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Pixel Power! DIY Superhero Capes

I’m at it again with a brand new guest blog post on Spoonflower today, showing how to transform their limited edition (and scrumptious!) satin substrate offering into super duper awesome Pixel Power! superhero costumes; perfect for Halloween and heck, the rest of the year while we’re at it.

imageHere’s just a small sampling of my favorite goofballs barely containing themselves as they quickly got into planet-saving character. Go check out the Spoonflower blog to see how the capes turned out, plus more super serious superhero Method acting shots like this one…

Blog Tour Stop: Nancy Zieman’s “Quick Column Quilts”

When I was invited by the amazing Nancy Zieman to participate in her blog tour for her new book, Quick Column Quilts, I thought two things: a) Can a tour, albeit a virtual one, merit a new shoe purchase? (please, like I need a reason), and b) Which of Nancy’s beautiful quilt designs would I be most likely to put my unavoidable SK spin on? 

The answer to the first question was an obvious yes. The second required some investigative work, a.k.a. my leisurely perusing the pages of Nancy’s wonderful new book of bold, speedy and oh so very user-friendly quilt patterns…


^ See, that’s me reading the book. ^ And that’s my BFF, Coffee.
(p.s. I heart my wacom. that is all.) 

I kept finding myself being drawn (not literally this time) back to Nancy’s “Original Column Quilt” and imagining what it would look like souped up in some of my fabrics…


And after juuuuust enough daydreaming with my mouth hanging open (with, I’m happy to report, minimal drooling and not too much fly-catching),

…KA-BOOM, I had an idea!


My new Cops ‘N Robbers set has just come out this month with Timeless Treasures and I couldn’t stop thinking about how this quilt design would make for perfect prison cell blocks for my crafty criminals! 

Easily transform each square into your choice of barred windows, by way of b/w striped fabric, empty cells, using grey and black solids, and illuminated cells with yellow solids.

The fun part comes when you decide which robber from the Prison Line-Up will get which room. Working off Nancy’s instructions, you’ll have to adjust how you fussy-cut your criminals out a little more, but I trust you masterful quilting peeps are up for the challenge.

And the most entertaining part is, while each bad guy stares out his lonely window, a wild cops ‘n robber car chase goes on around the building below. It’s a loud cacophonous ruckus that’s pretty hard to ignore.

I recommend binding in coordinating Car Chase fabric and backing the entire quilt with zippy b/w stripes. That’ll give you the most bang for your buck, without the fuzz being on your tail.

Think some of this nefarious work might be right up your alley? I thought as much. So, guess what…I’ve got not one, but two giveaways* for you!

*I promise they’re not hot from a car trunk somewhere:

#1 Giveaway: Win a copy of Nancy’s great new book, Quick Column Quilts: To register for this giveaway, follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Then comment on this blog post, telling me: What general type of art/craft/sewing books do you like to buy and why do you specifically pick those for keeps? (I always love a little impromptu market research…pie chart, anyone?).


#2 Giveaway: Win one-yard each of my Cops ‘N Robbers fabric set: Prison Line-Up & Car Chase: To register for this giveaway, follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Then comment on this blog post, telling me: a personal thievery confession (please, nothing too major that will require me to rat you out to the officials or make a citizen’s arrest. I do have a conscience.)

In case you can’t locate it, the comments section hyperlink is above this post, beside today’s date (September. 13, 2014). I will select a winner at random, a.k.a. I will ask my 6-year old to pick one name and my 3-year old to pick another name while I keep my fingers crossed that they happily comply and no meltdowns occur. Giveaways close at 12:00 noon EST on Thursday, September 18. I’ll announce the winners in a Friday, September 19th blog post, which is why you should come back and visit often. Did I mention I’m writing a craft book? Yup, so you might want to come back to find out more about that too. Don’t be a stranger, that’s all I’m sayin’.

Bonus #3 Giveaway: Nancy has some really fine giveaways going on over on her blog. I can attest to those Clover shears as being nothing short of dream slicers. I have two pairs and I promise you they cut like buttah, so get yourself over to her blog, and comment on her 9/4/2014 post to register for more goodie giveaways!

Hmmm, now what shoes should I get….

P.S. Don’t miss Nancy’s other blog tour stops!:

09/04/14         Nancy Zieman

09/05/14         Quilt Taffy and Simple Simon & Co.

09/06/14         Diary of a Quilter  and Stitchin Jenny

09/07/14         A Woman a Day  and Craizee Corner                

09/08/14         Jina Barney DesignzLilac Lane Patterns, and Totally Stitchin’ 

09/09/14         Esch House Quilts and The Cottage Mama

09/10/14         Designs in Machine Embroidery and Pat Sloan

09/12/14         Happy Valley PrimitivesDoohikey Designs, and Quilt in a Day

09/13/14         Quilt Dad and Just Arting Around

09/14/14         Lazy Girl Designs and  Marie-Madeline Studio

09/15/14         Always Expect Moore  and Polka Dot Chair

09/16/14         Amy Lou Who Sews and Riley Blake Designs

09/17/14         Indygo Junction and Amy’s Creative Side

Happy September! | Cops ‘N Robbers Debut

Summer’s over. Yup I know.

But hey, don’t feel too robbed because, guess what, these bad boys debut this month! 

imageKeep your eyes peeled and be at the ready to identify these suspects in any fine fabric establishment that carries these Timeless Treasures exclusives!

And remember, if your shop doesn’t have them, tell ‘em to “Freeze, Buster!” and order some pronto!

You know you gotta grab some. It would be criminal not to.

Summer Redux

Hellooooooooooo. Remember me? I know, I know.

Well, here’s the abbreviated gist: I’m working on my first book! Yup, you heard me right. Although it seems like I’ve fallen off the face of the earth (er, is that what that breeze is?), I’ve actually been fully consumed with creating and writing and creating some more. It’s all very exciting and fun and even a bit scary in that roller coaster-riding sort of way, but the downside is that I can’t share any of it yet. Cue the womp womp. Top secret operations that I’ll be thrilled to share when I can, so stay tuned for that!

Sooooo, since I have nothing fruitful to offer on that topic, let’s instead check out a fun project I did for the folks over at Spoonflower:


Hop on over to the Spoonflower blog to find out more about the making of this Dino Mapasaurus World Headboard, you wild and crazy creatures, you!

For other SK shenanigans, be sure to check back here every so often or follow my creative goings-on over on Facebook and/or Instagram

Thanks and happy end o’ summer!!!! (where the heck did it GO?!?!)

Still Here, I Promise!

Okay, I haven’t fallen into a hole, although it may seem like it. The gist is that I’m working on a few different things, none of which I can disclose right now.

I know, bummer. Total womp womp.

With all that secret stuff going on, I’m also juggling other random things because I seem to have a penchant for saying YES! to everything and everyone who needs my help. I’m crazy like that.

I’m on my son’s school fund-raising committee and am part of a small core group of parents spearheading a big year-end school Spring Fling party, with raised funds going towards our library and computer labs. That is a cause I can get behind, so it’s a no-brainer for me to volunteer some time. 

So today, while I was really supposed to be working on other things, I got myself knee-deep in making signage for the events we’ll be hosting at the party tomorrow night.

I started out at a good pace and once the one o’clock hour hit, my work began getting sloppy because, aside from the permanent marker contact high, I had once again worked through my morning with no formal breakfast (aside from coffee) and at that point, no lunch.

All work and no vittles makes Mama HANGRY.


Here’s a bit of today’s handiwork. The Bub helped by coloring in all the little illustrations on the signs. Tomorrow they get posted and we party.

Then Mama can rest. For a minute.

Stackable Ottoman Totem Faces!

I designed these stacking ottoman totem faces for the debut of Spoonflower’s new gorgeous faux suede upholstery fabric!

Thanks to Kate for sewing them up so beautifully and thanks to Spoonflower for showcasing them so wonderfully in great photos like the one above!

Get the designs here and see more photos of all eight vibrant guys on the Spoonflower blog today!

I think I want some for my house now!

Quiltmaker Blog Tour: Giveaway Winners Announced!


We did it, fine folks! We made it to the end of another week and this one was filled with all sorts of quilting/sewing/blogging fun!

Thank you first and foremost to all the wonderful new people who stopped by my blog this week to see what I do with myself between regularly scheduled episodes of naval-gazing. 

I truly had a BLAST reading all of your comments. Many were hilariously fun, insightful and thoughtful, and all were so very complimentary and kind. Um, seriously, who could ask for anything more?!

But let me stop yapping and let’s get on with tonight’s showcase event: The Picking of the Giveaway Winners!!! (insert game show music here)

The hundreds (!) of entrants were printed out and placed into a fine flocked fern fedora (go on, repeat that in your head again; it’s fun):

imageThe Bub, decked out in his Friday finest, was eager to get the ball rolling and mixed all the names up numerous times to even out the playing field:

imageHe reached into the pool of names:

imageAnd chose:

image"What does this person win?", he asked me.

"A copy of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 9!!!!", I replied.

He looked at me blankly.

The hat was then passed over to an equally-fascinated Mister Baby Pants, who was more than happy to just sit there holding the hat:

imageTold he could reach in and get a slip of paper out, he responded with great intensity:

imageBecause he’s two and it was late, he wasn’t interested in holding up the paper for the camera, but this is who the second lucky winner is:

imageYou will receive the fat quarter bundle of yummy Timeless Treasures Soho Solids! Woot! Woot!

The Bub was more than happy to get to pick the final winner:

imageAnd that third winner iiiiiiiis:

imageYou are the recipient of Pellon’s super soft cotton quilt batting and fusible web!

CONGRATULATIONS to all the lucky winners!:

imageAnd a HUGE thank you to everyone who participated!

Come back soon and see more of what I’m up to, because there are always new projects and designs I’m working on and rolling out and I really look forward to sharing them with you!

Yay! Thank you! Good night! 


P.S. Yes, that’s my new Flannel Cats fabric staring at you; you can find it in all its meowvelous glory here.

Great Gotham: In Stores Now!

April is just about over and my new Great Gotham collection is out and available in fabric stores now! 


If you have a thing for New York City, taxis, transportation, maps, and who knows, maybe even epically-detailed pen + ink illustrations, Great Gotham just might tick all those boxes for you in one fell swoop.



Insider fun fact: When hailing a NYC cab, do not say where you want to go until you are physically inside the cab. Cabbies are legally required to take passengers anywhere in the five boroughs, but they often get away with denying rides to newbies if you ask (ummm, ask? hello, it’s not a favor…it’s a service you’re paying for!) or politely announces your destination from outside the car and your body is not already seated inside and therefore undeniable. Sure, it may make for a seriously unpleasant and grumpy-pants driver who might shoot daggers at you from the rear view mirror, but if it’s your only option to get home at 2:00am, you gotta get scrappy to get what you’re entitled to.

Um, hello. When I said epically-detailed, I meant epically-detailed:


Insider fun fact: This year’s 4th of July fireworks display is coming back to the East River! No more sharing the party on the Jersey side of Manhattan (sorry Joisey!) and not showing love to Brooklyn and Queens on the east side. Get your photo-ops ready! Holla! Oh, and p.s. I drew every single bridge to resemble its true likeness as closely as possible. Mama doesn’t mess around with her references and research, yo!


Insider fun fact: Never get into an empty subway car. It’s empty for a reason. Sure, it could be empty because there’s no air-conditioning, or, you know, because of a raging stench that will make your sinuses want to gather up their belongs and run screaming from both nostrils. Bing bong. The doors will close you in at the exact moment you realize your fateful error. The glee you once had 10 long seconds ago over finding a bunch of available seats will be quickly replaced by your olympic hopes that you’ll be able to hold your breath til the next train stop. And that could take a while. Good luck. Stay zen.

Great Gotham: Go get some and make fabulous things!

Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Vol. 9 Blog Tour : Meet Samarra

Happy Monday, fellow Computer Screen-Staring People of the World!

For those of you who don’t know me, what on earth took you so long? Hmmmm?

Fine, fine, water under the bridge. Let’s move on, shall we?

I’m so glad you’re here! I’m an artist, illustrator and graphic designer; the list is probably technically longer, but I don’t want to completely boggle your mind. Not this early in the work week, anyway.

Checking out the assorted galleries on my website will probably give you a pretty good sense of what makes me tick, so pop some popcorn and review it at your leisure.

My passion for surface design reared its addictive and obsessive head about six years ago and morphed into my fabric designs being available both online and at brick + mortar shops through Timeless Treasures. (<—-I hope you clicked on this link. Don’t make me get all Mom Face on you, if you thought you could skip it.)

If you can’t find them out in the wild out at your local quilt shop, well, gosh darn it, ask the shop owners to order them for you, because if there’s one thing I know, it’s that you probably don’t have enough fabric in your stash.

I’m all about aiding and abetting, people. I’ve got you covered.

Now, onto the topic at hand:

I’m very proud and honored to be a part of Quiltmaker Magazine’s 100 Blocks Volume 9! And psssst, I’m on the cover too. Hello, double-score!

First, let me say that although I’ve known how to sew since I was about 8 or 9 years old, I never delved into the world of quilting until my recent years as a textile designer.

I wasn’t previously aware of Quiltmaker Magazine and the huge following it has. Until now. Nor had I ever pieced together a single quilt block before in my life. Until now. (note: please reread these last four sentences in your best movie trailer voice, you know, for more impact).

So, in true SK form, when the opportunity presented itself for me to design a quilt block from scratch, I went wildly traipsing into the unknown. I made one block with a different design concept; it worked out fine enough, but I just couldn’t shake a better idea I had in the back of my mind.

What I realllllly wanted to make was this, T-H-I-S, good people:


Oh yes, a red stapler. That’s right. All our dreams have been answered now, have they not?

The pride I had for physically achieving what was in my noggin was quickly overshadowed by waves of separation anxiety, as Quiltmaker’s guidelines require that you send it off to them, never to get it back.

So I did what any normal person would do. I stared at it wistfully as I shut the mailing envelope in super-slow motion, peeking in at the flashes of red and turquoise, all the while holding up the post office line. I sent it off and quietly panicked like a mother who had just sent her child off to school for the first time.

I went home and channeled my loss by doing something I just about never do….I made another one. See, when I typically resolve something and make it to my satisfaction, I just move on to the next thing. But parting was such sweet sorrow and I needed a replacement. Fast.

So I made another for myself and turned it into a throw pillow for my living room sofa. So now I can stare at and pet that one all I want, whenever I want. Please, no judging. 

If you love red staplers too and you feel the need to watch Office Space any time it happens to be on t.v., no matter how many times you’ve seen it before, then I recommend you try this pattern out.

I think it would look really divine in a sea of black/grey staplers, as the one single punch of color on a quilt top. Just sayin’.

But wait. There’s more.

As you may know, as part of the Quiltmaker Blog Tour, I get to give away one fun-filled copy of this issue of 100 Blocks!

It looks like this, but you know, bigger, and with those things they call “pages” that you can peruse and enjoy whenever your heart desires:

And guess what? I’m also giving away a sweet fat quarter bundle of 25 Soho Solids from Timeless Treasures. Yup, you read that right, you lucky dog, you!

Behold the scrumptiousness:

And since things are always nice in threes, hold on to your hats, because I’ve got a third wonderful giveaway! Ready to have the chance to win a lush pack of throw-sized batting and a package of Wonder-Under fusible web from Pellon? I thought so.

Feast your eyes:


If you don’t know Pellon, go introduce yourself to their great line of products and check out this recent project I did for them while you’re there.

See now, wasn’t it worth reading through this entire post!? :)

Three separate winners will be hand-selected by my personal unbiased random generators (aka my 5-year old and 2-year old sons; the third winner will be the result of them fighting over who’ll get to draw another winner. It won’t be pretty but someone’s gotta do it.) 

For your chance to win, comment below on this post and tell me:

1. What’s your favorite color palette to sew/make/create with? 2. What novelty fabric themes are you dying to see produced or wish would come out on the market again? 

Oh, sure you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and all that jazz. Just don’t follow me home because that’s creepy and weird.

Contest closes at midnight EST, on Thursday, May 1st. Winners will be announced and contacted on Friday, May 2nd. One entry per person.

Good luck and thanks for stopping by!


Editor’s Note (pu-leeze, there’s no editor, it’s ME, Samarra); 11:49am EST; Monday, April 28th:

I have heard from a a few of you who are having problems commenting on my blog post. Yup, it makes me nuts too; oddly the comments field is located at the *top* of this post by today’s date and title (yes, I’d be typically looking at the bottom too, which is why I understand a lot of folks inadvertently commented on my previous blog post; don’t worry, you’re all entered to win.) It makes this anal retentive control freak frustrated too. Sooooo, see if you can find the correct comment hyperlink up by the title of this specific post. If you still have no luck and feel like you want to toss your computer out the window, stop before that happens, comment anywhere and I’ll get it; worst case, send me an email, but kindly use that as a last resort.). I’m here for you. Let’s win these giveaways! :) -SK

Couple O’ Quick Things

I love illustrating recipes and maps. I wish I had more time to draw up more, but I’ve been lucky recently to create one of each for the great site They Draw and Cook (TDAC) and sister-site They Draw and Travel (TDAT). 

First up is my recent set of three potato-centric recipes for TDAC:


And for a recent TDAT call for maps that focus on the more creative and curious highlights of your city, I chose to dig deep into little-known New York City curiosities:


I know. Totally foolish. Just how I like it. But I’ll bet you didn’t know all of these things about NYC, did you? If so, get yourself a Big Apple Tour Bus job PRONTO! If not, you just might now be equipped to kick some major booty at your next pub-hosted trivia night.

1. Albert’s eyes? Yeah, a pretty shocking discovery to me too. A couple of sources claim they’re in NJ but most document them as residing somewhere in NYC. But who cares!?!? Either way, it’s totally and utterly bizarre and sad, in fact, considering this all went against his final wishes. I just wish I could find out which exact safety deposit box we’re talking about…

2. Sure, sure, by “tiny’ we might really mean “microscopic” and by “shrimp” we might really mean “crustacean invisible to the naked eye”, but who could resist illustrating these guys any other way than this? Talk about ultimate shrimp cocktail…

3. As for feeling gassy in church, NYC law states that a person is guilty of disruption or disturbance of a religious service, funeral, burial or memorial service “when he or she makes unreasonable noise or disturbance while at a lawfully assembled religious service, funeral, burial or memorial service, or within one hundred feet thereof, with intent to cause annoyance or alarm or recklessly creating a risk thereof.” Under the law, a fart could potentially get someone charged with a misdemeanor.

4. The Empire State Building has its own zip code, who knew? 5. Toilet paper was invented in NYC. I think a quiet collective whisper of “Thank you, Joseph, thank you” is in order right now, don’t you think? 6. Scrabble was invented in Jackson Height, Queens; if you’re ever in JH and you look around closely, you can even spot the street sign honoring Mr. Butts’ great contribution to many a family game night. 7. New York City was the first capitol of the United States, with George Washington being sworn in at Federal Hall. But you knew that, because you paid attention in U.S. History class, right. RIGHT?!?! 8. Air-conditioning was invented in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in 1902…stay cool, hipsters, stay cool.

That concludes a couple o’ quick things and a little brain expansion for ya. Enjoy!