Old friends might not be those you’ve known the longest.
Old friends might be those you connect with instantly. Or maybe its someone you haven’t seen in a while but you pick up right where you left off, not missing a beat or…a word!
That’s what I mean by “old friends”. Not age. Not how long you’ve known them. It’s those people who connect with your soul. Who KNOW you. Really KNOW you!
Actually, old creations can be old friends, too.
When you’ve work on something so long that it becomes a part of you, it becomes a friend. It’s like when you know every inch of a quilt, or a drawing or a garden or whatever it is into which you pour your heart and hands and time.
You might not always like your this creation of yours. But a good thing rarely comes without hard work, glitches, and maybe the need for a seam ripper…right?
In the end, when you have accomplished what you set out to create, you can take stock in that process and friendship. Like when you see an old friend in passing and you both talk “a mile a minute”. When you turn to walk away, you are smiling. Old friends truly are the best!
All of this talk leads me to announce the culmination of a long creative process for one simple thing: this guy.
I know you’ve seen BUBBLES before…but now he’s sporting his very OWN fabric!
It’s called Bubbles Geometric and it’s part of my Seashore Friends Collection!
To review, the whale and binding are made from the RIGHT side of the fabric. His under-belly, blowhole, and the floating bubbles are made from the REVERSE.
The real fun was choosing fabrics from the collection to help make the background for BUBBLES. In addition to seven fabrics from Seashore Friends, you’ll find batiks, ombre, and white on white stash fabrics.
AND…(drum roll)…how fun will it be for quilter moms and grandmoms to be able to choose little extras to go with their quilts?
These are just a few of the BUBBLES items available – I hope you’ll take a look! Start HERE, and use the easy-link blue SHOP buttons!
I’ve been waiting for the day when I could share this with you all – my “old friends”. (Even if you don’t know me in person, I think you KNOW me by now.)
BUBBLES is an old friend of mine. I hope he’ll be yours, too.
About a month ago the idea ofpaint brush to fabricwasn’t even a thought in my head.
It all started as a spring break trip with my daughter, Paige. As often happens with Paige, our trip soon became packed with more things to do than hours in the day (unless there is no sleeping allowed). Therefore, Paige is actually responsible for the “paint brush to fabric” idea – completely. It’s ALL her fault! Blame it all on her.
That said, I’m so glad she made me do it! Here’s how paint brush to fabric happened:
We traveled to Pawhuska, Oklahoma to visit the hometown of Ree Drummond, known as The Pioneer Woman. Now, Paige and I might not know the “in’s” and “out’s” of Ree”s cooking shows and cookbooks, but we are HUGE fans and experts (it is known) of her merchandise! We love everything about it…and it’s kinda, sorta dangerous, in a MUST HAVE ALL PIONEER WOMAN way!
For instance, Paige and I love Ree’s flowers, the graphic design, and the colors. We love the way everything goes together and NOTHING is matchy-matchy. It’s also cool that we can afford at least one piece of most of her merchandise. We cherish that there are no apologies for All Things Pretty when it comes to The Pioneer Woman! (Kinda like “life’s too short for ugly fabric”. Right, sweet quilters?)
Above all, thanks to Ree, there’s always a bright spot in going to Walmart!
Most importantly, we have learned that if you see something you like, grab it immediately. It’s sure to be gone the next time you’re there. Not a bad thing for the bottom line, either – theirs’s…not mine.
Moreover, we love Ree’s business model (what we’ve observed, anyway), her style, her writing, her, well…everything! Especially after reading her two FANTASTIC books which provide a “best friend” look into her life, we are certain that we are “forever friends”! Ree actually states this in her book (and I’m pretty sure she was talking about Paige and me- just kidding – you can be one, too, if you read her book!).
Therefore, considering our shared love of three-tiered white prairie skirts from The Limited (me), ballet (Paige), West Side Story (Paige WAS Maria), and Gone with the Wind (me), Paige and I think Ree loves us, too! She just doesn’t know it yet. (Again, just kidding – not stalkers.)
Back to Pawhuska. The Mercantile is fabulous. The food (of course) is, too. The people are friendly. Overall, it’s a wonderful place to visit. The Tall Grass Prairie Preserve is definitely worth the drive just outside of town. I highly recommend a visit! I do recommend checking the lodge tour schedule before you go.
Below, the quilt made with BOTH beautiful sides of Ree’s fabric using my Dazzling Kate pattern is pictured in front of the Merc (short for Mercantile by us “besties”). See my blog post HERE about the quilt pattern. However, this quilt resides in my own kitchen!
But what does one do “after hours” in Pawhuska? To summarize, when you’re with Paige, you create!
Firstly, we took acrylics, oils, and watercolors and all the supplies we could think up. The darling “Pioneer Woman meets Joanna Gains” cottage where we stayed had great lighting. We covered their beautiful table with a protective table cloth. So we laughed and painted each night until well past our bedtimes.
In addition, during our creative sessions, my opera singer/computer coder girl and I brainstormed as we painted about how she would “fix” my website. Until now, the WordPress site was solely “designed” by me (which is my own “code” for “hey, it’s running, don’t touch anything!”).
For instance, it was Paige’s idea that a) my water color flowers were any good and b) that we should use them on my new website. This is a sample of what we had to work with.
In addition, these steps were taken: scan the paintings on the printer, vectorize them in Adobe Illustrator, make a repeat pattern design (continues seamlessly in all directions), and export assets so Paige could add them to my website. Therefore, you now know how these flowers came to be here- quite on a whim.
In conclusion, the paint brush to fabric idea “blossomed” when this Watercolor Whimsy design became available on Spoonflower as fabric, wallpaper and more! Click on the photos to go to my Spoonflower shop:
Thank you for taking this trip with me through the process of Watercolor Whimsy and a trip to Pawhuska!
Please share this and future posts, my blog, and website with your friends and on your social media. Until next time, Enjoy your journey, Karla
Tapping into the adorable smile of Bubbles the baby whale, Bubbles is now featured on fabric and merchandise!
Celebrate summer and vacations and beaches and babies! BUBBLES is a happy fellow with an irresistible smile. Now this popular baby whale is popping up everywhere!
You might even call this a Bubbles–fest!
Your next celebration might call for more than making a Bubbles the baby whale quilt with your own two hands (gasp)! Shower that new baby or grandbaby with Bubbles on a pillow! Or splurge with curtains or removable wallpaper!
Find Bubbles the baby whale on clothing, phone cases, shower curtains, tablecloths, and more!
Indulge your senses with Bubbles fabric printed by Spoonflower.
BUBBLES the baby whale quilt is created using a fantastic fabric by Kaffe Fassett: Paint Pots. The Paint Pots fabric is a gala of bright layered circles on a muted gray background. The front side makes the shape of the whale. The reverse side of the same fabric makes his under-belly, blow-hole, and (actual) bubbles. It’s a spree of fun when you use BOTH beautiful sides of fabric!
You learn how to audition both sides of fabric with each of my #usebothsides patterns. In other words, it’s all about VALUE. SHOP more than 45 quilt patterns that use both sides of fabric.
In other words, there’s almost a theme for every occasion. Try a broderie perse applique. Or pick up a large, pieced quilt pattern. There’s a bison, deer, several bouquet’s, a bee, a butterfly and much more!
In conclusion, Bubbles the baby whale is happy to be part of your next party!
Now that I have exhausted all the synonms of celebration words, I will leave you with this thought:
Quilt shops everywhere are opening boxes of Hoffman California’s beautiful “Meet Me in Paradise” fabric used to make the Tropical Sunset quilt pattern!
Before I started designing patterns, I had no idea how short the window is for designing and making quilts for fabric companies. To get the fabric produced and shipped takes much longer!
Sometimes I’ve had less than a week to open a box of fabric, design and make a quilt, write the pattern, photograph the quilt and ship the quilt from Missouri to California. Whew!
Of course, many quilt designers use digital software to “build” their quilts. Fabric companies have digital swatches to download for designing. They can plan the quilt and insert the fabric without taking a stitch. However, fabric companies don’t make swatches of the REVERSE side. Enter the need for real fabric!
For this design, I used my Ipad and the app called Procreate. This is a great drawing and painting app that’s easy to learn and fun to use. In Procreate, you can also make clippings masks of objects (in this case, the photo of the fabric). That’s how I “drew” the bouquet. Here’s the sketch I send to my representative to “pitch” my quilt idea:
As you can see, there’s quite a difference from the sketch to the actual quilt. Things don’t always work like you picture them in your head, right? Sometimes, they are much better in real life and real fabric!
I love that the “wallpaper” border made from the reverse of one coordinating fabric. If you’ve made a #usebothsides quilt pattern before, you know it’s important to audition both sides of fabric with itself (focus) and with surrounding (background, border) fabrics to know if they will actually have enough contrast. That “wildcard” is what makes getting a box of fabric a whole lot exciting and a little bit scary! This is one line that is PERFECT for using both sides!
See more about Tropical Sunset Quilt Pattern HERE.
As orders for patterns come in, I’ll be sharing links to the shops so you can do some online paradise shopping!
You’ll likely enjoy the first article in this issue is called, “Give Your Quilt a Bath”! It gives you step by step guidance on how to bathe a quilt that just can’t go into a washing machine. I found the specific instructions (with illustrations) from how to submerse to how to remove the quilt very helpful.
Inside AQ Magazine, you’ll also find seven “irresistible” quilt patterns, some “how-to” articles, and features by contributors. The seven quilt patterns include three “easy”, three “intermediate”, and one “challenging”.
American Quilter is a perk of membership with AQS (American Quilter Society), but is also available on the newsstand. This March 2021 newsstand issue is $6.99.
You’ll find a feature display of MJ Kinman’s “Bourbon Diamonds” which is as interesting as the quilts are beautiful. You might recall the exhibit featured at The National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky in 2020.
One regular contributor, Gail Garber, discusses the use of color versus contrast with many photo examples.
I hope you find this review of AQ Magazine helpful. Because I’ve found American Quilter to be a high-quality publication, I started with this issue. I can say from a personal standpoint, the company is delightful to work with. I’ll leave a few pics of Merle’s Bouquet here. It was a lot of fun to have her featured in this quality magazine!
Look for more reviews and new patterns coming soon!
Add sparkling borders to turn beautiful Kate into…Dazzling Kate!
First, a short history of how Dazzling Kate came to be: A short four years ago, I began designing quilts using both sides of fabric. Many of the new patterns were based on a 36-inch size wall hanging. The first phase were of a bee, butterfly and dragonfly. The next series of three were bouquets and vases. All of the first six patterns were made using a combination of fusible applique and broderie perse. Click here to learn more about Broderie Perse.
Basically, you take one focus fabric and use both sides of it to gain a difference in value. Sometimes that difference is subtle; sometimes it is stark. It all depends on the style of your quilt and what you are trying to achieve.
For instance, take a look at both sides of this fabric. While the front is very bright, the reverse also has movement and interest. It has a lighter value than the front but still catches your eye.
What makes Dazzling Kate sparkle is the use of both sides of this one focus fabric!
While the center section remains the same as the original Kate, the borders sparkle around the center with half-square triangles.
Add a “stop” flange to surround the center section using the RIGHT side of the focus fabric. Connect the borders with cornerstones. Even the binding is made with the focus fabric!
Overall, this makes planning this large quilt so easy! Just add interesting “neutrals” and fun accent strips. There’s even a tiny flange attached to the outer edge of the quilt. Dazzling Kate finishes at 60 x 60 inches.
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.
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!
Meet Joyful! This new quilt pattern is an extended version of an original design.
If you’ve followed me a while, you’ll know that the JOY quilt pattern was one of my first designs from way back in 2017. (Not that long ago, really.) This new pattern Joyful steps out of the box and expands the original. You might say she transcends her borders…with the use of borders!
As you can see above, an ombre snowflake panel is a bold choice for a focus fabric. The snowflakes are reflected on the wrapped gifts under three! The backgrounds fabrics are bolder for this quilt than for the original because the borders are an added attraction. You’ll learn to audition both sides of fabric so you can confidently choose focus, background, flange and border fabrics. It’s a lot of fun because you’ll KNOW when you’ve got a great combination!
Add a sparkling border to a center that dazzles with Christmas cheer.
Like all my patterns, you learn how to cleverly use both sides of your fabric to make a unique and intriguing quilt. The front of your Christmas focus fabric makes the tree. The reverse makes the gifts under the tree. See the soft “reflection” of the tree on the gift wrapping?
Flange adds more interest!
Add interest to your quilt with two flanges. The first frames the center of the quilt and is made with a stripe (mine was cut on the bias, but you can purchase bias stripe if you prefer).
The second flange pulls your eye through the quilt from the center out to the edge.
For all of the handwork involved, quilting today also involves a lot of technology.
First, we can design our own patterns with software. Secondly, we check our phone apps for backing or binding requirements. Thirdly, you might use your phone camera to take pictures of fabric to match. (Learn how to audition BOTH beautiful sides of fabric using your phone*). Another option is to digitize your own embroidered labels or quilt blocks. We shop online and instantly download quilt patterns. As a result, all this technology can speed up our quilting experience.
Digital quilting technology gives you more options than ever before.
Pinterest, Etsy, designing software, and phone apps are just a few ways quilting technology helps us. With a click of a button you can add a border to that new quilt on EQ8. Add new stitches to your own embroidery design. Download your new favorite pattern online.
My current favorite phone apps are the Robert Kaufman Quilting Calculators, Missouri Star, Etsy, and even Monogram Lite. You can get apps for tablets and Ipads, too!
Digital quilting patterns give you immediate access. Just download and print on your own printer. It’s easy and instantly rewarding!
First, see a whole board of digital patterns from a variety of designers HERE.
In response to numerous requests for instant downloads, I’ve added digital versions of some titles. Many #usebothsides patterns include large paper templates. Therefore, I limit the downloadable versions to ones that fit a regular sheet of paper OR that won’t require monumental enlargements. See more about this at the VariLovable Star Digital Pattern post.
NEW digital quilting patterns added in my Etsy shop: Creative Bee Studios are shown as follows. Click on the photo to link directly to the product.
Check back for new digital download quilt patterns!
Lastly, technology helps us find quilt gift ideas. The digital side of quilting also gives use the tools to create our own works of art. So think about how you use technology in your everyday quilting. Do you create your own designs? Do you get inspiration from Pinterest or shop websites?
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Lil’ Susie is a cute mini art quilt made with both sides of one focus fabric!
Find a favorite floral fabric and some scrappy background fabrics. Snag yourself an bit of time and make up this mini art quilt TODAY!
Lil’ Susie is a mini art quilt that’s a pint-size of fun!
Lil’ Susie is a miniature version of similar #usebothsides patterns. You use value to audition and choose fabrics. Notice the mason jar is a lighter version of the floral focus fabric? It’s the reverse! There’s no tracing of flowers onto fusible, because you cut straight from your fabric motif.
Choosing a focus fabric is key.
Size is something to consider when you choose your floral focus fabric. The larger the motif, the fewer you need to cut. Of course, the smaller the printer, the more you need to cut. There’s so need to fret over the cutting, because these quilts don’t require timely precision cutting. Lil’ Susie is a miniature quilt. Therefore, you can choose a fairly small print and still enjoy the process!
Each #usebothsides patterns teaches you how to audition both sides of your focus fabric and backgrounds fabrics. It’s easy to do and once you know how, you may never look at one side of fabric again! You also get a bonus in each pattern: Prairie Point Hanging Method.
Need a larger mason jar bouquet quilt? Read about Grace HERE.