Sassaman Urn Quilt

Welcome to my website! I am an artist who makes quilts both fine and fun. My art quilts are appliquéd fabric collages. My fun quilts are made with the fabric that I design for FreeSpirit. Almost all of these are influenced by the natural world which surrounds me here in rural Northern Illinois.

So my year is divided into segments that are punctuated by design deadlines and teaching dates. February first and August first are my fabric designing targets, as well as Spring and Autumn International Quilt Market preparations. My schedule for workshops, near and far, is spread throughout the year and creates many more bookmarks to measure my time. And all the spaces between are devoted to making as many fine art quilts as I possibly can!

This lifestyle is both solitary and social. Solitary time in the studio and social time visiting with students and quilting friends on the road. So this site is for sharing the outcome of this life in textiles and design.

Sassaman Urn Quilt spider

Here is a new art quilt project which was finally finished around the new year. Although, I usually make quilts with flowers, bugs and butterflies, I occasionally have the urge to make something slightly more subversive. In this case, I decided to revisited the skull and skeleton theme which is a recuring favorite symbol. To me a skeleton is a wonderful graphic reminder of our mortality, an “memento mori”.

The Urn Quilt is humorous in an ominous way. It’s darkness is tongue-in-cheek, it’s moody temperament is light-hearted. It uses very well established symbols of horror and mystery to make its dark comedy. It invokes Victorian sentimentality and melodrama. At least, that was my intension.

Queen of the May Sassaman FreeSpirit

Another project came to fruition with the introduction of my latest FreeSpirit fabric collection, Spring Fever. As the name implies this is a group of fabrics that truly has an optimistic, and frankly, a romantic point of view.

The collection revolves around Queen of the May, who is tickled pink that winter is finally over and the season of growth has begun. This design is a bit giddy with good cheer. The Tulips follow up in the promising procession, a quintessential symbol of Spring.

Spring Fever Sassaman FreeSpirit

As you know, I favor large scale designs, which I call Personality Prints because of their obvious graphic power. But this season we decided to try them in a more delicate scale (mini), as well. I like them both!

The large print is fabulous for fussy cut quilts and the mini prints are wonderful for wearables and quilting, too. We have designed several quilts with this happy fabric, but my favorite one is called Stargazer. This is a paper piecing project. The white background really creates a light and airy feeling. You can download your free pattern here and make one for yourself.

Stargazer Quilt Sassaman FreeSpirit

Please visit my Ideas Blog to see new ways of using Spring Fever fabrics for quilts and other sewing projects.

Spring Fever Fabric Sassaman FreeSpirit
My other big events this year include displays of my FreeSpirit quilts at the American Quilter’s Society shows in Lancaster, PA (March 29-April 1) and Grand Rapids, MI (August 16-19). I hope to see you there.



Stay tuned to our blog for weekly reports from the Sassaman Studio.