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!
This new quilted treasure is an explosion of value differences that take your eye through it like a treasure map!
treas ure trezh’er
Treasure can be defined as a collection of precious things; something of great worth or value.
When naming the original quilt pattern, I chose the word TREASURES because your eye has to search through the subtle pattern to find a single block. I was also using sea-life fabrics of sea horses, coral, and seashells, so the idea of a treasure hunt made sense. Lastly, the secret to this quilt is value – it’s just a treasure chest of FUN!
The quilted treasure you seek in this pattern is all made using one-block – the Contrary Wife block. See the two versions of this one block in the original post:Introducing…Treasures HERE.
Last week I introduced you to a quilt and fabric designer, Kathy Doughty, whose quilts you can get lost in. Click HERE to read more. Treasures is a quilt that reads like that to me. In fact the secondary design is easier to see than the individual blocks. And yet, it’s a surprisingly simple quilt to make! Simply make two versions of one block, lay them out to make the design and sew them together. This quilted treasure has a flange for an accent.
Another reason why Treasures is an easy quilt to make: you only need four fabrics for the whole quilt! Use BOTH beautiful sides of three fabrics with one background fabric. It’s that simple!
Treasures made with Hoffman California Fabrics is a special treat! It’s made with their line, Bohemian Blenders, which look like fireworks on display. Click HERE to see their full catalogs of projects made with this and all their fun fabrics showing in shops now!
Since Treasures is one of six designs made for Hoffman California Fabrics I can say with confidence that they have lots of great fabric with both beautiful sides!
Original Treasures quilt kits are available (while supplies last)! SHOP HERE to see all the #usebothsides quilt patterns and kits!
Tropical Sunset is that quilt pattern! Look complicated? Nope!
Lots of cutting measuring and seams? NOPE!
It’s basically one background piece and three borders. That’s IT!
You use both beautiful sides of three fabrics (and the RIGHT side for one border) on one background piece!
Tropical Sunset starts with a beautiful beach sunset background. Next you add the awesome chipped paint window frame and fused window panes. Then you stitch a “stop” border and one “wallpaper” border. Finally, you place your tropical bouquet of flowers and the woven base in the window sill. The result is you’ve got one pretty sunset to take you through the year!
Tropical Sunset is made with Hoffman California Fabrics’ new line “Meet Me in Paradise”.
Because it’ll be a little while before “Meet Me in Paradise” is available in stores, I’ve included how to piece your own beachy background panel in the pattern. Like in every #usebothsides pattern, I’ll teach you how to audition BOTH sides of fabrics. Therefore, you can grab from your stash and whip up this happy quilt right away!
As with all “Use BOTH Sides” quilt patterns, you discover the nuances of value as you learn to use BOTH beautiful sides of fabric!
My first design using Hoffman California Fabrics was Phoebee 2.0 seen below.
You only need to use both beautiful sides of only THREE fabrics for VariLovable Star– shown below using Hoffman California Fabrics Floral Rhapsody.
VariLovable Star is made using one block and three fabrics. Therefore, you’ll start with a small Variable Star block and use the reverse of the fabric for the background “light” pieces. Then you nestle that star by using it as the center of the next largest star. The center star and the largest, outer star are matching. The quilt is bound with the fabric of the third (orange) star. This quilt goes together quickly and really makes a statement…or you might say, splash!
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).
If you saw my new Dash About pattern, also made for this line by Hoffman, you’ll recognize these fabrics – and their reverse side! For each pattern, you use the reverse of each colorway as the background fabric. Using both sides does some of the work for you when choosing fabrics. Plus, you get the added sparkle of a soft design and soft hue showing on the background fabrics.
As you can see, the smallest star is made with blue fabric. Each larger star is made using the previous star for it’s center. The binding will be the orange of the third star, pulling your eyes from the center star on out to the edges. Then, with the magic of using the reverse sides, your eyes discover the soft patterns and colors of the backgrounds of each star.
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!
Choosing colors for quilts doesn’t have to be difficult. While it might not be simple, using Nature’s Color Wheel can help!
Being a quilter who likes to have more than one quilt idea going at a time, I like to use nature to help guide my color choices for a quilt.
If you 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 need to grab a kit and make it up, quick as possible.
Most often, though, I like to have a longer process for choosing my quilt colors and fabrics. It’s a process. A dance, actually. You know, it involves colors, value, hue, and tints. But also, this requires a careful consideration of how each fabric interacts with one another, based on its placement. And sometimes the fabrics and the project need to…age.
If you like to have more than one quilting iron in the fire, like me, maybe you cherish this process, too!
When choosing my own fabrics for a quilt, there are two concepts I often rely on: color in nature and value.
First, let’s look at color. Nature just doesn’t get it wrong. Start observing natural settings, plants, animals, bugs, everything around you. Take pictures, or pin ideas to an idea boards. This might be in the form of photos in an album on your phone.
There are many variations in the blooms above. These petals aren’t the truest red of the color wheel, but variations to the left and right. Shades of pinks and oranges grace these blooms. That’s why they look so beautiful with the very TRUE green!
Observe nature to choose colors and you can’t go wrong. I like to think of it as Nature’s Color Wheel.
The excitement in the photo above is partially from the vibrancy of the colors, but also the difference in value.
This beach sunset below may be dark, but even it has many colors in it, if you look carefully. Notice the purples, greens, pinks, coral, and blues? The values in this photo are more similar. Notice the calming effect?
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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“Holiday Revue” is our youngest daughter’s current dinner theatre gig at the Myers Dinner Theatre in Hillsboro, Indiana.
Our first stop in the quaint town was a visit to the old-fashioned soda shop!
Everything about the dinner was delicious and the Christmas “variety” show featured every Christmas genre: we heard beautiful spiritual music, classic carols, and youthful tunes. Featured guests included Mary and Joseph, Elvis, Santa and Mrs. Claus, Frosty, a cow girl, a giant blue bear, Linus, and a stage full of life-size toys.
And there was lots of audience participation! Yes, that is my husband on stage and dancing to Santa Baby! I got a little hug from Elvis!
The show ended my favorite way- with a wonderful White Christmas finale!
Oh, the weather outside is frightful…
It’s the most wonderful time for quilts! Do you include quilts in your Christmas decor?
You might recall JOY, made with Hoffman California Fabrics All Aglow on a scrappy background. The tree, topper, and binding are made from the front of the focus fabric and the gifts are made from the reverse.
This year, I #usebothsides of one Hoffman California Fabrics Supernova Seasons panel for the tree, topper, gifts, and binding! It’s a fun quilt pattern that makes a great gift for a quilter friend, a quick quilt to gift, or to add to your Christmas decor.
For the next six hours, I auditioned 42 fabrics (both sides of each) trying to get just the right mix of color, contrast, values, and feel that would be worthy of this new line by Hoffman California Fabrics.
Phoebee is the pattern and Electric Garden is the fabric line. Of course, I took tons of pictures, mostly black and white, and still this was a challenge…and a gamble! Not seeing the reverse of a fabric before-hand made me a little nervous – some fabrics just don’t have usable reverse sides.
Well, Electric Garden rocks! Vibrant color with a soft, contrasting reverse side was just the recipe I needed. I flipped several backgrounds to their reverse as well, so they wouldn’t compete with the bee or flowers. The next step was cutting out Phoebee and her flowers.
I slept on this mix so I could get a fresh look the next morning. Yes! I began fusing and quilting (on my Handiquilter Avante) right away. Next came the prairie point hanging method, binding, label, photos, writing and producing the pattern, and Phoebee was flying to California on Tuesday, August 7th!
My new friend in California let me know Phoebee arrived safely! Now for the waiting game…
Quilt Market in Houston was November 3 – 5. I was fortunate that several kind quilter souls saw Phoebee hanging in the Hoffman California Fabric booth and shared their pics with me on Instagram! Thank you, friends!
This morning I am shipping Phoebee 2.0 patterns to a very fun quilt shop in (wait for it) Canada!
Original Phoebee and Phoebee 2.0 quilt patterns are available in my Etsy Shop HERE.