Creative Bee Studios

Sweet Ideas for Creative Minds - #usebothsides

Category: Quilting (page 1 of 2)

And…quilt by the light of the moon.

It certainly is a wonderful life! Sharing a new quilt pattern is ALWAYS fun…introducing Buffalo Moon!

Image of White Buffalo quilt.
Buffalo Moon Quilt Pattern

Buffalo Moon is a quilt pattern that has a lot of meaning for me – which is interesting since I have never lived “where buffalo roam”!

You might know that we visited South Dakota for the first time last summer so we could watch our youngest daughter play the role of Laurie in OKLAHOMA! at The Black Hills Playhouse in Custer. See South Dakota Quilts & More , OKLAHOMA! Backroads in South Dakota, and Quilting – Dakota Style.

Image of Bison
Image of Final Show Scene
OKLAHOMA! at the Black Hills Playhouse
Image of Black Hills Playhouse

I’m happy to announce another trip is on the horizon! This year our daughter will be in Sherwood, – the Adventures of Robin Hood, she will play Annelle in Steel Magnolias, and one of her bucket list roles…Sophie in Mamma Mia.

Needless to say, she’s quite excited to be able to work again in such a beautiful place–but, even more, she’s happy to be able to work at what she loves to do. What might seem a glamorous occupation to some or even a frivolous choice to others, professional performance is not an easy road to take.

Between roles there’s the down time, the work of researching roles, the honing of singing, dancing, acting and auditioning skills, the doubts, the endless auditions…and along with auditions come many rejections. Landing a job is a big deal. When it’s over, you start all over again… but this time with another line on your resume. You don’t land a job to keep for the next 10 years…and future roles DEPEND on each role you land NOW and the contacts you make.

I watch both of our girls struggle to work at what is their passion – and I wonder at times where they get the courage. Yes, I make jokes that we let them play too much dress up and not do enough science fair projects, but truly I am glad they can give it a whirl…and, in this case, go where the buffalo roam.

Buffalo Moon is made using BOTH sides of a fabulous focus fabric (say that three times fast!) on a scrappy, nighttime background. Spotting the bison roaming the Black Hills was an incredible experience. Having also learned about the Legend of the White Buffalo, saying YES to this focus fabric was easy! Unlike most of my other patterns, the difference in value between the front and reverse of the focus fabric are subtle, but still noticeable. Choosing dark background fabrics was a change of pace and a lot of fun!

Jacq as Violet Bick in It’s a Wonderful Life

Buffalo gals won’t you come out tonight…

You can find the Buffalo Moon quilt pattern in my Etsy Shop!http://www.etsy.com/shop/CreativeBeeStudios

Image of Turtle Quilt
Image of Bison Skull Quilt

Reach for the stars…lasso the moon, or

…maybe just dance…by the light of the moon.

#usebothsides

Totally Cool Quilting Tools

I learned about some cool tools at quilt retreat – thanks to friends who like to share!

For the first year EVER, I had my retreat projects planned, cut, packed, and ready-to-go to retreat one whole month before we left. What I didn’t plan for were some unexpected opportunities to pop up which took priority over all of my great planning – I didn’t even get my projects out of there neat cases.

I hope to share those #usebothsides opportunities in the near future with you, but let me just say, I wasn’t prepared! I hadn’t brought the right rulers to do the tasks at hand, so that led me to ask, “Does anybody have a squaring ruler?”

Enter the Tucker Trimmer ruler into my life. My projects included lots of half-square triangles, quarter-square triangles, and flying geese. I quickly fell in love with this ruler! Thank you, Nancy! Click HERE or on the picture below to see more of Deb Tucker’s tools.

Image of Ruler on Block
Notice I #usebothsides of the fabric in this block?

You’ll see here the Tucker Trimmer III which I bought asap and equally love – the size of this one is perfect for my new projects.

The second tool I find indispensable I borrowed from friend and retreat roomie, Peggy: the LEDGLE Rechargeable LED Book Light.

Image of LEDGLE Book Light and Tucker Trimmer III

What makes it so great for me are the re-positionable arms which let you guide the light to any angle. It rests around your neck so it is hands-free and perfect for hand-stitching in a dimly lit room. It also works great for reading in bed or even walking back from the neighbors or feeding the dogs in the dark! You set the light to shine where you want it and it stays until you move it. And best of all, I’ve used mine every day for more than a week and I still haven’t charged it once! Click HERE for link to book light.

So there you have it for month three of great quilting tools: the Tucker Trimmer and LEDGLE Book Light!

What are your favorite quilting tools and how do you use them? Do you recommend any you want highlighted here in future months?

Image of Two Sewing Machine Quilts
Shop #usebothsides patterns in my Etsy Shop – Click HERE

Popular Vintage Machine Quilt

Quickly becoming a best-seller, Aria ahr-ee-uh is a quilt pattern for any feather-weight or other vintage machine lover!

Arias evolved from simple melodies in the 14th century and became a means to tell a story in a more emotional way, allowing a musicians (and later, vocalists) to display their talent. Arias are mostly associated with opera today.

Image of Quilt Hanging Outsides

So why call this pattern an Aria? Take a look at her…she’s definitely a singer!

I haven’t always known what an aria was and, had my oldest daughter not studied opera, I might still be in the dark. But here she is, four years ago, as a senior at Eastman School of Music, singing “Emily’s Aria” from the opera, Our Town by Ned Rorem.

Click here to hear “Emily’s Aria” from Our Town by Paige Kiefner
Here I was in Rochester, NY, on an unusually warm, sunny day, binding her graduation bow-tie quilt made with a fabric line called…wait for it…Our Town!

While the traditionalist might cringe, fun things are happening with these featherweight machines. Tables and inserts, custom carry cases, and bright new paint jobs are indicators that these little work-horses will be around awhile.

As I mentioned HERE, I’d love to someday own a colorful featherweight, so making a Tula Pink quilt version seemed the thing to do!

Image of Pink Sewing Machine

#usebothsides of one focus fabric for the machine, binding, bunting (reverse), and scissors and thimble (both reverse). Choose fun, scrappy background fabrics and accent strips – all the while learning the nuances of value! (Click here for more about value.)

Shop for Aria and all the #usebothsides patterns at www.etsy.com/shop/CreativeBeeStudios.

Inspired Quilters Inspire

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to share my quilting journey with a group of women whose enthusiasm for quilting was truly inspiring to me.

Image of Inspired Quilters Guild
Inspired Quilters of Warrensburg, Missouri

The Inspired Quilters of Warrensburg, Missouri invited me to speak during their guild meeting. It was a cold, wet, and somewhat icy night. I expected a lower turnout of members due to the weather. That was my first surprise.

One of the interesting things I see when speaking to quilt guilds is the uniqueness of each group.

Image of Guild Presentation

As quilters notably are, everyone was welcoming and helpful – helping my friend and me carry in 50 quilts, bins of patterns and fabric, and set up the power point.

After the presentation, Nancy and were overwhelmed by the enthusiastic quilters who lined up, waiting to purchase patterns and kits. It’s so fun to see people excited about something you’ve designed – and it is quite humbling.

Image of Presentation with Something's Brewing quilt.

What I noticed next, while Nancy and I spent the next hour repacking quilts and patterns, was how excited and involved the quilters were in their guild meeting. I was wishing I could sit and watch, especially when it came time for Show and Tell. It seemed like each quilter did more than showed her quilt, she told the story behind her project – who or what it was for, how it came about…the details that make a quilt more than just a quilt.

These quilters truly inspire me – to tell the details, to let people know the stories behind the quilts.

Isn’t that what it’s all about? Whether the quilts we make are for special people in our lives, for hurting people we don’t even know, for veterans and service members to be honored, or even for learning something new alongside friends – it’s the people in the story that make quilting worthwhile.

A heartfelt thanks to the quilters in Warrensburg for sharing their quilting journey with me!

Two Purple Tools for Quilting

Two simple tools make a big difference in my quilting experience.

First, and newer (but by no means new on the market) is The Cutting Gizmo (click here) from The Gypsy Quilter. It is a weighted cutter with a rubber, non-slip bottom. It is especially wonderful to use when you are making lots and lots of chain-pieced segments (like in a Bonnie Hunter mystery or scrap quilt). Just grab the two fabric pieces and draw them down either side of the gizmo to cut the connecting thread. It saves the time of grabbing scissors, re-positioning your hands, snipping the thread, putting down the scissors… you get the idea. I keep this on the end of my ironing board.

Image of two quilting tools.

Next, but not least, is one of the first quilting tools I purchased (so you KNOW it’s not new on the market: That Purple Thang (click here). from the Little Foot Quilt Shoppe. Its just a pointy, plastic tool with one pointed end and one squared end. It works to guide fabric under you needle, hold things in place when your fingers are two big, and turn out neat edges. I’m not sure why, but unlike other similar tools I’ve owned, I don’t misplace this one! I think it’s the cute name…

Image of The Cutting Gizmo and That Purple Thang.

As you can see, I’ve been working on another Phoebee 2.0 made from both sides of Hoffman California Fabrics Electric Garden line!

Phoebee and all her friends can be found in my Etsy shop: Creative Bee Studios (click here)

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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!

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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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.

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