Tag: quilting (page 1 of 6)

Textures of Christmas Time

Do you use quilts in your Christmas decor? How about layering some additional textures among the quilts? Here are a couple ways to explore other techniques and textiles to add to your holiday handmade joy:

The background quilt (laser cut kit) was made a number of years ago, when aqua became a Christmas color! (I love aqua and it’s here to stay in parts of my Christmas/winter decorating!) This was such a fun kit and there were lots of added textures, like the skate strings, buttons, and “pearl” necklaces on the birds!

Add in a little punch needle snowman…

Image of Mini Punch Needle

Layered on a snowflake runner (snowflakes cut on Accuquilt)…

…add in a little manger scene made with vinyl and a wool candle wrap for another layer of crafting fun!

Image of Candlelight Wool Wrap and Manger Scene

To make the candle wrap, I just cut strips of muslin on the diagonal and stitched down the middle of them onto a piece of wool. I then threw them in the washer and dryer with a load of towels and they came out nice and fuzzy. I still plan to blanket stitch around the edges of the wool – oh, and it connects in back with a button and a thin hair elastic, sewn to the wool.

I made one several years ago for a friend, using the Accuquilt snowflake:

Image of Bear Quilt

This Christmas bear quilt was made from a McKenna Ryan kit – but I changed his hat and mitten and made them from an old wool sweater that was in my mother-in-law’s stash.

…and of course, JOY made from BOTH sides of a Hoffman California Fabric panel is keeping in the aqua winter theme.

Image of JOY Quilt Hanging
JOY Quilt Pattern

JOY and all her pals (quilt patterns and focus fabric kits) are found in my Etsy shop: Creative Bee Studios (Click HERE).

Wishing you layers of joy this Christmas season!

Sunrise Quilt Colors

The sunrise can inspire a whole quilt palette…

Following up on last week’s post (Nature’s Color Wheel – CLICK HERE), here are two color palettes featuring just five of the beautiful colors in these sunrise photos.

I just love finding beauty in nature and wondering how to incorporate it into a new quilt. I took these photos years ago from my back deck.

Image of Colorful Sunrise

How do you choose colors? There are so many options these days for quilters – it can be hard to find time to brainstorm your own ideas if you want to make all the great ideas, kits, and colorways already on the market! Actually, I think that’s what makes quilting such a creative market – there’s something for everyone, every occasion, and time limitation…and…the sky’s the limit!

There are so many more colors in these photos than the five I pulled out, but you get the idea…inspiration is all around us – we just have to look!

Monochromatic by Nature

If you didn’t see it, check out Monochromatic by Nature, inspired by a few sea shells.

Don’t forget your quilter friends at Christmas time! Treat them to a “Use BOTH Sides” pattern and they’ll never look at one side of fabric again! Click HERE to SHOP!

Creative Bee Studios has free shipping for any orders over $35! Cyber Monday and EVERY day!

Image of Red Truck Quilt
“Merry” Quilt Pattern is made with BOTH sides of one focus fabric!

Nature’s Color Wheel

Choosing colors for quilts doesn’t have to be difficult but it might not be simple, either!

If you like to play it safe, are in a time crunch, or have run across a line of fabrics you adore, choosing fabric and colors for your next quilt can be a simple, quick process.

I find that every now and then, I want to do that – grab a kit and make it up, quick as possible.

Sometimes, though, I like to have a longer process for choosing my quilt colors and fabrics (including value, hues, tints, size of prints, types of fabrics, etc.) If you like to have more than one quilting iron in the fire like me, maybe you do this, too!

You can refer to previous posts about color here: “One Easy Way to Conquer Color” “Monochromatic by Nature” and “Six Tips for Using Color In Landscape Quilts”

There are two concepts I always go back to when choosing fabric for a new quilt: Color in Nature and Value.

Image of Beach and Sky
How many colors and values do you see here?

Color: Nature just doesn’t get it wrong. Start observing natural settings, plants, animals, bugs, everything around you. Take pictures are start collecting things for idea boards, whether it’s on your phone or computer folder or actual items pinned on a board.

Image of Christmas Cactus Plant
There are many variations in just the flower petals of this Christmas cactus. I would have normally just considered it “pink”.

Value: Nature also doesn’t get value wrong. Winter is the best time to collect ideas about how nature uses value. Some of the most peaceful quilt settings take on the natural values often found outside in winter.

I challenge you to look around you today and collect some fabulous fabric ideas from the nature around you!

An example of using BOTH sides of a line of fabrics: “Holly” was made from two panels by Hoffman California Fabrics and was featured on the cover of their “Winter Projects 2019” Catalog.

SHOP for “Holly” and all “UseBOTHsides” Patterns HERE!

No Hard Rules…in Christmas or Quilting

Christmas is a season filled with tradition. It’s the things you do every year, without fail. Like rules, you don’t break tradition.

But families change. Kids grow up. Holidays are shared. Traditions (rules) might have to (wait for it)…change.

What does this have to do with quilting?

I always took pride in our Christmas traditions. There were certain categories of gifts and each had to be filled. Certain music had to be played…movies watched, cookies baked, old recipes fixed. I actually used to think I had to use every decoration we owned each year.

A few years back, aqua became the new Christmas color…wait, what? Not red and green? It took me a moment…but only a moment, to embrace the idea…to throw that red and green tradition (rule) out the window.

Last year I realized that the beloved tradition I’d started at our old house of making St. Lucia Bread, hadn’t risen properly one time at our new house – ten years in a row! (I’d tried all the yeast tricks, too.)

Side note: the tradition started when our girls would dress up like their Kristen (American Girl) dolls in their white gowns with their St. Lucia crowns to serve us some coffee-like substance and “cookies” on Christmas morning – it was adorable!

I wouldn’t use my red and green Christmas quilts anymore – and I had to make new ones with all the pretty blues!

I think a lot of people embraced the blue Christmas – for one or two seasons…but for me it was a NEW tradition!

My original “JOY” quilt pattern was made using a vintage ornament fabric that was very classic Christmas colors. But, in a need to show how a variety of fabrics could be used for this pattern, I had to make this blue one – from both sides of a beautiful, aqua Hoffman panel! (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)

Image of JOY Quilt Hanging
JOY Quilt Pattern

Fast forward to grown kids, job schedules, tight budgets, and limited time together, we are considering changing more Christmas traditions this year. We are brainstorming about how to make our time fun and meaningful. What’s interesting is that the more we talk about setting aside our old traditions (rules), the more creative we have become in our brainstorming. It’s as if a weight is being lifted.

Seriously, how is this post about quilting?

When I first started quilting, I was all about the rules (traditions). I wanted to learn every single one of them. Some were paramount to good technique and skill-building and very important. Others were just plain silly. I didn’t realize the difference until the day a wise quilter suggested that rules were meant to be broken.

It was then I realized I had ingested each one of those rules, not realizing that some rules (traditions) were limiting my joy for quilting and my creativity for fear of breaking them.

I’ve noticed now that I watch for the rule-breakers in quilting. Their work excites and inspires me, regardless if the technique is traditional or contemporary.

If you know me personally, you know I embrace tradition. If you are familiar with Lutherans, I am a “page 5 of the old, OLD hymnal” kind of gal!

Don’t let your need for tradition RULE your world…whether it’s Christmas or quilting.

Image of JOY Quilt
Shop JOY Quilt Pattern

Step Inside the Yellow Door Quilt Store

Image of front of shop

In the heart of Indiana is a bright yellow door. Open it to find a cute little quilt shop filled with fun, beautiful fabric!

It’s the Yellow Door Quilt Store!

Located in Nashville, Indiana, south of Indianapolis, the Yellow Door Quilt Store carries unique and mostly bright fabrics – maybe a bit of a modern flare, but something for everyone!

I met the owner, Mary Beth, when I popped in to her booth at the Paducah quilt show – I knew right away her fabrics would work beautifully with my patterns. We hit it off and she now carries many of my designs!

Mary Beth’s fabric lines/books/patterns include: Kaffe Fassett Collective, Marcia Derse, Kathy Doughty, Jane Sasseman, and Alexander Henry and many more.

Here is Flora made with BOTH beautiful sides of a QT Fabrics floral:

It was Mary Beth’s idea that I make a pattern of a sugar skull using both sides of one focus fabric. My first shipment of “Flora” patterns now reside (temporarily) at the Yellow Door Quilt Store! #usebothsides

Image of jSugar Skull Quilt
Flora (flawr-uh)

Visit Mary Beth online HERE or in her quilt store!

Visit my Etsy SHOP to see more BRAND NEW patterns and all the favorites that #usebothsides of beautiful fabric!

Kate Goes Modern

Do you remember the quilt design of a vase and bouquet using Kaffe Fassett fabric? I mean it was only…(counting)…20 #usebothsides patterns ago!

“Kate” was made using both sides of Japanese Chrysanthemum by Philip Jacobs for Kaffe Fassett Collective. Kate’s Bouquet also uses the same fabric (different colorway) and only two other fabrics for this large, striking look!

Shop “Kate” HERE. Kate is a 36 x 36 inch quilt made using only one focus fabric for the vase (reversed), bouquet (broderie perse) and binding on a scrappy background.

Image of Vase and Bouquet Quilt

Kate’s Bouquet finishes at 64″ x 64″, making her a lovely statement in a home. The negative space gives her a modern appeal. And the best part: you only need three fabrics to make this quilt! Use BOTH beautiful sides of the focus fabric and table fabric and get one fabulous fabric for the background!

Image of Quilt

Here’s a pic of my friend, Linda’s quilt, she calls “Rose”. Her version has a calm feel about it and goes perfectly in her newly decorated living room.

“Rose” made by Linda Gast

Just imagine, you could have a background that mimics wall paper or old plaster walls. So many options!

Image of Quilt
I love how Linda quilted her table!

And, of course, there are always fabulous floral fabrics on the market for designing your own bouquet!

Image of Quilt Outside

Remember, it’s all about value. See The Tricky Traits of Value .

Each pattern comes with tips for auditioning BOTH sides of your fabric AND a full-size paper template* PLUS the Bonus: Prairie Point Hanging Method!

Shop “Kate’s Bouquet” HERE, at my Etsy Shop

Image of Quilt and Magazine

Merle’s Bouquet is available NOW in the AQ Magazine, September 2019 Issue! Pick it up on the newsstand, your favorite quilt shop, or my Etsy Shop/CreativeBeeStudios.

It’s a…Dash About!

Image of Churn Dash Quilt

Choose three great fabrics and get started today on this fun, fast Churn Dash quilt!

Image of Pattern Cover

Use BOTH sides of THREE fabrics in this NEW nestled Churn Dash quilt! It goes together so quickly, choosing which fabrics to use might take more time!

Image of Quilt Hanging on Line

Here I showcased a super-big Kaffe Fasset print, a darling Anna Marie Horner design, and a sweet little blue print which belonged to my late mother, Pat (I love adding a touch of her to my designs).

Shop this pattern, or a whole lot more, HERE!

Image of Pieced Variable Star Quilt
VariLovable Star also uses BOTH sides of THREE fabrics!
Image of Ohio Star Quilt Pattern
Ohio Starburst – Use BOTH beautiful sides of only THREE fabrics!

#usebothsides

South Dakota Quilt Shop

When our daughter landed her first job out of college, we had no idea that her new adventure would become one for us, too. I especially didn’t expect it to influence the quilt patterns I’d design!

(If you wonder why I said FIRST job…she’s a musical theatre actor – there is always (ideally) a new job in this line of work!)

Because she’d landed the lead role and we’d never been to South Dakota before, we took a road trip last summer. Of course, along the way we stopped at quilt shops. That’s how I met the owner of the Quilt Shop in Chamberlain, SD. It was just on our list and close to the highway! See South Dakota Quilts & More and OKLAHOMA Backroads in South Dakota .

OKLAHOMA! at the Black Hills Playhouse

The owner, Sonya, and I brainstormed pattern ideas for her clientele and soon I was designing bison and other wildlife patterns. She carries LOTS of fun fabric with beautiful reverses!

This summer our daughter landed Sophie in Mamma Mia and off we went again! If you get a chance, stop in Chamberlain, SD – its simply loaded with fabric and has wonderful local art and craft as well.

Sophie and Donna in Mamma Mia at the Black Hills Playhouse, Custer, SD

We were able to visit again and drop off some new designs.

Image of Buffalo Moon Quilt
Aria

Here’s a big shout-out to Sonja in Chamberlain…and many thanks!

Shop Etsy for all my patterns and focus fabric kits!

Tying Up Loose Threads

Many months ago I had the honor of presenting my program to a great (and enthusiastic) group of quilters – the Loose Threads Quilt Guild of St. Peters, Missouri. They had a fantastic turnout for the guild meeting and we had a lot of fun!

Image of Quilters
Image of Guild Selfie
Image of Quilters Guild
(selfies are not my forte)

That night was a debut of Lil’ Susie, which 15 people received free with purchase (plus another 12 the next day in class).

Image of Lil' Susie Pattern

Take a peek at just a few of their “Grace” class projects in progress:

Notice how the focus fabric makes all the difference? Each one has it’s own personality.

Image of Class Project

In classes, in addition to making a cute little quilt top, the quilters’ play with their fabrics, learning the nuances of value and how it relates to both sides of the focus fabric and what’s surrounding it.

(I had to get her matching machine and bouquet!)

Once their fabrics are chosen, it’s all about building their bouquets!

Now, take a look at this creative gal – who just happens to be the gal who inspired me many, many years ago to join my local quilt guild. Vickie brought an old window pane to build her “Grace” bouquet!

Image of Quilter Working

Isn’t she fabulous?

Image of Quilt in Window
Notice how Vickie added a crocheted doily, a vintage hankie, and lace to her bouquet? She adapted her background fabrics to fit her window and then built her bouquet! So fun! (Sew fun!)

A happy shout-out to the Loose Threads Quilt Guild – Hope to see you lovely quilters again soon!

Image of Grace Quilt Pattern
Grace Quilt Pattern

Meet the Twilight Stitchers Quilt Guild!

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!

Image of Twilight Stitchers Quilt Guild Selfie
Image of Twilight Stitchers Quilt Guild

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!

Image of Quilters with Projects
Image of Three Quilters with Quilts
Image of Quilter's Bouquet
Image of Vickie's Bouquet
Image of Hydrangea Bouquet
Image of Couple's Bouquet
Image of Two Quilters

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!

Image of Quilt in Progress

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!

A hearty THANKS to my new friend in Blue Springs!

Image of Grace Pattern Cover

See “Grace” Quilt Pattern at my Etsy shop: Creative Bee Studios #usebothsides

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