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

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?

Start your holiday baking…

This is “as easy as pie”–pumpkin, custard, key lime–just choose your filling from scraps of fabric. Applique them onto a plate with a little bit of big rickrack for the crust and YUM! You’ve made the cutest piece of pie ever, with absolutely NO calories!

Don’t miss this darling pattern on sale this week for just $2.50 because you know you’ll need to do some holiday baking. What a precious host/hostess gift this would make for Thanksgiving, or make it for your OWN table for that platter of turkey. These “Petites on Point” platter pads are designed to hang as well, so it’s a great little seasonal decoration.

“Slice of Pie Platter Pad” cc2025

Click here to buy

Slice of PUMPKIN Pie close-up by LJ Christensen

Some people seem to think that applique is difficult and time consuming. Not necessarily. You can always add 1/4″ and hand-turn the Christensen Creations patterns, but they are designed for fusible applique. If you’re not washing/drying them a lot, you can just fuse. It works fine. After a lot of drying, though, sometimes the fusing glue might begin to detach.

That’s why I recommend satin-stitch machine applique for washable items. It’s not hard, especially if you fuse first. Then it doesn’t slip, and you don’t have to pin anything. Here’s the first tip. Fuse the double-sided fusible web (such as Heat’n’Bond or Wonder Under) to the back of the fabric. Leaving the paper on, cut out the pattern pieces. This assures that you get fusible web right into the corners. Let it cool.

Place the applique pieces on the fabric, but do not remove the backing paper until you are ready to fuse. Use a pin or needle to “score” the backing; this allows you to peel it off without picking at the corners and possibly disturbing the threads.

STOP! Note that some pieces may very well overlap others. I suggest placing and stitching the underneath pieces first. You may not need to stitch the entire edge, though, if it’s to be covered. (NOTE: You can even MARK where it’s to be covered, using a Frixion pen that disappears with heat, so the mark disappears when you put the iron down to fuse it! Love these pens–available at regular office supply stores like Office Depot.)

The width of the satin stitching is up to you. It needs to be wide enough to take a “bite” into the applique and also into the background. In fact, as you stitch, you should line up the edge of the applique to the middle of the presser foot. The stitch should be close enough together so that it covers, but not so close as to buckle and bunch up. I like to use embroidery thread, but again, that’s up to you.

STOP! Don’t stitch yet! Not before you put a stabilizer underneath! This is really important. My favorite type these days is an iron-on type that doesn’t slip or need to be pinned, but it really doesn’t matter. You can get tear-away, wash-away, heat-away. My mother even used a roll of 2-3″ paper for an adding machine. Paper is not recommended because it dulls the needle, but for a little bit of applique like this project, it doesn’t really matter. You mainly just need to stabilize because fabric stretches just a bit.

As you stitch, just try not to stop and start much. That jerky motion can cause an uneven row of stitches. If you have to stop, make sure the needle is DOWN. Move slowly and steadily around curves. If you’re unhappy with some of the stitches, it’s easy to pick them out because they’re large! The seam ripper can easily cut through a bunch! It’s better, though to restart from a corner than to try to match the stitch from the middle of a row, but it can be done–trust me, I often have to redo.

When finished and tearing the stabilizer off the back, a pair of tweezers is helpful for any small areas. However, it’ll all be inserted between layers, so don’t worry about leaving the smallest bits–no one will ever see them!

(and I’ll never tell….HA!)

If you don’t like to applique–OK! You might prefer these other PIECDED seasonal patterns: click here for “Pumpkin Time” Platter Pad.

“Pumpkin Time”

Click for “Great Pumpkins Table Runner”

“Great Pumpkins”

Click for “Autumn Maple” Platter Pad

“Autumn Maple” Platter Pad

Click for “Maple Sugar” Table Runner

“Maple Sugar” Table Runner

Click for “When Autumn Leaves Start to Fall”

“When Autumn Leaves Start to Fall” Platter Pad

Click for “Running to Fall”

“Running to Fall” Table Runner

Leaves or pumpkins–take your pick and put them on YOUR table!

It’s F season!

Of course, if you’re from Alabama you know that means FOOTBALL, not fall. It can still be 80-90 degrees in the fall, so we get vibes not from the trees, but from the stadiums!

Christensen Creations will not take sides, so I designed special lap quilts/wall hangings for both University of Alabama and for Auburn. If you’re from Alabama, there’s 99% chance you root for one or the other! These cute quilts are very quick to make and sized just big enough to be a cozy little stadium lap quilt or small enough to hang on the wall (or over the back of couch) or even at the end of a bed in a dorm room! You can decide how you want to use yours!

Alabama Elephant Flag cc2321

Click here to buy: U of AL Elephant Flag Lap Quilt or Hanging #CC2321

Auburn Tiger Flag cc2320

Click here to buy: Auburn Tiger Flag Lap Quilt or Hanging #CC2320

If you don’t feel like quilting, you can find both of these for sale this week at Market Shoppes in downtown Wetumpka, but I encourage you to make your own. I used Kona cotton. (The red is really a little more crimson than it looks in the photo.) The Kona white is nice and thick. Kona is readily available in most fabric stores, even Hobby Lobby, so it’s easy to find. It doesn’t seem to fade much, but I ALWAY S pre-wash several times just to make sure the intense colors don’t bleed later.

I used a gentle curve of quilting down each stripe and fancier free-motion quilting inside animals. The tiger didn’t show up well, but here’s the elephant. I used a whirl to indicate the eye, some big loops on the ear and some zigzags on the trunk to suggest wrinkles. People complain that “Quilt as desired” is not helpful, so I’m trying to include some ideas along with my patterns.

Alabama Elephant Closeup by LJ Christensen

The pattern is easy to cut because it’s primarily based on strips, mainly 2 1/2″ and 1 1/2″ strips. I love rotary cutting and strip-piecing–so much quicker than scissors and more accurate as well.

However, one issue I encountered was trying to keep track of the pieces that were so close in size: 5″, 4″, 3 1/2″, 5 1/2″, etc. Because I cut and sewed all in one evening, I just lined mine up from largest to smallest on a side table. That wasn’t too bad for the elephant because there were fewer pieces. The tiger with all the similar strips was more confusing.

One thing you can do is mark each piece. We used to mark on the back when sewing garments. Today there are water-dissolvable markers, but I like the heat-erasable even better. Wow! Those new Frixion pens erase with the touch of an iron! You don’t have to order them from a special quilt shop either; they’re are Office Depot! I’ve bought all colors, but I still prefer the black or blue.

A quicker fix is to stack same-size pieces together and just make a little paper note with the size. If it’ll be a while before I sew, I’ll pin a stack together. I love flower head pins because they’re long and very sharp. You can even get some that have numbers on them, which are great to use for inch sizes. You can also sort by colors–I’ve used rainbow order to indicate sizes. A quick tip, though, is that you can WRITE on the flowers! Just use a fine Sharpie. You can indicate sizes or rows or types of blocks. I don’t like to mark permanently, though, so my “go-to” is to have scrap paper tucked under my cutting board. I pull off a piece and write down my number or whatever to pin to a stack or a piece, then throw it away later.

I’m sure there are fancier ways of organizing block and pieces, perhaps in clear plastic bags or something like that, but for a quick quilt like these little gems, you only have to get organized for a couple hours. When worse comes to worst, it’s really not a major issue to have to find a ruler and simply remeasure!

Whether you’re a football fan or a football widow or just looking for a cute gift idea, consider one of these patterns. They’re on sale for just $3.50 for this one week~so hurry! If you have a “divided” family, you may even need both.

When 90’s become 80’s…

it’s PUMPKIN TIME! A cute round pieced pumpkin on a square block, made as a quilt block or huge hot pad for platters or big bowls. Great directions and color diagrams make it easy!

That’s my latest pattern, “Pumpkin Time,” a cute round pumpkin on a square block–easy square block piecing, but four half-square triangles and some color shading make it seem round. Make it as a quilt block on point or as an 8″, 10″ or 12″ huge “platter pad.” They are decorative enough to hang on a loop on the wall, but they double as huge hot pads for platters or big bowls–how perfect for Thanksgiving or any gathering!

Order “Pumpkin Time” for just $2.50 for the next 10 days! Hurry! Click here.

“Pumpkin Time” cc 2024 by LJ Christensen

This one is hanging in the Market Shoppes in downtown Wetumpka, for sale, but it’s first come, first serve, because I’m out of several of the scrap fabrics I used!

Libby’s booth at Market Shoppe, Wetumpka

I haven’t published many patterns in the last few weeks because I’ve been working on some custom quilts. You might enjoy seeing a couple of them. The one below was to go in Market Shoppes, but Shellie Whitfield saw it and bought it before I could put it out. She’s not only the Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce, but she and her husband own the Big Fish House seen in Tim Burton’s Big Fish movie (filmed in my town, Wetumpka). I used Tim Burton’s “swirlie” patterns on swirly batik and made her house as well as I could:

“Big Fish House” lap quilt by LJ Christensen

Here’s my photo of the actual house, complete with the daffodils she put out as a reference to fields of daffodils in the movie.

Big Fish House, Wetumpka by LJ Christensen

OK, so I didn’t get every detail–the roof isn’t blue, for instance–but their door IS bright yellow, painted by the HGTV team of Erin and Ben Napier when they remodeled the kitchen and entry stairs.

In this close-up, you can see that I used bias tape for the porch and pillars and a button for the door handle.

Big Fish House lap quilt close-up by LJ Christensen

Below is another version I made with smaller squares for a wall hanging that’s for sale in The Kelly art gallery in Wetumpka. It has more of a “Burtonesque” feel with a nightmarish or Halloween theme, black/white squares, and ghosts in the windows.

“Haunted Fish House”

Are you inspired? Would you like to do a house of your own? Go ahead. It takes a little time, but isn’t impossible.

  1. Get graph paper and design the size of your basic squares. I like to start with 1 square = 1″, then I use two across and down for a 2″ finish (2 1/2″ cut). Sometimes small quilts will have to have 1″ finish blocks. Once you get your ratio, it’s not hard. Obviously, you can make rectangles very easily, too. If you have to tape together two pieces of graph paper, it’s OK!
  2. Before you get too far along, decide the size of your quilt. I might do 16″ down x 20 across for a wall hanging, or 42″ across x 54″ for a lap. Sketch basic shapes lightly with a pencil. When you have your shape, keep it simple, but add doors, windows, etc., to make it look right. Angles, when necessary, such as in a roof, can be made with half-square triangles.
  3. Once you get the shapes, use colored pencil or crayons to color them in.
  4. Figuring fabric amounts gets challenging. Look for pieces the same width that could be cut out of one strip. If they add up to over 42″, figure in another strip. Keep adding the inches of each strip needed. Then overestimate. It’s OK to have scraps, but not OK to run out!!
  5. As you design, also think about which pieces could join to make a block so that the quilt can be sewn in sections. I sometimes go back and make a dark black line around those.
  6. The really fun part is shopping for fabric. Look for texture as well as color. There are many choices of brick, wood, tile, and stone prints today. I even found a great background fabric with the clouds over a moon! All I had to do is cut it to place in the right location. Not everything has to be exact; it can just be a hint, like the herringbone tone-on-tone I used for roofing that reminded me of roof tiling.
  7. Just have fun! This shouldn’t be a grind; it should be a challenge, right? If you don’t enjoy it, don’t do it. Instead, buy MY patterns! HA!

Labor Day Sale!!!

When it’s still hot outside, I want to believe it’s still summer, but I simply cannot ignore it any longer. I have to give up and admit that it’s time to think about fall leaves, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. Since I don’t have a new pattern yet (though I have several “in the works”), I decided to have an autumn sale to get you started. For one week, all these patterns are discounted to $3.50 and $2.50. So scroll through and get the autumn colors swirling in your head.

“Running to Fall” (in three lengths)–scrap-happy !
“When Autumn Leaves Start to Fall” 12″ platter pad to match
“Pieceful Borders” lap quilt–to get cozy
Maple Sugar“–in any length

“Autumn Maple” platter pad to match
“Great Pumpkins” runner in 3 lengths
“Jackson-o-Lantern Five” lap quilt or large wall hanging (gold teeth and spider!)
“Halloweensie-Weensie Spider”–speaking of spiders...(made quickly with bias tape) wall hanging
“Terrified Turkey” platter pad perfect for Thanksgiving!
“Steeping Teapot” platter pad for some warmth
“Hot Coffee” platter pad–maybe it should have been coffee first!

Not quite an even dozen shown here, but there are two more on sale you can find if you scroll through the website, so it’s a baker’s dozen! No big quilt this time, but….there could be soon!

Butterflies on the brain…

They’ve been on my brain. I got a lot of compliments on the last 3D butterfly pattern , 3D Butterflies Fly Free:

3D Butterflies Fly Free

However, you may not like to machine-applique or may not have time to fiddle with all the pieces involved right now. I understand. I had some requests for a more traditional quilt pattern, so I got to work and came up with “Butterfly Silhouettes Platter Pad.

Butterfly Silhouettes cc2023 by LJ Christensen

This is a two-fer–two blocks, a full-view silhouette and a sideview silhouette are together in the pattern on sale for $3.50 this week. It’s not only extremely quick and easy, but it’s extremely versatile. You get instructions for the basic 8″ block, but I include measurements for adding borders to make a 10″ or 12″ block or hot pad. It’d be simple to use this block for a entire big quilt of butterflies–how pretty! You could choose almost any color and any background.

There’s a full-size color grid for each as well. It’d be quite easy to resize for even bigger blocks–by using 2″ squares or even 2 1/2″ squares instead of the 1 1/2″ ones used in the pattern’s 1″ grid. That would certainly speed you up for a queen or king quilt! They’d make a lovely big quilt (hmm, good idea, I just may do that sometime!)

I think you’ll love these as 12″ “Platter Pads, “too, because they have two layers of cotton batting and are great under a hot platter or big bowl. I always design them “on point” so that they can hang as well. They are perfect for you to give as gifts! They are also good for beginners because they are quick and have full step-by-step instructions for the piecing, binding and loop. You’ll find them a wonderful size to machine-quilt. You can do a simple criss-cross, stipple, or get a little quirky and try out something like spirals.

Fullview Butterfly Silhouette by LJ Christensen

I know the spirals aren’t perfect, but I don’t care because they’re cute and really show off the wings in a way the sharp squares and rectangles don’t. What better way to practice than on a quick project, easily made from stash scraps? Get this–each butterfly and its background takes less than 1/8 yd., and 3/8 is enough for the wide border sashing and backing.

If you prefer to applique, I have another simple butterfly platter pad called “Lovely Butterfly“–it’s also quick, just a different technique. You might even enjoy trying them both and see which you prefer.

Lovely Butterfly cc2001

One of the best things about sewing butterflies is that you can show off some of your prettiest prints and really match or enhance a room, such as a kitchen or dining room. (The print in the photo above has shiny gold.)

I have lots of Platter Pad patterns for you to choose from: music, cat, hot dog dog!, mountain scene, coffee cup, teapot, chapel, schoolhouse, flowers, maple leaf, cross, pie, just to name a few. As we begin to start making our Christmas lists (or should be!), these are wonderful gifts for friends, families, teachers, preachers, etc. , because everyone eats and can actually USE a hot pad. They can be customized by content, color, and even wording by using embroidery, but they’re quick to make. Everyone WANTS a quilt–you can give them a REAL quilt, just a miniature one. Click and browse!

Coming Out of Your Cocoon?

Maybe, maybe not, but certainly these butterflies have! I got really inspired to sort through my batiks and use some of the scraps and stash pieces for butterfly wings. Then I wanted to work out a way to make them fly–3D! I ended up with an interesting combination of piecing and applique.

3D butterfly block by LJ Christensen

You make the wings and tuck them into a seam, then fuse/satin-stitch applique the body on top. Add antennae and voila! A beautiful butterfly! I quilted around them by stippling with my longarm, but then used my sewing machine to finish the echo stitching on the side triangles and some quilting inside the wings, leaving the edges free.

Back of quilt, showing quilting and label

The hardest part is the intricate applique, but the hand-cutting took more time than technique. It was fun, though, to make such a stunning throw. For fun, I even added glass beads to the ends of the antennae.

3D Butterflies Fly Free cc2319

If you dare to try, this time I added extra photos, not merely diagrams, to show every step–marking, cutting, sewing, quilting, binding. If you are comfortable appliqueing by machine, you can make this quilt and get rave reviews. If not, it’s for sale in Market Shoppes in downtown Wetumpka!

Click here to buy the pattern It’s on sale for just $3.50 for a week.

While sewing this quilt, I thought about tips for machine applique:

  1. Be sure to insert good stabilizer underneath. The butterfly wings have interfacing, but I added several layers of interfacing under the heads/antennae to stabilize and also put them on the same level as the thicker body. (I actually used little scrap pieces I always save after my embroideries.)
  2. For a satin-stitch, the stitches need to be close together, but since they are also wider, it’s a good idea to loosen the top tension just a smidge.
  3. Rayon or polyester embroidery thread gives a good sheen, but because it’s a little thicker (40-weight rather than 50-weight of normal thread), use an embroidery needle with a larger eye. (I used regular sewing thread because I’m on a mission right now to use up a lot of my old thread before it dries up to dust!)
  4. Slow down, especially in tricky areas, such as around a head. It’s better to be slow and steady rather then fast or jerky.
  5. As you pivot around a curve or tail, always make sure the needle is in the down position before raising the foot, and move as slightly as possible.
  6. If you make booboos, don’t dry. It’s really easy to snip out satin-stitch. Just insert sharp little scissor points, a snipper or a seam ripper under those long stitches. Go back and resew; it’s not the end of the world
  7. Keep tiny scissors, tweezers and if you have them, needle-nose tweezers by the machine. They are helpful for that unsewing and picking out threads.
  8. For goodness sake, don’t forget the open-toe foot. That really makes it easier to see as you sew.
  9. Make a point to remember the numerical machine settings for length and width of the stitching. If you have to go to another stitch, you can go back to the satin-stitch and not have to guess.
  10. If you want to make antennae that go to a point, you can actually turn the width down as you sew. Sometimes that’s helpful for a corner, too.
  11. Practice before you make the first one of a difficult shape–seriously, practice helps a lot. I got almost good by the time I made it to butterfly 32, but I didn’t count how many times I had to rip on the early ones.
  12. Don’t worry about imperfections. We focus on them when we’re sewing, but most people will never notice……unless it’s going to be judged. Then you can worry.

Hope you get to come out of your cocoon soon!

There’s still time!

…but July 4th is almost here. If you don’t have time to make a new quilt or runner or set of placemats, don’t worry. I have a very special “Kitchen Stitchin’ Collection” for you. These SIX patterns are little and quick and a fantastic way to use up scraps.

CLICK HERE to buy on sale for $5 for just one week. It’s a good bargain for all the instructions, two full-size templates and 25 diagrams. If you can sew, you can make these! Which ones sound fun to you?

Oven mitts made with leftover cotton batting and a quilt binding?

Simple napkins to just cut and hem? (Jo Ann cotton-surprisingly perma-press, thank goodness! I press when sewing, but I hate ironing.)

How about those hanging towels our mothers/grandmothers had? (Sew cute) I use Velcro instead of bothering with a button…but you can do what you please.

Had to have a Flag Pad to show my patriotism. (Sew simple!)

After making the “Running with the Stars” runner, I thought the star would be great for a hot pad, so I resized it. (Echo quilted and stippled everywhere else–also bound, just like a tiny quilt)

After I quilted 1/2 yd of fabric/lining with a double layer of cotton batting, I cut out two oven mitts and still had enough for an 8″ hot pad and a beverage cozy. (How cute is that? It holds a can or a cola, but I didn’t have a beer can to try–someone else can update me on that!)

Here’s a close-up. I added an elastic casing on the bottom to hold it tucked in, and I figured the layers of cotton would be a good insulator, so why not? AND I had enough binding to finish the top.

I know very well that we rarely think of MAKING kitchen items. However, with all the fabulous designs and novelty prints, I think it’s really fun….and I think I’m about ready to start working on Christmas presents.

Let’s see….Leah would love leopard in the kitchen, my son goes for black, gray or maybe royal blue while my sister-in-law loves florals. I’ve seen special barbecue prints, and my friend would adore one with cats. A great inexpensive gift for a teacher–a flag hot pad would be nice for man or woman.

The list goes on. Some hanging towels might be nice in the mud room-even my brother would appreciate dark towels and a car print. A cookbook with custom hot pads and oven mitt would be a great wedding gift. And beverage cozies for the patio would help keep drinks cool. Most people use paper napkins, but honestly, fabric ones can be washed and reused so often that I think they save money in the long run and feel luxurious–as long as I don’t have to iron them, that is!