BEE Joyful

From the moment we first met Deb Strain, we were completely enamored with her stunning illustrations and her warm personality. We were so thrilled that she approached us about creating a thread collection to accompany her BEE Joyful collection with Moda Fabrics. Deb’s illustrations are mesmerizing — the detail that she captures, the beauty she portrays — so absolutely stunning! Whenever Deb releases a new collection, she partners with designer & master quilter Barb Cherniwchan of Coach House Designs. They make a perfect duo and Barb does a wonderful job with bringing Deb’s illustrations to life.

As we worked to prepare the collection, we experienced a delightful first… Deb created an original illustration for the thread collection label! It arrived in the mail for our graphic designer to use in the creation of the label. So fun!

We’re so thrilled to introduce this collection and cannot wait to see what you all create using Deb’s fabrics, her thread collection, and Barb’s patterns.

BEE Joyful
100% Aurifil 50wt Cotton, 10 Small Spools (220yd/spool)
2692 – 2311 – 2130 – 2123 – 2134 – 2975 – 2615 – 2620 – 2625 – 2630

To view this info on our website, click here. For purchasing, please contact your local Aurifil Dealer.

BEE Joyful Fabrics

As a special gift to readers, Deb illustrated a series of Christmas tags, available here as a free download. Thank you, Deb!

Christmas Tag Clip Art by Deb Strain


What first drew you to the world of textiles?
Deb: I have always been amazed at the ART of textile design.  The color, pattern and design quality are amazing and so varied! Since I was a little girl, sewing in our “Busy Bees” 4-H club, I have seen fabric as artwork and always wanted to be a part of designing it.

Barb: I became fascinated with fabric when I was very young.  My mother was an art teacher and she taught my sisters and I to appreciate arts and crafts of all kinds.  I learned to sew clothing in my teens and I began quilting in my twenties.  Spending my time in a fabric store was one of my favourite treats.

Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
Deb: Each fabric collection that I design has a different inspiration, for me.  With BEE Joyful, I was inspired by illuminated letters that are found in old manuscripts and books.  The richness of color and design in each block directly inspired my own blocks on the BEE Joyful panel.

Barb: In my quilting, I get my inspiration from the fabric that I am working with.  I look to the colours, the artwork on the fabric and the overall feel of a fabric group and try to design a project that is true to those feelings.  It is rare for me to design a pattern and search for the fabric later.  It almost always starts with the fabric.

Tell us about BEEJoyful. What inspired the designs?
Deb: Bees themselves provide endless inspiration for pattern and design! The shape and repetition of honeycombs, beeskeps, and flowers all are wonderful starting points when designing.

Can you tell us a bit more about your illustration process and how those illustrations are transferred to fabric?
Deb: I hand draw and paint EVERY part of my fabric lines.  Every step, from drawing the designs to painting the panels, is a true labor of love.  I use several different types of paints when painting, depending on what texture that I am trying to achieve. When finished, I send the original artwork to Moda and they transfer it to fabric.  I am always amazed at how the finished fabric looks exactly like my original artwork!!

What do you love most about working together and how do your individual strengths inform the collaborative work that you do?
Deb: I LOVE working with Barb!! She is a creative genius and also one of my Best friends!  I am continually impressed by how she comes up with unique ways to use the panels in my groups.  Barb is an incredible artist and working with her has been one of the best parts of my career.

She could work with any fabric, any designer and I feel genuinely blessed that she works with me!

Barb: What I love most about working with Deb is that she has become one of my very best friends.  Being a designer, whether it is painting or pattern design, tends to be a pretty solitary existence, especially when you are up against the never ending cycle of deadlines.  Being able to collaborate with each other enables us to get out of our little bubbles to share ideas.  I am constantly amazed with the beautiful work that Deb does and that is all her.  I show her all my ideas before I finalize them to make sure they are true to her vision.

Do you have a favorite project or projects made with the collection?
Deb: I Love everything Barb does…For BEE Joyful, I think that the kit she created is amazing.  Again, she has used the panel in such a seamless way. Also, the HOME banner and how she used the oval in the panel block as the “O” for HOME…and….. her “Lattice” pattern,  I thought it was really beautiful when she sent it to me, but when I saw it in person, it was stunning!  As you can see, I could go on and on….

Barb:I think I like the Joyful Banners and Buzz Buzz the best.  The Joyful Banners are simple small projects that are great for seasonal decorating or for giving as gifts.  I also love the little bee in the sashing of the Buzz Buzz quilt.

Buzz, Buzz Quilt Kit

What drew you to want an Aurifil collection and what did you love most about putting everything together?
Deb: I have to honestly say, that for me, the colors are what drew me to Auriful.  Opening a collection of Auriful thread is similar to opening a new set of paints……a wonderful gift with endless possibilities ahead!

Barb: I am an Aurifil faithful.  It is the only thread I use for piecing and have used since I started quilting.  My go to method for applique is to hand prepare the shapes and then sew them down with a machine applique stitch.  I coordinate the thread so that it enhances the shape without being too obvious.  With the variety of thread colors available it was easy to pick just the right colors to go with the group.


To enter-to-win the BEE Joyful Thread Collection + a bundle of BEE Joyful by Deb Strain for Moda Fabrics, click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Wednesday, December 19! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Thursday, December 20. Good luck!

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  1. What a beautiful collection! Thank you, Deb, for sharing your creative process. Just amazing!
    Merry Christmas! It’s my most favorite holiday and time of year.

  2. I bought a good bit of this collection and love it—yardage, charm paks and a jelly roll. My oldest daughter and I are beekeepers and I made her a wall hanging from these gorgeous fabrics. I really “need” some wonderful Aurifil thread to match! Thanks for the chances to win.

  3. Thank you for the chance of winning some more of this beautiful collection!! I have a couple of pieces and would live to add to it!! And the thread to match would be bonus!!! Can’t wait to get sewing after the holiday for me!!!

  4. Love, Love, LOVE this line of fabric and thread collection! Now I have to find some!! Hopefully, I will win it!! Thanks for the opportunity!

  5. What brings me the most joy is being able to spend a beautiful day outdoors with my grandchildren. Their energy and exuberance for life are marvelous.

  6. Joy comes to me through family, friends, nature, and quilting! (I have made q queen sized quilt with Deb’s Bee Inspired fabric line.

  7. Bee-ing with family and friends, meeting new people makes things wonderful. Continue your journey; it inspires.

  8. Joy can be such a beautiful adjective especially this time of year. I personally get joy from so much, God, family, quilting etc. Along with joy comes peace because when I quilt my sewing room is filled with both. The joy that I’m making something for someone and the peace that I get when it’s finally completed.

  9. Lots of things bring me joy, and bees are one of them. I love the fabric line and the Aurifil thread colors! Thank you!

  10. My family and the wonderful array of fabrics and Aurifil and my Bernina….to make things that make them smile!!!
    Thank you!!

  11. My Famly & Friends bring me Joy….and of course quilting lol…but biggest Joy right now is knowing I am beat ting this 3 rd round of cancer!!! Joy &Praises for sure!!

  12. My family brings me joy. I really like Deb Strain’s collections. I made Christmas gifts (lap quilts) using fabric from each of the earlier ‘Bee’ collections for my two older sons and their families. One of them has honey bees so he was very happy with the gift.

  13. Being with family brings me joy.
    Love the fabrics & I especially love the quilt hanging on the tree. Thanks.

  14. Quilting with Aurifil gives me joy, and being inspired by fabric and patterns. Chocolate also brings me joy. lol

  15. Wow, this is the nicest bee line I’ve seen. Thank you so much for the chance to win the beautiful fabrics and matching threads. They would be wonderful to work with! The thing that brings me joy is life in all it’s infinite variety. Ups and downs are normal, and joy can be found in everything we experience.

  16. Family brings me joy. That said, fabric makes me happy. Deb is one of my favorite fabric designers.

  17. I love the simple colors and designs of this collection. Looking forward to working with it.m thank you so much.

  18. Sunshine, good friends, and fabric bring me JOY. Great collections, both the fabric and the threads.

  19. Joy is paying it forward. Whether it is saying hello to a stranger and with a smile, making a gift for a first time grandmother/dad, cleaning up the neighborhood picking up trash, downed branches, or just helping a neighbor get to the grocery store and back home and unpacked. Thank you!

  20. My family, friends, church and puppies bring me joy. Of course I get a lot of joy from fabric and Aurifil thread too.

  21. So many things bring joy. Being creative is at the top of the list along with spending time with friends and/or my pup. Deb and Barb’s designs bring joy as well.

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