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.
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.
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
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
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:
Fuse first—iron paper-backed fusible web to the fabric; then cut out the pieces. Fuse them in place to eliminate slippage.
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.)
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.
Check the length and width of the stitch—do this on scrap fabric to make sure it’ll cover edges well.
Remember the length and width number—sometimes you may have to go back and restitch.
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.
Sew slowly, but evenly, i.e., don’t jerk!—stopping and starting or jerking makes uneven stitches.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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:
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!)
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.
Just imagine a quilt with these in every color! Glads are amazingly colorful!
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!
Christensen Creations collaborates with http://www.fabrichut.com to create a vibrant floral quilted throw pattern and gladiolus wall hanging our of the scraps from the Telas bundle of fat fifths. The patterns will be revealed on Facebook LIVE with tips and techniques by Libby Christensen/
I am revealing my 100th pattern that I designed in collaboration with http://www.thefabrichut.com It’ll be live on their Facebook page. They have a vibrant community of quilters from across the globe–literally, it’s fun discussion from US and Canada to Australia The company is known for a great buy on titanium rotary blades and collections of fat fifths (about 15″x19″).
In fact, my challenge was to design a quilt to use their fat fifths, so I picked a beautiful collection called the “Telas Bundle,” full of bright pinks, spring greens, blues and purples. The fabric is very light and silky but has a high thread count so that it’s not sheer. Wonderful for a lightweight quilt and currently on sale. If you buy it, you’ll get two of my patterns for free along with the bundle.
I do my reveal tomorrow at my Christensen Creations Studio in Wetumpka for the LIVE event, along with tips and techniques. However, I’m giving MY followers a sneak peek. Here’s my summery throw called, “Bundle of Blossoms.” The fabric is silky and since it uses a delicate crib batting (cheapest buy at Walmart or Walmart.com)–it feels like a cloud.
If you prefer to use your own fabric, I just warn you that there are 27 colors used. In fact, that’s the issue. The piecing is actually fairly straightforward, but keeping track of the colors takes some attention. I’ve named and numbered every color, though, and I’ve created a separate graphic for each block. It looks complex, but it’s actually just two blocks.
If you want just the pattern, you can buy it on my website. I warn you, though, that you’ll get TWO because I adapted my gladiolus wall hanging to use the leftover scraps from the bundle and attached it! Here’s what I came up with:
Now THAT’s how I grow summer flowers! Please follow me and post remarks. Coming soon I’ll be having a birthday bash in August. I have another surprise.
P.S. My flowers need rain, so I put raindrops on the back.
I am still scrapping. I can’t help it–those little bits call to me and want desperately to be used up. not thrown out. Hence, my Meemaw Hot Pads, using all kinds of fabric willy-nilly with just a little design balance, sort of…. Here are several I made to go with (but not match exactly) my Meemaw Towels:
So how are they made? Easy-peasy.
Cut 25 2″ squares, about 1 yd. of a 2 1/2″ strip for binding, 1 8″ square backing, and 2 8″ squares of COTTON batting.
Line up the small squares into 5 rows in an attractive design. Sew them together with 1/4″ seams.
Layer the backing on bottom, face down, 2 layers of cotton batting, and then the pieced block face up.
Machine quilt as desired. I simply ran diagonal lines criss-crossing the corners of the squares. (See photo below.)
Bind. The 2 1/2″ allows for a typical folded French binding.
From the remaining end of the binding, cut a 5-6″ piece in half lengthwise. Fold it from inward both long sides, press; fold it again (like double-fold bias tape) and topstitch the length. This make a nice loop for the corner. Machine or hand-stitch it in place. (For more details on binding and loop, see any Christensen Creation Platter Pad pattern).
These are cute little usable hot pads. Raid your stash for the binding and backing fabric, too, but it’s a super way to use up little 2″ pieces!
Now you ask why I’m not showing a new pattern for my website….?? Well, the truth is that I AM working on my 100th pattern.
Tune in to The Fabric Hut on Facebook –I’ll see if I can get a link up on my Facebook page as well–on Saturday, July 30, 4 p.m. Central. They asked me to design a special quilt from their “fat fifths.” I did so and will be revealing my “Bundle of Blossoms” 42″x58″ throw pattern on a 30-45-minute Facebook Live, along with tips on the techniques used to make it. It’s fairly simple with basically one size of square and two blocks, using half-square triangles.
Anyone who buys The Fabric Hut’s bundle I used will get the pattern free, and the pattern will also be available on my website, along with a special surprise.
Here’s a sneak peak!
This is my first collaboration with The Fabric Hut and my first time trying to do a Facebook Live, so it could be a hilarious fiasco. SAVE THE DATE JULY 30, 4 pm Central.
Not a pattern, but I hope it’s an inspiration! It’s currently on display at Selma Art Gallery.
I make fairly easy quilts for my patterns, but when I create wall hangings for art galleries, I usually bend a few rules and push myself. This one is pictorial with lots of elements, including perspective and a little shading. Called “The Quilts at Poppy Layne Farm,” the story behind it is that I have a small booth in Poppy Layne Vintage store in Wetumpka….so I AM providing the quilts at Poppy Layne. Today I’m sharing the details of this wall hanging.
On the left side, I placed the side of a house, showing a window with a cat (fused) peeking out, lace curtains (doily), plastic “glass” (freezer bag) bias tape (regular and double-folded) window sill, blue shutters (made with little pleats), siding of white “plank” fabric, and roof of gray “roofing tile” fabric. I quilted along the lines of the planks and tiles. I also used an extra layer of fusible fleece to back the house. BELOW
ABOVE Under the window are the thread-painted poppies. The bulb parts are a programmed shape on the sewing machine. The stems are simply satin-stitched. However, the leaves, red petals and black interiors are done with free-hand “thread painting.” (Lower the feed dog and just move the fabric back and forth to form the shape you want.) The poppies arise from a brown dirt “bed.”
On the right side is a barn. It’s hard to see, but it has planks quilted in. It was formed over a piece of fusible fleece like the house. The doors open to a black interior. In the future, I plan to add a donkey because Tracy Huffman, the owner of Poppy Layne Vintage, has a donkey! (Alas, I was out of time before this quilt was put on display, but I’ll add her donkey and twin ducks later!) The doors and the frame of the upper hayloft window are “wood plank” fabric. The “hay” is just a piece of mottled gold fabric as is the “wheat” growing in the field.. In front of the barn is a “pebbled” driveway, quilted with little circles that echo the “pebbles.” The grass started as a stripey strippy multi-green print, but I also made big zigzags with a variegated green thread in sort of a hybrid of quilting/thread painting, some stitching overlapping the pebbles and side of the barn. BELOW
BELOW The big tree was so much fun to make! I started by ironing paper-backed fusible web (Wonder Under) to the back of a piece of rough bark-looking brown fabric. (Always fuse before cutting out!). I cut out a tree “skeleton” of the large branches. (Use a pin to score the paper to make it easy to pull off.) I satin-stitched around and on the trunk and all the branches, adding a few more small branches.
Next, I cut out a million or so leaves. Actually, I didn’t count (…and they really are pretty big for the size of the tree, but this is fictional!) Since trees are usually lighter on top and shaded below, I incorporated a lot of different greens. To make the leaves, I fused the paper-backed web on small pieces of fabric, removed the backing and then cut little leaf shapes. I gently placed them where I wanted them, overlapping here and there, and when satisfied, I fused them all at once. BELOW
The background, by the way, was already pieced and quilted along horizontal lines and around the clouds. It’s a piece of “cloud” fabric, a piece varying with strips of tan, gray and blue, and another piece with the yellows and greens. (They looked like fields to me, and possibly even the ocean in the distance if you want to think so.)BELOW
ABOVE Now for the girl on the swing: the swing was easy–just a tube of “wood plank” and some hemp twine (at Walmart I happened across a pkg with 5 different weights of twine!) I threaded the twine through the fabric and made knots. On the tree, I tucked it under some leaves to fuse it in place.
ABOVE The girl took some work. I had to draw a figure (which I’m not used to doing!) and try to get her arms, legs and feet in position. (I wasn’t about to attempt a little face–too hard for the under an inch. Someone else can tackle THAT challenge!) Once I had a little pattern drawn, I cut the basic body out of a pale tan with fused web and added her shoes. I was delighted to find I could tuck the seat right under her knees before fusing. Then I cut simple clothing. The hair was easy because the fabric I used for the field of “wheat” had little curls.
ABOVE The mom’s hair was also easy, just a piece of strippy stripey fabric, but I tied a real bow of 1/8″ ribbon around it to add a 3D touch. Again, I had to draw up a figure first, then put clothes on her. Her jeans are just a simple piece of chambray fused on over the shirt and shoes. Notice, however, that I took a few minutes to add “jeans style” stitching, including pockets. That detail really helps them look correct. The overalls, though, I made from scratch (like Barbie/Ken clothes!!) I also made the tiny boxers-did you see the little red apples in the plaid?
Of course, the central image of the quilt is the clothes line and quilts. The poles are tubes of “wood” just top-stitched down. The twine is heavier because it’s “closer,” and the line is angled in perspective, as are the quilts. The biggest quilt is a fully pieced and quilted miniature, made of vintage fabrics. The wooden clothespins I found on line at Thread Art. The plastic ones (smaller for the perspective!) were attached to an LED light cord for Christmas cards, I think. BELOW
ABOVE The two smaller quilts are PHOTOS! They are both my own designs. In fact, I took the mulberry one to a recent art show and got 3rd place in 3D art! It’s on my website, called “Check Out my Purple Heart” #2309. The smaller one is “Pocket Lozenge Throw” #2311. I used Adobe Photoshop to put the photos in perspective, then printed them on photo fabric. I put a backing on each (like a pillow slip) and did a little quilting too faint to see here. I actually have a poppy design from 1917 I want to resurrect and maybe replace the Purple Heart later.
BELOW Here’s the entire wall hanging. I had used an interlining to quilt with, but it was so ugly with all the weird quilting and zigzag stitching that I covered it with the plain navy for a backing and binding. Then I quilted just a little around the buildings to hold the pieces together. Also, in this shot, you can see the shading I added under the tree by using a dark green thread on top of the variegated used earlier. I toyed with the idea of adding a dog and a tractor as well as the donkey, but those will have to wait for another wall hanging.
This took me back to my early childhood. My grandparents lived on a farm with a barn behind the house. Ah, memories! I challenge you to try your hand at a pictorial quilt. It’s a bit like playing with dolls.
PS KEEP TUNED! I’m working on my 100th pattern, called “Bundle of Blossoms”–due out by the end of the month. There’ll be some big celebration specials and a Facebook LIVE….not scheduled yet, but in the works!!
Here are some scrappy quilt ideas, including a quickie–read to the end!
After I finish a big project and am finally cleaning up, I get to curate the scraps. What fun! First are the largest scraps. If I have over a yard, I’m thrilled. I label and fold it and put it in the appropriate bin for that color. Likewise, even an 1/8th or 1/4th or so gets a label and is filed with other “under 1/2” yd. pieces. What do I label?–because I have a business, I record the amount, price, year bought and store where bought, which makes it easy to find on my inventory. Certainly, you don’t have to go that far, but knowing the amount can definitely be helpful. (By the way, I use scrap paper stapled to the selvedge).
Now for the bitties. You are probably one of three types of persons. The “clean-out” type will just throw scraps away and never bat an eyelash over it. The “keepers” will keep larger pieces for paper-piecing, applique, or scrap quilts. Then there are extreme “hoarders” for whom throwing away the tiniest piece feels like pulling out a fingernail. Those little bits I sort by color and put in plastic bags, and the teeny scraps I keep in a box and may never use, except for tiny paper-pieced brooches and necklaces. (That’s probably mostly in my imagination, but fabric is getting expensive, right? At least that’s my excuse.) Lately, though, I’ve been bagging them for a friend with young children. They make good collages.
So what do you reasonable type do with those medium scraps? One fun challenge is to make a “charm quilt,” where every piece is a different fabric. Here is my Apple Core quilt with about 900 different fabrics, based on decades of buying fabric.
My Apple Core is queen-sized, but you can certainly make any sized quilt you want (or have the scraps to do).
(Contact me for a free Apple Core pattern–it’s a traditional pattern available many places.)
For instance, the simple “pocket lozenge” block I’ve designed lends itself well to a scrap quilt of any size.
For this “throw” or lap quilt, I limited the colors to blues and berries and called it “Moody Blues.” One great thing about THIS pattern is that it uses both large and small scraps. <Pocket Lozenge Throw #CC2311 – SewGoCreate>
This kite pattern (also paper-pieced) is a little trickier. You work with a whole row; matching the corners takes some patience, but it can be a welcome challenge. Constructed done with strips of paper-pieced triangles. It, too, is a “charm quilt.” (Notice that I put Elvis in the puffy 3D clouds!) <Kite Charmer: Sleeping on a Cloud #CC2104 – SewGoCreate>.
Still too much work? Well, I have a great solution. READY?
I’ve been making “Meemaw Towels” for my booth in Poppy Layne Vintage, Wetumpka. I get 28″- square plain white “flour sack” towels (available at Walmart or on line). About 4″ up from the bottom I sew on a row of squares (yes, scraps!) I find that eleven 3″-squares work perfectly. I press under the top and bottom and use a buttonhole stitch to applique the row in place. Sometimes the squares are random and sometimes I get a few matching squares to work in–I just blend together some colors that don’t clash. In any case, they are fast to make and popular!
SEW…this has been an edition of “waste not, want not”–love those scraps!
Back at you soon–I have some big news coming up this summer. Stay tuned…..
and get ready for a new season. Is it really June already?
If you sew, you probably know you should take your sewing machine in for maintenance every year. Sorry, but it’s like a breast exam–a necessary inconvenience. This is especially important for computerized machines because the build-up of dust can damage their innerds.
To get the lint out, I like a fluffy, real-hair make-up brush, like the ones used for blush. It picks up the dust and lint so much better than a nylon one and is WONDERFUL for the serger! Sometimes you also need a little harder brush to get the details. The harder and longer you sew, the more often you need to clean. Don’t forget to oil per instructions. Grease those joints!
Keep it cleaned and oiled, but take it to a shop to do the INSIDE; think of it as a tune-up. (Hmm, I wonder if they’d clean and oil ME? I think my joints could use it!) Since it often takes a few days at the shop, it’s a good time to review your sewing space. You could clean up!
A recent tip I read said to “clean as you go”–yeah, likely story. Who has time to do that? I actually like to clear up my space before a new project, but I won’t show any photos because my idea of “cleaning” wouldn’t pass muster with Good Housekeeping. I do like to sort fabric and scraps, though, so I do that when I’m without my buddy for a few days.
What made me really excited was a tip on cleaning my iron. I try to be careful–I really do! But I get in a hurry and often get a build-up of gunk on the sole plate–fusible goo and spray starch. I use “iron-off” cream on a heated iron, with pieces of old towel to make a good thick pad for wiping. This time, though, I had a big build-up that refused to move, so I tried a “Magic Eraser”–that was the cool tip, used on a cool iron. WOW! It truly works wonders.
But I still had one stubborn spot and was thinking I might need sand paper. I have every imaginable sewing gadget/notion, but no sand paper. I suddenly realized I had some old emery boards. It worked!!! I got rid of the spot and some of the stubborn stains on the side as well, then “buffed” it with the Magic Eraser. Voila! Clean iron. YEA!
I have another idea that helps with the ironing/pressing. Make saddlebags for your ironing board! It simply loops over the end of the board and has really convenient pockets. (Mine will now start holding a Magic Eraser and emery board! )
The photo shows that side holds markers, a pattern and a deep pocket is big enough for a small spray bottle. I leave my ironing board out all the time, but IF you want to put it away, you can loop the saddlebags over a hanger and put them in a closet!
So much going on in May…I’m worn out. On days between major projects and major obligations, one way I like to wind down is to play with my scraps. Yes, PLAY. I sort them, fold them, repack them in ever-larger containers, and treasure them like I did when I was little. My mother taught me the pleasure of “making something out of nothing” because she grew up with a lot of nothing.
I, however, have a LOT of scraps. I cannot throw them away. Can NOT. So I’m always interested in ways to use them. I’ve found a new way, making long strips into scrap bowls. I watched a youtube video by Superior Threads marketing manager Amy Domke, which inspired me (thanks, Amy–love your thread, too!!) Here’s the link:
I had no “rope,” but someone had given me 100 yds or so of a soft braided nylon that I had no conceivable use for…so I tried it. I tried wrapping, but the frayed edges bothered me. So I developed a process of cutting long strips and pressing 1/4″ in on one long side. Then I tuck the raw edge under the pressed edge as I cover the rope. For that soft braid, I did a 2-step process, covering by sewing down the middle for the yardage, then coiling and zigzagging together.
What fun! This was actually something new for me, and I was delighted to find a way to use those long skinny scraps, not even wide enough for 2 1/2″ squares.
I organized my scraps by color, but you could use multi colors and/or leave the frayed edge. You can also wrap the fabric around and around the rope as you sew.
Aren’t they cute? Use for keys, change, jewelry, candy, desk supplies, seashells, even dog biscuits! Give them filled with something interesting for a great gift. YOU go create them YOUR way for YOUR purpose–that’s the point.
To begin, a small bowl takes at least 5 yds of macrame or other roping, so figure 10-20 for larger bowls. The ending isn’t lovely. If you can see on the cream/beige “dog bowl,” I made a little tab with the face of a dog (from the top printed fabric) to cover the edge.
What about thread? Use whatever you have, whatever you want to use up. Notice the green bowl has some gold thread. Metallics break easily, so I put the gold Sliver thread in the bobbin; then I inverted the bowl. In my case, I’m using up some ancient thread and finishing up spools– using up a different kind of scrap.
Making something beautiful out of nothing! Join me and send pics of what you make!
Now collaborating with www.thefabrichut.com and https://madamsew.com! Dismiss