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I’ve Got Your Back

Well, YOU have to have your back. Blog includes tips on quilt backings. Selection of valentine, love, heart quilt patterns for sale by download. Different sizes from 12″ hot pad to lap quilts. GREAT directions with diagram and some photos.

…Well, YOU have to have your back. When quilting, we have to think about how to make up the back. In my grandmother’s day, they used cheap muslin or a sheet. Actually, a sheet can be a good choice; however, if hand-quilting, be sure to examine the thread count and check if your needle is comfortable sliding through. As for muslin, it’s not a cheap as it used to be (what is?), but you can now get it in a double-wide 90″ in a nice quality.

I will admit that I recently used a (gasp!) POLYESTER microfiber bed sheet, and it was the softest, silkiest backing I’ve ever made. I had pre-washed all the fabric, so why not? We now use polyester thread, which, by the way, works MUCH better in a quilting machine. (My favorite is Omni by Superior threads).

These days, however, there are 100’s of more interesting choices for backings than a solid-color sheet. You can buy 108″-wide fabric now. Although a local shop may not carry many colors, you can go to Keepsake Quilting on line for a huge variety. They sell it by the yard or in 3-yd packages and are currently putting a few on sale every “Wide-Back Wednesday”–some fabulous prints.

You may have to piece the back, though. Buy twice the length you need, of course, but I suggest using one whole width and then distributing the next by cutting it in half lengthwise and sewing half on each side. No particular reason except I think it looks better than a seam down the middle.

Have you ever had to lengthen a back piece? I certainly HAVE. Sometimes I’m just out of fabric (or I miscut!!! ARGHH) What to do??? No naughty words–just PIECE it. Look how darling this last “Hearts for the Sweet” turned out.

Hearts for the Sweet cc2323

I only had 1 yd of fabric for a 42″ quilt, so I started with a 6 1/2″ strip of the red I’d used on the front. That was the first mistake…I forgot to count in the seam allowance of the one-yard piece. OOPS! 2nd mistake–I shouldn’t have cut the strip until I’d pre-washed the fabric. OOPS again! It shrank. I was a good inch short, yet a backing really should be a little longer and wider. Oh no!!

OK, …back to the drawing board. I had cut a lot of strips of the rainbow print for the ruffle and just happened to have one left–thank goodness! Not only was it 3″ wide, perfect width, but it’s so cute that it looks planned.

I later came back with more red for the embroidered label, which I whipped in the middle, overlapping a bit, just to be artistic. The back of this quilt is almost as darling as the front. Remember that unlike bed or wall quilts, the back on a lap quilt won’t be hidden. The morals to the story are to “Make it Attractive and Remarkable, maybe even Gushworthy” and “Two Wrongs Can Indeed be Righted.”

Hearts for the Sweet cc2323

This new valentine quilt just published this week is simple. It includes directions and lots of photos this time as well as diagrams for inserting a ruffle or a regular binding. After all, we do love our little boys, too–this could be quite masculine in primary colors with vehicles or spiders or something….ick, maybe not spiders with hearts, but you get the idea. The ruffle has lace on the edge, making it extra special, but it’s really fast to make with a binding instead– without having to tediously gather the ruffle. Another idea is to buy wide ruffled lace instead of a ruffle.

If you have plenty of time in the next week, you could attempt this “Check Out My Purple Heart,” but it’d also be great for Father’s Day with its sophisticated spin on mulberry with yellow to tone down the “pink.” It’s also a large 54″ square, a great size for a man (or woman–hey, try it in pinks ,roses or lilac!)

Check Out my Purple Heart cc2309

The wall hanging below will take considerably MORE time and may not be ready until Christmas or someone’s birthday, but it was so much fun to make from scraps. Those are little paper-pieced log cabin blocks, which are easier when sewing small blocks. However, the pattern could easily be enlarged by simply enlarging the blocks and could be sewn traditionally if you prefer. (I’d like to make it queen-sized for my bed, with a rosy burgundy heart.)

Love in a Little Log Cabin cc2108

On the other hand, you may be pressed for time. I get it! You can still create a marvelous little valentine for your sweetheart, friends or family in just a few hours. This 12″ Platter Pad is both useful and decorative. You can even replace the top-sewn lace with double-folded bias tape if lace is inappropriate–super-quick finish–you don’t have to satin-stitch the edge!

Simply Sweet Heart cc2016

I really hope you’ll take time to sew a special valentine. So precious–so few calories! I’ve omitted the links for fear of going onto SPAM lists, but you can go to my website: https://sewgocreate.com and easily search “Hearts” or “Love.” Some of these are on sale until Feb. 14….spreading MY love to you. Libby

Featured

Welcome to SewGoCreate– the website for downloadable patterns!

Weekly Chat

Greetings, sewists!!  Thanks for your interest!


Look for sales and coupons for my “followers” as a thank-you when you receive my weekly/biweekly blog and get notice of every new pattern.   (over 90 and more coming! New ones every week or two…)


Browse the digital quilting and sewing patterns for quilts, wall hangings, throws, runners, often with 3D embellishments.  Not just quilts, but also skirts, decorated sweatshirts, platter pads, aprons, totes, appliques, and small gift items. Great instructions and diagrams are included, sometimes color charts, to make your sewing experience easier.

Just pay through Paypal (with credit card) and the digital pattern arrives later at your computer–it’s not automated, so give it some time to process, please!

Come sew and create with me.  Having a ball!

Libby Christensen of Christensen Creations

May Day Play Day

So much going on in May…I’m worn out. On days between major projects and major obligations, one way I like to wind down is to play with my scraps. Yes, PLAY. I sort them, fold them, repack them in ever-larger containers, and treasure them like I did when I was little. My mother taught me the pleasure of “making something out of nothing” because she grew up with a lot of nothing.

I, however, have a LOT of scraps. I cannot throw them away. Can NOT. So I’m always interested in ways to use them. I’ve found a new way, making long strips into scrap bowls. I watched a youtube video by Superior Threads marketing manager Amy Domke, which inspired me (thanks, Amy–love your thread, too!!) Here’s the link:

Rope bowls are a fun easy project with professional results! – YouTube

I had no “rope,” but someone had given me 100 yds or so of a soft braided nylon that I had no conceivable use for…so I tried it. I tried wrapping, but the frayed edges bothered me. So I developed a process of cutting long strips and pressing 1/4″ in on one long side. Then I tuck the raw edge under the pressed edge as I cover the rope. For that soft braid, I did a 2-step process, covering by sewing down the middle for the yardage, then coiling and zigzagging together.

Libby’s “Whatnot” Bowls for sale at Poppy Layne Vintage in Wetumpka, Alabama

What fun! This was actually something new for me, and I was delighted to find a way to use those long skinny scraps, not even wide enough for 2 1/2″ squares.

I organized my scraps by color, but you could use multi colors and/or leave the frayed edge. You can also wrap the fabric around and around the rope as you sew.

Aren’t they cute? Use for keys, change, jewelry, candy, desk supplies, seashells, even dog biscuits! Give them filled with something interesting for a great gift. YOU go create them YOUR way for YOUR purpose–that’s the point.

To begin, a small bowl takes at least 5 yds of macrame or other roping, so figure 10-20 for larger bowls. The ending isn’t lovely. If you can see on the cream/beige “dog bowl,” I made a little tab with the face of a dog (from the top printed fabric) to cover the edge.

What about thread? Use whatever you have, whatever you want to use up. Notice the green bowl has some gold thread. Metallics break easily, so I put the gold Sliver thread in the bobbin; then I inverted the bowl. In my case, I’m using up some ancient thread and finishing up spools– using up a different kind of scrap.

Making something beautiful out of nothing! Join me and send pics of what you make!

Graduations are nigh

…and for quilters, that often means having to tackle a T-shirt quilt.

We all know that these days, T-shirts rule; most teens have a drawerful. (Except MY son, well past graduation, who hangs HIS in categories on hangerseasier than folding.) But back to quilting. Most quilters have been or will be asked to make “The T-shirt Quilt.” It’s almost a rite of passage, yet there’s no real pattern for it. So how do you approach it other than by screaming and hair-pulling?

Here’s one I made this month for a baseball enthusiast. She’s played almost all her life, so I had many sizes and several teams of baseball JERSEYS! Interesting.

Baseball Jersey Quilt by LJ Christensen

So where do you start?

1. Cut off the sleeves, neckline, back seams and backs with no printing (I did leave the one jersey intact at the request of the customer and the V-line neck of the little pink one.) This starts to get the pieces ready and gives you an overview of colors and amount of fabric you have to work with.

2. Estimate the amount of fabric for accent and backing and get an idea for a theme. Mine was obviously baseball, but it might be team colors, sports, or something more unusual like my son’s science T’s or dragon T’s. If nothing else, determine some favorite colors. With the theme in mind, buy novelty or colored fabric. (No, I can’t tell you how much, but don’t forget the backing and binding!)

3. Plan out a design on graph paper. The absolute easiest might be rows of different widths to allow for different amounts of printing. Calculate the rows to match the size quilt you want to make. Another method is to make every square the same and put sashing around it (not that easy because printing comes in all sizes). You could, however, start with the largest to determine size and add filler to the smaller pieces. Or put several smaller pieces together in one block.

4. Consider the theme or special elements for centerpiece. I designed a baseball diamond into the background and appliqueed a jersey on the top. You could add a grouping of special T’s or color grouping instead.

Jersey added on top of diamond

5. Get plenty of fusible interfacing. It helps stabilize the stretchy knit. Also, I found it was easier to measure the size on the stabilizer, fuse it and cut around the edge than to cut the knit first. (While jerseys don’t stretch much, a couple of the T’s were really stretchy and definitely needed it!)

6. Pay attention to color. Look at the first photo and notice how I balanced the blacks and dark grays, and I made a point to distribute the pinks throughout. Look again and you’ll see I ALSO distributed the 12’s and 6’s. I also had ONE striped T, which I used for filler, sometime horizontally and sometimes vertically.

Pink and stripe used for filler.

7. Keep your wits about you when you deal with 6 or 9, 1 and 0–it’s way too easy to get them upside down (speaking from experience!) Ditto on writing.

8. For fun, add some appliquees. I added a baseball bat and ball (which I puffed up with several layers of batting). The ball was on one of the fabrics–easy to cut out! The T in the center was “holey”, so I first backed it with fusible fleece. I used the fleece on the bat and ball as well–not really necessary, but it helps them stand out a bit. I also added baseball grosgrain ribbon around the diamond.

Appliqueed bat and ball

9. Finished and ready to quilt? I’m fortunate enough to have a long-arm, so it didn’t take long. I quilted AROUND the appliques and around the areas of shirts I’d left with buttons down the middle because they get too bulky–also some collar areas.

Avoid quilting buttons!

10. Don’t forget the back! Add a label with name, graduation date, quilter, or other info with embroidery. I even kept out the back of the little pink shirt because it had the grad’s last name! Just do something cute.

Back of quilt label

P.S. No, I did not use plain white cotton on the back. It’s a woven polyester sheet (from Big Lots!) Not only does it blend with the baseball print binding, but the silky poly goes well with the silky jerseys!

Polyester sheet backing

I hope these tips help…so go create your own and send me a pic!!

I DID it!

I FINALLY got the “Playing with Marbles: OOPS! One Escaped” wall hanging pattern finished and published. Not only is this cute for girls, boys, young or old (as you change the colors…), but it’s a wonderful LEARNING experience.


Playing with Marbles OOPS” by LJ Christensen

You’ll find 1) more than 20 colored graphs and diagrams to keep you organized, 2) how to make half-square triangles, 3) details for how to better deal with sewing points, 4) how to bind and make loops, and 5) even how to make an optional mitered border. That was hard to explain, so I added lots of photos this time–over 20!

Buy here.

AND of course, I included 6) how to stuff yoyos to make marbles. Are you confused yet or are you with me?

Let’s PLAY!

Take a small circle. Mine was 2 1/2″ (to coordinate with the 2 1/2″ jelly roll strips). Try drawing around a can or glass with a Frixion pen or other marker. Layer up several pieces to cut several circles at once.

Fold over the raw edge of a cirle to the back about 1/8-3/16″ and make running stitching around the edge. (“Running” just means in and out, nothing fancy.) See PHOTO.

Running stitches, pulled to gather

If you were to pull this circle taut, you’d have a yoyo like Grandma used to make. But keep it a little loose so that you can easily push in a little bit of polyfill. (No, I can’t tell you how much. A pinch? A 1.5 cubic cm? I’d go with the pinch–don’t worry because it’s easy to add or remove.)

Stuff, pull taut and knot. Sew on with a little “ladder stitch.”

Now stuff it! (I enjoyed saying that!) You won’t be able to close the hole/gap. It’s the nature of yoyos. Again, don’t worry because that open area gets pushed against fabric when you sew it on. “Ladder stitch” just is a little bite from the fabric, down to a little bite from the marble, up to the fabric again. See the up and down on the right marble in the photo? Obviously, you pull it enough that it doesn’t show, but not enough to gather up. Knot off.

By the way, when you knot, you can use a quilter’s trick and “bury” the thread end. Pull the needle up through the stuffed yoyo and press down on the stuffing, pulling the thread a teeny bit more. Clip it off; the stuffing wlll puff back up with the thread end buried inside. Don’t you love it!?

NEXT–WHAT IN THE HECK DO YOU DO WITH “MARBLES”?

Besides collecting them, that is? One of my favorite things is to make berries. The holly decoration below is just a $2 pattern.

“Holly Jolly 3D Applique”

3D Holly Jolly Applique Embellishment #CC2205 – SewGoCreate

I’ve also made snowballs with them.

“With Fleece as White as Snow–or Not” cc1011

This is on the back of a sweatshirt, but it’s easy to use the applique elsewhere.

With Fleece as White as Snow–or NOT #CC1011 – SewGoCreate

On the FRONT of the sweatshirt, I used them as buttons–maybe toggles would be a better term? Same pattern. Just use narrow elastic for closure. The instructions are flexible. You can use ANY size sweatshirt, child or adult.

front of sweatshirt above

Let me know if you think of any more uses. I’m imagining grapes and maybe the center of a flower or a clown nose. Maybe bird’s eggs in a nest?

Please add comments if you have some ideas, and I could sure use some kind words of review for ad copy….just a hint. Better yet, why don’t you buy a pattern and try it? Then review it! Send me pics. I’d love to see what you’re making.

Sew….go create marbles and yoyos and other fun stuff!

Does LIFE get in your way?

Maybe not, but sometimes it does in mine.

(BTW, sorry if you’re receiving this a 2nd time, but the English instructor in me couldn’t stand the subject/verb agreement error; I simply HAD to update. As it republishes, emails might be re-sent, but I can’t control that.)

I have to apologize. A “few” weeks ago, I promised to finish and publish a pattern for a wall hanging called “Playing with Marbles: Oops, One Escaped!” It had just received a ribbon in an art show, and I was very excited to share the pattern. It includes 3D stuffed marbles.

“Playing with Marbles: Oops, One Escaped” by LJ Christensen

Yeah, right….excited and eager until LIFE GOT IN THE WAY!

It wasn’t bad; it was just an overwhelmingly busy time for me…you know, the times when you feel you’re juggling 12 balls (or perhaps marbles), they’re all in the air, and you’re not sure you can catch ANY….?

At least that’s my excuse.

What happened was even more exciting to me, though. A new vintage/artisan shop opened up in Wetumpka and was looking for vendors. I dived right in and now have a presence in Poppy Layne Vintage on Commerce Street as well as Market Shoppes on Market Street.

In an effort to deconflict, I’m concentrating on Wetumpka tourist items/photo gifts at Market Street and “soft creations,” quilts and patterns at Poppy Layne.

I put my photos on everything from photo cards to totes, umbrellas., puzzles and even Rubik’s cubes!

A variety of Libby’s “Funbrellas,” now primarily at Poppy Layne with ones of the bridge at Market Shoppes.

Below is one of my photos–currently at both Market Shoppes and The Kelly Art Gallery (on Commerce St. right across from Poppy Layne). I have large photos on canvas, but small copies of this one are also on custom-designed cards.

“Watching over Wetumpka” by LJ Christensen

Naturally, I was super-busy, trying to plan and set up a display in the new shop, manage a new inventory and make all new tags… while also entering another art contest. I’m so proud to have gotten an Honorable Mention at Society of Arts and Crafts’ Member Show in Montgomery on another new photo below:

“Mist on the Coosa” by LJ Christensen

Wait a minute–this is SUPPOSED TO BE a quilting blog, right? OK, I’m off topic, but my Christensen Creations label includes my photography, so I do have to tend to it now and then.

In the meantime, the marbles pattern was all ready to publish except for two photos,which I still haven’t taken–see, photography IS involved! However, just to make things crazy, TAXES were due.

Hello, IRS, it’s just really not convenient at the moment because I’m busy, but alas, the government doesn’t listen to me or run on MY schedule. All my samples and 100s of small items for sale have to be tracked for fabric, notions, thread, tags, etc. Funsies. (Not.)

So once taxes were tallied and sent, back to the pattern drawing board, which Word decided to “save and update” for me. Note to self: Do NOT let Word update files! It managed to destroy my lay-out, causing me to make literally 100s of small changes to get it back in order. My “update” became a “downdate”–you can add that to the dictionary.

Ready to publish at that point? Nope. Why? Because I’ve signed up for a booth in the Charis Crafters’ big spring craft show next Saturday (April 30, 9am-3pm, Wetumpka Civic Ctr, bring a canned food item for entry). I’m looking forward to it, but it means I’ve spent another multitude of hours retagging and planning for smaller “$25 and under” pieces, including my PATTERNS. However, my patterns are laid out for page-by-page download, like a college paper or other document. I haven’t PRINTED patterns in years, but when I do, I prefer to fold them to make a cover with photo and description and a back that has a list of the supplies. It slips in a plastic sleeve, you see.

In other words, can you say RE-lay-out? Awkward in that one pattern I had to do, but even more awkward in the 100 patterns I’ve published, mostly on line. So I guarantee they won’t all make it to the booth, but I will have a basketful–how full it is will no doubt be inversely proportional to my lack of sleep this week.

So, there I’ve laid out some good excuses, well, some excuses for getting behind. It’s not that I’ve been lollygagging. I just changed some priorities. That sounds good. I’ll use that explanation to save face.

I have to also admit that I’ve taken some time out to search on line for jewelry supplies. I’ve been working on a way to get my photos onto reversible pendants with a tiny quilt on the opposite side. My first attempts were so clunky that they became paper weights! I’m serious! What a transformation. But at least I’m back to quilting! And maybe, just maybe, I can locate my camera and finish up that pattern…..sometime soon…ish.

Talladega Nights? or Daytona Days?

“Fast Track” is a single bed quilt pattern, complete with a track and 3D race cars, surrounded with black and white checks. Download it to your computer. Great directions!

If you or your family are fans, you will love this single bed quilt pattern. In honor of Daytona, I’ve put it on sale for about a week until the end of February.

“Fast Track” Twin Bed Quilt #CC2312 – SewGoCreate

“Fast Track” is actually FAST because it sews up fast. The squares are big, and the race track bigger yet. (HINT–those cute squares on the binding are simply check fabric.) I found it at Hobby Lobby, but you can “check” the internet or just use a solid color.

Faux-pieced binding
Close-up of the “track”

Yes, you COULD velcro on the cars, but I figured they might get lost, leaving a scratchy piece of velcro. I made them 3D by just adding a layer of batting, slitting open on the back to turn them. The windshields are fused on, then satin-stitched on right through the quilt to hold them on, along with the buttons sewn through to hold the tires down. Clever 3D look, but they don’t move except by imagination. You could embroider or use a permanent market to add a special number….just an idea for fans!

Close-up of a car

Almost all boys, big as well as small, would love this quilt. Good for a dorm room, or extra quilt for a couch sleeper, maybe? Quick! Make someone happy! Get the pattern for just $3.00 this week.

Fast Track cc2312 by LJ Christensen

So, what do you think of it? Leave a reply!

Quick Preview Video of new pattern

A darling little valentine “Hearts for the Sweet” is about to be published. Watch for next blog, probably on Monday, Jan 31. This Facebook video shows the general plan. Click for a 2-min. preview.

https://www.facebook.com/search/posts?q=sewgocreate%20by%20christensen%20creations&filters=eyJycF9jcmVhdGlvbl90aW1lOjAiOiJ7XCJuYW1lXCI6XCJjcmVhdGlvbl90aW1lXCIsXCJhcmdzXCI6XCJ7XFxcInN0YXJ0X3llYXJcXFwiOlxcXCIyMDIyXFxcIixcXFwic3RhcnRfbW9udGhcXFwiOlxcXCIyMDIyLTFcXFwiLFxcXCJlbmRfeWVhclxcXCI6XFxcIjIwMjJcXFwiLFxcXCJlbmRfbW9udGhcXFwiOlxcXCIyMDIyLTEyXFxcIixcXFwic3RhcnRfZGF5XFxcIjpcXFwiMjAyMi0xLTFcXFwiLFxcXCJlbmRfZGF5XFxcIjpcXFwiMjAyMi0xMi0zMVxcXCJ9XCJ9In0%3D

Back after the big C

Yes, I’m finally back on board after Christmas…but also after Covid, which I got as an unwelcome Christmas gift…..sorry for the big gap in posting. However, I’m now well and ready to spread some love. Are you?

If you’re in the mood to use up a pile of scraps, try this simple log cabin heart, “Love in a Little Log Cabin,” made using paper-piecing for convenience. If you prefer, you can just use the lay-out and larger strips–it’s up to you. ON SALE for $3.50 until Valentine’s Day.

If that looks like too many blocks to tackle, you can go the other direction with this extremely simple baby quilt, “Sweet Heart Square Dance,” just 15 squares and great for a beginner. You can even omit the ruffle if it’s too much to handle. Also on sale.


Sweetheart Squaredance cc1027

Even simpler, how’s this for a wonderful 12″ valentine? Super-quick!

If you need a special valentine for anyone, including Grandpa or some other military vet, here’s an idea, “Check Out My Purple Heart.”

Another one that can easily be made for man or woman is this special valentine, “Chains of Love.” Done in pinks and white, it’s much more feminine.

Whether you’re ready for a big project or just a little one, you’ll find all of these ON SALE for the next few weeks. I didn’t add the URLs for each because I’ve heard that my blogs are going to spam folders. So just go to sewgocreate.com and use the “search button”–search “hearts” or each title.

I have one more to share. There’s no pattern for this one because it’s really intricate with partial seams that are really hard to describe in instructions. It’s on display, however, at The Kelly Fitzpatrick Memorial Gallery in downtown Wetumpka, Alabama, on Company Street, in the “Sawdust and Rust” Exhibit. I designed it with 3 wood prints and 3 metallic fabrics as my contribution to wood and metal. It’s called “Unchain My Heart, Locked in a Box.” The piece in front of it is by Dale Lewis. (The curator loved how the oranges went together!)
This exhibit will be on display for 6-8 weeks. It’s fabulous! Come see it!

Hope to be back with another blog soon–I have a baby quilt with five hearts ready to cut out! Sharing the love!! Libby

Send me feedback–is this coming through without going to SPAM??? Did you find other blogs in your Spam folder? I need to know! THANKS!

That time of year…

is almost here! While I’ve been far too busy managing the Wetumpka Artists Market the past several weeks to publish a new pattern, I WILL share my favorite Christmas (or any time) music pattern at a sale price of just $3.50. That includes the instructions, the templates for appliqueing all the music, and also the tricks for the 3D holly. While the applique does take some time, the piecing is quite easy. Not many pieces because the piano keys are faux-pieced (tiny pin-tucks on the back!) and the black keys are made with my friend, Mr. Bias Tape! Just leave off the holly and make this in any color for a year-round lap quilt. People will rave over it!

“Joy to the World” by LJ Christensen

Yes, those ARE the notes to “Joy to the World,” but since it’s YOUR quilt, you could change the notes to another tune….right? Click here to order

I wish you a Merry Christmas, but since it’s so close, my guess is that you may be in panic mode. Here are a few quick ideas if you need last-minute gifts.

“With Fleece as White as Snow…or Not” by LJ Christensen

The darling sweatshirt above is so easy with acrylic fleece–instructions work for ANY size. Click here Wait ’til you see the back!! (BTW, I’ve made this with leopard fleece on a black sweatshirt, too!)

“The Trouble with Trebles” Platter Pad by LJ Christensen

OK, you need something musical, but certainly not a whole quilt!!!! Click here Music not the right gift? It’s OK–there are about 20 different platter pad patterns that sew up quickly. Click here. Here’s one you might need right now!

“Hot Coffee” by LJ Christensen

Very easy, but the steam makes it really cute! (There’s a steaming teapot pattern, too) Click here

“Just Ducky…” by LJ Christensen

The title speaks of the cute duckies on a diaper bag, but you can use the same pattern for ANYone of ANY age (such as a gym bag for an adult or travel tote for a child. ) It’s made of a large towel (Walmart!!! just saying) and a little bit of cute fabric. Click here

“Cuff ’em Pillow Cases” by LJ Christensen

Another fun gift for just about anyone is a personal pillow case! There are so many fun novelty prints to choose from! Click here

If you scroll through the website, you can find many other gift ideas, even hot mitts and kitchen towels and a ironing board caddy. Although I love full quilts, I also revel in “quick” and totally understand the pre-Christmas Crunch!

My best to all. I might not be back on line until January, but I have some great patterns planned for the new year, including a 100-pattern celebration coming soon!

Merry Christmas from Libby and stay tuned!

Time to Give Thanks

even when it feels like the world is crumbling, it’s good to sit back and think about what we DO have and give thanks. You even have time before Thanksgiving to make this throw because it’s made of simple large squares and triangles. I put in 19 photos and 24 diagrams just to make the piecing really easy. Surprisingly, perhaps, it also uses lots of scraps–perfect for someone with a big stash and limited time.

On sale between now and Thanksgiving for just $3.50, click here to buy.

Give Thanks Throw by LJ Christensen

It might be the cozy addition you need for your family room! If you truly don’t have time, it’s for sale right now in the Market Shoppes in downtown Wetumpka–it could be yours!

As I was designing this throw, I was concentrating on finding soft medium values because most of us don’t choose neon orange for our houses (unless you just happen to be an Auburn or UT fan!! HA!) I purposely picked a soft gray background to mute the colors a bit.

What I truly didn’t think about until I was working on the pattern is that it’s primarily a scrappy quilt! Amazingly, 8-10 of the colors are less than 1/4 yd. and often less than an 1/8, just a bit here or there to suggest a fruit or vegetable. Like square pegs in round holes, they are all squares! However, I added some quilting whirls to further “suggest” roundness….and it’s 100 times quicker than applique! The colors get the point across well enough.

Speaking of scraps, though, I was thinking about what joy it gives me to use them up I honestly think it’s more pleasurable than cutting into new fabric. My parents grew up in the Depression and taught me to value making “something from nothing.” There’s a special thrill for me when I use fabric leftover that’s already been used once, so it feels free.

If I’m not making quilts, I’m using bits and pieces for applique. I also make scrunchies and quilted hairbands, purses, totebags, yoyo necklaces, Christmas ornaments and of course, for a couple years, I made 100’s of masks, mostly with scraps. Every so often I sort them by size and color. That is a labor of love, for sure, as I caress them, sort them, pile them, and dream of what new life they might have. OK, I’m a bit obsessed.

If you don’t like to fool with them, give them to someone who has kids. The Kelly community art center in Wetumpka has used lots of mine for monthly children’s craft projects this past year. Even the small pieces can be glued on paper! It’s amazing to watch how the little bits of color can spark the kids’ imagination!

Maybe I’m just a big old kid! Are you?