Tag: quilting (Page 1 of 10)

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!

What is Quilting Heritage?

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Quilting heritage might mean something different to each of us quilters. However you define it, I’m betting you consider it a good thing!

It began several months ago when my oldest daughter assisted me at a guild program I presented. This was Paige’s first guild meeting. I think that was a big influence in determining a quilting heritage for her. She told me afterward she loved seeing all the women in one room come together with a passion and excitement for quilting.

In reflection, both of our daughters enjoyed attending quilting camps when they were young. Since then, they’ve each had their own individual experiences with sewing. Our youngest, Jacquelyn, sewed theatre costumes in college and a few other projects. Paige has sewn several costumes, including an Elsa costume from Frozen. Because their sewing interests were more varied and more difficult than I consider quilt piecing to be, I hadn’t thought much about them taking an interest in quilting. At least not for a few decades!

You never know what will trigger someone to make a quilt!

So when Paige helped me set up my program which includes an integrated power point and trunk show with more than 45 quilts, plus patterns, kits, and shirts to sell afterward, I didn’t expect it to be a big influence on her. Learn more about products and programs HERE.

Next thing I know, she and her friend, Julia, take a trip to Hamilton, Missouri, home of Jenny Doan and Missouri Star Quilt Company! They each buy some layer cakes and get together to start laying out their quilt plans. They haven’t yet discovered all the many variations of quilt blocks they can make with layer cakes, but that’s okay! They totally enjoyed making their own quilts from the 10-inch squares.

Image of Quilt

All by herself!

Paige is not one to do anything small. (See Her Role, Our Town, My World for a look her opera background.) So when she told me she put this quilt top together because she decided she needed to carry on the quilting tradition, she also informed me she wanted to quilt it…on my longarm. She never even looked twice at this machine, all these years!

There’s something to be said for the fearless energy of youth.

While I did suggest she practice a bit, she didn’t stick to the loops and swirls I suggested for the beginner. She wanted to make pumpkins and cats – and she did!

image of quilting heritage

The fearlessness of youth is amazing!

Image of Paige quilting

And just like that, she’s a quilter – and so is her friend!

Image of Paige holding quilt

Quilting heritage is alive and well!

Enjoy your quilting journey!

Seashore Friends Baby Quilt

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Brand New: Seashore Friends Baby Quilt Pattern!

Create a fun, fast baby quilt using one block, four fabrics, and BOTH beautiful sides!

The new Seashore Friends quilt is made with this one block – Reflecting 4-Patch.

Image of Reflecting 4-Patch

To start, the Reflecting 4-Patch block is made with seven squares and two 4-patch units. Make the reflection by using the reverse of each fabric for the “sunlight on the crest of the waves”.

Use both beautiful sides of four fabrics!

Next, use four fabrics to make the blocks that repeat outward from the center diagonal line.

In this baby quilt you see four fabrics from Seashore Friends Fabric Collection (my own designs), printed by Spoonflower on the exquisite Organic Cotton Sateen. Learn more about Organic Cotton Sateen HERE. This fabric is a delight for quilters and PERFECT for baby!

Gentle waves come to shore in this one-block quilt. Use the reverse side of four fabrics to mimic the sun’s reflection on the crest of the waves. No matter what your fabric motif, the reverse will add an “I Spy” activity for baby.

Seashore Friend Baby Quilt

See the full Seashore Friends Fabric Collection

Stitch up a quick little soft book for your special baby using the fat-quarter panel of Organic Cotton Sateen to go with your baby quilt!

See more about The Adventures of Bubbles the Baby Whale

Suppose you (or the baby’s parents) aren’t into nautical baby. What to do? Consider other motifs like tractors, frogs, flowers, hearts – anything really, as long as they have beautiful reverse sides that work for your quilt!

image of babyquilt and merchandise
Use the easy-link, blue SHOP buttons for patterns, fabric, and merchandise at Creative Bee Studios!

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Enjoy your quilting journey!

The Adventures of Bubbles the Baby Whale Soft Book

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

“The Counting Game” featuring Bubbles the Baby Whale is a soft book made from a fabric panel.

Stitch this new, soft book (to match the Bubbles quilt pattern using a fat quarter fabric panel and a little bit of batting!

Printed on the exquisite Organic Cotton Sateen fabric by Spoonflower, this book makes a perfect gift for babies and toddlers! Not only is the fabric super soft, it is vibrant, a delight to stitch, and perfect for little ones!

The Adventures of Bubbles the Baby Whale – The Counting Game

Stitch this fun, easy project for your favorite baby or toddler! Available on Creative Bee Studios Etsy Shop OR at Creative Bee Studios Spoonflower Shop.

The Adventures of Bubbles the Baby Whale begins with the friendly whale inviting the little “reader” to count with him. Through the pages, Bubbles counts his seashore friends, seashells, and more.

First to appear is Bubbles’ friend, Pinky, the baby octopus. Shop the Pinky Quilt Pattern.

In addition, “readers” count (or point to) Sally, the seahorse, colorful corals, Fiona (flamingos), fish, sea turtles, sand dollars, and seashells.

Learn more about the creation of Bubbles Geometric fabric for making the matching Bubbles quilted wall hanging!

What’s wonderful about the Bubbles soft book?

To start, the fabric has a great feel for little hands. The cotton fabric has a satin-y sheen that makes a great tactile experience.

Secondly, the size is just right for small hands to hold or carry around.

Third, it’s fun and easy to make.

Lastly, the book can be just a part of a whole gifted package of Bubbles items! Make the quilt or order a onesie and bib. You might grab a matching wall clock, rug, or curtains – there are lots of possibilities!

This soft book fabric panel is a fat quarter (28 x 18 inches) of Organic Cotton Sateen (56 inch width).

image of bubbles quilt on beach

Please invite your friends to Catch The BUZZ and enjoy your quilting journey!

New Textile Designs

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

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:

Image of Mouse Pad with New Textile Designs
Sand dollars with line-work of coral in the background is part of my new Seaside Friends collection!

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.

Image of Garden Tea Party New Textile Designs
Four designs from the Garden Tea Party collection.

Click here to visit Spoonflower.

Image of bedding
You can choose more that fabric at Spoonflower! Here’s how my Butterfly Stripe would look on bedding! Too much fun.

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

Remember to enjoy your quilting journey!

All the best, 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!

Mr. Snowman Punch-Needle

Meet Mr. Snowman!

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.

Image of Mr. Snowman with quilt

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.

Image of Mr. Snowman

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.

See Love Notes Punch Needle

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Better Bias Binding

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?

Image of cutting bias binding

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.

Image of bias binding and flange
Image of Tree Wall Hanging
SHOP JOY and all the #usebothsides patterns in my Etsy shop – Click HERE

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Watch for the new quilt pattern (shown above) coming soon!

A Look at Modern Broderie Perse

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?

Image of Broderie Perse Traditional vs Modern

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?

Merle's Bouquet Quilt
Merle’s Bouquet quilt pattern

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.

Christmas Quilt Modern Broderie Perse
Noelle Quilt Pattern

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 with your 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.

Image of Modern Broderie Perse Tropical Sunset
Tropical Sunset Quilt Pattern

Broderie Perse is a great way to add some pizzazz to your applique projects. Doing it a modern way makes it fast and easy!

A Quilter Who Inspires

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.

Image of a Quilter who Inspires
Kathy Doughty

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.”

Kathy Doughty

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.

Kathy Doughty’s shop, Material Obsession, is located in Australia. Here’s the link to her shop – check it out!

Kathy is also a fabric designer and, as you might expect, her designs are vibrant and full of interest!

Here is her latest fabric line: New Vintage!

To see another quilter who inspires, click HERE for “Quilt Week Faves”

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