Category: #usebothsides

Digital Quilting

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.

Image of Grace Quilt Pattern
Grace https://www.etsy.com/listing/788780357/
Image of Use Both Beautiful Sides Quilt
VariLovable Starhttps://www.etsy.com/listing/778654147/
Image of Noelle Quilt
Noelle Quilt Patternhttps://www.etsy.com/listing/896174897/
Image of Mini Digital Quilting Pattern
Lil’ Susiehttps://www.etsy.com/listing/882268640/
Image of Digital Quilting Pattern
Tropical Sunset

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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Meet Lil’ Susie

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!

Image of mini art quilt

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.

Image of Lil' Susie Pattern Cover

Need a larger mason jar bouquet quilt? Read about Grace HERE.

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Modern Broderie Perse

Modern Broderie Perse is the method of cutting fabric motifs from fused fabrics. Its a faster way to achieve artistry in quilts.

Broderie Perse stands the test of time as a specialty quilting technique.

While this technique was popular in the 17th Century in Europe, Broderie Perse most likely originated in India. The fabrics were traditional florals. Birds and vases were also common themes. Sewers would cut the fabric by using the motifs as their templates. Then they turned the stitches and hand-appliqued them to backgrounds. The darker colors were often paired with beige backgrounds.

Image of Traditional Broderie Perse

I was only vaguely aware of this quilting technique when I discovered using the reverse side of fabric for my quilt pattern designs. I liked the idea of using fabric motifs as templates for cutting because it would allow each quilt to be unique. Imagine a dozen quilters using the same pattern, each with a different focus fabric. By cutting fusible applique from fabric motifs, each quilt is different in size, value, color, and style.

This is all achieved by using different focus fabric and a Modern Broderie Perse technique! Remember, it’s all about cutting fusible applique from fabric motifs.

So, for example, if your fabric has large flowers, you’ll cut fewer of them for your design. You’ll also space them differently. You’ll audition background fabrics with both sides of your focus fabric. Therefore, chances are your backgrounds will also be unique. You might add additional motifs, like birds or bees, in your quilt – whatever is in your focus fabric!

My classes taught me how adaptable Broderie Perse is – with their unique results!

Modern Broderie Quilts Made in Class
Fabulously different “Grace” quilts made by Heartland Quilters Guild Members!
Grace Quilt Pattern uses the Modern Broderie Perse technique.
Grace Quilt Pattern

Vibrant colors and variety of styles make Modern Broderie Perse exciting and fun for today’s quilters.

Merle's Bouquet Quilt made with Modern Broderie Perse
Merle’s Bouquet Quilt Pattern

Enjoy your quilting journey!

The Quilted Aria – A New Song

This little vintage machine quilt is singing a new song!

Aria ahr-ee-uh: expressive music often heard in opera – she’s a singer!

Check out this incredible fabric from RJR! It’s a Digiprint called Arcadia “Secret Garden”. It makes a fabulous focus fabric for this vintage machine quilt pattern!

Image of Fabric

The focus fabric kit is available NOW in my Etsy Shop HERE (while supplies last). If you are familiar with my designs, you know you’ll use BOTH sides of the fabric. Use the front side for the machine and binding. Use the reverse to make stork scissors, thimble, and pennants.

As you can see above, this vibrant digital fabric has a hand-painted look of bouquets of flowers, three different birds, and a soft shadow design throughout.

Using BOTH sides of a focus fabric provides a subtle difference in value that makes your quilts sparkle (or in this case, “sing”)!

Image of Focus Fabric Pack

You’ll learn how to audition both sides of your focus fabrics and your background fabrics. In summary, once you’ve learned the nuances of value, you can apply that skill to all your quilt projects.

It’s a valuable skill (see what I did there?).

First, I drew this pattern from my own little machine. Next I drew my favorite “stork” scissors and my late mother-in-law’s thimble. I enjoy using sentimental tools when stitching. As you can see, there’s something special about Aria. This pattern has a piece of my heart in it.

SHOP this and all the #usebothsides patterns and kits HERE.

Below is the original quilt and a “Tula” version, which had to be PINK (also available as a focus fabric kit)!

Image of Two Sewing Machine Quilts

See Popular Vintage Machine Quilt HERE about my opera-singer daughter.

Image of Paige in Our Town

See the original article “Vintage Machine Quilt Pattern” HERE.

This focus fabric is also available for Merle’s Bouquet Kit – used as a modern broderie perse (cutting fused flowers from the fabric motif) to arrange the bouquet in a vintage watering can (reversed).

Image of Watering Can Bouquet Quilt
“Merle’s Bouquet”

Have some florals in your stash? Pull them out and turn them over! You might be surprised! (Individual patterns also available.)

Have a great day and enjoy your quilting journey!

Popular Vintage Machine Quilt

Aria ahr-ee-uh quickly became a best-seller! She’s is a quilt pattern for any vintage machine lover!

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!

Image of Quilt Hanging Outsides

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.

Click here to hear “Emily’s Aria” from Our Town by Paige Kiefner
Here I was in Rochester, NY, on an unusually warm, sunny day, binding her graduation bow-tie quilt made with a fabric line called…wait for it…Our Town!

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!

Image of Pink Sewing Machine

#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.)

Shop for Aria and all the #usebothsides patterns at www.etsy.com/shop/CreativeBeeStudios.

Vintage Machine Quilt Pattern

Aria ahr-ee-uh: expressive music often heard in opera.  (She’s a singer!)Image of Sewing Machine Quilt

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 PinkKaffe 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!

Someday (dreaming now), I’d like to own a beautiful turquoise featherweight, preferably purchased in person from Roxanne’s A Wish and A Dream shop in California!

In conclusion, I was drawn to this lovely, sweet floral fabric for this machine. It has sweet roses and leaves. Of course, the reverse side passed my audition test, which is all about value.Image of Quilt Hanging Outsides

Choosing backgrounds for this little wall hanging is the most fun. You can really mix it up here!

Wanna jazz things up? Check out this Tula Pink version! LOVE.Image of Pink Sewing Machine Quilt

Find the Aria quilt pattern and #usebothsides of your fabric! Etsy shop: HERE.

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Simple Designs for Stunning Quilts

Image of Grace Quilt Pattern

Introducing…Grace, a simple design for a stunning quilt.  First, take a mason jar shape. Next add a broderie perse bouquet. Finally, construct a fun, scrappy background to make a sweet quilted wall hanging.

You first pick your floral focus fabric for the mason jar (reverse), bouquet, and binding! Add scrappy background fabrics and you’ll be set. 

You’ll discover the nuances of value as you learn to audition BOTH sides of fabric! Each #usebothsides patterns teaches you how to audition your fabrics. Value is the key to success! Learning to measure value is a skill you can apply to all your future quilt projects.

Your focus fabric determines the style of your bouquet. 

I’ve had a large room full of quilters make this design at their annual retreat and the results were, well, stunning! Each quilter had a guide for how to choose both focus and background fabrics before the retreat. They also brought extra fabric for last-minute changes. This pattern is a great classroom or workshop project because the results are incredibly different. Even if two quilters choose the same focus fabric, their background fabrics and bouquet arrangement makes their quilts unique. It truly is a simple design for a stunning quilt.

How do you know if a fabric has a great reverse? You learn through the auditioning process. After looking a few reverse sides, you’ll soon have a good feel for those fabrics you can audition. It’s also a great conversation starter at quilt shops when they see you looking at BOTH sides. Some of my friends say they never look at one side of fabric anymore. In a way, it’s like doubling your stash without losing any space!

 

Learn more about modern Broderie Perse! 

Image of Simple Design Stunning Quilt
Image of Four Grace Bouquets
SHOP Creative Bee Studios Quilt Patterns HERE
Image of Kate's Bouquet Simple Design Stunning Quilt
Kate’s Bouquet is another way to use BOTH sides of fabric!https://www.etsy.com/listing/720564306

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The Tricky Traits of Value in Quilts

Determining fabric values isn’t hard, but it can be tricky.

I have long thought I understood the value of value in quilts. It’s what makes a simple, two-color quilt have bold areas of light and dark or it is what makes those cool secondary patterns in your multi-color quilt design. Easy, right?

Light. Medium. Dark.

Then (more than) a few years ago, Blended Quilts became popular. They threw me under the bus with value! I would study and read about fabric choices and how to combine fabrics to work together and yet be not so obvious. Not such an easy thing to do, successfully!

My Grandma Emma Wichern’s lavender and white embroidered quilt is precious to me. I love seeing crazy-quilts. Modern is fun, bright, and happy…or sometimes calming and simple. I have some appreciation for all types of quilts. But what really gets me excited about a quilt is when it is successfully splashed with all kinds of colorful and different fabrics. What makes that work is value.

To see the value of fabrics, you have to remove the color.

You can do this numerous ways, but the simplest trick for me is to take a picture of fabric choices or my blocks on my design wall with my phone and change the picture to black and white (mono).

Values change depending one their surroundings.

The fact that my neat little piles (okay, not neat) of lights, mediums, and darks can change their values depending on what is around them was a V8 moment for me!

Take Lily, for example:

Her background is made of all fairly light neutrals (scrappy) plus a couple of accent, color strips. When compared to the focus fabric, the background is light, the flowers (reverse side of focus fabric) are medium and the dragonfly (focus fabric) is dark.

When you are just working on your background, those strips of color can look quite bold and may seem too dark to be part of the background. But when looking at those same fabrics in black/white WITH the focus fabric laying across them, they all fall into the light category and they work!

Image of dragonfly quilt in black and white.

Even the colorful accent strips disappear in this black and white photo.

I knew that choosing the backgrounds for Lily, and her sister quilts, Phoebee, and Belle, might be a little out-of-the-box for some quilters because they call for mixing white-white fabrics with seriously beige fabrics while they combine mini-prints with batiks and more, all in one background setting. So when describing how to choose those fabrics, I even refer to the “darkest lights” as “light medium”. My intention is to encourage combining a variety of background fabrics which on another quilt might not work, but gives this quilt an interesting base for the bold winged-girl made of a dark focus fabric.

Just take a picture.

Image of Dragonfly Quilthttps://www.etsy.com/listing/537263774/

When compared with your focus fabric and its reverse, in the case of the Colorful Wings quilts, do your background fabrics appear light? If so, they work!

What tricks do you use for determining value in your quilt fabrics?

When did you first realize the value of value?

 

More than forty designs now available in my Etsy Shop: Creative Bee Studios