CELEBRATING 50 PATTERNS with…

50-50-50 SALE!!!

I went over 50 posted patterns this week, so I put 50% (25) of them on sale for 50% off ($1.75-$3.75) for 25 days until the end of September. If you’ve been thinking about trying one or have a friend who quilts, NOW is the time! There won’t be this many on sale again for a LONG time.

Click here to go to sewgocreate.com

I’m also celebrating the coming of the framer…by this time next week, we may actually have some wooden beams up for the new Sewgocreate Christensen Creations Studio. So it’s a red-letter day for us!!

Create your own quilt room!
#CC1005 The Quilts in My Cupboard by LJ Christensen

I labored on Labor Day and…

…didn’t have a baby, but produced a precious baby quilt! Made in pastels, this quick strip-pieced quilt has little checked squares–hence, the name “Baby Butter Mints.” Amazingly, though, changing the colors radically changes this design. I can see a hot pink/purple one for a pre-teen girl or black/gray with hint of electric blue for my grown son. Even a floral one with a watercolor quilt look ran through my head. This quilt definitely has nine lives! –42″x 52″ is a nice size and easy to make. On sale now for just $2.50, it’s a pattern every quilter and would-be quilter needs to get.

CLICK HERE for more info.

Baby Butter Mints by LJ Christensen (backed with flannel–yum!)

Speaking of labor...my studio foundation is still empty, waiting for a framer. While I’m delighted that business for the builders is booming, I have to say I wish it’d slow down just a week so that we could get a crew here. I’ve been sorting, inventorying and carrying bags to Good Will, but I’m itching to get into a new roomy studio.

So what’s in my own labor plans? Well, I have a lavender castle ready to quilt, some team colors lap quilts I may tackle next (did I really say “tackle”? Here in Alabama that means FOOTBALL season), a large aqua quilt, a fishy sea quilt, a floral runner, a hydrangea block, a quilt with pleats and tucks, and a design for a fast track, just to name a few. I have a couple things for Halloween and a gift runner for Christmas, also a 3D-embellished Christmas tree door decor quilt, and a real 3D house. There definitely won’t be a let-up until next year. Keep checking email to see what’s new, and look back on Thursday , Sept. 5, for a SPECIAL TREAT. I’m not telling yet, but it’s awesome.

All Wired Up by LJ Christensen

Even kids have treasures!

…and they need a special pint-sized tote to carry them around. Play BALL! While this little petite totebag was inspired by my recent “Bouncing Ball” pattern for a pre-school boy, in Alabama, a lot of girls play softball. So I made a slightly larger one for big sister. Clearly, the sizes and genders could be switched, but the ball pattern is cute and not hard. It’s on sale for just $1.50 until mid-Sept. Click here for more info:

Play Ball Petite Tote cc2204

Sorry this is a bit late for the week, but it has 24 diagrams, mostly color, that were a little more challenging than usual, so the design process got bogged down.

….and then there was the excitement of a new foundation going in for the Sewgocreate Christensen Creations Sewing Studio. That’s a big YEA! Now we’re waiting for the framer to free up…but the economy is so good that he’s up to his ears building houses. I don’t know whether to be mad, sad or glad…but it isn’t that bad. Right? At least we’re one step further. Here’s the latest:

Nothing, nada, zilch

No new patterns this week. I’ve been busy getting my new Sewgocreate Sewing Studio started–the excavation is done, and they’ll be ready to pour the concrete by early next week. YEA!

Getting ready to lay the foundation by LJ Christensen

HOWEVER, don’t forget that there are SEVERAL patterns on sale for another few days, so you might do a little scrolling to check them out. It’s really a busy time for me, but I do have a bunch of new patterns in process–so keep checking my emails….(I’m working on a lavender castle, a Mexican tile, a 3D folded hydrangea block, a leopard skirt, a Christmas door hanging, a gentleman’s lap quilt, and a quilted play house, among others, so I promise some goodies soon!)

CLICK HERE

I’ve also spent the past three days editing an arts magazine. It’s hot off the digital press right now, so I’ll include the link. I promise it’s a treat for your eyes because it’s full of of photos, including a few heirloom quilts.

Cover by LJ Christensen

Click here

I’ll be back next week with something different, I promise!

Play ball!

So, baseball or football….maybe eyeball? What’s YOUR favorite? At the moment, mine is “Bouncing Ball,” the cutest scrappy toddler quilt I’ve made. I spent today writing up the instructions for two versions–one is simple and straightforward. It can be made with 12 fat quarters if you don’t have a big stash. My sample was more complex with pieced balls (using up little scraps!) that are eased, stuffed, and piped to make them puffy and 3D! Now that’s what I call “playing ball”! On sale through the end of the month for $3.50, this one is a winner–can so easily be made for a girl, boy or an unknown. Wonderful gift!

Click for more info and more pics

“Bouncing Ball” Baby/Toddler Quilt cc2304 by LJ Christensen

I made my first real scrappy patchwork skirt in 1968. It was then that I really learned to appreciate scraps. I had played with Barbies like all girls of my time period, and I loved every piece of material my mother let me have, especially the glitzy ones. But my skirt was cotton, made of nine-patches. I gave it a navy background and then picked a solid color for center of every patch, which I then finished with carefully chosen coordinating fabrics.

That must be the thrill of quilting, getting to mull over the design and match up the colors and prints–these were precious pieces of my shorts and tops and first dresses I’d ever made, a few leftover from baby dolls and Barbie doll dresses. Every color is a revelation; every piece was a precious memory. I love that about charm quilts, but even if not every single piece is different, it’s still a challenge to pick and choose like an artist loads the color on her brush.

I’m working on my inventory these days and organizing my fabrics. It’s comforting and appalling–way too many, yet never enough. I love having the biggest box of crayons! Speaking of which, here’s one of my all-time favorite quilts. I made it, but I didn’t design it–it’s “Montana Cartwheel” by Quiltworx. It won the quilt top challenge at an Alabama National Fair a decade ago and was quilted for me as the prize. This is the design that made me WANT to quilt!

Here’s a challenge!

This week I didn’t do a new “pattern” because I was working on a patternless subject, a self-portrait! However, I’ll share it because it was loads of fun. For those who don’t sew–friends, family, children–it could be done with construction paper (scrapbook paper maybe) and glue, even paint, but for the savvy seamstress with lots of fabric stash, scraps and fusible web, well, it’s a cinch to cut and fuse the whole thing. I DID use a needle and thread for the beads, craft eyelashes and the borders, but that’s it. Tips follow. (Notice I decided to do Right Brain-creative, Left Brain-logical, to explore both side of my personality. That’s just an added twist.)

“Self-Portrait: Right Brain, Left Brain”

Because there is no new pattern, I’m putting SEVERAL hot pad appliques on sale until my birthday in late August. Can you find them? Click here.

Now for my tips:

  1. Start with a pencil sketch on paper of an oval (circle for MY round face) and general placement of features. Don’t worry; you have an eraser, and this doesn’t have to be realistic. (However, a photo or mirror may help.)
  2. Use the sketch as a “pattern” to cut head and neck out of some “face” fabric. It can be realistic (on right above) or funky (left was actually an ombre, and I placed the darker part as the neck shadows. The eye on the left is dark purple!)
  3. I fused the head to background fabric. On the right (left brain) I did some straight piecing of quiet fabric then the left (right brain), I collaged onto plain fabric.
  4. When working on the eyes and mouth, I found it important to place some hair to get the proportions right. (Try to DE-emphasize the nose, and just use a subtle coloring difference or little shadows underneath. You don’t want to look like Cyrano de Bergerac!)
  5. About fusing–always fuse the paper onto a section of fabric first, cut out shape, then tear off the paper. (This ensures that the glue will get to the edges–NOTE, use a pin to score the paper for an easy release. )
  6. Pin first, a lot, before fusing.
  7. Work on details and background, using fun fabrics, and don’t be afraid to add 3D notions like my curly ribbons and beads–just raid your stash for ideas. (After walking away for a while, I returned to add eye glints and wrinkles [I mean “laugh lines”], plus a few extra shadows.)
  8. Use fusible fleece to back, or quilt with regular backing if you want. I like adding 2 borders, but I just turned this hanging like a pillowcase instead of quilting and binding. (Your portrait, your rules!)

HAVE FUN!!! This would be a great guild challenge, wouldn’t it? I’d make the challenge in Sept and let everyone try to match portrait with quilter in December to see who gets the most correct. What a hoot! Send me pics to post!! I did MINE for an art challenge because I was supposed to do a portrait–oh my! At least the fabric is more forgiving. HA!