Category: Quilting (Page 1 of 5)

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

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!

Quilt Retreat Checklists

Winter has come and gone (well, sort of) and what does that mean? It’s quilt retreat season!

Image of Tool Holder

Over the years I’ve compiled lists of items to take on retreats – see the master list below for today’s quilter.

Also, check out these previous blog posts in case you are wondering about some of these items: Quilt Retreat Take-Alongs 2019 AND Quilt Retreat Checklist 2018 AND Quilt Retreat Take-Alongs 2017

The basics: Sewing machine and supplies, including instruction manual, needles, thread, scissors,seam ripper, extra light bulb, Q-tips for cleaning (I actually prefer the make-up applicator style) Double check that you have your foot pedal and electrical cord with your machine!

Extras: More lighting, electrical strips and cords, phone, laptop, tablet, fitness tracker and charging cords for each.

Design wall or make-do with a fleece blanket or flannel-backed table cloth. Painters tape or push pins to hang the fleece or tablecloth. Throw in your 1/4 inch seam guide and 3M removable tape, rotary mat and blades, portable iron and ironing surface, cutting and specialty rulers, fabric spray, various scissors (depending on your projects), hand-work projects with needles, thread, thimble, chain cutter, guild directory.

Personal items: Comfortable clothing, pajamas, walking shoes, pain reliever, back “massager”, overnight products, food, and plenty of water. I also throw in DVDs, a book, book light, a personal heater, all my work stuff to fill orders while at retreat, and my yoga workout, so I don’t leave retreat in pain!

So tell me, what am I missing? Follow on Facebook at Creative Bee Studios and tell me what you bring to retreats!

Stay tuned for pics of retreat quilt projects – I’ll make the rounds to all the cabins – the variety is astounding!

Quilting Resolutions

Are UFOs, PIGS, or WIPs a part of your New Years 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!

See the original Lickety-Split Quilt Bindings post HERE.

When I have “git-ur-done” quilts, not needing hand-turned binding, this is my go-to technique. This technique provides a 2 1/4″ or a 2″ binding (for mini quilts) options. Shout out to “Susie” who shared a similar technique on Pinterest – but that version made a wider binding not commonly used these days.

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.

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!

Nature’s Color Wheel

Choosing colors for quilts doesn’t have to be difficult but it might not be simple, either!

If you like to play it safe, 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 want to do that – grab a kit and make it up, quick as possible.

Sometimes, though, I like to have a longer process for choosing my quilt colors and fabrics (including value, hues, tints, size of prints, types of fabrics, etc.) If you like to have more than one quilting iron in the fire like me, maybe you do this, too!

You can refer to previous posts about color here: “One Easy Way to Conquer Color” “Monochromatic by Nature” and “Six Tips for Using Color In Landscape Quilts”

There are two concepts I always go back to when choosing fabric for a new quilt: Color in Nature and Value.

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

Color: Nature just doesn’t get it wrong. Start observing natural settings, plants, animals, bugs, everything around you. Take pictures are start collecting things for idea boards, whether it’s on your phone or computer folder or actual items pinned on a board.

Image of Christmas Cactus Plant
There are many variations in just the flower petals of this Christmas cactus. I would have normally just considered it “pink”.

Value: Nature also doesn’t get value wrong. Winter is the best time to collect ideas about how nature uses value. Some of the most peaceful quilt settings take on the natural values often found outside in winter.

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

An example of using BOTH sides of a line of fabrics: “Holly” was made from two panels by Hoffman California Fabrics and was featured on the cover of their “Winter Projects 2019” Catalog.

SHOP for “Holly” and all “UseBOTHsides” Patterns HERE!

No Hard Rules…in Christmas or Quilting

Christmas is a season filled with tradition. It’s the things you do every year, without fail. Like rules, you don’t break tradition.

But families change. Kids grow up. Holidays are shared. Traditions (rules) might have to (wait for it)…change.

What does this have to do with quilting?

I always took pride in our Christmas traditions. There were certain categories of gifts and each had to be filled. Certain music had to be played…movies watched, cookies baked, old recipes fixed. I actually used to think I had to use every decoration we owned each year.

A few years back, aqua became the new Christmas color…wait, what? Not red and green? It took me a moment…but only a moment, to embrace the idea…to throw that red and green tradition (rule) out the window.

Last year I realized that the beloved tradition I’d started at our old house of making St. Lucia Bread, hadn’t risen properly one time at our new house – ten years in a row! (I’d tried all the yeast tricks, too.)

Side note: the tradition started when our girls would dress up like their Kristen (American Girl) dolls in their white gowns with their St. Lucia crowns to serve us some coffee-like substance and “cookies” on Christmas morning – it was adorable!

I wouldn’t use my red and green Christmas quilts anymore – and I had to make new ones with all the pretty blues!

I think a lot of people embraced the blue Christmas – for one or two seasons…but for me it was a NEW tradition!

My original “JOY” quilt pattern was made using a vintage ornament fabric that was very classic Christmas colors. But, in a need to show how a variety of fabrics could be used for this pattern, I had to make this blue one – from both sides of a beautiful, aqua Hoffman panel! (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)

Image of JOY Quilt Hanging
JOY Quilt Pattern

Fast forward to grown kids, job schedules, tight budgets, and limited time together, we are considering changing more Christmas traditions this year. We are brainstorming about how to make our time fun and meaningful. What’s interesting is that the more we talk about setting aside our old traditions (rules), the more creative we have become in our brainstorming. It’s as if a weight is being lifted.

Seriously, how is this post about quilting?

When I first started quilting, I was all about the rules (traditions). I wanted to learn every single one of them. Some were paramount to good technique and skill-building and very important. Others were just plain silly. I didn’t realize the difference until the day a wise quilter suggested that rules were meant to be broken.

It was then I realized I had ingested each one of those rules, not realizing that some rules (traditions) were limiting my joy for quilting and my creativity for fear of breaking them.

I’ve noticed now that I watch for the rule-breakers in quilting. Their work excites and inspires me, regardless if the technique is traditional or contemporary.

If you know me personally, you know I embrace tradition. If you are familiar with Lutherans, I am a “page 5 of the old, OLD hymnal” kind of gal!

Don’t let your need for tradition RULE your world…whether it’s Christmas or quilting.

Image of JOY Quilt
Shop JOY Quilt Pattern
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