November 4, 2013

Composition Book Covers with Vintage Art

Posted in Designs & Patterns, Digital Collage, Vintage Postcards and Art tagged , , , , , , at 8:37 AM by Shelley Swanland

Composition Book Covers W01It’s been a busy month and I am glad to have some down time. My Composition Books with reusable covers have been very popular and I wanted to share a few of them. I used Vintage images that I collaged in Photoshop then printed on fabric to decorate the covers. When combined with Batik fabric and coordinating felt they came out quite lovely.

Composition Book Covers W02Composition Book Covers W03

Some of the graphics used in the collage process come from online sources. The Cherries and Butterfly came from The Graphics Fairy. The Roses image is from The Old Design Shop and the background writing on the roses came from Mudbay Images. It is a contract from 1792.  All other art came from my own collection. One of my favorite sources is a copy of Ben Hur that I picked up at a little book store in Lake Gregory, CA for $20.00. It was published in the 1880’s and was called the General’s Edition. There are illustrations on nearly every page. The wreath is one of them.

It is a favorite pastime of mine to search Antique stores, Old book stores and swap meets for the treasures that I can scan and use in my digital artwork.

August 26, 2013

Shelley Swanland has Patterns on Craftsy

Posted in Cathedral Windows, Designs & Patterns tagged , , , , , at 9:47 AM by Shelley Swanland

Romantic Reflection 002 11 06 for web

Romantic Reflection

I have started to put my patterns on . Berries Jubilee, Romantic Reflection, Parchment & Black Lacquer and Sparkling Stars are now available for purchase and download as PDFs at my Craftsy store. I appreciate all the support I have had through the years for my technique and hopefully this will make the technique available to more quilters all over the world. I will be adding more patterns as time goes on so if you have a favorite you’re waiting for just let me know.

Pattern Quilts

January 6, 2013

Cathedral Window Quilt – Layers of Lavender

Posted in Cathedral Windows, Designs & Patterns tagged , , , at 2:00 PM by Shelley Swanland

Layers of Lavender 2013 WWoo Hoo!! I just finished this quilt on consignment. I think it looks pretty nice. I used my pattern, Layers of Lavender. It’s a variation of the traditional Cathedral Window in that it is stitched with a diagonal grid and where there would be a singe curve there are two curves. That forms a chain design between the windows. It took 100 hours to make and will be sent off to it’s new owner next week.

October 13, 2012

Vintage Envelope Needle Cases

Posted in Designs & Patterns, Digital Collage, Silk Ribbon Embroidery tagged , , , , , , , , , at 10:54 AM by Shelley Swanland

I have been working on the Vintage Envelope Needle Case project for a while and wrapped it up a couple of weeks ago.  In my Vintage Art collecting I have found a number of very cool Vintage Envelopes. I scan them into my computer, clean them up, add some digital art if they are plain, add a background and then print them on cotton. When they are out flat they fill approximately half of a regular sheet of paper. They are sandwiched with fusible batting and a back and stitched around the edges.

Embroidery, buttons, silk ribbon and all sorts of embellishments can be added. Add flannel or wool pages for the needles and you are ready to go.

This is one of my favorites. It’s a happy New Year card from Argentina, from one family to another wishing them Happy New Year in 1900.

I have created sixteen different Vintage Envelopes. Each Vintage Envelope design is printed on cotton and includes a pattern with instructions on how to assemble the needle case. You add your own embellishments. The price is $9.50 each plus postage. Email me if you are interested in purchasing one or more. They make great gifts.

Click on images to see them in high resolution.

April 2, 2010

Cathedral Window Sampler

Posted in Cathedral Windows, Classes. Workshops & Lectures, Designs & Patterns tagged , , , at 2:25 PM by Shelley Swanland

I have been working a few shows lately and sold a few of my pattern, “Cathedral Window Sampler”. It’s available for $9.25 plus $1.25 postage in the US. Email me if you’re interested in purchasing one. Click on the pictures to see high res versions of the Sampler and the Tradition variation on Flickr. I promised I would post some info on how to finish the Sampler so that it looks Traditional.  It won’t make much sense if you haven’t bought the pattern but for those who have, here goes:

In the sample at the right I used red for the background and beige prints for Fabric A and Fabric B. I chose an additional floral print for the window panes. Cut 6 squares 2″ each and 8 squares 2 1/2 ” each. Cut the 2 1/2″ squares in half diagonally.

Before you assemble the top, baste a floral triangle on top of each of the 3D triangles lining up the raw edges and centering the points.

Assemble the top. You will have floppy triangles on top of each 3D triangle. When you baste the quilt, center a 2″ floral square on top of each 3D square.

When quilting eliminate the grid and just roll the bias folds over the raw edges and stitch them down by machine. Remeber to just stitch to the point where the folds meet, take one stitch across and then continue. It isn’t necessary to stitch the points.

I will be at the Quilts Inc. show in Chicago so if you’re there please come by and say Hi! I will be in Monica’s Quilt & Bead booth. Thanks to all you who have been so supportive!!

March 30, 2010

Thread Spools Twilt

Posted in Cathedral Windows, Designs & Patterns, Twitter Quilts...Twilts tagged , , , , , at 10:18 AM by Shelley Swanland

This post is a shout out to the list that has been talking about my 3D Spools quilt and visiting my Blog. They motivated me to get my Twilts going again. My “Thread Spools” Twilt uses the same three-dimensional method as the Bow Tie block that my method of Cathedral Windows is based on. It uses triangles instead of background squares.

Just for the folks here’s a quick tutorial for a 4 1/2″ spool block.

From fabric that looks like wood and white on white fabric cut strips 2 3/4″ each. From the strip make 45″ cuts to get half square triangles with the straight on grain on the long side. Use the 45 degree line on the ruler. You end up flipping the ruler back and forth. A spinning mat helps.

For the colored fabric that represents the thread cut 4″ squares.

Fold the thread fabric in half , right sides out, with the fold to the right and sandwich between a wood triangle and a white triangle, right sides in, lining up the four raw edge corners. The fold of the square should be towards the center of the seam and you should stitch across it. Stitch the seam leaving the first 1/4″ open. I backstitch at the beginning of the seam. Flip the piece around and sew triangles on the other end in the same order and manner.

Open the center square and pull the seam allowances together. Line up the triangles to the right of the seam allowances and sew in the same manner as the previous two seams. Turn the piece around and sew the final seam.

Pull the piece flat. Press from the back spiraling the seams around the center. The seams in the center with look like a little four patch when flattened.

If you want to press towards the dark fabric then clip the two seams beneath the square and press the outer section towards the dark.



Trim up the blocks as necessary. I know this is a quick set of instructions and I might just write up a pattern but I thought you might want to give it a try now. Let me know how you do.

Thanks for the motivation!!!

For more info on the Twilts: Twitter quilts…….Twilts or see all my Twilts : Flickr Twilts Page.

December 3, 2009

Shelley’s Design Works on Etsy

Posted in Cathedral Windows, Designs & Patterns, Misc tagged , , , , at 5:34 PM by Shelley Swanland

I have been thinking about a shop on Etsy for over a year and I can’t believe it but my shop, Shelley’s Design Works, is now OPEN!  

If you’re interested in owning one of my designs I encourage you to visit.

Over the next month and on into the next year and maybe beyond I will be posting quilts, table runners, samples from my books and patterns and small items like needlecases, ornaments and my zip bags. So, please take a peak.

All of the pictures you see here are items that are available. Above and on the right are two mini quilts that would make wonderful wall or table pieces.

The pink piece above and the lavender flower below are needle cases. On the right is one of my ornaments.

I am really excited to get this up and going so head on over and check it out. Feedback is welcome! Enjoy!!


July 21, 2009

Twilight Flight

Posted in Cathedral Windows, Designs & Patterns, Twitter Quilts...Twilts tagged , , , , , , at 9:01 AM by Shelley Swanland

Twilight Flight

A beautiful dragonfly wings his way through the twilight. The blocks in this Twilt, “Twilight Flight” use the block from my pattern Mandalesque (Pictured below). The blocks feature two 3D triangles in a four patch. When grid quilted the rolled folds form the lovely scallops.

I picked the dragonfly from my bead and button collection. Twilight Flight DetailIt’s one of Susan Clarke’s pieces. To see more of Susan’s work visit her site at

For more info on the Twilts: Twitter quilts…….Twilts or see all my Twilts : Flickr Twilts Page.

Mandalesque 11 06

I had a wonderful time at the Southern California Quilt Run. If you missed it I hope you will participate next year.

You can see more of my patterns on the pattern page of this blog and on my website pattern page.

April 17, 2009

Memories and Merlot for Blogger’s Quilt Festival 2009

Posted in Cathedral Windows, Designs & Patterns, Shows tagged , , , , , at 12:44 PM by Shelley Swanland

Memories & MerlotAmy at Park City Girl came up with this fabulous idea to do a Blogger’s Quilt Festival. I read about it and wholeheartedly decided, I’m in!

“Memories & Merlot”, 56″ x 64″, is a variation of my Cathedral Window Technique. The center features single 3D squares  I filled in the edges of the center and the border with 3D triangles and felt that really gave the quilt it’s Cathedral Window feel. Memories & Merlot DetailThe quilt was stitched in a grid and the bias folds of the 3D squares and triangles were rolled and stitched at the quilting stage. It took me a while to finish, being one of those projects that I would set aside when other more pressing projects came along. Life got in the way as well, three moves in two years. Lots of memories of those times. The fabrics are all yummy batiks, different prints in the same color ranges and it does gradiate lighter in the center to darker at the outer edges. It took me ages to come up with a name. The Redish colors always made me think of wine and I do like my wine…..oops, did I say that out loud? Shiraz is my favorite but a good Merlot is very acceptable.

Click on the pictures and it will take you to high resolution ones on Flickr. Maximize the browser and you will get a larger picture.

April 16, 2009

Zip Bags

Posted in Designs & Patterns tagged , , at 8:16 AM by Shelley Swanland

Zip BagsI have been making these little bags for years and have been promising a pattern for about that long. I have a presentation/demo tomorrow on how to make them so I figured I might as well finish the pattern and it will be available soon.

Mini Zip BagsThe smallest bags are no bigger than a coin purse and are just so darn cute. They are sewn completely by machine. I could use a better name. Any suggestions?

As of 4/18: I have finished up the pattern. It includes 3 sizes and costs $8.00 plus $1.00 postage or as an e-pattern for $6.00. Please email me if you would like one. I do accept PayPal.

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