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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

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!

Running up to July 4th…

…with a classic new patriotic runner I call “Running with the Stars.” Obviously, I made this one with July 4th in mind, but stars are great any season with any color. Also, I took the time to calculate three different lengths of runner: 42″ for the center of a table or small table, 60″ for a medium table, and 84″ to fall over the edges–just a matter of how large your table is (or maybe how much time you have.) On sale for $3.50 through the end of this month. Click here.

I get really excited about “Patriotica” this time of the year–I guess it’s after a lifetime of being an Air Force wife. Wives of several generals have bought my runners, throws, pillows and flags to decorate their houses. And vets, too, love their flag. Here’s a view of my little booth in its patriotic regalia, including my new umbrella from my flag photo–taken in Wetumpka in front of the copper doors of the 1905 bank.

My latest little creations have included hanging dish towels like my mother used to have. I spruced them up with embroidery designs to put up for sale in Market Shoppes, Wetumpka. I’m still tweaking the pattern.

I hope to have a pattern of several kitchen designs soon. I’m working on oven mitts and small hot pads.

The one below, made of scraps, sold on Saturday–I guess I should make more, huh?

F

I have an idea for a BIG KING-SIZED patriotic quilt, too–fabric ready, just have to find the energy to tackle it. In the meantime, I have “Salute the Colors” in queen size out for sale. It can be made ANY size, though–it’s a one-block pattern that is extremely flexible. click here

Yes, that’s an apron made out of a pair of jeans. You’ll have to let me know what you like and which patterns you want to see. I have big, small, classic, 3D, quilted items, etc. I design the way the spirit moves me or when someone is interested and pushes me. I’m thinking about how to get the Cuddle Bear onto regular typing paper…that’s another one on the burner.

Lots happening, but it’s so exciting to be in Wetumpka of HGTV fame these days. We have visitors from all over the the US, and I love talking with them!

Take time to remember…

to bless our vets on Memorial Day and on to July 4! As an Air Force wife, I’ve been designing “patriotica” for a long time. It stirs my heart.

Whether big or small, I have a lot of projects you can choose from. Use US2021 to get any pattern for half price.

Below is “Stars and Strips Forever”–make the throw or pillow or both.

How’s this for a patriotic runner or placemats? Make it longer if you choose.

This fun quilt has a a little 3D star, almost like a little pinwheel, on the corners. Shown here as a queen quilt, it’s really versatile and can be made any size. ONE block!

Salute the Colors
by LJ Christensen

One day I decided to try making 3D, layered Log Cabin blocks and ended up designing a quirky flag.

It’s not hard. You cut bunches of strip pieces, fold and press them, then layer. Sew each layer, then baste and trim. It’s so thick that you don’t need to quilt it; however, the seam trimming helps keep the bulk out of the seams.

3D Log Cabin block

Happy Memorial Day, but stop to remember those who died for our freedom and those who have served. It’s not always easy for them or their families. God bless them and our country.

Oh Baby, Baby!

With the spring, along come the babies…well, they actually can come any time. I was trying to get this “Nursery Windows” pattern ready for Mother’s Day (appropriate, right?) Well, life and tension got in the way…quilt machine tension. I had to pick out ALL the quilting. GRRRR. Such is life!

However, the pattern is great. It pieces up so quickly, especially because the brick-like spacing doesn’t match many seams. The big block saves you from having to cut up babies, which would not be good, or any other cute novelty print. The windows are simplified log cabin blocks, great for chain-stitching, too. They’d also be wonderful filled with embroidered blocks. If you have some baby gifts in your future, this is a good pattern to have. On sale this week only for $3.50. CLICK HERE.

Top corner of “Nursery Windows”cc2318
by LJ Christensen

My unfortunate tussle with tension was my own fault. I didn’t test the stitch well enough and didn’t find it until I’d quilted the WHOLE quilt. Did I learn my lesson–yes! Will I have to unsew something again? Definitely.

Ripping out stitching is an inevitable part of sewing. One of my relatives once said that she couldn’t sew because it made her “nervous.” No kidding! It does have its frustrations. We’ve all sewn on a piece upside down or too much or in the wrong place. It happens!

The good news is that if you haven’t CUT, the problem is generally reparable. So arm yourself with good seam rippers. Yes, plural. My sweet husband put six of them in my Christmas stocking. He thought he was being funny, but the truth is that it was one of my best gifts. I need them at the sewing machine, at the quilting machine and by my recliner, where I sit to rip…and I’m always misplacing them. I personally think they should have flat handles so they won’t roll off the table so readily. I DO try to place them on my pin magnet, but I’m only successful some of the time.

While I haven’t found flat handles, I do insist on really fine rounded points–FINE! Some of the old ones they used to make were just too big. Take a close look–they aren’t all the same size! Bernina always had a really good delicate one. Another thing I really like is to have fine-nosed tweezers. I found some on line at Nancy’s Notions I really like, but I noticed Tula Pink has some out as well, so they are available elsewhere. They are great for picking up the severed threads.

I also try to have some really tiny fine-pointed scissors on hand. Sometimes it’s easier to cut here and there before ripping. Over the years, I’ve found that if you’re trying to pull out lengths of thread, it’s best to pull the bottom or bobbin thread because the tension never seems as tight. (Believe me, it wasn’t on my quilt!) Sometimes I pull from the bottom and then pull from the top and back to the bottom. I wonder how many miles of stitching I’ve ripped out in my life?

Let’s not even talk about alterations. The UNsewing is usually more extensive than the sewing in that case. I alter because I have to, not because I like to.

But don’t feel bad if you have to redo a seam. We all do. It makes us patient. It makes us strong. Yeah, right. It makes us crazy!

Welcome back, Nascar!!

Did y’all know Talladega is just 45 minutes or so from my home in Wetumpka? I hear there are a LOT of supporters, though I have to admit I’ve never been to a race myself. However, I did have a little brother who was really enamored of fast cars. If you have family members who like cars, they’ll love this twin-sized quilt called “Fast Track,” complete with 3D race cars. They are attached by sewing through the window and the buttons on the hubcaps (though you could attach with Velcro if you think they wouldn’t be lost!)

In honor of Nascar’s restart–they’re expecting about 30,000 in the stands–I am putting this pattern on sale for a week. Click here.

“Fast Track”CC2312 by LJ Christensen

I made four cars, but you can make a whole fleet if you want. Layer them with poly fleece or cotton batting (2 layers fabric, batting/fleece on bottom), sew all the way around, trim down seam. Make a slit in the middle of top fabric and turn. Whip up the slit and put that side down where it’ll never be seen. Applique a window with zigzag stitch, then anchor it to the quilt with a regular stitch. Make the tires the same way, then sew the buttons on through the tires and quilt, too. It’s 3D, but it won’t move! (except when you go “RRR RRR!and dream!)

“Fast Track” simple race car by LJ Christensen

In honor of Nascar, I’ll also put my mask pattern on indefinite sale for just $1. For the black/white one. I adjusted the squares to stay square despite the pleats. The other four mask patterns are also included. I know you probably have a zillion masks by now, but sometimes it’s nice to have a new one. These are made with quilting scraps and 2 1/2″ strip leftovers. I also use a 3″x5″ piece of cotton batting inside for the filter. Click here!

“Five Easy Pieces”CC 2207 pieced face masks by LJ Christensen

If you have kids or grand-kids who play with cars, they also might like balls, right? Here in Alabama, the girls play a lot of softball! My pattern “Play Ball” for pint-sized totes is also on sale this week. Click here!

“Play Ball” Petite Totes CC2204 by LJ Christensen

I have 2-3 more patterns in process right now, so by next week I hope to have something new to publish. Keep following! THANKS!

I’m dreaming of …

a vacation instead of a staycation. My new quilt in gorgeous cool,breezy, water-tone teal batiks is called “V is for Vacation: Caribbean Cruise.” Easy breezy to make, too, because it’s done with packs of jelly rolls, those wonderful pre-cut 2 1/2″ strips, all color coordinated and ready to go. Honestly, the cutting is the hardest part of this simple quilt, which has just 2 seams on each row! Obviously, you can pick whatever color rings your chimes, but these teals spoke to me of tropical climes and sea breezes….ahhh. Pass me a pineapple cocktail or a cocktail in a pineapple–I’m not picky!

To see the whole quilt and buy the pattern ($3.50 throughout Apr), click here.

“V is for Vacation: Caribbean Cruise”cc2317 by LJ Christensen

I’ll share a secret. Old-style quilters will insist the backing has to be cotton and the thread has to be cotton. Yeah, yeah, supposedly it all ages the same–but they often use polyester batting and frankly, the best quilting machine thread has polyester in it because it’s stronger. So I decided to use a poly batting instead of the heavier Warm-n-Natural cotton I generally use. Then I used a cheap (Big Lots) silky microfiber polyester sheet for the backing. Oh, my, it’s silky and lightweight. However, I DID pre-wash it and found it bled a lot! So be careful.

I also pre-washed the batik, but I thought it might be a pain to do in strips. So I pieced it first, then soaked it with suds and vinegar, changing the water until it ran clear. I didn’t want it to wrinkle , so I rolled it in towels overnight and pressed it while still damp. The soaking should have gotten the excess dye out and the pressing got the shrinkage out. (I hope!) I was nervous about the quilting, but I used a lightweight poly thread (Omni by Superior Threads), and it worked just fine. The quilt’s light and airy. I love it! So when people tell you you have to use this or that, just nod sagely and go your own way.

As for the “jelly rolls”–those are pre-cut strips, always 2 1/2″ and rolled up, all the same brand of fabric coordinating colors or prints. Some realities–they are wonderfully quick and easy to use for many patterns. However, if you need a larger cut, you may be out of luck. They’re also a lot more expensive than buying the yardage because you pay for the convenience. (Sometimes they go on sale, thoughthat’s when I look at them!!)

Something I just found out today is that Joann’s now has a variety of special thick plastic rotary-cutting rulers made just for these strips. I found square, triangle, right triangle, Dresden, crazy quilt, diamond, and hexagon among the 16 “Jelly Roll rulers”! Wouldn’t our grandmothers be surprised? Heck, I was surprised!

One caution is that the name “jelly roll” can be deceptive. I’ve found 20-28 strips in a packet, so do read the fine print. Don’t get a “honey bun” by mistake because though it’s also rolled, it’s 1 1/2″ instead of 2 1/2″! (unless you get the pastry, which is delicious!) Try some jelly rolls–they are the latest rage, available in every quilting store. (I also like the raspberry ones with coconut on top!)

In case you’re not in the mood to make a quilt at the moment, try my “Jelly Roll Tote“–I used jelly roll strips for the inside, outside, handle and pockets. It’s on sale this month as well: “Jelly Roll Pieced Tote“–click here. Make it to take with you on that cruise!

“Jelly Roll Pieced Tote”cc2205 by LJ Christensen

Spring sprang and Easter…

is nigh! There is still time to make up this quick “Christ Cross” Platter Pad for Easter dinner. So simple and a beautiful way to proclaim your faith! We need renewal, spring, flowers and lots of faith this time of year. The winter and Covid concerns have bogged us down and been depressing for many, but we can now see the light in so many ways. This pattern is on sale for just $1.50 until Easter, and I’ve selected some other Easter patterns to put on sale as well. To buy, click here.

“Christ Cross” cc2022 by LJ Christensen

Another Easter icon is the Easter basket:

“Easter Egg Basket” cc2003 by LJC

I’ve made this same basket with fussy-cut flowers instead of eggs:

“Easter Basket” with flowers cc2003 by LJC

This “Charming Chapel” is, like the flower basket above, not only for Easter, but it does have a spring feel with the colorful stained glass, which is simply a printed fabric.

“Charming Chapel” cc2002 by LJC

I have patterns for other crosses if you are ready for a larger project. Below is “Risen”cc2103 with a beautiful 3D flower. It uses a jelly roll for the lovely corals.

“Risen” cc 2103 by LJC

A great pattern for trying “watercolor piecing,” this is “Leading to Easter.” Change the drape to purple on Easter Sunday.

“Leading to Easter” cc21o7 by LJC

….and finally a “basket” for baby! It’s not really a basket, but it IS woven–yes, like those stretchy hot pads we used to make! Baby Basket-Weave Blanket

“Baby Basket-Weave Blanket” cc2310 by LJC

I wish you a Happy Easter, hoping the bunny hops into your house, and I hope these patterns inspire you to start some spring thinking! (no, I did NOT say CLEANING!!!)