Quilt shops everywhere are opening boxes of Hoffman California’s beautiful “Meet Me in Paradise” fabric used to make the Tropical Sunset quilt pattern!
Before I started designing patterns, I had no idea how short the window is for designing and making quilts for fabric companies. To get the fabric produced and shipped takes much longer!
Sometimes I’ve had less than a week to open a box of fabric, design and make a quilt, write the pattern, photograph the quilt and ship the quilt from Missouri to California. Whew!
Of course, many quilt designers use digital software to “build” their quilts. Fabric companies have digital swatches to download for designing. They can plan the quilt and insert the fabric without taking a stitch. However, fabric companies don’t make swatches of the REVERSE side. Enter the need for real fabric!
For this design, I used my Ipad and the app called Procreate. This is a great drawing and painting app that’s easy to learn and fun to use. In Procreate, you can also make clippings masks of objects (in this case, the photo of the fabric). That’s how I “drew” the bouquet. Here’s the sketch I send to my representative to “pitch” my quilt idea:
As you can see, there’s quite a difference from the sketch to the actual quilt. Things don’t always work like you picture them in your head, right? Sometimes, they are much better in real life and real fabric!
I love that the “wallpaper” border made from the reverse of one coordinating fabric. If you’ve made a #usebothsides quilt pattern before, you know it’s important to audition both sides of fabric with itself (focus) and with surrounding (background, border) fabrics to know if they will actually have enough contrast. That “wildcard” is what makes getting a box of fabric a whole lot exciting and a little bit scary! This is one line that is PERFECT for using both sides!
See more about Tropical Sunset Quilt Pattern HERE.
As orders for patterns come in, I’ll be sharing links to the shops so you can do some online paradise shopping!
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!
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.
Need a larger mason jar bouquet quilt? Read about Grace HERE.
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.
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!
Next pull out your winter motif fabrics! Just five fabrics and two accent strips make up the background. Super fast!
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!
Treasures is shown here using only three new fabrics on “solid” background in this one-block quilt pattern!
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.
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.
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).
It’s beginning to look (and feel) a lot like red truck Christmas quilt season!
Merry is a red truck Christmas quilt that’s easy and fun to make! You can start your holiday decorating with a fun Christmas wall hanging OR make one for a favorite friend!
Use BOTH sides of one red Christmas fabric on a snowy bed of winter fabrics to make this quilted wall hanging.
This little red truck is dashing through a snowy lane. On a background of winter trees, various sizes of snowflake motifs, cardinals on lighted lines, and glitzy deer, this red truck Christmas quilt is made with both sides of one focus fabric. So toss a tree in the back, add the mirrors, tires, license plate, and reversed details to “trim out” your truck. Pull out your winter/Christmas stash and start auditioning your fabrics!
Shop the “Merry” quilt pattern in my Etsy shop: HERE
Below are the current Christmas quilt patterns available. For each you will use both sides of at least one fabric. With each #usebothsides pattern, you’ll discover the nuances of value as you learn to audition BOTH sides of fabric. I teach you HOW, like what to look for and how to use value to your advantage.
Look at each picture below and notice where the reverse side is used. Look carefully because you’ll see that the reverse is often used in the background as well. Chances are you have fabric in your stash that will work, with beautiful reverse sides. So pull out some stash and turn it over! Once you learn about what makes reverse sides work, you’ll never look at one side of fabric again! It’s almost like doubling your stash (without taking up any more room). Plus, it’s fun and makes choosing fabrics easy!
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.
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.
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!
Shop all my patterns at my Etsy Shop: Creative Bee Studios (Click HERE)
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Jacq O’Lantern has a happy little ghoul popping right out her top like a jack-in-the-box! The first mini #usebothsides quilt pattern, Jacq O’Lantern is too much fun to make!
She’s a pint-size lesson about value but when you make her, you’ve learned the easy tricks for using value to make any of the patterns using both sides of one focus fabric!
I was never real big on halloween decorations. I preferred to use that money to buy more Christmas lights and decorations. We didn’t avoid Halloween with our kids, but we also didn’t make a big fuss about it. So…why is it I LOVE Halloween fabric so much?
As a kid 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?). The other was a witch on a broomstick.–she always had a long chin that jutted out and a big ole wart on her 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!
Black Kitty Punch Needle
Instant Bargello Quilt
If you like Halloween fabrics like I do, chances are you have everything you need in your stash to make this little gal. So grab your stash – and turn it over! #usebothsides
Our youngest daughter’s name is Jacquelyn. We’ve always had nicknames for her such as
Da Jacqinator (at the age of two she could “destroy” a room in minutes)
Jacqqity Jacq (don’t talk back)
and, among others,
Jacq O’Lantern Quilt Pattern makes a mini (a mere 12″ square) to hang perfectly on wire hanger.
Recently I’ve had companies promoting to me on my Facebook feed. They show pictures of fabulously pieced and appliqued quilts for sale at AMAZING prices! These are intricate and well-done, obviously made by individuals–and not massed-produced, quilts. The problem is they are fake companies stealing real quilters’ pictures and using them to cheat other people.
What was my first clue? THEY CALLED THEM BLANKETS!
It’s been a “thing” in my family for years that when one of them asks for me to pass them a blanket, I shout, “They’re quilts, not blankets! I am not a blanketer!” (Kinda like Harry Potter, only with a pretend wand.)
Second clue: $59
It’s amazing (and kinda sad) how many people respond excitedly to these posts by tagging their friends and loved ones to, for example, buy the brilliant pieced, appliqued, and quilted musician-themed quilt of a cello for $59! (We all know that might cover the cost of the batting and backing.)
Third clue: TONS of different quilts.
It’s like they just keep snagging quilt pictures from Etsy, Craftsy and Pinterest and slapping prices on them to sell! I was going to share a pic of one company promoting a Star Wars quilt that appears to have been hanging in a quilt show. I don’t want to do more harm than good by posting the fake site , so I won’t.
I’ve recently joined a pattern-maker group and, sure enough, they are suggesting you search these sites to see if these companies have stolen your pictures. (I have no idea what you do if that happens.)
What to do about the sites? I try to report the company, when allowed by Facebook. I also comment on the post that the company is a fraud. The only other thing I know to do is to tell as many people as I know not to fall for something that looks too good to be true.
I hope these bad people get caught before they steal more people’s money and, who knows, identity!
No mercy in my house–’cause that’s what you get when you call a quilt a blanket!
South Dakota, wildlife everywhere, incredible terrain, bison strolling along the roadside, animal skulls…this isn’t some cutesy butterfly pattern I’m introducing…in fact, it took this Southeast Missouri girl some time to wrap her head around it…
…but with the right fabrics – WOW! I’m diggin’ this bison skull quilt pattern. I hope you are, too!
As many of you know from “South Dakota Quilts & More” (click here), our recent trip to the Black Hills Playhouse in Custer State Park included some fun sights, statues, monuments and, of course, quilt shops.
Tanka is the first pattern in what I call my “Out West” series.
Tanka, in Lakota, means “big, great”.
I chose feathers on a light background for the focus fabric. The skull is made from the reverse side of it and the hanging feather decoration is cut from the front. 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? I found it and “several” other fabulous fabrics at The Quilt Shop in Chamberlain, SD.
A fun element 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 so much fun to #usebothsides of fabrics and it’s a great way to learn about the nuances of value. You won’t look at fabric the same way again! AND when you use both sides, you DOUBLE your stash! Give it a try!
If you like the wildlife theme, hang on! There’s some really fun ones in the thinker and on the design wall!