Creative Bee Studios

Sweet Ideas for Creative Minds - #usebothsides

Category: Landscape Quilts

Pensacola Dreamin’…Quilt

Check out my Pensacola Beach quilt:

Salty air…

Warm sun on my face…

Featherweight in the condo…

On this chilly day, I’m California Dream…–scratch that–

Penscola Dreamin’!

(Do you hear the music, too? –all the leaves are brown…)

Pensacola Dreamin’

So on another chilly spring day, I am working in my cold house, longing for some summer fun.  Pensacola,

Vintage at the Beach

Florida.  Where we’ve lived–TWICE–and love to be.

As you can see in Vintage at the Beach (window pattern by Sue Pritt), I’ve added the icons of Pensacola to my quilt–the beach ball water tower and the awesome Blue Angels! Pensacola is home to the blues and

The Pensacola Beach Ball and the home of the Blue Angels

there’s nothing more fun than watching their beach air show!

My hubby is a former F/A-18 fighter pilot, so the blues hold a special place in our hearts!

And, yes, I take my Singer Featherweight when we go to the beach! It always surprises me that that surprises people because it IS vacation…and the perfect time to do what you love!

Water Colours

There’s also something wonderful about photographing quilts around water and sand.

Seaside Dreamin

It makes them sparkle–

Or maybe it just makes me happy!

Photo by Randy Hamilton of Hamilton Images

I hope some of my dreaming today helps you get warmed up and doing something you love to do!

Seaside Dreamin

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Warning – Controversial Topic Ahead

See my late-winter bear quilt and vinyl project.

The picture you are about to see is likely to produce a strong reaction, for good or for bad–it seems to be a hot topic these days!

You may love it or you may not, but I think snow is magical and lovely and when it falls, I can’t help myself from twirling in it, watching it floating down from heaven.

Where I live, we haven’t had any significant snow this winter and certainly not the required Grass-Covering layer on which to spread out my quilts for a photo shoot!

This  “Let it snow” sign was made using a Brother Scan N Cut on a plaque from Michael’s . The shadow in the bottom corner is the top of my Singer treadle, which faces a north-facing window. When it snows, I sit at the treadle and piece together a scrappy tumbler quilt–which may take a decade to complete at this rate!

There’s another window I’d like to share with you:

Black Bear Jam

This is a McKenna Ryan design/kit I just had to have to commemorate the black bear visit we had in our yard last summer. Click on “It’s a Bear Out There” to see the scratches and markings we found (and bear paw quilt blocks). McKenna’s bear was lighter in color, so I darkened him with a piece of Stonehenge fabric so he’d look more like our buddy. He sported a santa hat by design which I changed out to my favorite color and edged it with the ribbed edge of a wool sweater I  inherited in my late mother-in-law’s fabric stash. I call it Black Bear Jam because we believe he was marking the area next to our crabapple tree. I made my bear-enthusiast neighbors a jar of Black Bear Jam for Christmas out of those crabapples.

Sew… BEAR with me (too many puns?): Let It SNOW!

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This is NOT paper piecing.

See the incredible work which won the Houston Quilt Festival!


Many heartfelt congratulations to Cynthia England for her Handiquilter’s Best of Show at Houston International Quilt Festival!

The last couple of years my friend Nancy and I would search the AQS Paducah show book to see if our “buddies” from England Design were going to be there and we were disappointed to see they were not. I can see now that Cynthia has been a bit busy.

BEST OF SHOW Cynthia Enland

Cynthia England

Considering this quilt, Reflections of Cape Town, has 8400 pieces, I can see why she was no longer making hundreds of butterflies to demo her technique in her show booth!

I have to say, though, we didn’t just search out the England Design booth to enjoy browsing through her patterns and studying her large masterpieces on display, we liked to visit our “England friends” each year–and they remembered us from year to year. While I can’t think of any vendors who weren’t friendly, these folks were just a little extra special.

Now I’m wishing I had spent a little more effort looking up what Cynthia was up to because I understand that this is her THIRD Best of Show in Houston!

So, what does this mean for me?  It’s time to get out that half-finished, “aging”, England Design kit that I bought years ago and work it up! This little beauty is called Old Grist Mill. Cynthia’s technique is called Picture Piecing and you work on the front of the fabric and there are no papers to tear out of your finished product. For the record, I don’t have a problem with paper piecing, once I get past those first two pieces (blush), but this method is a little more forgiving, and I do appreciate that!

Old Grist Mill by Cynthia England

Old Grist Mill
by Cynthia England

Go to Cynthia’s gallery to see all of her wonderful quilts!

There’s one thing I remember about the England Design booth in Paducah: you walked out of the booth knowing and remembering ONE thing: This is NOT paper piecing.

Have you ever tried this method? Tell my about your experience with making landscape or picture quilts.

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Sometimes You Gotta Look Up

Find a little heaven on earth with this heavenly quilt.

It’s such a human thing to do…

exhaust all other options,

do everything you can…

Storybook Challenge Quilt

Storybook Challenge Quilt

then drop to your knees and pray.

I don’t know why it is the last thing I think of. Every time it happens, I think I’m not going to wait until there is nothing left to do but pray, but every time, that’s what I do.

So today this is a simple reminder to let go of your troubles and worries, and let them float upward. Whether they are personal or even crazy-election related, remember to look up to heaven and realize these are only problems for here on earth. The battle is won, the victory is real. Like little Colton Burpo learned first-hand, Heaven is for Real

My local quilt guild, River Heritage Quilters Guild, handed out story books for each willing quilter to use as a challenge. I was expecting something like Good Night Moon or Are You My Mother?. Instead, I got this book, Heaven is for Real. I am ashamed to say, I actually complained about having to make a quilt about heaven because it was going to be so hard (what a problem to have)! I had read the adult version of this book and loved it. I was comforted by the “evidence” of promises it presented and I was able to look at the loss of my loved ones from their perspective–which is really unimaginable! I’m sure if my girls were younger, I would have known about the children’s storybook version.

Because little Colton Burpo described more about heaven than I would be able to display in 36 inches square, I chose to focus on the three most important elements: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. You can see the Father’s large, gentle hands at the top of the quilt. He is reaching into heaven and presenting His one and only Son. The Holy Spirit is depicted by the rainbow colors of the city. The entire quilt is covered in a layer of organza to give it a softened and glistening look. Angel wings are quilted into the pearl pillars of the heavenly gate.

See the entire collection of challenge quilts in the community room during the month of December at the Cape Girardeau Arts Council.

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Creative Bee Studios

Six Sweet Tips for Using Color in Landscape Quilts

These six tips make using color in landscape quilts a breeze!

Let’s start at the very beginning…a very FUN place to start.

Creative Bee Studios

Bella Vista by Karla Kiefner

My favorite part of landscape quilts is when I’m first digging through my fabric stash, searching for any fabrics which might remotely play nicely in my quilt…folding them into shapes, layering them on top of each other…imagining.

  1. When choosing fabrics for a landscape quilt, choose a wide variety of dark, medium, and light fabrics, mostly cottons, but also other textures. (I have been known to cut up old clothing for the right fabric in a small space.) You can’t have too many!
  2. Throw in some “wild card” colors! Go ahead and grab fabrics you might not immediately think of for nature scenes, both by color and print. Add some purple, copper, gold, olive/brown, gray, and gray-blue or colors with those combinations in them.
  3. Use those “ugly” fabrics! Of course, you don’t want an entire quilt of your least favorite fabrics, but they do have an important role because they make your beautiful fabrics really pop.
  4. When auditioning your fabrics, remember that generally speaking, distant hillsides will be “cooler” and bluer than the close, “warmer” hillsides–a phenomenon called “aerial perspective”. In addition to color, use quilting to also give a more defined perspective, using larger quilting in the foreground and tighter, smaller designs in the distance.
  5. Use whatever materials you need to get the look you want. (Don’t be afraid to break the rules.) In Bella Vista, I used several layers of yellow tulle on the hillsides and sky to give them a muted look of warm sunshine to contrast the stone window and close sunflowers.
  6. When choosing your fabrics for a landscape quilt, think of your stash as a brand new box of crayons. Be playful and daring and PLAN to color outside the lines!

    Bella Vista
    Karla Kiefner

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