Clover has recently released a new notion that caught my attention and I wanted to share insights about it today. Their new Compact Sewing Kit that seems like a “must have” for quilters that travel, as well as anyone that wants to be prepared. Perfect to drop in your purse, as well as travel bag. And, it is TSA approved. Plus, it is so reasonably priced (suggested retail is only $8.95), that it would also make a great gift for any friend who is traveling, retreat gifts, gifts to quilting friends, etc..
This kit contains:
- An assortment of handy and useful tools in a convenient portable case
- Contains 1 pair of scissors, 1 thread tweezer, 1 thread, 1 button, 1 needle threader, 1 needle and 1 safety pin
- The product is durable
- An assortment of handy and useful tools
- Convenient portable case
- Scissors Thread Tweezer Thread Buttons Needlethreader Needles Safety Pins
Clover has a short “Tool School” Youtube video about this product:
You should be able to check this product out at your favorite quilt shop or sewing center, but if you don’t see it, let them know you’d like them to carry it. Such a new tool they may not be aware of it. You can also check it on Amazon.
You can find Clover USA at:
The Las Vegas Modern Quilt Guild has a stunning quilt which caught my attention when I attended the QuiltCon West, this past February.
It incorporates their club logo beautifully, into the overall design of the quilt.
And I love the variety of blocks and colors.
And a variety of spectacular free-motion quilting was incorporated in this quilt, making it really stand out.
Great job Las Vegas MQG. Spectacular guild logo quilt.
You can find the Las Vegas MQG at:
Today I want to share insights about a way you can learn/improve your comfort and skills for working with color. Creativebug has a new class “Creating Color Palettes“, with Anna Maria Horner.
- Block fuse and cut fabric accurately and efficiently
- Make and attach a four-fold bag strap
- Make and insert an outside zipper pocket to a bag
- Attach O-rings and snap hooks to a four-fold strap
- Make and insert bag lining with custom-sized slot pockets
- Make a steady bag base and insert purse feet
- Insert a zipper closure to the top of a bag
- Make and attach an adjustable four-fold shoulder strap using a slider
I’ll confess I’m color challenged, so you should consider this when reading my review. It is not easy for me to select fabrics and feel I end up with a quilt that has beautiful fabrics. I’m safe when I make a Hawaiian applique’ quilt (it typically only uses 2 fabrics), but all too often I’ve finished a quilt and wish I had used different colors/fabrics. Thus, I’m off to research ways to learn/improve our ability to select colors and prints. My approach will be similar to that which I used for learning free-motion quilting (not that I’m an expert). But I pursued taking every class, reading every blog post and book, as well as practice, practice, practice, to see if I could learn a raindrop of knowledge.
For those that may not be familiar with Creativebug, there are several opti, for you to watch this class: 1) You can purchase and download this class as a standalone class, 2) you can subscribe to be a member of Creativebug, for a month, where you get access to all past classes and anything released for that month, or 3) you can purchase a yearly subscription, for a reasonable rate, where you get access to all past classes, as well as classes released during your subscription and you can save 12 classes to your library, to view anytime after your membership expires.
Anna Marie shares her super fun color game, which is a great way to learn to play with color. Her approach to learning and playing with color is easy to embrace and learn. Absolute a great class that I am confident I’ll enjoy repeating again and again, yet I’m sure those with more color savvy would enjoy and learn, yet only need to watch one time.
You can find Creativebug at:
You can find Anna Marie Horner at:
Today I want to share insights about an award winning quilt that was on exhibit at the Road to California Quilt Show, this past January.
Cameo Rose, by Laurie Tigner, of Rapid City, SD, is an amazing quilt. I hope you can see why it caught my attention while at Road.
Artist statement: My mother in law gave me two small traditional cameo pins of beautiful women. I loved the look of the carving and decided to try to duplicate that look in a fairly traditional wholecloth quilt. This was the result!
I loved the overall design of this quilt, the colors, the spectacular free-motion quilting. I believe she used Inktense watercolor pencils (permanent) to add color to this quilt.
I definitely found inspiration in this quilt and hope you do too!
Laurie teaches a variety of classes, including free-motion quilting on a domestic machine as well as long-arm machine.
It is also easy to see why this quilt is an award winning quilt.
You can find Laurie Tigner at:
Today’s post is another in my series to dedicated to the celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Electric Quilt Company. They are celebrating with monthly giveaways. I’m honored to have many blogging friends who also love EQ, celebrate by releasing EQ themed posts on the 10th of the month. Along the way you’ll find tips, tutorials, inspirational projects, learn about amazing designers that use EQ software to design, as well as giveaways all with an EQ theme.
There are so many reasons why I love playing around in EQ7 software. One is helping me with color and fabric selections, as I’ll confess I’m not very good when it comes to picking out colors for any project. But, EQ7 comes with just about every color that exists and a large selection of fabrics. Plus, every month they have a free fabric collection of the month, which you can download and easily import into your fabric library. You can also scan in your own fabrics, to use within EQ7 software. Electric Quilt also has digital fabric “stash” collections, from top fabric manufacturers, that you can purchase and use in your EQ software.
Today, I’m sharing an EQ7 tutorial that walks you thru how to create a colorwheel. For those that have EQ7, or are considering purchasing it, I always encourage users to consider “playing” with the software for 15 minutes a day. You’ll be amazed how much you’ll learn and how quickly you’ll be comfortable with the software to create. Taking time to go thru the EQ tutorials available on the EQ website, as well as shared by fellow bloggers, are all excellent ways to learn and improve your EQ skills and have fun while learning.
Here is my tutorial for creating a Colorwheel in EQ7 software:
Launch (aka run) your EQ7 software.
On the CREATE A NEW PROJECT TAB, type the name of your project (I used “colorwheel”).
On the file menu bar, on the top, click on BLOCK >> NEW BLOCK >>EASY DRAW BLOCK
Change the settings in the DRAWING SETUP menu for a 10″x10″ block.
CLICK on the EASYDRAW table
Click once on the ARC TOOL, which should be located on the left hand column of your screen. You will now be in arc mode and when you click, hold, drag, release your mouse you’ll create an arc. Drawing from left to right will create an arc that bows to the right, while drawing fro right to left will create an arc that bows to the left.
Your Undo button is your friend as you can click it to undo steps you have created within the software that you may not want. It is located in the row underneath the file menu, towards the top of your screen.
Before proceeding, play around with the arc tool and use your mouse to create various arcs. And, use the undo tool to remove, until you are familiar with these tools.
To create the arcs for our Colorwheel:
Click the arc tool, to be sure you are in the mode of creating arcs. Use your mouse to move your cursor to the top right hand corner of your block. Click the mouse, hold and drag your mouse to the left corner of your block and release. You should now have your first arc.
Repeat to create another arc 2″ down from the corner top right, to 2 inch inside of the bottom left corner.
Repeat to create a 3rd arc 4″ down from the corner top right to 4 inch inside the bottom left corner
Repeat to create a 4th arc 6″ down from the corner top right to 6 inch inside the bottom left corner.
As we have completed several steps, let’s be sure to take a few quick steps that are actually good habits to repeat periodically during any EQ7 project, as well as at the end of your projects, before you close the software:
- Click the ADD TO SKETCHBOOK, to save a copy to your sketchbook.
- click the save icon to SAVE THE FILE.
Now we are going to divide our arc into three pieces, which you may want to visualize as slicing a pie. To do this we will use the LINE TOOL.
Click on the LINE TOOL and then click on the right corner of your block, hold your mouse and drag to create approximately 1/3 slice of this pie. I dragged to the upper line releasing my mouse at the 4.5″ mark, but any place you wish to release to create your slice is fine.
Repeat this step releasing your mouse, to create a line using the ruler on the left side of your block. Again, I released my mouse at the 4.5″ mark. .
Click to save this block design to your sketchbook and click to save your file.
We now want to create a quilt layout that will hold four blocks, which we will turn into our color wheel vs a 1/4 slice of pie.
Click on the WORK ON QUILT button.
Click on the LAYOUT TABLE.
On the Horizontal menu change the settings to reflect: Number of blocks horizontal and vertical = 2 each, Finished size blocks 10″x10″
Click on the Borders Table
Change the default settings in the borders menu to reflect no borders (move the slider to the far left).
click on the LAYER ONE TABLE
On the right hand column you’ll find the SET BLOCK TOOL. Click on this tool once.
Your BLOCK SKETCHBOOK appears showing you all the blocks you have saved to your sketchbook, for this project. Click on the block you wish to use (e.g. 1/4 color wheel circle that is sliced into three pieces) and move your mouse over to the block on LAYER 1 and click, to fill that block your block design. Click again, one time on each of the remaining three blocks to place a block in each quadrant of your project.
For the example below, I had added the blue color to my block, saved that version to my sketchbook, thus it appears in each of my four blocks.
click on ROTATE BUTTON, located in the right hand column. Now click one time on the block in the upper right corner, to rotate it.
Click twice on the block in the lower right corner.
Click three times on the block in the lower left corner.
You should now have all blocks rotated where you can see your uncolored colorwheel (again, my example has blue in each quadrant, but don’t worry about that).
Save your design to your SKETCHBOOK and SAVE your design file, using the buttons referenced in earlier steps of this tutorial.
Now we are ready for the fun part – picking colors and fabrics for our colorwheel. We will start with pulling fabrics, for our project, from our fabric library.
CLICK ON LIBRARY > FABRIC LIBRARY
Scroll around the fabric library and select fabrics you want to use in this project by click on your selections and click on SAVE TO SKETCHBOOK.
Click on the PAINTBRUSH tool.
The SKETCHBOOK FOR FABRICS AND COLORS will appear:
Click on any fabric/color swatch and then click on any share in your Colorwheel to color it, as you wish. As mentioned, this is the fun part. Play with it and enjoy.
I’m actually amazed. Coloring is fun. I’m still “playing”, but I do hope I’ve inspired you for another fun way to use EQ software.
Ok, now you can see that I’m challenged when it comes to working with color. But, this is another example how one can use EQ7 to learn and improve their quilting skills. Not just for designing, but for auditioning fabrics and playing with color, it can also be a great tool to learn about color. And, that is exactly why I designed this colorwheel in EQ7. I simply wanted to play with color and fabrics to challenge myself and build my skills and comfort for working with color.
Don’t forget to save your file.
As mentioned earlier, I hope I’ve inspired you to play with EQ7 and use this tutorial to create your own colorwheel. I also hope you’ll share on my Facebook page any colorwheels you create. And, if you go thru this EQ7 tutorial and have any feedback on how to make it easier to follow, or have questions, please feel free to email me, or leave a comment. I’ll do my best to help you thru this tutorial so that you can learn and create your own colorwheel, as well as use your feedback to update this tutorial to make it easier to follow.
EQ and Riley Blake Fabrics have great prizes you could win this month, as part of the EQ 25th Anniversary Celebration: Wouldn’t it be fun to win a bundle of Free Spirit Fabric or a copy of EQ7 this month?
DID I MENTION BLOGGING FRIENDS HELPING TO CELEBRATE THE EQ 25TH ANNIVERSARY?
Yes, each month several blogging friends are releasing a post on the 10th of each month to help celebrate the EQ 25th Anniversary. Along the way, you’ll find tips, tutorials, inspirational project and various EQ themed insights. Here are some bloggers that I hope you’ll click thru to visit today:
Marian of Seams to be Sew
Pamela of Pamela Quilts
Mary of Quiltin’ Grandma’s Blog
Carol of Fun Threads Designs
Carole of From My Carolina Home
Tina of Quilting Affection
Lastly, if you are a blogger that loves EQ and wants to help with the 25th Anniversary Celebration, consider releasing an EQ themed post on the 10th of each month (e.g. tip, tutorial, inspirational project you’ve made all showing how you use EQ products). Let me know and I’ll include you in my blog post, to encourage others to pop by your blog and check out your EQ themed sharing. I’ll also make sure you are on My Creative Blog List, which is a easy to use site designed to follow creative blogs, as well as increase awareness of blogging events.
Here are links to my prior posts for these monthly celebrations:
If youhave problems viewing this embedded video, here is a link for you to watch it directly in Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3RAxnIJYCM
You can find Two Green Monkeys at:
I’m a new member of Creativebug. I actually signed up taking advantage of their current Mother’s Day Sale, where you get a one year membership, to view any/all of their videos/classes, during your membership, plus a 15% off coupon for Fabric.com (coupon comes via email after you sign up).
Their year membership program, provides not only access to ALL video classes during your membership, but you get to select 12 video classes to archive to watch again and again in the future (forever).
I wasn’t really certain what I’d find on the Creativebug, but I quickly began watching some excellent online classes, many of which I’ll share insights with you in the future. But the series for “How to Design Fabric?” just locked me in and I honestly felt this class alone, was worth the fee for a one year membership to the Creativebug, at any price. Thus, today, I want to share insights about this series:
- Lizzy House is an illustrator, print maker and fabric designer for Andover Fabrics.
Denyse Schmidt is a teacher and fabric designer with Free Spirit),
- richard killarney, teaches fashion and textile classes and also consults with fabric designers to help build fabric collections.
- Heather Ross is an illustrator and fabric designer for Windham Fabrics
- Stephen Fraser is co-founder of Spoonflower.
Here are a few inspirational words of encouragement that I picked up while watching:
- There are no real rules
- Do what you want to do as you have no clue where it may lead you.
Each part of this series is packed with great insights about How to Design Fabric, as well as to encourage you to be confident with your creativity. Each part also has a gallery where participants can share photos of their work and get feedback. And a great Discussion area for participants to ask questions and get feedback from the Creativebug teachers, as well as fellow students.
PART 1 – INSPIRATION AND INTRODUCTION (40:50 minutes)
What makes a fabric collection? How do repeats work? Where do you even start? This overview introduces you to the fundamentals of textile design, along with inspiration on how designers kick off a new collection. Hear the stories of each designer featured in the series, and follow along with an eye-opening paper exercise that helps you grasp the concept of a repeating design.
PART 2 – HOW TO DESIGN FABRIC: REPEATS BY HAND (1:07 hour)
Next we learn the fundamentals of building a repeating pattern. In Part 2, you will learn how to take a design and work it into a repeating pattern, and then let Lizzy show you how to block print the repeating design. All three designers also cover the sketching and drawing stages that ultimately translate into digital designs.
PART 3 – DESIGNING REPEATS DIGITALLY (1:13 hour)
Let’s move on to digital designs. Heather shares her process, which originates within Photoshop, and Denyse and Lizzy show how they draw and then create repeats in Illustrator (both presume a basic level of knowledge with each program). This episode also shows how to manipulate scale and tile designs, as well as pointers for getting the hang of drawing digitally.
PART 4 – WORKING WITH COLOR (1:05 hour)
Color is a whole other story unto itself. From sourcing inspiration to developing a palette, each designer talks about the importance of color in their work, and how to use color in effective and inspiring ways.
PART 5: EXPERT ADVICE (34:48 minutes)
Whether you are a casual designer or looking to work professionally, this final episode offers straight talk from the pros. Learn from industry experts as well as each designer, all of whom share their advice on how to approach fabric manufacturers and their evaluation of the retail fabric market. This episode gives you clear insight on the practicalities of developing and producing printed fabric.
My conclusion, this class is perfect for anyone interested in becoming a Fabric Designer, as well as those creative individuals that simply want to better understand the process. And, from the classes I’ve taken so far, I definitely see a value of being a member of the Creativebug. I’ll share insights on other classes on the Creativebug platform in the near future.
You can find Creativebug at:
Lara Bucella is celebrating the release of her new book Crafted Applique’ New Possibilities, with a blog hop and giveaways. New books are always a great way to learn and improve our skills, as well as find new and innovative designs. Plus, the value of a book often exceeds the value of purchasing standalone patterns. For this new book, by Lara, I think you’ll agree with me that it is an excellent opportunity to learn/improve our quilting skills, while also having fun creating beautiful projects.
I think this is going to be a super fun blog hop, where you will learn more about this book, see many inspirational projects and you’ll even find opportunities to win a copy too! But don’t overlook that you can also purchase a signed copy here on BuzzinBumble
Here is the line up for this event – May lst to June 5th:
Sunday, May 1 – Introduce the Hop and post the schedule on BuzzinBumble
Monday, May 2 – Valerie Smith – Pumpkin Patch Quilter
Tuesday, May 3 – Dana Gaffney – Stormy Days
Wednesday, May 4 – Lorna McMahon – Sew Fresh Quilts
Thursday, May 5 – Mary S. – Needled Mom
Friday, May 6 – Heidi Kuntz – Red Letter Quilts
Saturday, May 7 – Alycia Carmin – Alycia Quilts
Sunday, May 8 – Amy DeCesare – Amy Made That
Monday, May 9 – Sherri McConnell – A Quilting Life
Tuesday, May 10 – Lara Buccella – Sew Mama Sew
Wednesday, May 11 – Christina Cameli – A Few Scraps
Thursday, May 12 – Melissa Corry – Happy Quilting
Friday, May 13 – Sarah Craig – Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Saturday, May 14 – Soma Acharya – Whims and Fancies
Sunday, May 15 – Val Reynolds – Val’s Quilting Studio
Monday, May 16 – Angela Pingel – Cut to Pieces
Tuesday, May 17 – Sandra Walker – Musings of a Menopausal Melon
Wednesday, May 18 – Cheryl Brickey – Meadow Mist Designs
Thursday, May 19 – Judy Murphy – Quilt Paradigm
Friday, May 20 – Yvonne Fuchs – Quilting Jetgirl
Saturday, May 21 – Cindy Pieters – Stitchin’ at Home
Sunday, May 22 – Susie Zlogar – Susie’s Sunroom
Monday, May 23 – Connie Kresin-Campbell – Freemotion by the River
Tuesday, May 24 – Ruth Bourke – Charly & Ben’s Crafty Corner
Wednesday, May 25 – Kaja Zieslar – Sew Slowly
Thursday, May 26 – Ann Brooks – Fret Not Yourself
Friday, May 27 – Cynthia Brunz – Quilting is More Fun Than Housework
Saturday, May 28 – Monday, May 30 … Memorial Day Weekend in the U.S.
Tuesday, May 31 – Jenn Trott-Zisserson – Quarter Inch From the Edge
Wednesday, June 1 – Paulette Horn – The Way I Sew It
Thursday, June 2 – Sandra Jansen – Studio Sew of Course
Friday, June 3 – Christine Sherman – Triangles and Squares
Saturday, June 4 – Quilt Shop Gal
Sunday, June 5 – Announce Memorial Day Weekend in the U.S.
Have you seen the new Stitch N Paint designs at Leah Day Designs? These are machine embroidery designs that stitchout beautifully, and perfect for using fabric markers to color, as you design. You can frame your works of art, turn them into greeting cards, mini-wallhangings, zipper purses, etc.. The possibilities are endless and they are so much fun they are downright addicting. Certainly a great family craft project and would also make a wonderful gift, finished or for someone who enjoys coloring.
Did you know these designs are perfectly digitized by Leah’s father, Max Gray? They truly are beautiful machine embroidery designs. Leah creates the design on paper, stitches it out with free-motion quilting, then Max digitizes her design absolutely perfectly. I’ve stitched out many of his work and they always stitch out beautifully. You can find his embroidery files at Leah Day Designs, under the embroidery tab.
Here is a youtube video that Leah created for this design, showing how to stitch the design out, as well as color it:
I found this design stitched out perfectly, with amazing detail.
For coloring, I decided to use Derwent Inktense watercolor pencils. When you first color your fabric (or paper) the color can look intense, yet has a dry look to it. While this is not a tutorial, I’ll try to share a few tips for using these water color pencils, but don’t forget just about any permanent fabric marker would work well for coloring these designs. Heck, even color crayons would probably be fun and you can heat set them on cotton too!
When using Inktense watercolor pencils, you can use a water brush (or lightly dip a small paintbrush in water) to paint where you’ve colored. Just be careful to brush lightly using minimal water, and you’ll see the colors become more vibrant. Keep a paper towel handy, to wip off your brush before changing to a different color, as well as using to press on your fabric should you accidentally add too much water.
Can you see how the colors really pop after brushed lightly with water? I’ll now heat set with a hot iron and I’m going to use this particular stitch n’ paint landscape to turn into a greeting card.
This is the newest design in this series that has just been released. Easy to fall in love with this design and I’m confident it will stitch out beautifully. And, it is on sale at Leah Day Designs thru next Wednesday!
Here is a youtube video that Leah created for this design.
I’m already looking forward to seeing what future designs Leah’s dad releases in his new Stitch N’ Paint designs. I’m sure they will all stitch out beautifully and be fun to paint.
You can find Leah at:
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