I’m not quite sure what happened to January, does anyone know where it went?  Apparently time flies faster than I sew.

I spent much of the month happily digging through my stash, cutting and piecing in an attempt to showcase my Warm & Cool Hearts Color Value Quilt LONG before Valentine’s Day and here it is a week and change away.

SEW KATIE DID:Warm and Cool Hearts Value Quilt Tutorial Full

Lately, I’ve become obsessed with heart shape blocks and appropriately, L-O-V-E best describes my feelings for my new quilt.  I haven’t bothered to asked Jefe how he feels about it yet.


Revisiting my Color Value Quilt Tutorial and workshop using the heart shape has been on my bucket list.  I’d been asked to place it on the teaching calendar, but adding a new sample to demonstrate how value works in this quilt’s design was necessary to keep teaching the workshop fresh for me.

SEW KATIE DID: Warm and Cool Hearts Value Quilt Tutorial:Close

Certainly the hearts can be a mix of colors (see early morning iPhone photo below), but consolidating them to a single color created a more cohesive and visually appealing shape to my eye.  The challenge of finding the perfect tints and tones for each heart slowed the process down, but made it more enjoyable.

SEW KATIE DID:Warm and Cool Hearts Color Value Tutorial mix

It was also a good exercise in ‘seeing’ what color values my stash lacks or is abundant in.

I reached out to quilty friends for an additional here and there square and some light values for the background.  I recommend a swap if you find some holes in your stash.

SEW KATIE DID:warm and cool value quilt hearts

Value is relative, but for the most part I stayed away from what I considered medium values with the exception of the turquoise and mustard blocks.

SEW KATIE DID:Warm and Cool Hearts Value Tutorial

I spent a great deal of time staring at my design wall and moving things around before piecing them.  Keeping the value focused on darks for the hearts and light for the backgrounds was a good exercise in what your mind’s eye thinks works and reality.


 This became especially apparent when I stepped away.   My view into the studio from the kitchen was an extremely helpful tool for determining whether the value of the background blocks was working for or against my heart blocks.  We’ll cover useful tools like this in the workshop.

SEW KATIE DID:Warm and Cool Value Quilt Tutorial Hearts:row

I didn’t piece the quilt together by rows or columns, but worked by completing each heart block into its background and moved them around for the final layout.  I’m not a preplanner or a drawer in general, so this process suited me.

I think the best part of a Color Value Quilt is gazing at all those fabrics I was drawn to for whatever reason in one quilt.  Especially those that don’t exist in my stash anymore.  I just love print.


Some flannel of course for the back.  I’m still trying to stick to my stash when it comes to shopping for backing.

I’ll run this workshop and my Free Motion Fundamentals/Nesting Baskets through March.   Reserve your space by simply emailing me at sewkatiedid@gmail.com or calling and I’ll reserve you a spot.  (the website is sooooo close to done).

 Open Studio dates have also been updated.

SEW KATIE DID:Charm Squares

The Value Workshop is a great opportunity for cutting into your growing stash and use all those fabrics you love that haven’t found a place in a quilt yet.  I’ve dug into my stash and have a load of pre-cut squares for sale to supplement your designs or we can dig through my stash and cut.  Keep up on my Instagram and/or Facebook for a major destash of these.

As usual, once finishing a quilt top of a traditional/classic design I’m itching for something improvisational, so look for something of that nature for workshops next month.

Happy week(end) Peeps;)

In our old digs my design wall was limited to ONE.  Now with the studio I have my own padded room;)

I had one wall space left that I was told needed a bumper to protect the wall from ambitious pressers yielding an iron;)  I also had two smaller pieces of cut insulation board that together fit the space perfectly.

SEW KATIE DID:Build a quilt design wall

Here’s a basic tutorial on how I construct my quilt design walls.  You can access how I created the quilter’s pressing station here.


  • (1 and/or 2) 1″ Insulation board (you can pin into this surface and cut to size).
  • (1) washed and dried flannel sheet (Sheets eliminate seams.  Measure your insulation board surface area and compare to sheet dimensions.  You’ll need about 3″ extra per side to wrap around the board.  I buy my sheets here).
  • (6) 3″ Screws per board
  • (6) Finishing Washers per board
  • (6) Anchors per board (optional)
  • Roll of Gorilla Tape
  • Staple Gun with 3/8″ or longer staples

Cut board to size if needed.

SEW KATIE DID:Quilting Design Wall Tutorial8

I don’t think it really matters which side of the board you cover, but I do tape the boards together on the side that will be against the wall.  I secure the boards with horizontal strips of tape and then run a vertical strip down the length.

Cut your flannel to about 3″ larger than board dimensions.  Get rid of the hems if you don’t need the extra inches of flannel to cover your board size.  Hems might cause you grief when it comes to stapling, especially in the mitered corners.  Another option is to go with longer staples.

SEW KATIE DID:Quilting Design Wall Tutorial6

I alternate sides when stretching and taping flannel.  It’s like pin basting a quilt.  You do want it very taunt.  I believe in lots of tape as you can see.

SEW KATIE DID:Quilting Design Wall corner

I just kind of go with what seems to be working when it comes to mitering the corners.

If you need some hand holding on the stapling and mitering steps, Martha and Anna Maria Horner show you how in a video here.  Once you’ve over-taped, start stapling into the tape AND flannel.

SEW KATIE DID:Quilting Design Wall Tutorial10

Tada!  Can’t see any of that ugly from the front;)

SEW KATIE DID:Quilting Design Wall Tutorial9

Take your snips and cut a hole in the location you want your screws to go through.

SEW KATIE DID/Design Wall Tutorial

At this point I go get Jefe because he knows where all the electric is.  Someone also suggested the use of heavy duty velcro for attachment.

Drill the holes where you see fit, place the anchors and screw in the screws using the washers for a nice finish.

I’m off to use mine!  Happy week Peeps;)

SEW KATIE DID/Layered Design Wall

No room for a permanent quilt design wall?  Then check out my tutorial on a dual layered roll-up one design wall that can easily be stored under a bed.


It’s been a busy year so far;)

  It’s one of the seasons that lectures placed on the calendar months ago come around., workshops and Open Quilting Studios are in full swing and a website almost done;)  All way more exciting than accounting and tax preparation.

I’ve updated my ‘TEACH‘ page with January’s Open Studio times and have one spot left in January’s featured workshop, Split Personality.  You’ll see February’s featured workshop and Open Studio dates up soon.

 Circa 15 Fabric Studio in Kirkland and I have selected our Winter Workshops that you’ll find below and on their site.

Happy Quilting Peeps!

SEW KATIE DID:Split Personality Christmas Quilt Section

::Split Personality Block Workshop::

In studio

Ready to learn a simple technique for producing a load of square crazy pieced blocks in no time? It’s just like making your own fabric. We’re going to do just that and spend some time exploring designs we can place our blocks into. I’ll have multiple examples of what we can do with this block to share.

$85 class fee.

Workshop Dates:

Wednesday, January 13th/10am-3pm/FULL
Saturday, January 23rd from 10am to 3pm/FULL
Sunday, January 24th from 10am-3pm/FULL

::Circa 15 Fabric Studio Workshops::


::Psychedelic Baby Block Workshop::

Saturday, February 13th from 11am-3pm at Circa 15 Fabric Studio.

This modern block workshop combines improvisational strip piecing and a traditional foundation paper piecing technique to create unique string blocks that are both chaotic and controlled. We’ll study color and value placement so that we can play with the block’s unlimited quilt/pillow design potential.

SEW KATIE DID/Improvisational Coin Quilt

::Beginning Improv Quilting/ Coin Quilt::

Sunday, February 28th 11am-3pm at Circa 15 Fabric Studio.

Interested in creating a modern quilt with improvisational techniques, but don’t know where to start? Then this is the class for your first modern quilt! Learn improvisational techniques like angle and strip piecing while creating a modern coin quilt loosely based on a tradition Chinese Coin Quilt Design. A great quilt to feature your favorite prints or solids. No two will be the same. All levels of sewists welcome.


::Embrace Your Curves: Improvisational Curves Workshop::

Saturday, March 12th from 11am-3pm at Circa 15 Fabric Studio.


Fear the curve no more with this no pinning, no templates and no stress approach to the improvisational curves technique from the Embrace Your Curves chapter in Quilting Modern: Techniques and Projects for Improvisational Quilts. I’ll will cover multiple ways of making curves and inspire you right into embracing them yourself. Free-handing improvisational curves are manageable even for beginners.


::Double-Trouble Quilt Block::

Sunday, March 20th from 11am-3pm at Circa 15 Fabric Studio.

Ready to create a simple modern quilt? Double-Trouble is a fun quilt block and design workshop that merges a traditional half-square triangle block with an improvisational stitch and flip triangle technique. The Double-Trouble block has unlimited design possibilities that we will explore to create unique quilt designs. I have multiple examples to show for inspiration.

Happy New Year Peeps!

Instead of the usual New Year’s post showing quilts you’ve already seen, I’d thought I’d go fresh into the New Year and share some of my studio.

SEW KATIE DID:Ironing Board:Station Tutorial

Long before the studio’s basics were built I started researching options for the most efficient and functional layout (there’s a Pinboard for that;).  I’ve had more than a taste of poorly lit, cluttered or overly decorated teaching spaces and now was my chance to make every square inch matter.

It was time to rethink the ironing/pressing board.  Since I’d never be putting it away the space underneath a traditional board was just a waste.

Supply List for DIY Ironing Station:

  • KALLAX Shelving unit from IKEA
  • (3) sets KALLAX casters
  • Sheet Plywood, cut (2) of your selected dimensions (see below)
  • Batting
  • Fabric
  • Thread
  • Staple Gun


I bought a KALLAX Shelving unit from IKEA.


Also from IKEA, the KALLAX casters have been a worthwhile investment.  It is truly unbelievable the amount of fuzz build-up quilting creates and being able to roll this away from the wall to get behind it has been added to the weekly cleaning checklist.  I’ve also pulled it away from the wall when pressing large quilt tops.


You’ll need a sheet of 3/4″ thick plywood (4′ x  8ish’).   Jefe made (2) identical cuts so I would have a little more height to my station by stacking them.

He cut them 3 inches longer than the top of the KALLAX and 3 inches wider so that I could wrap the cover underneath it.  I’d suggest thinking about your space and then cut, you might want it bigger or a little smaller.  I didn’t nail or glue them together, they seem to sit just fine on top of the unit.


For the cover’s measurements (batting and fabric) I used my friend Elizabeth’s Pressing Table with Removable Cover tutorial.  ***With the exception that I didn’t run any elastic through it, but wrapped it around the boards and stapled it to the back.  It really isn’t necessary if you staple to hem it, but I did.

The hardest part was probably choosing the fabric.


I wanted something that would work with my Orla Kiely boxes that I already had and that nest in the shelving.

SEW KATIE DID:Build your own pressing station

I store my machines when not in student use here (covers are next), ironing supplies and boxes for projects.  When I get sick of the fabric or it wears out I can simply replace it.  You can also purchase drawers or doors for this unit.

You could certainly use the same for a cutting table by putting (2) KALLAX together.

I hope to share more of the studio in the next few weeks.

Happy Tuesday Peeps:)


New January Open Studios Monday-Friday are listed and I added another date to January’s featured workshop since the first round filled.  Hoping for a website finish to ring in 2016 soon.


Ok, ignore that last published post with just photos if you subscribe.  Whoops;)

The winner of the Christmas fabric is Paddy Anne!  Thank you to all who contributed by adding their favorite patchwork gift tutorial.  I’ve created a ‘Gifts to Sew’ Pinterest board for you all to check out with my favorites of your suggestions.

Quite a few of you linked to box pouch tutorials, so I thought I’d share what I’ve been up to as a little end of the year post.


At our Birch Bay retreat we started making pouches.  The time spent building out the panels made me think about all the quilted stuff I had packed away just waiting to be recreated.


SEW KATIE DID:FavsQuilt As You Go Tote/sewkatiedidSEW KATIE DID/QAYG Pillow

 Some long forgotten pillows and bags have been reimagined into zip pouches that turned out amazingly.

SEW KATIE DID:Boxed Pouch circles

I think the improvisational curves one is my favorite.


I never liked these panels as a bag, but I’m loving their reincarnation.  I had used duck cloth to line these when they were a bag and their structure turned out to be the best of all of them, but a little more fussy when it came to boxing the corners.

SEW KATIE DID:Box Pouch:bird 2

This one just has so many great fabrics.

SEW KATIE DID:box pouches

I love all the color and details.  I used a mix of techniques I found in a load of online tutorials.

And guess what?  I created a Pinboard for those too:)


So I guess that’s it for the year Peeps.  We’ve had a good one.   With the challenges of ALS in our family, my brother in law’s smile at seeing us and the positive attitude he exhibits encourages us to take advantage of our happy places and ditch the rest.  While ALS has entered our lives so have his amazing group of friends, enlarging our family circle with impeccable timing.

In honor of Jeremy, I encourage you to “reach for your best feeling thought” each and everyday.

See you in the New Year:)



I’ve always enjoyed teaching at Modern Domestic in Portland.  They sell quality fabric, Bernina machines and have an amazing classroom that doubles as their gallery space.  Of course I should mention the friendly and knowledgeable staff;)

They kindly asked me if I’d like to be featured.  It turned out December was the month I could manage since I have no scheduled trunk shows or classes.  I figured people are making and shopping to boot and would see the quilts.


  I pulled all of these wonderful images from their blog,

and Instagram.

I selected quilts from the series I created, my Value Quilt Tutorial and then a few that reflect my favorite technique workshops, like elongated and double-trouble triangles.



I loved this photo that Sometimes Crafter posted on her Instagram account.


It’s always so fun to “see” (I wish I could have gone) all the quilts hanging together, especially in such a light and bright space.

I’ve been working on holiday gifts that I’ll likely pop back in to share at the end of the week.  Maybe a Christmas fabric FQ giveaway??? Be sure to add your email to the “follow me around” button in the sidebar for that update.  I’ve got some out of prints you surely need;)

  This Tuesday, next Tuesday (22nd) and this Thursday I have a space in  Open Studio with requests to teach/work on double sided napkins and other holiday projects like the dopp kits and zip pouches I’ve been making and posting on my Instagram.  Drop me an email to join us;)

Happy Monday Peeps!

SEW KATIE DID:Split Personality Christmas Quilt Section

This quilt is a long time coming, as in years…

Alexander Henry’s Merry Moderns fabric was THE Christmas quilt fabric for me.  I just fell hard for it the minute I saw it.


The fabric seemed a perfect merge for an improvisational technique I’d been brainstorming about.  A block that was a faster way to produce ‘crazy pieced’ looking fabric.  So I started playing with the block construction concept that became what I now call the Split Personality Quilt Block.  The method quickly produces multiple blocks allowing you instant playtime with it in endless design concepts.


Fabrics from the stash that would coordinate with a Christmas theme were pulled, auditioned and sewn.  Some favorites were eaten up in the process.

SEW KATIE DID:Split Personality Block

 And so, all these happy fabrics have been living together as blocks for a few years, waiting for the perfect pattern to show itself.

SEW KATIE DID:Split Personality Christmas Quilt Fold

My friend Laurel showed up at an open studio to finish up an Arkansas Crossroads quilt.  I instantly envisioned my blocks in that design and the production began…last year;)

SEW KATIE DID:Split Personality Christmas Quilt Full flat

The essex linen in a cross weave black stabilized the scrappiness.

SEW KATIE DID:Split Personality Christmas quilt awesome

Merging traditional quilt designs with improvisational techniques has really become where my process leads me.  I love the secondary designs traditional set blocks create.

SEW KATIE DID:Split Personality Christmas Quilt side

When it came to quilting I lived and breathed this quilt for days.  For once I didn’t overthink it and went with straight lines that ran off the edge and echoed the ‘Xs’ the secondary design created.

SEW KATIE DID:Split Personality Christmas Quilt Side block

I dreaded the thought that I’d have to add another horizontal and vertical line because my body was done with quilting, but in the end I dismissed the addition.  It has the perfect drape and isn’t over quilted into the luscious feel of cardboard.

SEW KATIE DID:Split Personality Christmas quilt back

Here’s a peek at the back.  Leftovers and flannel of course.

SEW KATIE DID:Split Personality Christmas Quilt Detail 2

SEW KATIE DID:Side:Split Personality Christmas QuiltThe binding is the small scale print in the Merry Moderns line.  It worked out that some faces landed on the front and back of the quilt’s edge.

SEW KATIE DID:Binding Roll

You can see more designs and concepts with this block in my Instagram feed and I’ve added this block onto my January calendar as a daytime, nighttime and weekend workshop.

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and then of course there is spring!

Happy Happy Peeps;)


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