Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

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!

Winter Light

Monday, December 30th, 2013

Gantner Winter Cemetery

We had a quiet cozy Christmas day at our house this year. No kids for the first time ever! We will have our Christmas together next week. But the company of my lovely mother-in-law and witty brother-in-law made the day a delight. Plus the landscape was perfectly “Currier and Ives”.

Gantner Winter Light

Greg took these beautiful shots during his daily explorations. Notice the icing on the trees!

I have been attempting to stick with my plan of concentrating more of my schedule to making art quilts again. I snagged some holiday time to work on this new piece. It’s a simple totem, 26″ X 62″, composed of basic shapes as a nice surface for playing with stitches. It was inspired by some ancient alchemist illustrations.

Sassaman Art Quilt Totem

The top is all raw edged applique finished with satin stitch. But I plan to get very adventurous with fancier stitching in the quilting. I am also imagining some gold metallic threads to add to the esoteric spirit of the piece.

Sassaman Art Quilt Totem 2

Here it is on the work table during the basting phase. So now it is ready to be quilted whenever I can grab a few quality hours at the sewing machine, as designing the autumn fabric line begins in earnest on the first day of the new year. So far I’m thinking of a Weeds and Seeds theme, but initial ideas often transform as the collection evolves. We shall see!

Sassaman Art Quilt Totem 3

But as an artist with tunnel vision will I be able to work on two projects at once? But it is a nice dilemma to have, since I love doing BOTH!

Happy and Healthy New Year, my friends!!

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!

Festive Table Dressing

Monday, December 24th, 2012

Happy Holidays everyone! We were lucky to get a dusting of snow for a traditional white Christmas here. Inside we are keeping the holiday decor simple this year! The house is small so it just takes a few tweaks to alter its attitude. I love the joyful combination of red and white any time of year, but it is especially welcome in the gray days of winter.

Greg found this wonderful table in a resale shop. It’s just what we’ve been looking for… large, clean and not too precious to use. So this is its first Christmas with us and I was excited to dress it up for the holidays.

I started by making three runners, a long one for the center of the table in the Early Birds Strawberry Poka Dot fabric and two shorter ones in the Strawberry Cheeky Checks. I quilted then with a thick denim stitch so the thread would show up nicely on both sides.

The napkins are made with the reversible Pint Size Party Napkin Pattern in the dots and the checks, too, but with Strawberry Prairie Poppies for the reverse side. Although the Poppies are traditional Christmas colors, they are lighter and brighter variations lending a contemporary feeling.

Each runner is pointed at both ends and each point has a button hole to hold interchangeable decorations. I made simple yarn tassels for this variation, but I could button on something different for other occasions… hearts or rosettes for Valentines, for example.

Here you can see it viewed from the little loft above. I think the simplicity and color make this a very inviting setting. But being a Libra I had to make this project appropriate for my friends who celebrate different holidays, too, so…

I made each runner reversible. On this side we’re using the Blueberry color ways of the dots and checks. I think this is just as pretty as the red table… and a nice excuse to get out some Willowware.  Just an easy change of color can really make a difference in a room. There is a Plum color way of these fabrics, too, that could be fabulous for a spring table setting.

These napkins used the Bleeding Hearts and Iris fabric from my previous FreeSpirit collection, Garden Divas. The little bit of contrasting color adds some excitement. Notice that in both versions we have paired the checked napkins with the dotted runners and visa versa.

Don’t the cyclamen go nicely with the blue, too? We could even use both the red and blue runners and napkins together for a July 4th event, as well.

In any case, I’m hoping that this post adds a little more color and light to your holiday season. Don’t forget to take a little time out for fabric fondling this week, too!

A New Beginning

Monday, December 17th, 2012

This “Old Dog” is having to learn some new tricks! I have had my website and blog reconfigured so I can have more immediate access and flexibility. But with all new situations there is a learning curve. Ugh! So I am creating this post with my nose in the manual and my fingers crossed.

Please pass the word that my blog address has changed and bookmark this page. You can also find it easily through my website. We have also expanded the web store with some new items, including the Folk Art Flag Kit and some fabric bundles.

In the studio we have been working on some colorful ornaments for the Christmas tree. We started with a half yard of the Strawberry Serenade fabric in the Strawberry colorway, backed it with fusible web and cut out individual characters.

Then we fused each shape to a piece of felt and cut it so there was a slim outline of color left. Next we determined where the ribbon hanger should be placed and tacked it with some glue.


Then we fused or glued a second contrasting layer of felt and trimmed it with pinking shears. The pinked edge gives them a folk art look. And then we couldn’t resist adding a few sparkles.

They turned out so cute and happy that my helper, Susan, suggested a white tree would enhance the feminine feeling. Luckily she already had the tree in her Christmas closet.

The rainbow garland has been a traditional ornament on my family tree for years and it works beautifully in this tree, too. The tree skirt also adds to the optimistic pastel atmosphere. It was designed and made by the Marvelous Melissa Peda with some more fabric from the Early Birds collection, Prairie Poppies and Curlicues.

Melissa fussy cut the poppy fabric for a wonderful kaleidoscopic effect. She also added a bit of wave around the edge and an assortment of buttons for a fancy finish.

This week we will be tackling a holiday table setting, so stay tuned.