Enjoy some class works of art finished and shown by area quilters.
I remember when I joined my guild. I knew so little, I didn’t know how little I knew! Becky, then president, was very encouraging to each of us to share and learn from each other. Show and Tell was the highlight of our meetings. I wondered then if some of those quilters ever slept…or ate!
It seems like quilting resolutions are going strong so far! Can’t wait to see what else you all finish in 2020. Happy Quilting!
Rummage your stash…use three random fabrics, OR choose a line of fabrics you love! Learn to audition BOTH sides (I tell you how) and discover the nuances of value that’ll make your quilts sing!
I used a line of fabric featuring sea life, but you could make this quilt with Christmas, Americana, florals…any theme or colorway you like!
Toss in a sweet background fabric…
It can be solid…or NOT. As long as the values work together (I tell you how), you can choose a background you love!
to make this ONE BLOCK quilt.
The Contrary Wife quilt block has been, well, around the block a few times! The key to the sparkling nature of this quilt is the use of the reverse sides in each block and the placement of the blocks.
“Treasures” was so named because I’m continually amazed by the effect of using both sides of fabric…it’s like the quiet moment of discovering a precious gem in packed antique store. While I love all kinds of quilts, the ones that really get my juices flowing are the ones I have to linger over a bit…that make me pause…ponder.
I hope you like the “Treasures” quilt pattern as much as I. If you like these fabrics, stay tuned to my Etsy shop for fabric kits coming soon!
You can SHOPHERE for all my patterns and focus fabric kits.
When I have “git-ur-done” quilts, not needing hand-turned binding, this is my go-to technique. This technique provides a 2 1/4″ or a 2″ binding (for mini quilts) options. Shout out to “Susie” who shared a similar technique on Pinterest – but that version made a wider binding not commonly used these days.
What’s nice about this machine stitched binding is that it gives your quilt a tiny burst of contrasting color between the quilt and the binding, appearing to be piping or a “micro-flange”. This also gives your needle a perfect nesting line for stitching on.
2 1/4 ” binding: Cut main binding strips 1 1/4″ width and cut the accent strips (piping look) slightly larger at 1 1/2″ width.
2″ binding: Cut main binding strips 1 1/8″ width and cut the accent strips (piping look) slightly larger at 1 3/8″.
Simply cut your strips, sew them end to end and press like normal binding. Do this for both sets of strips. Then, with right sides together, sew your long strips, press the seam to the binding color.
With the seam facing down, align the edge of the binding along the edge of your quilt and stitch a scant 1/4 inch seam (or smaller than your final stitch seam. Lastly, using bobbin thread that matches your backing and upper thread to match the accent, turn your binding to the front of your quilt and stitch in the ditch between the two fabrics. You might use a seam guide and adjust your needle position to a comfortable spot.
And just like that – your binding is finished – Lickety Split!
Here’s to your health, happiness, and many finished quilts in 2020!
On 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 today 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 joy… as in a “little” JOY pdf pattern.
Download this FREE pdf pattern by clicking the link above. It’s just a little JOY, a miniature of the larger JOY 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!
You can learn for FREE how easy it is to make any of the #usebothsides quilt patterns – the applique designs use the same basic technique.
Full #usebothsides patterns come with complete detailed instructions
AND guides for auditioning both sides of fabric
AND full-size paper templates (for applique or broderie perse designs).
There’s also a new quilt app for your phone you might want to join called Quilt Space – it’s only for quilters and it’s a simple newsfeed that show quilts or quilts in progress posted by quilters. Since I joined during the Twelve Days of Christmas, I decided to post Christmas themed quilts daily through today, Epiphany. Check it out – it’s free, just sign up with the usual info (email, password) for the app. Shout out to Anastasia for the heads up!
At our annual Kiefner Christmas gathering (the Sunday before Christmas), we load up in our trucks and head out to a field at the family farm. Two of my brother-in-laws cut down the chosen tree and we snap precious family photos.
Back at the house, the grand kids decorate the freshly cut tree and then we join around the dining table to sing carols. Afterward we enjoy hot soup, visiting, and eventually gift opening.
In a quiet moment, I noticed my mother-in-law had placed a vintage quilt around the base of the tree. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect setting for the lovely work, obviously done by hand, long ago.
Seeing the quilt made me wonder how many quilters around the world had made quilts as Christmas gifts, wrapped them and placed them under a tree for a loved ones to open.
This blue and white quilt was a Wild Goose Chase pattern, as best I could tell without disturbing it’s placement. It was gifted to my mother-in-law from her brother, having belonged to his wife.
The “Wild Goose Chase” quilt block is said to have been named after families heading west in search of fortune. It is also called “Flying Geese” and “Oddfellows Cross”.
Perhaps unintentional, my mother-in-law’s choice of quilt to wrap around the tree had an extra meaning since each year any new-comers to the Kiefner Christmas are required to star in the roles of the “Geese a Layin'” in our “Twelve Days of Christmas” (with motions) carol. There is a year-long quest for new geese and perhaps a bit of exaggerated drama about the role they are to play, just to make them nervous and have a little fun.
Did you make Christmas quilts for gifts? Have you ever made a Wild Goose Chase quilt?
Follow my Facebook page: Creative Bee Studios to join in the conversation – click HERE.
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).
I just love finding beauty in nature and wondering how to incorporate it into a new quilt. I took these photos years ago from my back deck.
How do you choose colors? There are so many options these days for quilters – it can be hard to find time to brainstorm your own ideas if you want to make all the great ideas, kits, and colorways already on the market! Actually, I think that’s what makes quilting such a creative market – there’s something for everyone, every occasion, and time limitation…and…the sky’s the limit!
There are so many more colors in these photos than the five I pulled out, but you get the idea…inspiration is all around us – we just have to look!
Choosing colors for quilts doesn’t have to be difficult but it might not be simple, either!
If you like to play it safe, 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 want to do that – grab a kit and make it up, quick as possible.
Sometimes, though, I like to have a longer process for choosing my quilt colors and fabrics (including value, hues, tints, size of prints, types of fabrics, etc.) If you like to have more than one quilting iron in the fire like me, maybe you do this, too!
There are two concepts I always go back to when choosing fabric for a new quilt: Color in Nature and Value.
Color: Nature just doesn’t get it wrong. Start observing natural settings, plants, animals, bugs, everything around you. Take pictures are start collecting things for idea boards, whether it’s on your phone or computer folder or actual items pinned on a board.
Value: Nature also doesn’t get value wrong. Winter is the best time to collect ideas about how nature uses value. Some of the most peaceful quilt settings take on the natural values often found outside in winter.
I challenge you to look around you today and collect some fabulous fabric ideas from the nature around you!
SHOP for “Holly” and all “UseBOTHsides” Patterns HERE!
Christmas is a season filled with tradition. It’s the things you do every year, without fail. Like rules, you don’t break tradition.
But families change. Kids grow up. Holidays are shared. Traditions (rules) might have to (wait for it)…change.
What does this have to do with quilting?
I always took pride in our Christmas traditions. There were certain categories of gifts and each had to be filled. Certain music had to be played…movies watched, cookies baked, old recipes fixed. I actually used to think I had to use every decoration we owned each year.
A few years back, aqua became the new Christmas color…wait, what? Not red and green? It took me a moment…but only a moment, to embrace the idea…to throw that red and green tradition (rule) out the window.
Last year I realized that the beloved tradition I’d started at our old house of making St. Lucia Bread, hadn’t risen properly one time at our new house – ten years in a row!(I’d tried all the yeast tricks, too.)
Side note: the tradition started when our girls would dress up like their Kristen (American Girl) dolls in their white gowns with their St. Lucia crowns to serve us some coffee-like substance and “cookies” on Christmas morning – it was adorable!
I wouldn’t use my red and green Christmas quilts anymore – and I had to make new ones with all the pretty blues!
I think a lot of people embraced the blue Christmas – for one or two seasons…but for me it was a NEW tradition!
My original “JOY” quilt pattern was made using a vintage ornament fabric that was very classic Christmas colors. But, in a need to show how a variety of fabrics could be used for this pattern, I had to make this blue one – from both sides of a beautiful, aqua Hoffman panel! (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)
Fast forward to grown kids, job schedules, tight budgets, and limited time together, we are considering changing more Christmas traditions this year. We are brainstorming about how to make our time fun and meaningful. What’s interesting is that the more we talk about setting aside our old traditions (rules), the more creative we have become in our brainstorming. It’s as if a weight is being lifted.
Seriously, how is this post about quilting?
When I first started quilting, I was all about the rules (traditions). I wanted to learn every single one of them. Some were paramount to good technique and skill-building and very important. Others were just plain silly. I didn’t realize the difference until the day a wise quilter suggested that rules were meant to be broken.
It was then I realized I had ingested each one of those rules, not realizing that some rules (traditions) were limiting my joy for quilting and my creativity for fear of breaking them.
I’ve noticed now that I watch for the rule-breakers in quilting. Their work excites and inspires me, regardless if the technique is traditional or contemporary.
If you know me personally, you know I embrace tradition. If you are familiar with Lutherans, I am a “page 5 of the old, OLD hymnal” kind of gal!
Don’t let your need for tradition RULE your world…whether it’s Christmas or quilting.