Painted Windows Exhibition

Buds of Buds is a grassroots collective that supports local artists and makers in Calgary. During this year's Calgary Stampede, the group is hosting a Painted Windows Exhibition.

This Stampede there’ll be more than a bucking horse and rider decorating windows of Calgary businesses. Buds of Buds Collective (Buds), has teamed up with artists and business owners to present the Painted Windows Exhibition. This event was inspired by community and social collaboration. Katie Pearce of Buds says, “we're building on Stampede culture, Alberta heritage, and connecting communities.” For its first year the Painted Windows Exhibition will focus on communities surrounding the Stampede grounds: East Village; Victoria Park; and Bridgeland Riverside. In future years, Buds will be expanding the project footprint. 

Since the call for artists in March earlier this year, 18 window painters have signed on. The content of submissions was wide-ranging. Geneva Haley, a Painted Windows artists, speaks about the inspiration for her submission, “Alberta isn't all about wild roses. Our history is a lot older than the last hundred years we have in our social studies textbooks. The collision of cultures, landscapes, and architectures over time has left us with a profoundly unique place to call home and live our lives. Alberta is filled with endless images to be examined: Our rough edges and our ugliness are just as important as our sunsets.” 

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You can find the decorated windows at participating business from July 1 – 15th, 2017. Download the free Painted Windows Exhibition App for a GPS-enabled map of the window locations and to cast your vote for People’s Favourite. (Search for 'Buds of Buds' in the App store.)

Photos from Buds of Buds' instagram account, click over for credits.

Mrs. Williams: an homage to a homemaker

The "Ready for Dinner" Housedress

The "Ready for Dinner" Housedress

Artists Melanie Thompson and Judith Barnett have created a stunning installation in praise of women's work. "We are the makers of every item in the show," says Melanie. Melanie is a basket maker and mixed media artist. "Judith," describes Melanie, "is an accomplished seamstress with no formal art background but boundless enthusiasm."

Installation view.

Installation view.

Triptych by Melanie Thompson

Triptych by Melanie Thompson

"The installation of a 1950s kitchen was inspired by an old wooden recipe box given to Judith by her 93-year-old neighbour Mrs. Williams. The box held a lifetime's recipes, all beautifully scripted in pen and ink. The idea that this box represented the lifetime of one woman's work seemed too great not to acknowledge in art. The strong emotional and nostalgic feelings it provoked felt like a call to make a body of work that referenced the era of the homemaker in the 1950s-honouring women’s work."

The "Everyday" Housedress

The "Everyday" Housedress

Installation view.

Installation view.

"We have made a wide variety of art pieces evoking the homemaker style of the 50s," describes Melanie. "The iconic apron and house dress have been rendered in knitted copper wire, pattern paper, tea stained canvas covered with written recipes, cotton embroidered and dyed with onion skins, image transfer on painted organza, recipe pages, black garden netting and pieced material remnants. There are mixed media wall pieces using stitching, buttons, collage, embroidery, and acrylic paint. Mixing bowl sets made with looping copper wire, handmade paper, and chicken wire as well as stitched samplers on baking trays and a cutlery box with utensils from the era. We have stitched and repaired clothing, small wire houses, recipe books deconstructed, handmade books, a set of pot holders and a tea cozy made from used tea bags and so many more items too numerous to describe. It needs to be seen to be fully appreciated."

Apron made from chicken wire.

Apron made from chicken wire.

The work is on view at the Artcraft Showcase Gallery on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia until
July 5, 2017.

Editor's note: Below these paper dresses, the third card from the left is from the UPPERCASE book Feed Sacks: The Colourful History of a Frugal Fabric by Linzee Kull McCray.

Editor's note: Below these paper dresses, the third card from the left is from the UPPERCASE book Feed Sacks: The Colourful History of a Frugal Fabric by Linzee Kull McCray.

International Typewriter Day!

June 23 is International Typewriter Day, marking this day in 1868 that the patent was granted to Christopher Latham Sholes. 

Here's an excerpt from The Typewriter: a Graphic History of the Beloved Machine:

Christopher Latham Sholes

Christopher Latham Sholes

The Father of the Typewriter

The notion of a machine to replace handwriting had been toyed with for centuries. English engineer Henry Mill patented the concept in 1714 as “an artificial machine or method for impressing or transcribing of letters, one after another, as in writing, whereby all writing whatsoever may be engrossed in paper or parchment so neat and exact as not to be distinguished from print.”

Though there is a long list of inventors preceding him, Christopher Latham Sholes is the man history has awarded the winning title of inventor of the typewriter, patented on June 23, 1868. His machine was the first to be commercially successful and from it all other modern typewriters evolved.

“I do feel that I have done something for the women who have always had to work so hard. This will enable them more easily to earn a living.”

–CHRISTOPHER LATHAM SHOLES

To read more about The Typewriter: A Graphic History of the Beloved Machine please visit the book's website.

LanaBetty: Leaving the Corporate Life

Photos of Lana Lepper by Jeanie Ow of Stu-di-o by Jeanie. "I didn't know a photograph could make me feel so happy or beautiful until I saw her work," says Lana.

Photos of Lana Lepper by Jeanie Ow of Stu-di-o by Jeanie.
"I didn't know a photograph could make me feel so happy or beautiful until I saw her work," says Lana.

Lana Lepper designs and makes contemporary geometry-inspired jewellery. “I love my craft fiercely and passionately,” she says. “It’s unparalleled to any other task or job I've ever performed.” She lives in Vancouver with her husband and dog. “We live in a small (but not too small) apartment overlooking the city of Vancouver.” She has a bachelor of science in biology and enjoys snowboarding. (“And I'm cocky about how good I am,” she admits.)

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Nearly two years ago, Lana was laid off from a corporate job. “I was devastated. I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed, worrying about how I would pay my mortgage or how I would share my perceived failure with my husband and friends.” She felt like she had failed, that she wasn’t good enough. For the job, for anything. “What if I never worked again? Would my husband still love me? Think of all the nasty terrible fears you have deep down inside you about your performance or job expectations—those fears hit me like a wall and nearly drowned me in their miasma.”

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Fortunately, Lana’s husband showed his support. “He told me that we would adjust. Find our centre and continue to achieve our goals. He said he trusted me. He believes in me.” Her friends rallied around her as well as she tried to find new footing.

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For years she had been living a double life, one in the corporate world, the other as a jewellery designer LanaBetty in the off hours. With a holiday season fast approaching, Lana and her husband decided she should give the holiday markets her absolute best effort. “I decided that I would attack the markets with ferocity and passion. I would get angry about my job loss and funnel that energy into design, production and sales. I would fix up my website. I would set targets and hit them.” The backup plan? “If it all tanked, I would put LanaBetty on hold and look for another corporate job.”

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Lana’s primary goal, though, was to be happy. “No more working with stress so high I couldn't sleep. No more working so hard I forgot to eat. No more pushing papers for a company that didn't care.”

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“It's been almost two years now and I can honestly say I am happy. I have never worked so hard in my life. Every moment is spent on social media or in the studio. Everything I have done before this moment has prepared me for the next. I have had my jewelry featured in blogs, on models, in magazines, doubled my sales and have kicked up quite a niche market in custom jewellery.”

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Lana has found that the most satisfying aspect of running her creative enterprise is that she is accountable to herself. “There has never been anything more empowering or satisfying.”

She is quick to share some hard-earned advice:

“Dive head first into your passion and let every single moment be the best moment. Be happy with who you are and content when you get into bed every night. Strive for greatness and (sometimes) be humble about it. Be proud of yourself and always, always, do what makes you happy.”

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Visit LanaBetty's website and instagram

Creative Supplies Swap recap

The Creative Supplies Swap was a success! We had fun, enjoyed talking craft and creativity and everyone went home with a little something new to play with.

Thank you to my co-host Rosalyn Faustino of Calgary Craft Alert and to all the enthusiastic folks who came out to share and snoop!

If you're interested in starting your own swap in your community, I've compiled some tips.

Calgary Craft Alert

Guest post by Rosalyn Faustino

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My name is Rosalyn Faustino and I am the founder of Calgary Craft Alert. (hi!) Janine and I are happy to be co-hosting the Creative Supplies Swap at UPPERCASE this Saturday from 1-3pm.

I was born and raised in Calgary and went adventuring in Toronto for almost 13 years and came back to become an auntie to my nieces and to have a new adventure with my partner in 2014. I graduated Specializing in Sculpture and Design and Art History and became interested in more traditional and domestic craft work such as weaving, sewing, and quilting. Although, I love to draw and practice penmanship.

Calgary Craft Alert started its online presence in November 2015—when I was 7 months pregnant with my little boy. I wanted to create an online space for the art and craft community for the city of Calgary to connect with one another. 

My first year of having a newborn and starting a new venture was quite tough, as I didn't often get the chance to explore the city and attend shows. I used Instagram and Facebook as my main sources of researching local talent and I immediately started to build the Calgary Craft Alert website, albeit at a very slow pace. However, you will most likely see my family and I going on craft adventures, now that summer is here! 

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A few months ago, I had the opportunity to sew a couple sample projects for Janine's newest fabric look book, Volume 2: Dots, Dashes and Diamonds. The patterns used are also made by a local designer, Krystine Czepuryk of Pretty By Hand. 

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Sign up for Calgary Craft Alert newsletter for the latest local craft news. See you on Saturday!

Issue 34: scenes from the printer!

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UPPERCASE 34 (July/August/September) is printed, being folded and heading to the bindery! After that? In the mail to YOU. But only if you're an active subscriber by June 15.

Subscribe, renew or purchase a gift subscription before June 15 and use the code 'explore34' for $15 off.

Folding issue 34 (video from @youngcmyk ) subscribe or renew before June 15 to be on the mailing list! 📬

A post shared by Janine Vangool (@uppercasemag) on

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Do you find beauty in incongruity or in similitude?

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I receive hundreds of submissions every year (perhaps the number even tops 1000? There are a lot of them—some from my open calls, others unsolicited). And I'm grateful for each and every one of them! I try to put as many as I can in print, but often there are more ideas than number of pages. And since the magazine is quarterly, it can take a long time for a very good submission to find its way into print.

I want to share more of these submissions—folks have put talent and effort into them and they deserve to be read and appreciated. I'm going to post more of them in my newsletters and here on the blog, and though it might not be as thematic and ordered as in context of a print magazine, there's beauty in the random surprise.

Let's start with Clare Dean, who submitted the piece below as part of the Open Pitch a couple of months ago. Clare offers us (me!) perspective on letting things be a bit more uncontrolled and organic.
 

Do you find beauty in incongruity or in similitude?

by Clare Dean

 

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Over the past few years, in addition to being a publishing consultant and mother of small chatty boys, I have worked as an artist, illustrator and pattern designer. As my style has developed, like many others I have given a lot of thought to my point of view. Do I have one? What are my convictions? What I am trying to say? Initially, I created work that I hoped would merely ‘delight’, but it soon became obvious to me that there was a lot of ‘delightful’ work out there that pursued a similar theme. What was I trying to ‘say’, if anything at all? As a philosophical theology graduate, and the wife of a philosopher, it seems that I am attracted to thought and meaning. 

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A couple of summers ago, I attended a modern dance performance/dramatic piece in Boston. The overall perspective they communicated could be reduced down to the idea that everyone and everything is the same – that we exist, and others and other things exist, and there is comfort and complicity in our similitude. I thought about it, and realized that I believe and find comfort in the opposite – that everything is various and different, and that beauty can be found in complexity. In pursuing this idea further, I realized that a common trait in my work is an almost random incongruous assemblage of things and beings. 

I delight in mismatching and juxtaposing images to partly highlight the absurdity of the assemblage of things, but also to celebrate the richness in life. Why not, for example, place a poodle on a vintage 1970’s footstool, or a parrot flapping around an antique rocking horse? To me, the combination of these items painted to highlight their beauty celebrates them as individual objects and beings, while saying ‘look how strange – we live in a world where someone shaves a poodle’s fur into funny balls, and also makes and owns a swirly patterned stool on which to rest your feet. Ultimately, the fact that I am drawn to capturing the incongruity is all the more absurd.

Visit Clare's portfolio.

The Creative Supplies Swap

Rosalyn Faustino of Calgary Craft Alert and I are happy to be hosting The Creative Supplies Swap!

We all have extra art, craft and creative supplies that aren't being used. Want to find them a new home? Join us at our Creative Supplies Swap, on Saturday, June 17th, from 1-3pm. Bring yarn, fabric, notions, paper, paints, books, children's craft items, assorted creative bits and bobs*... join us for a fun afternoon of trading and making. You can also bring small, inexpensive artwork and projects that you're willing to exchange with fellow creative swappers. UPPERCASE will also have copies of the freshly published Stitch-illo book and other books and magazines for sale.

*IMPORTANT: Please be prepared to bring your leftover supplies home at the end of the event!! This is a swap, not a request for donations.

Saturday, June 17 from 1–3pm
UPPERCASE Suite 201 B, 908 17th Avenue SW (Devenish Building), Calgary

This is a free event. We will have refreshments and snacks. Kids are welcome, too.

RSVP on Facebook—or just show up!

CALGARY CRAFT ALERT (CCA) is an online resource for the City of Calgary and surrounding area for all things Craft/Art/Design related. Sign up for their email list to be in-the-know about local craft events!

Like this idea? Host your own Creative Supplies Swap in your community! Email me and I'll provide you the graphics.

Cover reveal! The next issue's cover art is by Laura Maxcy.

The July/August/September issue's files are off to the printer!

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The issue is about creative adventure—real, imagined, personal, historical... So the lettered globes of Laura Maxcy caught my eye as cover material.

Through her company Wild & Free Designs, Laura specializes in hand-lettered goods—her prints, postcards, mugs and painted vintage globes are adorned with quotes and phrases meant to inspire and to encourage a sense of adventure and wonder in the world around us. 

"Wild & Free Designs came about from my background in graphic design, a love of reclaimed vintage, and inspiration from the Transcendentalist writers' works on nature and the world around us (works of Thoreau, Emerson, and Muir in particular)." 

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"When I was younger I was constantly outside exploring the world around me. I drew so much inspiration from being out in the woods, and those memories have become such a large part of me. Everything I create with Wild & Free Designs is directly influenced by my time as a young explorer."

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"Although I got my degree in graphic design, I needed a creative outlet that didn't involve staring at a computer screen all day. I started hand-lettering quotes on vintage landscape prints I found at a thrift store, with which I planned to decorate a room in my house. Instead I decided to list them on Etsy, along with my painted globes. Each of my items are definitely unique and one-of-a-kind. I especially love doing custom work for someone and getting to experience their satisfaction and appreciation."

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Issue 34 will be ready to mail in a few short weeks. Please subscribe or renew today! Mailing data for the issue will be finalized on June 15.

Stitch•illo: last chance to pre-order!

The book cover along with some bookmarks.

The book cover along with some bookmarks.

Dust jackets and belly bands.

Dust jackets and belly bands.

Interior pages really stack up!

The front cover and the inside front cover.

The front cover and the inside front cover.

This weekend is your last chance to pre-order Stitch-illo and get it straight from the printer. The signatures will be folded on Monday and then the book heads to the bindery. It is on track for mailing out the week of May 29.

Order before May 15 to be on the shipping list!

Preview the book here.

(If you pre-ordered already—thank you!—please check your inbox for an address verification email sent earlier this week if you haven't already responded. From May 15, orders will be held until inventory arrives in fulfillment warehouses in early June.)

Please preorder your Encyclopedia set here and Feed Sacks will be shipped to you straight away or individual Stitch•illo books are available here. During this preorder stage for Stitch•illo and Botanica you can enjoy free shipping on those books within North America and subsidized shipping for orders heading overseas. 

Going to Quilt Market

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Join me later this month at the spring Quilt Market in St. Louis, Missouri!

I'll be giving a presentation (and giving away free magazines and there will be a draw for fabric) on Saturday, May 20 at 11am in the Windham Fabrics booth. On Sunday, May 21 starting at noon, you're invited to come back to the Windham Booth for a fun and easy craft: making necklaces and rings with my new collection UPPERCASE Volume 2: Dots, Dashes and Diamonds.

Supplies and space are limited for the free jewellery-making session, so if you're going to be at Quilt Market, please RSVP here to reserve a spot. 

It's a fabric ring of POWER!

It's a fabric ring of POWER!

If you're going to be showing at market or roaming around and would like to connect, please get in touch.

Stitch•illo is at the printer!

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Volume "S" of the UPPERCASE Encyclopedia of Inspiration is at the printer! I expect it will be ready to ship in late May, but I'll keep you updated here and through my newsletter. Thank you for all your support of this project through preorders of the Encyclopedia set and the individual books, too.

Dustjacket featuring a closeup of Liz Payne's work. (inkjet mockup)

Dustjacket featuring a closeup of Liz Payne's work. (inkjet mockup)

Wrapping around the dust jacket will be a belly band. (mockup)

Wrapping around the dust jacket will be a belly band. (mockup)

This dust jacket features the back of Hannah Bass' needlework patterns.

This dust jacket features the back of Hannah Bass' needlework patterns.

Like my Feed Sacks and Compendium books, you can use these dust jackets for other creative projects, as wrapping paper or just re-fold once and a while to give your Stitch•illo book a fresh look! (mockup)

Like my Feed Sacks and Compendium books, you can use these dust jackets for other creative projects, as wrapping paper or just re-fold once and a while to give your Stitch•illo book a fresh look! (mockup)

Closeup of stitching by Monika Kinner-Whalen. (mockup)

Closeup of stitching by Monika Kinner-Whalen. (mockup)

Zoomed in on work by Evelin Kasikov, who stitches on paper.

Zoomed in on work by Evelin Kasikov, who stitches on paper.

More details and a look inside Stitch•illo are over here. Thanks!

Featured Stockist: Papersmiths

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UPPERCASE magazine is available in some really beautiful shops around the world. Today, let's take a look at Papersmiths, a stationery, book and magazine shop in the UK.

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The store is located in Clifton Village in Bristol. "It’s full of independent boutiques and coffee shops and a short walk from Brunel’s famous suspension bridge."

The store opened in October 2014 and specializes in quality, design-led contemporary stationery and paper goods. "From notebooks to pencil sharpeners and fountain pens to scissors, we've handpicked items from the best designers and makers across the globe. Our carefully considered curation of books and magazines includes interior, architecture, graphics, music, fashion, film, travel, food and children's titles."

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"Our customers are all very interesting people. We are visited by lots of creative people with good taste. They might work in design or have a passion for calligraphy, writing, sketching, photography or just good design!"

Papersmiths will be opening a London location in May. You can also shop online. Issue 33 should be available there soon!

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My sewing room (filled with fabric!)

Now that the Look Book for UPPERCASE Volume 2 is published, I'm happy to share more pictures of my sewing room. 

Fiber drums purchased online from Uline.ca were the perfect solution for storing 32 bolts of fabric!

Fiber drums purchased online from Uline.ca were the perfect solution for storing 32 bolts of fabric!

They nestle in a narrow hallway—they're nice to pass by everyday.

They nestle in a narrow hallway—they're nice to pass by everyday.

There are 32 SKUs in this collection! So many patterns and colours to work with! These are the cool colours...

There are 32 SKUs in this collection! So many patterns and colours to work with! These are the cool colours...

And here are the warm colours. They're basically the same palette as my first fabric collection, but this time there are more colours at play in many of the designs.

And here are the warm colours. They're basically the same palette as my first fabric collection, but this time there are more colours at play in many of the designs.

This shelf used to be Finley's changing table.

This shelf used to be Finley's changing table.

I've always wanted a family of calico cats. Thanks to Glen and Finley and their Christmas gift, I have these little guys to play with. I'd like to sew them clothing in my fabric and vintage feed sack scraps.

I've always wanted a family of calico cats. Thanks to Glen and Finley and their Christmas gift, I have these little guys to play with. I'd like to sew them clothing in my fabric and vintage feed sack scraps.

So cute. They appeal to my 8-year-old self.

So cute. They appeal to my 8-year-old self.

Vintage thread spools. They appeal to my 40-something-year-old self.

Vintage thread spools. They appeal to my 40-something-year-old self.

Here's an overview of the sewing area. It's at the base of the stairs and opens out to the deck. The neat areas are on the perimeter since I was taking pictures for the Look Book—everything else was piled up in the middle!

Here's an overview of the sewing area. It's at the base of the stairs and opens out to the deck. The neat areas are on the perimeter since I was taking pictures for the Look Book—everything else was piled up in the middle!

There's nice natural light to sew and photograph by.

There's nice natural light to sew and photograph by.

I look forward to sharing more behind-the-scenes photos and details of the projects I made.

I look forward to sharing more behind-the-scenes photos and details of the projects I made.

Safe to say, if you see nicely cropped images from me, there's a lot of STUFF that I've omitted from the shot!

Safe to say, if you see nicely cropped images from me, there's a lot of STUFF that I've omitted from the shot!

It's pretty incredible to have a first fabric collection, let alone Volume 2! Thank you, Windham Fabrics!

It's pretty incredible to have a first fabric collection, let alone Volume 2! Thank you, Windham Fabrics!

UPPERCASE Volume 2: Dots, Dashes and Diamonds

I'm pleased to present my forthcoming collection with Windham Fabrics, UPPERCASE Volume 2: Dots, Dashes and Diamonds

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Repeated motifs of dots, dashes and diamonds make up this pretty graphic collection—with a little vintage feed sack inspiration thrown in as well! The optimistic colour palette pairs well with both vintage and contemporary designs. 

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The collection is on sale now as preorders for fabric retailers—visit the Windham Fabrics website for more details and to place your wholesale order. It will be available in stores in November.

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Peruse the Look Book here and find out more about the UPPERCASE (Paper) Quilt Block Challenge.

UPPERCASE (Paper) Quilt Block Challenge

Here’s a fun creative challenge! Whether you’re a quilter or not, everyone is invited to play with pattern.

Thanks to my son for helping me with this post!

It'll be some time before the my new Windham Collection is available in stores (November 2017) but that doesn't mean we can't have some fun with it! Let's get our creative juices flowing... by playing with paper!

1) Download and print this pdf to play with the patterns from UPPERCASE Volume 2: Dots, Dashes and Diamonds. (Or see the spread of the new fabric in issue 33.)

2) Design an original or traditional quilt block or use the patterns to create a collage. (Print out multiple copies if you need more of a particular pattern.) You can add solid white or black if you like. The finished designs should be square.

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3) Take a square photo of your creation and share on Instagram with the hashtag #uppercaseblock. The creations will be displayed in an online gallery. 

Together, we’ll create a quilt design based on reader submissions. I’ll award some fabric to the favourites. Have fun!

See more of the UPPERCASE Volume 2: Dots, Dashes and Diamonds collection over here.