Category: How To (Page 2 of 6)

Image of Karla on YouTube

Learn how to use both beautiful sides of fabric…and MORE!

Firstly, learn how to use both beautiful sides of fabric, discover the nuances of value, choose focus and background fabrics!

It’s all about value.

From blog posts to YouTube videos, you can learn about more than 50 quilt patterns that use both beautiful sides of fabric.  Discover the nuances of value and what to look for when auditioning and choosing fabrics for Karla’s patterns AND all your future quilt projects.

When you learn how to use both beautiful sides of fabric, it’s almost like doubling your stash!

In addition, find fun quilting tips and how-to techniques to help you complete your quilting projects quickly and easily. Also, Karla shares her favorite quilting tools, rulers and more. You’ll learn about some unusual ones, too!

A variety of topics.

As well as learning how to use both beautiful sides of fabric, you can learn how to choose color themes for quilts, how to do broderie perse, or how to chain-piece a block. Also find guides to purchasing fabric on Spoonflower, merchandise on RedBubble,  and quilt patterns on Etsy.

Guild programs and classes.

Finally, you can learn about Karla’s classes and programs that teach quilters how to use both beautiful sides of fabric. Moreover, you’ll “meet” some quilt guilds along the way. When you see quilters’ progress on class projects, you get a good look at how different focus fabrics can create completely different quilts, even when the quilters use identical quilt patterns.

Start your journey of learning here!

Quilting Resolutions

Are UFOs, PIGS, or WIPs a part of your New Years Quilting Resolutions?

UnFinished Objects, Projects in Grocery Sacks, and Works in Progress can weigh a quilter down if she or he isn’t careful!

Maybe you could use this easy binding technique to get some of your projects out of the way and off your mind. The Lickety-Split Quilt Binding makes that last big step go quickly and looks smart!

When I have “git-er-done” quilts on my quilting resolutions list, this is my go-to technique. This technique provides a 2 1/4″ or a 2″ binding (for mini quilts) options for those quilts that don’t require a hand-turned binding. See this original binding method here – it finishes a larger than 2 1/2 inch size binding.

What’s nice about this machine stitched binding is that it gives your quilt a tiny burst of contrasting color between the quilt and the binding, appearing to be piping or a “micro-flange”. This also gives your needle a perfect nesting line for stitching on.

Image of Quilting Resolutions

How to:

2 1/4 ” binding: Cut main binding strips 1 1/4″ width and cut the accent strips (piping look) slightly larger at 1 1/2″ width.

2″ binding: Cut main binding strips 1 1/8″ width and cut the accent strips (piping look) slightly larger at 1 3/8″.

Simply cut your strips, sew them end to end and press like normal binding. Do this for both sets of strips. Then, with right sides together, sew your long strips, press the seam to the binding color.

With the seam facing down, align the edge of the binding along the edge of your quilt and stitch a scant 1/4 inch seam (or smaller than your final stitch seam. Lastly, using bobbin thread that matches your backing and upper thread to match the accent, turn your binding to the front of your quilt and stitch in the ditch between the two fabrics. You might use a seam guide and adjust your needle position to a comfortable spot.

And just like that – your binding is finished – Lickety Split!

Here’s to your health, happiness, and many finished quilts in 2020!

Need a new project? Shop more than 40 patterns at Creative Bee Studios that use BOTH beautiful sides of your fabric!

Textures of Christmas Time

Do quilts already play a part in your Christmas decorating? They do in mine! How about including some additional textures among the quilts?

Add texture with simple touches.

Explore some new techniques and textiles to add to your holiday handmade joy!

The main focus of my dining room is a texture-rich quilt! This quilt is great for decorating all winter long. I happen to love aqua as a Christmas color (year-round, really) and it’s here to stay in parts of my Christmas/winter decorating! Fun things to note on this quilt are the buttons, “pearl” necklaces on the birds, skate strings and glitzy fabrics.

Add in a little Punch Needle Snowman

Mr. Punch Needle Snowman is small enough to finish quickly and glue to the smallest canvas (available at Michael’s). Click on the link above for the free PDF download.

Image of Mr. Snowman
Image of Mini Punch Needle

Snowflake Table Runner

I made this simple table runner from one wonderful piece of snowflake fabric. Next, I cut the glitzy snowflakes with an Accuquilt die and fused them in place. I did quick quilting on the top/batting. Then I added a ribbon of tiny white balls, like a piping. Finally, I layered it with the backing and turned it like a pillowcase- super fun and fast!

Wood Manger Scene Sign

Make a quick manger scene sign using Scan N Cut, a pre-made sign and shimmery vinyl!

Image of Candlelight Wool Wrap and Manger Scene

Wool Candle Wrap

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. Connect the ends in back with a button and a thin hair elastic, sewn to the wool.

Image of Bear Quilt

Just for fun, take a look at this Christmas bear quilt! I made it from a McKenna Ryan kit. His hat and glove were meant to be red cotton, but instead I made them from a fun aqua cotton and the ribbing from an old wool sweater that was in my late mother-in-law’s stash.

Be sure to check out the Christmas quilt patterns made with BOTH beautiful sides of fabric HERE!

Wishing you layers of joy this Christmas season!

Sunrise Quilt Colors

The colors of a simple sunrise can inspire a whole quilt palette…

To start, I know I talk a lot about how to use color combinations from nature. (Color is very important to me!)

Naturally, in this post we’ll focus on colors. More specifically, sunrise colors. Below you see two color palettes featuring just five of the beautiful colors in these sunrise photos. If you look carefully you can find many variations within the clouds and shadows.

Now, I just love finding beauty in nature and pondering how to incorporate it into a new quilt. I took these photos years ago (2016) from my back deck.

Image of Sunrise colors

Next, I pulled five colors from the above photo. The colors are very contrasting colors and not ones I would’ve considered on my own. Moreover, the is good contrast in the values. See more on VALUE HERE.

Granted, there are 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!

In the same fashion, I pulled very different colors from the sunrise below. Another day, another sunrise, another quilt palette! Take a look at these brilliant sunrise colors!

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 not even the limit!

See Nature’s Color Wheel for more examples of using nature for color inspiration.

Take a look at this monochromatic theme inspired by seashells.

Monochromatic by Nature

Check out Monochromatic by Nature, inspired by a few sea shells.

Similarly, color palettes for fabric collections can come from nature, too! See Seashore Friends at Spoonflower HERE!

Click the blue SHOP buttons at Creative Bee Studios for quilt patterns and NEW fabrics, home decor, and merchandise!

Finally, I hope you have a great creative quilting day that includes a bit of color-watching in nature!

Nature’s Color Wheel

Choosing colors for quilts doesn’t have to be difficult. While it might not be simple, using Nature’s Color Wheel can help!

Being a quilter who likes to have more than one quilt idea going at a time, I like to use nature to help guide my color choices for a quilt.

If you 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 need to grab a kit and make it up, quick as possible.

Most often, though, I like to have a longer process for choosing my quilt colors and fabrics. It’s a process. A dance, actually. You know, it involves colors, value, hue, and tints. But also, this requires a careful consideration of how each fabric interacts with one another, based on its placement. And sometimes the fabrics and the project need to…age.

If you like to have more than one quilting iron in the fire, like me, maybe you cherish this process, too!

When choosing my own fabrics for a quilt, there are two concepts I often rely on: color in nature and value.

First, let’s look at color. Nature just doesn’t get it wrong. Start observing natural settings, plants, animals, bugs, everything around you. Take pictures, or pin ideas to an idea boards. This might be in the form of photos in an album on your phone.

Nature's Color Wheel Christmas Cactus

There are many variations in the blooms above. These petals aren’t the truest red of the color wheel, but variations to the left and right. Shades of pinks and oranges grace these blooms. That’s why they look so beautiful with the very TRUE green!

Observe nature to choose colors and you can’t go wrong. I like to think of it as Nature’s Color Wheel.

Image of Nature's Color Wheel

The excitement in the photo above is partially from the vibrancy of the colors, but also the difference in value.

This beach sunset below may be dark, but even it has many colors in it, if you look carefully. Notice the purples, greens, pinks, coral, and blues? The values in this photo are more similar. Notice the calming effect?

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

See more about value HERE.

Nature's Color Wheel
VariLovable Star Quilt Pattern

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

Most of all, enjoy your quilting journey.

Heartland Quilts

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Quilt retreat for the Heartland Quilters’ Guild included workshops and classes.

The quilts at this retreat workshop were unique and varied, even though each was made from the same pattern, Grace.

The Heartland Quilters’ Guild has a “Quilt Away” where the members retreat for days of classes, stitching, and fun. I was excited for the invitation to kick off their quilt retreat weekend with the Grace Quilt Class!

Each quilter used the same pattern, but the results were anything but similar!

First, it is tons of fun to watch quilts come to life during a class or workshop! It’s as if each quilt has a personality of it’s own. Ultimately, this is what happens when everyone chooses their own focus fabrics.

Without a doubt, the choice of focus fabric sets the “mood” for the quilt.

Prior to retreat, the quilters received details about what to bring to class, including fabrics. They began learning how to audition both sides of fabric and what to look for. At quilt retreat class, I guided them through the process. Once you know what to look for and how to do it, auditioning both sides of fabric is fun and easy!

Image of quilters at quilt retreat
Class at quilt retreat
Notice that empty wall? Not for long!

In essence, the combination of background fabrics add interest or “sparkle” to the overall quilt design.

While the method is about using the nuances of value, the unique results shown at this retreat are all about the fabrics and the “floral” designers (the quilters)!

Ohhhh, my favorite color…
Image of Quilt
This quilter used both sides of a brilliant panel!
Look at that stunning reverse side!

It seemed we had some actual floral arrangers in class! Man, they were good!

Each bouquet is different!

This class started the quilt retreat with a bang! Look at this line-up of unique Grace quilts!

The line-up!

The Heartland Quilters’ Guild knows how to do quilt retreats!

Whether home or away, enjoy YOUR quilting journey!

Tying Up Loose Threads

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Fun with the Loose Threads quilt program began with an integrated trunk show and screen presentation.

The Loose Threads Quilt Guild of St. Peters, Missouri, is a fun group of quilters. I was honored to present my quilt program to this large turnout of enthusiastic members.

Image of Quilters at Loose Threads quilt  program

We begin the Loose Threads quilt program with our “selfie” photos!

Loose Threads Quilt Program Group Photo

The group was so large, we needed three!

Image at Loose Threads quilt program
As my kids would tell you, selfies are not my forte.

With help from the membership, my Loose Threads quilt program began. The “quilt angels” hold up the quilts while viewing the screen.

First, I start the quilt program by inviting the Loose Threads guild members to ponder their own quilting journeys.

Next, we explore all the ways we are influenced in our journeys.

Finally, I share how my very curvy quilting journey has been like a train ride of surprise destinations.

At the conclusion of the program, the Lil’ Susie quilt pattern was debuted.

Image of Lil' Susie Pattern

The next day, the Grace class began.

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! 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!

The Twilight Stitchers Quilt Guild of Blue Springs, Missouri hosted me as their program speaker and teacher.

Twilight Stitchers -their name is intriguing and their guild is a lot of fun! One of my many new friends, Vickie, made the trip extra special for me with her care for details and accommodations. Thanks, Vickie!

I love to see how other guilds operate.

Initially, the venue of the meeting can be a big variant from guild to guild. Also, the personality of the guild can be portrayed by how they run their meetings and what committees are reporting (involvement in the community, etc). Lastly, how the guild members interact with one another contributes to the enthusiasm and fun of a guild meeting.

It’s fun to note new ideas like “Quilt Angels” (an appreciative title for the members who sacrifice seeing the fronts of a speaker’s quilts because they’ve volunteered to hold the quilts for the guild to see).

A special thank you to my Quilt Angels for the night!

To begin, 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 exciting. I 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!

Classroom Set-up for the Grace Quilt Class

In this class, each quilter brings one or several unique focus fabrics. First, they learn how to audition and choose a focus fabric. Secondly, they audition background fabrics and accents strips from the variety they’ve brought to class. Oftentimes, quilters will share opinions and fabric with their surrounding quilters! (“I thought this would look good in my quilt, but it would work really well in yours!”)

To summarize, you can see in these photos that they chose varied fabrics. As a result, their bouquets were unique, even presenting the quilters’ personalities! In addition, one quilter used men’s’ 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 Twilight 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

Now that you’ve looked at the focus fabrics (bouquets), scroll back up to note the clever background fabrics they chose!

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 quilt pattern taught at Twilight Stitchers
Grace Quilt Pattern

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

Home Sweet Home

Travel with me, back to my home town, to teach a class of wall hanging quilts!

Early on, the Memory Maker Quilt Guild of Perryville, Missouri invited me to teach a class of wall hanging quilts. I was trilled to drive down memory lane, where I had memorized every crack in the sidewalks around my neighborhood.

First, the quilters chose from a variety of patterns that finished as 36″ square quilts. You’ll see in photos below that they picked a variety of patterns, including the bee, butterfly, seahorse, and even the cauldron.

Quilters learned how to audition both beautiful sides of their fabrics by using value as their guide.

Learn more about VALUE here.

Their unique focus fabric choices reflected their maker’s style in the finished wall hanging quilts.

In addition, the stitchers used fusible applique and broderie perse techniques for these patterns.

After making their fabric selections and cutting and piecing the background fabrics, the students began the fusible applique and broderie perse phase of class.

A softy for nostalgia, I like to drive down my old bike-riding routes and good, ole Church Street.

Whether we were riding bikes or just playing outside all day long, I enjoyed a carefree childhood. I remember taking turns rolling down our terrace, wrapped in a quilt (what was my mom thinking?), playing “Penelope Pitstop” (only Peppermint Patti would understand), and putting on plays and magic shows in our yards. Those are some of the warm memories of my childhood.

Karla

We had a great turn-out of quilters and I couldn’t have been more happy with their creativeness when using my patterns. See just a few of their wall hanging quilts below.

Image of dragonfly wall hanging quilt
Martha’s “Lilly”
Image of Phoebee Quilt
Phoebee

Use Both Sides Category at Memory Maker Quilt Guild’s Show

Imagine my delight to learn they were having a Use BOTH Sides category of their class quilts in their next quilt show!

Image of wall hanging quilts being hung in quilt show.
Quilt show setup, view from my booth!

Setting up a booth as a vendor, I was even more delighted to see them hang their class quilts right across from my booth!

Image of "Sally" Quilt
Image of "Belle" Quilt

Similiarly, for my home town guild to arrange a whole quilt show category on my behalf was quite an honor! Below, you see many of the class wall hanging quilts entered into the judging.

Whether it means anything to anyone else in the world, this means the world to me.

Image of Quilters at Show

My thanks to the members of Memory Makers Quilt Guild. Hope you enjoy seeing their very creative quilts from class.

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Shop Quilt Patterns HERE

Monochromatic by Nature

Even choosing a monochromatic quilt color can be a challenge!

First, you know I like to use nature to help choose a color palette for quilt projects, right? (See Nature’s Color Wheel for more information.) For this color challenge, I decided to take my cues from a beach walk. I didn’t expect to find black seashells on this particular white beach! So, I ended up with a monochromatic theme from nature.

However, I think using a single fabric for a one-color quilt can make the quilt seem “flat”, in regards to interest. (We do strive for flat quilts!) However, when you add more shades of one color, you can add interest to a single-color quilt design.

Its amazing how difficult it can be to choose fabrics for a quilt, especially for a new quilter. I distinctly remember the kind teacher helping me choose fabrics for my first quilt class at The Sewing Basket many years ago. It was for a patriotic quilt, so even though that palette was obvious, I had a lot of fear of choosing the wrong colors!

While, technically, a two-color quilt isn’t monochromatic, we often refer it is as so, especially when the second color is a neutral. If not a neutral, the second color should allow the “focus” color to steal the show.

I found these seashells on the beach and realized that even nature can be monochromatic.

The varying shades of black in these seashells are interesting. Don’t you love the contrasting shades of beige, also found in the shells?

Makes me think of batiks. You?

Generally, I love to mix “whites”. Therefore, finding these light shells with so many shades of white was really fun for me!

Here are two monochromatic quilts of similar colors:

Click picture for link to Amy’s Creative Side.
Click on link for Beech Tree Lane Handmade

Below is a fun use of value in a monochromatic quilt! See The Tricky Traits of Value HERE.

Image of Monochromatic Quilt
Click on picture for link to Craft Paper Scissors pin.

Also, see Sunrise Quilt Colors for more on using nature as your palette guide.

Do you make monochromatic quilts?

How do you choose your quilt palettes?

Be sure to Join The BUZZ for all the latest news and new product introductions!

Use the easy-link blue SHOP buttons to see more than 40 quilt patterns, new fabric collections, and merchandise to match your quilts!

Finally, enjoy your quilting journey, Karla

Inspired Quilters Inspire

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to share my quilting journey with a group of women whose enthusiasm for quilting was truly inspiring to me.

Image of Inspired Quilters Guild
Inspired Quilters of Warrensburg, Missouri

The Inspired Quilters of Warrensburg, Missouri invited me to speak during their guild meeting. It was a cold, wet, and somewhat icy night. I expected a lower turnout of members due to the weather. That was my first surprise.

One of the interesting things I see when speaking to quilt guilds is the uniqueness of each group.

Image of Guild Presentation

As quilters notably are, everyone was welcoming and helpful – helping my friend and me carry in 50 quilts, bins of patterns and fabric, and set up the power point.

After the presentation, Nancy and were overwhelmed by the enthusiastic quilters who lined up, waiting to purchase patterns and kits. It’s so fun to see people excited about something you’ve designed – and it is quite humbling.

Image of Presentation with Something's Brewing quilt.

What I noticed next, while Nancy and I spent the next hour repacking quilts and patterns, was how excited and involved the quilters were in their guild meeting. I was wishing I could sit and watch, especially when it came time for Show and Tell. It seemed like each quilter did more than showed her quilt, she told the story behind her project – who or what it was for, how it came about…the details that make a quilt more than just a quilt.

These quilters truly inspire me – to tell the details, to let people know the stories behind the quilts.

Isn’t that what it’s all about? Whether the quilts we make are for special people in our lives, for hurting people we don’t even know, for veterans and service members to be honored, or even for learning something new alongside friends – it’s the people in the story that make quilting worthwhile.

A heartfelt thanks to the quilters in Warrensburg for sharing their quilting journey with me!

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