Creative Bee Studios

Sweet Ideas for Creative Minds - #usebothsides

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Quilts at the Beach

Location means everything! As you can see in these pics, Sally, Sandy, Fiona, and Bubbles were right at home on the beach!

We’ve lived in Pensacola, Florida – twice! The first time (as newlyweds), my husband was a student pilot and the second time, with two little ones, he was a flight instructor. When he left the full-time USMC life, we moved to Missouri – but we spent many vacations going back “home” to Pensacola (also home of the Blue Angels).

We had a wedding to attend in Baton Rouge, so we decided to grab a couple of beach days on the tail end of that trip. I debated whether I should even bother to take quilts along to photograph…I’m SO glad I DID!

Image of Sandy Quilt on Sand.
It’s Sandy on the beach. 🙂
Image of Sally Quilt at Beach
Sally
Image of Fiona Quilt at Beach
Fiona

It’s hard to spot another quilter at the beach, so when I met a gal on the walkway with a MSQS shirt, I had to speak to her – turns out she’s from Missouri, too and had just bought fabric from the pharmacy (now A & E Fabrics) to make some #usebothsides quilts! See my blog about her guild HERE: Inspired Quilters Inspire

Image of Karla and Cheryl, quilters at the beach.
Cheryl helped me take evening pics. Quilters are so nice!
Image of Bubbles on deck.
Bubbles

You might wonder how those quilts just seemed to hover in the air above the beach…You can see in this blooper: thanks to his quick reaction, my hubby saved Bubbles from a big one! I thought he hid quite well on that little beach chair behind the one-yard square quilts!

Image of blooper photo.

Patterns for each of these quilts (and about 24 more) are available HERE: my Etsy shop: Creative Bee Studios

Home Sweet Home

Riding bikes and playing outside all day long, rolling down the terrace wrapped in a quilt (what?), playing “Penelope Pitstop” (only Peppermint Patti would understand), putting on plays and magic shows in our yards…those are some of the memories of my childhood.

I rarely go back “home” without taking a drive down Church Street, around Chloe, and down (which is actually up) Edgemont. Guess I’m a softy for nostalgia. I had a great childhood. Not perfect, but mostly really good.

So when I was invited by the Memory Maker Quilt Guild of Perryville, Missouri, to teach a class last July, I was thrilled. We had a great turn-out of quilters and creativity. I couldn’t have been more happy with their responses.

Image of Quilter at Class
Image of Quilt from Class
Image of Phoebee Quilt

Imagine my delight to learn they were having a Use BOTH Sides category of their class quilts in their next quilt show!

Image of Quilts Being Hung at Show

Setting up a booth as a vendor, I was even more surprised to see them hang their class quilts right across from my booth!

Image of "Sally" Quilt
Image of "Belle" Quilt

Maybe to someone who is perpetually confident, these events wouldn’t be so unusual. But if you are at all like me, you’ll understand the constant tug-of-war between confidence and doubt. Constant self-evaluation is not only exhausting at times, but it makes you quite surprised when other people like what you are doing. Seeing my own category was such on honor to me and to have it be in my home town, whether it means anything to anyone else in the world, meant the world to me.

Image of Quilters at Show

My thanks to the members of Memory Makers Quilt Guild. Hope you enjoy seeing their very creative quilts from class.

Unfortunately I was not able to get all of the quilters together for a picture, so only some of them are shown here.

If you live anywhere nearby or are traveling through, put it on your calendar to attend this show on May 1 & 2.

Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest!

Use BOTH Sides patterns by Creative Bee Studios have been featured in Hancock’s of Paducah, Nancy’s Notions, and Connecting Threads.

Shop Patterns HERE

Monochromatic by Nature

Its amazing how difficult it can be to choose fabrics for a quilt, especially for a new quilter. I distinctly remember the kind teacher helping me choose fabrics for my first quilt class at The Sewing Basket.

It was for a patriotic quilt, so even though that palette was obvious, I had a lot of fear of choosing the wrong colors!

I’ve written before about letting nature provide your palette (see One Easy Way to Conquer Color) So when I found these seashells last night on the beach, I realized that even nature can be monochromatic.

Enjoy these monochromatic quilts:

Click picture for link to Amy’s Creative Side.
Click on link for beechtreelanehandmade.com
Image of Monochromatic Quilt
Click on picture for link to Craft Paper Scissors pin.

Do you make monochromatic quilts?

How do you choose your quilt palettes? Let us know in the comments below!

Enjoy your quilting journey, Karla

Quilt Week Faves

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 Twisted HERE.

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!

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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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!

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