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;)

::Christmas Fabrics::

SEW KATIE DID: Invisible Zipper Pillow Tutorial

I have a thing for Christmas decor, especially pillows.  Of course merging those two things takes fabric.

SEW KATIE DID:Christmas fabric collection

Of which I treated myself to at the after Christmas sales last year and had to pull it all out to remind myself I didn’t need more.

SEW KATIE DID:Christmas pillows

There’s that deliciousness in fussy cutting those cute little novelties into something that you get to gaze upon every year.

SEW KATIE DID:Christmas Starts

Even if some have stuck around unfinished for a few years of gazing;)

 I did make a few little changes to my invisible zipper tutorial if you get a chance to sew some celebratory pillows yourself this season.

SEW KATIE DID:Christmas Pillow Stack

Any holiday gift making happening on your end?

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.

::Evening Open Studio::

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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