Do you use quilts in your Christmas decor? How about layering some additional textures among the quilts? Here are a couple ways to explore other techniques and textiles to add to your holiday handmade joy:
The background quilt (laser cut kit) was made a number of years ago, when aqua became a Christmas color! (I love aqua and it’s here to stay in parts of my Christmas/winter decorating!) This was such a fun kit and there were lots of added textures, like the skate strings, buttons, and “pearl” necklaces on the birds!
Add in a little punch needle snowman…
Layered on a snowflake runner (snowflakes cut on Accuquilt)…
…add in a little manger scene made with vinyl and a wool candle wrap for another layer of crafting fun!
To make the candle wrap, I just cut strips of muslin on the diagonal and stitched down the middle of them onto a piece of wool. I then threw them in the washer and dryer with a load of towels and they came out nice and fuzzy. I still plan to blanket stitch around the edges of the wool – oh, and it connects in back with a button and a thin hair elastic, sewn to the wool.
I made one several years ago for a friend, using the Accuquilt snowflake:
This Christmas bear quilt was made from a McKenna Ryan kit – but I changed his hat and mitten and made them from an old wool sweater that was in my mother-in-law’s stash.
…and of course, JOY made from BOTH sides of a Hoffman California Fabric panel is keeping in the aqua winter theme.
JOY and all her pals (quilt patterns and focus fabric kits) are found in my Etsy shop: Creative Bee Studios (Click HERE).
I just love finding beauty in nature and wondering how to incorporate it into a new quilt. I took these photos years ago from my back deck.
How do you choose colors? There are so many options these days for quilters – it can be hard to find time to brainstorm your own ideas if you want to make all the great ideas, kits, and colorways already on the market! Actually, I think that’s what makes quilting such a creative market – there’s something for everyone, every occasion, and time limitation…and…the sky’s the limit!
There are so many more colors in these photos than the five I pulled out, but you get the idea…inspiration is all around us – we just have to look!
This week’s shout-out is to Margie, owner of Margie’s Sew Much Fun!
Located in the Florida panhandle, in Crestview, Margie has been serving her community since 1971.
Offering over 3500 bolts of fabulous fabric (awesome patterns, too – #usebothsides) and both Bernina and Janome machines, you can be sure Margie will show you a fun time!
Margie is a “repeat customer” of #usebothsides patterns and she is a delight to work with. You can tell from the name of her quilt shop and our delightful phone conversations, I can just tell she’s got a fun shop YOU really need to visit!
When our daughter landed her first job out of college, we had no idea that her new adventure would become one for us, too. I especially didn’t expect it to influence the quilt patterns I’d design!
(If you wonder why I said FIRST job…she’s a musical theatre actor – there is always (ideally) a new job in this line of work!)
Because she’d landed the lead role and we’d never been to South Dakota before, we took a road trip last summer. Of course, along the way we stopped at quilt shops. That’s how I met the owner of the Quilt Shop in Chamberlain, SD. It was just on our list and close to the highway! See South Dakota Quilts & More and OKLAHOMA Backroads in South Dakota .
The owner, Sonya, and I brainstormed pattern ideas for her clientele and soon I was designing bison and other wildlife patterns. She carries LOTS of fun fabric with beautiful reverses!
This summer our daughter landed Sophie in Mamma Mia and off we went again! If you get a chance, stop in Chamberlain, SD – its simply loaded with fabric and has wonderful local art and craft as well.
We were able to visit again and drop off some new designs.
Here’s a big shout-out to Sonja in Chamberlain…and many thanks!
My fun, sweet, adventuresome neighbor travels from time to time. When she’s away, I walk over to her house and water her flowers using her vintage watering can.
When the editor at AQ Magazine asked me for a new quilt design using BOTH sides of a floral fabric, I went straight to Merle’s house to sketch out her watering can!
So here she is…Merle’s Bouquet!
Do to the long time between designing a quilt pattern and the publication date, it seemed the day would never arrive. When I got a call from friend Nancy to look in my mailbox, I knew it was time! It was fun for Merle and I to open the issue together.
Here is the original quilt as it appears in the magazine.
This is a version using another focus fabric, making it look completely different! It’s pictured here with Merle’s can.
The RJR fabric has a vivid, painted look with a variety of flowers and birds to add to your quilt. The focus fabric and magazine are available HERE.
Thanks for following my blog! Visit my Etsy Shop for more than 28 patterns plus fabrics and Use BOTH Sides!
Many months ago I had the honor of presenting my program to a great (and enthusiastic) group of quilters – the Loose Threads Quilt Guild of St. Peters, Missouri. They had a fantastic turnout for the guild meeting and we had a lot of fun!
That night was a debut of Lil’ Susie, which 15 people received free with purchase (plus another 12 the next day in class).
Take a peek at just a few of their “Grace” class projects in progress:
Notice how the focus fabric makes all the difference? Each one has it’s own personality.
In classes, in addition to making a cute little quilt top, the quilters’ play with their fabrics, learning the nuances of value and how it relates to both sides of the focus fabric and what’s surrounding it.
Once their fabrics are chosen, it’s all about building their bouquets!
Now, take a look at this creative gal – who just happens to be the gal who inspired me many, many years ago to join my local quilt guild. Vickie brought an old window pane to build her “Grace” bouquet!
Isn’t she fabulous?
A happy shout-out to the Loose Threads Quilt Guild – Hope to see you lovely quilters again soon!
This may be my shortest blog post ever, because I am still at a loss for words, more than 24 hours after finishing Kya’s story. I hadn’t planned on sharing the quilt shown below yet, but I need to – I guess it’s my feeble attempt to thank Delia Owens for the insight into a habitat I knew nothing about while enjoying a fantastic and enlightening book.
This guy was hanging around me at sunrise on Pensacola Beach. I found the feather focus fabric later that day at A & E (Pharmacy) Fabrics. The light on his face and throat and the borders are the reverse of the focus fabric – #usebothsides
Thanks to my dear friend, Kim, I’m calling him Lord Stanley.
What book are you reading? Let us all know in the comments!
There’s simply no way to take pics of all the fabulous quilts at Quilt Week, because 99.9% of them are just THAT! Here are just a few that made me stop, take out my phone and grab a shot. Hope you like them, too!
Oje De Dios by Mary W. Kerr, quilted by Candace West was featured with Mary’s whole series at the Rotary. She takes pieces of old quilts, blocks, or parts of quilts and incorporates them into new works with a modern flare. She gave each quilter freedom to do whatever they wanted for the quilting.
Below is Homespun, quilted by Donna Ferrill James. The wonky star was made from a worn quilt with lots of various designs in it. Mary was able to salvage parts by hand-piecing the star points. She used other workable parts as part of the backing.
Below is Fan Flower, quilted by Vicki Maloney. She purchased three fan blocks at an antiques shop and Vicki worked her magic using those three blocks!
See Mary W. Kerr’s work and get her book TwistedHERE.
I like how Mary combined the old with the new, not just the fabrics, but the design and the quilting techniques, too. I have a book somewhere that shows how to combine hand and machine quilting – maybe I’ll give that a look and see where it takes me.
Quilt show aren’t just about prizes, ribbons, and vendors (whaaat?), are they? It’s about inspiration, aspirations, goals, achievements, sparks, and happiness.
Watch for more quilt week pics to come! Meanwhile, enjoy your quilting journey!
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.
So why call this pattern an Aria? Take a look at her…she’s definitely a singer!
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!
#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.)
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.
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.