Category: Quilting (Page 1 of 5)

Posts include quilting techniques, how-to’s, and more.

A Quilter Who Inspires

Behind every quilter is a quilter who inspires them.

Maybe it’s a grandmother, mother, aunt, uncle, neighbor, or friend. Maybe the quilter is someone you’ve never met but viewed on Instagram or Pinterest or read about in a magazine. While quilting inspiration is everywhere…the tiles of a building or the view of a garden…those who inspire us can turn our likes into passion.

Is there a quilter who inspires you?

Here is one quilter who inspires me: Kathy Doughty. I met Kathy once, very briefly in Houston at quilt market. (I’m certain she does not remember me.) I was very familiar with her work and sought out her booth.

Image of a Quilter who Inspires
Kathy Doughty

I used to say that I’d love to live in a house I could get lost in (with twists and turns and secret stairways). Well, I’m kinda the same way about quilts. I’ve mentioned before that I love and appreciate all kinds of quilt styles: traditional, modern, primitive, one- color, two-color, appliqued, pieced…etc….

But the quilts that really spark my interest are quilts I can get lost in!

Kathy Doughty is a quilter who inspires me because I get lost in her quilts. Your brain can’t grab the full story of her quilts at first glance. When you look at Kathy’s quilts, you are drawn back in to study, to make sense of the design. You have to ponder the quilts to figure out how the fabric motifs and colors work together.

It’s not obvious, like, for example, in my grandmother’s two-color lilac and white quilt. While I cherish everything about the family heirloom quilt, it tells me it’s whole story at first glance. It’s very calm and peaceful.

When Kathy was interviewed for American Patchwork and Quilting magazine (June 2017), she responded to a question about fabric and color choices with,

“I like to make quilts that have secondary patterns and are not digestible in a glance.”

Kathy Doughty

I just rediscovered this article when going through old magazines, wondering why I’d kept this one- THIS is why! Kathy is unafraid of color and pattern, but she has a healthy respect for design. Maybe one reason Kathy inspires me is because her ability to combine color and pattern to the degree she does still alludes me. I guess something achieved wouldn’t be very inspirational, would it?

Kathy has a number of books that feature her vividly and interesting quilts. I keep her books handy, where I see them often. Just opening these books to revisit the quilt photos gives me inspiration to try new combinations, new colors – to step out of my comfort zone, and expand the horizons of my own little quilting world.

Kathy Doughty’s shop, Material Obsession, is located in Australia. Here’s the link to her shop – check it out!

Kathy is also a fabric designer and, as you might expect, her designs are vibrant and full of interest!

Here is her latest fabric line: New Vintage!

To see another quilter who inspires, click HERE for “Quilt Week Faves”

Sign up to follow The BUZZ.

Please share this post.

FOLLOW on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

SHOP Creative Bee Studios – More than 40 designs that use BOTH beautiful sides of fabric! #usebothsides

Shades of White in Quilts

Years ago a sweet lady named Betty gave her opinion about using white in quilts. That soft-spoken piece of quilting advise has stuck with me like a whisper in my ear.

Using white in quilts can be more controversial than one might think.

Using White in Quilts
Shades of White

I would venture to say that most quilters (or anyone buying paint for their home) knows that white isn’t necessarily white. There’s off-white, cream, cotton, paper, snow, shadow, vanilla, milk, white wash, cloud…the lists of whites goes on and one!

Quilters know they can use a fabric that isn’t actually white but it could “read” as white. One example of fabrics that use varying shades of white within themselves are “white on white” fabrics. Here is one example – which I LOVE – because this white on white has flamingos on it!

Image of White on White Flamingo Fabric
White on White Flamingo Fabric

The definition of white from the dictionary is “the achromatic color of maximum lightness’.

White is the color that is perceived by the eye when exposed to all the visible wavelengths of light. Off-white colors can vary in hue, saturation and intensity.

Also see Monochromatic by Nature

Using white in quilts
Monochromatic by Nature

So how does the definition of white relate to quilting?

According to Betty, one should never use pure white in a quilt. She believed it was too harsh on the eye. Now, does this mean that Betty never made a white-white quilt? I don’t know. I have definitely made quilts with bright white fabrics in them.

However, the context in which Betty was speaking when she gave me this advice was regarding the thread to choose for quilting a quilt with pure white fabric. She suggested using a warmer white. (I recall being a bit shocked.) She said the use of a softer white in the quilting thread provides a rest for the eye and softens the look of the entire quilt.

Image of Using White in Quilts Button Collection
This was my mother-in-law’s white button collection.

I remembered Betty’s advice when I used to quilt for customers. I chose an ivory thread, even on pure white quilts. It “read” as white on even the whitest quilts, but it softened their look.

In 2017, when I chose the background fabrics for Phoebee (my first pattern), I wanted to really go wild and use many varying shades of white. While it wasn’t necessarily my goal, I found that the use of varying shades of white provided a subtle interest in my designs. It also made me more “free” in my choices (and a bit of a rebel?). I felt I was challenging myself and eventually my student quilters to try to combine fabrics that don’t “match”. More than 35 patterns later, one of my favorite part of designing patterns is choosing the varying background shades.

I don’t get to see my friend, Betty, very often – especially now. But I think of her often and with admiration. She provided a valuable piece of advise to a novice quilter. You just never know how something you say today can stay with a person more than sixteen years later. Thanks, Betty! (hugs)

To see Phoebee and all her friends, visit my Etsy Shop: Creative Bee Studios. Click HERE.

The Marine Behind the Quilts

Sometimes we all need a little help. Who do you turn to when you need advise, ideas, or help? Friends…family..neighbors?

I’m going to say, “all of the above”! When I need a little help with my projects, I find that most people are happy to lend a hand, especially my quilter friends.

My next door neighbor has helped me with photo shoots and quilt advise. Another neighbor comes up with pattern names. Several great friends have helped me fold and stuff patterns for orders. There was even a quilter who help me do a photo shoot on the beach! (She was wearing a quilting tee shirt so I struck up a conversation. It turned out we’d met before – we had a blast!)

That being said, when I need a little help I most often turn to my self-acclaimed “silent partner”. My husband, Matt, calls himself this when he names a new quilt pattern (“Phoebee” and “Bubbles” come to mind) or offers business advise. While that’s not exactly how “silent” works, it’s still helpful!

Since I happen to live with the guy, he’s easy to tap for additional help – like holding quilts for photography! While I appreciate the advise and names, holding quilts is where he excels. Except for the occasional tired arms, Matt doesn’t complain or moan or rush me to get the perfect shot. He’s been known to dive for a falling quilt so it doesn’t touch the ground and he’s saved more than one quilt from a crashing wave (see Quilts at the Beach)!

When you need a little help saving Bubbles
Saving Bubbles

It doesn’t take a Marine to hold up a quilt…but it sure is nice to have one.

Most recently, we visited the Rocky Mountain National Park for our oldest daughter’s quaint wedding at one of the most beautiful natural venues God created, Sprague Lake.

While technically this wedding was “plan b”, it was nothing short of perfect. This was especially so for Paige and Trevor who love national parks and All Things Hiking. After the ceremony, toasts, and celebrations ended, my husband said, “Let’s go get that picture”.

You see, I’d made a wedding quilt for Paige and Trevor out of National Parks fabrics and the design was “mountains ranges” (name still pending). Matt knew I didn’t want to leave the beautiful mountains without a photo shoot of that quilt first. But I knew he had been in his dress blues since about 6 am that morning. By 3 in the afternoon, he was hot, tired, and uncomfortable.

We found a spot to pull over where there was a rushing creek with mountains in the distance. I noted that the quilt would drag the ground and he said, “Give me the pole”. He proceeded to walk on the small platform on the edge of the bridge. When he was confident he could hold the quilt there, we slid it onto the pole and he held it up while I took about ten minutes of photos and videos.

When you need a little help holding quilts in the mountains.
Matt holding the quilt in the mountains.
Sneak peek in the mountains…

I hope to debut this pattern soon and share some fantastic video clips I captured…with a little help, of course!

I have to share just a few snapshots from the wedding, right?

image of wedding photo

Note: this blog post would not be possible without the help of my Silent Partner. Much love to you, dear.

Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest to see more!

Christmas (Quilts) in July

Christmas (Quilts) in July? Yes, it’s a thing! Ours is a craft that requires lead time!

Let’s think of happy days ahead, with family and friends and gifts of joy and comfort. I love the idea of combining two of my favorite things: Christmas and quilts. I hope you’ll enjoy this month to contrast our lovely, warm summer with a taste of the crisp winter to come.

Introducing…Noelle.

Christmas (Quilts) in July Noelle Pattern

Noelle is quilted wall hanging pattern of a cute little pair of ice skates (like you might hang on your front door at Christmas time) with beautiful bouquets of winter flowers spilling out their tops. Her background is snowy white (scrappy) with fun winter-y accent fabrics. Like most #usebothsides quilt patterns, this one is fast and easy!

Go check your stash! I bet you have a Christmas floral in there, just aging for the right quilt! You’ll use your focus fabric for the skates (reverse), bouquets, and the binding!

Years ago I made myself a Christmas jumper out of this beautiful poinsettia fabric. I couldn’t bear to part with that jumper because I loved the fabric. I cut it apart and will use it as my focus fabric in my ice skates quilt!

Nancy

Next pull out your winter motif fabrics! Just five fabrics and two accent strips make up the background. Super fast!

Christmas (Quilts) in July

With the Noelle quilt pattern, you’ll learn how to audition both sides of fabrics to pick just the right focus and background fabrics.

The technique for making your bouquets is what I like to call Modern Broderie Perse. (Click HERE for more information about Broderie Perse.) Basically, it’s fusible applique while using your fabric motif as your cutting guide! See, it is fast and easy! And if your fabric has bonus motifs, like pine cones or birds, you can add those to your masterpiece! Quilters at workshops and classes seem to have the best time arranging their bouquets!

The best part is, once you make Noelle, you’ll know the technique for making all the broderie perse #usebothsides patterns!

SHOP more than 35 patterns & fabric kits HERE Creative Bee Studios Etsy Shop.

(This focus fabric is available while supplies last -click the link above.)

Have you made Christmas quilts this year? Join me on Facebook at Creative Bee Studios and share your quilts!

Follow my Christmas Quilts board on Pinterest!

Enjoy your quilting journey, Karla

(Please share this post)

Occasional Quilting

Are you an occasional quilter or do you quilt occasionally?

You might be a quilter IF you like to make quilts for special occasions.

Likewise, you might be a quilter if you quilt occasionally!

In my early days of quilting, I thought I needed a reason (sometimes known as an excuse) for spending lots of time, energy, and (let’s face it) money on a quilt. So occasional quilting it was!

I might make quilts for special occasions like these:

  • Birthdays
  • Christmas Gifts
  • Baby Showers
  • Weddings
  • Graduations
  • Activities your kids or grandkids are in (mine included operas, musicals, and dance)
  • Quilts of Valor
  • Thank you gifts
  • Housewarmings

I’m sure each of you could add to this list! The point is, if I needed an excuse to make a new quilt, I could always come up with one!

Make quilts for special occasions like a musical!
Mini quilt made for daughter, Jacquelyn, who played Gertrude in Seussical.

In the beginning, I’d see a quilt offered in a class and would decide who or what occasion it was suited for and there was my excuse to take the class. Stage two was thinking of an occasion and searching for a pattern or fabric which best suited that theme for a quilt. As I, let’s say, aged as a quilter, I would think of the occasion and then either adapt a pattern or create my own quilt to suit the day.

Make quilts for special occasions like an opera!
“Our Town” fabric is featured in a quilt for my daughter, Paige, who played Emily in the Our Town opera.

I’m guessing that “quilting occasionally” happens for all of us! Life happens and priorities change and shift. Here is my latest example of quilting occasionally – at least on this project:

An example of occasional quilting!

See more about my rather slow progress HERE at Quilting Accountability – for FUN!

This project is by Willyne Hammerstein. Learn more HERE.

Stay tuned – the next occasional quilt I’ll share is for our daughter’s wedding – she’s getting married in the mountains in a week! Can you guess what the theme might be?

Enjoy your quilting journey!

Modern Broderie Perse

I define Modern Broderie Perse as cutting fusible applique from fabric motifs. Its a faster way to achieve artistry in quilts.

Broderie Perse as a quilting technique has stood the test of time.

While Broderie Perse was popular in the 17th Century in Europe, it 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!

New Fabrics in this One-Block Quilt Pattern

Discover the beauty of new fabrics in this one-block quilt pattern! Bohemian Blenders by Hoffman explode with color throughout the Treasures quilt pattern!

Hoffman California Fabrics Bohemian Blenders are another new fabric line that explodes with interest and delight – using both sides of three new fabrics that explode in this one-block quilt pattern!

Remember the two new quilts made with “Floral Rhapsody”? Click HERE to see Dash About and HERE to see VariLovable Star in these fabulous new fabrics!

Treasures is shown here using only three new fabrics on “solid” background in this one-block quilt pattern!

Image of Treasures quilt pattern using three new fabrics in this one-block quilt.
Looking forward to quilting this girl soon- then she’ll ship to California!

Each Contrary Wife block is made with two sets of half-square triangles (made using the reverse sides of the fabric for a lighter value) and five simple squares – and that’s it! The “light” blocks are made using the background fabric squares and the “dark” blocks are made with one of the three prints. Placement and the use of value (by using the reverse sides) gives the added interest of a secondary pattern.

Image of Contrary Wife quilt block made with both sides of Hoffman's new fabric.

The three colorways of Bohemian Blenders are Peridot, Palomino, and Multi.

The Hoffman version of this pattern lists the fabric details to make it easier for quilters and shop owners to find these exact fabrics.

See the Hoffman California Spring Projects Catalog HERE!

See the original Treasures quilt below. Learn more about the original Treasures HERE.

The original Treasures is made with both sides of QT fabrics on a "solid" background.
A tropical themed Treasures made with QT fabrics by Dan Morris – complete quilt kit available HERE!

Seashells, sea horses, and coral are the seaside motifs in these fabrics by Dan Morris for QT. Both sides of the three fabrics are combined with a soft white background. There are limited quantities of this complete quilt kit in my Etsy shop (while supplies last).

As always, thank you for visiting my blog! Remember to embrace and enjoy your quilting journey!

Like, follow, pin, and share on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Where We Sew

Whether we are finishing old projects, starting new quilts, making masks… or all of the above, sewing can change our outlook on life…and WHERE we sew can change our outlook, too!

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, 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.

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!

Where are you stitching these days? Join the conversation on Facebook @ Creative Bee Studios!

Follow on Instagram and Pinterest.

Shop #usebothsides patterns HERE!

A Quilter’s Observations

When everything around you changes, you tend to take stock of what you have…

Not talking about toilet paper here, although it’s apparently been on everyone’s minds lately!

Some things I’ve noticed…

Quilters don’t get bored.

We have plenty to do, to finish, to start, to distract – I’m quite thankful not to be someone who has nothing to do.

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…for 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!

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

This would have been my Marine husband’s choice of color for a mask – I have USMC fabric, but that’s too flashy…:)

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 quilting/sewing supplies when availability is limited on so many other things.

Sometimes its good 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.

…But 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 English Paper Piecing
Click on the link above for more information about this English Paper Piecing project.

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).

Quilters are creative.

There are online quilt shows, lots of themed shares on Instagram and Facebook, online classes and more ways to stay social while doing, creating and learning.

I hope you can relate to some of my observations and can share some of your own HERE on my Facebook page: Creative Bee Studios. Please follow, like and share. Bee well, bee safe, everyone!

Quilting Accountability-for FUN

Have you ever shared with a friend something like: “I’m starting a diet – ask me next week if I’m still on it.”?

Well, friends, here is my latest on-the-go, in-the-wings, relax-time project…and I think I may have bitten off more than I can chew! It’s EPP (English Paper Piecing) – to the MAX!

Sometimes I need my friends to keep me accountable.

From Willyne Hammerstein’s book, Millefiori Quilts, comes the pattern for La Passacaglia! Willyne’s quilts are just amazing and LARGE EPP projects – this one uses just five shapes to make the book cover quilt you see here.

Image of New Quilt Project

And you can see my start – LOTS to go!

Instead of using papers that have to be removed, I like to use Apliquick fusible – a very light-weight material that you fuse onto the reverse side of your shapes. When it cools, it is just stiff enough to hold its shape as you fold the fabric over it. A touch of a glue stick holds the seam allowances in place as you stitch your shapes together. The fusible is so light, there’s no need to remove anything – a big plus, I think!

Because the pre-cut Appliquick only comes in hexagon shapes, I purchased yardage of it. Then found these wonderful Custom Quilt Set templates by Cabin in the Woods, made specifically for the La Passacaglia.

Image of Templates Kit

As you can see, each template has the center cut out, so you can use the inner template to cut your fusible and the outer template for the fabric. These templates are nice and thick, so they are easy to hang on to and you can use them as quilting templates, too.

Image of Templates

This project is one I suspect will take years – or a decade! But I will say it is addicting and, like hand-quilting, goes faster than you might think. But I only plan to work on it while traveling or when I want a bit of evening handwork to do. Stay tuned for updates as this quilt grows. Full disclosure: I’m not totally committed to it being as large as the pattern says, which is 144 x 176 cm (57 x 69 inches), but that would be quite COOL! We’ll just have to see…as time goes by. See the portion I’m working on now for perspective!

Image of Quilt

Stay tuned for updates – follow me on Facebook @ Creative Bee Studios and tell share your next challenging project with us all!

SHOP Creative Bee Studios #usebothsides patterns and kits! New designs and announcements coming SOON!

« Older posts