Like most of my patterns, it all starts with the fabric – the focus fabric!
When I saw this darling fish-bone fabric by dear Stella, I immediately imagined a cute octopus – but first, I had to google: Do octopus eat fish? Well, deep water ones do and this little gal has enjoyed her fill!
So, here is Pinky! Keep in mind, if you find a great blue or purple fabric or even the blue/gray fish-bone by dear Stella, you can call him “Inky”!
There are lots of nautical or coastal motifs on the market that would work well for the Pinky quilt pattern!
In case you are new to this concept, these easy quilt patterns are designed to use BOTH sides of fabric to achieve an interesting balance of values. The patterns teach you how to audition BOTH sides of focus fabrics to choose just the right one AND how to audition BOTH sides of your focus fabric with your scrappy background fabrics. In the process, you learn the nuances of value – a great skill to apply to all quilt planning.
The top of Pinky’s body and the binding are made using the front side of the focus fabric and her under-side and bubbles are made using its reverse.
Pinky comes with a full-size paper template and detailed instructions.
Do you use quilts in your Christmas decor? How about layering some additional textures among the quilts? Here are a couple ways to explore other techniques and textiles to add to your holiday handmade joy:
The background quilt (laser cut kit) was made a number of years ago, when aqua became a Christmas color! (I love aqua and it’s here to stay in parts of my Christmas/winter decorating!) This was such a fun kit and there were lots of added textures, like the skate strings, buttons, and “pearl” necklaces on the birds!
Add in a little punch needle snowman…
Layered on a snowflake runner (snowflakes cut on Accuquilt)…
…add in a little manger scene made with vinyl and a wool candle wrap for another layer of crafting fun!
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. I still plan to blanket stitch around the edges of the wool – oh, and it connects in back with a button and a thin hair elastic, sewn to the wool.
I made one several years ago for a friend, using the Accuquilt snowflake:
This Christmas bear quilt was made from a McKenna Ryan kit – but I changed his hat and mitten and made them from an old wool sweater that was in my mother-in-law’s stash.
…and of course, JOY made from BOTH sides of a Hoffman California Fabric panel is keeping in the aqua winter theme.
JOY and all her pals (quilt patterns and focus fabric kits) are found in my Etsy shop: Creative Bee Studios (Click HERE).
It’s beginning to look (and feel) a lot like winter!
Use BOTH sides of one red Christmas fabric on a snowy bed of winter fabrics.
This little red truck is dashing through a snowy lane.
“Merry” quilt pattern is available in my Etsy shop: HERE
More Christmas patterns:
JOY – Use BOTH sides of ornament fabric, toy motifs, stars, snowflakes, pine motif fabrics…or many other fabrics for this joyful tree. The gifts beneath the tree are made using the reverse side.
Pepita – every year there are many, many poinsettia fabrics on the market – you likely have at least one in your stash – turn it over and see if the reverse would make a beautiful pot for your own poinsettia quilt! Super fun to arrange and goes together quickly! Pepita is named after the little girl in the The Legend of the Poinsettia.
“Holly” is made using BOTH sides of two panels OR BOTH sides of Christmas motif fabrics! This quilt was designed for Hoffman California Fabrics and is featured on the cover of their Winter Projects 2019 catalog!
In the heart of Indiana is a bright yellow door. Open it to find a cute little quilt shop filled with fun, beautiful fabric!
It’s the Yellow Door Quilt Store!
Located in Nashville, Indiana, south of Indianapolis, the Yellow Door Quilt Store carries unique and mostly bright fabrics – maybe a bit of a modern flare, but something for everyone!
I met the owner, Mary Beth, when I popped in to her booth at the Paducah quilt show – I knew right away her fabrics would work beautifully with my patterns. We hit it off and she now carries many of my designs!
Mary Beth’s fabric lines/books/patterns include: Kaffe Fassett Collective, Marcia Derse, Kathy Doughty, Jane Sasseman, and Alexander Henry and many more.
Here is Flora made with BOTH beautiful sides of a QT Fabrics floral:
It was Mary Beth’s idea that I make a pattern of a sugar skull using both sides of one focus fabric. My first shipment of “Flora” patterns now reside (temporarily) at the Yellow Door Quilt Store! #usebothsides
Visit Mary Beth online HERE or in her quilt store!
Visit my Etsy SHOP to see more BRAND NEW patterns and all the favorites that #usebothsides of beautiful fabric!
Do you remember the quilt design of a vase and bouquet using Kaffe Fassett fabric? I mean it was only…(counting)…20 #usebothsides patterns ago!
“Kate” was made using both sides of Japanese Chrysanthemum by Philip Jacobs for Kaffe Fassett Collective. Kate’s Bouquet also uses the same fabric (different colorway) and only two other fabrics for this large, striking look!
Shop “Kate” HERE. Kate is a 36 x 36 inch quilt made using only one focus fabric for the vase (reversed), bouquet (broderie perse) and binding on a scrappy background.
Kate’s Bouquet finishes at 64″ x 64″, making her a lovely statement in a home. The negative space gives her a modern appeal. And the best part: you only need three fabrics to make this quilt! Use BOTH beautiful sides of the focus fabric and table fabric and get one fabulous fabric for the background!
Here’s a pic of my friend, Linda’s quilt, she calls “Rose”. Her version has a calm feel about it and goes perfectly in her newly decorated living room.
Just imagine, you could have a background that 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!
Watching quilts come to life is tons of fun – especially when each one has a personality of it’s own. That’s what happens when everyone chooses a focus fabric for class.
The Heartland Quilters’ Guild has a “Quilt Away” where they retreat for days of classes, stitching, and fun. It’s a beautiful setting for a quilt retreat. I was excited to kick off their weekend with the Grace Quilt Class.
Take a look at how these “Grace” quilts each take on a unique look – it’s all about the fabric and the “floral” designer (quilter)!
Hope to see these quilters again soon and hear more about how they #usebothsides!
My fun, sweet, adventuresome neighbor travels from time to time. When she’s away, I walk over to her house and water her flowers using her vintage watering can.
When the editor at AQ Magazine asked me for a new quilt design using BOTH sides of a floral fabric, I went straight to Merle’s house to sketch out her watering can!
So here she is…Merle’s Bouquet!
Do to the long time between designing a quilt pattern and the publication date, it seemed the day would never arrive. When I got a call from friend Nancy to look in my mailbox, I knew it was time! It was fun for Merle and I to open the issue together.
Here is the original quilt as it appears in the magazine.
This is a version using another focus fabric, making it look completely different! It’s pictured here with Merle’s can.
The RJR fabric has a vivid, painted look with a variety of flowers and birds to add to your quilt. The focus fabric and magazine are available HERE.
Thanks for following my blog! Visit my Etsy Shop for more than 28 patterns plus fabrics and Use BOTH Sides!
Many months ago I had the honor of presenting my program to a great (and enthusiastic) group of quilters – the Loose Threads Quilt Guild of St. Peters, Missouri. They had a fantastic turnout for the guild meeting and we had a lot of fun!
That night was a debut of Lil’ Susie, which 15 people received free with purchase (plus another 12 the next day in class).
Take a peek at just a few of their “Grace” class projects in progress:
Notice how the focus fabric makes all the difference? Each one has it’s own personality.
In classes, in addition to making a cute little quilt top, the quilters’ play with their fabrics, learning the nuances of value and how it relates to both sides of the focus fabric and what’s surrounding it.
Once their fabrics are chosen, it’s all about building their bouquets!
Now, take a look at this creative gal – who just happens to be the gal who inspired me many, many years ago to join my local quilt guild. Vickie brought an old window pane to build her “Grace” bouquet!
Isn’t she fabulous?
A happy shout-out to the Loose Threads Quilt Guild – Hope to see you lovely quilters again soon!
Their name is intriguing and their guild is a lot of fun! The Twilight Stitchers Quilt Guild of Blue Springs, Missouri hosted me as their program speaker and class teacher last month. One of my many new friends from Blue Springs, Vickie, made the trip extra special for me with her care for details and accommodations – thanks, Vickie!
It’s alway fun to see how other guilds operate – from how they run their meetings to how they interact with one another and their communities. I try to note those things I think would be fun to introduce to my local guild – especially the ideas that don’t cost a dime – like “Quilt Angels” (pssst – someone from my guild ask me about this)! A special thank you to my Quilt Angels for the night!
First, here are some pics from our opening selfies – they appear to be a rowdy group!
The “Grace” quilt class the following day was fabulous – I tend to give LOTS of pre-class guidance for choosing fabrics to bring and I was so delighted to see that they were all well prepared! AND sew creative! 😉
As you can see from the pics, they choose varied fabrics and their bouquets were unique, even presenting the quilters’ personalities, I think! One gal used ties and other out-of-the-box fabrics and was going to design her own vase to fit her bouquet!
I wish I’d gotten a pic of my first husband/wife duo – but she slipped off before I could snag her pic – busy lady. Their quilts have “related” but different focus fabrics and will hang together in their home! Hope they’ll share them with us using…wait for it…#usebothsides !!!! Yes, they all learned about hashtags during the program!
I hope to get to see the Twilight Stitchers again soon! You just never know where quilters will cross paths! See Quilts at the Beach to see how I bumped into a quilter, from Warrensburg, Missouri (a hop, skip, and a jump from Blue Springs) at Pensacola Beach!
A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to share my quilting journey with a group of women whose enthusiasm for quilting was truly inspiring to me.
The Inspired Quilters of Warrensburg, Missouri invited me to speak during their guild meeting. It was a cold, wet, and somewhat icy night. I expected a lower turnout of members due to the weather. That was my first surprise.
One of the interesting things I see when speaking to quilt guilds is the uniqueness of each group.
As quilters notably are, everyone was welcoming and helpful – helping my friend and me carry in 50 quilts, bins of patterns and fabric, and set up the power point.
After the presentation, Nancy and were overwhelmed by the enthusiastic quilters who lined up, waiting to purchase patterns and kits. It’s so fun to see people excited about something you’ve designed – and it is quite humbling.
What I noticed next, while Nancy and I spent the next hour repacking quilts and patterns, was how excited and involved the quilters were in their guild meeting. I was wishing I could sit and watch, especially when it came time for Show and Tell. It seemed like each quilter did more than showed her quilt, she told the story behind her project – who or what it was for, how it came about…the details that make a quilt more than just a quilt.
These quilters truly inspire me – to tell the details, to let people know the stories behind the quilts.
Isn’t that what it’s all about? Whether the quilts we make are for special people in our lives, for hurting people we don’t even know, for veterans and service members to be honored, or even for learning something new alongside friends – it’s the people in the story that make quilting worthwhile.
A heartfelt thanks to the quilters in Warrensburg for sharing their quilting journey with me!