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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!

Meet Pinky…The Baby Octopus Quilt

Like most of my patterns, it all starts with the fabric – the focus fabric!

Image of Fabric for Octopus Quilt

When I saw this darling fish-bone fabric by dear Stella, I immediately imagined a cute octopus – but first, I had to google: Do octopus eat fish? Well, deep water ones do and this little gal has enjoyed her fill!

So, here is Pinky! Keep in mind, if you find a great blue or purple fabric or even the blue/gray fish-bone by dear Stella, you can call him “Inky”!

Image of Octopus Quilt.

There are lots of nautical or coastal motifs on the market that would work well for the Pinky quilt pattern!

In case you are new to this concept, these easy quilt patterns are designed to use BOTH sides of fabric to achieve an interesting balance of values. The patterns teach you how to audition BOTH sides of focus fabrics to choose just the right one AND how to audition BOTH sides of your focus fabric with your scrappy background fabrics. In the process, you learn the nuances of value – a great skill to apply to all quilt planning.

The top of Pinky’s body and the binding are made using the front side of the focus fabric and her under-side and bubbles are made using its reverse.

Image of Octopus Quilt by Pool

Pinky comes with a full-size paper template and detailed instructions.

Pinky and all her friends are available at my Etsy Shop: Creative Bee Studios.

Want to learn more about using both sides? See information about classes, programs, and workshops HERE.

Follow me on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram where I regularly share quilts from classes and customers!

Next time you are shopping for fabric, at a LQS or in your own stash, turn it over and #usebothsides !

One Block Quilts

The name might sound a bit…mmmm, boring. Don’t let that fool you!

“One block” quilts can be as fantastically fun as they are simple to make!

See the blocks and the quilts below!

Image of Variable Star Block

From the Variable Star block comes the “VariLovable Star” Quilt Pattern – nestled stars bursting with color. This quilt is made from both sides of three fabric!

Image of Pieced Variable Star Quilt
Image of Ohio Star Block

From the Ohio Star block comes the Ohio Starburst Quilt Pattern. Also made from BOTH sides of three fabrics, this design has added borders and cornerstone stars.

Image of Ohio Star Quilt Pattern
“Ohio Starburst”
Image of Churn Dash Block

Next up, Dash About Quilt Pattern, made from the Churn Dash block.

Image of Churn Dash Quilt

One more class block…Contrary Wife.

Image of Quilt

Using BOTH sides of three fabrics with a “solid” background, the use of value and placement provides an interesting secondary pattern in Treasures Quilt Pattern.

SHOP the patterns HERE

NEW Treasures Quilt Kit available NOW!

#usebothsides

What are your favorite “One-Block” quilts? Follow Creative Bee Studios on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Share you ideas and quilts!

Red and White Quilt Day – Go Chiefs!

It was still a minute and a half to the end of the Superbowl and the fireworks were going and lasted a while!

Apparently, they were pretty big! Here they are on Bob Clubbs (social mediarologist) weather radar:

Image of Fireworks on Radar

You can find Bob on Facebook at Weather with Bob Clubbs. He’s a weather enthusiast, not a meteorologist, but his “One Gallon Freak-out” or “Two Gallon Freak-out” predictions are usually spot-on!

It’s a great day to wear red and white – and take a look at one beautiful red and white quilt pattern- which happens to remind me of fireworks.

This stunning quilt pattern is by Nancy Rink. Visit her website HERE. She has many beautiful patterns and quilt kits as well as notions, thread, rug hooking, and more.

Image of Pattern by Nancy Rink

This design uses Tri-Recs tools by EZ Quilting by Wrights, making this quilt easier to piece than you might think. I’ve used these tools for Bonnie Hunter mystery quilts before and they are fun to use.

Congrats to the Kansas City Chiefs – enjoy a red and white day!

Show and Tell Quilts

Show and Tell is my favorite! How about you?

Enjoy some class works of art finished and shown by area quilters.

I remember when I joined my guild. I knew so little, I didn’t know how little I knew! Becky, then president, was very encouraging to each of us to share and learn from each other. Show and Tell was the highlight of our meetings. I wondered then if some of those quilters ever slept…or ate!

It seems like quilting resolutions are going strong so far! Can’t wait to see what else you all finish in 2020. Happy Quilting!

Introducing…Treasures

Use BOTH beautiful sides of THREE fabrics…

Image of Quilt

Rummage your stash…use three random fabrics, OR choose a line of fabrics you love! 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 Quilt

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 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!

See the original Lickety-Split Quilt Bindings post HERE.

When I have “git-ur-done” quilts, not needing hand-turned binding, this is my go-to technique. This technique provides a 2 1/4″ or a 2″ binding (for mini quilts) options. Shout out to “Susie” who shared a similar technique on Pinterest – but that version made a wider binding not commonly used these days.

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.

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!

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.

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. 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 grand kids decorate the freshly cut tree and then we join around the dining table to sing carols. Afterward we enjoy hot soup, visiting, and eventually gift opening.

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 Tree with Quilt

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 since 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.

Image of Family Pic
Family Photo by Blake Kiefner of B Connaway Photography

Did you make Christmas quilts for gifts? Have you ever made a Wild Goose Chase quilt?

Follow my Facebook page: Creative Bee Studios to join in the conversation – click HERE.

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