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.)
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.
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.
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!
Shop all my patterns at my Etsy Shop: Creative Bee Studios (Click HERE)
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“Are you a quilter?” has no one said ever when they walked through my front door. I kinda, sorta display quilts all throughout my house. Only when I see my house through a none-quilter’s eyes do I realize the plethora of quilts on display!
Sometime’s there is the fleeting thought…do I have a problem? Bloop, its gone! That is why I surround myself with fellow quilters–if I have a problem, they do, too!
Nancy’s quilt with the Wall of Crosses.
If you’ve been following my blog for a few months, you’ll know that I recently lost my dad, a World War II vet. I hosted the memorial open house in his honor and had the task of decorating. Patriotic decor was an easy choice. I asked my friend Nancy to bring her patriotic quilts and between the two of us, we decorated an entire fellowship hall! Who knew we had that many quilts of one genre. Here are just a few pics:
If you are like me, sometimes you’d like to wear a button: “I’d rather be quilting”.
Let’s face it, quilting is time consuming. When I’m doing something else, like laundry, housework, or computer-work, it doesn’t really count in my mind as being productive. Those are just things I have to do…like buying tires.
So, I get it when some quilters aren’t familiar or comfortable with on-line shopping sites — because each one takes time to learn and can keep us from essential stitching time.
Maybe this little five-point guide to Etsy can save a quilter some time while introducing some fun quilting options. I’ll use my own shop for the examples.
Five things to know about Etsy:
*Etsy is an online global marketplace for all kinds of unique goods. It features handmade items, supplies, or vintage goods from little shops from all around the world.
Search for Creative Bee Studios
*Etsy is easy to use. Simply type the name of the shop you are looking for in the search bar, like this “Creative Bee Studios”
or use key words to describe an item you are looking for, i.e “Seahorse Quilt Pattern”.
Search for Seahorse Quilt Pattern
*When you find something you like, click on the heart and it becomes a favorite of yours. All of your favorite items and shops are accessible through the simple “Favorites” button. You can to browse a feed that Etsy provides based on your searches and your favorites.
*Purchasing on Etsy is easy and safe. The Etsy company handles the monetary transaction completely, so the shopowner never gets your payment information. For example, when someone places an order in my shop, I only get that person’s name and shipping address so that I can fill their order. That makes Etsy a place where you can shop online at many different boutiques while only providing your payment information to one company.
You can also easily read reviews to see how other customers like a shop and the goods they’ve received. This is highly motivating for shop owners since they only want top ratings and reviews. You are sure to get good service!
*Quilters can shop for all things quilty–kits, patterns, fabric, notions, fusibles–all kinds of goodies, from Wonder Clips to Featherweights, even quilting themed clothing to quilt in!
Here’s a simple but effective tip for trimming up your half-square triangle blocks. Keep in mind, there’s more than one way to…(I love my cat too much to finish that phrase)…make a half-square, but here’s how I do it for the mystery quilt:
In this example, we are wanting 3 1/2″ finished blocks so I’m starting with 4″ squares. Draw a diagonal line, corner to corner, on the reverse side of the lightest fabric.
Put right sides together and use a 1/4″ foot ti stitch 1/4″ from either side. (If I was making a lot of these – like for last month’s block- I’d run them all through, stitching down one side (chain-piecing) and then turn them all and stitch down the other side of them all.)
Cut on the center line and press to the lighter fabric. The block should be larger than 3 1/2″ and have threads and tails (or ears) on them.
Here is The Tip: Using any ruler with a 45-degree line, place that line along the diagonal seam of your block and so that the over-all size after you trim the first two sides is still slightly larger than 3 1/2″. Notice the extra fabric outside of the 3 1/2″ marks? Trim the first two sides.
Spin your block and now line up the trimmed sides directly on the 3 1/2″ marks. Trim the last two sides.
Maybe you figured this out on your own, but I needed a kind teacher to show me why I shouldn’t just trim that block to 3 1/2″ with the first cuts. I AM from the Show-Me State!
If you are making the River Heritage Block-of-the-Month Mystery Quilt, you are probably figuring out that there are a lot of half-square triangle blocks in the design. Here is a pic of last month’s Trail of Tears block. Be ready to make some more half-square triangle blocks when the reveal for Month 6 comes out next week!
Having quilted for some time, I take for granted the piecing techniques I learned in classes. I hope sharing some of these techniques helps our newer quilters.
See my Mystery Quilt page for links to all of the months and Introduction or scroll down through the blog. Mystery Quilt posts are published on the second Monday of each month at 9 a.m. Each month has interesting river pictures, stories, or facts about river life along with the block of that month instructions. Month 6 is revealed June 11!
In 2014, I made this Bonnie Hunter quilt called “Oklahoma Backroads” (click here for pattern link) for my daughter’s graduation from high school and to commemorate her role as Laurey Williams in OKLAHOMA!.
Notice I named Jacq’s quilt using all caps with an exclamation point – as the musical is named –OKLAHOMA!.
I used lots of scraps (as you do in a Bonnie Hunter quilt – which I LOVE)! Some of them included fabrics from my mother-in-law’s stash. One of those fabrics was from matching colonial dresses she made for Jacquelyn and her American Girl doll, Kirsten, for a trip to Colonial Williamsburg. Also, i used fabric and lace on the borders which were used on Jacquelyn’s costume for the role of Laurey.
As a graduate with a major in musical theatre, Jacquelyn heads out tomorrow to work three months in South Dakota and she’s taking “OKLAHOMA! Backroads” quilt with her as she’s once again playing the role of Laurey Williams for Black Hills Playhouse. As you might guess, our vacation this year will be to South Dakota for opening night!
I love that there are meaningful fabrics in the quilt she’s packing.
We’ve never been to this area of the country, so I’m looking forward to seeing all the sights AND quilt shops (recommendations please)!
When I made this quilt, I separated my scraps into lights, mediums, and darks. However, I really hadn’t discovered that the values change, depending upon what values surround them. I would have achieved a more defined pattern and secondary pattern had I paid attention to that AND had I used my camera’s black and white function to check the values. I’ve learned a lot with #usebothsides quilts when it comes to VALUE! (Click here for a post about value.)
Pointe shoes are just…beautiful. This #usebothsides quilt pattern is for the ballerina in your life.
Angelina Ballerina is a cute little mouse who loves to go to ballet lessons. Part of the American Girl collection, we had (er, still have) the dolls, her stage with a player piano, and many accessories. And…Angelina wore pointe shoes.
Both of our daughters loved ballet…but I’m not sure either of them would have stayed with it if they’d ever thought pointe shoes were off the table.
Pointe was the point!
I was excited to find focus fabric which works for a new #usebothsides quilt pattern with pointe shoes as the focus! I did my research and then checked with my youngest who is still taking pointe (as a senior in college) to make certain the shoes in my pattern were properly on pointe!
Angelina Quilt Pattern uses both sides of one focus fabric for the shoes and ribbons, tights and soles (reversed), and the binding on a fun, scrappy background.
Pointe isn’t all glamour and glory, though. Mom’s of pointe students are well aware of the time spent stitching in ribbons and elastic. Girls generally never outgrow point shoes because they break down too quickly and must be replaced often. They take special fittings and there are hundreds of options from which to choose.
For the young dancer, pointe shoes seem to be a right of passage. It takes determination, maturity, time, and skill…and the acceptance of bloody toes, ugly feet, and a large collection of expensive and eventually smell shoes!
Catch a few announcements, some stats, and snippets of things to come…
Last June I announced the first #usebothsides pattern, Phoebee.
Next came Belle and Lily and the trio made the Colorful Wings Collection. I’ve taught several classes of these winged gals since then and have another one tomorrow for 15 quilters with the Bootheel Quilters’ Guild.
I started shipping patterns all over the United States (and one to Canada)!
Rose was the first pattern in the Colorful Petals series.
I found her focus fabric in Branson, Missouri, as I raced through the shop, pulling out bolts to look at the reverse side while my dh waited in the car. This fabric by Red Rooster was an instant winner! Notice the secondary scroll design that shows on the vase but really not so much on the front of the fabric (left accent strip).
Then came Emily,
with a more rustic pottery vase and Kate, whose vase is perfect for large Kaffe Fassett Collective blooms!
Colorful Petals Quilt Patterns
Something’s Brewing was fun to design, using my Accuquilt for quick and easy bubbles (Scan N Cut works well, too). I am especially fond of the Honey Buzzard claw feet. This is the only one of my patterns at this point without a female name…just didn’t seem fair to use someone’s name. 🙂
Next is JOY. She’s the second pattern to use templates instead of the fabric’s flowers for the reverse cutting.
One of my favorites happened because a quilter signed up for the Colorful Petals class, but wanted to use poinsettia fabric. A vase just wouldn’t do! The reversed fabric on this pot MAKES this quilt!
Pepita Quilted Wall Hanging
Around Christmas time, I received my first order from Nancy’s Notions catalog. Phoebee, Belle, and Lily were featured in the next issue!
Next is my Coastal Series which includes a seahorse, a flamingo, and a lighthouse.
Again I used my Accuquilt GO! circle die for the bubbles on Sally, the seahorse. Fiona’s (flamingo) legs and palm branches are reversed. Liberty, the lighthouse is made with a Kaffe stripe which looks both nautical and patriotic when paired with the patriotic background fabrics.
In February Hancock’s of Paducah began to carry seven of my patterns in their Paducah warehouse store.
Many guild members heading to retreat (32) took their pictures with my patterns and posted them with #usebothsides to be entered into a drawing. One gal even took pics of both sides–of herself! During retreat I just happened to look at Hancock’s online store and found Phoebee! (She’s international, now!)
Nancy’s Notions placed an order for Rose, Emily, and Kate! Watch for them in a future catalog!
Phoebee, Belle, Lily, Emily, Kate, Sally, and Pepita will be hanging in the Hancock’s of Paducah store in time for the AQS Quilt Week!
The first petite pattern I designed is called Grace.
Introducing pattern number 14: Beatrice
Beatrice is made with a twist from the norm: I used the reverse side for the bunny and the front of the fabric for the flowers. She just needed to be a bit sneaky!
Just a couple of hints for patterns in the works: Stick to the pointe and have a whale of a good time! There are more ideas swimming around in my head, just waiting for the right focus fabric to appear! What have you made using both sides?
Along with this review of the fun developments that have happened in the last 3/4 of a year, I want to thank all of you for your support, especially my family and friends. A special shout out to my local quilt guild – they don’t even moan (out loud) when I stand up for show and tell each month with another one of those both sides quilts – you rock, River Heritage Quilt Guild! I truly appreciate all the support!
Join in the fun of the free River Heritage Mystery Quilt- Month Three:
Join a FREE Block-of-the-Month Mystery Quilt here!
Block-of-the-Month Mystery Quilt
So…I agreed to head up the Block-of-the-Month program for my local guild this year and I have to say, while the first reveal is yet to come, I’ve had a lot of fun already! After searching online to find a set of patterns, I decided to create one myself – especially for my guild, River Heritage Quilters’ Guild – and I want to share it with all of you!
While this quilt will have special meaning for those who live near river life, and especially for those near the mighty Mississippi in southeast Missouri, it can be appreciated by most as a beautiful sampler of blocks in a lovely setting.
River Heritage will feature eight traditionally-pieced blocks and one easy pieced/appliqued block, in a lovely setting which will finish at 66 x 66 inches.
Most of the quilt blocks have a common river-life theme and a couple of them have regional and local references.
This will be a nice quilt for gifting to a loved one (you’ll see why when we get to that block) or to have as a keepsake, especially if you are a member of River Heritage Quilters’ Guild. While members of the RHQG will recognize that the names of the blocks have a connection to our guild and the general region of our country, the quilt itself is very appropriate for anyone around the world and would be considered a sampler quilt in a beautiful setting.
I suggest hitting your stash for your light, medium, and dark fabrics in three colors. You’ll also need some light neutrals (ranging from white to light beige and gray). The blocks themselves can be scrappy, so you can add to your collection as the mystery and the year unfolds!
The setting for this quilt will be striking and yet easy to put together. Instructions and specific fabric requirements for the setting and borders will follow the last block instructions. In general (in case you want to plan ahead), one yard for the dark border and 1 ½ yds. for the three light, medium, and dark setting pieces and binding will be sufficient. (Your nine mystery blocks will be in the light gray squares.) This picture is very similar but not exactly how your setting will look (it is a MYSTERY, after all!).
Note: Seams are ¼ inch unless otherwise noted. When piecing rows, alternate pressing direction. (For example, I press row one to the right, row two to the left, etc. for easy nesting of seams.)
Block instructions will be posted the second Monday of each month right here on my blog!
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