Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Scandia Star Pattern

Sunday, March 12th, 2017

This has been a busy week after returning from a fun visit to The Quilter’s Studio  and the Annapolis Quilt Guild. I packed and shipped ten FreeSpirit Quilts, 5 garments and mannequins for  AQS Lancaster Quilt Week in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Of course it had to be on one of the windiest days of the year and the boxes and I could barely get from the car to the door of FedX. Now I am packing supplies for my classes in Lancaster, March 29 – April 1. So my focus has been mostly practical.

But it occurred to me that I have not shared patterns for two of my Scandia quilts. This one is called Scandia Star and is made from one of my favorite Le Moyne Star designs using Jan Krentz’s fast2cut Diamond Ruler. I have made this pattern about a dozen times, see Patchwork Sassaman Style. This patterns just loves symmetrical prints. And it is surprisingly easy to construct, Y-seams on this scale are a piece of cake. Here it is made with the purple Scandia colorway, which has a rich and somewhat subdued pallet for a Sassaman fabric. You can download the Scandia Star pattern here.

The quilt above is called Edelweiss. It makes me think of Scandinavian tile stoves, Swedish flags and yellow Baltic summer houses. Yellow and blue have always been a favorite color combination, very refreshing! This quilt is made of 10″ 45 degree triangles in the blue Scandia colorway. This quilt will be displayed at the Lancaster show, so perhaps you will get to visit it in person. You can download the Edelweiss.pdf pattern here.

Teaching travel ramps up this week. Please check my schedule because I’d love to see you in class!

Soda Bread for St. Patrick’s Day

Friday, February 24th, 2017

 

Susan’s Delicious Irish Soda Bread
Caraway & Currant
Rosemary & Cheddar

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking soda

Mix all the above with
2 tablespoons butter

Add 1-1 1/4 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon vinegar
Or 1-1//4 cups buttermilk

For Caraway & Currant add
3/4 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 cup currants or raisins

For Rosemary and Cheddar add
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Pat into an 8” round pan and make 1/2” deep crosshatches the top.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30- 35 minutes.

These bread covers were made to keep our tasty bread warm. We used Leaf Dance fabric in the top photos and Scandia fabrics in the lower pictures. They started as 17″ squares of fabric with half circles cut out on each side. The corner detail can be plain or fancy. Place right sides together and sew around the edges with a half inch seam. Leave a few inches open. Clip the seams and turn it right side out. Whip stitch the open edge closed.

Thanks, Susan, for all your help in the studio! You are invaluable!

a kick of color

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

Winter is officially here, the longest day of the year has passed and we are headed back to the light. But that journey still extends through a few more months of cold and snow. So, we Midwesterners are always hungry for a dose of color to add some zest to the gray days. Well, here is a kick of color to get you through the last week of the year. These projects are all made with fabric from my Cool Breeze collection for FreeSpirit, designs so cheerful that they’ll make you grin in spite of the gloom.

First up we have this graphic lap size quilt, 48” square. The pattern is based on a traditional square in a square block with sashing and borders. It combines all three color ways of the Cool Breeze fabrics.

The block begins with 6” fussy cut Butterfly square (cut 6 1/2”). The butterfly is surrounded by half square triangles from the Dapper Dandy design. The dandelions are then framed by half square triangles of Plaid fabric, fussy cut so the stripes change color with the right angle of the shape.

These blocks are framed with fussy cut sashing of Over-the-Top Dots. The blue color way of Pinks make the border along with some more fussy cut butterflies in the corners.

The piecing is very easy, it is the fabric which makes it look so fancy. And the beautiful quilting my Carol Ann McCandless is the icing on the cake. She has a steady hand and a good eye! She has also perfected the technique of using two threads through the needle of her long arm machine to make the heavy line of stitching that I love. Wouldn’t this make a happy baby quilt?

We liked this little quilt so much that we had to make some matching pillowcases, too! The body of these cases are Cool Breeze fabrics and the others are “vintage” Sassaman from my stash. If you have your own Sassaman stash, you will find that the fabrics play together nicely from season to season.

But wait! A good quilt top deserves a good backing, too. Here is the back. It was pieced with 6 1/2” strips of Plaid fabric in all three colorways. Then the pieced strips were cut again into crossways strips and rearranged before they were sewn back together. After that the side borders were added. I think I like the back as much as the front!

Holy cow, we can’t stop now! Here’s a super pieced pillow to top it all off.
The four blocks are composed of fussy cut squares of the Pinks fabric, blue colorway, for a kaleidoscope effect. The blocks are framed with sashing.

The pillow top is quilted with 12 weight Sew Sassy thread. The back has simple overlapping halves and some nice big buttons for closures. It is bound with bias strips of the Plaid fabric. Diagrams for both the quilt top and the pieced pillow are below. The pillowcase pattern can be purchased in is my webstore.

All fabric is from FreeSpirit

Cool Breeze Butterfly Quilt top yardage:

Butterflies – blue, pink – PWJS 086 – 1/4 yard each
Butterflies – yellow – PWJS 086 – 1/2 yard
Plaid – blue, pink, yellow – PWJS 090 – 2/3 yard each
Dapper Dandies – blue, pink, yellow – PWJS – 1/4 yard each
Pretty Pinks – blue – PWJS 087 – 2/3 yard
Over-the-Top Dots – blue – PWJS 089 – 2/3 yard
Over-the-Top Dots – yellow – PWJS 089 – 1/2 yard

Red Barn Special for Madeline Island School of the Arts!!

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

MISA 3

In case you are still thinking about registering for my August 22-26, 2016 workshop at Madeline Island School of the Arts you can save $100 on your on-site lodging reservation when you register for my workshop by July 20, 2016.

MISA Lg

To read more about my class and to register, click here, or call MISA at 715.747.2054, or email misa@cheqnet.net. I have included photos of some previous classes and their inspiring projects, in case you just need a little nudge.

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The classrooms here at Madeline Island School of the Arts are some of the best I have ever experienced… lots of elbow room, natural light and power for irons and sewing machines. Above, you can see the space in action. I love to see the glorious mess of creativity! Sometimes there are other classes on campus and we get to cross-pollinate ideas and experiences during mealtimes and after hours. Oh! Did I mention the cookies?

MISA 1

The grounds are idyllic, the perfect place to relax, let the imagination wonder and to spend some quality time time fondling fabric. It is truly a wonderful destination. I hope to see you there!

Busy Winter Wrap Up

Saturday, March 5th, 2016

Sassaman Scandia Fabric

Winter is a time that I usually reserve for rejuvenation and nesting. It is the season for concentrating on new ideas and designs. As this period of introspection comes to its end I’m realizing how productive it has been. My first assignment was to design a line of FreeSpirit fabric for an Autumn introduction. Above, is a little sneak peek at what evolved. It is called Scandia, a very Nordic inspired collection.

Sassaman Color My Garden

Upon completion of those designs, I dove directly into the coloring book project for Dragon Threads. This involved sifting through sixteen years of my textile designs and pulling out the most befitting compositions and turning them into black outline drawings. This was pretty laborious at times, but I actually enjoy working on very detailed projects, so it was really quite absorbing. And look at that beautiful cover!

So sharpen your pencils and go to the Dragon Threads website to pre-order your copy. They will be in circulation by the end of the month!!

Early Bird Scarf Small 2

Sassaman Early Bird Scarf 2

And while you are at the Dragon Threads site you can also pre-0rder this scrumptious limited edition Early Birds scarf! It is 100 percent silk twill and a practical 20″ X 70″. Doesn’t it look like Spring? I am very fond of creating millefleurs patterns and this is one of my favorites. This is an homage to William Morris and his famous Strawberry Thief design; rich color and opulent composition.

So this week the teaching and travel begin again. There is lots to do in preparation, but I am looking forward to this next phase. I think I am a lucky girl to have this mix of isolation and stimulation. And I’m looking forward to seeing some old quilting friends and making some new ones in the coming months. Check my workshop schedule, perhaps I’ll be able to meet YOU.

Red Barn Special!

Friday, January 29th, 2016

Jane-Sassaman2016final

I am so excited to be returning to teach a 5 day quilting workshop at Madeline Island School of the Arts, August 22-26, 2016. This is an inspiring setting to concentrate on your work, absorb new ideas and practice your skills!

I wanted to let you know that you can save $100 on your on-site lodging reservation when you register for my workshop by February 29, 2016.

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A 25% deposit is all you need to hold your place in my workshop.  To read more about my class and to register, click here, or call MISA at 715.747.2054, or email misa@cheqnet.net.

 

A Tale of Two Quilts

Monday, January 25th, 2016

Sassaman Moths and Moons Quilt

Welcome back to the the Sassaman Ideas Blog. After suffering a case of digital burn-out and creative discontent, I’ve taken a hiatus from blogging. But in the meantime I’ve discovered the more immediate joys of communicating via instagram and Pinterest. These social formats have revived my interest in weekly blogging. So I am hoping to come back with more “heart” this time.

I wear two professional hats, one the beret of an artist and the other the practical ball cap of a designer. I intend to share both these roles with you in this new series of posts.

The quilts above are a rare mix of both these roles. They were made to feature the FreeSpirit Leaf Dance collection. My personal art quilts are usually made with solid colored fabric cut into shapes to be appliqued. Even though, my commercial fabric has an identifiable Sassaman style the repeat pattern of the yardage requires that it be used in its own unique way, as traditional pieced quilts, for example. These moth quilts show a little bit of both worlds.

The original quilt is on the left. It was intensely machine quilted before the moths were applied. Each little leaf is individually stitched with thread tails tied and buried at both ends… quite unreasonable and ridiculously time consuming. But I have a very high tolerance  for meditative and tedious craftsmanship. Yet this quilt design seemed like a good candidate to become a commercial pattern, as it could be made successfully with all kinds of fabrics, in which case the construction needed to become more accessible.

So in the second version, the wreaths are appliqued and the moths are beefed up to have a grander presence. There are features that I like in both pieces.

Sassaman Moths & Moons 1 Quilt

Here is a detail of Moths and Moons One. I used lots of Sew Sassy topstitching thread in both translations. You can see why I had to quilt the background before I added the applique. I could never make the wreath embroidery stop and start at such weird angles.

Sassaman Moths & Moons 2 Quilt

Here is a detail of version two. I am pleased with the contrast of the gray wreath on the white brocade moon. Do you have a favorite? Now to get the pattern written! By the way, there are two free Leaf Dance patterns available on my home page that you can  print and make without any waiting. Enjoy.

Blue is today’s theme!

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Blue Egg Head

Today we have a blue theme in honor of this beautiful day! The temperature is finally rising and it’s heading toward spring. The squirrels have been racing around and the cats are actually anxious to go outside. Spring is in the air and some ambitious critter has laid this enormous egg in the Blue Muse’s nest!! I wonder what will hatch and when it will happen. Maybe it will be something BLUE!

Barn Raising Quilt

So today I am posting two blue quilts made with the Prairie Chic fabric for FreeSpirit. The Barn Raising pattern has always been a favorite traditional quilt pattern of mine. It is so graphic and dramatic that I have done it many times with many different fabric lines. Take a peek in Patchwork Sassaman Style to see them. In fact, that book will walk you through the steps for making this quilt. Here is also a Prairie Chic – Barn Raising diagram with measurements and yardage. All the measurements are finished dimensions, so don’t forget to add your extra seam allowance. I chose some simple prints from the line to keep the quilt as uncomplicated and clean as possible.

Monkey Puzzle Quilt

Here is another favorite quilt block, Monkey Puzzle or Churn Dash. It is a perfect design for a beginning quilter to learn the basics. But it is also the simplicity that makes this pattern so striking. I have also mixed some Designer Solids with the very usable triangle print. The quilting is done with my two-fisted 12 weight top-stitching thread, Sew Sassy from Superior. It really adds another layer of interest to the composition. You can also download a diagram for this Prairie Chic – Monkey Puzzle. Again, don’t forget to add your seam allowance to the finished dimensions.

There are more Prairie Chic quilts to share soon, so stay tuned.

Empty Spools Workshop

Saturday, March 7th, 2015

Sassaman Asilomar

The teaching year is getting off to a productive start, after being at the Empty Spools Seminar, Session 2, last week. It is a favorite environment for quilt teachers and students for many years. Located in the quaint town of Pacific Grove, California and a skip away from Carmel, it is an ideal place to take a break from your everyday routine and infuse your spirit with beauty and inspiration. I was teaching Abstracting from Nature and got to be in a favorite classrooms in a building designed by Julia Morgan, a renowned California Arts & Crafts architect.

Sassaman Class Asilomar

Here is the classroom during the glorious mess of creation. Doesn’t it look like fun? The class went for five days. On the end of the fourth day, everyone cleans their space and prepares their work to be displayed for the “walk-around”. This is when the students from all the other classes can visit to see what other methods and ideas everyone else has been working on. It has become such a tradition, that many people come from outside the seminar come to see all the new work that has been created.

Sassaman Asilomar Class

Here the room is all cleaned up and ready for inspection. My students were hard-working and very diligent, as you can see. I am always amazed and pleased with the results, which is why I enjoy these longer classes so much. Most folks got to stitching on the last two days, so they really have experienced the whole technique.

Begonia Quilt

I will be teaching the same five-day class this summer at Madeline Island School of the Arts, another fabulous place for rejuvenation and inspiration.

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I hope to see some of you there!

Getting “a head” & Quilting Arts TV Blog Hop Begins!

Friday, July 18th, 2014

Sassaman Head 1

This week we really got a head! A big blue head! We have been anticipating this delivery for months and Wednesday our new garden ornament arrived. If you were in Chicago last summer you may have noticed these head planters lining South Michigan Avenue. Like the “Cows”, these heads were sponsored and individually decorated. Then they were planted so the flowers, leaves and vines became their hair. A giant Chia Pet!

Cultural Mile Poster

Or this summer you may have seen the banners for the “Cultural Mile” Second Friday events around the city, which was designed by my husband and son. In the process of working on the banner, they discovered that a few heads had not been claimed at the end of the season. Being surrealists at heart, they thought this would be the perfect focal piece for our country landscape.

Sassaman Head 2

Obviously, this head had originally been funded by Ford, but we will eventually replace their logo with something more fitting to its new home. It gave the Fed Ex driver quite a surprise yesterday afternoon! I think it is fabulous and it’s going to be great fun to plant his new hairdo every year… morning glories, grasses…

Sassaman Head 4

Even the color is perfect! But it’s our secret because you can’t see it from the road.

Quilting Arts Sassaman & Brubaker Knapp

The next neat event is the Quilting Arts TV Blog Hop  which begins today! To celebrate the new season of Quilting Arts TV, series 1400, many of the guests will have a specific day in the next week to post a special blog.

Here is the schedule:

July 18: Vivika DeNegre at quiltingdaily.com
July 19: Luana Rubin (luanarubin.typepad.com)/Linda Friedman (lindasartquilts.blogspot.com)
July 20: Sarah Ann Smith (sarahannsmith.com/weblog)/Karen Gloeggler (seminarandsew.com)
July 21: Carrie Bloomston (suchitysuch.blogspot.com/ Catherine Redford (catherineredford.com)
July 22: Sue Reno (suereno.blogspot.com)/ Rebekah Meier (rebekahmeier.com)
July 23: Lyric Kinard (lyrickinard.com/blog) / Margie Ullery (ribboncandyquilts.blogspot.com)
July 24: Cheryl Sleboda (muppin.com/wordpress/) / Jane Sassaman (janesassaman.com/weblog)/Julia Creus (http/todera.blogspot.com)
July 25: Susan Brubaker Knapp (bluemoonriver.blogspot.com)

There are lots of talented folks involved and it’s sure to be a week of wonderful information and entertainment.

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You can also purchase a Quilting Arts TV 1400 Series DVD of your own to watch whenever you need a hit of insight and encouragement. See you next week!