Category: Designing Fabrics and More (Page 2 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.

Designing Quilts with Panels

To the tune of “On the Cover of the Rolling Stones”, I feel like singing! At the close of 2018, I happened onto my pattern, “Holly”, featured on the cover of a Hoffman California Fabrics’ catalog!

It began with an email asking if I (along with four or five other designers) would like to try our hand at designing with a new Christmas line of fabric. It’s my understanding that other designers use digital fabric swatches and their computers to design patterns. But since I use BOTH sides of the fabric, I need the real thing!

Click HERE to see the Winter Projects 2019 Catalog by Hoffman California Fabrics.

We had a week for the deadline – but since I needed the fabric shipped to me and then I needed to ship the finished quilt back to California, I had less than that to design and make the quilt!

Frankly, I was in a hurry! Add to the mix that it was Thanksgiving weekend, I was driving six hours on Saturday, attending our daughter’s show, driving four on Sunday, and staying in a hotel (with terribly inadequate lighting) until Tuesday AND, until I could see and audition BOTH sides of the fabric, I had no idea if my idea would work!

Working with both sides of fabric means lots of value-checking. You can’t tell from the front of fabric if the reverse will work. Some fabrics have great reverses and some just don’t. Click HERE for “The Tricky Traits of Value”.

The Christmas tree panel is gorgeous on its own – who would want to cut that apart? I certainly wouldn’t cut it to make another tree. I was also pretty certain that other designers would be designing borders around the whole panel, so mine had to be different.

I started to focus on the fat-quarter panel they sent. I had received a whole box of fabric to choose from and I knew if I wanted to use this panel, I couldn’t just use one fat-quarter of it or even half of them- I needed to use the whole panel. After auditioning many combinations, I decided I could use the panel – BOTH sides of the panel!

So…once again, it all comes down to fabric values. In classes, I have quilters audition many background fabrics and take lots of black and white pictures to see how their background fabrics “play” with their focus fabric. The smaller accents strips are allowed to be a bit “louder”, but the larger pieces need to provide interest as opposed to distraction. So take a look at this picture of the panel. Lots of dark fabric, right? Really pretty fabric…but more darks than lights.

Now look at a close-up of the quilt. Do you recognize those fabrics? …same fat quarters from the panel – just using the other side! Most of the accents strips are made from the front side. The bows, bells, stripes, plaid, and Christmas words make this an exciting background for the Holly wreath. One of the fat-quarters had two stockings printed on it. I used the one on the wreath and I embroidered the second stocking for the quilt label.

Image of Quilt Close Up
See the candy canes made from the reverse stripe?
Image of Back of Quilt
You can see the quilting, the extra stocking as a label, and the prairie point hanging method here.

The wreath is made using fused holly leaf shapes from the Christmas tree panel. Being a digital print, the fabric has a sparkle of light to it, making the wreath sparkle as well.

You might notice I didn’t have time to take great pictures – and apparently I borrowed my husband’s house shoes that day!

Even the pieced binding is made from the fat-quarter panel!

This is a fun quilt to make and so easy to shop for if you use the two panels! While I have no official timeline, my guess is that these fabrics will be in shops by summer!

If you have Christmas yardage in your stash – you can use it! I wrote this pattern to work with the panels as shown OR using your own choices of fabrics. The same method applies to both – it’s all about the value!

Here’s how Holly look inside the catalog!

I designed Phoebee 2.0 using BOTH sides of Hoffman California Fabrics “Electric Garden” as the focus fabric -it’s available in shops now!

Image of Electric Garden

Shop all my patterns at my Etsy Shop: Creative Bee Studios (Click HERE)

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One Sophisticated Lady

See how to make a commissioned quilt using a phone app and cutting machine!

A couple of months ago, I got a text from a friend to see if I would make a quilt for her grandbaby. She sent me pictures of the most beautiful baby’s room I’d ever seen! (Like when I remember my wedding decorations, I was wishing for a do-over for my kids’ baby rooms [blush].) She didn’t have anything particular in mind, so I told her I’d be in Paducah the next day for a Brother ScanNCut2 class (English’s Sew and Vac), hitting Hancocks of Paducah and that after I looked around we could share some ideas back and forth and see if we could come to an agreement on something.

The grandbaby girl’s room is painted a very pretty taupe and pearl in large, horizontal stripes. There are some accents in soft pink and a large gold monogram on the wall.

While milling around Hancocks, I found their collection of Moda Fabrics‘ Grunge–which I LOVE! They read as a solid, but are anything but boring and feel, oh, so good! It wasn’t long before I had the pearl and taupe picked out and down the aisle a little further, I found this soft pink with a little touch of gold. I sent a pic to my friend and the project began. One Sophisticated Lady

When I got home I looked at many baby quilt designs and decided on using large half-squares because I wanted to try to keep the cost down as much as possible. After viewing many variations, I started making half-square triangle blocks and just placing them on the design wall, moving them around to see different patterns emerge. I eventually came up with a pattern I liked and filled-out the quilt with blocks as needed.

Now I had planned to use a monogram similar to the one in the baby’s room as a focal point for the quilt, but not being terribly experienced at using my ScanNCut2, I was also a little apprehensive. I was super excited to find the exact monogram on my phone’s Monogram It app!

Monogram It App

Monogram It App

Turns out, it was so easy to send this design from my phone to my computer and then to my ScanNCut2, I could hardly contain myself!

I cut the fabric, fused with HeatNBond Ultrahold and pressed it to the quilt. (Normally you aren’t supposed to sew through the Ultra, but I quilted around the edges of it to make sure it stood up to washings. I choose the Ultra instead of HeatNBond Lite because I wanted to be certain the fabric wouldn’t fray.)

Monogrammed Baby Quilt

Monogrammed Baby Quilt

I added an embroider label, quilted and bound the quilt as usual. I included a Shout Color Catcher with washing instructions for the momma.

This quilt was fun to make and I am really excited about the world of possibilities of using the ScanNCut2 in my future quilting and design work!

Let me say here that I am fortunate because from the start of this project, my friend said she totally trusted my judgement and

One Sophisticated Lady

One Sophisticated Lady

whatever I wanted to make would be great–not all projects allow you that freedom to let the design come together.

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Where, oh, where is my little black kitty?

Punch yourself a little black kitty with punch needle embroidery.

Where, oh, where could he be?

It’s Halloween night and our little black kitty is missing. His name is Mungojerrie.

Black Kitty Punch Needle by Karla Kiefner

Black Kitty Punch Needle
by Karla Kiefner

He and his sister, Rumpleteazer (our vet loves us), were named after the notorious couple of cats in the Broadway musical, Cats.

Mungojerrie is known to be on “WalkAbout” for several days at a time, but I always like to keep him near on Halloween night. There’s just something about black cats. He is small with a bobbed tail (he was born that way and it seems to affect his balance when he’s circling around to lay down).

The black cat in this punch needle is looking at the full, harvest moon.

Deep into the darkness peering,

long I stood there, wondering

fearing,

Doubting, dreaming dreams

no moral ever dared to dream before.       Edgar Allan Poe

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Sweet Dreams…of You

A Tracing of Patsy Cline’s Signature on “Always”

Patsy Cline’s signature hides in this memorabilia quilt.

Back in Baby’s Arms

I Fall To Pieces

Walkin’ After Midnight

She’s Got You

Leavin’ on Your Mind

Crazy

Faded Love

Honky Tonk Merry-go-round

True Love

Just a Closer Walk with Thee

Blue Moon of Kentucky

Ahhhh, Patsy Cline. A legendary sound born out of illness. Vocal perfection, untrained. A voice silenced too soon.  Patsy didn’t have an easy or long life. But she left us with an incredible style of songs only she could sing. She had a way of making each song hers, even though she didn’t write a single one. She had a way of singing that told her fans she knew what she was singing about.

This past June, my youngest daughter was honored to play the role of Patsy in the musical, Always…Patsy Cline. 

Two characters, three wigs, six shows, eight costumes, and twenty-seven songs each night made for a tiring but satisfying two weeks of performances. Her dad and I saw seven performances and I would still go every week if I could.

Photo by Kenn Stilson

 

 

Even after seven shows, I never tired of Patsy’s songs, her spunky band, the Bodacious Bobcats, and her lovely friend, penpal, and biggest fan, Louise. I think it was the character Louise who made the character of Patsy seem so real.

Walkin’ After Midnight Photo by Kenn Stilson Click for link to video.

 

 

Because there are no recordings of the show, I made Jacq a small quilt to keep the memories alive, but, to be honest, it was probably a work of mourning for me as much as it was accomplishment for her because I didn’t want the show to end!

The white boot and fringe represent one of her favorite of eight costumes and the stationary card with a “P” appliqued on the front has a tracing of Patsy’s signature and familiar closing, “Love Always”.

“Just a Closer Walk with Thee” Photo by Kenn Stilson

For a small quilted hanging like this, a little swirly quilting and glitz go a long way.

I know Jacq learned so much from this opportunity to play the role of this American legend. I know I will cherish watching her do it…always.

 

 

 

 

Patsy and Louise played by Jacquelyn Kiefner and Holly Lynn

 

Jacquelyn Kiefner, The Conservatory of Theatre and Dance

Her Role, Our Town, My World

When your baby calls and says she landed the leading role in the Eastman School of Music’s opera, what would YOU do? (You answered, “Make an opera quilt!”, right?)

“Emily is the lead, Mam.”

An opera quilt, it is!

So an opera quilt it is for our eldest daughter who landed “Emily” in Our Town, by Ned Rorem at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. THIS WAS HUGE. Emily sang almost the entire second act herself! Emily (Paige) had to own it. Rehearsals began mid-fall for the mid-April performances–because it was that hard! I can’t describe how proud her dad and I were of her. She had worked very hard at Eastman and had some tough years of struggling which had just paid off. All I needed to do was make a quilt–that should be an easy “part to play”.

Step 1: Read the play.

I read it. It was incredibly short and vague. I read it again. Then I called Paige and asked, “What? What? What does this mean? And how in the world can they make a whole opera out of this?” She laughed and said, “Trust me, they do!” I had nothing (as far as inspiration goes for the quilt). I had to think deeper than normal to understand the message of this story.

Her bestie, Jacob.

Step 2: Develop a theme.

I’m a theme-thinking person. I can’t just make some random quilt. It has to have some connection, a special meaning. But what? Step two became step 3.

Step 3: Go to Missouri Star Quilt Company website to procrastinate.

Suddenly, like magic, it appears…new fabric by Benartex, called…you’ll never believe it, Our Town. YES!

Perfect fabric!

See the first quilt Paige made (as an adult), ALL herself HERE in “What is Quilting Heritage?”

Now my next step (4) was by divine intervention, luck, or my mind’s way of connecting the dots.

I chose a bow tie block so that I could use my AccuQuilt Go! die to cut my fabric. There’s a good reason for that–I had just shoulder surgery and the Go! cutter required the same circular arm motion that I had to do in therapy, so it was GOOD for me to make this particular quilt. The lucky part? I later found out that Paige’s boyfriend played a role in the opera in which he had to wear a huge bow tie. THAT WAS IT! This quilt was meant to be.

While Paige polished her vocals for her role (while also playing Maria in West Side Story, going to school, and working her church job) I made the quilt.

When I drove the sixteen hours to see her, we spent an hour at the poolside on a rare sunny day for Rochester and I finished the binding.

Binding poolside.

Her dad and sister flew in to Rochester and we watched our little girl sing her heart out in a vocally very difficult role.

Emily

By the end of the run, she was exhausted and ready for the next event in her life: graduation!More than one Eastman alumni told us singing the part of Emily in Our Town was quite a feat for a soprano her age. 

I saw Our Town three nights in a row. I had my heart torn apart three times as the meaning and hauntingly beautiful music of this opera was forever ingrained in my mind and soul.

“Emily”

 

It was something I’ll never forget…the beauty, the sorrow, the emotion, and the tears of a proud momma.

Paige’s quilt is much lighter and happier than the opera it represents. But then, that’s our Paigee!

See Emily’s Aria at by clicking here:

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It’s All About The Shoes

See how shoes can make a memorabilia quilt just the right size.

I rarely give someone a random quilt.

If I’m going to gift a quilt, I want it to have a special meaning in color, pattern, or design. Sometimes the meaning can be so subtle the receiver wouldn’t know unless I told them—“I picked this design/colors because…”, but I’d know it.  I’m a theme person and it’s got to make sense in my head before I can design and make a quilt for someone else. Luckily for me, my daughters (Paige, 23, and Jacquelyn, 20) are both performance majors and that means making theme quilts are an easy choice.

CreativeBeeStudios

It’s All About The Shoes

 

This small wall hanging represents so much more than what is worn on the feet. It represents three shows in which my youngest daughter played lead roles during high school– a glass slipper (Cinderella), a ruby slipper (Dorothy-Wizard of Oz) and a lace up bootie (Laurie Williams- OKLAHOMA! I don’t know if my daughter, has thought about it yet, but when I look at these shoes, they remind me of all the hours she would prepare (months, really) for auditions, the tense days of call-backs, the guarded euphoria after the cast-list was posted, feelings of despair that no one knows their lines and the costumes aren’t made yet, never-ending tech weeks, the satisfaction of microphones with fresh batteries and audience applause, and the mixed emotions of the last bows. There’s a lot filling these shoes. Maybe making these “show” quilts are my way of packaging up all those highs and lows and hanging them up for good.

CreativeBeeStudios

The buttons on this boot belonged to Jacq’s Mämä Pat.

The most recent shoes, white fringe boots, took us back in time last month with Patsy Cline and her friend, Louise (“Always” quilt will be posted soon).

CreativeBeeStudios

It’s All About the Shoes

I’m excited to announce there is a new pair of shoes on the horizon for this fall–tan character shoes for Cassie in A Chorus Line. That story began in 2015 when Jacquelyn first began learning the Broadway choreography to prepare for auditions this past May.

All the determination, memorization, voice lessons, character building, dance lessons, sweat, and sharpening of acting skills for these shows ride on one thing—the SHOES.

For more memorabilia quilts, see Sweet Dreams…of You and Her Role, Our Town, My World

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