Creative Bee Studios

Sweet Ideas for Creative Minds - #usebothsides

Tag: Christmas Crafts

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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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