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ADDING 3-D EMBELLISHMENTS for texture and just plain fun.

More than just quilts, I offer you patterns for throws, runners, hot pads, totes, decorated clothing and gift items.  I’m not only a prize-winning designer (over 100 ribbons); I’m also a military wife, an award-winning photographer, and  I taught high school/college English for 42 years.  That makes me……………….. old–let’s call it EXPERIENCED, ha!– but I know how important clear instructions are.  I also include lots of diagrams and photos in my patterns.  Try them out!

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Libby Christensen of Christensen Creations   Scroll down for my weekly chats!

Turning a New Leaf

…for the NEW YEAR. Now that I’ve rested with a long winter’s nap, I can refresh and renew…and share some excitement. I’ve been collaborating with www.thefabrichut.com , using their fabrics to design special quilts. They have special “fat fifths” and extra-wide fabric that is closely woven with a delicate polish and also awesome buys on titanium rotary blades!! That collaboration is continuing as I’ve designed a pretty little baby heart quilt and await the fabric to arrive any day. I’ll have a sweetheart pattern with the scraps, too. Join their Facebook group to enjoy quilts from all over the world and fun conversation.

However, I’m also starting some collaboration with https://madamsew.com/ , which is another company I love. They specialize in sewing tools to make sewing easier and more fun. Full confession–I’ve already bought almost every item in their inventory! They find wonderful tools and often run special prices. They are incredibly active on Facebook and other social media. Check them out! I’m thrilled to collaborate with them.

I’ll be soon making some videos featuring my patterns using their tools and sharing the techniques, which you then can apply to other projects. They cater to “sewists” of all kinds, not just quilters. Since I offer totebags, aprons, sweatshirt jackets, etc., that concept appeals to me as well. I’ve certainly done a lot of custom sewing and especially alterations over my many decades. I’ll share some of those tips, too.

I’m starting my year with lots of new ideas and plans; since I’m calling this a “new leaf”, I’ll tell you how to make a leaf or page or door. It’s so easy that I’m almost embarrassed to call it a tip.

1) If you plan to add some embroidery on the little “door”–it’s easier to hoop and embroider BEFORE cutting. Leave the embroidery stabilizer in place–it can remain as interfacing.

2) Take two pieces of fabric the same size, as little as 3/4 in. or as big as maybe 5-8 in. (For a larger one, you might want to add some interfacing to stiffen it or possibly fleece–I’m fond of fusible fleece for this.) The pieces don’t have to be square, just matching (e.g., a petal, leaf, flag). Think NOW about whether or not you want a closure–you might want to sew on Velcro, for instance, to just the right side INSIDE or add a little elastic loop in the seam for a button.

3) Put the two pieces together right side-to-right side and sew around 3 sides (1/4″ seam) like a pillowcase, leaving the side to be inserted into the seam unstitched. (Clip a little triangle off the corners to make it easier to turn.)

4) Turn it right side out. Now it’s ready to press. Also add any quilting, and if you want, a closure, such as a buttonhole.

5) Finally, insert the side with the raw edges into the piecing seam, making sure the little “door, flap, leaf, even tooth!” is right side up on top of the quilt.

I used a little “door flap ” to make a tooth. (It’s metallic GOLD! in “Jackson O’Lantern Five.”)

The tail, chin, and fins all “flap.” ( “Bubba Bass Wears Plaid“).

The flags are tucked under an applique, but the little square “castellations” are sewn in the seams. (This pattern is on the drawing board! It’s a twin-size quilt.) The real “door” is below–it’s a drawbridge! Notice TWO buttons because it can open and close.

Another set of “real” barn doors in the art quilt below (pattern not available).

I hope that adding 3D details will be a new leaf in your own quilt adventures. Keep watching my posts for the “Rainbow Castle” and hearts patterns soon to come. Happy New Year!


This celebratory table runner can be made for any season–Christmas, Hanukkah, wedding, anniversary. The pattern is an easy quilt-as-you go technique and has 4 lengths. Add ribbons and bows for embellishment. Christensen Creations cc2408

Have you done your shopping? No matter. You can still wrap gifts, which is fun, right? Well, I’ve put them right onto your table. Use any 8 fat quarters (or scraps or “fat fifths” from www.thefabrichut.com) and 4-5 spools of ribbons, quilt-as-you-go, and PRESTO! The cutest table runner!

“Gift Boxes Table Runner” by LJ Christensen

These are bright colors, but clearly, you can choose your own and decorate perfectly to match your decor. Or choose wedding colors or maybe Hanukkah or an anniversary celebration?

“Glitzy Gifts” is a traditional quilt construction, but the new pattern is…

Quilt-as-You Go!!! I purposely designed the blocks to line up in vertical lines so that you sew through the edge of the block, the block underneath, the batting and the back at one time. Then fold, press. Sew on next block and fold again.

Not only does it sew up quickly, but I recommend fusible fleece to speed it up even more–virtually NO pinning. Then I use narrow fusible paper-backed tape (such as Heat and Bond) or you can cut slivers of fusible yardage to tack down the ribbons. Later you edge-stitch them through all layers, adding a little more quilting, and stitch right through the knots to attach the bows. How’s that for fast and easy?

As usual, you bind the edges, but I include the instructions for that, too.

Personally, I just wrap my binding from the back and top-stitch it, clip it with Wonder Clips (best buy ever from www.thefabrichut.com),, but you can do as you please. If you go to www.thefabrichut.com, check out their price on superb titanium rotary cutting blades–I use them all the time.

Also, if you join thefabrichut.com free Facebook quilting group (quilters from all over the world), you can look for my latest video–a 55-min sewalong that’s recorded—on THIS PATTERN and all my little tips. I think you’ll like the group–lots of fun and discussion and photos of stunning quilts.

For once, I’m actually ahead of the curve for a Christmas project! And if you’re near Wetumpka, come to The Kelly Art Gallery in downtown during our huge Dickens Christmas celebration this weekend….and sales through NEXT weekend for the Christmas parade as well. I’ll have this runner out for sale! Hurry! It’s going out tonight for the Kelly members-only Sneak Preview shopping night!

Onward to Christmas shopping. I’m still not done. Are you?? L

Happy Thanksgiving

Is it time to plan a quilt for NEXT year? Maybe!

“Give Thanks CC2322,” a lap quilt/throw, has easy square blocks, but I used swirly quilting to suggest the round fruit https://sewgocreate.com/2021/11/14/time-to-give-thanks/

Also, see a brief video on the https://sewgocreate.com landing page.

Enjoy family or friends today. Get back to the quilting tomorrow. Christmas is around the corner. Happy Holiday Season!

Do you remember the Singing Bass of yesteryear?

If so, you’ll get a huge kick of this homage wall hanging. “Bubba Bass Wears Plaid” is a new pattern of the tail-waggling bass. Made of shirt flannels, it’s sure to please the fisherman (or fisherwoman) in your family and is a perfect homey wall hanging to display in a lake home! So cute, the fins and chin all flap, and the tail is wired–full instructions in the pattern.

Click here to order pattern

Making 3D fins and tail is easy–“Bubba Bass Wears Plaid” cc2110

Don’t let anyone tell you that quilts must be made of special quilter’s cotton, which is getting more and more expensive. I lived in Montana a couple years, and believe me, THOSE quilter ranchers learned that soft flannel (cotton version is sometimes dubbed “flannelette” to distinguish it from wool flannel, but I’m OK with just “flannel”)–anyway, they not only BACKED their quilts with it, but they used it as the main ingredient for the blocks! Nice and warm and comfy. These days it comes in all colors.

The turquoise and blue shades made me think of water, so I ran strips going from the darkest blue near the bottom to the light ones on top. That made a great contrast for the red bass. Apparently I did something right because this hanging just made a “1st Place” in the Fine Crafts category of a Montgomery Society of Arts and Crafts art show. Woohoo! Who knew? The judge had probably had one in her family and must have had a good sense of humor! These days the singing bass originals are found in vintage store or thrift shops–maybe even garage sales–so you can go looking or you can get this new version that’s less dusty and doesn’t sing an annoying song over and over and over and….you get the point.

As for quilts–quilters used to use men’s old wool suits–ugly but very warm, my mother told me. She grew up in a house without central heating, so she knew the importance of a truly warm quilt back then! On the other hand, they used elegant silk and satins, especially for those divinely embroidered crazy quilts. They were using up every possible scrap of a luxury item! And I have to say that a woven polyester sheet (cheap from Big Lots) makes a lightweight, silky backing! (On mine, the color ran, so it’s good that I had pre-washed it multiple times!)

So don’t be afraid to break the quilters’ cotton code. Wait! Flannelette IS cotton, right? You could even search for old plaid shirts in thrift stores if so inclined! Then there’s fur! I knew some American quilters in what was then West Berlin who shopped for old used furs in the thrift stores and made teddy bears!

Don’t be afraid to be adventurous. This pattern has flexible wire in the tail! I might not do it for a BLANKET….but if it hangs on the wall, it shouldn’t poke anybody!

Watch for next video–coming soon, “Button Button…” and if you happen to be near Wetumpka, find me on Saturday, Nov 5, at the vendors’ tent just off Main Street for the huge Wildlife Arts Festival. Lots of photos and some cute crafts. The following weekend, I’ll be a Charis Crafters’ 3-day sale in the Wetumpka Civic Ctr. Now that this pattern is published, I’ve got to get back to tagging!

–Libby, quilting with zest!

QUICK! The Spin stop here!

Halloween is just a hair’s breadth away, or maybe a ghost’s breath? It’s not too late, though, to add a spider web, always a great touch for Halloween spookiness. (Personally, I like to put up webs around my doorbell so that trick-or-treaters get a spooky experience..is that too mean?)

It’s easy to sew a spider web. Just make some spokes, even or uneven, and make concentric circles. Even easier, use the trick in the “Halloweensie Weensie Spider” wall quilt below. The web is made by top-stitching double-fold biack bias tape. You could substitute soutache (sometimes called “middy braid) or even ribbon. I recommend using the open-toe foot and holding the tape or braid up and taut to keep it threading under the foot without slipping. You might even have a special braid foot. Just zigzag the web in place. If you’re a quilter, you can piece the pie shapes if you want and make this any size.

“Halloweensie Weensie Spider”

If you want to sew a smaller web, just stitch it. Draw on your fabric or print off my pattern, “Ms. Spider Spins at Night cc2027.” Be sure to use stabilizer under the fabric. Pin the paper onto the fabric and sew right through it, the fabric and the stabilizer, following the lines. Sew regular stitching (as the web) or zigzag (closely) to make a satin-stitch for a wider stitch (the pumpkin and moon). If you have newsprint foundation paper, you can use it, but it’s not necessary to go out and buy it. Regular computer paper works. It’s just harder on your needle and a little hard to tear. Just make smaller stitches. Tweezers help pull off the small pieces of paper.

Ms. Spider–just sew onto the paper lines
(with stabilizer on the back),
then tear off the paper and the stabilizer.

Sewing with metallic thread, especially slick, ribbony “Sliver” (by Suilky) can be really challenging, but I have a really great tip. See my brief video on my landing page, https://sewgocreate.com, to hear my tip or buy the pattern. It’s spook-tacular and quick, very quick! Happy Haunting!

If you don’t do Halloween projects, it’s OK: don’t forget that you can also put spider webs in GARDENS…and I even have a few in my house!)

“Ms. Spider Spins at Night” Mr. Pumpkin is scared, very scared!!

I’m Back….with BACKS,

quilt labels on the back of quilts. They are especially important for quilts that are likely to be handed down to the younger generations and can contain everything from the name of the quilt and quilter to the date and information about the material or content.

If you have a lap quilt, it’s also important that the back be attractive and interesting because it will be seen. Sometimes you can find really unique backing fabrics like the rather “moony” one I found for the yellow, black and white “The Cat on the Moon”below.

Back of “The Cat in the Moon” lap quilt cc#2326

If you machine-embroider a label, I recommend that you cut the fabric a lot bigger than the finished label. It’s easier to hoop and can be cut down. I usually just make a rectangle, but I’ve found it’s often nice to give it a little bound edge.

Label for “Check Out Burton’s Whirl” cc#2325
“Check Out Burton’s Whirl”

To make a bound edge, just sew a strip 1 or 1 1/4″ wide along the top and bottom, then strips along the side. Press the raw edges under to the back of the label. I use a dab of Elmer’s purple washable glue stick to hold them in place! If you prefer, you can use one long strip and miter it like a regular quilt binding.

If you have the time and inclination, you can “up your game” a little and add some embroidery, such as the butterfly on the label of “Butterflies Fly Free.”

“3D Butterflies Fly Free” cc#2319 label
“3D Butterflies Fly Free”

For “The Cat in the Moon,” I decided to applique a cat in front of the moon on the back as well as the front. I left the embroidery stabilizer on the back of the label for the applique. The circle template was just a pan lid, and gathering with a basting stitch pulled the seam allowance to the back!

“The Cat in the Moon” cc#2326 by LJ Christensen
“The Cat in the Moon” close-up

Labels can be small or large, with hand or machine embroidery, and as unique and fun as you want.

For more details, see the 17-min. video here on the landing page (on right hand side near top.) For a video explanation of the cat quilt, become a member of www.thefabrichut.com‘s Facebook quilting group. Just ask. It’s a fun group with lots of photos and sharing from all over the world. I’m collaborating with them to make some designs from their fabrics and then do Facebook LIVE presentations, but those are recorded so that they can be watched any time. I can only upload brief ones on my website or Facebook page; they host the longer ones. Watch me for lots of tips!

I’ll be a-LIVE on Sunday, Sept 25, noon central time.

I certainly hope I’ll be alive because I’m giving a LIVE FACEBOOK presentation of my latest pattern. I’m working on finishing it for publication, but come what may, I’ll be doing a presentation in collaboration with http://www.thefabrichut.com tomorrow . WOO-HOO! If you want to watch, simply ask to join their Facebook group–no charge! Since they are the hosts, I can’t copy it to my own page.

This “cat-on-a-lap” quilt is called “The Cat in the Moon” with a gentle nod toward Halloween without being neon orange (just neon yellow–ha!) It has big blocks that are easy to piece. It’s made with two bundles of “fat fifths” from http://www.thefabric hut.com, a black/white called “white cat collection” and a “yellow collection,” available from their website.

“The Cat in the Moon” cc2326 available soon

Because the piecing is so easy, I’ll concentrate my remarks on how to do the face/neck/ears. I have a little folding trick I’ll show.

Cat in the Moon face by LJ Christensen

That’s it for now because I’m still working on the pattern. I want to have it published by tomorrow–it may be a long night! –Libby Christensen

Happy Birthday, Libby!

Yep, another year has passed, and I’m sharing my birthday cake!

Buy ANY pattern Sept 1-5, 2022, and get a slice of cake free!

Cake? Really? Yes, it’s a pattern for a delicious layer cake. My sample has chocolate icing and raspberry filling, but you get to pick your own colors and flavors. And I promise, NO CALORIES! How’s that for perfect? To Buy

Layered Cake Platter Pad cc2026

This is a machine applique, but you can add 1/4″ to the pieces and hand-applique if you have the time and inclination. However, if you satin-stitch, here are a few pointers to remember:

  1. Fuse first—iron paper-backed fusible web to the fabric; then cut out the pieces.  Fuse them in place to eliminate slippage.
  2. Use a stabilizer—it goes under the fabric and is very necessary!  Get an easy-tear for machine embroidery.  (If you hoop embroidery, there are often unused sections you pull off.  Save them for use under satin-stitch.)
  3. Use an open-toe foot—It’s really important to be able to see the stitches.  Open-toe makes it  much easier to see than a clear plastic foot, but both are better than a normal foot.
  4. Check the length and width of the stitch—do this on scrap fabric to make sure it’ll cover edges well.
  5. Remember the length and width number—sometimes you may have to go back and restitch.
  6. Coming to a point?—You can often slowly decrease the width of the stitch AS you sew to the point, then increase it as you leave the point.
  7. Sew slowly, but evenly, i.e., don’t jerk!—stopping and starting or jerking makes uneven stitches.
  8. It’s OK to not be perfect—actually it’s quite easy to remove stitches and redo because the wide stitches are easy to cut and remove.  You can usually fix it.
  9. Sometimes you need a do-over!—Really, do OVER in the sense that occasionally you can just do another layer to help fill in.  If so, make it just a tad wider to cover the original stitches.

Relax and enjoy the stitching. Sometimes it’s simply fun to use pretty embroidery thread for a break from piecing. Fusing the pieces first makes it so much easier than it used to be.

Quick–order ANY other pattern and get this one as well. Don’t forget that the Gladiola Bundle of 5 patterns is on a special sale for $10! I extended it through Labor Day. You’ll get 6 patterns, though, with the cake added–what a bargain! If you haven’t tried my patterns yet, this is the right time! To Buy

$10 “Glad Bundle” below

“Check Out Burton’s Whirls”

a new lap quilt/throw in tribute to Tim, eerily awesome director!

So why Tim Burton? Because he does wonderful graphic designs, weird but wonderful

Tim Burton’s work…or maybe his “play”

So why Tim Burton?

Because he directed Batman, Beetlejuice, Nightmare before Christmas, Edward Scissorhands, and Alice in Wonderland, among other interesting films.

So why Tim Burton?

Because Wetumpka celebrated his birthday this week with games, sales, and at The Kelly art gallery we had a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.

We had a party last year, too.

Libby ready for tea party

So why the heck BURTON?

Because he ALSO directed BIG FISH, filmed in downtown Wetumpka, just 1/2 block from The Kelly art gallery, and the two other shops I have booths in–Market Shoppes (seen in HGTV “Town Takeover 2019”) and Poppy Layne Vintage, a precious new shop.

I’ve done some other quilts referencing him as well. The one above I gave away in a drawing, but the one below was bought by the owner of the Big Fish house.

I also did a Halloween version wall hanging.

Haunted Big Fish House–see Edw Scissorhands in the window!

However, those two are quite complex, so I didn’t make patterns. On the other hand, THIS new one is amazingly quick and easy–big 4 1/2″ strips and squares. I cut it out and pieced it in one day and quilted it the next. It’s currently for sale at The Kelly but may move to Poppy Layne Vintage soon if you’d rather buy than make. Just contact me for more info.

In the meantime, the pattern is just $5 and includes a great grid with all piece sizes as well as photos, diagrams and detailed instructions. Good for a beginner, quick for a master, and even approved for MALES!! This is one quilt that could actually go to a guy’s dorm with no embarrassment–not a nanny quilt!

Check out Burton’s Whirls cc2325

“Check Out Burton’s Whirl” #CC2325 – SewGoCreate

Save the date 8/19, 4:30 Central time

Bundle of gladiolus patterns and a lap quilt pattern. Made of yoyos, the glad is 3D on a hot pad, wall hanging or sweatshurt jacket. The lap quilt is a crowd of bright flowers. Christensen Creations at sewgocreate.com

I’ll be on Facebook LIVE again, but you have to get a membership on the Facebook group–TheFabricHut (be sure to add THE because it’s different from Fabric Hut.) All you have to do is ask and they’ll let you in–it’s a fun group of quilters/sewists from all over the world, sharing opinions and showing pics of beautiful quilts that make your heart smile!! I’m now designing some special quilts for them and will be doing a show-n-tell FB LIVE for them every month.

What I’ll be doing Aug. 19 is showing how to make a gladiolus out of yoyos and some tips on fabric fusing–definitely low-sew techniques for this wall hanging:

The pattern above was tweaked to use the SCRAPS!!! from the fat fifths in www.TheFabricHut.com’s “Telas Bundle” after I had already made the quilt and pattern below. I simply added the 2nd pattern at the end. They send those two to you free if you order the Telas Bundle of 35 solid colors.

“Bundle of Blossoms” by LJ Christensen

I had already designed the glads for the wall hanging below that is just a little bit bigger, called “Glad Not Nana’s Yoyos.” Also, just a tad more complex, mainly more leaves and buds:

“Glad Not Nana’s Yoyos” by LJ Christensen

Because this month is my birthday–you have to cry or celebrate, right?–I’m celebrating by offering a special bundle of patterns: GLAD bundle! It includes all my gladiolus patterns–both wall hangings, the “Bundle of Blossoms” quilt, a sweatshirt jacket (ANY size), and a huge 12″ Platter (HOT) Pad, (last two below) all for half price, $10, and ON my birthday, you’ll get a slice of cake! (More on THAT later!)

“Glad Jacket” by LJ Christensen

You can decorate ANY size sweatshirt and turn it into a jacket! AND easiest of all, the “Happy to GLADiolus” hot pad is 12″ and could also be a quilt block.

“Happy to GLADiolus” Platter Pad by LJj Christensen

Just imagine a quilt with these in every color! Glads are amazingly colorful!

Aren’t they beautiful? Choose YOUR color!

I’m NOT a gardener, but I love flowers. So I have to make them with fabric. I hope you’ll do so, too! It’s fun!

Remember 8/19, but if you miss, it’s OK because the recording is left up on the FB page to watch any time as is the one on “Bundle of Blossoms.” What fabulous new technology!