Tag: quilting (Page 3 of 10)

A Quilter’s Observations

When everything around you changes, taking stock is a natural tendency…

Firstly, when referring to taking stock, I’m not talking about counting toilet paper here, it’s apparently been on everyone’s minds lately!

While reflecting on life, I’ve discovered a few things…

Number one, quilters don’t get bored.

Quilters are used to making it through the “long haul”. Our craft involves a long series of steps. While we quilters may get distracted or want to move on to the next fun project, I’m quite thankful not to be someone who has nothing to do.

Secondly, quilters respond.

So many quilters have responded to the call for home-sewn face masks that it is almost overwhelming. I will not post any pics of masks here. Here are three reasons: 1) depending on who you are making them for or where you live, there are different requirements, opinions, recommendations…it can get confusing! 2) I just ran out without taking a photo, so I need to make more, and 3) If I see one more post of mask pictures…(kidding/not kidding). Click here for the post of face mask ideas, but be aware that there are MANY options not listed!

Thirdly, I have not considered the need for olive drab in my stash!

Olive drab would have been my Marine husband’s choice of color for a mask – I have USMC fabric, but that’s “too flashy”.

Next, I have more stash than I realized.

Anyone? I KNOW I’m not alone! But I must say, it’s been nice to have plenty of sewing supplies when availability is limited on so many other things. Aren’t you glad you collected all that fabric?

Sometimes its good for the soul to work on something pretty.

I believe in being informed (fully informed – not just the headlines, ma’am), but sometimes our brains and emotions need a rest. Do you find that to be the case, too?

I’m not getting as much stitching done as I expected.

I’ve more than doubled my “to do” list in my studio and around the house. So while it’s not on a grand scale, here’s my progress promised in “Quilting Accountability-for FUN”.

Image of Project for Taking Stock

My patience with making masks is incredibly short.

You’d think that because quilting is such a long process that requires patience and lots of time that I’d be okay with one mask taking me more than 30 minutes — but I’m NOT. I don’t know why, it just seems they shouldn’t be more than a “10 Minute Table Runner (which, come to think of it, also takes me 30 minutes…hmmm).

Finally, quilters are creative.

There are online quilt shows, lots of shares on Instagram and Facebook, online classes, and more ways to stay social while doing, creating and learning than there is time. Of course, there’s always time for shopping for new patterns and kits HERE!

In summary, I hope you can relate to some of my observations from taking stock. Share your projects HERE on Facebook/Creative Bee Studios.

Please follow, like and share. Bee well, bee safe, everyone!

Quilting Accountability-for FUN

Have you ever said to a friend: I’m starting a diet – ask me next week if I’m still on it.?

Well, friends, I’m asking you to ask me if I’ve completed this project!

Here is my latest on-the-go, in-the-wings, relax-time project. I may have bitten off more than I can chew! It’s EPP (English Paper Piecing) – to the MAX!

Sometimes I need my friends to keep me accountable, so ask me!

First, this design is from the great Willyne Hammerstein’s book, Millefiori Quilts. The pattern is called La Passacaglia! Willyne’s quilts are just amazing and LARGE EPP projects – this one uses just five shapes to make the book cover quilt you see here.

Image of New Quilt Project

And you can see my start – LOTS to go!

Instead of using papers that have to be removed, I like to use Apliquick fusible – a very light-weight material that you fuse onto the reverse side of your shapes. When it cools, it is just stiff enough to hold its shape as you fold the fabric over it. A touch of a glue stick holds the seam allowances in place as you stitch your shapes together. The fusible is so light, there’s no need to remove anything – a big plus, I think!

Because the pre-cut Appliquick only comes in hexagon shapes, I purchased yardage of it. Then found these wonderful Custom Quilt Set templates by Cabin in the Woods, made specifically for the La Passacaglia.

Image of Templates Kit

As you can see, each template has the center cut out, so you can use the inner template to cut your fusible and the outer template for the fabric. These templates are nice and thick, so they are easy to hang on to and you can use them as quilting templates, too.

Image of Templates

This project is one I suspect will take years – or a decade! But I will say it is addicting and, like hand-quilting, goes faster than you might think. But I only plan to work on it while traveling or when I want a bit of evening handwork to do. Stay tuned for updates as this quilt grows. Full disclosure: I’m not totally committed to it being as large as the pattern says, which is 144 x 176 cm (57 x 69 inches), but that would be quite COOL! We’ll just have to see…as time goes by. See the portion I’m working on now for perspective!

Image of Quilt

Stay tuned for updates – follow me on Facebook @ Creative Bee Studios and tell share your next challenging project with us all!

See a small update to this project here!

SHOP Creative Bee Studios #usebothsides patterns and kits! New designs and announcements coming SOON!

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!

Show and Tell Quilts

Show and Tell is one of my favorite reasons for joining quilt guild.

Apparently, lots of guild members across our industry feel the same way! While visiting guilds to do presentations, I love to observe the personality and differences of each guild.

See More Quilt Guild Fun HERE

From participating in community projects, planning retreats, taming snarly budgets, or making group decisions, each guild has its own way of doing things. Even the interaction between members varies from guild to guild. Some are quite reserved, while others’ members are bursting with enthusiasm.

But one thing guilds have in common is Show and Tell.

As a new quilter and guild member, I couldn’t wait to see all the new quilts everyone had made. We used to hold that feature right after our guest speaker. However, some members started leaving our meeting directly after. Consequently, our board decided to move that anticipated time to the end of our meetings!

I recall from my earlier years at guild that very seasoned (perfect) quilters would show quilt after quilt after quilt that they had completed that month. I’m talking LARGE ones, too. And those same quilters would do this month after month. When did they eat? Or sleep?

But, alas, our guild grew and now there is a limit of two quilts at the end of our meetings. I’m sure those fantastic, prolific quilters are still churning out the quilts!

Below is a small Show and Tell segment.

Bootheel Quilters’ Guild of Sikeston, MO had a wonderful class turnout.

Enjoy these class works of art, finished and shared by area quilters at their Show and Tell.

Notice the three Phoebee quilts that look nothing alike! Each quilter adds their own loving touches and personality through fabric choices and placement of the broderie perse elements.

Learn more about Broderie Perse HERE.

Also, shared above is Kate and Belle .

Finally, see the Prairie Point Hanging Method on display! Notice the sweet extra flowers? 🙂

Enjoy your quilting journey!

Introducing…Treasures

Use BOTH beautiful sides of THREE fabrics in a one block quilt pattern…

Rummage your stash to use three random fabrics OR choose a line of fabrics you love. Make the Contrary Wife blocks in this one block quilt pattern by using both sides of three fabrics on a soft white background! 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!

Image of one block quilt pattern at beach
Treasures at the beach.

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.

Image of Quilt

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 SHOP HERE for all my patterns and focus fabric kits.

*Each pattern comes with the BONUS: Prairie Point Hanging Method.

*All applique patterns have full-size, paper templates.

#usebothsides patterns have been featured in AQ Magazine, Hancock’s of Paducah, Nancy’s Notions, Connecting Threads and quilt shops across America!

Image of Quilt and Magazine

Quilting Resolutions

Are UFOs, PIGS, or WIPs a part of your New Years Quilting Resolutions?

UnFinished Objects, Projects in Grocery Sacks, and Works in Progress can weigh a quilter down if she or he isn’t careful!

Maybe you could use this easy binding technique to get some of your projects out of the way and off your mind. The Lickety-Split Quilt Binding makes that last big step go quickly and looks smart!

When I have “git-er-done” quilts on my quilting resolutions list, this is my go-to technique. This technique provides a 2 1/4″ or a 2″ binding (for mini quilts) options for those quilts that don’t require a hand-turned binding. See this original binding method here – it finishes a larger than 2 1/2 inch size binding.

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.

Image of Quilting Resolutions

How to:

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!

Need a new project? Shop more than 40 patterns at Creative Bee Studios that use BOTH beautiful sides of your fabric!

Quilted JOYS of the Twelfth Day

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.

Image of Closeup of Quilt

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.

Image of JOY Pattern on Canvas Bag

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!

Image of Joy Pattern on Gift Bag

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!

Check out O Holy Night Wool Applique for a free wool applique nativity design!

Shop patterns @ Creative Bee Studios Etsy Shop.

Wishing you much joy in 2020!

Wild Goose Chase Quilt under the Tree

Simple Tree. Special Quilt. Wild Goose Chase.

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. This year I spotted a Wild Goose Chase at Kiefner Christmas.

After bringing in our food and drink to share, the afternoon begins in the field. Two of my brother-in-laws cut down the chosen tree and we snap precious family photos.

Image of Matt and Pop in Field
My father-in-law, Pop, and husband Matt at the tree cutting.

Back at the house, the grandkids decorate the freshly cut tree and then we join around the dining table to sing carols. Afterward we enjoy a gift exchange, hot soup and goodies, and lots of visiting.

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.

Image of Wild Goose Chase under the Tree

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 for me. You see, 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.

When this post was originally published (2019), I didn’t know that this Kiefner “Christmas at the Farm” would be our last with Pop. He absolutely loved the annual gathering and having everyone around. Pop especially loved the caroling led on the piano by his loving wife.

Each year, prior to singing our last of about 10 carols, “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, Pop would read to us all the origin of the song and the true meaning of the words. In recent years, he’d choose a different grandchild each year to read the words for him. Read about how the song was used by Roman Catholics as a catechism when they weren’t allowed to freely practice their religion HERE.

Then came the fun. He’d gather the “geese” near him and explain their task to sufficiently perform the role of a “goose-a-layin'”. Even with limited movement, Pop would gleefully take proper goose-squatting position and demonstrate the role. The geese had to show they could perform their role before the singing began. (Pop had been known to stop the song and make the goose squat lower!)

So after we reviewed the rest of the motions, we’d join in singing and laughing through the long carol.

Image of Kiefner Christmas at the Farm Wild Goose Chase
Family Photo by Blake Kiefner of B Connaway Photography

Do you make Christmas quilts for gifts or do you decorate with quilt? Are quilts a part of your Christmas traditions?

Wishing you a wonderful time with family and friends this Christmas season.

See Christmas quilt patterns like “Merry” below at Etsy/CreativeBeeStudios.

See Introducing Merry HERE

Image of Diplay at Shop
Use BOTH Sides of one focus fabric for “Merry”! Shop Etsy CLICK HERE.

O Holy Night Wool Applique

Take a little time out of the bustle of the season to stitch up a primitive wool nativity scene.

Click on the download below for the templates and head outside to find the perfect hanging stick!

Image of Nativity Wool Applique
Image of O Holy Night Nativity

Creative Bee Studios – Use BOTH sides of fabric – on display below at The Golden Needle Christmas Open House. Shop Etsy for patterns and focus fabric kits!

Image of Diplay at Shop

Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy Christmas filled with joy and blessings.

Textures of Christmas Time

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…

Image of Mini Punch Needle

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!

Image of Candlelight Wool Wrap and Manger Scene

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:

Image of Bear Quilt

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.

Image of JOY Quilt Hanging
JOY Quilt Pattern

JOY and all her pals (quilt patterns and focus fabric kits) are found in my Etsy shop: Creative Bee Studios (Click HERE).

Wishing you layers of joy this Christmas season!

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