Tag: Use Both Sides (Page 1 of 8)

It’s a Whale’s Tale

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

It started with a sketch and ended up as whale quilting fabric!

First things first: this sketch was made for punch needle, not whale quilting fabric. But sometimes things have to simmer a while. In other words, ideas need to age like a fine wine or quilt fabric that has yet to find its rightful place!

Surprisingly, Bubbles (and his focus fabric) had already been designed before this tail sketch became part of a fabric. Read about him in Uncork the Bubbles!

First, the sketchy whale tail.

image of whale quilting fabric and sketch
Sketches to fabric.

Learn more about how to use Spoonflower at Spoonflower How-To.

The whale tail shown above, with a sand dollar and seashell, are rough sketches made years ago. The first result of the tail sketch is in a tiny frame here surrounded by seashells and a “watercolor” whale.

Punch needle before whale quilting fabric.

Image of punch needle whale
Punch needle whale tail.

Click here to see Redbubble merchandise with the blue whale shown above.

Initially, having numerous designs in my Seashore Friends Fabric Collection on Spoonflower, it had not dawned on me to use the whale tail sketch. However, it didn’t take long to work this tail into an interesting stripe of whale quilting fabric.

Deciding on the elements for the striped design.

Putting the whale quilting fabric design all together.

Furthermore, the initial fabric design began with a collection of sand dollars. Next came the sand dollars. Finally, because I was searching for an interesting third element, I remembered the whale tail punch needle.

Lastly, I made sure the directional elements went both North and South, to give more usability to the fabric.

See matching merchandise in my Redbubble shop!

See the Seashore Friends baby quilt that’s made with both beautiful sides of my Spoonflower fabrics!

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing this fabric’s simmering process!

Enjoy YOUR quilting journey!

Bubbles Cuddle Stuffed Animal

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Make a Bubbles Cuddle stuffed animal for your favorite baby in just a few steps!

Bubbles Cuddle is made with, you guessed it, both beautiful sides of fabric!

See Bubbles the Baby Whale Cuddle on YouTube! Learn more at Creative Bee Studios on YouTube

Not only is this fun stuffed animal sewing project made with both sides of fabric, it only has THREE pieces (plus his eyes)!

Obviously, this stuffed animal matches the Bubbles the Baby Whale character from the original wall quilt, mini table quilt, and soft book panel. Likewise, this little, baby whale is made with both beautiful sides of “Bubbles Geometric” fabric, also designed just for Bubbles!

Of course, you can make Bubbles with both beautiful sides of your favorite fabric! Learn more about How to Use Both Sides HERE.

This stuffed animal sewing project goes together quickly. Here’s how!

  • First, you will trace the template and cut your fabrics. You only need two “sides” and one “belly” for the body of the whale. Also, you’ll cut two small circles from the template for his eyes, which you will fuse in place.
  • Next, with a bit of hand-stitching, using an embroidery hoop trick, you’ll quickly have the eyes and mouth in place.
  • Then, you are ready to sew this guy together, leaving an opening for stuffing.
  • Finally, after stuffing the baby whale, you’ll hand-stitch the opening closed.

Lastly, give your little Bubbles Cuddle a hug!

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!

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!

Follow on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook!

Enjoy your quilting journey!

Seashore Friends Collection One

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Delight in the happy colors of summer as we take a first look at Seashore Friends Pattern Collection One.

Firstly, you’ve seen the main character of this show (the Seashore Friends Pattern Collection), Bubbles. (See Uncork the Bubbles for more Bubbles fun!)

Image of Baby Whale Quilt
Bubbles is made with both sides of “Paint Pots” by Kaffe Fassett.

Secondly, you know he’s got some beach-loving “supporting characters”, Pinky and Sally.

To begin, each character started from a focus fabric and an idea. This is a case of the fabric driving the quilt!

Each quilt was made using both beautiful sides of the focus fabric. For each character, the fabric sparked the idea for the quilt design.

Pinky Quilt Pattern
Pinky is made with both sides of fish bones on pink.
Image of Sally Quilt Pattern
Sally is made with both beautiful sides of a seashell bouquet motif.

Now, you’ll see how these friends take center stage in this new pattern collection.

So, how do you combine these very different characters into one pattern collection?

Seashore Friends Pattern Collection One
Seashore Friends Pattern Collection One

With colors, motifs, happiness and love!

Granted, that might sound corny, but it’s very true! When you put in lots of hours on an idea (or many ideas), you get connected, right? It happens when making quilts, for sure. Some quilts are hard to give away because of the “soul” we’ve invested in them! (Not to mention time.)

Therefore, it’s the same with pattern collections. Here’s the headline fabric:

Look for the colors and elements that connect each fabric in Seashore Friends Pattern Collection One.

Image of Stripe
Whale Tail Stripe fabric coming soon to Spoonflower!
Image of Dancing starfish
Dancing Starfish & Seaweed Fabric at Spoonflower

Finally, from bubbles that can make Bubbles, dancing starfish, whale tails, sand dollars, and seashells, these designs perform together!

Watch for encore productions of Seashore Friends – New collections premiering soon!

Salty Marine Saves Quilt

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Bubbles the baby whale quilt is quite photogenic, most of the time!

This goofy (or is it mischievous) little smile reveals the character of Bubbles the baby whale quilt, made with both beautiful sides of fabric.

Bubbles the baby whale at the beach.
Bubbles Quilt Pattern is made with both beautiful sides of “Paint Pots” by Kaffe Fassett.

So how does this Marine hide behind these 36 inch square quilts for photo sessions? Very strategically.

First, he starts with a very low, very small, foldable beach chair and positions himself as follows. He tucks his toes into the sand, as close to the chair as possible. Next, he removes the camo boonie cover (i.e. floppy hat) from his head and secures it on his knee.

Then, my husband positions his fingers in the two outermost prairie points on the back of the quilt. See Prairie Point Hanging Method and learn more on YouTube.

After a nod to the photographer (me), he simultaneously drops his head and lifts the quilt, holding it taut and level. Mind you, he can only lift the quilt high enough to avoid the sand, but not reveal his toes, legs or anything else!

Before I share the outtake of Bubbles, the baby whale, take a look at some of these great shots he allowed me to take:

Image of Fiona at the beach
Fiona Quilt Pattern made with both beautiful sides of a Kaffe Fassett floral on a scrappy background.
Image of Sally the seahorse quilt.
Sally Quilt Pattern is made with both beautiful sides of Philip Jacobs fabric for Kaffe Fassett Collective.

The big save comes with a big wave rushing in.

Image of marine saving Bubbles the baby whale quilt at the beach.
Salty Marine saves Bubbles!

Read more about my very helpful husband in The Marine Behind the Quilts.

Image of Matt in USMC Blues

Bubbles is now on fabric and home decor at Spoonflower!

Choose from more than 20 kinds of fabrics, wallpapers, and home decor.

Find Bubbles on Redbubble merchandise, too!

Explore a variety of products to go with your quilts! Add Bubbles (and friends) to tech items, clothing, home decor and more at RedBubble.

Image of baby whale fabric

Watch Creative Bee Studios on YouTube and follow on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Watercolor on a Whim

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

One month earlier, “watercolor on a whim” wasn’t even a thought in my head.

First, the “watercolor on a whim” theme started as a spring break trip with my daughter, Paige. As often happens with Paige, our trip soon became packed with more things to do than hours in the day (unless there is no sleeping allowed). Therefore, Paige is actually responsible for the “paint brush to fabric” idea – completely. It’s ALL her fault! Blame it all on her.

That said, I’m so glad she made me do it! Here’s how watercolor on a whim happened:

We traveled to Pawhuska, Oklahoma to visit the hometown of Ree Drummond, known as The Pioneer Woman. Now, Paige and I might not know the “in’s” and “out’s” of Ree”s cooking shows and cookbooks, but we are HUGE fans and experts (it is known) of her merchandise! We love everything about it…and it’s kinda, sorta dangerous, in a MUST HAVE ALL PIONEER WOMAN way!

For instance, Paige and I love Ree’s flowers, the graphic design, and the colors. We love the way everything goes together and NOTHING is matchy-matchy. It’s also cool that we can afford at least one piece of most of her merchandise. We cherish that there are no apologies for All Things Pretty when it comes to The Pioneer Woman! (Kinda like “life’s too short for ugly fabric”. Right, sweet quilters?)

Above all, thanks to Ree, there’s always a bright spot in going to Walmart!

Most importantly, we have learned that if you see something you like, grab it immediately. It’s sure to be gone the next time you’re there. Not a bad thing for the bottom line, either – theirs’s…not mine.

Moreover, we love Ree’s business model (what we’ve observed, anyway), her style, her writing, her, well…everything! Especially after reading her two FANTASTIC books which provide a “best friend” look into her life, we are certain that we are “forever friends”! Ree actually states this in her book (and I’m pretty sure she was talking about Paige and me- just kidding – you can be one, too, if you read her book!).

Therefore, considering our shared love of three-tiered white prairie skirts from The Limited (me), ballet (Paige), West Side Story (Paige WAS Maria), and Gone with the Wind (me), Paige and I think Ree loves us, too! She just doesn’t know it yet. (Again, just kidding – not stalkers.)

Image of Maria (played by Paige)
image of Paige as Maria

Back to Pawhuska. The Mercantile is fabulous. The food (of course) is, too. The people are friendly. Overall, it’s a wonderful place to visit. The Tall Grass Prairie Preserve is definitely worth the drive just outside of town. I highly recommend a visit! I do recommend checking the lodge tour schedule before you go.

Below, the quilt made with BOTH beautiful sides of Ree’s fabric using my Dazzling Kate pattern is pictured in front of the Merc (short for Mercantile by us “besties”). See my blog post HERE about the quilt pattern. However, this quilt resides in my own kitchen!

dazzling kate merch
Windy (but cute) outtake below:
Image of flying quilt in Pawhuska where watercolor on a whim happened

But what does one do “after hours” in Pawhuska? To summarize, when you’re with Paige, you create! That’s how watercolor flowers on a whim went from paint brush to fabric.

Firstly, we took acrylics, oils, and watercolors and all the supplies we could think up. The darling “Pioneer Woman meets Joanna Gains” cottage where we stayed had great lighting. We covered their beautiful table with a protective table cloth. So we laughed and painted each night until well past our bedtimes.

image of paige painting
Paige painting at the cottage.
Image of work station for watercolor on a whim
Our messy table! (She made me post this.)

In addition, during our creative sessions, my opera singer/computer coder girl and I brainstormed as we painted about how she would “fix” my website. Until now, the WordPress site was solely “designed” by me (which is my own “code” for “hey, it’s running, don’t touch anything!”).

Paint brush to fabric started on paper.

For instance, it was Paige’s idea that a) my water color flowers were any good and b) that we should use them on my new website. This is a sample of what we had to work with.

image of paint brush to fabric watercolor flowers

In addition, these steps were taken: scan the paintings on the printer, vectorize them in Adobe Illustrator, make a repeat pattern design (continues seamlessly in all directions), and export assets so Paige could add them to my website. Therefore, you now know how these flowers came to be here- quite on a whim.

image of website showing watercolor flowers on a whim displayed on website

In conclusion, the paint brush to fabric idea “blossomed” when this Watercolor Whimsy design became available on Spoonflower as fabric, wallpaper and more! Click on the photos to go to my Spoonflower shop:

image of paint brush to fabric
image of wallpaper

Thank you for taking this trip with me through the process of Watercolor Whimsy and a trip to Pawhuska!

Image of Paige at the Merc
Mini Palette Painting at the Merc!

Please share this and future posts, my blog, and website with your friends and on your social media. Until next time, Enjoy your 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!

Coastal Christmas Decor

You can enjoy the beach throughout the holidays by adding beautiful coastal decorations to your Christmas theme!

Yeah, we live smack dab in the middle of the country. So why do I want to have Coastal Christmas decorations? There’s just something about summer, sunshine, warmth, water and the beach that makes me happy.

The colors, smells, and sparkle of the ocean are part of it. In fact five or six years ago, when turquoise was first introduced as a Christmas color made me realize I never really like traditional green and red. Many people love the traditional hues. They just never really worked for me.

We lived in Pensacola twice (see Quilts at the Beach). Add in that my husband flew F/A-18 fighter jets, so our love for the Blue Angels is part of the beach experience for us. Therefore, over the years of vacationing near our previous home, we’ve collected Pensacola specific coastal decor over the years. Our family room has slowly evolved into a coastal retreat.

Now, this Christmas, it has become a full-blown Coastal Christmas decorations feast for the eyes!

Image of Coastal Christmas Decorations

Can you see the stingrays circling the tree? Sparkling sea shells, jellyfish, turtles, fishes, and pearls decorate this country tree.

Image of coastal christmas ornaments
Image of quilt
Image of Mermaid stocking holder

See how Treasures fits right in? The fabrics features seahorses, shells, and coral. This quilt kit uses both beautiful sides of three fabrics on a soft white background. It’s easy, too. There’s only one block: Contrary Wife. This quilt adds it’s own sparkle to our room and I just love it.

Image of Treasures
Coastal Christmas Decorations

While the rest of the house has a more traditional feel, I just love entering the family room and feeling like we are back home again, in Pensacola.

See Treasures on YouTube! SUBSCRIBE!

Enjoy YOUR quilting journey!

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