Delight in the happy colors of summer as we take a first look at Seashore Friends Pattern Collection One.
Firstly, you’ve seen the main character of this show (the Seashore Friends Pattern Collection), Bubbles. (See Uncork the Bubbles for more Bubbles fun!)
Secondly, you know he’s got some beach-loving “supporting characters”, Pinky and Sally.
To begin, each character started from a focus fabric and an idea. This is a case of the fabric driving the quilt!
Each quilt was made using both beautiful sides of the focus fabric. For each character, the fabric sparked the idea for the quilt design.
Now, you’ll see how these friends take center stage in this new pattern collection.
So, how do you combine these very different characters into one pattern collection?
With colors, motifs, happiness and love!
Granted, that might sound corny, but it’s very true! When you put in lots of hours on an idea (or many ideas), you get connected, right? It happens when making quilts, for sure. Some quilts are hard to give away because of the “soul” we’ve invested in them! (Not to mention time.)
Therefore, it’s the same with pattern collections. Here’s the headline fabric:
Look for the colors and elements that connect each fabric in Seashore Friends Pattern Collection One.
Finally, from bubbles that can make Bubbles, dancing starfish, whale tails, sand dollars, and seashells, these designs perform together!
Watch for encore productions of Seashore Friends – New collections premiering soon!
After setting up (and a bit of shopping), the program began. Now if any of you know Merle, you know she can read an audience and she can be, well, I don’t know, a ham? (Love you, Merle!) In addition to sporting her vintage watering can as a purse, she modeled merchandise like a pro! See Merle’s Bouquet below (see her watering can?).
In all seriousness, thank you for your help, Merle!
After the presentation and a short break (so they could shop), the guild meeting continued. Meanwhile, Merle and I began the task of rolling almost 50 quilts and packing the patterns and merchandise. During this time, it’s fun to listen and observe the guild. This group was chatty and enthusiastic. They seem to have lots of activities within their guild. Also, if their Show and Tell is an indication, they are a prolific group!
A hearty thank you to the Grace Way Quilters Guild and to Patty for getting me there!
Read about the Twilight Stitchers Quilt Guild HERE!
Next stop is in Farmington, Missouri at the Threads of Friendship Quilt Guild.
Threads of Friendship is a larger guild in a larger town. Like their name, they are very friendly! My friend, Linda, invited and arranged for me to speak. Between her and the friends I’d met in Desoto (also members of this guild), I felt like I knew them from the start.
For this presentation, I had the privilege of introducing my eldest daughter, Paige, as my assistant. This was her first-ever guild meeting.
Later, Paige told me she loved watching the quilters interacting with one another, all coming together with a common passion. Once again, we could hear the interaction during Show and Tell and the business meeting to know this guild is very supportive both within the guild and in their community. Many of these wonderful quilters visited with me and Paige throughout the evening.
A hearty thank you to Linda and the Threads of Friendship Quilters!
If you’ve never attended a guild meeting, I suggest you seek one out. Find the meeting the suits you and that you can embrace! Guild members have a special connection in this wonderful world of quilting!
Tapping into the adorable smile of Bubbles the baby whale, Bubbles is now featured on fabric and merchandise!
Celebrate summer and vacations and beaches and babies! BUBBLES is a happy fellow with an irresistible smile. Now this popular baby whale is popping up everywhere!
You might even call this a Bubbles–fest!
Your next celebration might call for more than making a Bubbles the baby whale quilt with your own two hands (gasp)! Shower that new baby or grandbaby with Bubbles on a pillow! Or splurge with curtains or removable wallpaper!
Find Bubbles the baby whale on clothing, phone cases, shower curtains, tablecloths, and more!
Indulge your senses with Bubbles fabric printed by Spoonflower.
BUBBLES the baby whale quilt is created using a fantastic fabric by Kaffe Fassett: Paint Pots. The Paint Pots fabric is a gala of bright layered circles on a muted gray background. The front side makes the shape of the whale. The reverse side of the same fabric makes his under-belly, blow-hole, and (actual) bubbles. It’s a spree of fun when you use BOTH beautiful sides of fabric!
You learn how to audition both sides of fabric with each of my #usebothsides patterns. In other words, it’s all about VALUE. SHOP more than 45 quilt patterns that use both sides of fabric.
In other words, there’s almost a theme for every occasion. Try a broderie perse applique. Or pick up a large, pieced quilt pattern. There’s a bison, deer, several bouquet’s, a bee, a butterfly and much more!
In conclusion, Bubbles the baby whale is happy to be part of your next party!
Now that I have exhausted all the synonms of celebration words, I will leave you with this thought:
Here’s a sneak peek at my latest new venture – textile designs!
You might call it “repeat pattern design” or “tiling”, but whatever you call it, it’s a lot of fun! What “new textile designs” means for me and you is future FABRIC!
Last post I shared my “fails” in past textile design and why I decided to pull them out of hiding and frame them on my work wall in embroidery hoops. Most seasoned quilters know that “fails” are just mediocre ideas that lead to better ideas! Click here to read the “Embrace the Journey” blog post.
My learning curve progress in repeat pattern design is MAYBE at about 50%, but I am super excited to keep designing! It’s odd to be this excited about a mousepad, but here’s my first repeat pattern on a product:
This product is from ZAZZLE, but there are all kinds of companies that can print your designs on their products. And, what’s fun is, other people can order those designs, too!
You’re likely familiar with Spoonflower, a print-on-demand fabric company. Here you can see a few more of the newest designs I’ve been working on.
Of course, designing quilt patterns that use both beautiful sides of fabric is still going strong! With more than 45 current designs, I just shipped a new one for Hoffman California Fabrics for use in their future catalog! See all the current patterns in my Etsy Shop:CreativeBeeStudios
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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)
This Dash About quilt pattern is getting a whole new look with Floral Rhapsody! Use both beautiful sides of Hoffman California Fabrics’ new fabrics as shown below in the Dash About quilt pattern.
These new Hoffman California Fabrics fabrics, Floral Rhapsody, are whimsical florals in three brilliant colorways. Floral Rhapsody will add a whole lot of sparkle to your Dash About quilt when you #usebothsides!
First, a look at the original:
Below you see the original Dash About quilt, a nestled churn dash made with three very different styles of fabrics. The first, innermost churn dash is made from a small traditional blue print. The middle churn dash block is “Raindrops Poppies” by Anna Maria Horner; the super large block is made from an oversized floral backing fabric by Kaffe Fassett. The results make a stunning quilt. For instance, there is added interest by using both sides of varying motif fabrics. Learn more about the original Dash About quilt HERE.
Now, take a look at these fabulous new fabrics from Hoffman California Fabrics!
Do you see the layers of patterns including vines, feathers, flowers, leaves, swirls and more? Do you can see the faintest hinting of movement and color on the reverse side? Use the reverse side for the “background” of your churn dash blocks to add interest. Your eye will hover over the quilt as your brain determines the subtle surprise of using the reverse, for instance. I just love it when quilts make ME do that! I hope you love that, too!
Notice the sparkle of this whimsical line? Quilts sparkle with interest when you use both sides. See this quilt (along with two other Creative Bee Studios patterns) on page 11 of Hoffman California Fabrics’ new Spring 2020 Projects Catalog.
In conclusion, you’ll add a little spark to your quilts when you use both beautiful sides!
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!
Finally, you build the bouquet on a fun collection of scrappy background fabrics!
Now see Kate’s Bouquet, made with both sides of two fabrics!
Kate’s Bouquet is a dramatic statement for statement in any home!The negative space gives Kate a modern appeal, especially when used with a brilliant solid background fabric.
Notably, the best part about making Kate’s Bouquet is that you only need three fabrics to make this quilt! Use BOTH beautiful sides of the focus and table fabric and get one fabulous fabric for the background!
Kate’s Bouquet is shown with the same floral focus fabric in a different colorway.
Look at this lovely and softer version made by my friend, Linda. She’s named her quilt “Rose”. Her softer quilt has a calm feel about her and goes beautifully in Linda’s newly decorated living room.
Just imagine the options for background fabrics! You could mimics wall paper or old plaster walls. So many options!
And, of course, there are always fabulous floral fabrics on the market for designing your own bouquet!
When our daughter landed her first job out of college, we had no idea that her new adventure would become one for us, too. I especially didn’t expect it to influence the quilt patterns I’d design!
(If you wonder why I said FIRST job…she’s a musical theatre actor – there is always (ideally) a new job in this line of work!)
Because she’d landed the lead role and we’d never been to South Dakota before, we took a road trip last summer. Of course, along the way we stopped at quilt shops. That’s how I met the owner of the Quilt Shop in Chamberlain, SD. It was just on our list and close to the highway! See South Dakota Quilts & More and OKLAHOMA Backroads in South Dakota .
The owner, Sonya, and I brainstormed pattern ideas for her clientele and soon I was designing bison and other wildlife patterns. She carries LOTS of fun fabric with beautiful reverses!
This summer our daughter landed Sophie in Mamma Mia and off we went again! If you get a chance, stop in Chamberlain, SD – its simply loaded with fabric and has wonderful local art and craft as well.
We were able to visit again and drop off some new designs.
Here’s a big shout-out to Sonja in Chamberlain…and many thanks!