Creative Bee Studios

Sweet Ideas for Creative Minds - #usebothsides

Queen’s Palace Quilt

This quilt began with a fat quarter bundle from one fabric line. Using the “Hex and More” ruler and 2 1/2″ strips, I made lots of half-hexies and proceded to lay them out to consider my options.

Image of Queen's Palace Quilt

My goal was to create a blended quilt version (see Blended Quilts book) of the classic Grandmother’s Flower Garden. I tried many combinations but the look really came together when I started to use the reverse side of the fabrics for the outer flower rings.

Each black center and first ring are the front of the fabric. I could have excluded the lightest (white) fabric to make the changes in value more apparent, but again, I was trying for a more subtle approach.

Do you #usebothsides ? Tell me how!

Image of Quilt Pattern

Shop #usebothsides patterns HERE in my Etsy Shop: Creative Bee Studios

Image of Bee Quilt
Phoebee Quilt Pattern

Search #usebothsides on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest to see more quilts made using both sides of fabric – see the process in action in classroom pics!

Quilt Retreat Take-Alongs

Start your packing – it’s time to take your quilting on the road!

Below is my 2019 Quilt Retreat List. I have found that you can’t make a good list if you aren’t clear on your retreat objectives…sounds official, doesn’t it?

Is your retreat purely for productivity? Is it social? Do you spend time shopping? Going out to eat? Do you eat quick bites on location or carefully planned meals? Is your goal to relax? Did you answer, “All of the above?”

Image of Tool Holder

I think that’s why i take so many items on retreat – I want to pack (no pun intended) EVERYthing I can into a few days – high productivity, great fabric shopping, relaxation, yummy food, rest, movies, music, walks, and fun with friends…is that too much to ask?

I hope this “official” list helps you on your next quilt retreat – or even just a bit of quilting on the road…

*Sewing machine, electrical cord, pedal, extra light bulb, feet, manual, bobbins, Q-tips for cleaning.

*Sewing table, extra lighting.

*Fabric, patterns, projects, kits, felt-backed table cloth or other design wall with tacks, painters tape, or 3M strips for hanging.

*Seam ripper, scissors, rotary cutters, blades, rulers, mat, risers to raise cutting table.

*Iron, pressing spray, pressing surface.

*Extensions cords, electrical strips.

*Personal items which might include drinks, snacks, rice bag to heat for sore shoulders, comfortable clothing and walking shoes, pain relief, charger cords, overnight bag and products, chocolate, and popcorn.

NOW for the REST of the story: a reveal of everything that is actually in my spinning work station (I use it in my studio, plus it’s ready to hit the road on a moment’s notice. Note: I’ve never really cleaned it out before!)

Top left to bottom right: Fusible web (hmmm, not my favorite kind, so it must be for emergencies only), pressing spray, mini iron, chain-piecing cutter, very cute rice bag (for sore muscle, compliments of friend Donna), various rotary blades, The Purple Thang, a gripper tool, bandages, rotary cutter, two styles of Karen K. Buckley scissors (definitely a fave), Pre-cuts guide for fabric purchase emergencies, thumb tacks, pins, cord wrap, thread, Q-tips, battery, thread and button (?), needles, a plethora of markers and pencils, snipping scissors, Fabric Fuse (never used it), the back of something which apparently held batteries, calculator (fabric purchase emergency?) guild directory (what’s her name?), obsolete business cards, note pads, another gripper tool, clips (hmmm, for hanging table cloth design wall?), True Grips (truly a favorite), and last, but not least, Martelli cutters (I am an ambidextrous cutter, so I use both left and right-handed ones). Whew!

What have I missed? Tell me in the comment section below!

See more about retreats here at: One Sweet Retreat and Friendship, Laughter & Quilts, Oh My!  and Seven Projects from Quilt Retreat

#usebothsides of one focus fabric with these patterns – shop HERE!

Image of New Quilt Design
Belle Quilt Patternhttp://www.etsy.com/shop/CreativeBeeStudios

Take One: Cool Tools for Quilters

Do you love quilting tools, gadgets, and gizmos? Once a month I’ll be featuring a new (to me) cool tool.

Here’s a new ruler I ran across a few months ago on my travels. I finally pulled it out and decided to learn how to use it.

It is called the “Quick Curve Ruler” by Sew Kind of Wonderful (click HERE)

I practiced with some scrap fabric, marked my ruler as indicated in the pattern directions, and off I went! It was fun to watch the curved piecing literally “come together”.

There are numerous quilt patterns available which use this ruler. Here’s the one I used. Stunning quilt, isn’t it? I love it when my brain can’t quite find one simple design, but jumps around to the various secondary patterns in a quilt.

Here’s my first try at a mix a fabrics. As you can see, I have a few bumbles for my first block, but it was fun to make! I do suggest using a fine marker to mark your ruler for better accuracy.

I think this quilt is now on my bucket list! What’s on your bucket list? Do you have a favorite specialty ruler?

See my Cross-over Quilting Tools (click HERE) post to learn about using the Brother Scan N Cut for quilting.

Shop Creative Bee Studios #usebothsides quilt patterns and kits HERE!

Designing Quilts with Panels

To the tune of “On the Cover of the Rolling Stones”, I feel like singing! At the close of 2018, I happened onto my pattern, “Holly”, featured on the cover of a Hoffman California Fabrics’ catalog!

It began with an email asking if I (along with four or five other designers) would like to try our hand at designing with a new Christmas line of fabric. It’s my understanding that other designers use digital fabric swatches and their computers to design patterns. But since I use BOTH sides of the fabric, I need the real thing!

Click HERE to see the Winter Projects 2019 Catalog by Hoffman California Fabrics.

We had a week for the deadline – but since I needed the fabric shipped to me and then I needed to ship the finished quilt back to California, I had less than that to design and make the quilt!

Frankly, I was in a hurry! Add to the mix that it was Thanksgiving weekend, I was driving six hours on Saturday, attending our daughter’s show, driving four on Sunday, and staying in a hotel (with terribly inadequate lighting) until Tuesday AND, until I could see and audition BOTH sides of the fabric, I had no idea if my idea would work!

Working with both sides of fabric means lots of value-checking. You can’t tell from the front of fabric if the reverse will work. Some fabrics have great reverses and some just don’t. Click HERE for “The Tricky Traits of Value”.

The Christmas tree panel is gorgeous on its own – who would want to cut that apart? I certainly wouldn’t cut it to make another tree. I was also pretty certain that other designers would be designing borders around the whole panel, so mine had to be different.

I started to focus on the fat-quarter panel they sent. I had received a whole box of fabric to choose from and I knew if I wanted to use this panel, I couldn’t just use one fat-quarter of it or even half of them- I needed to use the whole panel. After auditioning many combinations, I decided I could use the panel – BOTH sides of the panel!

So…once again, it all comes down to fabric values. In classes, I have quilters audition many background fabrics and take lots of black and white pictures to see how their background fabrics “play” with their focus fabric. The smaller accents strips are allowed to be a bit “louder”, but the larger pieces need to provide interest as opposed to distraction. So take a look at this picture of the panel. Lots of dark fabric, right? Really pretty fabric…but more darks than lights.

Now look at a close-up of the quilt. Do you recognize those fabrics? …same fat quarters from the panel – just using the other side! Most of the accents strips are made from the front side. The bows, bells, stripes, plaid, and Christmas words make this an exciting background for the Holly wreath. One of the fat-quarters had two stockings printed on it. I used the one on the wreath and I embroidered the second stocking for the quilt label.

Image of Quilt Close Up
See the candy canes made from the reverse stripe?
Image of Back of Quilt
You can see the quilting, the extra stocking as a label, and the prairie point hanging method here.

The wreath is made using fused holly leaf shapes from the Christmas tree panel. Being a digital print, the fabric has a sparkle of light to it, making the wreath sparkle as well.

You might notice I didn’t have time to take great pictures – and apparently I borrowed my husband’s house shoes that day!

Even the pieced binding is made from the fat-quarter panel!

This is a fun quilt to make and so easy to shop for if you use the two panels! While I have no official timeline, my guess is that these fabrics will be in shops by summer!

If you have Christmas yardage in your stash – you can use it! I wrote this pattern to work with the panels as shown OR using your own choices of fabrics. The same method applies to both – it’s all about the value!

Here’s how Holly look inside the catalog!

I designed Phoebee 2.0 using BOTH sides of Hoffman California Fabrics “Electric Garden” as the focus fabric -it’s available in shops now!

Image of Electric Garden

Shop all my patterns at my Etsy Shop: Creative Bee Studios (Click HERE)

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Winter Quilts

I love nothing better than seeing quilts in nature! You’ve seen “Summer Quilting” (click HERE) to see quilts both poolside and on the beach), so I thought it’d be only fair to share some winter-themed quilts and a few with nature.

First up is a McKenna Ryan quilt pattern. I purchased the kit from Missouri Star Quilt Company several years ago – the year of the bear in our yard (Click HERE to read “It’s a Bear Out There” and see the markings). This bear was supposed to have a red cap and scarf, but I changed it up by using the wool from a sweater which was in my late mother-in-law’s stash. It makes the quilt more special for me and I feel I can keep the quilt on display throughout the winter.

Next is quilt is called Winter Blessings and was kit I purchased from Shabby Fabrics. It was so fast and easy to put together – I highly recommend their kits if that’s what you like. Everything was labeled and organized beautifully. It was kinda like a paint-by-number, only a lot more fun and waaaaay better outcome!

Image of Winter Quilt

The next photo shows just a bit of a quilt (with a Buttercup bomb) that I made long ago in my second-ever quilt class. It was supposed to be bed-size and I actually thought I would finish it my first day in class! I only got it to the throw-size stage (and not during that class), but it’s a favorite!

Here is my latest version of JOY Quilt Pattern. I used a Hoffman panel for the tree (front side) and gifts (reverse side) on a scrappy, snowy background. See all my patterns in my Etsy Shop HERE.

Image of JOY Quilt Hanging
JOY Quilt Pattern

Snow makes a lovely background for quilt photography.

Image of Bed Runner in Snow
Image of Quilt on Swing
This is a Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt called Grand Illusion.
Image of Water Colours Quilt in the snow.
Water Colours

Hope you are enjoying some warm stitching time during these short winter days.

A Mini-Quilted Christmas

I wanted to make a little Christmas gift out of our dad’s shirts for my sister. I couldn’t come up with ideas, so picking the brains of my Lady of the Lake (LOL) quilting buddies proved quite helpful!

Image of Orville Wichern

Sitting around the table, we ran the gamut of ideas…a bear, a quilted Santa, an apron, a journal cover…whatever I could make from my dad’s old shirts – but it needed to be just right. One friend suggested framing a pieced/ quilted shirt quilt – she was on to something. It often takes a period of mulling…or percolating for me to round out an idea…instead of a frame, make it a shadow box… and add vinyl lettering to the inside of the glass…

I have to say, this little piece came out sweeter than I expected!

It’s not a big, fabulous quilt, but I really like how it turned out- and hope to one day make for myself one day–or maybe the gift to me was the cutting, stitching, and remembering that came with making this for my sister.

I used small amounts three different shirts. Once quilted and trimmed, I glued the quilt to the back of the box. Using Scan N Cut (click HERE for more info.), I added our dad’s name in vinyl to the inside of the glass (remember to reverse the lettering). I penned a short message on the back of the box with a Sharpie.

Do you gift your quilting for Christmas? How do you find ideas?

Please share in the comments below.

But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Galations 4:4-5

Read The Tie That Binds to meet Willie (Orville, Bill, husband, brother, uncle, son…dad).

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Sleigh bells ring – are you listening?

In the lane, snow is glistening…

Want to experience some old style Christmas? There are a couple of ways here locally (Southeast Missouri) and in towns all across the nation – and if you can’t find one near you, grab a Christmas themed book – the one I’m sharing includes quilts, a Christmas Walk, and antiques in a quaint wine country town.

Celebrated author and creator of the popular Colebridge Community and East Perry County novel series,  Ann Hazelwood provides insight into a new community with her Wine Country Quilts series. I am currently reading Lily Girl’s Christmas Quilts (2nd book of the new series) and was fascinated to learn that the real town, Augusta, Missouri (upon which the series is based), is having a Christmas Walk (as depicted in the book), and the author, Ann Hazelwood, will be signing books at this Stone Ledge Antiques shop (I wonder if it looks like Lily’s) starting at 7 tomorrow night! Learn more about Ann’s books HERE. Take a stroll on the Candlelight Christmas Walk tomorrow night – find more information HERE

Image of LIly Girl's Christmas Quilt Book

A beautiful sight- we’re happy tonight.

Stone Ledge Antiques during the Candlelight Christmas Walk in Augusta, MO.

Another opportunity  for an old-style Christmas experience is to take the driving tour of country churches in rural Southeast Missouri counties of Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, and Perry. You are encouraged to tag your steeple-chasing buddies for this self-guided tour and travel the beautiful country-side to these decorated country churches where you’ll find music, warmth, treats, and the real meaning of Christmas. This tour begins today at 2 p.m. The tours run both today and tomorrow until 9 p.m. Learn more HERE.

I hope you’ll find joy and take a break from rush of the season by going walking in a winter wonderland.

Need a last minute gift for the quilter in your life?Shop #usebothsides quilt patterns HERE.

Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14.

Cross-over Quilting Tools

Like many of us quilters, space is at a premium, so when I find a tool or machine that has multiple uses, I get excited about it!

Let’s face it, we can’t make everyone a quilt every time we need a gift! That’s why I like to use my Brother Scan N Cut, which I mostly bought for quilting purposes, to also make unique non-quilted  gifts.

Click HERE for a review of  the monogrammed baby quilt I made using a phone app and the Scan N Cut:

Click HERE to see the old Italian proverb made with Scan N Cut in this Italian Row-by-Row quilt.

The Scan N Cut project I’d like to share with you today is one I made for Christmas last year – and it requires a short story…

Each year, we gather at my husband’s family farm before Christmas. We all traipse into the fields and watch as the chosen tree is cut down. The (now grown) grand-kids decorate the tree while the older grown-ups visit. Before opening gifts and eating, everyone gathers around the very long dining table while our mother-in-law leads us on the piano in Christmas carols. It’s sounds all cozy and Hallmark-y, right?

Then comes the finale, “The Twelve Days of Christmas”! Except for two assigned parts, we all do the motions for each of the days. The assigned parts? The three brothers are “Lords a Leapin'” for which they do what is supposed to be a leaping type of movement (they take this role very seriously) and any new boyfriend or girlfriend brought to the party is the “goose” for “Geese a Layin'”. This involves squatting, twisting, and flapping movements.

Image of Kiefner Brothers Leaping

Fabulous Photo by Black Kiefner

Now, there is a year-long push for new geese–so each single grandchild has a bit of pressure to find a goose to bring for Christmas! Both of our daughters will say their geese have been somewhat traumatized by Kiefner Christmas!

What does this have to do with Scan N Cut? I came up with this gift idea last year using vinyl and paint on glass in a barn wood frame. The painting was very easy, just dabbing layers of green and white in the general shape of a tree (the only tricky part was that the paint is on the back of the glass so you want to paint the foreground first). Placing the letters was easy once I figured out to use a rotary mat under my glass to line everything up.  I ended up making a few variations for other families and I think they were all well-received. Image of Hanging Picture

If you’ve wondered about using a Scan N Cut for quilting, this would be a great time of year to check them out – dealers are having sales and you need something to put on your wish list, right? (I have no affiliation with Brother or any dealers, I just like to share with you the things I like!)

Check out these Christmas items in my Etsy Shop (Click Here).Image of Poinsettia Quilt

Image of JOY QuiltImage of Blue Christmas Tree Quilt

Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14

Christmas and Quilts and JOY!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

“Holiday Revue” is our youngest daughter’s current dinner theatre gig at the Myers Dinner Theatre in Hillsboro, Indiana.

Our first stop in the quaint town was a visit to the old-fashioned soda shop!Image of Hot Fudge Sundae

Image of Myers Dinner Theatre Logo

Everything about the dinner was delicious and the Christmas “variety” show featured every Christmas genre: we heard beautiful spiritual music, classic carols, and youthful tunes. Featured guests included Mary and Joseph, Elvis, Santa and Mrs. Claus, Frosty, a cow girl, a giant blue bear, Linus, and a stage full of life-size toys. Image of Raggedy AnnImage of Cow Girl

And there was lots of audience participation! Yes, that is my husband on stage and dancing to Santa Baby! I got a little hug from Elvis!Image of Matt DancingImage of Karla and Elvis

The show ended my favorite way- with a wonderful White Christmas finale!

Image of Matt on StageImage of JacquelynImage of Singers

Oh, the weather outside is frightful…

It’s the most wonderful time for quilts! Do you include quilts in your Christmas decor?

You might recall JOY, made with Hoffman California Fabrics All Aglow on a scrappy background. The tree, topper, and binding are made from the front of the focus fabric and the gifts are made from the reverse.Image of JOY Quilt

This year, I #usebothsides of one Hoffman California Fabrics Supernova Seasons panel for the tree, topper, gifts, and  binding! It’s a fun quilt pattern that makes a great gift for a quilter friend, a quick quilt to gift, or to add to your Christmas decor.Image of Blue Christmas Tree QuiltImage of JOY Quilt Hanging

Shop HERE for the JOY Quilt Pattern.

Also, learn about Pepita (named after the poor Mexican girl in the Legend of the Poinsettia who had no gift to give the Christ Child on Christmas Eve) HERE.Image of Poinsettia Quilt

Silver bells…silver bells…

Yes, I’ve been listening to Hallmark Christmas music the whole way to and from Hillsboro, Indiana!

I love the classic big band sounds of the holidays and Hallmark has a great variety. Sirius XM has Free Listen – so check out the Christmas channels!

And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: Isaiah 11:1

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Exploring Quilty Box

I’ve been intrigued by Quilty Box (click here) for some time now.

The combination of

a) them featuring Tula Pink and

b) me learning about the first-time discount was what it took for me to finally subscribe. I want to share my discovery with YOU!Image of Box

I remember as a teenager subscribing to a make-up club. It was so fun to get different products in the mail to try each month. I figured, what could be better than make-up? Fabric, patterns, notions, thread, and more, all mailed in a cute little teal and brown box and delivered to my mailbox!

Options: They state there is a Quilty Box for everyone – and there is!

Classic:  This is the original box which features a different artist each month, 2 yards of fabric, a spool of thread, pattern,  one or two notions or tools, and a mini-magazine. The price is $48.00 but if you prepay, you can get discounts on that monthly rate.

English Paper Piecing: In partnership with PaperPieces.com, this box includes a pack of 5 x 5″ fabrics, thread, templates and paper pieces for the pattern, and a mini magazine. This starting price is $34.99 with discounts applied for prepayment.

Mini: Inside this little package you’ll find a full-sized pack of 5 x 5″ fabric and a small spool of thread, the mini-magazine, three patterns, a mini-pattern, and an English paper-piecing pattern all for $23.99 (with discounts for prepayment).

First-time discount? Receive $10 off your first box!

So what are my thoughts about Quilty Box?

I loved it! It was so fun to get in the mail. I saved my box to open until I could give it my full attention! My box came with eight fat-quarters of Tula’s new line. This was especially fun because when we heard her speak this fall in Paducah, she explained how she designed that line of fabric. Also inside my box was Aurifil thread, a cute pattern for zippered pouches which I would actually love to make, zippers for the bags, and large piece of Soft and Stable for the bags. The Bundles of Inspiration magazine is high-quality and  I’m looking forward to reading it cover-to-cover. It features an article about Tula, several patterns, history and how-to’s for English paper piecing, and more!Image of Box Contents

Need a gift for a quilter friend? Send them a Quilty Box!

Shipping is free in the USA.

One thing you need to know about Quilty Box is that your order begins an automatic subscription. You can easily and promptly cancel your subscription with a simple email to hello@quiltybox.com . I did it and received an email confirmation of the cancellation immediately.

So why did I cancel my subscription? ONLY, ONLY, ONLY because I am already overwhelmed with projects, new patterns designs, my Etsy shop, and my teaching/program schedule! If I were wanting a fun way to treat myself, get inspiration, and learn about the latest in the industry, I’d definitely continue my subscription!

By the way, I hereby reserve the right to order Quilty Box again!

 In fact…maybe (on behalf of my readers), I should really order at least one of each TYPE of Quilty Box – so I can report back, of course. What do you think?

Here is my Tula Pink version of Aria (expressive music heard in opera – she’s a “singer”…) Quilt Patttern. See Vintage Machine Quilt Pattern for more information.Image of Pink Sewing Machine

Shop Aria and 22 more #usebothsides patterns  in my  Creative Bee Studios Etsy shop.

 

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