Archive for the ‘Sweet Lady Jane’ Category

Pretty Pink and Blue Blouse

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Tucson Sky

I am overwhelmed by these sunny days in Arizona! There has been lovely breezy mornings and evenings, but the daytime has been pretty warm… especially for a Midwestern girl who just took off her parka a few weeks ago. This week I am visiting the Tucson Quilters Guild for two lectures and a workshop. It will be wonderful to see some old friends and get reaquainted with the town.

Sassaman Blouse

But before I left, I took these pictures in the studio. This is a classic blouse made with three fabrics from the Sweet Lady Jane collection for FreeSpirit. The two Party Frock fabrics in pink and blue with a slip if the green Brocade design, I think they play together nicely.

Sassaman Blouse 4

Notice that the collar was fussy cut so the design is centered.

Sassaman Blouse 5

The back is really fun. The pink and blue backgrounds are the same intensity and almost seem to blend together. A very cheerful garment! The colors remind me of the famous Schiaparelli Circus Jacket.

Schiaparelli Jacket

This is a wonderful photo by Cecil Beaton for the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Happy Jacket

Thursday, April 24th, 2014


Hello, my friends. It has been a busy week in the studio preparing for a long road trip of workshops. Outdoors Mother Nature is slowly waking from its long sleep. The wood ducks are back and looking for a good place to nest and the cardinals are showing off to their sweethearts.

Today I’m going to share a happy jacket inspired by a stack of fabric scraps from previous projects. Red is a color that I can’t live without for too long. So, consequently, it gets a place in many of my fabric lines. This jacket uses pieces from Prairie Gothic, Early Birds, Wild Child and Sweet Lady Jane. My designs definitely play well together.

Sassaman Reversible Jacket 2

The jacket front is organized in stripes. I love how the two halves relate to each other – especially the bugs at the bottom and the morning-glory pockets. The pattern is Simplicity 6744, circa 1984. You may have it in your stash.

Sassaman Reversible Jacket 3

The back side uses the Gone Dotty pattern in red and pink from the current Sweet Lady Jane tone-on-tones. The sleeves and body of this easy pattern are all one piece, so the fabric can really make a statement.

Red Sassaman Jacket 3

And, of course it is reversible! The other side uses the blue variations of Gone Dotty and Circle Dance. I think this is actually my favorite side – very wearable. The outer seams around the sleeves are finished with blue bias tape. But the other edges are finished in red dots and the red buttons continue the color from the revered side. Notice the reversed pockets, too.

Red Sassaman Jacket Reverse

It has been lightly quilted along the dotted stripes. Casual, comfortable and colorful! This may end up in my suitcase tomorrow!! PS… you can check my workshop schedule here.

Easter Apron

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

Sassaman Gingham Apron

First of all, I’d like to thank all of you who voted in the BERNINA Faceplate Face-off! It was an honor to participate, especially among such distinguished companions. What ever the outcome, it was wonderful to see my design on the front of a BERNINA!

I have been busy in the studio preparing for several weeks of workshops beginning at the end of the month. So I have been cutting, wrapping, boxing and labeling. Plus I’m attempting to finish designing some new ribbon, a new scarf, and completing a sample for the BERNINA booth. In the midst of it all, yardage of the new spring line, Gregory’s Garden arrived, as well as, the strike-offs for autumn’s Prairie Chic. Phew!

As I’ve been absorbed in the nitty-gritty of travel preparations, my “Super Susan” has been able to fondle some fabric. This week she whipped up this fabulous vintage style apron. The current Sweet Lady Jane collection has a half-inch Garden Gingham in three optimistic colors.

Sassaman Gingham

Gingham has always been a favorite of mine and I often include some variation of it in my fabric designs. It is a fabulous foil for the more sophisticated floral prints. But in this pattern, Simplicity#4282, it gets to be its good old-fashioned, honest and domestic self… I’m thinking Dorothy in Kansas.

Sassaman Gingham Apron 2

The details really make this humble apron great. The pocket is outlined with contrasting yellow rick-rack and accented with a strip of my polka-dotted ribbon. Perfect! The waistline is pleated along the checks and fastened with giant hand embroidery stitches.

Sassaman Gingham Apron 4

The hemline is enhanced, yet again, with ribbon, rick-rack and embroidery. The essence of the Domestic Goddess! And just in time for Easter Dinner! Happy holiday, everyone!

Sassaman Gingham Apron 5

And Now for Something Completely Different

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Crocus 2014

Spring has officially declared itself with the long a waited arrival of the glowing purple crocus… so glorious in contrast to all the gray and beige. I have been working on many things in the studio since next month is filled with workshops and travel.

Sassaman Cross Quilt

Here is a new quilt that is a bit different from my usual style. I designed it to exploit some of the rich tone-on-tone fabrics in the Sweet Lady Jane collection. I have always been drawn to the simple cross motif, so here it is multiplied many times. This is built with 5″ squares (cut 5.5″) and a 6″ border. I think it would be stunning hanging in a white room with black furniture.

Sassaman Cross Quilt Detail 3

Since the design is so stark and geometric, I requested a simple flower and leaf pattern for the quilting. It was beautifully executed by Pam McIntyre of Quilting Makes the Quilt. The border has a sprinkling of simple flowers

Sassaman Cross Quilt Detail 2

Below are the fabrics used in this quilt and the yardage requirements. The piecing is so easy that this would be a good project for a beginning quilter. But an experienced free-motion quilter could have a good time noodling around on this crisp canvas.

Sassaman Cross Quilt Samples

Gone Dotty, Rose – 2/3 yard

Circle Dance, Periwinkle – 2/3 yard

Garden Gingham, Rose – 1 fat quarter

Gone Dotty, Green – 1/2 yard

Garden Gingham, Green – 1 fat quarter

Gone Dotty, Periwinkle – 1 fat quarter

White – 1 1/3 yard

Black – 1 yard

FP_JaneSassamanI also must remind you all that the BERNINA Faceplate Face-Off ends on April 14, so be sure to get your votes in. You can vote once a day and each vote makes you eligible to win one of these wonderful new machines!

Quilting Arts

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Sassaman Quilting Arts

Friday I spent the whole day on the pretty set of Quilting Arts TV. My hostess Susan Brubaker Knapp and the crew made it comfortable and friendly. I was so impressed with Susan… with just a week into a new job and she seemed like an old pro. She had to change her wardrobe for almost every shoot, since they were shooting out of sequence. It was a miracle she could keep it all straight!

I spent the rest of the weekend with family in Cleveland, a rare treat. On Saturday afternoon it started to rain and within a few hours there were 6″ of heavy wet SNOW! This was the last thing I expected, but I’m glad I wore my winter coat!

There is a quilt hanging in the background of the picture above. This is a new quilt made with the Sweet Lady Jane fabrics. I call it the Watermelon Quilt. As things are still very beige here I thought this bit of color would make us all happy.

Sassaman Watermelon Quilt

This quilt is based on a 12″ finished block with a little applique added to jazz it up.

Sassamab Watermelon Block Fab

Here is the block which is a large traditional fan design.  The large quarter circle applique actually acts as a band-aide to hold the fan and the background together, so there isn’t any seam allowance needed between those pieces. They simply butt together and the joint is covered by the appliqued shapes. But there does need to be seam allowance on the sides of the block so it can be pieced to its neighbor. The smaller appliqued whole circles where added after the blocks were sewn together.

Sassaman Watermelon BlockBelow are the appliqued shapes. Be sure to add the extra quarter inch to both ends of the large quarter circle band-aide. I used iron interfacing for the base shapes (just as you would use freezer paper in traditional applique, but in this case the interfacing stays inside the shape and helps to stabilize it). The edges are turned for a nice clean look and attached with a heavy blanket stitch.Sassaman Watermelon Applique 2Sassaman Watermelon Detail

Then it was beautifully quilted by Pam McIntyre at Quilting Makes the Quilt in Gainesville, Florida. This will be a fun piece to display in the summer season and it is a nice lap size quilt, too. Below are the Sweet Lady Jane fabrics that make up this pattern.

Sassaman Watermelon Fabrics 2

Yardage =1/4 yard  yellow brocade, 3/4 yard of solid red and a half yard of all the others.

PS… don’t forget to vote for your favorite designer BERNINA 350 Special Edition! The more you vote, the better chance of winning one of your own!

Flight Cancelled!

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Sassaman Kaleidoscope

Well, my flight to Cleveland was cancelled today and my new flight isn’t until tonight! Thank goodness, there is no lecture scheduled for tonight! I am going to tape some segments for Quilting Arts TV tomorrow, so hopefully the new flight will go as planned.

So that means I have a chance to do a few things in the studio that would have remained undone until next week, including this blog post.

It is a wonderfully dark and dreary day, such a sharp contrast to the sparkling sunshine the past couple days. So I thought I would show you this new kaleidoscope quilt made with some surprisingly subtle Sassaman fabrics… subtle colors, not pattern.

This top is made with half square triangles, except the border. The long side of the triangle is 11″ finished. So the square in the middle is also 11″ finished. From these dimensions you should easily be able to diagram the pattern, especially if you have read Patchwork Sassaman Style.

There are only 2 Sweet Lady Jane fabrics used, Daisy Chain and Fuchsia in the Periwinkle colorway.

Sweet Lady Jane Fabric

PS… have you been voting for your favorite BERNINA Faceplate everyday? The more you vote the greater chance of winning one of your own! Wouldn’t that be wonderful!!

Faceplate Faceoff Banner 150x150


Tuesday, January 28th, 2014


I must admit that I have been in hibernation… in heavenly isolation. This time of year is always devoted to designing the autumn fabric line for FreeSpirit. It’s a time I look forward to. But this years biting cold, bitter wind and abundant snows have made this the wildest winter in memory. So I have been hiding in the studio and zoning into shapes and patterns.

The snowy landscape is quite stark here in the country, but every morning we wake up to new evidence of all the hearty critters that still endure despite the wicked weather. So here is a little tour of some the tracks that fascinate us anew each day.

Mouse Tracks

Teeny tiny mouse prints!

Mole Tracks

Amazing little mole tunnels.

Mole Tunnel 2

Just out for a spin?

Snow Bunny Tracks

There is one bunny who visits us every day, but we’ve yet to see him in person.

Coyote Tracks

Coyote tracks in the field and sometimes through the yard.

Mystery Tracks

We don’t know who makes these marks, but my guess is he has a long tail.

Winter Candlelight

Greg collects icicles and makes pictureque snow sculptures outside our window and lights them with candles at night, a mysterious miniature mountain scape.

Sassaman Fabric Periwinkle 72Sassaman Fabric Rose 72Sassaman Fabric Periwinkle 72

But in the studio it is spring. My pretty new FreeSpirit line, Sweet Lady Jane, has arrived in stores and it is the perfect antidote to the winter weather. There are some very satisfying jewel colored tone-on-tones in this collection. We will start sharing new ideas and projects with  in the next post. So stay tuned

Christmas Stitching

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Sassaman Fabric

After several exciting days at the BERNINA Ambassadors Reunion last week, where we stitched and learned some new machine skills, I was all fired up to keep stitching when I got home. So I have been whipping up some Christmas gifts to keep the sewing going.

We have several newlyweds and new homes to celebrate this year so I’m doing pillowcases to match their personalities and style. I have the luxury of having a wall of Sassaman fabrics from many years of designing for FreeSpirit, so for this project I can freely mix and match between collections.

Sassaman Pillowcases 1

These cases are for a serious couple with scientific interests and contemporary style. The green circle fabric is from the new Sweet Lady Jane line which will be in stores this January. The blue and green dots are from the current Wild Child collection.

Sassaman Pillowcases 2

These are rather reserved and cater to a botanical bent and a quieter conservative nature. The cases on the left are mainly from the Sunshine and Shadow line. The ones on the right combine some Wild Child Petunias and Sweet Lady Jane circles, again.

Sassaman Pillowcases 3

These are for an adventurous and fun-loving couple who have decorated their new apartment in red and orange. My kind of people! Early Birds on the left and red Wild Child Petunias on the right.

Sassaman Pillowcases 4

This pretty pink and blue set is made entirely with Sweet Lady Jane fabrics… classically pretty. The red pair, I must admit, is a gift to myself. I love the folk art feeling of this combination. The checks are from Sweet Lady Jane and the flowered fabric is my current favorite from Wild Child.

My 830 BERNINA has a wonderful new dual feed feature which made stitching these projects a joy! The dual feed is similar to a walking foot, in that it keeps the layers of fabric moving through the machine at an even rate.

Sassaman Black:Pink Ribbons

These towels are for a couple whose new apartment has a mid-century modern VERY pink bathroom… tiles, sink and all! They cleverly updated the look by painting the remaining walls with blackboard paint. It looks fabulous! So I’ve tricked out these black and gray towels with the new black and pink Wild Child ribbons for Renaissance Ribbon.

Ice and snow is predicted for the next few days. A perfect time to be in the studio… even if I have to crawl  there on my hands and knees! The tree gets decorated tonight.

Stay safe, keep cozy and have a fabulous holiday, my friends!

Quilt Market and Festival here we come!

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

We had our first hard frost this week and they are even predicting a few snowflakes this afternoon. All the while, the elves in Sassaman Land have been busy with Houston Quilt Market preparations. If you are attending Fall Market please stop by the Westminster booth # 708 and the Renaissance Ribbons booth # 2300 to see my latest designs.

Sweet Lady Jane Sassaman

The new FreeSpirit Fabric line is called Sweet Lady Jane and it will have its official debut this week at my Schoolhouse presentation. These designs are Over-the-Top optimistic and very versatile with plenty of pretty tone-on-tone patterns that will be useful in anyone’s stash. But I can only give you a sneak preview today!

Sassaman Ribbon Brooches

Here are some brooches that we’ve made for the Renaissance Ribbon Booth. Lately, I’ve been attracted to the idea of award ribbons and heroic medals. There are some days when a little symbolic sympathy and a pat on the back would help a great deal. So these are first place ribbons that you can bestow on yourself or a deserving friend; just like the Cowardly Lion’s Medal of Courage, the Tin Man’s Heart and the Scarecrow’s diploma.

I am fortunate to be attending Quilt Festival for the first time in many years. This is because I have a quilt in the show and I am thrilled. It has been many years since I have even entered, so this is a very special occasion for me. If you are lucky enough to attend, too, please stop by to see my Illinois Album Quilt in person. I look forward to seeing you all there!!

Illinois Album 500px

Seasonal Sewing Session

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Autumn Morning 2013

I can’t recall such a glorious run of autumn days! Of course, this is a delightful feature of having four seasons… each one is better than the last. This is an early morning shot taken on the way down to the studio.

Sassaman Sewing 10:13

My new FreeSpirit fabrics, Sweet Lady Jane, have finally arrived and it is OH SO PRETTY!! But they were delivered much later than usual, so now I have barely 3 weeks to prepare samples for Houston Market. So I am cranking out quilt tops all day and sometimes into the night. I think “cranking out quilt tops” must be an oxymoron as it takes several days to make each one. Luckily, I had a few preplanned ideas to dive right into.

But, obviously this is heaven to me! I like nothing better than being buried under fabric and stitching on my BERNINA for days on end.

Sassaman Ribbon Collar

Did you notice my denim sewing ensemble? We couldn’t resist enhancing this casual blouse with our new Renaissance Ribbon. We lined the collar and the epaulets of the sleeve with strips of the Blue Bouquet ribbon. We have turned an ordinary shirt into a quietly classy one.

Sassaman Ribbon sleeve

We have also reclaimed a skinny pair of jeans to jazz up with a stream of interesting insects down the side seams. Now I just have to find a skinny girl who can wear then!

Sassaman Ribbon Jeans

OK, back to work! With pleasure!!