Archive for the ‘accessories’ Category

FreeSpirit Friday – Lively Pillowcases

Friday, January 12th, 2018

If you have followed this blog over the years, you know that I am a believer in the healing power of pillowcases! There is nothing that can lift your spirit, make you feel prosperous and totally transform a tired bedroom than new pillowcases.

We must have thirty sets of pillowcases in our linen closet, one for every occasion and temperament. Going to bed and waking in the morning is a treat at our house. Even my husband likes to change the sheets so he can pick his favorite cases for the week.

And I have to admit that they are all ironed, as well. I love crisp clean pillows. Ironing the cases is almost as fun as sleeping on them. Ironing pillowcases is restful therapy for me, a colorful time-out to readjust my attitude during stressful times.

This week for FreeSpirit Friday, we have our latest batch of lively cases made with my Folk Tales collection. We chose fabrics with white and blue, always a refreshing color combination and used my “Pint Size” Pillowcase pattern which is designed for beginning stitchers. Each case is made with three coordinating fabrics. We save the contrasting one for the fun flange.

I hope these pillowcases brighten your day and inspire you to add some new color in your life!


Introducing FreeSpirit Friday

Friday, January 5th, 2018

This week I am initiating a new blog feature called FreeSpirit Friday. The idea is to share all the awesome projects being made with my FreeSpirit fabrics. So this will be a weekly tour of the wonderful ways to use those “personality” prints to brighten your world.

My current collection FOLK TALES is just arriving at your favorite quilt shops this month and what better way to spend a winter day than fondling colorful fabrics and stitching up something delightful. These new designs celebrate classic textile patterns from around the world.

This week in the midwestern United States we are experiencing severe weather; the wind chill has been -20F degrees for two week running! The landscape is white and quite forbidding, so this colorful project was the perfect antidote!

A cup of tea is the ideal symbol for domestic comfort and hospitality. So today we set the scene for warmth and contentment. I think the rooster fabric, called Kerchief, is a perfect choice for our tea cozy. It is classic country chic. But the details are what make this cozy really fun, specially the quintessential “yo-yo” topped with felt baubles. The zip of striped trim at the base adds some pep, as well.

We could not resist  a striped lining, as well. This pattern is easy to make and suitable for any happy fabric from your stash. It is one of my Pint Size patterns which was designed for beginning stitchers. It would be a nice DIY gift with a stack of fun fabrics for an aspiring seamstress. The treasured teapot, by the way, was a hand painted gift from my nephew many years ago.

We have also made some snappy napkins as supporting characters. They really play well together! FOLK TALES comes in three color ways, although we are focusing on the purple group this week for its sunny stimulation and reassuring cheerfulness. You can see all the color ways on my Home Page.

Stay tuned for another inspiring idea next week on FreeSpirit Friday!


Spring Fever Wearables

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

The Spring Fever collection is still taking pride of place in the studio these days. This season we decided to try a few designs in different scales. I naturally gravitate to large scale patterns for their drama and their easy applications to quilting. But I also like having some smaller scale designs for projects like garment sewing. So in this blog post you will see a bit of both.

Our first project is this shirtwaist pattern, Vogue Bill Blass #2961. The body of the dress is in the mini version of Queen of the May in the blue color way with accents of Sassy Stripes. In fact, even the pockets are lined with stripes. This summer frock reminds me of favorite Laura Ashley dresses from the early 1980s… pastel, pretty and romantic.

Here you can compare the two different scales side by side. The larger print of Queen of the May, Mexican color way, in a lively tunic top, vintage New Look 6374. The mini version is made into a feminine blouse, Simplicity 5634. They both are very wearable. I love the contrasting striped belt on the left and rounded collar with snappy orange piping on the right.

The comely culottes are made with my Over-the-Top Dots design which graduates from red to yellow, an ideal use for that fabric!

So the choice is yours, but my vote is for a bit of both large and small prints!

Childish Diversions

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

Today we are feeling a bit childish! Summertime always transports us back to the carefree days of childhood. So we naturally started some projects with kids in mind. Of course, a new baby in the family is also good incentive for stitching up some cute little gifts.

We pulled some happy FreeSpirit Sassaman fabrics from our stash to work with.

This little jumper is a classic! Butterick pattern 5283 is vintage, but you may be able to find it on line. The “mini” version of Queen of the May from the Spring Fever collection makes a very feminine statement. It is delicate, sunny and rather old fashioned. But the geometric pattern of the little blouse makes a nice contemporary contrast. I’m wishing that I had one in my size!

These next tiny togs, New Look pattern 6651, also vintage, use prints from the Scandia collection. This pink and red fabric is called Heart to Heart, very pretty and a bit sassy. This little dress is perfect for your favorite itsy-bitsy Valentine.

This was a fun print to play with, Cardigan from the Scandia line. The pattern has been fussy cut to take advantage of the different parts of the design. The checkered collar and sleeve bands are nice pint-sized details. One of the best things about baby clothes is that they don’t get much wear and they often get handed down from child to child. In years to come these little outfits will bring back lovely memories. Welcome to the planet, little one!

Scandia Ribbon Project

Friday, January 13th, 2017

Happy January! I just wanted to share these traditional dish towels ornamented with my new Renaissance Ribbon. They were designed to coordinate with the new FreeSpirit Scandia fabric.

Such a classic domestic object never goes out of style. The ribbon really enhances the folky farmhouse feeling that blue and white always evokes.

I have included this picture of all the Scandia fabrics to get your imagination kick started for other sewing and decorating projects. Perfect for St. Valentine’s Day, don’t you think?

Mod Stockings

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

It is blistering cold here on this sunny December day! And we are counting down the days until Christmas, a mere ten days to go. So what better way to chase the cold away and get into the holiday spirit than with some bright color! Obviously, muted hues are not in my decorating lexicon, as our house is done in a vibrant color scheme. So, of course, that applies to seasonal decorations, too. These contemporary Christmas stockings are made with a mix of some of my most recent FreeSpirit fabric collections… Leaf Dance, Cool Breeze and the latest, Scandia, which will arrive in stores in a few weeks. These stockings should please the hippest Santas.

The elves have been hard at work!! Each sock has been lovingly crafted and the details are delightful. They are machine quilted with Superior’s 12 weight Sew Sassy threads and further enhanced with some hand embroidery.

We are very fond of felt beads and ball fringe in the Sassaman studio and could not resist a little woolly bling to send these stockings over the top. Sassy socks!

Even the linings are specially chosen for a little extra visual surprise. Like quilts, they are bound to become favorite holiday heirlooms, just like Grandma Ellen’s Santas that she made for every grandchild. These are Oliver and Willow’s beloved Christmas treasures and some of the very few real decorating necessities every year.

Sewing can make memories!

Autumn Ambience

Monday, November 21st, 2016

Sassaman pillowcase-leaf-dance-2

Colder weather is upon us after an unbelievably mild introduction to autumn. There are just a few more days to enjoy the fall season before Thanksgiving ushers in the spirit of winter. So we are celebrating these last quiet days before the holidays begin with another seasonal Leaf Dance project.

Sassaman pillowcase-leaf-dance

Personally, I LOVE the combination of fabrics in this pillowcase! I always include some geometric designs in my FreeSpirit fabric collections because they are such good foils for all the flowers and leaves. This is a wonderful example of contrasting patterns complimenting one another. I’m also very pleased with the rich and crisp color combination. We used my Pint Size Pillowcase pattern to make these, as always. And you can find the free pattern for making the Leaf Dance quilt here.

Sassaman pillowcase-leaf-dance-3

Sleeping-over at my house is a pretty colorful affair. After 16 years of fabric design our pillowcase collection is monumental! And luckily, I find ironing pillowcases very therapeutic.

Wishing you all a cozy and colorful Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Table

Monday, November 14th, 2016

Sassaman Leaf Dance Tablecloth

With little more than a week until Thanksgiving Day you may be looking for an easy way to jazz up your routine holiday table. Napkins are a quick way to add some spice to conventional seasonal place settings.

Sassaman Leaf Dance Napkin-1

We have simply cut 21″ squares of my FreeSpirit fabrics, mostly from the Leaf Dance collection, and sewn a line of topstitching thread a half inch from the the edge. Then the edges are frayed by hand.

Sassaman Leaf Dance Napkin-2

So you probably have a collection of Autumnish fabrics or some that matches your festive dinnerware in your stash already. It’s a great excuse to fondle some fabric over the busy week ahead!

Sassaman Leaf Dance Napkin

Happy holiday to all!

Sassaman Leaf Dance Napkin

Awesome Autumn

Monday, October 31st, 2016


It has been a spectacular autumn this year. The colors have been grand and seem to get more dramatic every day. So my next few posts will be a celebration of this wonderful time of year with the assistance of some of my FreeSpirit fabrics.

Sassaman Pocket Purse

Leaf Dance is a collection that was designed for this season and inspired by the nature that surrounds me. This area of Illinois is noted for its Oak Savannas. These powerful clusters of magnificent trees are sprinkled generously throughout my daily routes. Our own property has several kinds of oaks, but mostly red oak, which is the basis of this leafy fabric design.

Sassaman Pocket Purse

Our Pretty Perfect Pocket Purse is the featured pattern. I must have made a dozen of these practical purses over the years for different collections and it is the bag that I use everyday. Sometimes we trim them with rick rack, sometimes with felt beads, but for this version we added a crocheted ball trim. It mimicked  the turquoise bees nicely.

Sassaman Pocket Purse

I always line my bags with a light bright color so it is easier to find things inside. Triple Dots, Triangles and Color Bars are also from the Leaf Dance collection, Golden colorway. I love the mix of patterns. And, of course, the topstitching is done with Sew Sassy thread!

Sassaman Pocket Purse

We have more Leaf Dance projects to share, so stay tuned!

a trio of summer frocks

Friday, July 15th, 2016

Sassaman Summer Frocks 1

I am so excited about these gay summer frocks that came out of the studio this week! Thank you, Susan! They are all made from jumper pattern, McCall’s M6739. This design would work nicely for any season. I’m hoping to make them in wool and corduroy for fall and winter.

The front two jumpers are made with my new FreeSpirit fabric collection, Cool Breeze. The black and white one is made with fabrics from my archives, Enchanted and Wild Child designs.I love the mix of prints. This is a great opportunity for combining motifs. The possibilities are endless.

Sassaman Frock 4

I think this is an ideal way to use the Cool Breeze line, since it was designed to be sunny and light-hearted. The big plaid fabric is proving to be extremely useful in almost every project we have made this season and really contributes a contemporary flavor.

Sassaman frock 6

Because of the airy cut of this pattern, I plan to add light tee shirts and perhaps leggings or capris, depending on the weather and the occasion. And we couldn’t resist adding our latest silk scarf to the black and white medley. Superb!

Sassaman Frock Labels

Susan even added little tags of my Renaissance ribbon to signify the back of each dress! A perfect little detail that makes such a big difference.

Sassaman Frock 5