”
October 2 – Heidi from “Elegance & Elephants”
October 3 – Thread Riding Hood

This Warp & Weft Weekend was hosted by Andrea Ford in the Re:Style Studio Workshop space. Friday night, we walked in the door to a display of Elizabeth Olwen’s surface design products mixed in with the Sewing Society projects. Beautiful! Elizabeth’s Field Crossing quilt, made by Linda Spiridonhad even been sent over from Cloud9 Fabrics – so the real deal was on display. (It’s a free pattern too!) About halfway through the evening, Elizabeth spoke about her design process in an inspiring Maker’s talk. Everything from how she got started in surface design and her current projects to her inspiration and process for designing Wildwood. (and even a sneaky peek of something new!)

My very first workshop ever (eek!) was held on Saturday during the event’s Creative Sewing Afternoon Tea, and I count my self fortunate to have had four of the most amazing student/sewists take the Forest Glen Satchel class. They pressed and sewed and pressed some more and a few hours later – they each were able to leave with a finished satchel! My favorite part was when they added the sides and it “magically” turned 3D. Everyone was grinning and commenting on how “now it was a real bag” – they were so excited to finish them. I think we only broke out the seam rippers on two seams – not bad for 4 bags. Esmari ensured that we would not (ever) go hungry by providing delicious Kusmi tea, sandwiches, scones and cookies – yum! Elizabeth Olwen was even able to take the workshop and will be displaying her satchel at Quilt Market in Houston later this month. (Someone pinch me!)

I would be remiss if I did not again thank Esmari for providing me with this opportunity, Andrea for hosting, and Elizabeth for being so amazing. She worked with me throughout the pattern process – choosing the final design from my sketches, deciding on the colour combinations and allowing me to email her with various other questions along the way! I will be able to include a bit of a bio on her and her Wildwood inspiration within the pattern – which I hope will provide more background for each satchel sewist. Promoting the creative process and intention of the design as well as the finished product!

I am also grateful and cannot forget to thank my husband for allowing me so much freedom over the weekend. He and our girls had a blast with two birthday parties and lots of football watching! It allowed me my first weekend “out” since we had our kids and it felt great to come and go as I needed to without worry.

Thanks for letting me ramble on a bit, and for reading this far down! I suppose you knew (if you follow me often) that my “keeping it short” was going to be a challenge. How do you wrap up an entire amazing weekend all in a few paragraphs? I’m sure there is so much more I could say… but we’ll leave it at that and I’ll be posting about the Forest Glen Satchel Kits as soon as the pattern is ready and they are available from Warp & Weft. And you can purchase all or any of the 12 Wildwood collection fabrics at Warp & Weft – so you can make your own adventure-inspired project! (If you want more of a peek into the weekend’s events you can visit Esmari’s post.)