My name is Bea Lee (bee-ah, not Bee – I don’t have wings and I don’t buzz- just kidding). I was born and raised in Denmark. As a child I always loved drawing, especially cute cartoony type of things. After high school I went to an art boarding school in Denmark where I learned more about sewing and weaving.
When I was 18 I moved to FL to go to college at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, I got my A.S Degree in computer animation; my dream was to work for Disney. But that didn’t happen, plus I was tired of drawing so much. While in college I also met my husband AND I became a Christian! So my view on life also changed. I wanted to get married and start a family. We got married in Denmark at Christmas time (2 months after I graduated)
Over the next few years I worked as a waitress and other customer service jobs. I had our son in 2002, then our daughter in 2004. Also in 2004 we moved to NC. While pregnant with my daughter our church offered a quilting class over the summer. I made a quilt for my daughter which I designed on graph paper and made in pastels. She still had it and sleeps with it every night, it’s in shreds! (Very loved) My quilt teacher, who was a pastor’s wife, asked us all if we’d get into quilting and I said NO! I was more into scrapbooking at that time. Little did I know….
A few years later I was hooked, I don’t know what happened, but I couldn’t stop sewing and quilting. My quilting really took off when we moved into a new house and I got my own craft room/studio upstairs. Plus two of our new neighbors quilted! In 2010 my husband bought me a long arm machine after I had won a few ribbons at the county fair. (What a guy!) So that’s my business now. As long as I earn money toward my fabric addiction collection, and other purchases, then it’s good!
A few years ago I heard about Electric Quilt and bought EQ6. What fun! I just loved it. With my love of drawing and colors and now fabrics, EQ is just the best software for designing quilts! I also joined the monthly EQ challenges. I learned a lot from getting files back each month and trying to figure out how others designed their quilts. This was a reason I upgraded to EQ7 when that came out, so I could get these monthly files and then to see what NEW things I could do with EQ! Earlier this year I contacted McCall’s about how to become a designer for them, and they said they’d be happy to look at my sketches from EQ, so I sent those to them and they picked 2 the first time and one has already been published. “It’s a Hootie” was in McCall’s Quilting in September, and #2 will be in a magazine in January, plus I’m working on #3 for them. I couldn’t have done this without EQ!
Visit my website at www.beaquilter.com
Here are some quilts from Bea Lee:
Rainbow nine patch- created in EQ and bought batiks to match, hand drew the flower afterwards but never scanned that into EQ- don’t think I have the sketch anymore.
Tic tacs and mints- created this circle quilt and playing with different layout ideas before picking this one.
Circle in a star- I designed it in EQ while cutting out fabrics from a FQ bundle of Riley blake fabrics, I wanted to use every inch of the fabric, so I also created a FQ cutting chart in EQ.
Elephant Quilt Tutorial by Bea Lee
I got the idea for an animal quilt and picked this elephant block and some pinwheel blocks from the EQ library. I flipped every other row of elephant blocks. Then downloaded fabrics from connecting threads (an awesome website for fabrics!) here is two versions from the “soaked” and “shimmering frost” collections.
Here’s how to download fabrics from connecting threads.
- Go to www.connectingthreads.com , under the fabric tab, select the fabric line you want.
- On the left is a tab called downloads, then select “electric quilt download”
- A pop up with ask you where you want to save the zip file. I save it on the desktop temporarily.
Open up the zip file and you’ll have a .FAB file, copy this one into the same folder where you have your other .FAB files. (I have mine under libraries/documents/My eq6/User)
- Open up your EQ program and select a project you want to work on.
- Click Libraries/ fabric libraries and scroll all the way down to USER and the fabric will be called CT- (name of fabric line) open all fabrics under that and select all and add to sketchbook.
That’s another reason why I love EQ and Connecting Threads, this way I can design a quilt, pick my fabrics and THEN order the fabrics and know what it will look like before I get it.
Have a look at my blog/website www.beaquilter.com where I blog about my quilting adventures and info about my long arm quilting.