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.

Sassaman Scandia FreeSpirit Fabric
Another project came to fruition with the introduction of my latest FreeSpirit fabric collection, Scandia. As its name implies, it is a celebration of the Scandinavian decorative tradition. Referencing Nordic folk art colors and motifs, these fabrics are designed to be both functional and beautiful. I think their vibrant patterns and colors will create a perfect compliment to the streamlined simplicity of contemporary “modern” quilting. Please visit my Ideas Blog to see new ways of using Scandia fabrics for quilts and other sewing projects.

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.

Sassaman Scandia FreeSpirit Quilt


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