It’s beginning to look (and feel) a lot like winter!
Use BOTH sides of one red Christmas fabric on a snowy bed of winter fabrics.
This little red truck is dashing through a snowy lane.
“Merry” quilt pattern is available in my Etsy shop: HERE
More Christmas patterns:
JOY – Use BOTH sides of ornament fabric, toy motifs, stars, snowflakes, pine motif fabrics…or many other fabrics for this joyful tree. The gifts beneath the tree are made using the reverse side.
Pepita – every year there are many, many poinsettia fabrics on the market – you likely have at least one in your stash – turn it over and see if the reverse would make a beautiful pot for your own poinsettia quilt! Super fun to arrange and goes together quickly! Pepita is named after the little girl in the The Legend of the Poinsettia.
“Holly” is made using BOTH sides of two panels OR BOTH sides of Christmas motif fabrics! This quilt was designed for Hoffman California Fabrics and is featured on the cover of their Winter Projects 2019 catalog!
Their name is intriguing and their guild is a lot of fun! The Twilight Stitchers Quilt Guild of Blue Springs, Missouri hosted me as their program speaker and class teacher last month. One of my many new friends from Blue Springs, Vickie, made the trip extra special for me with her care for details and accommodations – thanks, Vickie!
It’s alway fun to see how other guilds operate – from how they run their meetings to how they interact with one another and their communities. I try to note those things I think would be fun to introduce to my local guild – especially the ideas that don’t cost a dime – like “Quilt Angels” (pssst – someone from my guild ask me about this)! A special thank you to my Quilt Angels for the night!
First, here are some pics from our opening selfies – they appear to be a rowdy group!
The “Grace” quilt class the following day was fabulous – I tend to give LOTS of pre-class guidance for choosing fabrics to bring and I was so delighted to see that they were all well prepared! AND sew creative! 😉
As you can see from the pics, they choose varied fabrics and their bouquets were unique, even presenting the quilters’ personalities, I think! One gal used ties and other out-of-the-box fabrics and was going to design her own vase to fit her bouquet!
I wish I’d gotten a pic of my first husband/wife duo – but she slipped off before I could snag her pic – busy lady. Their quilts have “related” but different focus fabrics and will hang together in their home! Hope they’ll share them with us using…wait for it…#usebothsides !!!! Yes, they all learned about hashtags during the program!
I hope to get to see the Twilight Stitchers again soon! You just never know where quilters will cross paths! See Quilts at the Beach to see how I bumped into a quilter, from Warrensburg, Missouri (a hop, skip, and a jump from Blue Springs) at Pensacola Beach!
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!