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!
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!
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Libby Christensen of Christensen Creations Scroll down for my weekly chats!
………………………………….cute!! Except for THIS one, which I call “Baby Bargello-phant” because it has an easy bargello-style background.
Now WHY would you want an elephant? For a cute baby quilt, of course. And if you happen to know a University of Alabama fan, you just might end up knowing a Bama Baby!
The original pattern was designed www.thefabrichut.com using their bundle of red and white print fat fifths (on sale now) and matching red 63″-wide cotton (#FF2327), but I ALSO reconfigured all the measurements to work with fat quarters and 43-44″-wide fabric (#CC2328).
TheFabricHut.com version is posted on Facebook page of TheFabricHut.com, which is hosting my FACEBOOK LIVE MAY 10, 2023, at 5 p.m. demo!! Just join the group and watch live or the recording late. I have other recordings there as well!
The regular version of the pattern is now available on sewgocreate.com for just $3 until the end of May 2023!! Get it before it goes up!
Both patterns have explicit directions for how to strip-cut and loop rows in the bargello method. Here’s a typical bargello quilt:
“Bargello” speeds up the piecing of the top 3 and bottom 2 rows around the elephant. The center rows are worked column-by-column with all squares and rectangles-very basic piecing. (By the way, the elephant’s little 8″x8″ “blanket” would be a great place to embroider a name.)
Perfect little quilt for a baby or toddler boy, but could be done in pinks and yellow with floral background for a darling little girl. Do you have a baby in your future? Bama or otherwise??
In honor of my collaboration with Madame Sew, I’ve put all my yoyo patterns on sale. Try one!!
Happy to Gladiolus Platter Pad #CC2012
Glad Not Nana’s Yoyos wall hanging #CC 2100
“Glad to Have Scraps,” a slightly smaller version of the pattern above, made of thefabrichut.com “fat fifths.” Part of “Glad Bundle” #CC 3000
Glad Jacket (made from sweatshirt) #CC 2202
Here’s the ringer!!! The TIRES of these race cars are yoyos. I added a button on top!
Fast Track, single bed quilt #CC 2312
Yoyos are sewn by hand, but the fun part is that they are so small that they’re easy to carry with you to meetings, doctor appointments, ballgames, etc. Also, you can make them from scraps. I LOVE using up the scraps, don’t you?
Thanks for checking out my guest blog! If there’s a place to leave a comment, I appreciate a kind word.–Libby
Libby Christensen of SewGoCreate.com gives step-by-step instructions on how she makes Bowl Cozy hot pads for the microwave. Photos and diagrams.
…by making Bowl Cozies for the microwave. Use the little “ears” to pick up the bowl; then the cozy continues to keep it warm.
Photo 1: Bowl Cozies in blooming colors by LJ Christensen
These bowl cozies are not only cute little gifts, but they are great for using up old fabric. They’re all the rage in the craft markets, and I’m on the band wagon because I’ll be a the Charis Crafters’ huge spring sale on April 28, at the Wetumpka Civic Center. (For admission, just bring a donation of food or a few dollars for the local food bank.)
SUPPLIES: For a medium serving bowl, you need 2 fat quarters of coordinating fabrics and 32″ by 16″ of cotton batting, just under 1/2 yd. And thread, sewing machine, scissors and pins. That’s it! Here’s how I make them:
1) Start by cutting 16″ squares: 1 each from the two fat quarters, and I like 2 layers of cotton batting, so 2 squares of the batting. You’ll be making 4 darts in the middle of the sides that make the sides stand up. (What I recommend is to make a pattern first out of paper or interfacing. All you need is an 8″square, which you can get out of regular computer or lined paper; this will represent one quarter of the 16″ square folded into fourths.)
2) To shape the fabric and batting pieces, first fold them in fourths. Following the Cutting Diagram above, cut darts and a curve. (If you have a template made, it’s easy to lay it down, lined up with the folded edges, then clip off the 3 corners. )
Photo 2: a fabric layer topped by trimmed batting layer. (The 4 V cuts are darts).
3)Press the fold linesof the fabric pieces!Pin a batting piece to the back of a fabric piece. Trim off 1/8″-1/4″ of the batting edge to remove bulk (as in Photo 2 above) Flip to the fabric side and sew a seam along each fold. (This quilts the pieces together. See photo 3 below.)
Photo 3: Quilting an X along folds from dart to dartthrough 2 layers, one fabric and one cottonbatting.
4) Next, fold the darts, which are the V cuts (with fabric right side to right side and batting on the outside)and sew the 4 darts with 3/8″ seams. Repeat with 2nd fabric and batting. (Notice the little dart seam in Photo 4 below.)
Photo 4: Bowl cozy 2-layer pieces pinned together, all the way around, matching 4 darts to 4 darts. Leave open about 4″ for turning, here between the two pins and next pin to the right .
5) Pin together the two batting-backed fabric pieces right side to right side.Sew with a 3/8″ seam most of the way around, leaving 3-4″ open (as in Photo 4 above.) Turn right-side out. (I then usually press around the edge.)
6) While it’s optional, I like to use an edge-stitch foot and stitch around the edge. I then stitch again about 3/4″ from the first edgestitch (as shown in Photo 5 below).
Photo 5: Two rows of optional edgestitching.
7)Finish by sewing a square inside, around the crisscrossed quilting seams. It’s hard to explain, but what I do is pin together the top and bottom fabric pieces together about 1/2″ below each dart, being sure that the pin picks up the quilting stitching on the fold on top AND on bottom. Then I sew diagonally from pin to pin, making a square. See Photo 6 below. (This provides morequilting through all layers and holds the bowl shape in place better. The pins help keep the stitching accurate on bottom as well as top.)
Photo 6: Quilting an interior square from end of each dart through all layers.
Done. No hand-stitching at all. And you’ve used up a couple of orphan fat quarters or some leftover fabric. I always have leftover batting, too. I don’t know who first came up with this idea, so I can’t really give credit where it’s due. I just know that this is MY method! You can make smaller ones, too, for soup bowls–just decrease the size of the original squares!
WATCH for my next blog, which is a guest blog for MadamSew.com on Making Fabric Yoyos. It’s due to be published around April 24, 2023. I’ll post a reminder when it comes out. You might want to check out An Kesanne’s Madame Sew video on THESE bowl cozies. She shows how to make SMALLER “bowl holders”: MadamSew Sewing blog I like their sewing tools, and I’m very happy to be collaborating with them.
PS Look for the DOWNLOAD button below to get a nice copy of this to print!
(and don’t forget to browse through the patterns! 😉
Are you spring cleaning? I am. Room by room. Drawer by drawer. Dust bunny by dust bunny.
And….I’m catching up on pre-washing my fabric.
Do you prewash? Some quilters do; some don’t. I won’t argue about it. However, I have found that some fabrics of saturated color do release color in the wash, and I, for one, would not like that excess color to turn up as stains on lighter colors. Believe me; it happens.
Also, I even wash the lighter colors if the fabric seems a little stiff or managed to get itself wrinkled.
What I do is separate the piles of my stash into similar colors. Today is St. Patrick’s Day, so I did green!! I serge the raw edges to prevent raveling. Then I put them in the washer with a “Color Catcher,” warm water and laundry detergent. You can use special soap if you like or omit the soap, but I like to see how the fabric does in “real” use.
If there’s a lot of color caught, I wash it again and again until not much comes out on a new white color catcher sheet. I’ve never used vinegar, but if you want to, it supposedly sets the color. Ask an expert, not me.
Then I dry the load in the dryer and pull it out when freshly dried to fold before it gets wrinkled!
I myself have another step. I make a little tag that gives the date, price, and yardage and staple it on the edge. It coincides with my spreadsheets, but doing spreadsheets is more for business purposes. Still, it IS nice to be able to glance to see how much fabric there is without having to remeasure. After using some of the fabric, I change the measurement to the amount left.
So part of MY spring cleaning is playing with fabric! That’s the fun part. I get to look at it, think about it, caress it, and maybe even make a plan to use it! Hey, we’re “collectors,” right?
No new pattern this week, but I renewed an old coupon. If you read all the way down to here, you deserve a little treat. Use TULO19 for $3.00 off any sale. That’ll make some of the patterns just .50! So it’s a great time to try one!
and it’ll be recorded for later viewing. Just join the Facebook group www.thefabrichut.com, which is a great group with quilters from all over the world. You can find several of my videos posted.
TODAY is the “Hearts for the Sweet” quilt #CC2323, but I tweaked it to use thefabrichut.com‘s special “fat fifths.” However it’s almost identical to the pattern on sewgocreate.com website, which has normal fabric sizing.
It’s a sweet baby quilt with optional ruffle and pieced hearts as we say good-bye to February.
How is it where YOU are? We’ve had frost a couple days and cold temperatures, but expect up to 80 degrees in a couple days. It’s hard to figure out how to dress and what you want to quilt, too. Are we finishing winter projects or starting in new spring colors?
Well, here’s a fun and quick project that is really flexible. You can choose the colors to suit your room or your mood or even the season! Still just $3.50 before I have to raise prices this summer (to pay for the website fees!!)
I designed it for a lark just because I liked bright colors with black. Then I realized it wouldn’t look good in either the dining room or kitchen–oops! So I hung it above closets in my sewing room just for fun.
However, whenever you’re looking at quilt patterns, you can usually re-color them to suit your needs or the needs of the person who is getting the quilt. I once saw a beige quilt I’d NEVER select myself–too subdued for me–but it was perfect for her mother’s bedroom. I chided myself for thinking it was boring because quite frankly, subdued can be VERY elegant, and people might very well prefer to put their bright colors as accents. That makes sense.
THIS quick table runner is so versatile that you can use it for ANY color range and any table in any mood or season, subdued or brilliant. Directions come for four lengths, too. Look at how it can be changed!
So consider it for the next break while you’re finishing up a UFO (Un-Finished Object) or make it to use up scraps or to prepare for Mother’s Day or even make for the autumn and get ahead of the curve. It’s even a great Christmas present, but I won’t push you THAT far.
literally! No time left to make a valentine quilt? It’s OK–you can add a little love to many items by simply machine-appliqueing a heart. It doesn’t even have to be red or pink or lacy, though it could be. Just use your imagination.
IDEA: Buy or make a baby bib and add an embroidered heart with his/her name like this one–so sweet! Or embroider “Sweetheart”–not just for Valentine’s Day!
Tip 1) Usually fuse the fusible paper-backed web first, then cut the shape.
Tip 2) If the applique fabric is light and might let the background show through, try first fusing a solid white to the back for a double layer.
Tip 3) STOP!! After fusing, go ahead and hoop to embroider. THEN you can cut the shape to include the embroidery.
Tip 4) It’s easy to remove the paper from paper-backed fusible web if you score it with a pin or needle! (Just let it cool/dry first.) After removing the back paper, you can iron it to the fabric–much easier than trying to pin something.
Tip 5) Satin-stitch around the edge using an edgestitch foot or open-toe foot (NOTE: You can get a generic one for ANY machine fromMadamSew.com) , taking one stitch INSIDE the applique and the other on the OUTSIDE background fabric. Sew slowly but steadily for best result.
Tip 6) Try other dense stitches, too. Always test the stitch on some remnants to get it adjusted.
Tip 7) If using embroidery thread, use an embroidery needle (with longer eye) or at least a size 90; you might also need to loosen the upper tension just a bit. Whatever thread you use, be sure to insert embroidery stabilizer (such as Tear Easy) BEHIND the applique/embroidered area.
IDEA: Make a quick hot pad. Use this Christensen Creations pattern or make your own. The pattern also makes an 8 1/2″ quilt block or can easily be adapted to 10 1/2″ or 12 1/2″ by adding borders:
Tip 8) Search internet for simple shapes like a heart. Simple coloring books for toddlers also have basic shapes.
Tip 9) Instead of a satin stitch, attach with simple zigzag and cover it with lace or cord.
Tip 10) Try placing applique on a diagonal for a block “on point.”
IDEA: Add a heart to any totebag pattern. This is one in the works using TheFabricHut.com‘s fat fifths (video to come this spring).
Tip 11) For tote bags and many clothing items, it’s much easier to applique on the piece BEFORE all the pieces are sewn together
Tip 12) Make a heart or other shape from an orphan block or quickly make up a little block of small scraps (like this one or the one below). Just piece first before fusing the web and cutting the shape.
IDEA: Decorate a T-shirt or sweatshirt.
Tip 12) It can be hard to get to the area to sew, so just cut open the sides and restitch afterwards.
Of course, you could hand-applique any of these if you prefer. Just be sure to add 1/4″ to turn under and cut a lot of little notches in order to turn those curves on a heart. I have no objections to hand-applique; however, I’ll be using the machine because it’s quicker and I NEVER EVER have enough time!
If you DO have plenty of time this weekend, here are a few little quilts to consider, from simple to more complex, but it might be better to start the fussier ones for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or a birthday!!
PS Don’t forget that you can use these same techniques and tips to applique a flower for spring, a sailboat for summer, a leaf for autumn or a candy cane for Christmas….and hearts are for loving, not just for Valentine’s Day.
…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.
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