Tag: Patterns (Page 1 of 3)

Unlikely Quilting Tools

You might call it cheap entertainment, but I like to find useful quilting supplies in unlikely places. I also find it fun to use things for quilting that aren’t meant for that purpose.

It makes a necessary a trip to town a little more exciting.

First, you might wonder why I’d combine an ordinary trip to town with looking for quilting supplies. I guess I’m one of those people who could sport a “I’d rather be quilting” bumper sticker. The reason is because I tend to put some off things (like buying groceries) until I just really HAVE to (we have no food).

Therefore, my (let’s call it creative) mind has come up with a few ways to make these tasks more bearable.

The first one (if I’m at Walmart), is to see if there are any new Pioneer Woman products – that’s a given. (See Watercolor on a Whim about my trip to Pawhuska!)

Next, is that I am always, always, always on the lookout for items that have any useful way to be a part of quilting, sewing, painting, or crafting.

I have three to share with you today!

Image of Quilting Tools
Big scissors, hair spritzer, and popsicle sticks. And, yes, Bubbles in the background.

Hairitage Continuous Spray Bottle

You can find this item in the hair care products at your local Walmart.

It’s a continuous spritzer, very similar to one I’ve purchased at a quilt shop. This one has a light mist, but it does spray a bit longer with each pull of the trigger. These spritzers work especially well if you use a dry iron but want to mist your fabric for a good press. These also are a great tool for watercolor painting as they don’t leave heavy droplets. The best part is that it was about half the price as the one marketed for quilting. Now I can leave one at my iron AND have one at my painting desk – perfecto!

Whether they were expensive or not, I have always had trouble with steam irons that leak or spit. I have found it’s much nicer to use a dry iron and I control the moisture with a spritzer. No chances for rust spots!

Really Big Scissors

Next up is the very long scissors, found at Harbor Freight. I have no idea what they are meant for, but I use them to cut batting. They work beautifully! If I remember correctly, they were about $8.

Craft Sticks

Lastly, I have a little package of craft sticks (popsicle sticks) that I purchased for less than $2 at Hobby Lobby. I suspect they could also be found at a dollar store or discount store for even less. I chose the wider (about 3/4 inch) ones. There are 40 in the pack so I have plans for the rest of mine!

Use this little guy for projects that need to be turned right side out a pressed. This will help push the fabric outward to make the seam nice and flat. It helps to insure you don’t crease extra fabric while pressing.

Just position the craft stick on the inside on either side of the seam and gently push the seam outward while pressing with a small iron. The rounded edge won’t compromise the seam. This is especially helpful for curved seams.

Which brings to me the next thing I want to share with you, my friends…

Image of Bubbles Cuddle
Meet Bubbles Cuddle!

This pattern is coming very soon to my Etsy shop! He’s so much fun to make! He’s shown here sporting BOTH beautiful sides of “Bubbles Geometric Medium” fabric printed on Spoonflower’s Organic Cotton Sateen, so he matches the original quilt. Of course, you can make him with BOTH beautiful sides of whatever you want YOUR Bubbles to be!

Spoonflower How-To

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Discover Spoonflower’s fabric and home decor!

Spoonflower’s fabrics and home decor are so stimulating, I liken it to walking into Hancock’s of Paducah (or any fabric warehouse) for the first time, without a clear quilt plan or shopping list! There’s so much to choose from -it can be delightful AND overwhelming!

Where do you start?

This is an overall guide to Spoonflower’s fabrics and home decor. I’ll explain what it is and how it works. You will “walk in” with an overall idea of where to go and what to do!

First, let me say that Spoonflower.com is not a difficult website to navigate. It’s just that, as creatives, we imagine ALL the possibilities when encountering a new product or venue. When you consider there are thousands of designs that can be printed on a variety of products, THAT can be overwhelming!

Because there are so many possibilities with Spoonflower, I think it’s helpful to wander in with some idea of what you will see.

spoonflower's fabric and home decor
Example of traditional designs.

Basically, Spoonflower is a print-on-demand fabric shop. Artists create design swatches. You find the one/ones you like, choose the type of fabric you want it printed on and place your order.

Pretty straight forward, right? It is. However, when you “enter” Spoonflower, you can see thousands and thousands of designs, it’s easy to get distracted. (You think you want frog fabric but you’re suddenly engrossed in pages and pages of beautiful florals.)

artistic nature
Example of “artistic, nature” designs.

So here are some basics to remember when you visit Spoonflower so you can stay on track:

Let’s start with fabric. There are categories, color, and fabric types.

Examples of categories include Style (Traditional, Modern, Nautical, etc.), Animals, Nature, Occasional, Holidays, etc.

Twelve color categories include numerous swatches in each to really pick the colors you are searching.

When it comes to fabric types, hold on to your hats! Spoonflower prints on 24 different types of fabrics! Examples are Canvas, Performance Velvet, Jersey, Organic Sweet Pea Gauze, Chiffon, Performance Linen, and my favorite, Organic Cotton Sateen! That’s just seven of the twenty-four!

Keep in mind that artists upload their designs for you to choose to print. There are thousands of artists uploading lots of designs!

Fill-a-Yard is a great option!

Fill-a-Yard is a great way to get many different designs in one yard of fabric. When you choose this option you first pick the designs you want. Next, choose the template. Do you want two half-yards or 12 dinner napkins?

When you find designs you like, click on the designer’s shop to see more. You can “favorite” what you like so you can go back to see that designer’s newest work.

What about home decor?

Spoonflower’s home decor is divided into four categories: wallpaper, living and decor, dining, and bedding.

Wallpaper: Choose from Prepasted Removable (smooth), Peel and Stick (woven), or Non-pasted Traditional (pebble).

image of wallpaper
BUBBLES Wall Paper by Creative Bee Studios

Living and Decor: Order pillows, blankets, curtains, or wallhangings in your favorite designs!

image of pillow
Bubbles pillow on Spoonflower

Bedding: Options include duvet covers, sheets, pillow shams, and lumbar throw pillows.

My designs on Spoonflower, like Seashore Friends Fabric Collection, are hopefully just a beginning point for my adventure into design work.

Image of Bubbles Quilt and Fabrics
Bubbles Quilt and Fabrics

See It’s a Whale Tale for more about designing this line of fabrics!

Whale Quilting Fabric on Spoonflower

Now head over to Spoonflower.com and have a ton of creative fun!

Enjoy your quilting journey, Karla

Sketches to Patterns

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Tropical Sunset fabric is available!

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!

Image of Tropical Sunset Quilt

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:

SHOP Tropical Sunset Quilt Pattern HERE.

Image of Sketch of Tropical Sunset

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!

Until next time, enjoy YOUR quilting journey!

AQ Magazine Review

AQ Magazine, also known as American Quilter, features a stunning black and white quilt with a splash of mint green on it’s cover. Get a review of this issue right here.

As you read on the cover of AQ Magazine, their motto is: Discover, Inspire, Create.

You’ll likely enjoy the first article in this issue is called, “Give Your Quilt a Bath”! It gives you step by step guidance on how to bathe a quilt that just can’t go into a washing machine. I found the specific instructions (with illustrations) from how to submerse to how to remove the quilt very helpful.

Inside AQ Magazine, you’ll also find seven “irresistible” quilt patterns, some “how-to” articles, and features by contributors. The seven quilt patterns include three “easy”, three “intermediate”, and one “challenging”.

American Quilter is a perk of membership with AQS (American Quilter Society), but is also available on the newsstand. This March 2021 newsstand issue is $6.99.

You’ll find a feature display of MJ Kinman’s “Bourbon Diamonds” which is as interesting as the quilts are beautiful. You might recall the exhibit featured at The National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky in 2020.

One regular contributor, Gail Garber, discusses the use of color versus contrast with many photo examples.

I hope you find this review of AQ Magazine helpful. Because I’ve found American Quilter to be a high-quality publication, I started with this issue. I can say from a personal standpoint, the company is delightful to work with. I’ll leave a few pics of Merle’s Bouquet here. It was a lot of fun to have her featured in this quality magazine!

Image of AQ Magazine Cover
Image of Quilt in AQ Magazine
Image of Quilt and Focus Fabric
Merle’s Bouquet Pattern and Focus Fabric Kit

Look for more reviews and new patterns coming soon!

Subscribe to The Buzz!

Meet Dazzling Kate

Add sparkling borders to turn beautiful Kate into…Dazzling Kate!

First, a short history of how Dazzling Kate came to be: A short four years ago, I began designing quilts using both sides of fabric. Many of the new patterns were based on a 36-inch size wall hanging. The first phase were of a bee, butterfly and dragonfly. The next series of three were bouquets and vases. All of the first six patterns were made using a combination of fusible applique and broderie perse. Click here to learn more about Broderie Perse.

Basically, you take one focus fabric and use both sides of it to gain a difference in value. Sometimes that difference is subtle; sometimes it is stark. It all depends on the style of your quilt and what you are trying to achieve.

For instance, take a look at both sides of this fabric. While the front is very bright, the reverse also has movement and interest. It has a lighter value than the front but still catches your eye.

Image of Front for Dazzling Kate
Front of Kaffe Fassett Collective Japanese Chrysanthemum by Philip Jacobs
Image of Reverse of Fabric
Reverse of Kaffe Fassett Collective Japanese Chrysanthemum by Philip Jacobs

What makes Dazzling Kate sparkle is the use of both sides of this one focus fabric!

While the center section remains the same as the original Kate, the borders sparkle around the center with half-square triangles.

Add a “stop” flange to surround the center section using the RIGHT side of the focus fabric. Connect the borders with cornerstones. Even the binding is made with the focus fabric!

Overall, this makes planning this large quilt so easy! Just add interesting “neutrals” and fun accent strips. There’s even a tiny flange attached to the outer edge of the quilt. Dazzling Kate finishes at 60 x 60 inches.

Image of Dazzling Kate Quilt

SHOP for Dazzling Kate Quilt Pattern

Creative Bee Studios is now on YouTube! SUBSCRIBE!

Have yourself a happy, wonderful day and ENJOY your quilting journey!

Karla

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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VariLovable Star Digital Pattern

Image of Quilt Top

Use digital downloads for quilt patterns and start auditioning BOTH sides of your fabric TODAY!

You probably know that many of my first designs used full-size paper templates. With more and more requests for digital downloads (especially from friends overseas and in Canada), I’ve started adding digital versions of my patterns to my Etsy shop. You can still get the paper versions, even for those patterns sans large templates. Therefore, if you need to avoid high shipping fees, you now have more options available to #usebothsides!

If you are like me, copying and pasting small papers together to make a large template (24 x 36 inches) is not something you crave. That’s why I decided early on to provide full-size paper templates whenever possible. However, paper templates do limit distribution. I also strive to keep the prices as low as possible without losing value.

But, I have to say, it pains me to fill orders for quilters who pay more for shipping than the patterns themselves (sometimes even double). So, digital downloads are a great option. You might choose one if you want to immediately “shop” your fabrics or have deadlines for your quilt projects.

Image of digital downloads quilt patterns
Made with BOTH sides of only THREE fabrics, this bursting variable star quilt goes together fast!

VariLovable Star digital download is available HERE: My Etsy Shop.

Image of VariLovable Star Digital Download Quilt Pattern

As a result, I have five current digital downloads in my Etsy Shop and more on the way. Some in the future may require a small increase in the template size, but not more than you’d see in a magazine. One example of that will be for Aria (the singer).

Read more about one-block #usebothsides quilt patterns HERE.

In conclusion, you have options! You can still purchase the full-color, full-size paper template patterns. Choose digital downloads for immediate “delivery” with the same high-quality you’ve come to expect.

Visit Creative Bee Studios Etsy Shop HERE to see all your quilt pattern options!

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!

Introducing…Merry!

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Image of Truck Quilt

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!

Image of Merry in Snow

Shop the “Merry” quilt pattern in my Etsy shop: HERE

Merry Red Truck Quilt

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!

You can learn more about value HERE.

SHOP more Christmas quilt patterns in my Etsy Shop HERE.

Have yourself a wonder-filled quilting journey!

Step Inside the Yellow Door Quilt Store

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

In the heart of Indiana is a bright yellow door. Inside is a quilt store.

Enter the Yellow Door Quilt Store to find a cute little quilt shop filled with fun, beautiful fabric (and some cool patterns)!

Image of front of Yellow Door Quilt Store

Take a peek inside the Yellow Door Quilt Store!

Located south of Indianapolis, in Nashville, IN, the Yellow Door Quilt Store carries unique and bright fabrics. They might have a modern flare, but there’s definitely something for everyone!

Initially, I met the owner, Mary Beth, when I popped in to her booth at the Paducah quilt show. I think she noticed I was looking at both sides of her fabrics. As usually happens when I’m auditioning both sides, a lively conversation ensued. I knew right away her fabrics would work beautifully with my patterns.

We hit it off and Mary Beth now offers a number of my designs in her booth and shop!

You’ll likely find bright, bold, and interesting fabrics at the Yellow Door Quilt Store which might include Kaffe Fassett Collective, Marcia Derse, Kathy Doughty, Jane Sasseman, and Alexander Henry. Regardless of your favorite quilting and fabric style, I’m certain everyone will enjoy a visit to the Yellow Door!

Additionally, it was Mary Beth’s who suggest I make a sugar skull pattern using both sides of one focus fabric.

It was certainly a milestone to send the first printing of the Flora Quilt Pattern (sugar skull) to Mary Beth, even though she already carried a number of my titles. It’s fun when a shop owner is excited about using both beautiful sides!

Basically, Flora is a fast, easy pattern made with fusible applique and broderie perse. First, trace and cut the skull shape from a full-size paper template. Next, press the fusible template onto the RIGHT side of the floral fabric. Finally, cut Flora’s flower garland from the floral motif itself, arranged on the quilt and fused. Learn more about broderie perse HERE.

Flora is made with BOTH beautiful sides of a floral fabric. Click HERE for link to Flora Focus Fabric Kit.

Image of Mary Beth
Give Mary Beth a shout-out on her Facebook Live!

Furthermore, you simply MUST experience Mary Beth’s “Hootie Hoo” Facebook Live sessions!

Grab a hot cup of coffee and stay in your jammies to shop!

Visit Mary Beth online HERE or in her quilt store!

SHOP more than 50 unique quilt patterns that use both beautiful sides of fabric!

Read about The Quilt Shop in Chamberlain, South Dakota!

Creative Bee Studios #usebothsides

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