Get your TURKEY $1.50

It’s getting to be that time of year that you really NEED a turkey, either for yourself or your hostess. So gobble up this “Terrified Turkey Platter Pad.”
No whining–it doesn’t take that long to applique. Use fusible web to place the pieces, layer by layer, and a satin stitch. It isn’t rocket science. Add “Where’s the beef?” embroidery for a hoot. This huge platter pad is on sale until Thanksgiving for just $1.50, so get it while it’s hot….though cold turkey can be good, too, especially with mayonnaise and pickles. (Well, I like pickles!) For more info on the pattern, click here!

“Where’s the beef?” says this “Terrified Turkey” by LJ Christensen

Some people like to JUST use fusible web like Wonder Under. Certainly, that’s quicker. However, if you do want to wash and dry the item, I recommend making the effort to ALSO satin stitch because a hot dryer can cause a fused piece to UNfuse and lift a bit. Some tips:

  1. Take the time to pre-wash the fabrics several times if it’s an item you plan to wash. (I don’t bother with wall hangings, but hot pads are a different matter!)
  2. Better to fuse a section of fabric FIRST before cutting pieces. (It gets a much better fuse all the way to the edges–very clean.)
  3. Follow the pkg. directions–usually the iron is not supposed to be TOO hot.
  4. Let the piece cool completely before removing the backing.
  5. It’s easy to remove the backing if you “score” it slightly with a pin.
  6. For a satin stitch, adjust stitch to wide but make the stitch length very short, just not zero!
  7. Embroidery thread has a nice sheen and is usually THICKER as well.
  8. When working on smaller areas (like the feet above), reduce the stitch width.
  9. Sew SLOWLY, keeping your eye on the needle!
  10. Sew very slowly around curves, but steadily…don’t jerk (unless you want “jerk chicken,” that is!)

One more tip. What to do with leftover turkey? I know a lot of people make casseroles, but we really love Hot Browns. Look it up. It’s an open face sandwich created at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, KY. You need turkey, bacon, toast and a lovely creamy cheese sauce. YUMM!

Loving Quirky Curves!

Being all too generously curved myself, I can’t say I ALWAYS love curves, but they are definitely lovable in this quirky, curvy memory throw (or large 45″x55″ wall quilt). I originally made”Curve Appeal” for a Curves exercise group, but the pattern is appropriate for many types of groups or memories. Imagine Grandma getting photos of grand-kids, or a daughter graduating with scraps of her favorite clothes and picture of her wearing them, a retirement gift or best friend gift (sneak her vacation pics off Facebook).

Did I mention scraps? Yes, indeed, this one is scrap-happy to use all those wonderful colors and strips (1 1/2″x 6″pieces) you’ve been saving. Get a wild and crazy piece for the border, match the colors in the three background sections and you’re ready to go, so go create!

Click here for more info–on sale for $3.50 until end of November. Use “guildxmas” to get $3.00 off. (I like to give my “followers” specials!)

“Curve Appeal” by LJ Christensen (middle bottom)

I love color! Each piece of fabric is valuable to me, like a shiny coin. I always loved all the crayons in the box and memorized all the colors. Do you remember sea green and the now-retired “flesh” (not p.c. enough today)? There are differences between hot pink, fuchsia, magenta and mauve. My slightly color-blind husband doesn’t understand. There are cool reds and hot reds, and 30 yrs. ago, my best friend told me she only wore “tomato red”–I got it! I like red-orange myself. For the blue-eyed gals out there, there are certainly Mediterranean blues and denim blues and bluegreens and greenish blues as well as sky blue and Wedgewood blues.

That reminds me–I’m currently working on a “Wedgewood Plates” pattern! I’m also doing a “Mulberry Fields Forever” (sorry, Beatles, this one is mine though I’m shamelessly borrowing the title). As you might guess, it’s in shades of mulberry with hints of grape.

So what can I give you about COLOR for a tip? Well, I’m personally buying medium-sized, rather flat, plastic bins, which I’m using to sort fabrics: reds, oranges, yellows, greens, blues, indigos, violets (yes, I always go by the roygbiv rainbow spectrum–in my closet, too, and in my thread colors). I also have white/cream, black/gray, multi-color prints, landscape prints and Kona solids. You probably don’t have the 1000’s of fabrics I do, but you could still separate into warm colors and cool colors, and/or prints, solids, neutral, etc.

I made an executive decision to only put 1/2 yd. to 2+ yd. pieces in the bins and wrap 3 yds. or more around empty bolt cardboards I get from the fabric store. I’m having special 2-ft-deep shelves custom-built in the new Sewgocreate Studio (due to go in next week after painting–I can’t wait!) to hold those bolts and bins comfortably.

I also save small scraps, under 1/2 yd in special bins, all nicely lined up in color order. I’ve already found this is a marvelous method for easily finding what I need. Because I’m a hoarder at heart and in practice, I even save little bitty scraps. Those are in one big bin under the sewing table (where they happily collect as I cut). When I have time to “file” them, they go into little plastic bags, by color, of course.

When the bags get too full, it’s time to tackle a scrappy quilt like this one. I love to use down to the last inch. It makes me so happy for those precious little orphans to find a home!

Playing with Lincoln Logs–

I did. Did you? How I loved to build and rebuild. Plastic blocks are more versatile, I know, but something about that real wood spoke to me. I relived the experience this week building a “Log Cabin in the Pines.” I have to admit that it grew and grew. I originally designed it as throw, but then I decided to go for a twin bed quilt. However, when I started cutting, I accidentally followed the notes for the double bed size, and ended up making an X-long 108″ double!

I went back and tweaked the pattern so that it’s easy to choose twin, long double, extra-long double or even queen size by changing the borders….and what fun it was to go through my stash and put together lots of different woods and pine greens, meadow, weeds, and even “pebbles” for the path. There is so much variety in fabric colors and patterns these days.

Click here for more info.

Log Cabin in the Pines: Quilt in Multiple Sizes by LJ Christensen

So if this one appeals to you, just click and get it–on sale for only $3.50 this month. Keep watching the blog–I’m building a castle next and have some great Christmas ideas like my “Joy to the World” quilt with music and over-the-door quilt and Santa outfit from a sweatshirt. Oh wait, first comes Thanksgiving, and I have a funny Turkey Platter Pad–hmm, which to feature next?

Speaking of building, the Christensen Creations Sewgocreate Studio is (slowly) coming along. The ceiling is done now and hopefully, painting will start this week. If they don’t get to it soon, I may get crayons out and start coloring the walls, but what I REALLY want is shelves and more shelves. Notice that I already have a great cutting table in there (it actually has 2 more leaves). It’s a genuine “find” from the Abdullah House Thrift Shop–very big and very sturdy! I love recycling! Some family had wonderful dinners around this table.

Christensen Creations Sewgocreate Studio cutting table!

Back to log cabins, though, I’d like to point out another log cabin quilt of a very different kind–I love 3D embellishment, so I made a flag with 3D log cabin blocks. It’s not hard. You simply cut normal log cabin pieces, but make them twice as wide and fold them. The trick is to trim the seam layers underneath because they get bulky. I really didn’t want to quilt over the layers, so instead I tacked it (like tying) with the little asterisk motif. We don’t use our fancy stitches enough! Click here to see the flag:

Closeup of “My County ’tis of Thee” by LJ Christensen

Since I’m on the subject of log cabins, I’ll sign off with a photo from Wetumpka, near the river and the library. A true historical log cabin in the flesh! Go see it if you’re in town, but “Watch Your Step!”

“Watch Your Step” by LJ Christensen (Wetumpka, Alabama)

Carving a spider?

Why not have a spider jack-o-lantern for Halloween?

Why not have a spider jack-o-lantern for Halloween? I promise there’s plenty of time, even at the last minute. Using bias tape for the web and legs speeds up this wall hanging. It’d also be really cute on a sweatshirt or Halloween bag if you know a little Spiderman! On sale for just $1.50 this week–don’t let it climb away up the waterspout. Click here

Halloweensie-Weensie Spider by LJ Christensen

Don’t look for my pics of spiders–that’s not going to happen. I do have some lizards, bees, and once got a dragonfly, but spiders at MY house get squished.

However, I want to praise Bias Tape. What was used in this project was the double-folded type for the web, pressed open for the legs. It’s also used to make quick hanging loops. I use it for music lines, too, and piano keys. It’d make good stems for flowers, and because it’s bias (“bias” tape, get it?), you can curve it by steaming and pressing. I’ve even printed names and/or sizes on white and attached it as clothing tags. Hmm, how about vinyl siding or roofing? I’ve used it for window sills on house appliques.

So, I salute my friend, Mr. Tape, who comes in many colors and is occasionally on sale…and don’t forget that the bias tape makers come in many sizes. Basically, they hold the strip in proper folds as you iron it. I’ve made my own many time to get the precise color or even print that I want. Homemade or store-bought, it’s a good friend.

GREAT–it’s that time!

That would be “GREAT Pumpkins Runner” time. This runner is made to the same measurements exactly as the “Running to Fall” one last week, so I actually made mine reversible–I just had to quilt the leaf veins on one layer of Warm’n’Natural and the pumpkin indentations on another. I then quilted all the layers together down the stripes!

However, if you just want to do one, it’s easy enough–just follow the colored, step-by-step diagrams. Made only of 2 1/2″ strips and squares, it’s “jelly-roll friendly” and really invites the autumn colors to the table.

On sale for $3.50 until Oct 31, the witching hour!, click here for more info.

Great Pumpkins cc2403 by LJ Christensen

Here are some other GREAT PUMPKINS! Anyone hungry for pumpkin pie?

“Great Speckled Pumpkin” by LJ Christensen
“Squash Medley” by LJ Christensen

Fall fell! I promised and

…now it’s here! Fall fell and so did the new pattern. I call this runner “Running to Fall”; it is the promised match to the “When Autumn Leaves Start to Fall” Platter Pad. I love how it turned out with so many colors. Every one came from my stash–the stripes only take about 5-6″ and except for backing, every color in the runner is just 1/4-3/8 yd. It’s all 2 1/2″ stripes and squares, too, so it’s “jelly roll friendly.”

On sale the rest of October for just $3.50 and if you use the latest GUILD1 , you can get it $3 off. Do the math! That is practically free for my followers. (By the way, a special welcome to Eve and Tina!)

Here’s the latest pattern. Click here for info or to buy.

Running to Fall: Runner in 3 sizes by LJ Christensen

I’m happy with the way the leaves turned out; they’re simple but evocative. Sometimes just a few leaves or even just one can speak to you, like the brilliant colors, contrast or mood in my photos:

Colored and Curled by LJ Christensen
Raining Cats and Dogwood by LJ Christensen
“One is the Loneliest Number” by LJ Christensen

Another couple of fall quilted items are in process–keep watch!

Changing seasons…

…or maybe it’ll be hot summer forever here in Alabama. The only leaves in MY yard are sickly dry brown ones from the drought. However, it finally rained… and was dark and cool for a little while this weekend, which made me think of autumn. In celebration, I’ve put “When Autumn Leaves Start to Fall” Platter Pad on sale for just $1.00 the rest of the month. It’s super easy and really lovely–a nice seasonal touch for your kitchen or table. Keep watching because within a few days there will be a pattern for a matching runner. (It’s ready to quilt right now!)

Click here for more information:

“When Autumn Leaves Start to Fall” by LJ Christensen

While I miss the bright colors of flowers, I have to admit that autumn has its own magnificence and is inspiring my designs this month.

Autumn Branches by LJ Christensen
Country Colors by LJ Christensen

and especially for quilters!!!

Quilted Barn by LJ Christensen

HUGE SALE–2 days left

More than 50% of over 50 patterns are on sale for 50% off through Monday. Check out this latest one–it’s luscious! In honor of the last breath of summer (HOT breath here-3 digits this week!), I designed a “Hydrangea Block Wall Hanging or Lap Quilt.” I adore hydrangeas. This one has directions and supply list for both sizes and can be made with regular half-square triangle or puffed up with extra batting and 3D folded triangles for more dimension. It’s really a beauty and only $3.50 until mid-October: Click here for more info.

Hydrangea Block Wall Hanging cc2105 by LJ Christensen

I do love hydrangeas, so I was so sad when I recently lost my hydrangea bushes to mold and a nest of rattlesnakes. (Right by my house–ick!) So I really HAD to finish this pattern to get some hydrangeas back. Here are a few of my favorite hydrangeas:

Carol Hickman’s stunning hydrangeas by LJ Christensen
Hydrangeas in Las Vegas by LJ Christensen
Lace Wings in the Lace-Top Hydrangea
by LJ Christensen
Libby’s hydrangea needlepoint (from a kit)–
but so much fun to see grow

Still celebrating 50/50/50 sale!

…with roses! It’s nearing the end of summer, but the bloom is never off THIS dramatic 3D rose. It’s actually very easy to fold and roll if you follow the Christensen Creations diagrams. Use it as a 12″ quilt block, a wall hanging, or a great embellishment on clothing. Added to the half-price sale until the end of the month, it’s only $1.75: Click here for more info.

“Origami Rose” cc1002 by LJ Christensen

I am no gardener, but I adore roses. My wonderful father-in-law used to raise them in all colors, but his favorite was the lavender one. I like them ALL, the more, the better!!

“Coral Chorale” by LJ Christensen
“Linda’s Wedding Roses” by LJ Christensen

“Butterscotch Bright” by LJ Christensen
“Tasting the Yellow Rose” by LJ Christensen
“A Lavender Rose for Dad” by LJ Christensen