Tag: Fabric (Page 1 of 2)

Spoonflower How-To

Discover Spoonflower’s fabric and home decor!

Spoonflower’s fabrics and home decor are so stimulating, I liken it to walking into Hancock’s of Paducah (or any fabric warehouse) for the first time, without a clear quilt plan or shopping list! There’s so much to choose from -it can be delightful AND overwhelming!

Where do you start?

This is an overall guide to Spoonflower’s fabrics and home decor. I’ll explain what it is and how it works. You will “walk in” with an overall idea of where to go and what to do!

First, let me say that Spoonflower.com is not a difficult website to navigate. It’s just that, as creatives, we imagine ALL the possibilities when encountering a new product or venue. When you consider there are thousands of designs that can be printed on a variety of products, THAT can be overwhelming!

Because there are so many possibilities with Spoonflower, I think it’s helpful to wander in with some idea of what you will see.

spoonflower's fabric and home decor
Example of traditional designs.

Basically, Spoonflower is a print-on-demand fabric shop. Artists create design swatches. You find the one/ones you like, choose the type of fabric you want it printed on and place your order.

Pretty straight forward, right? It is. However, when you “enter” Spoonflower, you can see thousands and thousands of designs, it’s easy to get distracted. (You think you want frog fabric but you’re suddenly engrossed in pages and pages of beautiful florals.)

artistic nature
Example of “artistic, nature” designs.

So here are some basics to remember when you visit Spoonflower so you can stay on track:

Let’s start with fabric. There are categories, color, and fabric types.

Examples of categories include Style (Traditional, Modern, Nautical, etc.), Animals, Nature, Occasional, Holidays, etc.

Twelve color categories include numerous swatches in each to really pick the colors you are searching.

When it comes to fabric types, hold on to your hats! Spoonflower prints on 24 different types of fabrics! Examples are Canvas, Performance Velvet, Jersey, Organic Sweet Pea Gauze, Chiffon, Performance Linen, and my favorite, Organic Cotton Sateen! That’s just seven of the twenty-four!

Keep in mind that artists upload their designs for you to choose to print. There are thousands of artists uploading lots of designs!

Fill-a-Yard is a great option!

Fill-a-Yard is a great way to get many different designs in one yard of fabric. When you choose this option you first pick the designs you want. Next, choose the template. Do you want two half-yards or 12 dinner napkins?

When you find designs you like, click on the designer’s shop to see more. You can “favorite” what you like so you can go back to see that designer’s newest work.

What about home decor?

Spoonflower’s home decor is divided into four categories: wallpaper, living and decor, dining, and bedding.

Wallpaper: Choose from Prepasted Removable (smooth), Peel and Stick (woven), or Non-pasted Traditional (pebble).

image of wallpaper
BUBBLES Wall Paper by Creative Bee Studios

Living and Decor: Order pillows, blankets, curtains, or wallhangings in your favorite designs!

image of pillow
Bubbles pillow on Spoonflower

Bedding: Options include duvet covers, sheets, pillow shams, and lumbar throw pillows.

My designs on Spoonflower, like Seashore Friends Fabric Collection, are hopefully just a beginning point for my adventure into design work.

Image of Bubbles Quilt and Fabrics
Bubbles Quilt and Fabrics

Now head over to Spoonflower.com and have a ton of creative fun!

Enjoy your quilting journey, Karla

Seashore Friends Collection One

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!

More Quilt Guild Fun

Two quilt guilds in one week makes for a lot of quilting fun!

I believe quilt guilds are a natural breeding ground for fun and creative people. Last week, I was the fortunate gal that got to visit two quilt guild meetings!

To start, let’s head to DeSoto, Missouri. The delightful and clever, Merle Deneke, accompanied me on this trip. (More about Merle in a bit.)

We arrived on Main Street of this quaint town about and hour and a half before my program was to start. Delightfully, the meeting of the Grace Way Quilters Guild meeting is held in a quilt shop!

Cottage Grove Quilt Company is a treasure inside this adorable town. Visit their website HERE. Better yet, take a trip to DeSoto, Missouri and meet the owner, Christy Zawodniak!

Check out Christy’s Facebook Live each Thursday night at 7 p.m. Central Time!

Image of Quilt Guilds
Grace Way Quilters Guild (See Merle’s vintage watering can?)

After setting up (and a bit of shopping), the program began. Now if any of you know Merle, you know she can read an audience and she can be, well, I don’t know, a ham? (Love you, Merle!) In addition to sporting her vintage watering can as a purse, she modeled merchandise like a pro! See Merle’s Bouquet below (see her watering can?).

Merle's Bouquet Quilt as shown at quilt guilds
Merle’s Bouquet is made with both beautiful sides of one focus fabric!

In all seriousness, thank you for your help, Merle!

After the presentation and a short break (so they could shop), the guild meeting continued. Meanwhile, Merle and I began the task of rolling almost 50 quilts and packing the patterns and merchandise. During this time, it’s fun to listen and observe the guild. This group was chatty and enthusiastic. They seem to have lots of activities within their guild. Also, if their Show and Tell is an indication, they are a prolific group!

A hearty thank you to the Grace Way Quilters Guild and to Patty for getting me there!

Read about the Twilight Stitchers Quilt Guild HERE!

Next stop is in Farmington, Missouri at the Threads of Friendship Quilt Guild.

Threads of Friendship is a larger guild in a larger town. Like their name, they are very friendly! My friend, Linda, invited and arranged for me to speak. Between her and the friends I’d met in Desoto (also members of this guild), I felt like I knew them from the start.

Image of quilt guilds members
image of threads of friendship

For this presentation, I had the privilege of introducing my eldest daughter, Paige, as my assistant. This was her first-ever guild meeting.

Image of Paige and Karla

Later, Paige told me she loved watching the quilters interacting with one another, all coming together with a common passion. Once again, we could hear the interaction during Show and Tell and the business meeting to know this guild is very supportive both within the guild and in their community. Many of these wonderful quilters visited with me and Paige throughout the evening.

A hearty thank you to Linda and the Threads of Friendship Quilters!

If you’ve never attended a guild meeting, I suggest you seek one out. Find the meeting the suits you and that you can embrace! Guild members have a special connection in this wonderful world of quilting!

Embrace your quilting journey!

Uncork The Bubbles

Tapping into the adorable smile of Bubbles the baby whale, Bubbles is now featured on fabric and merchandise!

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

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

A Quilter Who Inspires

Behind every quilter is a quilter who inspires them.

Maybe it’s a grandmother, mother, aunt, uncle, neighbor, or friend. Maybe the quilter is someone you’ve never met but viewed on Instagram or Pinterest or read about in a magazine. While quilting inspiration is everywhere…the tiles of a building or the view of a garden…those who inspire us can turn our likes into passion.

Is there a quilter who inspires you?

Here is one quilter who inspires me: Kathy Doughty. I met Kathy once, very briefly in Houston at quilt market. (I’m certain she does not remember me.) I was very familiar with her work and sought out her booth.

Image of a Quilter who Inspires
Kathy Doughty

I used to say that I’d love to live in a house I could get lost in (with twists and turns and secret stairways). Well, I’m kinda the same way about quilts. I’ve mentioned before that I love and appreciate all kinds of quilt styles: traditional, modern, primitive, one- color, two-color, appliqued, pieced…etc….

But the quilts that really spark my interest are quilts I can get lost in!

Kathy Doughty is a quilter who inspires me because I get lost in her quilts. Your brain can’t grab the full story of her quilts at first glance. When you look at Kathy’s quilts, you are drawn back in to study, to make sense of the design. You have to ponder the quilts to figure out how the fabric motifs and colors work together.

It’s not obvious, like, for example, in my grandmother’s two-color lilac and white quilt. While I cherish everything about the family heirloom quilt, it tells me it’s whole story at first glance. It’s very calm and peaceful.

When Kathy was interviewed for American Patchwork and Quilting magazine (June 2017), she responded to a question about fabric and color choices with,

“I like to make quilts that have secondary patterns and are not digestible in a glance.”

Kathy Doughty

I just rediscovered this article when going through old magazines, wondering why I’d kept this one- THIS is why! Kathy is unafraid of color and pattern, but she has a healthy respect for design. Maybe one reason Kathy inspires me is because her ability to combine color and pattern to the degree she does still alludes me. I guess something achieved wouldn’t be very inspirational, would it?

Kathy has a number of books that feature her vividly and interesting quilts. I keep her books handy, where I see them often. Just opening these books to revisit the quilt photos gives me inspiration to try new combinations, new colors – to step out of my comfort zone, and expand the horizons of my own little quilting world.

Kathy Doughty’s shop, Material Obsession, is located in Australia. Here’s the link to her shop – check it out!

Kathy is also a fabric designer and, as you might expect, her designs are vibrant and full of interest!

Here is her latest fabric line: New Vintage!

To see another quilter who inspires, click HERE for “Quilt Week Faves”

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SHOP Creative Bee Studios – More than 40 designs that use BOTH beautiful sides of fabric! #usebothsides

Shades of White in Quilts

Years ago a sweet lady named Betty gave her opinion about using white in quilts. That soft-spoken piece of quilting advise has stuck with me like a whisper in my ear.

Using white in quilts can be more controversial than one might think.

Using White in Quilts
Shades of White

I would venture to say that most quilters (or anyone buying paint for their home) knows that white isn’t necessarily white. There’s off-white, cream, cotton, paper, snow, shadow, vanilla, milk, white wash, cloud…the lists of whites goes on and one!

Quilters know they can use a fabric that isn’t actually white but it could “read” as white. One example of fabrics that use varying shades of white within themselves are “white on white” fabrics. Here is one example – which I LOVE – because this white on white has flamingos on it!

Image of White on White Flamingo Fabric
White on White Flamingo Fabric

The definition of white from the dictionary is “the achromatic color of maximum lightness’.

White is the color that is perceived by the eye when exposed to all the visible wavelengths of light. Off-white colors can vary in hue, saturation and intensity.

Also see Monochromatic by Nature

Using white in quilts
Monochromatic by Nature

So how does the definition of white relate to quilting?

According to Betty, one should never use pure white in a quilt. She believed it was too harsh on the eye. Now, does this mean that Betty never made a white-white quilt? I don’t know. I have definitely made quilts with bright white fabrics in them.

However, the context in which Betty was speaking when she gave me this advice was regarding the thread to choose for quilting a quilt with pure white fabric. She suggested using a warmer white. (I recall being a bit shocked.) She said the use of a softer white in the quilting thread provides a rest for the eye and softens the look of the entire quilt.

Image of Using White in Quilts Button Collection
This was my mother-in-law’s white button collection.

I remembered Betty’s advice when I used to quilt for customers. I chose an ivory thread, even on pure white quilts. It “read” as white on even the whitest quilts, but it softened their look.

In 2017, when I chose the background fabrics for Phoebee (my first pattern), I wanted to really go wild and use many varying shades of white. While it wasn’t necessarily my goal, I found that the use of varying shades of white provided a subtle interest in my designs. It also made me more “free” in my choices (and a bit of a rebel?). I felt I was challenging myself and eventually my student quilters to try to combine fabrics that don’t “match”. More than 35 patterns later, one of my favorite part of designing patterns is choosing the varying background shades.

I don’t get to see my friend, Betty, very often – especially now. But I think of her often and with admiration. She provided a valuable piece of advise to a novice quilter. You just never know how something you say today can stay with a person more than sixteen years later. Thanks, Betty! (hugs)

To see Phoebee and all her friends, visit my Etsy Shop: Creative Bee Studios. Click HERE.

Use Both Beautiful Sides of This New Fabric

This Dash About quilt pattern is getting a whole new look with Floral Rhapsody! Use both beautiful sides of Hoffman California Fabrics’ new fabrics as shown below in the Dash About quilt pattern.

These new Hoffman California Fabrics fabrics, Floral Rhapsody, are whimsical florals in three brilliant colorways. Floral Rhapsody will add a whole lot of sparkle to your Dash About quilt when you #usebothsides!

First, a look at the original:

Below you see the original Dash About quilt, a nestled churn dash made with three very different styles of fabrics. The first, innermost churn dash is made from a small traditional blue print. The middle churn dash block is “Raindrops Poppies” by Anna Maria Horner; the super large block is made from an oversized floral backing fabric by Kaffe Fassett. The results make a stunning quilt. For instance, there is added interest by using both sides of varying motif fabrics. Learn more about the original Dash About quilt HERE.

Image of Quilt showing how I use both beautiful sides

Now, take a look at these fabulous new fabrics from Hoffman California Fabrics!

Image of how to use both beautiful sides of Hoffman Fabrics
Splash, Light Bright, and Summer

Do you see the layers of patterns including vines, feathers, flowers, leaves, swirls and more? Do you can see the faintest hinting of movement and color on the reverse side? Use the reverse side for the “background” of your churn dash blocks to add interest. Your eye will hover over the quilt as your brain determines the subtle surprise of using the reverse, for instance. I just love it when quilts make ME do that! I hope you love that, too!

Image of Dash About for Hoffman Quilt Pattern, showing another way to use both beautiful sides
Image of Dash About Pattern Cover

Notice the sparkle of this whimsical line? Quilts sparkle with interest when you use both sides. See this quilt (along with two other Creative Bee Studios patterns) on page 11 of Hoffman California Fabrics’ new Spring 2020 Projects Catalog.

In conclusion, you’ll add a little spark to your quilts when you use both beautiful sides!

Shop both Dash About are NOW in my Etsy Shop.

Learn more about how to use BOTH beautiful sides of your fabrics HERE. #usebothsides

Follow me (Creative Bee Studios) on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!

Search #usebothsides to see class photos and customer shares of quilts they made using both beautiful sides!

Introducing…Merry!

Image of Truck Quilt

It’s beginning to look (and feel) a lot like red truck Christmas quilt season!

Merry is a red truck Christmas quilt that’s easy and fun to make! You can start your holiday decorating with a fun Christmas wall hanging OR make one for a favorite friend!

Use BOTH sides of one red Christmas fabric on a snowy bed of winter fabrics to make this quilted wall hanging.

This little red truck is dashing through a snowy lane. On a background of winter trees, various sizes of snowflake motifs, cardinals on lighted lines, and glitzy deer, this red truck Christmas quilt is made with both sides of one focus fabric. So toss a tree in the back, add the mirrors, tires, license plate, and reversed details to “trim out” your truck. Pull out your winter/Christmas stash and start auditioning your fabrics!

Image of Merry in Snow

Shop the “Merry” quilt pattern in my Etsy shop: HERE

Merry Red Truck Quilt

Below are the current Christmas quilt patterns available. For each you will use both sides of at least one fabric. With each #usebothsides pattern, you’ll discover the nuances of value as you learn to audition BOTH sides of fabric. I teach you HOW, like what to look for and how to use value to your advantage.

Look at each picture below and notice where the reverse side is used. Look carefully because you’ll see that the reverse is often used in the background as well. Chances are you have fabric in your stash that will work, with beautiful reverse sides. So pull out some stash and turn it over! Once you learn about what makes reverse sides work, you’ll never look at one side of fabric again! It’s almost like doubling your stash (without taking up any more room). Plus, it’s fun and makes choosing fabrics easy!

You can learn more about value HERE.

SHOP more Christmas quilt patterns in my Etsy Shop HERE.

Have yourself a wonder-filled quilting journey!

Kate Goes Modern

Do you remember Kate, the vase and bouquet quilt made with both beautiful sides of Kaffe Fassett fabric?

While Kate (shown below) is made with both sides of one fabric, Kate’s Bouquet is made with both sides of two fabrics!

Here’s Kate.

But don’t stop scrolling… Kate’s Bouquet is shown next!

Kate Quilt Pattern

Kate was made using both sides of Japanese Chrysanthemum by Philip Jacobs for Kaffe Fassett Collective.

Firstly, you make the vase by tracing a template onto lightweight fusible and adhering it to the RIGHT side of the fabric.

Next, press lightweight fusible to the REVERSE side of the fabric. Cut the blooms out using the fabric motif as the guide. This is also known as Broderie Perse applique.

Learn more about Modern Broderie Perse.

Finally, you build the bouquet on a fun collection of scrappy background fabrics!

Now see Kate’s Bouquet, made with both sides of two fabrics!

Image of Kate made with both sides of two fabrics.
Kate’s Bouquet Quilt Pattern

Kate’s Bouquet is a dramatic statement for statement in any home!The negative space gives Kate a modern appeal, especially when used with a brilliant solid background fabric.

Notably, the best part about making Kate’s Bouquet is that you only need three fabrics to make this quilt! Use BOTH beautiful sides of the focus and table fabric and get one fabulous fabric for the background!

Kate’s Bouquet is shown with the same floral focus fabric in a different colorway.

Look at this lovely and softer version made by my friend, Linda. She’s named her quilt “Rose”. Her softer quilt has a calm feel about her and goes beautifully in Linda’s newly decorated living room.

“Rose” made by Linda Gast

Just imagine the options for background fabrics! You could mimics wall paper or old plaster walls. So many options!

Image of Quilt
I love how Linda quilted her table!

And, of course, there are always fabulous floral fabrics on the market for designing your own bouquet!

Image of Quilt made with both sides of two fabrics.

Remember, it’s all about value. See The Tricky Traits of Value .

Each #usebothsides pattern comes with tips for auditioning BOTH sides of your fabric PLUS the Bonus: Prairie Point Hanging Method!

Shop “Kate’s Bouquet” HERE, at my Etsy Shop

Image of Quilt and Magazine

Merle’s Bouquet is featured in the AQ Magazine. Limited quantities of signed copies in my Etsy Shop/CreativeBeeStudios

Share with your friends – tell them to Join The BUZZ!

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