Category: Crafts (Page 1 of 2)

Includes stitching crafts like wool applique, English paper piecing, and punch needle embroidery plus scan and cutting machines and more.

Unlikely Quilting Tools

You might call it cheap entertainment, but I like to find useful quilting supplies in unlikely places. I also find it fun to use things for quilting that aren’t meant for that purpose.

It makes a necessary a trip to town a little more exciting.

First, you might wonder why I’d combine an ordinary trip to town with looking for quilting supplies. I guess I’m one of those people who could sport a “I’d rather be quilting” bumper sticker. The reason is because I tend to put some off things (like buying groceries) until I just really HAVE to (we have no food).

Therefore, my (let’s call it creative) mind has come up with a few ways to make these tasks more bearable.

The first one (if I’m at Walmart), is to see if there are any new Pioneer Woman products – that’s a given. (See Watercolor on a Whim about my trip to Pawhuska!)

Next, is that I am always, always, always on the lookout for items that have any useful way to be a part of quilting, sewing, painting, or crafting.

I have three to share with you today!

Image of Quilting Tools
Big scissors, hair spritzer, and popsicle sticks. And, yes, Bubbles in the background.

Hairitage Continuous Spray Bottle

You can find this item in the hair care products at your local Walmart.

It’s a continuous spritzer, very similar to one I’ve purchased at a quilt shop. This one has a light mist, but it does spray a bit longer with each pull of the trigger. These spritzers work especially well if you use a dry iron but want to mist your fabric for a good press. These also are a great tool for watercolor painting as they don’t leave heavy droplets. The best part is that it was about half the price as the one marketed for quilting. Now I can leave one at my iron AND have one at my painting desk – perfecto!

Whether they were expensive or not, I have always had trouble with steam irons that leak or spit. I have found it’s much nicer to use a dry iron and I control the moisture with a spritzer. No chances for rust spots!

Really Big Scissors

Next up is the very long scissors, found at Harbor Freight. I have no idea what they are meant for, but I use them to cut batting. They work beautifully! If I remember correctly, they were about $8.

Craft Sticks

Lastly, I have a little package of craft sticks (popsicle sticks) that I purchased for less than $2 at Hobby Lobby. I suspect they could also be found at a dollar store or discount store for even less. I chose the wider (about 3/4 inch) ones. There are 40 in the pack so I have plans for the rest of mine!

Use this little guy for projects that need to be turned right side out a pressed. This will help push the fabric outward to make the seam nice and flat. It helps to insure you don’t crease extra fabric while pressing.

Just position the craft stick on the inside on either side of the seam and gently push the seam outward while pressing with a small iron. The rounded edge won’t compromise the seam. This is especially helpful for curved seams.

Which brings to me the next thing I want to share with you, my friends…

Image of Bubbles Cuddle
Meet Bubbles Cuddle!

This pattern is coming very soon to my Etsy shop! He’s so much fun to make! He’s shown here sporting BOTH beautiful sides of “Bubbles Geometric Medium” fabric printed on Spoonflower’s Organic Cotton Sateen, so he matches the original quilt. Of course, you can make him with BOTH beautiful sides of whatever you want YOUR Bubbles to be!

Old Barns, Red Trucks, Mercantile and More

Nostalgia at Christmastime

There’s a nostalgia that happens at Christmastime for me more than any other time of year.

Does everyone have vivid memories from childhood? From an old rendition of a Christmas song (Time Life Collection) to “holiday” foods we made when I was a kid (Pizza Fondue), Christmas brings back strong and warm memories for me. Sometimes I wonder if everyone reminisces their childhood and feels strong nostalgia at Christmastime as me.

For instance, one display in my dining room this year holds a host of happy and varied memories. I’d like to share these with you. Some are from long ago and some are very recent.

Simply put, some things we have are more than just things when they spark memories of loved ones, here and gone, and things we’ve experienced throughout our years.

image of plaster water wheel mill

Let’s start with this water wheel mill. Oddly enough, I painted it (probably during finals week) when I was in college. My aunt’s family owned a plaster shop. My friends and roommates and I would walk down to the shop on Broadway to pick out affordable gifts that we could paint for family. I suppose it was also a form of procrastination from studying, but let’s say it was a “break”!

The trees are made from the old red barn.

See three wooden trees? These are made from an old red barn at our family farm. The barn is no more, but here, in it’s place, is a pavilion and cross. Notice the roof line of the pavilion mimics that of an old red barn?

image of pavilion and cross
Image of Lighted Church

Next up is this lighted church. This belonged to my mother-in-law, Pat. It plays “Silent Night” and the lights blink.

As the video scrolls, you can see a wool-wrapped candle with a snowflake made of fringed cotton fabric. Only a few years old, I made this wrap to add another texture to my Christmas decorations.

Image of P.Town

Behind the candle comes the lighted P. Town. and Mercantile. These are two buildings in Pawhuska, Oklahoma. Ree Drummond (Pioneer Woman) renovated these buildings (and more), making the town a tourist and vacation destination.

In addition, my daughter Paige and I spent her spring break on a “creative getaway” here and had a blast. We ate pizza in the corner of the balcony shown here! See Watercolor on a Whim to read about our adventures and the creation of “Watercolor Whimsy” fabric and more! These decorations will spark new memories in years to come.

image of mercantile
Pioneer Woman Mercantile

At the very least, click on the link above to shop for this lighted Mercantile building and see more items fun things from Pioneer Woman!

Do you notice how many of these memories are connected to crafts and creativity?

Lastly, you find Merry, the good ol’ red truck quilt. One of my favorite pattern designs and, of course, made with both beautiful sides of fabric, she’s sure to be a part of our decorations for years to come. Merry reminds me to stay focused and never give up on goals, dreams, and creativity.

As always, you can shop patterns, fabric, merchandise and more by using the easy-link, blue SHOP buttons at Creative Bee Studios.

Add a Little Joy

Use both sides of Christmas scraps to add a Little Joy to your gifts!

I think every stitcher has a Christmas stash. You might have leftover fabric from a quilt, stockings, or napkins. Personally, I don’t keep a lot of Christmas stash, just two cubbies (!). However, you don’t need much to add a little joy to your gift decorating.

About a year ago today, I was part of my local quilt shop’s Christmas Open House. See the sample gift bag with Little Joy. Download the free pdf (further below) on gift bags using your Christmas scraps. Consider adding Little Joy to craft paper covered boxes as well.

Image of Little Joy at the quilt shop

This mini pattern mimics the JOY and Joyful quilt patterns which both use the large template of JOY.

You can see that the tree is made with the front side of a Christmas motif and the gifts under the tree are made from the reverse.

Like all my patterns, it requires auditioning BOTH sides of fabric to test their values. You’ll want to see the tree first, then notice the gifts under the branches. In the quilt patterns, you’ll also audition your background fabrics and try to pull a fun variety of fabric styles together to give the quilt an added interest.

Of course, for your gifts, just choose a surface with the contrast you desire. If you choose blue bags and have blue fabric, your design will be subtle. Use white bags for a high contrast.

It’s just a simple and fun way to use up some fabric scraps and get a little playtime in!

Image of Joy
Joy Quilt Pattern
Image of Joyful Quilt Pattern
Joyful Quilt Pattern

Shop #usebothsides quilt patterns in my Etsy Shop: CreativeBeeStudios

Image of Red Truck Quilt
MERRY Quilt Kit

See the new products on Red Bubble by clicking the button above! Read A Christmas Passed HERE and Christmas (Quilts) in July HERE.

Wishing you JOY and MERRYiment this Christmas season and God’s blessing throughout the New Year!

Mr. Snowman Punch-Needle

Meet Mr. Snowman!

Mr. Snowman is a fun, little punch-needle design. He’s hitting the slopes of trees and swirls in colors to match the quilt you see in the background.

Image of Mr. Snowman with quilt

This design is fast and easy. It’s slightly less than four inches square. The cute size fits perfectly on a mini art canvas. Add the little easel to display your mini stitched artwork.

Since punch-needle is a compact, hand-held craft, Mr. Snowman is easy to pack for travel. You can even work it while you ride. If you aren’t familiar with punch-needle, check out the many tutorials on Pinterest and Youtube. Click HERE for an introductory tutorial on Pinterest. There are also numerous books and patterns on the subject.

Image of Mr. Snowman

Generally, punch needle requires a good hoop that tightens well. You’ll want your surface tight like a drum at all times. That makes it easy for your needle to punch into the cloth.

Next, when you make a punch-needle stitch, the need head is punched downward through the back side (top) of your hooped cloth. When you pull your needle back up, it leaves a tiny loop on the front (underneath) side of your hoop. The size of the loop depends on the size of your needle punching length and thread.

You’ll work Mr. Snowman punch needle from the back side of your hoop. You can turn the hoop over periodically to see your progress.

You might want to practice getting your punches evenly spaced, but the learning curve for learning punch needle is quite easy to achieve.

See Love Notes Punch Needle

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Where We Stitch

Whether we are finishing old projects, starting new ones, where we stitch can change our outlook.

I work from home – almost all the time. Unless I’m teaching or presenting to a guild, I’m in my basement studio…sewing, designing, blogging, or quilting. Being home a lot shouldn’t make much difference in my productivity, mood, focus or lifestyle. But, wow, is THERE a difference! For some reason, because I HAVE to stay home, everything has changed. In this case, where we stitch makes a real difference.

Today I’m going to share some inspirational friends’ sewing spaces. You’ll see a few sweet “regular” sewing spots and you’ll see some where the quilters have moved their machines for a fresh view or to be nearer to family.

Image of Linda's machine
Linda’s sweet sewing spot (loving that colorful “card catalog” cabinet)!
Image of Merle's Sewing Spot
Merle’s new sewing spot (award-winning and published quilt on the wall). Octavia Marie was “born” April, 1940.
Mary’s sunny porch view that got us all thinking! That’s LauraLouise in the corner.

I’d love to share some outdoor sewing views, but it’s too cold and rainy here for that! Those will be coming soon, I hope! So in the meantime, here’s my beach-dreaming quilting spot (in the form of a quilt). See more about this quilt HERE.

I’d rather be quilting at the beach!

Can you relate to “where we stitch”? What’s your go-to spot? Do you have a porch, deck or view to enjoy?

Follow on Instagram and Pinterest.

Shop #usebothsides patterns HERE!

A Quilter’s Observations

When everything around you changes, taking stock is a natural tendency…

Firstly, when referring to taking stock, I’m not talking about counting toilet paper here, it’s apparently been on everyone’s minds lately!

While reflecting on life, I’ve discovered a few things…

Number one, quilters don’t get bored.

Quilters are used to making it through the “long haul”. Our craft involves a long series of steps. While we quilters may get distracted or want to move on to the next fun project, I’m quite thankful not to be someone who has nothing to do.

Secondly, quilters respond.

So many quilters have responded to the call for home-sewn face masks that it is almost overwhelming. I will not post any pics of masks here. Here are three reasons: 1) depending on who you are making them for or where you live, there are different requirements, opinions, recommendations…it can get confusing! 2) I just ran out without taking a photo, so I need to make more, and 3) If I see one more post of mask pictures…(kidding/not kidding). Click here for the post of face mask ideas, but be aware that there are MANY options not listed!

Thirdly, I have not considered the need for olive drab in my stash!

Olive drab would have been my Marine husband’s choice of color for a mask – I have USMC fabric, but that’s “too flashy”.

Next, I have more stash than I realized.

Anyone? I KNOW I’m not alone! But I must say, it’s been nice to have plenty of sewing supplies when availability is limited on so many other things. Aren’t you glad you collected all that fabric?

Sometimes its good for the soul to work on something pretty.

I believe in being informed (fully informed – not just the headlines, ma’am), but sometimes our brains and emotions need a rest. Do you find that to be the case, too?

I’m not getting as much stitching done as I expected.

I’ve more than doubled my “to do” list in my studio and around the house. So while it’s not on a grand scale, here’s my progress promised in “Quilting Accountability-for FUN”.

Image of Project for Taking Stock

My patience with making masks is incredibly short.

You’d think that because quilting is such a long process that requires patience and lots of time that I’d be okay with one mask taking me more than 30 minutes — but I’m NOT. I don’t know why, it just seems they shouldn’t be more than a “10 Minute Table Runner (which, come to think of it, also takes me 30 minutes…hmmm).

Finally, quilters are creative.

There are online quilt shows, lots of shares on Instagram and Facebook, online classes, and more ways to stay social while doing, creating and learning than there is time. Of course, there’s always time for shopping for new patterns and kits HERE!

In summary, I hope you can relate to some of my observations from taking stock. Share your projects HERE on Facebook/Creative Bee Studios.

Please follow, like and share. Bee well, bee safe, everyone!

The MORE in “Quilts and More”

Quilters can make more than pretty quilts.

Suddenly, all our normal life activities have halted. But thankfully, as a creator, I’m cool with trying new things. While sometimes we deny it (no, I won’t mend your jeans), quilters can make more than quilts.

The best laid plans aren’t always an option.

Several weeks ago, I was going through our emergency supplies, removing the food that was WAY past it’s prime and making a list of things we could use. We live in an area of the United States that can see seasonal tornadoes, flooding, and a decent chance for a potentially devastating earthquake. I wasn’t even thinking “virus” at this point.

Sadly, here we are. Weeks ago I noticed there were no surgical face masks available (we have the hard, dust masks in our supplies for clean-up after destruction and I thought with the flu going around, surgical masks might be a good idea for the sick) – that was before I was aware of the recent run.

Therefore, my thoughts went towards making some myself. Note that this was before everyone jumped on this bandwagon! But if you are like me, you might be thinking through this whole scenario of a family member being quarantined to a single room for a long period of time. This leaves the well left to provide food, wash clothing, towels – all the things.

Fortunately, I was able to secure some disposable gloves to help with that scenario. I know if I was the person under quarantine, I’d want to be able to take a walk outdoors. We live in the country, so going outdoors wouldn’t expose anyone. Since we have no masks available here, my only shot at the outdoors could be a washable (bleach-able) version I make myself. Note that this was written prior to the run on bleach!

So, I’ve looked into several designs, those with pockets for inserting a HEPA filters, cute ones, simple ones, free ones, patterns to purchase – there are lots of designs out there. If you are interested, click on a link below.

craftpassion.com

mommacandoit.com

fabriccartdiy.com

lisascarolina.com

Above all, I hope to encourage you to remember to play it safe – for you and for those around you. Let’s take time to care of ourselves each day with a bit of creative outlet, sunshine, healthy food and a nice walk!

Bee well, everyone!

O Holy Night Wool Applique

Take a little time out of the bustle of the season to stitch up a primitive wool nativity scene.

O Holy Night is a simple wool wall hanging. It features Mary, Joseph and the babe in a nativity scene on a starlit night.

O Holy Night, the stars are brightly shining. It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth.

Image of O Holy Night Nativity
O Holy Night

Both of our daughters sang for Christmas Eve church services when they were younger. After the early service, we hosted family for a meal and then we’d all head back to town for the candlelight service. O Holy Night, Mary, Did You Know, and Silent Night (to guitar) are the ones I remember most.

Read about other Christmas family traditions in Wild Goose Chase Quilt Under the Tree.

Click on the download below for the templates and head outside to find the perfect hanging stick!

Image of Nativity Wool Applique

This O Holy Night nativity scene starts with a dark purple wool for the nighttime background. Choose any color for your stable. The gold wool depicts the glow of light, from the star and the presence of the Christ child. While I chose more traditional colors for Mary and Joseph, herringbone or other textured wools would add interest. Chain stitches add details the holy family. Blanket stitches finish the edges. I went outside to find the perfect stick for hanging this wool art.

For more Christmas projects, click HERE.

Image of Diplay at Shop

Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy Christmas filled with joy and blessings.

A Love Note from Johnny to June

One of my favorite love notes was one written by Johnny Cash to June Carter.

Firstly, as far as love notes go, this one stands the test of time. Certainly not without it’s tragedies, the love between Johnny and June eventually prevailed.

Here’s what Johnny penned:

Hey June,

That’s really nice. You’ve got a way with words and a way

with me as well.

The fire and excitement may be gone now that we don’t go out there and sing them anymore, but the ring of fire still burns around you and I, keeping our love hotter than a pepper sprout.

Love John

Then, in response to reading Johnny’s words, here are some Valentine crafts designed just for fun.

Image of Love Notes woolie
Love Notes Woolie

Wool Applique

This little wool applique features three little hearts on a soft vine music note. (Get it? Hearts, music note.) It’s tiny and made from scraps of beige, taupe, and three pinks. It hangs from heavy metal “key”.

Image of Heart Quilt

Quilted Wall Hanging

Image of Love Notes quilt and punch needle

Here, this mini heart quilted wall hanging is shown lying on a soft layer of snow with Love Notes Mini Punch Needle.

It’s fun to take little squares to make shapes. A heart is easy. Since there is no pattern needed, just determined the size of squares you want and start designing. You might use lefterover squares from other projects! So doing, this is an easy, quick project.

Note: Since making this, I developed a method of how to audition the VALUE of fabrics by using BOTH sides. Consequently, I would now reconsider some of my fabric values! Learn about The Tricky Traits of Value HERE !

Punch Needle Embroidery

Lastly, this punch needle is set in a miniature wooden frame. It’s an open envelope with a heart coming out of it. Tiny punch needle designs are a great activity to do in between larger, more involved quilt projects. Click HERE to learn more.

So, I think of June and Johnny each year when I decorate with these little joys.

Share your love this Valentine’s Day and know that you are loved.

In conclusion, remember this: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16.

So please share my blog with your friends, on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest– every chance you get–I appreciate your love and support!

Love Notes Punch Needle

Love Notes Punch Needle adds a little interest to embroidery!

Love Notes Punch Needle Embroidery
Love Notes Punch Needle

 

I love to collect tiny picture frames, lockets, and unusual findings for my punch needle projects. For Love Notes, I found a tiny white, wooden frame at Michael’s, traced the inside shape onto my cloth, sketched my design, and started punching. This is a fast project, easily done in one evening.

Find the frame HERE.

If you’ve punched before, you know it helps to outline your objects before adding the fill. I generally sketch my object designs (like the envelope and heart) and “free-hand” the background swirls. Of course, using variegated threads easily adds interest to the design.

Starting small is a good idea. I like to do miniatures for several reasons. Time, of course, is the most obvious. But also, working in small designs gives me a chance for trial and error. I can practice using different sizes and colors of threads without committing myself long-term.

Other findings that I find interesting are shaped metals pendants (I found a cat shape and others), metal bracelets, and flower-shaped picture frames.

Look for designs like Love Notes Punch Needle on Pinterest HERE.

Take a look at Love Notes mini quilt and Love Notes mini wool applique HERE at A Love Note from Johnny to June (I just love the story of Johnny Cash and June Carter.)

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Happy Stitching!

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