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
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!
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.
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.
Mr. Snowman is a fun, little punch-needle design. He’s hitting the slopes of trees and swirls in colors to match the quilt you see in the background.
This design is fast and easy. It’s slightly less than four inches square. The cute size fits perfectly on a mini art canvas. Add the little easel to display your mini stitched artwork.
Since punch-needle is a compact, hand-held craft, Mr. Snowman is easy to pack for travel. You can even work it while you ride. If you aren’t familiar with punch-needle, check out the many tutorials on Pinterest and Youtube. Click HERE for an introductory tutorial on Pinterest. There are also numerous books and patterns on the subject.
Generally, punch needle requires a good hoop that tightens well. You’ll want your surface tight like a drum at all times. That makes it easy for your needle to punch into the cloth.
Next, when you make a punch-needle stitch, the need head is punched downward through the back side (top) of your hooped cloth. When you pull your needle back up, it leaves a tiny loop on the front (underneath) side of your hoop. The size of the loop depends on the size of your needle punching length and thread.
You’ll work Mr. Snowman punch needle from the back side of your hoop. You can turn the hoop over periodically to see your progress.
You might want to practice getting your punches evenly spaced, but the learning curve for learning punch needle is quite easy to achieve.
Some quilters use bias binding all the time, for everything. I understand it is a cleaner finish, molds to the edge of the quilt, and provides more fibers on the edge of the binding. For all of these attributes, I must admit, I don’t use it all that often.
Bias binding, for me, is something I consider when I want to use a bias stripe or if I’m binding a quilt with unusual edges. Since those two things don’t occur all that often for me, I usually need a refresher on bias binding before I begin cutting.
I liken it to the first two steps in paper piecing, when I haven’t done paper piecing in a while. Mastering those first two pieces can take me the LONGEST time. Once my brain grasps it, I’m good to go – but it takes me some time.
Since I AM from the Show-Me state, I do like a good tutorial. It doesn’t have to be a video, but I usually like pictures. How about you?
So if you are need of a refresher in cutting and using the bias binding, here is what you’ll learn:
How to cut bias strips
How to cut one continuous bias strip
The difference between single and double bias
Check out these tutorials about bias binding on Pinterest:
Need a fast straight binding solution for your quilt? Check out Lickety-Split Binding HERE!
How about using bias of a stripe for a flange?
Here’s a glimpse of a new pattern made from an old pattern coming soon! Here I have laid out the pieced top and auditioned an outer flange and bias binding. The bias flange is accenting the center of the quilt.
Follow me on Pinterest HERE. Subscribe to The Buzz below.
Follow me on Instagram and Facebook, too!
Watch for the new quilt pattern (shown above) coming soon!
Discover Modern Broderie Perse – a combination of new techniques and lovely traditions.
Use both beautiful sides of floral fabrics in many creative ways!
But first, what is modern Broderie Perse?
There’s a long history of Broderie Perse with origins dating back to the 17th Century in Europe. See more information about Broderie Perse HERE .
Fabric artists would cut around the artwork on fabric, often using subjects like flowers or birds, and hand applique them to their quilt work. Usually you’d consider this work to be exquisite, heirloom quality. Many hours of hand-stitching was involved in this method.
Fast forward to today’s modern Broderie Perse…
Today’s quilters have so many options and opportunities for quilt-making, most tend to make more quilts – and make them quickly – rather than spend hundreds of hours on one. How about you? Do “life events” (graduations, weddings, babies, etc.) push you at times towards faster, more “do-able” quilt projects?
So what is Modern Broderie Perse? The basic concept of using floral (or other) motifs on fabric is still the same. You cut around the motifs and attach them to your quilt. Here you can see a variety of ways to use the motifs of your fabrics in a modern way while getting the traditional look and feel of Broderie Perse.
As you can see below, Flora is a quick project. The happy sugar skull is made with the reverse while her floral crown and binding are made from the front of the fabric. The key to making Broderie Perse modern is the use of fusible web and combining the edge finishing with quilting.
I recommend using a lightweight paper-backed fusible for these quilts. You’ll usually start by applying the fusible to about fat-quarter or smaller piece of fabric. Use a good pair of serrated scissors to cut around the motifs. Depending on your project, you might cut groupings of flowers all in one or partial flowers. You’ll see on some projects, I’ll use a bird, bee, or other motif from the fabric in the design. How many pieces you need to cut will depend on your focus fabric and your project. Once you arrange your Broderie Perse pieces on your quilt, you’ll fuse them with an iron – like you would a fusible template project.
See more examples of both traditional and modern Broderie Perse HERE.
The second element of making your Broderie Perse project quickly is securing the fabric to the quilt withyour quilting stitches. This involves a doodling or tracing movement in your quilt, which is very free-form and forgiving. You can follow the motifs to add dimension to your Broderie Perse.
Broderie Perse is a great way to add some pizzazz to your applique projects. Doing it a modern way makes it fast and easy!
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!
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.
This guy is hot off the quilt pattern presses. But why call this a great blue quilt?
(And what’s with that name, you might ask?)
Of course, Lord Stanley is a Great Blue Heron. I met this guy on the beach over a year ago. He was hanging around the fishermen and didn’t mind a bit that I got close to him. That’s when I started sketching a great blue quilt.
To understand this “blue” thing, you gotta know a bit about my family. We used to live in Pensacola (twice). My husband, a former Marine fighter pilot of F/A-18 Hornets, introduced me to air shows and the Blue Angels thirty years ago. The “Blues” do a beach air show every year on Pensacola Beach- the best air show EVER. So the beach and the Blues are a thing for us.
Enter Lord Stanley. Last year while I was creating this Great Blue Heron quilt using BOTH beautiful sides of BLUE fabric, the St. Louis Blues hockey team were in the playoffs for the coveted prize…the Stanley Cup.
When the STL Blues WON and I needed a name for this guy, well…”Lord Stanley” stuck!
The traditional prized cup now known as the Stanley Cup was purchased in 1893 by Canada’s governor-general Lord Stanley of Preston.
Now anytime my family sees a Great Blue Heron, they tell me they’ve seen Lord Stanley!
Use both sides of one focus fabric for Lord Stanley (bird body), his throat details (reverse), the borders (reverse), and the binding! Make an easy, scrappy background beach scene for this guy and he’ll be right at home, wherever he’s hanging.
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!