Archive for the ‘accessories’ Category

Embroidery for Summer Sewing

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

Embroidered Sassaman Jumpers

Welcome back to the Ideas Blog! It has been a very busy spring of teaching and travel, but now I have some time in the studio to catch up on lots of projects. There is so much going on here and I want to share some of it with all of you!

First of all, did you know that my friends, the HoopSisters, have digitized some of my designs for machine embroidery? These talented gals have taken some FreeSpirit fabric designs and turned them into charming motifs for stitching. They are formatted to work on any contemporary  embroidery machine. So the BERNINA has been working overtime!

Here are two new outfits that have been embellished with designs from the Enchanted Embroideries collection. Each jumper has big practical pockets decorated with Sassaman posies… very feminine and very chic.  As a little surprise, the pockets have been lined with the original fabric from which the embroideries were inspired.

Embroidered Sassaman Pockets

This pretty little purse was decorated with designs from the Prairie Chic Embroidery collection. Plus we have added decorative stitches to the strap, as well. The sewing pattern is my Pretty Perfect Pocket Purse. So you can see what potential these have for other projects like linens, napkins and housewares of all kinds. I would love to see how you use them, too.

Sassaman Embroidery Purse

These designs are on a DVD and available in my store. If you would prefer a downloadable version, please visit the HoopSisters website.

Sassaman Embroidery Covers

English Tea Cozy in Blue

Friday, February 12th, 2016

Sassaman Tea Cozy 3

This week I want to share one of the latest projects using the new Leaf Dance fabrics, this niffy tea cozy. It is like a quilt for your teapot. Dark electric blue seems to be one of my favorite colors these days, so I chose the blue colorway to play with here. We have made this Pint Size Pattern with many different FreeSpirit collections and with great results every time.

Sassaman Tea Cozy 5

It is lined with the Triangle fabric, which has turned out to be extremely practical and a perfect foil for all those Sassaman leaves and flowers. The striped edge also supplies some nice contrast and a bit of extra weight to hold the cozy in place.

Sassaman Tea Cozy 6

And a yo-yo and some felt balls to top it all off. This is one of our Pint Size Patterns that is designed to be a nice gift for a beginning stitcher combined with a fine stack of favorite fabrics.

Tea Cozy Cover 1

Prairie Chic Pillowcases

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

Hosta Flower

This season is flying by! It’s hard to believe that July 4th is just a week away. There has been so much rain that garden planting has been put on hold and I am crossing my fingers that we will have tomatoes this year.

I have been concentrating on applique in the studio, but my angel, Susan, has been busy whipping up these super summer pillowcases from the Prairie Chic fabrics.

Sassaman Brambles Pillowcase

Here are some cases ” with attitude” for your ultra modern son-in-law. The are using the Triangle Twist and Brambles designs.

Sassaman Wiggles Pillowcases

Sassaman Dandy Pillowcases

These cases have a retro look with Dancing Dandies and Wild Wiggles.

Sassaman Pink Clover PillowcaseSassaman Clover Pillowcases

Here the feeling is a little more rustic with the Field of Clover fabric in two different colorways. As you can see, we have great fun dressing the beds in this house!

Pretty Perfect Pocket Purse Variation

Friday, April 10th, 2015

Blood Root Sprouts

Today you would never guess that there was tremendous storm last night. It is sunny with misty clouds scattered about a blue sky. Greg has done a spring burn in the prairie sections of our property, so the sprouts are easy to see as they poke out of hibernation. These are Bloodroot, one of our yearly favorites.

Last week I promised to show you a variation on the Pocket Purse pattern. So here it is.

Sassaman Embroidery Purse

This purse has a very different attitude than the bright hand-embroidered Prairie Chic one. Feminine, elegant and refined would be a good way to describe this new bag. It is embellished with digitized machine embroidery, also inspired by Prairie Chic motifs. These designs come from the HoopSisters Design Embroidery Series: Prairie Chic.

Sassaman Embroidery 4

I took individual motifs from the collection and arranged them to fit the purse pattern right inside the sewing machine. The largest hoops I have for my BERNINA 880 are the Large Oval and the Mega hoop, so I rehooped for each of the 3 groupings. I am getting more confident and adventurous playing with the embroidery module. Of course, having my own designs to play with has doubled my incentive.

Also, since I naturally work in a collage technique with my appliqued art quilts, it feels quite natural to “Ouija” these motifs into new and interesting compositions.

Sassaman Embroidery Purese 2

My BERNINA 880 also has many utilitarian and fancy stitches which I love to explore. I like to use the built-in stitches to enhance my quilts. Embroidery is an easy way to add another layer of interest. But I am always striving to make the application of embroidery look natural and organic, as opposed to stiff and mechanical. Here, I deliberately stitched the design so the pattern doesn’t line up. The embroidery is also repeated on the shoulder strap. And, as always, we have dingle-ball fringe at the bottom… icing on the cake.

Sassaman Embroidery Purse 3

The outer body of the purse is black linen. The inside is lined with one of my favorite vintage FreeSpirit designs, Sprigs from the Sunshine and Shadow collection.

This will be another busy week in the Sassaman studio in preparation for my trip to Huntsville and several impending deadlines. Stay tuned for our next bit of stitching inspiration.

Prairie Chic Pocket Purse

Monday, April 6th, 2015

Spring Flower

We are making tiny steps toward the greening of our world everyday. Although the landscape is still pretty beige, there are little points of color peeking through the layers of dead leaves and debris. It is an inspiring time of year!

Sassaman Prairie Chic Bag 1

But, as always, it is a riot of color in the Sassaman studio. Here is one of the latest projects to be made with the current Prairie Chic collection for FreeSpirit. This is also my Pretty Perfect Pocket Purse pattern. We must have made this bag a dozen times with different fabrics and it always turns out beautifully even though the attitude changes. This version definitely has the spirit of FUN about it!

Sassaman Prairie Chic Bag 2

And notice the hand embroidered details… little french knots, running stitches and more. I think this folk art style is perfect for casual use and would be excellent to wear with jeans and an embroidered denim jacket.

Sassaman Prairie Chic Bag 3

Of course, we could not resist adding sassy felt dingle-balls!

Sassaman Prairie Chic Bag 4

The back and strap are made of red denim and hand stitched with Sew Sassy 12 weight threads. This could also be done by machine, depending on your schedule and level of patience. Dingle-balls are also used as the zipper pull.

Sassaman Prairie Chic Bag 5

We used a nice bright lining so it will be easier to find stuff inside. Plus this Wild Wiggles fabric just makes you chuckle and kind of rounds out the whole “happy” concept. Next week we will show you the same pattern made with an entirely different theme and technique, so stay tuned!

Embroidery Everywhere!

Friday, February 20th, 2015

Sassaman Brooch Embroidery

This week has been devoted to playing with my new Prairie Chic Embroidery designs for HoopSisters. I have so many ideas that it is keeping me awake at night! Now I need to bone-up on my new BERNINA V7 Embroidery software so I can mix and match the designs in a more efficient way. But this is a good beginning and each project inspires a new one.

This is the Medallion Brooch design that I demonstrated on Quilting Arts TV, so you can see how these are constructed. But for these I simply embroidered the fabric for the covered button. The ruffled fabric frame is the Seed Matrix fabric from the new Prairie Chic collection for FreeSpirit. The jacket is made with Triangle Twist in the Lapis colorway, a design that has turned out to be very usable.

Sassaman Bee Cameo

This little bee brooch has a very romantic and old-fashioned feeling. It was inspired by some of the Victorian cameos that I like so much. I am very interested in one color and tone-on-tone embroidery, especially to use in my art quilts. It is so exciting to get some of these ideas into physical form!

The snow is gently falling now, so I am anticipating a cozy and productive day in the studio. I can’t think of anything I’d rather do! See you next week.


Back to Business!

Friday, February 13th, 2015

Blue Muse Winter 2015

Hello to whoever is out there! Some of you have noticed that this blog has been inactive for a few months. Yes, I have been wrestling with my soul these days and overwhelmed by a persistent feeling that I have been chasing a “carrot on a stick”. Frankly, I was exhausted! As a rather quiet and solitary artist, the nagging persistence to fulfill all these social media duties began to feel quite hollow. I felt that the social broadcasting was a sorry substitution for doing my “real” work. Also, I have realized that my brain is not oriented toward business and it was tired trying to bend in that direction.

I needed to fondle some fabric, to look at my wonderful books and get reacquainted with my priorities. So now I am quietly approaching the blog with a new spirit. I hope you will check in occasionally to see where all this soul searching will lead.

Sassaman Bee Embroidery Web

This is one of the things that has brought me back to life! I have been dreaming about adding embroidery to my work for years and now that idea has come to fruition! Thanks to the digitizing talents of the fabulous HoopSisters, I can use my awesome #BERNINA to embroider almost anything. The HoopSisters have taken motifs from my new fabric designs (Prairie Chic for FreeSpirit) and turned them into elegant stitchable decorations. Here are some of the projects we have worked on so far.

Sassaman Oak Leaf Embroidery

Sassaman Dollar Plant Embroidery

I collect old damask tablecloths and napkins to use as background fabric for quilts. So I used some of the napkins to apply the new embroidery designs. You can see the original fabric (Meadow Mix) in the background with the oak leaves, dollar plants and coneflowers. This combination create quite a cozy feeling in this autumnal colorway.

Sassaman Coneflower Embroidery

Here it is in another colorway of the same fabric. As you embroider these motifs you can obviously choose any color of threads, depending on their application. I have plans to enhance many things with these new designs, especially clothing, so check in next week to see some new samples.

PS… during my hiatus I have finally surrendered to the lure of Pinterest and have started some inspiration boards of my own. If you are looking for some more eye-candy, feel free to check them out.


Pretty pretty!

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

Sassaman Scarf 2014

It is a delightfully dark and dreary day… my favorite kind! A good way to wrap up a satisfying week of work. We stitched out some new machine embroidery designs (more about these in the next few weeks), I received my copy of 500 Traditional Quilts (believe it or not, I have a quilt included in it) and my two favorite magazines arrived on the same day (World of Interiors and Selvedge)! And if that wasn’t enough to make me happy, the new silk scarves were also delivered this week!

Sassaman Garden Scarf 1

This scarf is an original design exclusively for my friends at Dragon Threads, inspired by the Gregory’s Garden fabrics. They are 100% silk twill and 20″ X 70″ with a hand-rolled hem. I think they turned out beautifully and I even have the perfect blue and black raincoat to wear it with.

Sassaman Garden Scarf 2

I like to let my scarves hang long and comfortably over my shoulders for the free-flowing Isadora Duncan effect. But here you can see that there are many other ways to drape them. I really like the contrast of the stripes with the florals as they twist in and around each other.

Best of all, they are reasonably priced  and will fit anybody. So, perhaps this could be a wonderful way to get your holiday shopping done early this year!

Heading for All In Stitches in Zumbrota, MN tomorrow. Hope to see some of you there!

Cool Cases

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Sassaman Pillowcases

Hello, friends! It is finally heating up here! The first cicada and cricket started their seasonal serenades the other night. The tomatoes are basking in the sunshine, too.

So in honor of these iconic August days, we have whipped up some cool cotton cases for a luxurious summertime siesta. They are all made with fabric from the Gregory’s Garden collection and are all connected by the refreshing color combination of pink, white and blue.

Sassaman Willow Pillow

I’m really fond of this pussy willow design and I love it in these colors. And I like to add drama to all my creations with a little contrast, which the checks certainly supply here. A strip of the pink Dahlia fabric adds a little pizzazz, too.

Sassaman Blossoms & Berries Pillow

This breezy design is called Blossoms and Berries. It gets a hit of excitement with checkered piping and a Color Bars border. It goes pretty well with the seat cushions, too… Night Life from the Prairie Gothic line from several years back.

Sassaman Wasp Pillow

This pillowcase features the fuchsia colorway of the Wasp pattern, which we also used in blouse a few weeks ago in the yellow version. Wouldn’t it make a fabulous white summer nightie or PJs, too? We are hoping that this crisp and pretty ensemble will inspire some seasonal sewing at your house, too.

welcome quilting arts tv blog hoppers!

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Sassaman Ribbon Rosette

Welcome, everyone! I am so pleased to be part of this blogging event for Quilting Arts TV! And even happier to be on the roster for their new 1400 Series of programs. One of my segments shows how to make the ribbon rosette which graces this weeks featured sewing project. This rosette uses my Renaissance Ribbon with some of my FreeSpirit fabrics, but it can be made with any combination you’d like. So once you see the process you can make them to your own preferences. Tune into QA TV or order your own DVD to learn more.

Sassaman Wasp Blouse

Today we are sharing a light-hearted blouse made from a fabric in my current FreeSpirit collection called Gregory’s Garden. This is Simplicity pattern 1590, an elegantly fitted design. The fabric, too, makes this a perfect summer costume, since it is sprinkled with a quintessential hot weather critter… a wasp!

I always find peplums very feminine and romantically old-fashioned. The peplum on this blouse is shorter in front and gracefully lengthens in the back.

Sassaman Wasp Blouse 2

The cap sleeves add to the striking hourglass silhouette.

Sassaman Wasp Blouse 4

Obviously, I love the color yellow, as it appears repeatedly in my work. But here it seems especially ideal for a light and lovely summer outfit. But the fabric also comes in two other gentle pastel colorations. I think they all would make fabulous nursery accessories. At my house they are destined to become hot weather pillowcases and new summery shower curtains.

Wasp Colors

Thanks for stopping by my blog! Please visit again next week to see our another project from Gregory’s Garden!