Archive for the ‘accessories’ Category

Gregory’s Garden arrives!

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Greg Garden

This is a happy week because our current FreeSpirit fabric, Gregory’s Garden, hits the stores this week! We have been playing with it in the studio since Spring Market, so we are excited to finally show you some of the goodies that have been created with it.

The title is, of course, derived from my favorite gardener, my husband, Greg. Here is one of my favorite pictures of Greg in the early days of our country living adventure. Greg has nudged the landscape considerably since then.

Pink Sassaman Fabric Dress

We especially enjoy making wearables and accessories with Sassaman fabrics. Gregory’s Garden has some nice tone-on-tone designs which are perfectly suited to that task. Here is a super little sun dress, McCall’s M6739, made in the pink Dahlia fabric. I love the loose fit and the generous pockets. The square neckline and arm holes give the dress a very contemporary look.

Pink Sassaman Dress 3

Next we added a blue belt and scarf for a bit of pizzazz. They are made with the Willow fabric in the fuchsia colorway. I think the two fabrics play together wonderfully. This is an ideal summer frock… fresh, pretty and comfortable.

Pink Sassaman Dress 4

By the way, our mannikin is posing in Gregory’s Garden. I am quite pleased by the usefulness and practicality of these designs. Here are the other colors that they are available in. You will see them used in some other clothing patterns in the weeks to come.

Sassaman Willow & Dahlia

In the meantime, please check our vendors list to find Gregory’s Garden in your neighborhood.

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

Winter Wear

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Sassaman Ribbon Hats 1

Suddenly my designing life is accelerating, but that didn’t stop Mother Nature from dropping the temperature and six more inches of snow on us this weekend! FreeSpirit is making plans for Spring Quilt Market and Renaissance Ribbons has requested some new designs. So back to the drawing board for me!

This week we have been decorating some recycled winter wear. All of these well-worn chapeaux have been revived with a little lively touch of Sassaman ribbon.

Sassaman Ribbon Hats 2

The glass hat forms look like ice maidens in this outdoor setting. But even ice maidens need hats and scarves in this weather. I also thought you would also enjoy seeing the fabulous “mohawk” helmets that my daughter, Willow, knits. Here are my three favorite men modelling ideal hats for serious winter weather.

Willow's Hats

They are wool on the outside and lined with polar fleece on the inside. The thick mane travels low in the back to keep your neck warm, too. If you have to keep warm you may as well look good doing it!

Off to the Indiana Heritage Quilt Show this week. Hope to see some of you there!

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!

Let it snow…

Sunday, December 8th, 2013


I’m just home from a wonderful teaching trip to Creations in Kerrville, Texas. It is an ideal combination of work and living space and it’s just a few steps from their fabulous quilt store just across the drive. It is one of the prettiest fabric stores I’ve seen and they have an amazing variety of fabrics, threads and gifts for fabric fondlers. Needless to say, I spent my lunch hours shopping!

Dec 8, 2013

We are having a dusting of snow here today to get us in the proper mood for the holidays. May have to get out some Christmas decorations tonight… fa la la!

Sassaman Folklore Bolster-1

Here is a cozy pattern in keeping with this wintry day. It features my Wild Child designs for Renaissance Ribbons and is on a super blog called Sew 4 Home. I have a magnet toward all things Scandinavian, so this is a project I plan to make myself. Their directions are thorough and easy to navigate.

Sassaman Folklore Ribbon Project

Just the right undertaking for a snowy afternoon. How about a quilted red, gold or blue wool throw to go with it?

Preparing for the Feast

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Sassaman Wild Child Napkin

This week has sped by! There was a hint of snow this morning and the rich smell of burning leaves fill the cold air. As usual, we are anticipating a large family gathering for next weeks Thanksgiving celebration. So today we are experimenting with table settings, of which our Wild Child fabrics will be featured.

Wild Child Reversible Napkins

Of all the Wild Child designs and colorways the Blue versions of Gaillardia, Fiesta Flowers, Delirious Dots and Sassy Stripes seemed the most fitting. So our first project was to make several Reversible Party Napkins & Button Down Napkin Rings (our Pint Size Pattern)… Gaillardia on one side, Dots on the other and Striped rings. I love the oversized button stitches.

Sassaman Quilted Placemat

Then we made some placemats. We quilted them with heavy black top-stitching thread. The striped border and solid colored Fiesta Ware help to brighten things up.

Sassaman Ribbon Bouquet

We are depending on our floral bouquet to add some color contrast and spice up the composition. This is a little white ceramic cube with holes on top to hold flowers. It is wrapped like a gift with my blue and white Night Life Ribbon (Renaissance Ribbon). This could be a nice placecard holder or party favor, too.

Sassaman Wild Child Placemat

Things are coming together nicely! But lets see some more variations…

Sassaman Fabric Place Setting

Oh yes! Those new splashes of orange and red really jazz things up!

Willoware Sassaman Fabric

I couldn’t resist trying traditional Willowware in the mix. Which combination wins your vote? Well, it’s starting to look like Thanksgiving here! I’m thankful for all of my fabric friends who stop in to see our weekly ideas and inspiration! Happy Holiday!!

Skirting through Autumn

Monday, November 18th, 2013

Harvest 2013

Last week they finally harvested the corn field next door. We look forward to this event every year as it’s always at night and so very dramatic. In the black void of night the light beams from the machines brush over a haunting landscape. But Sunday was wet and wild. We had tornado warnings so we kept alert and unplugged the electronics. But it was, of course, a divine day to hang out in the studio. I am trying a new routine of four days devoted to FreeSpirit Fabric work followed by three days of art quilting, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. So yesterday I was at the work wall tweaking a new quilt project. Very satisfying!

Sassaman Gaillardia Skirt

Today it’s back to FreeSpirit business. So I’m going to preview one of our latest Autumn outfits featuring the Wild Child Gaillardia fabric in the red colorway. I love a classic gathered skirt with big pockets… comfortable and smart. This fabric has a touch of summer enthusiasm, but with the yellow blouse and deep pumpkin sweater it leans more toward Autumn.

Sassaman Gaillardia Skirt 2

I, personally, need to have pockets at all times, if only to hold my hanky. Pockets are very comforting. Big pockets are even more so.

Sassaman Gaillardia Skirt 3

We have even made a matching fabric brooch by mounting a fussy cut flower on felt and hand stitching some fancy details.

Sassaman Gaillardia Brooch

Stay tuned… next post we will tackle some Thanksgiving table settings for your inner Wild Child!

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!!