Category: Karla’s Corner (Page 1 of 8)

Image of Karla's CornerStep into Karla’s Corner for a peek into her thoughts, her favorite shops, her adventures in fabric, quilt, and merchandise design and more!

This special corner is filled with all kinds of creative thoughts, ideas, family traditions, favorite things, magazine reviews and a whole lot more!

Family Traditions

See the Wild Goose Chase quilt under the Christmas tree and learn about the Geese-a-Layin’ family tradition.

Summer, Winter, and Beach Quilts

See Karla’s favorite quilts for all kinds of occasions, locations, and seasons.

Favorites

Karla’s Corner is where you’ll find her favorite shops, books, quilts, magazine reviews, and more. You’ll also get favorite tool reviews and

The World of Design in Karla’s Corner

Additionally, you’ll learn more about Karla’s adventure into fabric and merchandise designs. See the quilts she designs for Hoffman California Fabrics.

See the process from sketches to fabrics and sketches to quilts. Find fabric collections and different colorways in Karla’s Corner.

Moreover, get a peek into the fabrics designed especially for Karla’s quilt patterns and matching merchandise, too!

Sundry

See quilt show reviews, gifted quilts, guild challenges, quilt retreat memories, inspirational posts,  family memorials and more in the Sundry section.

 

It’s a Whale’s Tale

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

It started with a sketch and ended up as whale quilting fabric!

First things first: this sketch was made for punch needle, not whale quilting fabric. But sometimes things have to simmer a while. In other words, ideas need to age like a fine wine or quilt fabric that has yet to find its rightful place!

Surprisingly, Bubbles (and his focus fabric) had already been designed before this tail sketch became part of a fabric. Read about him in Uncork the Bubbles!

First, the sketchy whale tail.

image of whale quilting fabric and sketch
Sketches to fabric.

Learn more about how to use Spoonflower at Spoonflower How-To.

The whale tail shown above, with a sand dollar and seashell, are rough sketches made years ago. The first result of the tail sketch is in a tiny frame here surrounded by seashells and a “watercolor” whale.

Punch needle before whale quilting fabric.

Image of punch needle whale
Punch needle whale tail.

Click here to see Redbubble merchandise with the blue whale shown above.

Initially, having numerous designs in my Seashore Friends Fabric Collection on Spoonflower, it had not dawned on me to use the whale tail sketch. However, it didn’t take long to work this tail into an interesting stripe of whale quilting fabric.

Deciding on the elements for the striped design.

Putting the whale quilting fabric design all together.

Furthermore, the initial fabric design began with a collection of sand dollars. Next came the sand dollars. Finally, because I was searching for an interesting third element, I remembered the whale tail punch needle.

Lastly, I made sure the directional elements went both North and South, to give more usability to the fabric.

See matching merchandise in my Redbubble shop!

See the Seashore Friends baby quilt that’s made with both beautiful sides of my Spoonflower fabrics!

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing this fabric’s simmering process!

Enjoy YOUR quilting journey!

Unlikely Quilting Tools

You might call it cheap entertainment, but I like to find useful quilting supplies in unlikely places. I also find it fun to use things for quilting that aren’t meant for that purpose.

It makes a necessary a trip to town a little more exciting.

First, you might wonder why I’d combine an ordinary trip to town with looking for quilting supplies. I guess I’m one of those people who could sport a “I’d rather be quilting” bumper sticker. The reason is because I tend to put some off things (like buying groceries) until I just really HAVE to (we have no food).

Therefore, my (let’s call it creative) mind has come up with a few ways to make these tasks more bearable.

The first one (if I’m at Walmart), is to see if there are any new Pioneer Woman products – that’s a given. (See Watercolor on a Whim about my trip to Pawhuska!)

Next, is that I am always, always, always on the lookout for items that have any useful way to be a part of quilting, sewing, painting, or crafting.

I have three to share with you today!

Image of Quilting Tools
Big scissors, hair spritzer, and popsicle sticks. And, yes, Bubbles in the background.

Hairitage Continuous Spray Bottle

You can find this item in the hair care products at your local Walmart.

It’s a continuous spritzer, very similar to one I’ve purchased at a quilt shop. This one has a light mist, but it does spray a bit longer with each pull of the trigger. These spritzers work especially well if you use a dry iron but want to mist your fabric for a good press. These also are a great tool for watercolor painting as they don’t leave heavy droplets. The best part is that it was about half the price as the one marketed for quilting. Now I can leave one at my iron AND have one at my painting desk – perfecto!

Whether they were expensive or not, I have always had trouble with steam irons that leak or spit. I have found it’s much nicer to use a dry iron and I control the moisture with a spritzer. No chances for rust spots!

Really Big Scissors

Next up is the very long scissors, found at Harbor Freight. I have no idea what they are meant for, but I use them to cut batting. They work beautifully! If I remember correctly, they were about $8.

Craft Sticks

Lastly, I have a little package of craft sticks (popsicle sticks) that I purchased for less than $2 at Hobby Lobby. I suspect they could also be found at a dollar store or discount store for even less. I chose the wider (about 3/4 inch) ones. There are 40 in the pack so I have plans for the rest of mine!

Use this little guy for projects that need to be turned right side out a pressed. This will help push the fabric outward to make the seam nice and flat. It helps to insure you don’t crease extra fabric while pressing.

Just position the craft stick on the inside on either side of the seam and gently push the seam outward while pressing with a small iron. The rounded edge won’t compromise the seam. This is especially helpful for curved seams.

Which brings to me the next thing I want to share with you, my friends…

Image of Bubbles Cuddle
Meet Bubbles Cuddle!

This pattern is coming very soon to my Etsy shop! He’s so much fun to make! He’s shown here sporting BOTH beautiful sides of “Bubbles Geometric Medium” fabric printed on Spoonflower’s Organic Cotton Sateen, so he matches the original quilt. Of course, you can make him with BOTH beautiful sides of whatever you want YOUR Bubbles to be!

Christmas Quilting by Julia

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Julia’s trip to Missouri Star found her bringing home fabric to do some Christmas quilting!

Julia chose a beautiful line of Christmas quilting fabric for her first large, quilted throw. Their first quilting project together began when, my daughter, Paige, and her best friend, Julia, took a trip to nearby Missouri Star this summer. While Julia chose a beautiful Christmas motif, Paige selected a warm, autumn line (see What is Quilting Heritage?).

Julia started with colorful layer cakes of a variety of reds which included traditional Christmas red, warm orange-y reds, and deep (almost burgundy) reds. The collection was rounded out with deep greens, black, warm whites, and lots of gold. To me her fabric has a traditional Christmas feel, but with LOTS of interest and sparkle to boot!

Christmas quilting

Next, Julia added a narrow green and gold border. Lastly, she chose a red and gold fabric for her outer, large border. Both border fabrics are found in the quilt center. Julia’s new Christmas quilt is a nice, large throw size.

Julia's Christmas Quilting

As you can see, Julia and Paige chose to keep their layer cakes whole. They got together for an evening to “play” (arrange their layer cake squares). Paige sent me black and white photos to show she was testing the values (YES!). See The Tricky Traits of Value for more information.

Image of Quilt
Paige’s autumn throw.
Julia showing her Christmas quilting throw
Julia’s cozy Christmas throw.

Before the girls got their quilts finished, Paige and her husband moved 1,000 away, ending the frequent couples’ nights, friend walks, and quilting together. I know they enjoyed living near one another again (they grew up as neighbors and best friends, but were apart after high school). They will cherish their memories of their young adulthood and, both newlyweds, their young married life together.

Julia’s quilt will hold warm memories for her.

Lastly, Julia had her throw quilted with swirls and holly leaves in red thread.

Christmas quilting motifs

Also, Julia shared her other Christmas quilting projects:

It’s so fun to know that twenty-somethings are enjoying quilting! I hope to share future projects by these two friends. What do you think they should do next…maybe a quilting retreat?

In the end, it’s fun to see a quilting journey begin so early in life. Here’s a reminder to you to enjoy your quilting journey!

What is Quilting Heritage?

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Quilting heritage might mean something different to each of us quilters. However you define it, I’m betting you consider it a good thing!

It began several months ago when my oldest daughter assisted me at a guild program I presented. This was Paige’s first guild meeting. I think that was a big influence in determining a quilting heritage for her. She told me afterward she loved seeing all the women in one room come together with a passion and excitement for quilting.

In reflection, both of our daughters enjoyed attending quilting camps when they were young. Since then, they’ve each had their own individual experiences with sewing. Our youngest, Jacquelyn, sewed theatre costumes in college and a few other projects. Paige has sewn several costumes, including an Elsa costume from Frozen. Because their sewing interests were more varied and more difficult than I consider quilt piecing to be, I hadn’t thought much about them taking an interest in quilting. At least not for a few decades!

You never know what will trigger someone to make a quilt!

So when Paige helped me set up my program which includes an integrated power point and trunk show with more than 45 quilts, plus patterns, kits, and shirts to sell afterward, I didn’t expect it to be a big influence on her. Learn more about products and programs HERE.

Next thing I know, she and her friend, Julia, take a trip to Hamilton, Missouri, home of Jenny Doan and Missouri Star Quilt Company! They each buy some layer cakes and get together to start laying out their quilt plans. They haven’t yet discovered all the many variations of quilt blocks they can make with layer cakes, but that’s okay! They totally enjoyed making their own quilts from the 10-inch squares.

Image of Quilt

All by herself!

Paige is not one to do anything small. (See Her Role, Our Town, My World for a look her opera background.) So when she told me she put this quilt top together because she decided she needed to carry on the quilting tradition, she also informed me she wanted to quilt it…on my longarm. She never even looked twice at this machine, all these years!

There’s something to be said for the fearless energy of youth.

While I did suggest she practice a bit, she didn’t stick to the loops and swirls I suggested for the beginner. She wanted to make pumpkins and cats – and she did!

image of quilting heritage

The fearlessness of youth is amazing!

Image of Paige quilting

And just like that, she’s a quilter – and so is her friend!

Image of Paige holding quilt

Quilting heritage is alive and well!

Enjoy your quilting journey!

The Adventures of Bubbles the Baby Whale Soft Book

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

“The Counting Game” featuring Bubbles the Baby Whale is a soft book made from a fabric panel.

Stitch this new, soft book (to match the Bubbles quilt pattern using a fat quarter fabric panel and a little bit of batting!

Printed on the exquisite Organic Cotton Sateen fabric by Spoonflower, this book makes a perfect gift for babies and toddlers! Not only is the fabric super soft, it is vibrant, a delight to stitch, and perfect for little ones!

The Adventures of Bubbles the Baby Whale – The Counting Game

Stitch this fun, easy project for your favorite baby or toddler! Available on Creative Bee Studios Etsy Shop OR at Creative Bee Studios Spoonflower Shop.

The Adventures of Bubbles the Baby Whale begins with the friendly whale inviting the little “reader” to count with him. Through the pages, Bubbles counts his seashore friends, seashells, and more.

First to appear is Bubbles’ friend, Pinky, the baby octopus. Shop the Pinky Quilt Pattern.

In addition, “readers” count (or point to) Sally, the seahorse, colorful corals, Fiona (flamingos), fish, sea turtles, sand dollars, and seashells.

Learn more about the creation of Bubbles Geometric fabric for making the matching Bubbles quilted wall hanging!

What’s wonderful about the Bubbles soft book?

To start, the fabric has a great feel for little hands. The cotton fabric has a satin-y sheen that makes a great tactile experience.

Secondly, the size is just right for small hands to hold or carry around.

Third, it’s fun and easy to make.

Lastly, the book can be just a part of a whole gifted package of Bubbles items! Make the quilt or order a onesie and bib. You might grab a matching wall clock, rug, or curtains – there are lots of possibilities!

This soft book fabric panel is a fat quarter (28 x 18 inches) of Organic Cotton Sateen (56 inch width).

image of bubbles quilt on beach

Please invite your friends to Catch The BUZZ and enjoy your quilting journey!

Seashore Friends Collection One

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Delight in the happy colors of summer as we take a first look at Seashore Friends Pattern Collection One.

Firstly, you’ve seen the main character of this show (the Seashore Friends Pattern Collection), Bubbles. (See Uncork the Bubbles for more Bubbles fun!)

Image of Baby Whale Quilt
Bubbles is made with both sides of “Paint Pots” by Kaffe Fassett.

Secondly, you know he’s got some beach-loving “supporting characters”, Pinky and Sally.

To begin, each character started from a focus fabric and an idea. This is a case of the fabric driving the quilt!

Each quilt was made using both beautiful sides of the focus fabric. For each character, the fabric sparked the idea for the quilt design.

Pinky Quilt Pattern
Pinky is made with both sides of fish bones on pink.
Image of Sally Quilt Pattern
Sally is made with both beautiful sides of a seashell bouquet motif.

Now, you’ll see how these friends take center stage in this new pattern collection.

So, how do you combine these very different characters into one pattern collection?

Seashore Friends Pattern Collection One
Seashore Friends Pattern Collection One

With colors, motifs, happiness and love!

Granted, that might sound corny, but it’s very true! When you put in lots of hours on an idea (or many ideas), you get connected, right? It happens when making quilts, for sure. Some quilts are hard to give away because of the “soul” we’ve invested in them! (Not to mention time.)

Therefore, it’s the same with pattern collections. Here’s the headline fabric:

Look for the colors and elements that connect each fabric in Seashore Friends Pattern Collection One.

Image of Stripe
Whale Tail Stripe fabric coming soon to Spoonflower!
Image of Dancing starfish
Dancing Starfish & Seaweed Fabric at Spoonflower

Finally, from bubbles that can make Bubbles, dancing starfish, whale tails, sand dollars, and seashells, these designs perform together!

Watch for encore productions of Seashore Friends – New collections premiering soon!

Salty Marine Saves Quilt

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Bubbles the baby whale quilt is quite photogenic, most of the time!

This goofy (or is it mischievous) little smile reveals the character of Bubbles the baby whale quilt, made with both beautiful sides of fabric.

Bubbles the baby whale at the beach.
Bubbles Quilt Pattern is made with both beautiful sides of “Paint Pots” by Kaffe Fassett.

So how does this Marine hide behind these 36 inch square quilts for photo sessions? Very strategically.

First, he starts with a very low, very small, foldable beach chair and positions himself as follows. He tucks his toes into the sand, as close to the chair as possible. Next, he removes the camo boonie cover (i.e. floppy hat) from his head and secures it on his knee.

Then, my husband positions his fingers in the two outermost prairie points on the back of the quilt. See Prairie Point Hanging Method and learn more on YouTube.

After a nod to the photographer (me), he simultaneously drops his head and lifts the quilt, holding it taut and level. Mind you, he can only lift the quilt high enough to avoid the sand, but not reveal his toes, legs or anything else!

Before I share the outtake of Bubbles, the baby whale, take a look at some of these great shots he allowed me to take:

Image of Fiona at the beach
Fiona Quilt Pattern made with both beautiful sides of a Kaffe Fassett floral on a scrappy background.
Image of Sally the seahorse quilt.
Sally Quilt Pattern is made with both beautiful sides of Philip Jacobs fabric for Kaffe Fassett Collective.

The big save comes with a big wave rushing in.

Image of marine saving Bubbles the baby whale quilt at the beach.
Salty Marine saves Bubbles!

Read more about my very helpful husband in The Marine Behind the Quilts.

Image of Matt in USMC Blues

Bubbles is now on fabric and home decor at Spoonflower!

Choose from more than 20 kinds of fabrics, wallpapers, and home decor.

Find Bubbles on Redbubble merchandise, too!

Explore a variety of products to go with your quilts! Add Bubbles (and friends) to tech items, clothing, home decor and more at RedBubble.

Image of baby whale fabric

Watch Creative Bee Studios on YouTube and follow on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Watercolor on a Whim

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

One month earlier, “watercolor on a whim” wasn’t even a thought in my head.

First, the “watercolor on a whim” theme started as a spring break trip with my daughter, Paige. As often happens with Paige, our trip soon became packed with more things to do than hours in the day (unless there is no sleeping allowed). Therefore, Paige is actually responsible for the “paint brush to fabric” idea – completely. It’s ALL her fault! Blame it all on her.

That said, I’m so glad she made me do it! Here’s how watercolor on a whim happened:

We traveled to Pawhuska, Oklahoma to visit the hometown of Ree Drummond, known as The Pioneer Woman. Now, Paige and I might not know the “in’s” and “out’s” of Ree”s cooking shows and cookbooks, but we are HUGE fans and experts (it is known) of her merchandise! We love everything about it…and it’s kinda, sorta dangerous, in a MUST HAVE ALL PIONEER WOMAN way!

For instance, Paige and I love Ree’s flowers, the graphic design, and the colors. We love the way everything goes together and NOTHING is matchy-matchy. It’s also cool that we can afford at least one piece of most of her merchandise. We cherish that there are no apologies for All Things Pretty when it comes to The Pioneer Woman! (Kinda like “life’s too short for ugly fabric”. Right, sweet quilters?)

Above all, thanks to Ree, there’s always a bright spot in going to Walmart!

Most importantly, we have learned that if you see something you like, grab it immediately. It’s sure to be gone the next time you’re there. Not a bad thing for the bottom line, either – theirs’s…not mine.

Moreover, we love Ree’s business model (what we’ve observed, anyway), her style, her writing, her, well…everything! Especially after reading her two FANTASTIC books which provide a “best friend” look into her life, we are certain that we are “forever friends”! Ree actually states this in her book (and I’m pretty sure she was talking about Paige and me- just kidding – you can be one, too, if you read her book!).

Therefore, considering our shared love of three-tiered white prairie skirts from The Limited (me), ballet (Paige), West Side Story (Paige WAS Maria), and Gone with the Wind (me), Paige and I think Ree loves us, too! She just doesn’t know it yet. (Again, just kidding – not stalkers.)

Image of Maria (played by Paige)
image of Paige as Maria

Back to Pawhuska. The Mercantile is fabulous. The food (of course) is, too. The people are friendly. Overall, it’s a wonderful place to visit. The Tall Grass Prairie Preserve is definitely worth the drive just outside of town. I highly recommend a visit! I do recommend checking the lodge tour schedule before you go.

Below, the quilt made with BOTH beautiful sides of Ree’s fabric using my Dazzling Kate pattern is pictured in front of the Merc (short for Mercantile by us “besties”). See my blog post HERE about the quilt pattern. However, this quilt resides in my own kitchen!

dazzling kate merch
Windy (but cute) outtake below:
Image of flying quilt in Pawhuska where watercolor on a whim happened

But what does one do “after hours” in Pawhuska? To summarize, when you’re with Paige, you create! That’s how watercolor flowers on a whim went from paint brush to fabric.

Firstly, we took acrylics, oils, and watercolors and all the supplies we could think up. The darling “Pioneer Woman meets Joanna Gains” cottage where we stayed had great lighting. We covered their beautiful table with a protective table cloth. So we laughed and painted each night until well past our bedtimes.

image of paige painting
Paige painting at the cottage.
Image of work station for watercolor on a whim
Our messy table! (She made me post this.)

In addition, during our creative sessions, my opera singer/computer coder girl and I brainstormed as we painted about how she would “fix” my website. Until now, the WordPress site was solely “designed” by me (which is my own “code” for “hey, it’s running, don’t touch anything!”).

Paint brush to fabric started on paper.

For instance, it was Paige’s idea that a) my water color flowers were any good and b) that we should use them on my new website. This is a sample of what we had to work with.

image of paint brush to fabric watercolor flowers

In addition, these steps were taken: scan the paintings on the printer, vectorize them in Adobe Illustrator, make a repeat pattern design (continues seamlessly in all directions), and export assets so Paige could add them to my website. Therefore, you now know how these flowers came to be here- quite on a whim.

image of website showing watercolor flowers on a whim displayed on website

In conclusion, the paint brush to fabric idea “blossomed” when this Watercolor Whimsy design became available on Spoonflower as fabric, wallpaper and more! Click on the photos to go to my Spoonflower shop:

image of paint brush to fabric
image of wallpaper

Thank you for taking this trip with me through the process of Watercolor Whimsy and a trip to Pawhuska!

Image of Paige at the Merc
Mini Palette Painting at the Merc!

Please share this and future posts, my blog, and website with your friends and on your social media. Until next time, Enjoy your journey, Karla

Uncork The Bubbles

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Celebrate summer and vacations and beaches and babies! BUBBLES is a happy fellow with an irresistible smile. Now this popular baby whale is popping up everywhere!

Image of Baby Whale Sticker
Bubbles Sticker on Redbubble

You might even call this a Bubblesfest!

Your next celebration might call for more than making a Bubbles the baby whale quilt with your own two hands (gasp)! Shower that new baby or grandbaby with Bubbles on a pillow! Or splurge with curtains or removable wallpaper!

Find Bubbles the baby whale on clothing, phone cases, shower curtains, tablecloths, and more!

Indulge your senses with Bubbles fabric printed by Spoonflower.

BUBBLES the baby whale quilt is created using a fantastic fabric by Kaffe Fassett: Paint Pots. The Paint Pots fabric is a gala of bright layered circles on a muted gray background. The front side makes the shape of the whale. The reverse side of the same fabric makes his under-belly, blow-hole, and (actual) bubbles. It’s a spree of fun when you use BOTH beautiful sides of fabric!

Shop Redbubble HERE

You learn how to audition both sides of fabric with each of my #usebothsides patterns. In other words, it’s all about VALUE. SHOP more than 45 quilt patterns that use both sides of fabric.

image of textile
Starfish and seaweed dance across a bubblegum pink background while Bubbles swims to and fro.

In other words, there’s almost a theme for every occasion. Try a broderie perse applique. Or pick up a large, pieced quilt pattern. There’s a bison, deer, several bouquet’s, a bee, a butterfly and much more!

Bubbles Quilt Pattern

In conclusion, Bubbles the baby whale is happy to be part of your next party!

Now that I have exhausted all the synonms of celebration words, I will leave you with this thought:

Cheers to your next festivity!

New Textile Designs

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Here’s a sneak peek at my latest new venture – textile designs!

You might call it “repeat pattern design” or “tiling”, but whatever you call it, it’s a lot of fun! What “new textile designs” means for me and you is future FABRIC!

Last post I shared my “fails” in past textile design and why I decided to pull them out of hiding and frame them on my work wall in embroidery hoops. Most seasoned quilters know that “fails” are just mediocre ideas that lead to better ideas! Click here to read the “Embrace the Journey” blog post.

My learning curve progress in repeat pattern design is MAYBE at about 50%, but I am super excited to keep designing! It’s odd to be this excited about a mousepad, but here’s my first repeat pattern on a product:

Image of Mouse Pad with New Textile Designs
Sand dollars with line-work of coral in the background is part of my new Seaside Friends collection!

This product is from ZAZZLE, but there are all kinds of companies that can print your designs on their products. And, what’s fun is, other people can order those designs, too!

You’re likely familiar with Spoonflower, a print-on-demand fabric company. Here you can see a few more of the newest designs I’ve been working on.

Image of Garden Tea Party New Textile Designs
Four designs from the Garden Tea Party collection.

Click here to visit Spoonflower.

Image of bedding
You can choose more that fabric at Spoonflower! Here’s how my Butterfly Stripe would look on bedding! Too much fun.

Of course, designing quilt patterns that use both beautiful sides of fabric is still going strong! With more than 45 current designs, I just shipped a new one for Hoffman California Fabrics for use in their future catalog! See all the current patterns in my Etsy Shop:CreativeBeeStudios

Remember to enjoy your quilting journey!

All the best, Karla

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