The Marine Behind the Quilts

Sometimes we all need a little help. Who do you turn to when you need advise, ideas, or help? Friends…family..neighbors?

I’m going to say, “all of the above”! When I need a little help with my projects, I find that most people are happy to lend a hand, especially my quilter friends.

My next door neighbor has helped me with photo shoots and quilt advise. Another neighbor comes up with pattern names. Several great friends have helped me fold and stuff patterns for orders. There was even a quilter who help me do a photo shoot on the beach! (She was wearing a quilting tee shirt so I struck up a conversation. It turned out we’d met before – we had a blast!)

That being said, when I need a little help I most often turn to my self-acclaimed “silent partner”. My husband, Matt, calls himself this when he names a new quilt pattern (“Phoebee” and “Bubbles” come to mind) or offers business advise. While that’s not exactly how “silent” works, it’s still helpful!

Since I happen to live with the guy, he’s easy to tap for additional help – like holding quilts for photography! While I appreciate the advise and names, holding quilts is where he excels. Except for the occasional tired arms, Matt doesn’t complain or moan or rush me to get the perfect shot. He’s been known to dive for a falling quilt so it doesn’t touch the ground and he’s saved more than one quilt from a crashing wave (see Quilts at the Beach)!

When you need a little help saving Bubbles
Saving Bubbles

It doesn’t take a Marine to hold up a quilt…but it sure is nice to have one.

Most recently, we visited the Rocky Mountain National Park for our oldest daughter’s quaint wedding at one of the most beautiful natural venues God created, Sprague Lake.

While technically this wedding was “plan b”, it was nothing short of perfect. This was especially so for Paige and Trevor who love national parks and All Things Hiking. After the ceremony, toasts, and celebrations ended, my husband said, “Let’s go get that picture”.

You see, I’d made a wedding quilt for Paige and Trevor out of National Parks fabrics and the design was “mountains ranges” (name still pending). Matt knew I didn’t want to leave the beautiful mountains without a photo shoot of that quilt first. But I knew he had been in his dress blues since about 6 am that morning. By 3 in the afternoon, he was hot, tired, and uncomfortable.

We found a spot to pull over where there was a rushing creek with mountains in the distance. I noted that the quilt would drag the ground and he said, “Give me the pole”. He proceeded to walk on the small platform on the edge of the bridge. When he was confident he could hold the quilt there, we slid it onto the pole and he held it up while I took about ten minutes of photos and videos.

When you need a little help holding quilts in the mountains.
Matt holding the quilt in the mountains.
Sneak peek in the mountains…

I hope to debut this pattern soon and share some fantastic video clips I captured…with a little help, of course!

I have to share just a few snapshots from the wedding, right?

image of wedding photo

Note: this blog post would not be possible without the help of my Silent Partner. Much love to you, dear.

Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest to see more!

Christmas (Quilts) in July

Christmas (Quilts) in July? Yes, it’s a thing! Ours is a craft that requires lead time!

Let’s think of happy days ahead, with family and friends and gifts of joy and comfort. I love the idea of combining two of my favorite things: Christmas and quilts. I hope you’ll enjoy this month to contrast our lovely, warm summer with a taste of the crisp winter to come.

Introducing…Noelle.

Christmas (Quilts) in July Noelle Pattern

Noelle is quilted wall hanging pattern of a cute little pair of ice skates (like you might hang on your front door at Christmas time) with beautiful bouquets of winter flowers spilling out their tops. Her background is snowy white (scrappy) with fun winter-y accent fabrics. Like most #usebothsides quilt patterns, this one is fast and easy!

Go check your stash! I bet you have a Christmas floral in there, just aging for the right quilt! You’ll use your focus fabric for the skates (reverse), bouquets, and the binding!

Years ago I made myself a Christmas jumper out of this beautiful poinsettia fabric. I couldn’t bear to part with that jumper because I loved the fabric. I cut it apart and will use it as my focus fabric in my ice skates quilt!

Nancy

Next pull out your winter motif fabrics! Just five fabrics and two accent strips make up the background. Super fast!

Christmas (Quilts) in July

With the Noelle quilt pattern, you’ll learn how to audition both sides of fabrics to pick just the right focus and background fabrics.

The technique for making your bouquets is what I like to call Modern Broderie Perse. (Click HERE for more information about Broderie Perse.) Basically, it’s fusible applique while using your fabric motif as your cutting guide! See, it is fast and easy! And if your fabric has bonus motifs, like pine cones or birds, you can add those to your masterpiece! Quilters at workshops and classes seem to have the best time arranging their bouquets!

The best part is, once you make Noelle, you’ll know the technique for making all the broderie perse #usebothsides patterns!

SHOP more than 35 patterns & fabric kits HERE Creative Bee Studios Etsy Shop.

(This focus fabric is available while supplies last -click the link above.)

Have you made Christmas quilts this year? Join me on Facebook at Creative Bee Studios and share your quilts!

Follow my Christmas Quilts board on Pinterest!

Enjoy your quilting journey, Karla

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Occasional Quilting

Are you an occasional quilter or do you quilt occasionally?

You might be a quilter IF you like to make quilts for special occasions.

Likewise, you might be a quilter if you quilt occasionally!

In my early days of quilting, I thought I needed a reason (sometimes known as an excuse) for spending lots of time, energy, and (let’s face it) money on a quilt. So occasional quilting it was!

I might make quilts for special occasions like these:

  • Birthdays
  • Christmas Gifts
  • Baby Showers
  • Weddings
  • Graduations
  • Activities your kids or grandkids are in (mine included operas, musicals, and dance)
  • Quilts of Valor
  • Thank you gifts
  • Housewarmings

I’m sure each of you could add to this list! The point is, if I needed an excuse to make a new quilt, I could always come up with one!

Make quilts for special occasions like a musical!
Mini quilt made for daughter, Jacquelyn, who played Gertrude in Seussical.

In the beginning, I’d see a quilt offered in a class and would decide who or what occasion it was suited for and there was my excuse to take the class. Stage two was thinking of an occasion and searching for a pattern or fabric which best suited that theme for a quilt. As I, let’s say, aged as a quilter, I would think of the occasion and then either adapt a pattern or create my own quilt to suit the day.

Make quilts for special occasions like an opera!
“Our Town” fabric is featured in a quilt for my daughter, Paige, who played Emily in the Our Town opera.

I’m guessing that “quilting occasionally” happens for all of us! Life happens and priorities change and shift. Here is my latest example of quilting occasionally – at least on this project:

An example of occasional quilting!

See more about my rather slow progress HERE at Quilting Accountability – for FUN!

This project is by Willyne Hammerstein. Learn more HERE.

Stay tuned – the next occasional quilt I’ll share is for our daughter’s wedding – she’s getting married in the mountains in a week! Can you guess what the theme might be?

Enjoy your quilting journey!

Modern Broderie Perse

I define Modern Broderie Perse as cutting fusible applique from fabric motifs. Its a faster way to achieve artistry in quilts.

Broderie Perse as a quilting technique has stood the test of time.

While Broderie Perse was popular in the 17th Century in Europe, it most likely originated in India. The fabrics were traditional florals. Birds and vases were also common themes. Sewers would cut the fabric by using the motifs as their templates. Then they turned the stitches and hand-appliqued them to backgrounds. The darker colors were often paired with beige backgrounds.

Image of Traditional Broderie Perse

I was only vaguely aware of this quilting technique when I discovered using the reverse side of fabric for my quilt pattern designs. I liked the idea of using fabric motifs as templates for cutting because it would allow each quilt to be unique. Imagine a dozen quilters using the same pattern, each with a different focus fabric. By cutting fusible applique from fabric motifs, each quilt is different in size, value, color, and style.

This is all achieved by using different focus fabric and a Modern Broderie Perse technique! Remember, it’s all about cutting fusible applique from fabric motifs.

So, for example, if your fabric has large flowers, you’ll cut fewer of them for your design. You’ll also space them differently. You’ll audition background fabrics with both sides of your focus fabric. Therefore, chances are your backgrounds will also be unique. You might add additional motifs, like birds or bees, in your quilt – whatever is in your focus fabric!

My classes taught me how adaptable Broderie Perse is – with their unique results!

Modern Broderie Quilts Made in Class
Fabulously different “Grace” quilts made by Heartland Quilters Guild Members!
Grace Quilt Pattern uses the Modern Broderie Perse technique.
Grace Quilt Pattern

Vibrant colors and variety of styles make Modern Broderie Perse exciting and fun for today’s quilters.

Merle's Bouquet Quilt made with Modern Broderie Perse
Merle’s Bouquet Quilt Pattern

Enjoy your quilting journey!

New Fabrics in this One-Block Quilt Pattern

Discover the beauty of new fabrics in this one-block quilt pattern! Bohemian Blenders by Hoffman explode with color throughout the Treasures quilt pattern!

Hoffman California Fabrics Bohemian Blenders are another new fabric line that explodes with interest and delight – using both sides of three new fabrics that explode in this one-block quilt pattern!

Remember the two new quilts made with “Floral Rhapsody”? Click HERE to see Dash About and HERE to see VariLovable Star in these fabulous new fabrics!

Treasures is shown here using only three new fabrics on “solid” background in this one-block quilt pattern!

Image of Treasures quilt pattern using three new fabrics in this one-block quilt.
Looking forward to quilting this girl soon- then she’ll ship to California!

Each Contrary Wife block is made with two sets of half-square triangles (made using the reverse sides of the fabric for a lighter value) and five simple squares – and that’s it! The “light” blocks are made using the background fabric squares and the “dark” blocks are made with one of the three prints. Placement and the use of value (by using the reverse sides) gives the added interest of a secondary pattern.

Image of Contrary Wife quilt block made with both sides of Hoffman's new fabric.

The three colorways of Bohemian Blenders are Peridot, Palomino, and Multi.

The Hoffman version of this pattern lists the fabric details to make it easier for quilters and shop owners to find these exact fabrics.

See the Hoffman California Spring Projects Catalog HERE!

See the original Treasures quilt below. Learn more about the original Treasures HERE.

The original Treasures is made with both sides of QT fabrics on a "solid" background.
A tropical themed Treasures made with QT fabrics by Dan Morris – complete quilt kit available HERE!

Seashells, sea horses, and coral are the seaside motifs in these fabrics by Dan Morris for QT. Both sides of the three fabrics are combined with a soft white background. There are limited quantities of this complete quilt kit in my Etsy shop (while supplies last).

As always, thank you for visiting my blog! Remember to embrace and enjoy your quilting journey!

Like, follow, pin, and share on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!

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

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