Category: Designing Fabrics and More (Page 1 of 2)

Image of Karla's CornerSee Karla’s fabric designs and more.

Fabric Designs

Follow Karla’s adventures as she creates new fabric designs. With around 50 print-on-demand fabrics now available, Karla has only scratched the surface on her design asperations and possibilities. Especially watch for more focus fabrics designed especially for Karla’s quilt patterns!

Matching Merchandise

Discover the matching merchandise to go with quilt patterns made from Karla’s fabric designs. You’ll see home decor from Spoonflower and various merchandise from Redbubble and Zazzle to match your quilts made with Karla’s fabric! What FUN!

Designing for Hoffman

In addition to her fabric designs, follow Karla’s adventures in designing quilts for Hoffman California Fabrics. See her sketches turn into quilts made with both beautiful sides of Hoffman fabrics. The adventure began, like Karla’s pattern business, with Phoebee. This girl, however, was made with Hoffman’s Electric Garden. See sparkling pieced quilts and interesting broderie perse designs using Hoffman fabrics.

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!

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!

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

Sketches to Patterns

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Tropical Sunset fabric is available!

Quilt shops everywhere are opening boxes of Hoffman California’s beautiful “Meet Me in Paradise” fabric used to make the Tropical Sunset quilt pattern!

Before I started designing patterns, I had no idea how short the window is for designing and making quilts for fabric companies. To get the fabric produced and shipped takes much longer!

Sometimes I’ve had less than a week to open a box of fabric, design and make a quilt, write the pattern, photograph the quilt and ship the quilt from Missouri to California. Whew!

Image of Tropical Sunset Quilt

Of course, many quilt designers use digital software to “build” their quilts. Fabric companies have digital swatches to download for designing. They can plan the quilt and insert the fabric without taking a stitch. However, fabric companies don’t make swatches of the REVERSE side. Enter the need for real fabric!

For this design, I used my Ipad and the app called Procreate. This is a great drawing and painting app that’s easy to learn and fun to use. In Procreate, you can also make clippings masks of objects (in this case, the photo of the fabric). That’s how I “drew” the bouquet. Here’s the sketch I send to my representative to “pitch” my quilt idea:

SHOP Tropical Sunset Quilt Pattern HERE.

Image of Sketch of Tropical Sunset

As you can see, there’s quite a difference from the sketch to the actual quilt. Things don’t always work like you picture them in your head, right? Sometimes, they are much better in real life and real fabric!

I love that the “wallpaper” border made from the reverse of one coordinating fabric. If you’ve made a #usebothsides quilt pattern before, you know it’s important to audition both sides of fabric with itself (focus) and with surrounding (background, border) fabrics to know if they will actually have enough contrast. That “wildcard” is what makes getting a box of fabric a whole lot exciting and a little bit scary! This is one line that is PERFECT for using both sides!

See more about Tropical Sunset Quilt Pattern HERE.

As orders for patterns come in, I’ll be sharing links to the shops so you can do some online paradise shopping!

Until next time, enjoy YOUR quilting journey!

See Treasures made with Hoffman California Fabrics in New Fabrics in this One Block Quilt Pattern.

Embracing the Journey

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

In all things life, embrace the journey.

It’s not just about quilting skills, but the older I get the more I cherish my past experiences and embrace the journey I’ve been on. Do you keep proof of where you began?

Many of us, I’m sure, miss our days of guild meetings and live programs. One of the main messages of my programs to quilters was for them to reflect on their past and recognize how far they’ve come – to truly enjoy their quilting journey. In addition to experience and maturity, there are lots of influences in our lives that change our outcomes.

I bet you know someone who said they could NEVER quilt, right? My answer (sometimes silently in my head): all you need is a willingness to fail.

For me, to embrace the journey, I try to look at the good, bad, and…yes, ugly! I definitely have those in my collection of quilts! Some great ideas that just don’t quite make the cut. Do you look back at quilts you thought were just grand and laugh as you hide them away? I do. Wow.

But you know what? It’s this way for all things in life, I think. The older I get the more I realize that I could do what I’m doing if I didn’t start somewhere with the desire to learn and a willingness to mess things up!

Recently, I took a bit of my own advice. I pulled out some sample fabrics that I had printed on Spoonflower, framed them in embroidery hoops and hung them on my work wall right over my computer desk. It’s a little painful. These fabrics are absolute rejects. Colors are off, design are just…bad. White lines show the “repeat” was off. They are what they are!

I’m hoping with determination and lots of hard work, I’ll soon have hoops filled with successful designs.

Now I’m in the middle of a fabulous repeat pattern design course and I’m learning to fix all of those things. If you’ve ever been interested in repeat pattern design, I highly recommend following Oksana at Okscania HERE in Spoonflower or also on Pinterest.

Here I share my fails with you my friends. I hope soon I can share some beautiful fabric designs. We will see!

Image of fabric in hoops
My work wall includes a Spoonflower swatch guide, about 10 clipboards for keeping up with sales, inventory and quilt patterns, clues for Adobe Illustrator, UPC codes for more than 45 patterns and much more! Now the fabric hoops add history and perspective, if not beauty!
Image of magnetic pouches made to embrace the journey
These are a couple of ruler pouches made with the fabrics shown above.

See the Merry fabric above? She’s from the red truck quilt pattern. See more about her HERE.

Discover my fabric designs at Spoonflower!

As always, you can shop Creative Bee Studios Quilt Patterns HERE! New patterns being added all the time.

Occasional Quilting

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Are you an occasional quilter or do you quilt occasionally?

You might be a quilter IF you like to make quilts for special occasions.

Likewise, you might be a quilter if you quilt occasionally!

In my early days of quilting, I thought I needed a reason (sometimes known as an excuse) for spending lots of time, energy, and (let’s face it) money on a quilt. So occasional quilting it was!

I might make quilts for special occasions like these:

  • Birthdays
  • Christmas Gifts
  • Baby Showers
  • Weddings
  • Graduations
  • Activities your kids or grandkids are in (mine included operas, musicals, and dance)
  • Quilts of Valor
  • Thank you gifts
  • Housewarmings

I’m sure each of you could add to this list! The point is, if I needed an excuse to make a new quilt, I could always come up with one!

Make quilts for special occasions like a musical!
Mini quilt made for daughter, Jacquelyn, who played Gertrude in Seussical.

In the beginning, I’d see a quilt offered in a class and would decide who or what occasion it was suited for and there was my excuse to take the class. Stage two was thinking of an occasion and searching for a pattern or fabric which best suited that theme for a quilt. As I, let’s say, aged as a quilter, I would think of the occasion and then either adapt a pattern or create my own quilt to suit the day.

Make quilts for special occasions like an opera!
“Our Town” fabric is featured in a quilt for my daughter, Paige, who played Emily in the Our Town opera.

I’m guessing that “quilting occasionally” happens for all of us! Life happens and priorities change and shift. Here is my latest example of quilting occasionally – at least on this project:

An example of occasional quilting!

See more about my rather slow progress HERE at Quilting Accountability – for FUN!

This project is by Willyne Hammerstein. Learn more HERE.

Stay tuned – the next occasional quilt I’ll share is for our daughter’s wedding – she’s getting married in the mountains in a week! Can you guess what the theme might be?

See Introducing…Angelina (ballerina) for that special dancer in your life!

Look at a variety of patriotic quilts in Patriotic Decorating with Quilts.

Finally, see a sweet baby quilt at Meet Pinky…The Baby Octopus.

Enjoy your quilting journey!

New Fabrics in this One-Block Quilt Pattern

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Discover the beauty of new fabrics in this one-block quilt pattern! Bohemian Blenders by Hoffman explode with color throughout the Treasures quilt pattern!

Hoffman California Fabrics Bohemian Blenders are another new fabric line that explodes with interest and delight – using both sides of three new fabrics that explode in this one-block quilt pattern!

First, do you recall the two new quilts made with “Floral Rhapsody”? Click HERE to see Dash About and HERE to see VariLovable Star in these fabulous new fabrics!

Once again, here is a quilt made with both beautiful sides of Hoffman fabrics in this one-block quilt pattern.

Treasures is shown here using only three new fabrics on “solid” background in this one-block quilt pattern!

Image of Treasures quilt pattern using three new fabrics in this one-block quilt.
Looking forward to quilting this girl soon- then she’ll ship to California!

How does this work?

Specifically, each Contrary Wife block is made with two sets of half-square triangles (made using the reverse sides of the fabric for a lighter value) and five simple squares – and that’s it! The “light” blocks are made using the background fabric squares and the “dark” blocks are made with one of the three prints. Therefore, placement and the use of value (by using the reverse sides) gives the added interest of a secondary pattern.

Image of Contrary Wife quilt block made with both sides of Hoffman's new fabric.

The three colorways of Bohemian Blenders are Peridot, Palomino, and Multi.

The Hoffman version of this pattern lists the fabric details to make it easier for quilters and shop owners to find these exact fabrics.

See the Hoffman California Spring Projects Catalog HERE!

See the original Treasures quilt below. Learn more about the original Treasures HERE.

The original Treasures is made with both sides of QT fabrics on a "solid" background.
A tropical themed Treasures made with QT fabrics by Dan Morris – complete quilt kit available HERE!

To summarize, seashells, sea horses, and coral are the seaside motifs in these fabrics by Dan Morris for QT. Both sides of the three fabrics are combined with a soft white background. There are limited quantities of this complete quilt kit in my Etsy shop (while supplies last).

Finally, thank you for visiting my blog! Enjoy your quilting journey!

Like, follow, pin, and share on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Read Sketches to Patterns and Designing Quilts with Panels to learn the process of designing for Hoffman California Fabrics!

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