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Well Hello there, it’s been awhile;)

I keep meaning to get here, but it’s been a busy few weeks.  My website is ready for launch once my logo gets its facelift and I’m in full motion researching a replacement for my broken camera.

I spent time in the studio last week with students AND solo.  A good week all and all.  I figured a broken camera shouldn’t stop me from sharing a few works in process and a finish, so here’s some of my recent IG photos.

SEW KATIE DID|Tossed Hearts|Split Personality Quilt Block

I taught my Split Personality Quilt Block in January and since the workshop requires a load of step outs to show the process, why not make a quilt?  My Tossed Hearts turned out amazing!  I can’t wait to get some full shots posted.

Students continually come in and tempt me with all the newest fabrics coming out, but I’m still trying hard to sew as much as possible from stash.  This challenge has proven itself beneficial to my process and finished work.  The background gained a load of texture and shapes with all that piecing that I never would have had with one fabric.  Going bold with the color really highlighted the large hearts.  Chambray and a few other solids, likely Kona and Micheal Miller were eaten up.

Straight line quilting a half inch apart worked in some additional directional texture and helped with the hearts cascading effect.  I messed up on some quilting lines where a few of the hearts are actually aligned and decided to just run with it and added more irregular quilting lines instead of taking them out.

Hard to believe my original plan was to go with an off-white background.   The evolutionary process of this quilt’s improv design going from A to Z was pleasurable.


Before I bound it I added a narrow folded-edge binding.  It needed a frame.  The actual binding is very similar to the background solids color but with a wink of print.

SEW KATIE DID|Nine Patch Improvisational Flowers

Nine-Patch Flowers/Improvisational Curves will be April/May’s featured workshop.  I’ve had this block idea in my head for awhile to teach improvisational curves.

 I was basting it in the living room when Jefe walked by.  His only comment was, “That’s one green quilt.”  True and that green is eliminated from my stash as well.  I had to do some creative piecing to get some last background blocks constructed and that green on green ‘ghost flower’ down there was one of the effects.

sewkatiedid:9-patch flowers:impro curves

Some blue, crimson and green thread going on here for quilting.  Just enough to keep it soft.  The binding is a fabric that isn’t in the quilt, but worked.

psychedelic baby variation 3

Totally switching color gears here, my friends are expecting their first baby and have decided to play the not know gender game.  This was certainly a good challenge for me.  Suggested was gray and white and try as I might that wasn’t going to happen, but this did.

SEW KATIE DID|Psychedelic Baby Variation

I basted it on Saturday.  Unlike every other quilt (except the straight line part) I actually know how I’ll quilt it.

SEW KATIE DID:Medallioned Magic Numbers

I’ve always got something that I’m itching to get up on the wall. These Scrappy Stellars that I started as part of my Medallioned Magic Numbers series were calling. Two additional techniques to make some rounds have been ‘decided’ on.

Split Personality Solids

And since the hearts just make me happy I put those up too, but I’ll likely have to pocket them until retreat in May.

Hope all is well in your quilty world Peeps:)

Happy Week.

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Theses squares just reminded me of garden plots.  This quilt’s four blocks were constructed using a method I call Magic Numbers.  There’s really nothing magic about them, Magic Numbers is a system of using block sizes that automatically fit together for flexibility in design without alteration. That’s right, all tidy;)

SEW KATIE DID:Garden Plot Magic Number quilt quarter

It’s a great method if you want to hone your skills at designing your own quilts, pattern free, but aren’t quite ready to free piece it or figure out the math. It’s great for bringing improvisational pieced blocks together or for adding texture into a background with added seams instead of just one big block of fabric.

SEW KATIE DID:Garden Plot magic number quilt corner

The quilting is my standard run-off straight lines, a quarter inch from each side of the seams.  I used painters tape as my guide for quilting the lines into the wide purple sashing.  I could have used Magic Number blocks instead of sashing if I needed more texture, but I think the blocks held their own.

SEW KATIE DID:Garden Plot Magic Number Quilt Close

I’m stilling piecing backs from stash.  This improvisational back falls in line with my creative quilt backs post on building out on the design wall.  Most of these fabrics are flannel, with a little hit of some quilting fabric and linen blend.

SEW KATIE DID:Garden Plot magic number quilt back

I branched out and played with an uplifting and happy thread color.  As I was filling the bobbin with the orange, I became suspect about whether I would like the effect it would have on the fairly neutral back.  In the finish the vibrant color added another level of texture to the back that a blended color wouldn’t have.  What a happy surprise:)

SEW KATIE DID:Garden Plot Quilt side

The color way is crazy good and bold.

SEW KATIE DID:Garden Plot Magic Number Quilt Binding

SEW KATIE DID:Garden Quilt Magic Number Quilt Binding edge

I generally don’t pick binding out until the quilting is done, but as I was putting this fabric back into the stash it came to mind it might work and that’s how it came to be.  There’s not a lick of it in the quilt itself.

SEW KATIE DID:Garden Plot Magic Number Quilt detail

This is a real simple quilt.  Anyone can quilt using this formula;)  Seriously the hardest thing would be picking the fabrics or you could forget about that and just go scrappy.  I’ve now made several quilts using the Magic Numbers method and each has a unique look.

SEW KATIE DID:Garden Plot Magic Number Quilt Full

Here’s some other examples of Magic Number quilts I’ve created.   You can see more about this scrappy one here.

SEW KATIE DID:Scrappy Sunshine Magic Number quilt block tutorial

  This one below is a great example of bringing the background fabric into the piecing to give the quilt’s blocks a floating deconstructed look.  More about this quilt here.

SEW KATIE DID:Smitten Kitten Magic Number Quilt Tutorial

I think it’s fun to play with how different each design can be.

Instead of offering this as a workshop I’m providing instruction for this method in Open Studios where we can merge some projects like box pouches and invisible zipper pillows.  Really any project can be adapted.  Simply respond if you’d like to schedule.

Happy week Peeps!

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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.

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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:)


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I’ve had several people tell me they’ve never heard of this binding tip, so I thought I’d share.

SEW KATIE DID:Binding tip

After I sew my binding to the quilt and before I hand sew it to the back I give it a press away from the top with a hot iron.  It just makes sewing it that much easier.

I really enjoy a little bit of hand sewing.

I’ve been listening (here, here and here) and reading a lot lately about the impact of social media on our lives and had big crack up at how many comments I got to this on Instagram.


It’s always good to keep it real;)

Have a good week peeps.

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This is totally last minute, but I’m holding an evening open studio tomorrow night (Wednesday the 18th) from 5pm-9pm and have one two open spaces.  More information on my teach page.

I’ve got a request for playing with improvisational curves, but you can bring any project you might like to work on.  Maybe some holiday gifts?  Only 37 days, 14 hours and 36 minutes until Christmas.

I’m currently repurposing some quilt as you go pillows and bags into pouches to balance out quilting my Christmas quilt.

  Happy Week Peeps!  What are you working on?

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I pulled the Halloween stuff out folks and finished up my Split Personality Christmas quilt top this weekend.

SEW KATIE DID:Split Personality Christmas Quilt

I’m sure Jefe was secretly happy I didn’t make it large enough for the bed.  I do however have a bunch of the blocks left so it’s not to late;)

SEW KATIE DID:Split Personality Christmas Quilt partial

This quilt has been long in the making.  I pieced the scrappy crazy blocks a few years ago and they sat waiting for my friend Laurel to walk into an open studio with her Arkansas Crossroads quilt to inspire me.  Hands down traditional quilts and their secondary design is one of my favorite aspects of quilting.

Merging traditional quilt design with an improvisational technique makes it just that much sweeter.SEW KATIE DID:Split Personality Quilt Block Detail

There’s a load of favorite fabrics in this quilt.  I’ve gotten to the point with my quilting that I quite enjoy seeing them disappear from my stash so I can gaze at them in a quilt.

SEW KATIE DID:Block Detail

The Alexander Henry Merry Moderns is a perfect novelty print for this quilt and the quilt itself doesn’t immediately scream “Christmas” at you.  I purchased more of the smaller print to bind it.

SEW KATIE DID:Split Personality Christmas Quilt Folded

The block is an easy variation of crazy piecing I had been playing with, an all solid fabrics is next.  Since I went square with the quilt I didn’t pay attention to the directions of any print fabrics.  I look forward to cozying up on the couch with this baby.

SEW KATIE DID:Split Personality Quilt Block:2I see it being quilted with swirls like I did on my Swim Sister quilt and Night Owl quilt.

SEW KATIE DID:Backing Fabric

I couldn’t resist this new Cotton and Steel flannel and bought some for a few pillow cases too.  Hopefully it will be a finished quilt soon!

Our weekend also included the yearly ALS walk with our Team Newby.

ALS WALK/Team Newby

Jeremy and the team continue to be inspirational in keeping it real and not losing perspective on what really matters.

Jer and Jefe

Thanks to Erin for being our team photographer.

Jeremy and Team Newby would like to thank those of you in my little quilting community that have donated to help provide around the clock caregiving/medical support that will be needed after the tracheostomy happens. You know who you are;) Here’s a little thank you from Jer that he wrote on his Tobii:


Dear team member,

Wanted to thank you for your support during my exciting ALS adventure. When we made the call to go with the tracheostomy we knew it would be a challenge on many levels, including financial. We decided that money should not be the deal breaker when it comes to extending life. Now we are confronting the reality of the decision. The good news is we have a web of support from people like you. Hallie and i know that we are not alone in this and that means so much.

The goal right now is to get through a year of life. This will enable me to do the following :
– give science another year to find cure
– hang out with my people
– see new star wars movie
– laugh at absurdities
– enjoy my new found appreciation of life
– watch televised sports
.. And so much more!

So thanks again and i’m sure to keep you in the loop as ALS Fest continues.



Our family and team is trying their best to embrace Jeremy’s positive attitude and remember what he asked of us at the beginning, to channel this into some kind of positive effect on our own lives.

I’m off to prepare for a weekend in Walla Walla as their featured artist at their quilt festival.  I’m looking forward to visiting with the wonderful people I met teaching last summer and a new adventure in judging quilts (yikes;)

Hoping you all have a great week peeps;)

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