Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Why We Do What We Do

I stayed late at the store a couple of weeks ago to finish a project that I was anxious to photograph and send to my daughter. I had a great idea and I badly wanted her to agree it was great and that I was brilliant. Those sort of moments can’t want until tomorrow! Brilliance demands immediate corroboration. She’s a night owl (at least compared to me), so even with the 3 hour time difference, she’d still be awake. The little bit I had left to finish shouldn’t take more than about 15 minutes. I was already blushing a little imagining the praise she would undoubtedly heap on me!

Customer Showcase!

We love to see what all of you fabulous quilters are making, so we are especially grateful to our customers who send us pictures of their SassyPacks projects.  Here are two of our recent favorites:

Paige send us a photo of the Boutique Shoulder bag she her review of the project here.

For those of you (me) who are always misplacing your notions and supplies, this sewing mat is a life-saver. Cate sent us this picture of her mat, which she made using Art Gallery Fabrics.  With just a little bit of batting, the mat also reduces noise!

Keep sending us your pictures, and we will feature them here and on Facebook!

Friday, November 13, 2009

New Fabrics -- Jungle Jungle

The Jungle Jungle line just arrived at SassyPacks, from Studio E Fabrics. So adorable!

We are busy kitting this fabric into new SassyPacks ~ including a new line of quilt kits for kids.  Creating and encouraging the next generation of quilters is our mission, so we are very excited about these new SassyPacks for kids. Share your love of quilting this year with someone who you know wants to learn.  Our SassyPacks for Beginners, and the upcoming SassyKids line, are great Christmas gifts!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Holiday Inspiration!

Thinking about gifts for the holiday season? So are we!

With the economy still pretty shaky, the idea of making our own unique gifts for family and friends is extra appealing this year.  But of course ~ they must be gorgeous to get the SassyPacks stamp of approval! So, we are busy brainstorming a whole host of holiday quilt projects.  Here are a couple of our early favorites:

Wine Totes

Ah ... vino! The perfect solution to office holiday parties, Secret Santas, and every "I'm not sure we are exchanging gifts yet" situation. We're making up lots and lots of these beautiful wine totes, featured in the popular "Let's Do Lunch" pattern book.  So simple ~ just a couple of half-yard cuts makes up 3 totes. The picture here uses the stunning Wintergraphix fabrics for a holiday theme. We are embellishing ours with a simple ornament and a little ribbon to cinch it up.

Super Simple Quilts

It is natural to want to give quilts as a gift, especially when you are new to quilting and eager to share your talents with those you love the most. But, with the holiday season rapidly approaching, time is short.  A simple trick? Whip up easy quilts using bold, contemporary fabrics ~ the kind you see at all the time!  Let the quilt feature the bold patterns, rather than detailed piecework.  That allows you to give a beautiful gift from the heart, without spending a lot of time.

Check out this simple block quilt, using eight half-yard cuts of Splendor fabrics. You don't even need a pattern! Cut your half-yards into 8-1/2" squares, lay them out in a random fashion that you love, and piece them together. Add a piece of backing fabric, quilt together, and bind the edges.  So easy! A full-size quilt (56" x 64") with hardly any effort!  By using bold pattern fabrics, the quilt is eye-catching without a lot of intricate piecing.  With time in short supply this holiday season, you can give a one-of-a-kind gift, without all the hassle!  Looking for fabric inspiration? Check out our half-yard bundles for beautiful patterns sure to please.

These are just a few of the ideas we are dreaming up for this holiday season.  Share your creative inspirations in the comments, and check back for more gift ideas!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Me and "My" Machine

Ok, let’s just put this out there: I am afraid of my sewing machine.

I say “my” sewing machine, as though I have some sort of ownership interest in it.  Which I don’t. I didn’t buy it, and I still don’t really know if I want it.  Mom is just short of relentless on urging me to embrace all the joys of machine quilting, and after one particular disaster piecing a quilt together, I finally cracked and let her send me a starter machine.  Nothing fancy, just the basics. But now that it is here, I am having serious second thoughts.

I come by my aversion to sewing machines honestly.  It began in that viral incubator for all childhood neuroses – junior high.  In my particular case, it was home economics and a less-than-patient instructor who could not possibly understand how an honor roll student couldn’t thread a simple sewing machine.  She would stare at me with a strange mix of exasperation and astonishment, marveling at my ability to turn a simple bobbin into a giant nest of snarled thread, exploding out from the bottom of the machine.  In her defense, I really did create new and innovative ways to destroy one sewing project after another. Still, I challenge any of you to turn 6 pieces of raggedy old felt into a pillow the shape of a radio. Send pictures, please.

Having gladly left the saga of home ec behind me, I am now a 31-year-old woman who can’t work a sewing machine but loves quilting. You can see my dilemma. I started quilting by learning crazy quilting, entirely by hand.  There were no patterns to follow, no corners to match, nothing to constrain my imagination or test my limited sewing skills.  After attempting a slew of crafts in my late 20s – scrapbooking, crochet, one disastrous day of decoupage – I had finally found the hobby that fit me.  So I worked on the crazy quilt (still a UFO – unfinished object), put together an adorable Christmas wall hanging, and made a handy little tote bag…all by hand. Then came the wedding quilt.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Go go gadgets!

I am a gadget fanatic. Sometimes when I’m quilting I’ll use an old gadget or ruler and it makes me feel like a little kid in the middle of summer who just found a toy not played with since Christmas. This happened earlier this week when I made the Wild Goose Run wall-hanging from our Start Quilting line of SassyPacks. The pattern is super easy – it has a large square in the center and a couple of borders around the outside. The outer border, as you can see below, is made up of 36 flying geese blocks. The flying geese block is one of my all-time favorites. They can look whimsical or traditional; they can run in a row or make up into stars; they can blend into the design or pop with color to liven up a quilt; I’ve even used them in a border to create a chevron effect that seems to “move” around the outside of the quilt. Suffice to say, I “heart” flying geese!

So, anyway I had to make 36 of the same block – all out of the same two fabrics. I got out my trusty flying geese rulers and thought about the great minds that come up with things like this. The Flying Geese ruler is actually a combination ruler/technique used to make 4 FG blocks at one time. For instance to make 36 the “regular” way, I would have to cut 36 little rectangles and 72 little squares and piece and cut each one separately. With this technique, to make 36 blocks, I simply cut 9 bigger squares and 9 medium squares. Then, following the clearly-written instructions, I’m able to put one larger square with a medium square and stitch and cut to make 4 blocks! And they’re sooooo accurate – I love those rulers!

BTW – I just ordered some more for! They’ll be in stock on Tuesday.

Monday, October 5, 2009

This just in!

We've got batiks!!

These beautiful new fabrics are hand-dyed cottons ~ perfect for blending with bold prints or just building your stash. Check out all our batiks at

Friday, October 2, 2009

So, what is a SassyPack?

Great question!

A SassyPack is a quilt kit ~ with a kick! All of our SassyPacks feature bold, contemporary fabrics. The patterns we select are generally appropriate for beginner and novice quilters, but experienced quilters may also enjoy the simple elegance of our projects.

Many of our SassyPacks are designed to make quilting a breeze ~ so we may add in backing fabric, hard-to-find batting or notions, or a little note from us full of tips for completing the kit!

For, example, consider our Alpine Wonder SassyPack:

This beautiful holiday wall hanging requires glue baste-it and invisible thread ~ two products that can be a little tricky to find. So, we include them in your SassyPack, along with backing fabric and batting. Everything you need to complete the project, as soon as it arrives in the mail!

Plus, if you want to add a little sparkle to the stars and snow, we sell the crystals on

As grows, we will add more and more customization options ~ allowing you to opt to add backing fabric or other key kit components, multiple fabric options for each SassyPack and more. Our goal is to make quilting fun and simple!

A final word about SassyPacks ~ as you will come to learn, there is a raging debate in SassyPacks about hand quilting vs. machine quilting. :) Many of our SassyPacks are suitable for either method. As a beginner quilter myself, I find hand quilting to be easy and forgiving. For that reason, we make an effort to select patterns for our SassyPacks that are appropriate for hand quilting.

Hope that helps answer your questions!

Monday, September 28, 2009

We're Open for Business!

This is it! SassyPacks is open for business!

I can not tell you how excited we are to be bringing you the hottest fabrics, patterns and quilt projects we can find!! But first, let me tell you a little about us.

SassyPacks is an online quilt store with a single mission: to make quilting fun and accessible for everyone. We started SassyPacks with you in mind -- the beginning quilter, the occasional quilter, the not-so-sure-I-know-what-I-am-doing quilter. Our goal is to bring you fun and fabulous quilt projects, using bright and beautiful fabrics.

SassyPacks is for you -- a place to shop a little, learn a lot, and connect with other quilters. We love quilting and want to share that love with you. At first glance, the lingo ...the patterns...the can be a little much. SassyPacks is your resource -- think of us as your super spy decoder ring -- as you embrace and redefine quilting for a new generation. Check us out, drop by this blog often, and let us know if there is anything we can do to help you.

Oh - make sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to get the insider scoop on new products and upcoming sales!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

First day jitters!!

Tomorrow is it -- the big day -- the official launch of!

After months (and months) of hard work, opening day is finally here. We are so excited to begin offering an on-line quilting resource that welcomes everyone -- beginning and novice quilters, as well as more experienced sewers. We are very proud of our site, and we look forward to expanding it and learning from our customers.

So, for now -- back to work. Lots to do to get ready!!