Choose Three Beautiful Fabrics for Your Next Quilt!

Choosing fabrics for a new quilt can be a daunting task, but when you only need to choose three beautiful fabrics, designing your next quilt can be lots of fun!

Sometimes choosing and collecting fabrics for a quilt can take longer than making the quilt itself. So…choose three beautiful fabrics for your next quilt!

Introducing the NEW VariLovable Star – Hoffman Style – quilt pattern!

Use three beautiful fabrics in this quilt called VariLovable Star!
I’m looking forward to quilting this baby and sending her off to California!

These happy fabrics are a part of Hoffman California Fabrics new line, Floral Rhapsody!

Three beautiful fabrics!
Floral Rhapsody by
Hoffman California Fabrics

If you saw my new Dash About pattern, also made for this line by Hoffman, you’ll recognize these fabrics – and their reverse side! For each pattern, you use the reverse of each colorway as the background fabric. Using both sides does some of the work for you when choosing fabrics. Plus, you get the added sparkle of a soft design and soft hue showing on the background fabrics.

These two patterns (and one more you’ll see soon) are featured in the Hoffman California Fabrics Spring 2020 Projects Catalog – these fabrics will be on the market soon!

As you can see, the smallest star is made with blue fabric. Each larger star is made using the previous star for it’s center. The binding will be the orange of the third star, pulling your eyes from the center star on out to the edges. Then, with the magic of using the reverse sides, your eyes discover the soft patterns and colors of the backgrounds of each star.

Check out all the 35 + pattern designs that #usebothsides – go to my Etsy shop HERE . Learn more about using both sides of fabric on my website: Creative Bee Studios.

I’m looking forward to quilting all three of these quilts! With the need to whip them up quickly, I can tell you they are fast to put together and they make a striking statement.

See, also, the original version of “VariLovable Star

What’s your favorite color of Floral Rhapsody? Join the discussion at Facebook/Creative Bee Studios!

Use Both Beautiful Sides of This New Fabric

The Dash About quilt pattern is getting made with a new line of fabrics, Floral Rhapsody! Use both beautiful sides of Hoffman California Fabrics’ new fabrics as shown below in the Dash About quilt pattern.

These three BRAND new Hoffman California Fabrics fabrics, called “Floral Rhapsody” are whimsical florals in three bright colorways. These new fabrics, called “Floral Rhapsody” will add a whole lot of sparkle to your Dash About quilt when you #usebothsides!

Image of Quilt showing how I use both beautiful sides

Above you see the original Dash About quilt, a nestled churn dash made with three very different fabrics. The first, a small traditional blue print; the middle churn dash block is “Raindrops Poppies” by Anna Maria Horner; the super large block is made from a very large floral backing fabric by Kaffe Fassett. Learn more about the original Dash About quilt HERE.

Now, take a look at these fabulous new fabrics from Hoffman California Fabrics!

Image of how to use both beautiful sides of Hoffman Fabrics

The above fabrics are called “Splash”, “Light Bright” and “Summer”. You can see layers of patterns including vines, feathers, flowers, leaves, swirls and more. And what’s BEST is that you can see the faintest hinting of movement and color on the reverse side. Using the reverse side for the “background” in the churn dash blocks causes one to pause, to look over the quilt again…I just love it when quilts make ME do that! I bet you do, too!

Image of Dash About for Hoffman Quilt Pattern, showing another way to use both beautiful sides
Image of Dash About Pattern Cover

See how the vibrant, whimsical line, “Floral Rhapsody” sparkles with interest when the reverse is used in each color? This quilt (along with two other Creative Bee Studios patterns) is being featured on page 11 of Hoffman California Fabrics’ new Spring 2020 Projects Catalog.

Both patterns for Dash About are available NOW in my Etsy Shop.

Learn more about how to use BOTH beautiful sides of your fabrics HERE. #usebothsides

Follow me (Creative Bee Studios) on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!

Search #usebothsides to see class photos and customer shares of quilts they made using both beautiful sides!

The Quilted Aria – A New Song

This little birdie is singing a new song!

Aria ahr-ee-uh: expressive music often heard in opera – she’s a singer!

Check out this incredible fabric from RJR! It’s a Digiprint called Arcadia “Secret Garden” and it makes a fabulous focus fabric for this vintage machine pattern!

Image of Fabric

The focus fabric kit is available NOW in my Etsy Shop HERE (while supplies last). If you are familiar with my designs, you know you’ll use BOTH sides of the fabric for the machine and binding (use the front) and the stork scissors, thimble, and pennants (use the reverse).

As you can see above, this vibrant digital fabric has a hand-painted look of bouquets of flowers, three different birds, and a soft shadow design throughout.

Using BOTH sides of a focus fabric provides a subtle difference in value that makes your quilts sparkle (or in this case, “sing”)!

Image of Focus Fabric Pack

In fact with each pattern you’ll learn how to audition both sides of your focus fabrics and your background fabrics- learning the nuances of value – which is a “valuable” skill for all quilters (see what I did there?).

I drew this pattern from my own little machine, my favorite “stork” scissors, and my late mother-in-law’s thimble. I love using my featherweight – there’s just something special about her – so this pattern has a piece of my heart in it.

SHOP this and all the #usebothsides patterns and kits HERE.

Below is the original quilt and a Tula version, which had to be PINK (also available as a focus fabric kit)!

Image of Two Sewing Machine Quilts

To find out how I even know what an aria is, see “Popular Vintage Machine Quilt” HERE about my opera singer daughter.

Image of Paige in Our Town

See the original article “Vintage Machine Quilt Pattern” HERE.

This focus fabric is also available for “Merle’s Bouquet” kit – used as a modern broderie perse (cutting fused flowers from the fabric motif) to arrange the bouquet in a vintage watering can (reversed).

Image of Watering Can Bouquet Quilt
“Merle’s Bouquet”

Have some florals in your stash? Pull them out and turn them over! You might be surprised! Individual patterns also available.

Have a great day and enjoy your quilting journey!

Where We Sew

Whether we are finishing old projects, starting new quilts, making masks… or all of the above, sewing can change our outlook on life…and WHERE we sew can change our outlook, too!

I work from home – almost all the time. Unless I’m teaching or presenting to a guild, I’m in my basement studio…sewing, designing, blogging, quilting…being home a lot shouldn’t make much difference in my productivity, mood, focus or lifestyle. But, wow, is THERE a difference! For some reason, because I HAVE to stay home, everything has changed.

Today I’m going to share some inspirational friends’ sewing spaces. You’ll see a few sweet “regular” sewing spots and you’ll see some where the quilters have moved their machines for a fresh view or to be nearer to family.

Image of Linda's machine
Linda’s sweet sewing spot (loving that colorful “card catalog” cabinet)!
Image of Merle's Sewing Spot
Merle’s new sewing spot (award-winning and published quilt on the wall). Octavia Marie was “born” April, 1940.
Mary’s sunny porch view that got us all thinking! That’s LauraLouise in the corner.

I’d love to share some outdoor sewing views, but it’s too cold and rainy here for that! Those will be coming soon, I hope! So in the meantime, here’s my beach-dreaming quilting spot (in the form of a quilt). See more about this quilt HERE.

I’d rather be quilting at the beach!

Where are you stitching these days? Join the conversation on Facebook @ Creative Bee Studios!

Follow on Instagram and Pinterest.

Shop #usebothsides patterns HERE!

Remember “Merle’s Bouquet” Quilt?

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Shop more than 30 quilt designs using BOTH sides of fabric @ etsy.com/shop/CreativeBeeStudios

Merle’s vintage watering can was the inspiration for this fun, easy art quilt – learn the nuances of value as you arrange your own bouquet! See more about “Merle’s Bouquet” HERE.

#usebothsides

A Quilter’s Observations

When everything around you changes, you tend to take stock of what you have…

Not talking about toilet paper here, although it’s apparently been on everyone’s minds lately!

Some things I’ve noticed…

Quilters don’t get bored.

We have plenty to do, to finish, to start, to distract – I’m quite thankful not to be someone who has nothing to do.

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…for 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!

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

This would have been my Marine husband’s choice of color for a mask – I have USMC fabric, but that’s too flashy…:)

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 quilting/sewing supplies when availability is limited on so many other things.

Sometimes its good 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.

…But 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 English Paper Piecing
Click on the link above for more information about this English Paper Piecing project.

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).

Quilters are creative.

There are online quilt shows, lots of themed shares on Instagram and Facebook, online classes and more ways to stay social while doing, creating and learning.

I hope you can relate to some of my observations and can share some of your own HERE on my Facebook page: Creative Bee Studios. Please follow, like and share. Bee well, bee safe, everyone!

The MORE in “Quilts and More”

The best laid plans aren’t always an option.

Several weeks ago, I was going through our emergency supplies, removing the food that was WAY past it’s prime and making a list of things we could use. We live in an area of the United States that can see seasonal tornadoes, flooding, and a decent chance for a potentially devastating earthquake. I wasn’t even thinking “virus” at this point.

But here we are. Weeks ago I noticed there were no surgical face masks available (we have the hard, dust masks in our supplies for clean-up after destruction and I thought with the flu going around, surgical masks might be a good idea for the sick) – that was before I was aware of the recent run.

So, my thoughts went towards making our own. Let me say here, that making your own is not a replacement for the proper CDC recommended masks. But if you are like me, you might be thinking through this whole scenario of a family member being quarantined to a single room for a long period of time which leaves the well left to provide food, wash clothing, towels – all the things.

Trying on the first run of a home-stitched mask.

I was able to secure some disposable gloves to help with that scenario, but I know if I was the person under quarantine, I’d want to be able to take a walk outdoors. They say a face mask is required for the ill to even make a b-line to the outdoors, to minimize chance of spreading the virus via a cough or sneeze. (We live in the country, so going outdoors wouldn’t expose anyone.) Since we have no masks available here, my only shot at the outdoors could be a washable (bleach-able) version I make myself.

So, I’ve looked into several designs, those with pockets for inserting a HEPA filters, cute ones, simple ones, free ones, patterns to purchase – there are lots of designs out there. If you are interested, click on a link below.

craftpassion.com

mommacandoit.com

fabriccartdiy.com

lisascarolina.com

Above all, I hope to encourage you to remember to play it safe – for you and for those around you. Remember, you could be a carrier with no symptoms. “Flattening the curve” is the key.

Bee well, everyone!

Quilting Accountability-for FUN

Have you ever shared with a friend something like: “I’m starting a diet – ask me next week if I’m still on it.”?

Well, friends, here is my latest on-the-go, in-the-wings, relax-time project…and I think 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.

From Willyne Hammerstein’s book, Millefiori Quilts, comes the pattern for 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!

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

VariLovable Star Digital Pattern

Image of Quilt Top

Download this pattern and start auditioning BOTH sides of your fabric TODAY!

Made with BOTH sides of only THREE fabrics, this bursting variable star quilt goes together fast!

VariLovable Star instant PDF download is available HERE: My Etsy Shop.

As you may know, my many of my designs come with large paper templates, but after requests to go digital, I’ll be making some options for quilters to choose the full-size paper template or a download a pieced or smaller-sized template.

Read more about one-block #usebothsides quilt patterns HERE.

When I first started designing, I was determined to offer full-size paper templates because, as a quilter, that’s what I would want. I live in the country and a trip to town to get a pattern sized-up would, to be honest, irritate me! But what I didn’t realize was that many quilters prefer to download a digital design and that, depending on where they live, they may come out ahead on the extra printing because of postage, especially for those outside of the United States.

Of course, the full-size paper templates are still available – check out all the ways to use BOTH sides of your fabric – more than 34 patterns available!

www.etsy.com/shop/CreativeBeeStudios

Quilt Retreat Checklists

Winter has come and gone (well, sort of) and what does that mean? It’s quilt retreat season!

Image of Tool Holder

Over the years I’ve compiled lists of items to take on retreats – see the master list below for today’s quilter.

Also, check out these previous blog posts in case you are wondering about some of these items: Quilt Retreat Take-Alongs 2019 AND Quilt Retreat Checklist 2018 AND Quilt Retreat Take-Alongs 2017

The basics: Sewing machine and supplies, including instruction manual, needles, thread, scissors,seam ripper, extra light bulb, Q-tips for cleaning (I actually prefer the make-up applicator style) Double check that you have your foot pedal and electrical cord with your machine!

Extras: More lighting, electrical strips and cords, phone, laptop, tablet, fitness tracker and charging cords for each.

Design wall or make-do with a fleece blanket or flannel-backed table cloth. Painters tape or push pins to hang the fleece or tablecloth. Throw in your 1/4 inch seam guide and 3M removable tape, rotary mat and blades, portable iron and ironing surface, cutting and specialty rulers, fabric spray, various scissors (depending on your projects), hand-work projects with needles, thread, thimble, chain cutter, guild directory.

Personal items: Comfortable clothing, pajamas, walking shoes, pain reliever, back “massager”, overnight products, food, and plenty of water. I also throw in DVDs, a book, book light, a personal heater, all my work stuff to fill orders while at retreat, and my yoga workout, so I don’t leave retreat in pain!

So tell me, what am I missing? Follow on Facebook at Creative Bee Studios and tell me what you bring to retreats!

Stay tuned for pics of retreat quilt projects – I’ll make the rounds to all the cabins – the variety is astounding!

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