Creative Bee Studios

Sweet Ideas for Creative Minds - #usebothsides

Tag: quilts (page 1 of 6)

Phoebee Goes to Market!

I’ve wondered for a few years what it would be like to collaborate with a fabric company. I never dreamed it would be this fun!

On August 3, at 3:47 p.m., I opened two packages of 21 fabrics  from Hoffman California Fabrics company. Image of Fabric

For the next six hours, I auditioned 42 fabrics (both sides of each) trying to get just the right mix of color, contrast, values, and feel that would be worthy of this new line by Hoffman California Fabrics.

Phoebee is the pattern and Electric Garden is the fabric line. Of course, I took tons of pictures,  mostly black and white, and still this was a challenge…and a gamble! Not seeing the reverse of a fabric before-hand made me a little nervous – some fabrics just don’t have usable reverse sides. Image of Black and White Quilt Photo

Well, Electric Garden rocks! Vibrant color with a soft, contrasting reverse side was just the recipe I needed. I flipped several backgrounds to their reverse as well, so they wouldn’t compete with the bee or flowers. The next step was cutting out Phoebee and her flowers.Image of Quilt in Frame

I slept on this mix so I could get a fresh look the next morning. Yes! I began fusing and quilting (on my Handiquilter Avante) right away. Next came the prairie point hanging method, binding, label, photos, writing and producing the pattern, and Phoebee was flying to California on Tuesday, August 7th!Image of Quilt on ClotheslineImage of Phoebee QuiltImage of Quilt Pattern

Image of Back of Quilt My new friend in California let me know Phoebee arrived safely! Now for the waiting game…

Quilt Market in Houston was November 3 – 5. I was fortunate that several kind quilter souls saw Phoebee hanging in the Hoffman California Fabric booth and shared their pics with me on Instagram! Thank you, friends! Image of Phoebee at Quilt MarketImage of Electric Garden

This morning I am shipping Phoebee 2.0 patterns to a very fun quilt shop in (wait for it) Canada!

Original Phoebee and Phoebee 2.0 quilt patterns are available in my Etsy Shop HERE.

Image of Bee Quilt

Phoebee Quilt Pattern

Wholesale application HERE.

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Enjoy your quilting journey!

Vintage Machine Quilt Pattern

Aria ahr-ee-uh: expressive music often heard in opera.  (Get it?  She’s a singer?)Image of Sewing Machine Quilt

This is a fun little quilt that you can make using both sides of one focus fabric – think florals, feathers (she’s a featherweight!), sewing notions, Tula PinkKaffe Fassett Collective – the possibilities are endless for making this the cutest little machine you own!

The sewing machine and binding are made from the front of the focus fabric. The pennants, little scissors, and thimble are made using the reverse side of the same focus fabric!

Someday I’d like to own a beautiful turquoise featherweight, preferably purchased in person from Roxanne’s A Wish and A Dream shop in California! (Talk about California dreamin’ – we did live there – twice, and in three places- Dana Point, Lake Forest, and Escondido!)

I was drawn to this lovely, sweet floral with beautiful roses for this machine. Of course, the reverse side passed my audition test (pattern comes with guide for auditioning both sides of focus and background fabrics).Image of Quilt Hanging Outsides

Choosing backgrounds for this little wall hanging is the most fun. You can really mix it up here!

Each #usebothsides pattern comes with complete instructions and full-size paper templates.

Wanna jazz things up? Check out this Tula Pink version! LOVE.Image of Pink Sewing Machine Quilt

Find the Aria quilt pattern and 22 others which #usebothsides of one focus fabric in my Etsy shop: HERE.

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New-Prairie Points for Hanging Quilts

Fold a few squares, make a few stitches…here are some tips to make the Prairie Point Hanging Method your favorite way to hang small quilts!

For sizes and to review the complete method, see Hang Quilts Using Prairie Points  and Prairie Point Hanging Method

Image of quilt with words: Press. Pin. Stitch.

*Cut the right size and number of squares for your quilt size and hanging rod. (Even numbers are best so you can hang your quilts from a single point.)

*Press well.

*Stitch the raw edges prior to attaching them to your quilt using a regular stitch. (Basting seems to scoot my top layer forward.)

*Press again.

*Quickly trim uneven edges using a sharp scissor or rotary/ruler.

*Pin well.

*Use a strong doubled thread for stitching points to quilt.

*NEW: When using Prairie Points as a hanging method for unusually large rods (such as used in a show), add some looseness into your points as follows: When your binding is turned and you are ready to stitch the points down, do this for each point – fold the point across the top of the quilt at the binding. Lay a ruler on top of the prairie point, at the top edge of the quilt. Fold the point back down over the ruler. Pin or hold the point in place and stitch. This will give some added room for a large rod to be run through the points without causing tugging or distortion on the quilt.

I like to use up scraps for my prairie points. Try using the reverse side to tone them down or provide interest on the back of your quilt! #usebothsides

Image of Back of Quilt

See the front of this quilt and new pattern in the next post!

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Jacq O’Lantern Quilt Makes a Happy Boo!

Jacq O’Lantern has a happy little ghoul popping right out her top like a jack-in-the-box! The first mini #usebothsides quilt pattern, Jacq O’Lantern is too much fun to make!

She’s a pint-size lesson about value but when you make her, you’ve learned the easy tricks for using value to make any of the patterns using both sides of one focus fabric! Image of Quilt on Hanger

I was never real big on halloween decorations. I preferred to use that money to buy more Christmas lights and decorations. We didn’t avoid Halloween with our kids, but we also didn’t make a big fuss about it. So…why is it I LOVE Halloween fabric so much?

As a kid I only had a couple of drawings I liked to do – over and over. One was a beach scene with a palm tree (are you surprised?). The other was a witch on a broomstick.–she always had a long chin that jutted out and a big ole wart on her nose. Maybe these Halloween fabrics take me back to my childhood or something. Several of my favorite quilts and projects are Halloween themed. I’m sure you seen them before but, well, ’tis the season!

Image of Punch Needle

Black Kitty Punch Needle

Image of Instant Bargello Quilt

Instant Bargello Quilt

Image of Halloween Quilt

If you like Halloween fabrics like I do, chances are you have everything you need in your stash to make this little gal. So grab your stash – and turn it over! #usebothsides

Our youngest daughter’s name is Jacquelyn. We’ve always had nicknames for her such as

Jacq

Jacq Jacq

Da Jacqinator  (at the age of two she could “destroy” a room in minutes)

Jacqqity Jacq (don’t talk back)

and, among others,

Jacq O’Lantern.

Jacq O’Lantern Quilt Pattern makes a mini (a mere 12″ square) to hang perfectly on wire hanger.

See Jacq O’Lantern and all her friends HERE in my Etsy shop, Creative Bee Studios! 

 

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Quilt Author Meets Hallmark Christmas Movies

I just love it when two of my favorite things come together! Best-selling quilt author Marie Bostwick’s book, The Second Sister, is being filmed now as a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie! Image of The Second Sister Book

The movie is titled, “Christmas Everlasting” and premieres November 24th at 7 p.m. central.

While I enjoy a number of  quilt-themed (and not) books and series, I’ve often referred to Marie as “My Favorite Author” – mostly because her witty comments and clever nicknames for her family members are endearing and inspiring. (I’ve often thought we could be best friends if we were neighbors, but in reality, I’m one of many fans who exchanges about two minutes of conversation with her once a year (if I’m lucky) at book signings.)Image of Signed Book

Of course, I love her books, even those not completely engrossed in the quilting themes and I read each one more than once! I suspect Christmas Everlasting will be another staple during the holiday season!

Click here to read here about her “on set” experience!  Image of Patti LaBelle and Marie Bostwick

How cool is it that she made quilted gifts for the actors? See more pics and posts on Marie’s Facebook page! (Yes, that is Patti LaBelle!)

Image of Marie and Actors with QuiltImage of Marie Bostwick and Tatyana AliHere’s a list of some of my faves by Marie Bostwick:

Standalone Books:

The Second Sister

The Promise Girls

            Just in Time

Cobbled Court Quilt Series:

A Single Thread

A Thread of Truth

A Thread So Thin

Threading the Needle

Ties That Bind

Apart at the Seams

Too Much, Texas Series:

Between Heaven and Texas

From Here to Home

Marie has also written three historical novels and three novellas in Fern Michaels Christmas Anthologies.

Mark your calendars and hit “record”!

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Shop patterns HERE!

 

 

You might not be a quilter if…

Buyer’s beware…Image of Harry Potter Quilts Not Blankets Meme

Recently I’ve had companies promoting to me on my Facebook feed. They show pictures of fabulously pieced and appliqued quilts for sale at AMAZING prices! These are intricate and well-done, obviously made by individuals–and not massed-produced, quilts. The problem is they are fake companies stealing real quilters’ pictures and using them to cheat other people.

What was my first clue?  THEY CALLED THEM BLANKETS!

It’s been a “thing” in my family for years that when one of them asks for me to pass them a blanket, I shout, “They’re quilts, not blankets! I am not a blanketer!” (Kinda like Harry Potter, only with a pretend wand.)

 

Second clue: $59

It’s amazing (and kinda sad) how many people respond excitedly to these posts by tagging their friends and loved ones  to, for example, buy the brilliant pieced, appliqued, and quilted musician-themed quilt of a cello for $59! (We all know that might cover the cost of the batting and backing.)

Third clue: TONS of different quilts.

It’s like they just keep snagging quilt pictures from Etsy,  Craftsy and Pinterest and slapping  prices on them to sell! I was going to share a pic of one company promoting a Star Wars quilt that appears to have been hanging in a quilt show. I don’t want to do more harm than good by posting the fake site , so I won’t.

I’ve recently joined a pattern-maker group and, sure enough, they are suggesting you search these sites to see if these companies have stolen your pictures. (I have no idea what you do if that happens.)

What to do about the sites? I try to report the company, when allowed by Facebook. I also comment on the post that the company is a fraud. The only other thing I know to do is to tell as many people as I know not to fall for something that looks too good to be true.

I hope these bad people get caught before they steal more people’s money and, who knows, identity!

No mercy in my house–’cause that’s what you get when you call a quilt a blanket!

Several followers have asked about out-of-stock patterns in my Etsy shop: They are restocked! I apologize that I was unable to respond to your notes – IT glitches, I guess!  Shop here:  www.etsy.com/shop/CreativeBeeStudios.com
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Stitch One, Curl One.

Quilting MuscleImage of Machine Stitching on Binding

Back in the day (as a new quilter), I got real excited about setting up my sewing work space. I didn’t trust my instincts (and I had already mastered the art of buying quilting books), so I bought the latest title on the topic. I devoured that book, studying every picture and reading every word. I set up my sewing space just like the author suggested.  I really liked how productive I could be  in my little sewing station, everything within reach…until I started to hurt.

The more I sewed, the less I liked it. I’m not saying there was anything wrong with the suggestions for optimum quilting output. It just didn’t work for me.

Now, I tend to keep lots of tension in my shoulders and upper back.  Improper chair height, table height, poor posture (very me) are all contributing factors for tension in the upper back area. But I had noticed some changes in the lower half of my body, too. Maybe it was just the aging process–or was I just sitting on my backside too much? Image of Bitmoji

Step One: Move that iron across the room.

I may lose a few minutes of stitching time walking to and from my ironing board, but that’s okay because that little walk gives me a chance to reach up, stretch backwards and roll my shoulders. Sometimes that’s all it takes to keep me from stiffening up over a day of stitching. I no longer have everything within reach. It’s a different mind-set, really. Now I try to think of the extra movement as a chance to move instead of wasted time.

Step Two: Creative Movement.

Whether you are getting up to press seams, cut fabric, or grab lunch, try to throw in some steps you don’t normally do. How about a side-to-side step? Or step-touch (like walking down the aisle for a wedding). Sometimes when I am loading a quilt on my long-arm, I move from one end to the other by doing small plies or squats. Now I’m not talking about deep, hurt-your-knees- or-lose-your-balance kind of movements, but small movements that wake your body up and warm up some cold muscles.

If you like creative movement, take a look at this set of dvd’s: Body Groove. I’ve only had mine a week and I love them. I can’t say it’s a hard work out, but it’s sooooo enjoyable and freeing that I look forward to that time every day! These are simple movements to music (not aerobics) that you do at your own ability level.

Steps Eight to Ten Thousand: Turn on the tracker.

As much as I talk back to my Fitbit some days when it fusses at me to move, it really helps me to realize how sedentary my life can be.  Your phone may work to track your steps, also. The down side to tracking steps is when you forget to take your tracker off it’s charger and feel like you’ve wasted all of those steps you took (crazy)! I have been known to drive back home for my Fitbit prior to line dancing! Here is a link to Fitbit.

Stitch One, Curl One…or something like that.

I keep a small free weight (a full water bottle works, too) near me so that when I take a break I can do a few bicep curls, shoulder presses, or tricep curls just to keep the blood moving and my muscles awake.  I feel like my brain works better, too, when I am more aware of my whole body while I’m stitching.

How do you stitch pain-free? Do you have exercises to recommend? Special chairs or tools? Please share in the comments below.

Image of Running Bitmoji

Please keep in mind that I am a quilter, not a doctor or trainer. Please don’t hurt yourself. Seek medical advise before starting any exercise program.

Subscribe to follow my blog. Check out #usebothsides patterns HERE. Join the Free River Heritage Mystery BOM Quilt at the tap above.

 

 

Quilt Fusible-in a Pinch

I first fell in love with light-weight fusible when I applied Mistyfuse to fabric for use with shaped rulers.

That’s how I made this quilt.

Image of Quilt at Beach

Water Colours

I love that it is like a weightless “spiderweb” of glue. It is so soft, your machine won’t even know it is there. However, there is no paper on this fusible and that caused serious limitations for my use of it. I do a lot of fusible applique which require tracing a template.

My favorite paper-backed fusible is SoftFuse because it is lightweight like Mistyfuse. I recommend Softfuse for students making #usebothsides patterns (click here to see patterns)

So when I heard about this method of transferring a design to fabric with Mistyfuse, I wanted to check it out. Here’s what I learned…

First draw or trace your design with lead pencil onto parchment paper. You need to make it dark. I used a #2 lead pencil.

Then cut a piece of Mistyfuse large enough to cover your design. Using a protective sheet (I used a Goddess Sheet), press the Mistyfuse to the wrong side of your fabric. The Goddess Sheet give the Mistyfuse a sheen so you can see where it is on your fabric.Image of Bee TracingImage of Goddess Sheet Packaging

Mistyfuse on FabricLet it cool and then lay the fabric, fusible side up, on a hard surface. Lay your parchment paper, design side down, on your fabric and trace the design with a hard pointed object. I used a stylist tool. I peeked to make sure the design was showing before I moved the tracing.

Cut your design on the lines.

What I learned…

Don’t trace onto the right side of your fabric. I had to redo my bee after I made that mistake.

The lead markings transfer much easier onto the Mistyfuse than they do directly onto fabric.  The finer your pencil, the finer your lines. I over-did my lead tracing because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to see it. I could actually use a finer point and get a more precise drawing than I anticipated.

When you need an alternative to paper-backed fusible, this is a great option!Image of Fabric Bee

Image of Deer Mount Quilt

Jack Quilt Pattern

Got a favorite cabin or lodge to decorate? Here is Jack (buck)! He’s made with both sides of Mossy Oak fabric on a scrappy background. Click HERE for the #usebothsides pattern.

 

River Heritage – Tree Line

Welcome to Month Nine, the final block reveal in the River Heritage Block-of-the-Month Mystery Quilt!Image of Trees Along River

Tree Line

Tree Line uses six flying geese to make three trees. We start by making the trunks for each tree and then add the tree tops and sky to make three columns. Use your own color scheme – your trees don’t have to be green and sky doesn’t have to be blue! Remember to check your values by taking a black and white picture of your fabric choices.

Cutting Instructions:
From light fabric:                                         From dark or medium fabric:                                
Twelve –  2 ½-inch squares (sky)                  One – 1 x 1 ½ inch (trunk)
Two – 1 ½ x 2 ¼-inch (ground)                      One – 1 x 2 ½ inch (trunk)
Two – 2 ½ x 2 ¼-inch (ground)                      One – 1 x 5 ½ inch (trunk)
Two – 5 ½ x 2 ¼-inch (ground)
One – 4 ½ inch square (sky)                           Six – 2 ½ x 4 ½ inch (flying geese)Image of Quilt Block
One – 4 ½ x 8 ½ inch (sky)
One – 4 ½ x 1 ½ inch (sky)
One – 1 ½ x 12 ½ inch (sky)                           RST = right sides together

 

Trunks:

Stitch one ground on either side of same length trunk fabric. Press to trunks. Make all three.

Flying Geese:

Draw a diagonal line on the reverse side of each light 2 ½ inch square. Place one square on the right corner of each 2 ½ x 4 ½-inch bar. Stitch on the line, chain-piecing method. Press. Open and trim center layer of fabric with scissors, leaving a ¼-inch seam. Press again. Repeat with left side for each flying geese unit. Make six.

Assembly:

Lay out block according to picture. Starting with the first column on the left, stitch the tree top to the trunk. Press to the trunk. Add the 4 ½ inch sky to the tree top. Press to the sky.

Likewise, make the second tree and then add the 4 ½ x 1 ½-inch sky. Press to the sky.

Stitch columns one and two together. Press open. Stitch the 4 ½ x 8 ½-inch sky to the top of this section.

Make the third tree using the same technique. Stitch the third column to the first section. Press open. Stitch the 1 ½ x 12 ½-inch sky to the top of the block.

Trim and square your block to 12 ½ inches.

Click here: River Heritage Month 9 Tree Line for a printer-friendly version!

 

Share your block using #riverheritage on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

Congratulations! You have completed all nine blocks for River Heritage! Setting instructions will be posted on October 8th at www.blog.creativebeestudios.com.

Friendship, Laughter & Quilts–Oh My!

Once a year we head out of town to a cabin in the woods. It’s a deer camp for the hunters in the family. For one week, we “chick” up the place!

Image of Cabin

After cleaning, but before the invasion!

Bring in the tables, machines, fabric, thread, needles and pins, design walls, quilt blocks, music, movies, lights, food, food, more food and, best of all, friends!

Image of Sewing Machine

Featherweight is set up and stitching on night one.

We spend a bit of  time when we arrive to vacuum, mop, disinfect surfaces, wash bedding, and do mouse and spider prevention– because it really is a cabin in the woods!

Read on to share in our adventures which included a low-flying plane, a Polaris ride through the property (with a fortunate ending), limited cell service, a ringed-moon, hooting owl, quilt reveals, sunrises, demos, sunsets, more quilts, a little (wink) Momma Mia, and a lot of laughter.

Image of Quilters Watching Linda.

Linda gives a demo for making clothesline bowls.

Image of Quilters at the Design Wall.

Design work.

 

 

 

We stood in the field at the top of the hill and made an impromtu target for a money/food/water drop with this water bottle as the target. It felt like a scene from Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. (Can you believe not one thing hit our target?)Image of Feet in a CircleA flyover!Image of Plane

One evening, my hubby gave us a ride through the property – through thorns and briars and overgrown brush – this pic shows the dam which is usually kept cleared.Image of Brush We were truly blazing trails!  This was our view from the dam.Image of Pond

Image of Hanging Quilts

Completed tops hang from the banister.

It was all fun and games until  we broke down – the “fortunate ending” was that the abrupt stop didn’t happen in the middle of nowhere OR in the middle of the briar patch.  A brief, downhill walk back to the truck was welcome!

One morning, about 4:30, Linda and I met in the kitchen and since we were both wide awake, we decided it was time to take the coffee to the porch. The moon had a beautiful red ring around it. We rocked, talked, drank coffee, watched the stars turn into a sunrise, and heard an owl in the tree.

How does Momma Mia fit in? Well, one annoying quilter (there’s always one) couldn’t get “Waterloo” out of her head. Knowing only that word of the song, that’s all she would sing…over and over until they finally turned on the movie and then NO one could get that or any of the other songs out of their heads.  Let’s see…”Dancing Queen”,  “Waterloo”, “Super Trouper” “Honey, Honey”, “Momma Mia”, “Money, Money, Money”, “Our Last Summer”…yes, you are all quite welcome for the reminder! (blowing kiss).

We had a wonderful week. I regret we didn’t take more pictures, because, believe it or not, some quilters, quilts, and activities didn’t get photographed!

 

Image of Bear Quilt

Peggy’s Bear Quilt

Image of Beth's Quilt on Design Wall

Beth’s quilt on the design wall.

Image of Sunset

Sunset at the old barn site.

Image of Shelter

The new shelter at the site of the old red barn.

Image of Quilters by Window

Merle and Nancy trying to get cell bars while Mary is hard at work.

Image of Ladies on Porch

Coffee on the porch.

Image of Quilters

Anne, Nancy, and Donna at work.

Sometimes while packing, loading, and unloading soooo many things for a quilt retreat, you start to wonder if it’s worth the effort. Couldn’t I get more done in my own space?
Image of Quilters Working

This is what happens when you play hooky from quilt class!

Yes, probably. But there is something wonderful about being around old friends, making new friends, having limited responsibilities, doing whatever you feel like doing, laughing, sharing–that you can’t do at home stitching alone.
I wish I could share ALL of this with people who ask what I do–quilting is about so much more than what I think they picture. How do you convey the friendship and camaraderie? The creativity and discovery? The laughter and weight gain? (Did I mention that part?) Quilt retreats generally involve a lot of eating.
Speaking of that, I need to end this post so I can swim some laps to try to get back into my pre-retreat clothes! “Back to life…back to reality” (another song for you…by Soul II Soul, 1989) You’re welcome, friends!

Thanks for all the fun and memories!

Read “One Sweet Retreat” HERE

Next week is the final block reveal for River Heritage BOM Mystery Quilt!

 

 

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