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Hi there;)

 I was feeling like I’ve been neglecting this happy place and thought I’d briefly drop in.

 I’ve been busy.  A really good kind of busy.


I went on retreat with friends, aka Camp Runamuck.  Nothing happened.


Not even bothering to unpack my suitcase I did a turn around to Whidbey Island with family.  My heroes, brother-in- law Jeremy who is fighting ALS and sister-in-law Hallie had the best idea of renting a large house on the island where all of the friends/family support team known as Team Newby could congregate for the next few weeks.  I’m sure nothing happened or is happening there either besides cow tipping and sunset watching.


 I’ve also been tidying.

I can guarantee if you’ve hung out with me in the past few weeks, you’re either sick of hearing about me tidying or/and are also on the bandwagon.  I blame Rachel.

Marie Kondo’s idea of tidying in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is simple.  You bring EVERYTHING from one category into a room with you, touch each item and ask yourself, “Does this bring me joy?”

The author goes through the categories in a very systematic way.  I kind of created my own, but she wants you to do it all at once regardless.


It starts with clothes, ALL of my clothes and me together in one room.  Then it was books (easy) and on to the kitchen.  I even brought out all the wedding bowls and platters so we too could be together in one room.  Marie has a whole chapter on how to deal with gifts.


I hit the fabric relentlessly.  Three mounting bins of it I purged.  Obviously I’m now running out.  Works in progress (WIP) got sorted and tossed.


The clear out was major, but then I stalled, mostly because I was thinking garage sale, IG flash sale, consignment shop or other ways of disposing of these ‘valuable’ items besides Goodwill, but the items were all still in my house, taking up room.

So yesterday I loaded it all up and made a whole lot of people happy at Goodwill;)

It felt so good to make this move and this dumping stage gave me the momentum to start again.

sewkatiedidNext is paper.

I did a little warm up to this paperless life last night while watching the Sounders game.

Some of you might recognize your business cards here;)  Because one index box apparently isn’t enough, I had TWO full of business cards and passwords to various sites that didn’t even work when I went to sign in.  I know how to get ahold of you all, so out they went and my cute retro index box will now house the cards for my studio’s loaning library;)

Anyone else doing this?  Any tips?  Life-changing?

Just curious.

Happy Week Peeps!

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I realized I have several quilts I haven’t blogged about and they deserve their little spot here.

Like Fresh Cut.


Fresh Cut was a quilt I made to be published as a pattern in Quilting Modern and would have landed in the Slice and Insert chapter as an example of inserting consistent width strips perpendicular to one another.


Since books only have so many pages we have a few projects that didn’t make it and Fresh Cut was instead marketed as a preview for Quilting Modern in American Patchworks and Quilting’s June 2012 issue.

They styled it super cute for a nursery wall hanging.

SEW KATIE DID/Fresh Cut Quilt close

As with any quilt there are things I love and things I learned and Fresh Cut is no exception.

Granted I’m looking at a quilt I made in 2012, so the things I would do differently are multiply as I write this.

SEW KATIE DID/Fresh Cut Quilt/Quilting Modern

If it weren’t for the binding having a few tricks I would take the simple quilting out and after over thinking it for a long time I would redo it in a simple grid of straight lines.

And if I was going to bother with that then I would add some blocks to change the bizarre size of this quilt.  I’m not sure what I was thinking.  I’d love to see an additional row of three blocks making it a big nine-patch.  Hmmmm…


What I do love?

-The added bits sliced into the sashing of the blocks.

-The fabric colors.

-The quilting thread color change out.

-The variety of the inserts.

SEW KATIE DID:Fresh Cut Quilt Binding

I really need to write a post on mixing up binding.  I’ve got quite a few examples that I need to put in one place.

SEW KATIE DID:Fresh Cut Quilt Top

It really is a fun quilt and a simple intro to the Slice and Insert technique within a block structure.  You can find the pattern here.

Just out of marketing curiosity, did anyone have exposure to this quilt when it came out?  How about the other quilts that didn’t make the book that are free patterns?  I’m guessing since I never see them in the virtual world that I need a blog post on how to find them.

sewkatiedid studio

The studio is in the process of being drywalled and I’m off to look at flooring.

Happy Monday Peeps;)


sewkatiedid/mastering improv curved shapes workshop

There are two spots in my Improvisational Curved Shapes Workshop (beginners welcome) on April 23rd from 6pm-9pm at the Quilting Loft (call to sign up).  This will be our last workshop there as they are closing their retail shop at the end of the month. 30% off sale  starts Tuesday (7th).  Stay tuned for details here.

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TGIF peeps.

I’m onto all sorts of projects for the holiday.  Last season I was struck by the color palette my friend Allison used for the zip pouch she gifted me, such happy colors for me.  Around that time Cloud9 Fabrics mailed me a FQ pack of their Up, Up, and Away fabric line with some of those inspiring colors included.

Cloud9’s fabric lines of late having really been catching my eye, so I decided a Quilt As You Go technique pillow was in order.

sewkatiedid:QAYG PILLOW straight

There’s something deeply satisfying about digging around in your stash to find the perfect fabric collaboration.


I polished it off with some invisible zipper skills.

Have a good weekend.

I hope to have some projects finished by Monday (thus the short but sweet post;)

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Does this scrap make my wall look small?

I cracked up when I received what Erica from Finn Style called scraps.  I stretched this one on a frame from the art supply store, completely ignoring Jefe asking me how I knew it was square.  Its location in the house is yet to be determined, but for now I can gaze at it while sitting in the dining/living room area.


  I had no clue this hexagon print would be this scale, but it looks lovely on the table for now.

I’m thinking of adding more Marimekko to my stash with Finn Style’s Marimekko summer sale.


I’ve taken to this Peacock Blue color throughout the house.  It started with painting Roan’s room.  I had about six different blues up and Roan told me to stop asking him which one he liked best and just pick one.  I couldn’t help but try one more and instantly new this was the one.


The World Cup posters pop well with it.  Speaking of which, I’ve got a game to watch!

Happy almost weekend!

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::This Week::

Lots is happening.


The floors are done in the house!


Which means I’m starting over in organizing.  This time I actually pulled a bunch of yardage to sell at our multi-household garage sale (99th Street SW/98136).  If you find yourself in West Seattle on Saturday come find me between 8-5pm.  I’m pretty sure you’re running out of fabric;) and it’s likely you’re running low on other random things and need to come buy mine.

sewkatiedid/double trouble block

I did fit in some block construction on Monday thanks to Sandie’s invite for Krista and I to come over and spend the day in her new studio.  I’m hoping the sewing room remake will get me back to this before Portland.

I’m trying really hard to not to be distracted by the shiny thing in the next room.

There are some plans this week for fun classes too!

::Embrace Your Curves: Improvisational Curves Workshop::

Thursdays, June 5th and 12th from 6-9pm at the Quilting Loft in Ballard.

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 cover multiple ways of making curves and inspire you right into embracing them yourself. Free-handing improvisational curves are manageable even for beginners.


::Not Your Grandmother’s Log Cabin/Improvisational Log Cabins::

Sunday, June 10th from 11am-5pm at Island Quilter on Vashon Island.

Step into the present with modern versions of a traditional log cabin block using improvisational techniques from the Log Cabin Makeover Chapter in Quilting Modern: Techniques and Projects for Improvisational Quilts. Once we’ve covered the tips and tricks to making unique blocks we’ll focus on quilt design and structure. I’ll will share multiple projects to spark your creativity and set you on the path to your own log cabin design.

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::Portland Bound::

sewkatiedid/value quilt
::Stash Archive Value Quilt/Seeing Value::

Saturday, June 21st from 10am-5pm at Modern Domestic in Portland.

Value is the relative lightness or darkness of a color and one of the most important aspects of quilt making. Spend a day with Quilting Modern author Katie Pedersen studying the impact value has on quilt design. We’ll construct half-square triangle blocks to carry out the exercise and play with the multiple designs value creates. Transform your quilt making process!

Sewkatiedid/Scappalicious Double-Trouble Quilt


Sunday, June 22nd from 10am-5pm at Modern Domestic in Portland.

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. Katie will bring examples to show for inspiration.



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::Home and Heart::

There are so many things that don’t make it here lately, but I’ve been writing to you all in my head.


I can now officially tell you how to watch Jefe take bars off a window, where to not sit while gardening in my yard if you don’t want ants to go up your shorts, and that there are three layers, not one of wallpaper over the plywood used for walls in my kitchen…


In between home, I took a road trip to Walla Walla to do workshops with a wonderful group of ladies.  There are good people out there, especially quilters.  We had such a great time that they invited me to be the featured artist at their 2015 show.


I totally scored some Catherineholm for nothing while there.  Always good when the price matches your budget;)


Coming home to this beautiful beast blooming was the best.


And finally I couldn’t be more pleased than to spend my afternoon getting ready for my class tonight and finally spending some time in my studio (bar free).

Honestly, with the move, no studio, and driving Roan into his old school for the rest of the year (3 hours in the car a day) sewing just hasn’t been happening so much, nor blogging.  I’m fully aware that Blogland can be so polished and I have all of these wonderful things going on in my life, but you know that “make the best of times in the worst of times?  Well, we’ve got that going on.  If you’ve been following my blog over the years you know our family has survived years of kidney failure until a beautiful kidney came our way and breast cancer, and in December my brother-in-law was diagnosed with ALS.

So I’m taking the do what you can approach to my days and trying not to kick myself around when I don’t make it to blogging or other ‘extras.’  I want to leave you today with some words he gave us all that I’ve been trying to embrace.  It’s the cut and dry version, but you’ll get the point.

Many people have offered their assistance and “anything they can do.”  There is one thing. What I would ask of everyone who cares is that they take this news as an opportunity to take a breath, take stock, gain perspective on their life and use this as a positive catalyst in whatever way works for you. In the wake of this development – life has taken on a certain intensity for me – insert whatever cliché you want here – but basically the value of every moment/day/relationship is magnified.

Instead of just spreading a piece of bad news – my hope is that people can channel this into some kind of positive effect on their own lives. In answering your question of what you can do – that is what you can do. That would be most helpful to me.

I hope you all can gain some positive reflection for the day!

Mine is to make time with friends and family a priority, because it makes me happy:)


P.S. If you haven’t ever watched the documentary Happy, I recommend you do.

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