Polymer Clay Cane Inspiration from Quilting Magazines and Patterns

Quilters Magazine

Cane and Bead Making Design Ideas Are Everywhere!

I love magazines! All kinds of them. And even though I am not a Quilter, I love reading quilting magazines for polymer clay inspiration! Every time I go into my local library, I pick up a stack of magazines from the quilting section. They are loaded with wonderful ideas that are easily translated into polymer clay cane designs.

Just look at the cover of the Quilter’s Newsletter in the photo above! Doesn’t that look like the making of a fabulous complex cane design to you?

Look at the use of color and pattern! Don’t you just get all wiggly with excitement when you see patterns like this? Sometimes I can hardly sleep after looking at one of these magazines, thinking of all the cool canes I could make!

One cool thing about the pieced patterns that many quilts are designed with, is that many of the patterns can be made into polymer clay canes quite simply by using a clay extruder.

Using square, triangle and diamond shaped dies in your extruder you can recreate many quilting patterns quite easily. A very simple example of a quilt pattern converted to a polymer clay cane pattern using an extruder, can be seen at this post: Polymer Clay Canes | Rainbow Quilt Design Perfect For Pillow Beads

Quilting has gotten so creative too. Quilt patterns aren’t only about geometric patterns anymore. Quilter’s are now painting and dying their own fabrics and adding embellishments and mixed media elements to their works of art.

Appliqué patterns and free form quilt patterns can also be a great source of inspiration for your polymer clay bead projects.

So next time you’re at the library or the book store, pick up a few Quilting Magazines for inspiration. Maybe you’ll have a little trouble getting sleep with all the ideas running around your brain too!

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Zarah, 29 April, 2009

    Such a good idea, a perfect way to get inspiration for polymer clay! I’m gonna remember that for my next polymer project. :) Thanks! Zarah [Norway]

  2. Cindy Lietz, 30 April, 2009

    Thanks Zarah! Thank you so much for your comment. Nice to have you here!

  3. Joyce, 01 May, 2009

    Great idea! I would never have thought to look at quilting magazines with polymer clay eyes.

  4. Cindy Lietz, 01 May, 2009

    I can barely look at anything now and not see it through polymer clay eyes! LOL

  5. Elizabeth Anne, 19 June, 2009

    Thanks for your comment on my quilting blog, and for leading me to your site. I am totally amazed and inspired by your work! –Elizabeth in NM

  6. Cindy Lietz, 28 June, 2009

    You’re welcome and thank you, Elizabeth!

  7. Cindy Lietz, 12 July, 2009

    Hi Dolores… saving money by making your own custom made buttons is a GREAT reason to learn about working with polymer clay. I don’t have any specific Button Making Tutorial Videos (Yet), but as with any technique, you still need to learn the basics. My Polymer Clay Beginners Video Course will help you with that.

    And you also might want to check out the “Polymer Clay Molds” link by my name above. It will take you to an article that will give you some button making ideas.

    Finally, be sure to use “button” as a search box at the top of any page of this blog. This topic has been discussed in several other posts and comment threads.

    Hope this helps.

  8. Dolores, 12 July, 2009

    Hi.. Love your videos.. Do you have info on making buttons. I fell in love with a tree frog button at a quilt show but didn’t want to pay 8.00 per button for something less than an inch long, even through they were adorable.

  9. carolyn, 05 December, 2009

    Do you know how to make a polymer clay frog? Or does anyone out there on your site? I want to make clay frogs for two reasons – 1) frogs are my ‘thing’ and I’ve made and sold bean bag frogs for about 30 years; and 2) FROG means Fully Relying On God and that is what I am doing more and more. My husband of 43 years returned home to the Lord in April, 2009. I never did any clay work while he was alive but he was my biggest supporter as I developed my wire art skills to an award winning level. I make and sell at my church and turn all the money in to the church – no way to get rich, but oh the blessings! Besides frogs I intend to combine clay art with wire art and I believe the response will be profound! Anyway, back to frogs … let me know if there is anyone who knows how to make one out of polymer clay. Thanks, Cindy!

  10. Cindy Lietz, 05 December, 2009

    Hi Carolyn,

    I transfered your email question to the comment section of this post because of the reference to polymer clay frog buttons made above by Dolores. If she has subscribed to this thread via email, she may respond with more information about how her frog projects are coming along.

    I myself have not yet made any frogs, but at the following link you can see a green polymer clay penguin :-)

    …and you can also click through to this next link about how to hang miniature polymer clay sculptures as charms.

    To find other frog references here at the site, just type the word “frog” into the search box at the top of the page. The link by my name takes you to another reference from Betty Keating who has been working with polymer clay for 15 years. She makes little frog pot sitters.

    This site has a ton of information and that little search box can become your best friend for finding stuff. When you want to communicate with someone, just post your thoughts in the comment section at the page where the person posted the information that is of interest to you.

    All the best Carolyn and welcome to the library. I’m sorry to hear about the passing of your husband. If you would like to read about another member who sadly, just lost her “biggest supporter” as well, here is the link to that post:
    Making Polymer Clay Beads & Jewelry to Help Cope with a Sad Loss

  11. Yvette, 22 February, 2010

    Can polymer clay be used underwater after firing. My daughter and I want to make a toad house.

  12. Phaedrakat, 23 February, 2010

    @Yvette: Hi, well, I’ve never tried this. But polymer clay is basically plastic, after firing completely, so it’s naturally waterproof. I would just make sure it is completely baked (even a little longer than usual to be sure,) and give it a quick wipedown after baking (with alcohol or something) to remove any oils. I wouldn’t use varnish on it, since most of the ones safe for polymer aren’t for underwater use.

    I’d love to see how your toad house comes out. Send Cindy a picture, perhaps she’ll show it in a feature article. Or you could always put it on flickr, photobucket, Facebook, etc. and put the URL with your name when you comment. Good luck with your project!

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