Tag: Crafts (Page 1 of 2)

Add a Little Joy

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

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.

Image of Little Joy at the quilt shop

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!

Image of Joy
Joy Quilt Pattern
Image of Joyful Quilt Pattern
Joyful Quilt Pattern

Shop #usebothsides quilt patterns in my Etsy Shop: CreativeBeeStudios

Image of Red Truck Quilt
MERRY Quilt Kit

See the new products on Red Bubble by clicking the button above! Read A Christmas Passed HERE and Christmas (Quilts) in July HERE.

Wishing you JOY and MERRYiment this Christmas season and God’s blessing throughout the New Year!

Mr. Snowman Punch-Needle

Meet Mr. Snowman!

Mr. Snowman is a fun, little punch-needle design. He’s hitting the slopes of trees and swirls in colors to match the quilt you see in the background.

Image of Mr. Snowman with quilt

This design is fast and easy. It’s slightly less than four inches square. The cute size fits perfectly on a mini art canvas. Add the little easel to display your mini stitched artwork.

Since punch-needle is a compact, hand-held craft, Mr. Snowman is easy to pack for travel. You can even work it while you ride. If you aren’t familiar with punch-needle, check out the many tutorials on Pinterest and Youtube. Click HERE for an introductory tutorial on Pinterest. There are also numerous books and patterns on the subject.

Image of Mr. Snowman

Generally, punch needle requires a good hoop that tightens well. You’ll want your surface tight like a drum at all times. That makes it easy for your needle to punch into the cloth.

Next, when you make a punch-needle stitch, the need head is punched downward through the back side (top) of your hooped cloth. When you pull your needle back up, it leaves a tiny loop on the front (underneath) side of your hoop. The size of the loop depends on the size of your needle punching length and thread.

You’ll work Mr. Snowman punch needle from the back side of your hoop. You can turn the hoop over periodically to see your progress.

You might want to practice getting your punches evenly spaced, but the learning curve for learning punch needle is quite easy to achieve.

See Love Notes Punch Needle

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Sweet Pumpkin Applique Pillow

Need a little fall stitching fun? How about a free wool applique pattern?

Take a little burlap, add a little lace…toss it with plaid, a pumpkin, and sunflowers to make yourself this little fall pillow! This free wool applique pattern pdf link is below.

Pic of Free Wool Applique Pattern Pillow
Sweet Pumpkin Applique

This free wool applique pattern is just a little thank you for your support and friendship. Our creative world can get sidetracked by “life” and sometimes we need just a little something to do. (Or I do anyway.) These kind of projects are just little things I like to sneak into a day (when I’m supposed to be working on something…more serious).

Sometimes small is big.

We can’t always be making big things, right? And by “big”, I mean, time consuming! For instance, I have a very small hand stitching project that’s WAY to big to think about sometimes! I find comfort in a “get ‘er done” project from time to time. I hope you do, too!

This little accent pillow takes just a little fabric and wool, and a scrap of lace and burlap. So make a cup of tea, warm up your favorite fall scents and make yourself a little pillow!

Just find a bit of fall fabric. You’ll need a bit of lace and burlap (or use a coordinating fabric from your stash). Use wool scraps or make yours with fused fabric if you’d like. I use simple stitches (imperfect), but you can jazz yours up if you want – here’s one of my favorite stitching artists: Sue Spargo! Check it out!

I created this little pillow a few years ago (before I knew our cat was allergic to wool) but I still get it out each fall. I miss working with wool – and it’s not entirely the cat’s fault! These days, with more than 40 of my own pattern designs to keep up with, I find I cherish these little projects even more. They are a rare treat. I hope you have some special projects that give you a break from the “everyday”…just now and then.

I hope you have a wonderful day today!

Image of O Holy Night Nativity

See O Holy Night Wool Applique for another free wool applique pattern.

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The MORE in “Quilts and More”

Quilters can make more than pretty quilts.

Suddenly, all our normal life activities have halted. But thankfully, as a creator, I’m cool with trying new things. While sometimes we deny it (no, I won’t mend your jeans), quilters can make more than quilts.

The best laid plans aren’t always an option.

Several weeks ago, I was going through our emergency supplies, removing the food that was WAY past it’s prime and making a list of things we could use. We live in an area of the United States that can see seasonal tornadoes, flooding, and a decent chance for a potentially devastating earthquake. I wasn’t even thinking “virus” at this point.

Sadly, here we are. Weeks ago I noticed there were no surgical face masks available (we have the hard, dust masks in our supplies for clean-up after destruction and I thought with the flu going around, surgical masks might be a good idea for the sick) – that was before I was aware of the recent run.

Therefore, my thoughts went towards making some myself. Note that this was before everyone jumped on this bandwagon! But if you are like me, you might be thinking through this whole scenario of a family member being quarantined to a single room for a long period of time. This leaves the well left to provide food, wash clothing, towels – all the things.

Fortunately, I was able to secure some disposable gloves to help with that scenario. I know if I was the person under quarantine, I’d want to be able to take a walk outdoors. We live in the country, so going outdoors wouldn’t expose anyone. Since we have no masks available here, my only shot at the outdoors could be a washable (bleach-able) version I make myself. Note that this was written prior to the run on bleach!

So, I’ve looked into several designs, those with pockets for inserting a HEPA filters, cute ones, simple ones, free ones, patterns to purchase – there are lots of designs out there. If you are interested, click on a link below.

craftpassion.com

mommacandoit.com

fabriccartdiy.com

lisascarolina.com

Above all, I hope to encourage you to remember to play it safe – for you and for those around you. Let’s take time to care of ourselves each day with a bit of creative outlet, sunshine, healthy food and a nice walk!

Bee well, everyone!

Quilted JOYS of the Twelfth Day

Here’s a little JOY from me to you this Christmas season.

Joy is in the air during this season when families come together, holiday foods are prepared, decorations adorn our homes, special gifts are given to those in need, and everyone is just a little bit nicer to one another. When heaven and nature sing, there is happiness in our world.

One of our holiday favorites is singing Christmas carols. Learn about the tradition of the Twelve Days of Christmas HERE in “Wild Goose Chase Quilt Under the Tree”.

Looking ahead to the Twelfth Day of Christmas (also known as Epiphany, Three Kings Day, Little Christmas), we recognize several things (in my understanding): the coming of the Magi (Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar), representing the first manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles (for all peoples); Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist; and the revelation of God in his Son as human in Jesus Christ.

Since on the Twelfth Day of Christmas we recognize the gifts brought by the Magi, gold (royal standing), frankincense (divine birth), and myrrh (mortality), I thought it appropriate to pass along a little gift of a mini Christmas tree template.

Image of JOY Pattern on Canvas Bag
JOY is fused onto a canvas bag!

Download this FREE pdf pattern by clicking the link above. It’s just a little JOY, a miniature of the larger quilt patterns. You can use it to decorate gift bags or other items using BOTH sides of a scrap of fabric and fusible…and if you have a scanning/cutting machine, you can have all the cutting done for you!

Image of Joy Pattern on Gift Bag
JOY is shown here on a paper gift bag.

You can learn how easy and fun it is to use BOTH beautiful sides of fabric, like with the #usebothsides quilt patterns.

Patterns come with complete detailed instructions, guides for auditioning both sides of fabric, and full-size paper templates.

For a larger Christmas wall hanging, see JOYFUL below!

Use the easy-link blue SHOP buttons HERE to shop patterns, fabric, home-decor and MORE!

Enjoy your quilting journey!

O Holy Night Wool Applique

Take a little time out of the bustle of the season to stitch up a primitive wool nativity scene.

O Holy Night is a simple wool wall hanging. It features Mary, Joseph and the babe in a nativity scene on a starlit night.

O Holy Night, the stars are brightly shining. It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth.

Image of O Holy Night Nativity
O Holy Night

Both of our daughters sang for Christmas Eve church services when they were younger. After the early service, we hosted family for a meal and then we’d all head back to town for the candlelight service. O Holy Night, Mary, Did You Know, and Silent Night (to guitar) are the ones I remember most.

Read about other Christmas family traditions in Wild Goose Chase Quilt Under the Tree.

Click on the download below for the templates and head outside to find the perfect hanging stick!

Image of Nativity Wool Applique

This O Holy Night nativity scene starts with a dark purple wool for the nighttime background. Choose any color for your stable. The gold wool depicts the glow of light, from the star and the presence of the Christ child. While I chose more traditional colors for Mary and Joseph, herringbone or other textured wools would add interest. Chain stitches add details the holy family. Blanket stitches finish the edges. I went outside to find the perfect stick for hanging this wool art.

For more Christmas projects, click HERE.

Image of Diplay at Shop

Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy Christmas filled with joy and blessings.

Textures of Christmas Time

Do quilts already play a part in your Christmas decorating? They do in mine! How about including some additional textures among the quilts?

Add texture with simple touches.

Explore some new techniques and textiles to add to your holiday handmade joy!

The main focus of my dining room is a texture-rich quilt! This quilt is great for decorating all winter long. I happen to love aqua as a Christmas color (year-round, really) and it’s here to stay in parts of my Christmas/winter decorating! Fun things to note on this quilt are the buttons, “pearl” necklaces on the birds, skate strings and glitzy fabrics.

Add in a little Punch Needle Snowman

Mr. Punch Needle Snowman is small enough to finish quickly and glue to the smallest canvas (available at Michael’s). Click on the link above for the free PDF download.

Image of Mr. Snowman
Image of Mini Punch Needle

Snowflake Table Runner

I made this simple table runner from one wonderful piece of snowflake fabric. Next, I cut the glitzy snowflakes with an Accuquilt die and fused them in place. I did quick quilting on the top/batting. Then I added a ribbon of tiny white balls, like a piping. Finally, I layered it with the backing and turned it like a pillowcase- super fun and fast!

Wood Manger Scene Sign

Make a quick manger scene sign using Scan N Cut, a pre-made sign and shimmery vinyl!

Image of Candlelight Wool Wrap and Manger Scene

Wool Candle Wrap

To make the candle wrap, I just cut strips of muslin on the diagonal and stitched down the middle of them onto a piece of wool. I then threw them in the washer and dryer with a load of towels and they came out nice and fuzzy. Connect the ends in back with a button and a thin hair elastic, sewn to the wool.

Image of Bear Quilt

Just for fun, take a look at this Christmas bear quilt! I made it from a McKenna Ryan kit. His hat and glove were meant to be red cotton, but instead I made them from a fun aqua cotton and the ribbing from an old wool sweater that was in my late mother-in-law’s stash.

Be sure to check out the Christmas quilt patterns made with BOTH beautiful sides of fabric HERE!

Wishing you layers of joy this Christmas season!

Designing Quilts with Panels

To the tune of “On the Cover of the Rolling Stones”, I feel like singing! At the close of 2018, I happened onto my pattern, “Holly”, featured on the cover of a Hoffman California Fabrics’ catalog!

It began with an email asking if I (along with four or five other designers) would like to try our hand at designing with a new Christmas line of fabric. It’s my understanding that other designers use digital fabric swatches and their computers to design patterns. But since I use BOTH sides of the fabric, I need the real thing!

Click HERE to see the Winter Projects 2019 Catalog by Hoffman California Fabrics.

We had a week for the deadline – but since I needed the fabric shipped to me and then I needed to ship the finished quilt back to California, I had less than that to design and make the quilt!

Frankly, I was in a hurry! Add to the mix that it was Thanksgiving weekend, I was driving six hours on Saturday, attending our daughter’s show, driving four on Sunday, and staying in a hotel (with terribly inadequate lighting) until Tuesday AND, until I could see and audition BOTH sides of the fabric, I had no idea if my idea would work!

Working with both sides of fabric means lots of value-checking. You can’t tell from the front of fabric if the reverse will work. Some fabrics have great reverses and some just don’t. Click HERE for “The Tricky Traits of Value”.

The Christmas tree panel is gorgeous on its own – who would want to cut that apart? I certainly wouldn’t cut it to make another tree. I was also pretty certain that other designers would be designing borders around the whole panel, so mine had to be different.

I started to focus on the fat-quarter panel they sent. I had received a whole box of fabric to choose from and I knew if I wanted to use this panel, I couldn’t just use one fat-quarter of it or even half of them- I needed to use the whole panel. After auditioning many combinations, I decided I could use the panel – BOTH sides of the panel!

So…once again, it all comes down to fabric values. In classes, I have quilters audition many background fabrics and take lots of black and white pictures to see how their background fabrics “play” with their focus fabric. The smaller accents strips are allowed to be a bit “louder”, but the larger pieces need to provide interest as opposed to distraction. So take a look at this picture of the panel. Lots of dark fabric, right? Really pretty fabric…but more darks than lights.

Now look at a close-up of the quilt. Do you recognize those fabrics? …same fat quarters from the panel – just using the other side! Most of the accents strips are made from the front side. The bows, bells, stripes, plaid, and Christmas words make this an exciting background for the Holly wreath. One of the fat-quarters had two stockings printed on it. I used the one on the wreath and I embroidered the second stocking for the quilt label.

Image of Quilt Close Up
See the candy canes made from the reverse stripe?
Image of Back of Quilt
You can see the quilting, the extra stocking as a label, and the prairie point hanging method here.

The wreath is made using fused holly leaf shapes from the Christmas tree panel. Being a digital print, the fabric has a sparkle of light to it, making the wreath sparkle as well.

You might notice I didn’t have time to take great pictures – and apparently I borrowed my husband’s house shoes that day!

Even the pieced binding is made from the fat-quarter panel!

This is a fun quilt to make and so easy to shop for if you use the two panels! While I have no official timeline, my guess is that these fabrics will be in shops by summer!

If you have Christmas yardage in your stash – you can use it! I wrote this pattern to work with the panels as shown OR using your own choices of fabrics. The same method applies to both – it’s all about the value!

Here’s how Holly look inside the catalog!

I designed Phoebee 2.0 using BOTH sides of Hoffman California Fabrics “Electric Garden” as the focus fabric -it’s available in shops now!

Image of Electric Garden

Shop all my patterns at my Etsy Shop: Creative Bee Studios (Click HERE)

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Cross-over Quilting Tools

Like many of us quilters, space is at a premium, so when I find a tool or machine that has multiple uses, I get excited about it!

Let’s face it, we can’t make everyone a quilt every time we need a gift! That’s why I like to use my Brother Scan N Cut, which I mostly bought for quilting purposes, to also make unique non-quilted  gifts.

Click HERE for a review of  the monogrammed baby quilt I made using a phone app and the Scan N Cut:

Click HERE to see the old Italian proverb made with Scan N Cut in this Italian Row-by-Row quilt.

The Scan N Cut project I’d like to share with you today is one I made for Christmas last year – and it requires a short story…

Each year, we gather at my husband’s family farm before Christmas. We all traipse into the fields and watch as the chosen tree is cut down. The (now grown) grand-kids decorate the tree while the older grown-ups visit. Before opening gifts and eating, everyone gathers around the very long dining table while our mother-in-law leads us on the piano in Christmas carols. It’s sounds all cozy and Hallmark-y, right?

Then comes the finale, “The Twelve Days of Christmas”! Except for two assigned parts, we all do the motions for each of the days. The assigned parts? The three brothers are “Lords a Leapin'” for which they do what is supposed to be a leaping type of movement (they take this role very seriously) and any new boyfriend or girlfriend brought to the party is the “goose” for “Geese a Layin'”. This involves squatting, twisting, and flapping movements.

Image of Kiefner Brothers Leaping

Fabulous Photo by Black Kiefner

Now, there is a year-long push for new geese–so each single grandchild has a bit of pressure to find a goose to bring for Christmas! Both of our daughters will say their geese have been somewhat traumatized by Kiefner Christmas!

What does this have to do with Scan N Cut? I came up with this gift idea last year using vinyl and paint on glass in a barn wood frame. The painting was very easy, just dabbing layers of green and white in the general shape of a tree (the only tricky part was that the paint is on the back of the glass so you want to paint the foreground first). Placing the letters was easy once I figured out to use a rotary mat under my glass to line everything up.  I ended up making a few variations for other families and I think they were all well-received. Image of Hanging Picture

If you’ve wondered about using a Scan N Cut for quilting, this would be a great time of year to check them out – dealers are having sales and you need something to put on your wish list, right? (I have no affiliation with Brother or any dealers, I just like to share with you the things I like!)

Check out these Christmas items in my Etsy Shop (Click Here).Image of Poinsettia Quilt

Image of JOY QuiltImage of Blue Christmas Tree Quilt

Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14

South Dakota Quilts & More

Our visit to South Dakota was nothing short of breathtaking!

Overall, the visit to South Dakota included stops in Chamberlain and Custer. What I didn’t expect to see were quilts everywhere!

First, we saw a huge quilt monument, quilt shops, a quilt in a musical, and quilts at our bed and breakfast. What more could a quilter ask for?

A quilter-friendly visit.

Our visit to South Dakota happened because our youngest daughter was hired by Black Hills Playhouse in Custer, SD. We knew little about the playhouse or South Dakota, but planned our visit right away when we learned of her opportunity. She would play the role of Laurey in OKLAHOMA!

I had no idea the South Dakota visit would be so quilter friendly!

Image of Dignity Statue
Image of Dignity's Quilt

Dignity in Chamberlain, SD

Dignity is a 50-foot-tall statue in Chamberlain, SD, to honor the cultures of the Dakota and Lakota people. She represents courage, perseverance and wisdom. Made from stainless steel, Dignity wears a Native dress from the 1850s and holds a star quilt made from 128 stainless steel blue diamonds. Dignity was designed by artist laureate Dale Lamphere and gifted to the state of South Dakota by Norm and Eunabel McKie. Learn more about Dignity HERE.

The Quilt Shop

Just down the road from Dignity in the city of Chamberlain is The Quilt Shop. In addition to several rooms filled with bolt after bolt of beautiful fabric, is the main room featuring a mix of Native American art, jewelry, beads, quilt patterns, kits, laser pre-cuts, panels, and more fabric!

The Badlands.

No South Dakota visit is complete without a trip through the Badlands. The landscape is diverse and amazing.

Image of Badlands, SD
The Badlands, South Dakota

Bison galore!

Image of Bison
A partial herd of bison “greeted” us when we entered The Black Hills.
Image of Bison Statue with Quilt

There were bison statues all through the town of Custer, too This one is sporting a quilt.

Check out this bison following us on the road (view is from inside our Tahoe).Image of Bison on Road

The Black Hills Playhouse

Taking this long of a trip to see a show, we didn’t see it just once, we caught it three times! We didn’t stop smiling, even to the end of the third show!

Image of Black Hills Playhouse
Click here for more info on BHP.

It’s amazing that this quaint theater tucked in the hills has such a dedicated following, especially when you see the roads people travel to get to it! At least the first three shows were sold out. The energy level of the cast was high, the performances perfected, the direction was unique and solid (not that I’m an expert at ALL, but I know what I like) and the SOUND…I could hear every word. It was a wonderful experience. Everything you would expect from a professional playhouse.

Image of Curly and Laurey
Curly and Laurey played by Lukas Ptacek and Jacquelyn Kiefner
Image of Ado Annie and Star Quilt
Ado Annie – “I’m just a girl who cain’t say no!” Played by Josey Miller.

See  more incredible photos by Sage Studios Professional Photography on their Facebook Page HERE or go to their website HERE. He really captured the moments and the energy-even the rice toss the moment before the lights went out at the end of the show.

More sights on the South Dakota visit.

The star quilts took on significance for the Sioux and Assiniboine when buffalo was pushed to near extinction and hides and robes were no longer given as honors. Also known as the Star of Bethlehem, the pattern is also featured in quill work, bead work and paintings.

Image of Mt. Rushmore
Mount Rushmore
Image of Crazy Horse Mock Up
Mock Up of Crazy Horse Memorial

We got to spend part of one day with our daughter and took in Crazy Horse and Mount Rushmore!

Image of Kathy and Ernie
Owners Kathy and Ernie, Dakota Dream

Last, but certainly NOT least to share about our trip, was the warm welcome we received at Dakota Dream Bed & Breakfast & Horse Hotel. Kathy and Ernie were delightful hosts and, I’m telling you, they thought of EVERY thing to make our stay special! We highly recommend! Even after day three, I was still finding little things they did to provide all the comforts, well, beyond OUR home!

Learn more about Dakota Dream HERE!

Image of Breakfast Plate
Every breakfast was a work of art.
Image of Quilt
Kathy’s a quilter, too!
Image of Matt and Karla at Dakota Dream
Me and the hubbs.

Read about Tanka, the bison skull quilt and Dakota, the Southwest turtle quilt inspired by the visit to South Dakota.

Shop more than 50 Creative Bee Studios Quilt Patterns!

 

Enjoy YOUR quilting journey!

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