Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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
July 19: Luana Rubin ( Friedman (
July 20: Sarah Ann Smith ( Gloeggler (
July 21: Carrie Bloomston ( Catherine Redford (
July 22: Sue Reno ( Rebekah Meier (
July 23: Lyric Kinard ( / Margie Ullery (
July 24: Cheryl Sleboda ( / Jane Sassaman ( Creus (http/
July 25: Susan Brubaker Knapp (

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


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!

At the drawing board

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

Chicago School of Fusing

There have been many distractions as I try to get settled in my studio for some quality fabric designing time. My  deadline is August 1!! But one of the nicer diversions was a visit to the International Quilt Festival-Chicago last week. Here I am with my buddies Laura Wasilowski and Frieda Anderson in their colorful booth. We all had work in the Chicago School of Fusing special exhibit, too.

But back in the studio, there are still a few Sweet Lady Jane projects that I’ve yet to share with you. Here is a “modern” little quilt in blue and green simple prints from the collection.

Sassaman SLJ Quilt

I love to mix uncomplicated tone-on-tone patterns with the personality prints as supporting characters. Here the simple geometrics and solid colors extend and connect with the vertical flowered bars. Because of the placement of the colors, a checkered or plaid pattern evolves. The quilt is lap/wall size, 56″ X 42″.

Sassaman SLJ Quilt Diagram

Here is a diagram showing the sizes of the pieces. After the blocks are made they are sown together in strips.

The Sweet Lady Jane yardage needed is:

Daisy Chain, periwinkle – 1 yard

Circle Dance, periwinkle – 1/2 yard

Circle Dance, green – 1/3 yard

Circle Dance, periwinkle – 1/2 yard

Garden Gingham, green – 1/3 yard

Gone Dotty, green – 1/4 yard

Gone Dotty, periwinkle – 1/3 yard

Here is a link to our vendors list to make your fabric search easier. Google Images is an easy way to find the fabric, too.

I’m hoping that my blogging will become more regular now that I am home and have easy access to the internet and my computer! So stay tuned for some new ideas!!

Getting back to Earth

Monday, June 16th, 2014

2014 Siderealistic Timesters

I am just getting back in the groove from nearly two months of travel and teaching. Thanks to all my new friends and old buddies who have made my time away from home so comfortable and invigorating!

This will be a busy week. Greg and Gabe (Siderealistic Timesters) have curated another stellar show which will open officially this Saturday night. But this time their installation is in the historic Old Courthouse on the quaint and vibrant Woodstock Square. I will have a couple of kaleidoscope quilts on display. And my local quilt shop is right across the street… and the Starbucks. Greg and Gabe designed the wonderful poster, too.

Illinois Album 500px

Plus the International Quilt Festival Chicago is in town this week! I will have a few quilts on display there, including the Illinois Album quilt and some other pieces in the Chicago School of Fusing display. I hope to see many of you there!

Tuscaloosa Visit

Monday, March 17th, 2014

Pink Camelias

I’ve just returned from a wonderful and warm trip to Tuscaloosa for the West Alabama Quilt Guild. It isn’t always possible for us quilt teachers to get beyond the hotel in the places we visit. But this week I got the royal tour of the University of Alabama’s impressive campus and its city surrounds. Of course, I was interested in seeing the Art Building. I love this fun sculpture in its courtyard. I wish we had one in our yard! Looks like Bender.

Alabama Robot Sculpture

We also browsed the Westervelt Collection of American Art in the Tuscaloosa Museum of Art. The museum is housed in a majestic Japanese style building surrounded by tall trees. The collection holds many western sculptures and busts of famous historic leaders.

Tuscaloosa Museum of Art

But here is one of the favorite things that I saw there. The big frame surrounding a picture of “nothing” is so surreal! The label says “Out of Site of Land, George Catlin, 1786-1872.

Out of Sight of Land, G. Catlin

I also was treated to an exotic (for a Midwesterner) variety of Southern culinary classics… fried catfish, fried okra, fried green tomatoes, fried pickles, grits, field peas, Hoppin’ John, coleslaw, and blackened shrimp! This was over several days, not in one sitting. But in any case, the diet begins today!

The Alabama quilters were as warmhearted and welcoming as quilters are everywhere. We spent a day together in the Simple Silhouettes workshop and those gals were on-the ball. Almost everyone finished their tops and two gals even started to quilt them. Thanks, girls, for making this trip so comfortable and entertaining!

Sassaman Tuscaloosa Class

Here is a Sweet Lady Jane version with all four Spring Diva Silhouette patterns made with into a lap size quilt. Just the kind of colors we need to coax us into spring.

Sassaman Divas Quilt

By the time I got back home a few adventurous chipmunks had awoke from their winter’s nap and dozens of Sandhill cranes where flying overhead. These are sure signs that delicious changes are on the way.

Tickled Pink

Friday, February 21st, 2014

Sassaman SLJ Quilt

The winter weather continues to be extraordinary… snow, rain, wind. But the temperatures are raising so spring is definitely in sight. This is the time of year that we start dreaming over the seed catalogs and anticipating the colors of spring.

So here is a quilt that does the same trick! It’s called Tickled Pink and is made with fabrics from the Sweet Lady Jane collection and the Cross-in-a-Square recipe from my book, Patchwork Sassaman Style.

Sassaman Quilt Detail

It was neatly quilted by Pam McIntyre of Quilting Makes the Quilt. This is an easy quilt to construct and all the measurements and yardage is shown below. If you need more detailed directions you can find them in Patchwork Sassaman Style.

SLJ Tickled Pattern

The teaching year begins officially this week and I am looking forward to seeing all my quilting buddies. Check my schedule to see if we could have a class together. Remember that the Red Barn Special at the Madeline Island School of the Arts is active through the end of the month!To read more about my class and to register, click here, or call the Registrar, Anne Leafblad, at 715.747.2054, or email
Hope to see you there!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Friday, February 14th, 2014

Sassaman Valentine 2014

Sweet Lady Jane Pillow & Workshop Special!

Monday, February 10th, 2014

Sweet Lady Jane Pillow

Well, I have finalized all my new FreeSpirit designs for an October introduction. Now I am adding labels and preparing to print and mail them out soon. Phew! This line will have some surprises… like some unexpected colors. I even surprised myself!

So now I can devote some time to Sweet Lady Jane projects. But first we will begin with an idea from my friend, Melissa Peda, designer, writer and blogger. She designed this pretty pillow using a refreshing mix of SLJ fabrics.

SLJ Pillow Fabrics

The fuchsias are just ripe for fussy cutting for fun kaleidoscopic effects. Notice the cross stitching on the half-inch gingham checks. This is a charming “old-fashioned” craft that is being revived by contemporary crafters. The button flourish has become one of Melissa’s trademarks. In fact, go to Melissa’s blog to see lots of other Sweet Lady Jane projects.


I’m so excited to be teaching a 5-day quilting workshop at Madeline Island School of the Arts, September 29-October 3, 2014.  I’ve heard nothing but the best about this magical Island, MISA’s state of the art studios, lodging, and delicious meals.
So, I wanted to let you know of a special program just for my followers, called “The Red Barn Special.” This is specifically for my workshop at MISA.
Save $85 on your on-site lodging reservation when you register for my workshop by February 28, 2013.

Now is your chance to get first pick at their comfortable and cozy on-campus rooms in their Mission Cottages.  Before word gets out of my class, I wanted to let you know of this amazing opportunity to spend a week with me on Madeline Island.
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 the Registrar, Anne Leafblad, at 715.747.2054, or email
Hope to see you there!

New Ribbon Colors

Friday, November 8th, 2013

Black Sassaman Ribbon

When I returned from Houston Market and Festival there was a stack of mail waiting to be sorted through. Among them was a package from Renaissance Ribbon, always exciting! It contained the new colorways of the Wild Child Ribbon! And it is beautiful!!

Sassaman Ribbon Boxes

After ten days of being away from the studio I was itching to make something, so I whipped up these little gift boxes. First I painted three brown cardboard boxes from Hobby Lobby to match the ribbon. The rectangular lid had a small window that was the perfect size to feature the Morning Glory ribbon. Then I wrapped three sides of the bottom half with the same design and painted the green dots on the lid.

Sassaman Ribbon Box 1

Sassaman Ribbon Boxes 2

For the oval and round boxes, I fussy cut some leaves from the Flower Fiesta fabric and decoupaged them on the lids and then glued striped ribbon around the edge. Next I carefully attached coordinating ribbons to the bottom halves. Since the ribbon is practical polyester you can keep the edges from fraying with the heat of a flame or burning tool.

Now they are ready to nest a precious little gift… a piece of chocolate or a pair of earrings, perhaps. Oh yes, the fabric they are sitting on is called Brocade and is from my new FreeSpirit line, Sweet Lady Jane, which will be available in stores this January!

Golden Prairie

Saturday, September 7th, 2013

Black eyed Daisy

The transformation has begun. Nights temperatures are in the 50’s, the air is very clear and the fields are changing color a little each day. In our yard the sedum is turning pink, but all the other blossoms are yellow and gold.

Sassaman Wild Child Quilt

As you may know, my studio is gold, too. I find the color both comforting and stimulating. It is a color that appears in my fabrics quite regularly, too. And since I love combining contrasting colors, gold and blue or yellow and purple are a dramatic duo in many fabric designs. I am also a push-over for black! Black makes the other colors brighter and adds still more drama through contrast.

In this studio shot we are featuring both current and vintage Sassaman fabrics with these color mixtures. The chair is covered by the Teasel and Lace design from the Prairie Gothic line. The sachel in the chair is of the plum border print from Early Birds. The fabulous coat (Folkwear Pattern #118) and “Whole Cloth” quilt are both made with the current Wild Child collection. Love that electric blue, too!

Sassaman Wild Child Quilt Detail

The Whole Cloth pattern is a recipe from Patchwork Sassaman Style. It is the easiest recipe in the book! Here we are simply letting the fabric to the work… art by the yard! Just like a picture with a mat and frame. There’s no need to cut a print with so much personality. Let it stand on its own.

Sassaman Triangle Quilt

Surprise! The Whole Cloth is actually the back for this Thousand Mountain quilt! This pattern is simply made of 45 degree triangles sewn into strips. Each triangle is 10″ high, finished. Half of the triangles are cut from the blue Gaillardia fabric. The others have been strip pieced with jelly-roll strips, 2″ finished, of other fabrics in the blue colorway. I threw in an occassional 1″ strip of solid blue for a little breather from all the pattern. Thousand Mountains is a pattern I have made many times with much success and it is a recipe which is also included in Patchwork Sassaman Style.

Sassaman Quilt Detail

I like the way the triangles seem to disappear and reappear. It is the strips with black that blend and create this illusion.

Daisy Field

PS… there are some new Renaissance Ribbon colors coming soon! Stay tuned!

Fancy Wrap Up

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Sassaman Ribbon Box Project

There have been lots of wedding and baby showers this summer. Consequently, I have noticed that the wrapping outside can be just as exciting as the gifts within. So this week we have created our own spectacular party packaging.

Sassaman Box Top

It all started with a 10″ wide brown paper hat box from Hobby Lobby, which I painted white. Then I cut a circular yellow fabric disk large enough to cover the lid, its sides and fold under the lip. I spray glued the lid before I centered the fabric over it. Next I clipped tabs to fold the fabric around the sides and secured them with Tacky Glue inside the lid.

I also cut a blue panel to reach around the body of the box and fold over its top edge. This I secured with spray glue on the outside. Again tabs were cut and folded and Tacky Glued in place.

Sassaman Ribbon Box 1

Next came the rosettes for the top. There are three rosettes stacked on top of each other. The smallest pink one started as an 28″ X 4″ fabric panel, folded in half lengthwise to make a 2″ X 28″ piece. Then the ribbon and rick-rack were stitched to the folded side and the ends sewn together to form a continuous band. I hand stitched a running stitch with pearl cotton thread on the raw edge to create a ruffle. This process was repeated for the next two rosettes… blue 28″ X 6″ and yellow 28″ X 8″.

Sassaman Ribbon Project

After poking a hole in the center of the lid, I stacked the rosettes with a painted yellow foam gasket and screwed them to the lid of the box with a ceramic knob, also from Hobby Lobby. Next I glued ribbon on the side of the lid, as well as ribbon and rick-rack on to the box itself.

Sassaman Ribbon Box Open

As a finishing touch there is a small ribbon trim just inside the box, too. All the fabric is from The Early Birds collection for FreeSpirit and the ribbon is from the new Wild Child line for Renaissance Ribbon. I’ve almost decided that this project is too pretty to give away!

Sassaman Ribbon Box Top