Make fast fusible applique quilts with both beautiful sides of one focus fabric!
First find a focus fabric you love for your fusible applique quilt pattern. Next, audition both sides of it. Likewise, choose background fabrics, auditioning them with your focus fabric. It’s that easy to make these fun quilts!
Fusible applique quilts from templates.
Unlike the broderie perse quilt patterns, these quilts are made using only paper drawings, or templates, of the featured subject. It’s as easy as first tracing the templates onto the paper side of your fusible and pressing it to your fabric. Next, cut the fabric drawings and position them on your scrappy background fabrics. Quilts from templates are the fastest way to use both beautiful sides of fabric.
Auditioning both sides of fabric.
Surprisingly, it often takes longer to choose your fabrics for these fusible applique quilts than it does to piece the backgrounds and press on your design. Of course, it all starts with a great focus fabric. In the quilt photos above you’ll see fishbones for the baby octopus, camouflage for the deer, pink floral for the flamingo, and a snowy red for the Merry quilt pattern, the Christmas truck. It’s fun to find interesting focus fabrics. In each pattern, you will have a guide for auditioning both your focus and your backgrounds fabrics. They key to using both sides is in testing the values of your fabrics. Once you know how, you can apply your new skill to all your future quilt projects.
Discover the nuances of value as you learn to audition both beautiful sides of fabric for fusible applique quilts.
Fusible applique quilts make the best gifts and seasonal decorations. They are easy to make and whip up in a jiffy. Learn more about using both sides of fabric to add sparkle and interest to your quilts!
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. Aria is a good name for this vintage machine singer!
So why call this vintage machine pattern Aria? Take a look at her…she’s definitely a singer!
First, you should know that I haven’t always known what an aria was. And, had my oldest daughter not studied opera, I might still be in the dark. Because she began learning arias in high school, I soon learned the definition. Here she is as a senior at Eastman School of Music, singing “Emily’s Aria” from the opera, Our Town by Ned Rorem.
While the traditionalist might cringe at the thought, fun things are happening with 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. Here’s a Tula Pink quilt version until “some day” arrives!
#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.)
It’s the most wonderful time of the year for fun Christmas cheer!
“Holiday Revue” is our youngest daughter’s current fun Christmas dinner theatre gig at the Myers Dinner Theatre in Hillsboro, Indiana.
Our first stop in the quaint town was a visit to the old-fashioned soda shop!
Everything about the dinner was delicious and the Christmas “variety” show featured every fun Christmas genre: we heard beautiful spiritual music, classic carols, and youthful tunes. Featured guests included Mary and Joseph, Elvis, Santa and Mrs. Claus, Frosty, a cow girl, a giant blue bear, Linus, and a stage full of life-size toys.
And there was lots of audience participation! Yes, that is my husband on stage and dancing to Santa Baby! I got a little hug from Elvis!
The show ended my favorite way- with a wonderful White Christmas finale!
Oh, the weather outside is frightful…
It’s the most wonderful time for quilts! Do you include quilts in your fun Christmas decor?
You might recall JOY, made with Hoffman California Fabrics All Aglow on a scrappy background. The tree, topper, and binding are made from the front of the focus fabric and the gifts are made from the reverse.
Now see JOY made with Hoffman California Fabrics Supernova Seasons panel for the tree, topper, gifts, and binding! It’s a fun Christmas quilt pattern that makes a great gift for a quilter friend, a quick quilt to gift, or to add to your Christmas decor.
Aria ahr-ee-uh: expressive music often heard in opera. (She’s a singer!)
Aria is a fun little quilt pattern that you can make using both sides of one focus fabric.
Wondering how to choose fabrics for the Aria Quilt Pattern? Think about your florals fabrics. Or, how about feathers? She is a featherweight, after all. You could also use sewing notions motifs. Maybe you want a machine covered in sunflowers! Or consider larger prints like Tula Pink, Kaffe Fassett Collective. The possibilities are endless for making this the cutest little machine you own! So shop your stash. Pull out your fabrics and look at both sides.
The Aria quilt pattern sewing machine and binding are made from the front of the focus fabric. The pennants, little scissors, and thimble are made using the reverse side of the same focus fabric!
This happy little ghoul is popping right out her top like a jack-in-the-box!
This little ghoul is named Jacq O’ Lantern. She’s the first mini quilt pattern designed to use both sides of fabric.
Jacq O’ Lantern is sew much fun to make!
First of all, Jacq O’ Lantern is a pint-size lesson about value.
Secondly, when you learn how to make this little ghoul, you’ve already learned the easy tricks for using value! Use theTricky Traits of Value (click here for more info) to make any of the my patterns that use both spooky (or beautiful) sides of fabric!
Jacq O’ Lantern finishes at 12 inches square, perfect for the table-top quilt stands.
Side note: I was never real big on Halloween decorations when our kids were little. We didn’t avoid Halloween, but I just didn’t want to spend money on decorations when we could spend it on Christmas decorations instead. So…why is it I LOVE Halloween fabric so much? It’s a mystery.
Or…maybe it’s not such a mystery! One of my favorite scenes to draw as a kid was a witch on a broomstick. (I only had a couple of drawings I liked to do – over and over. One was a beach scene with a palm tree-are you surprised? ) This witch always had a long chin that jutted out and a big ole wart on her curved nose. Maybe these Halloween fabrics take me back to my childhood or something. Several of my favorite quilts and projects are Halloween themed. I’m sure you seen them before but, well, ’tis the season!
Here are more fun Halloween themed quilts:
Below is Something’s Brewing. The steam and bubbles are made from the reverse!
Notice the honey buzzard claw feet?
Want to make a larger little ghoul? To use up more of those fun, spooky fabrics, here is Jacq O’ Lantern XL!
Lastly, here are some other fun Halloween projects I’ve enjoyed in the past.
As you might have guessed, there’s a reason for the different spelling of this pattern. In short, our youngest daughter’s name is Jacquelyn. We’ve always had nicknames for her such as JacqJacq, Jacq, Da Jacinator (at the age of two she could “destroy” a room in minutes), Jacqity Jacq (don’t talk back), and, of course, Jacq O’ Lantern.
This little turtle quilt just made the trip to two of my favorite places in South Dakota!
Dakota is a Southwest style turtle quilt made with both beautiful sides of fabric!
Choose a focus fabric that’s beautiful on BOTH sides.
Every Creative Bee Studios pattern, including this turtle quilt, comes with a guide for auditioning both sides of fabrics. First, start with your focus fabric. See how legs, head and tail of this turtle quilt (made from the REVERSE) are a lighter value but just as interesting as the RIGHT side?
Learn how to “remove” color to see only value.
Black and white photos are a great tool for auditioning both sides of fabric.
Pick a variety of background fabrics.
Secondly, audition possible background fabrics for your turtle quilt with both sides of your focus fabric. You’ll discover the nuances of value as you learn to audition both sides of fabric.
Why South Dakota?
To summarize, our daughter was working shows at the Black Hills Playhouse in Custer, SD for the summer. Our treat was to watch her play the role of Laurie in OKLAHOMA!
On our trip we visited The Quilt Shop, Inc. in Chamberlain, SD. Owner, Sonya Kroupa is holding Dakota and Tanka quilts below. Creative Bee Studios patterns have been featured in her very cool shop! In addition to rooms and rooms of interesting and different fabric, kits, and patterns, she has local artwork, jewelry, and beads. Visit The Quilt Shop website HERE.
Also, see this post which shows more fun things to see in Custer and the Dignity statue in Chamberlain HERE.
This turtle quilt pattern is petite design, finishing at 18 x 24 inches. It’s a great “afternoon quilt” – quick and easy. Even after making more than twenty #usebothsides quilts, I can’t decide which is more fun, choosing the focus fabric or the background fabrics. Both are vital to the charm of the quilts!
Think outside the box!
Imagine all the different “turtle “fabrics you could use! Your turtle could be playful with children’s motifs, realistic with mottled dotty fabric, or wild with large florals or geometrics! In conclusion, anything will work as long as the reverse passes the audition!
Tanka is a bison skull quilt made with a rugged flare.
This bison skull quilt was inspired by a visit to South Dakota.
First, as a mid-westerner, the beauty of this state is like nothing I’d ever seen. Particularly in the Black Hills, there’s wildlife everywhere, incredible terrain, and bison strolling along the roadside. It’s not surprising that animal skulls are a popular item. When I found this fabulous feather fabric with white background, I knew a bison skull quilt would soon be born!
Finding the focus fabric is the first step.
First, the fabric I chose, from The Quilt Shop in Chamberlain, SD, was a feather toss on a white background. Since the feathers are made using a fusible broderie perse technique, I knew the background around the feathers would be cut away, leaving only the colored feathers.
Turn the fabric over.
Second, choosing a great focus fabric means auditioning both sides! Turning this fabric, I saw that the feather motif showed just enough to give the skull interest. It didn’t overpower the feathers from the RIGHT side.
The skull is made from the REVERSE side of the focus fabric while the hanging feather decoration is cut from the RIGHT.
Mix it up with background fabrics.
The background fabrics for this quilt were really fun to play with! Don’t you just love that black and white fence row fabric at the bottom?
One of the fun parts of making these quilts is mixing up the background fabrics. This one has batik, southwest, gold circles on gray (but reversed), grunge and a fur look to really give interest to the quilt. It’s all about VALUE.
JACK (buck) is deer quilt wall hanging that’s made with both sides of one camouflage fabric on a scrappy background.
The focus fabric for this deer quilt is camouflage.
I found this Mossy Oak fabric at my local quilt shop. I tested the value of both sides, auditioning the fabric right there in the shop.
First, I made sure RIGHT side was plenty dark, so the deer head shape would be crisp. Next, I checked that the REVERSE was light enough to use as antlers and highlights for the ears, eyes, nose, and throat.
Fortunately, camouflage fabrics seem to be a staple in the fabric market every year.
Some camouflage fabrics aren’t the normal quilting quality. It’s okay for this type of quilt hanging. I thought this one was a stiff when I pulled it off the bolt, but after a quick wash and dry, it was great to work with! (I normally don’t laundry the fabric for a wall hanging.)
The backgrounds are scrappy.
Additionally, having a wide variety of background fabrics is key. This helps draw the eye through the quilt. Also, it adds an element of interest. This deer quilt sports a variety of fabric types including beige batik leaves, grassy geometric, beige stone, white on white floral, sandy batik, and painted grass.
The deer quilt comes to life.
When quilting this deer quilt, I added “scribble” quilting with black thread to the eye areas. However, even before that, the features of his face just appeared, almost magically. VALUE is key for using BOTH sides of fabric, especially for JACK (buck)!
This sea turtle pattern is for those who love summer and salty air, the sound of sea gulls and crashing waves. And, of course, sea turtles!
Sandy the sea turtle quilt is made with BOTH beautiful sides of fabric.
The first reason Sandy is so fun and easy to make is the focus fabric! You only need to pick ONE. The RIGHT sides makes her shell and the binding. The REVERSE makes her legs, tail and head.
Add a fun, scrappy background.
Secondly, the background fabrics can be bold and fun. A variety of background fabrics can make this quilt sparkle with interest!
Audition BOTH sides of fabric.
Furthermore, you learn HOW to audition BOTH side so fabric. You’ll start with your focus fabric. Next you’ll audition your background fabrics with BOTH sides of your focus fabric. The guide in the pattern tells you what to look for and how to use value to make your choices. See How to Use Both Sides.
About Sea Turtles
Did you know? Cooler sand temperatures produce more male and warmer sand produces more female sea turtles.
The sea turtle eggs hatch almost simultaneously, making the sandy nest look like boiling water. Instinctively, the babies find their way to the water with the help of the slope of the beach and the moon and star reflections on the water.
The large number of turtles hatching and moving to the sea all together helps protect them from predators. That’s why its a good idea to remove chairs and umbrellas and fill all holes at night during hatching season so they have a better chance at making it to sea safely.
Choose background fabrics that add sparkle to your quilts!
To take a look at background fabrics, first let me introduce you to (drum roll): The Bubbles Quilt Pattern!
Notice the varied background fabrics in this quilt. The baby whale is made using both beautiful sides of Kaffe Fassett’s Paint Pots fabrics!
You might think that once you’ve chosen a good focus fabric, your work at auditioning fabric is done. But really, you’ve just begun to have fun!
Secondly, it’s important to know that background fabrics for #usebothsides quilts are what make the quilts really sparkle! When you attend one of my classes, you learn that there is a certain “feel” you are trying to achieve in the relationship between your focus and background fabrics.
First pick focus fabrics. Then background fabrics.
It DOES truly begin with your focus fabric choice – you have to pick that first and foremost. (I’ll discuss focus fabric auditioning in another post. Tips for choosing focus fabric are included in each pattern.) Once your focus fabric has been chosen, you want to achieve a balance between your focus fabric and your backgrounds. I encourage using a mix of fabric styles and to use this quilt as an opportunity try something new. I figure, it is a fun quilt– so use fun fabrics which may not be appropriate in your more “serious” quilt work. I’m going to use two quilts as examples. Below are Phoebee and Bubbles:
Phoebee really makes a statement.
Notice that the bee is made from very bold fabric. She’s not one bit shy. The background fabrics can be bolder for her because her focus fabric and her character allow it. Some of the background fabrics are darker in value than I would use with my other patterns, depending not just on the focus fabric, but also the subject matter and what I want you to feel when you look at the quilt.
Now looking at Bubbles.
I hope you see a sweet, endearing “fellow”…youthful, happy, maybe adventuresome… maybe up to something. This baby whale can be a boy or a girl and you can change his or her attitude just by choosing a different focus fabric! What I am hoping you have noticed by now is that the background fabrics also have a different feel. In fact, most of the accent strips I used are reversed to keep them from overpowering this sweet whale friend.
Once you’ve chosen your focus fabric, lay the fabric out, loosely shaped for the pattern you’re making– but with a twist. Literally, twist the fabric so that half of the fabric shows the reverse side. Audition BOTH sides of the focus fabric with your background possibilities. Each #usebothsides pattern gives detailed instructions for how to audition fabrics.
My husband and “silent” business partner just happened to name the two above quilts.
Next, compare the focus and background fabrics of these two quilts:
In conclusion, don’t want to get too serious about your fabric auditioning, because these patterns are designed to be fun, fast, and easy quilts. Plus, they make great quick gifts.
The Angelina (ballerina) quilt was designed from a photo I took of my daughter on pointe.
While her technical name is simply, “Angelina”, I call this quilt, “Angelina (ballerina)” for a reason.
To me, pointe shoes are just beautiful.
First, as a little girl, I always aspired to be a ballerina. However, in the small town in which I was raised, I only got to take dance lessons a few times. That’s how long the teachers stayed in town!
Moreover, both of our two daughters took ballet lessons for years (so I got to live out my dream through them). Of course, this explains why a ballerina quilt would be on my mind. Consequently, over the years, I have sewn countless elastics and ribbons to many pairs of pointe shoes. Keep in mind, most of the time, this was hurried and last minute, right before class. Therefore, most of the years, I didn’t WANT to be sewing ribbons and elastic to pointe shoes! I wanted to sew little pieces of fabric into bigger pieces of fabric, like the rest of my friends!
Pointe was the point!
Obviously, both of our daughters loved ballet. However, I’m not sure either of them would have stayed with it as long if they’d ever thought pointe shoes were off the table.
However, when I realized I was in the last few years of having pointe shoes in my life, I began to cherish those stitches.
The Angelina (ballerina) point(e) of this story is from the American Girl spin-off of the little mouse with the same name. Angelina Ballerina is a cute little mouse who loves to go to ballet lessons. We still have her, along with her stage, costumes and props. Like most of the American Girl stash, she’s going to stick around. And, Angelina Ballerina wore pointe shoes!
Now for this Angelina (ballerina) quilt pattern!
The Angelina (ballerina) quilt was also inspired by the fabric, which was originally used for the mason jar bouquet pattern, called Grace.
The RIGHT side of things.
The RIGHT side of the floral focus fabric is used to make the pointe shoes, ribbons and binding.
The REVERSE is key.
Angelina (ballerina)’s tights and the sole of her left shoe is made from the REVERSE of the same floral focus fabric.
I knew I had to get things correct when drawing out this pointe shoe template. Having never been on pointe shoes myself, I checked with my daughters to make sure Angelina was standing properly on top of her shoes!
Background fabrics count, too!
Once you’ve chosen the perfect focus fabric for your ballerina quilt, you’ll want to choose background fabrics carefully, too. You learn how to audition both sides of focus and background fabrics in the pattern. Using a variety of background fabrics adds interest and sparkle to your quilt!
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. Additionally, 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!
Determined girls wouldn’t have it any other way.
Neither would Angelina Ballerina!
See more than 50 quilt patterns that use BOTH beautiful sides of fabric HERE.