Tag: quilts (Page 1 of 13)

Meet the Calico Needlers

The Calico Needlers Quilt Guild meets in Saint Peters, Missouri at the St. Charles Library. This day-time guild meeting starts bright and early at 9:30.

Even so, the room was filled with friendly quilters.

The Calico Needlers Quilt Guild is a fun group of quilters!

Everything about this event was smooth sailing! I am grateful for their kind welcome and hospitality and the ease of setting up everything from technology to hauling my wares!

For starters, each guild program presentation begins with selfies of the group. I am currently without my selfie stick, so disregard the mop of gray at the bottom of these pics!

image of Calico Needlers
It’s always a “Good Morning” when it starts with guild!

Likened to eating dessert first, we had the program straight away.

Image of Calico Needlers
Enthusiastic quilters!

In Our Quilting Journeys, I challenge quilters to ponder their own journeys.

Take a quiet moment, maybe over a cup of coffee or tea, to think about who has influenced your quilting journey.

First, many quilters have family quilters who either directly or indirectly expose us to the craft. In other words, “we get it honestly”!

Furthermore, our quilting journeys are influenced by many things, like shops we frequent (they choose what we see), friends, emails, sales, free shipping offers, retreats, and even Show and Tell!

There’s never a wrong reason for making a quilt!

As expected, much of the program is dedicated to sharing my quilting journey, which I often refer to as a “very curvy quilting journey”. With the newest curve in my journey being repeat pattern design, I remembered just days before the presentation a big influencer on the latest curve of my journey: Tula Pink.

Several years ago, at the Fall Paducah Quilt Show, fabric designer Tula Pink was the featured guest. We were fortunate to get tickets to “An Evening with Tula”. When Tula began her talk, she announced she was going to tell us the process of how she designs fabric. I guess I had been thinking about it back then because I took out pen and paper and made notes. She mentioned she uses Adobe Illustrator, a vector software for digitizing her designs.

Later, when I needed to update my laptop, I told the computer guys I would be getting Adobe Illustrator. I didn’t have a clue what it was or how incredibly powerful and involved this software was. But it was in my Tula notes!

Sometimes we are surprised by the memories we gain by quiet reflection.

The power point/trunk show continued with pattern quilts and what influenced me to make them.

The Calico Needlers meeting continued on, with business and pleas for volunteers – a common thread amongst guilds. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to stick around for Show and Tell, my favorite part of any guild meeting! But I must say these quilters were most helpful and gracious to me as a speaker. Aren’t quilters the best?

While in the area, I made a stop to Batiks Plus and, eureka, I found a gem!

Hidden away, under another bolt of fabric was this bolt of Crystalia, the Hoffman digital spectrum fabric used in my original Phoebee pattern! Phoebee is the gal that started it all and helped me discover how to use BOTH beautiful sides!

See more about Designing for Hoffman Fabrics HERE.

Read more about Phoebee HERE.

A special note of gratitude to the quilt holder gals! You did a great job!

Finally, a big thanks to my new friends in Saint Peters!

Remember to enjoy YOUR quilting journey, Karla

What is Quilting Heritage?

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!

Seashore Friends Baby Quilt

Brand New: Seashore Friends Baby Quilt Pattern!

Create a fun, fast baby quilt using one block, four fabrics, and BOTH beautiful sides!

The new Seashore Friends quilt is made with this one block – Reflecting 4-Patch.

Image of Reflecting 4-Patch

To start, the Reflecting 4-Patch block is made with seven squares and two 4-patch units. Make the reflection by using the reverse of each fabric for the “sunlight on the crest of the waves”.

Use both beautiful sides of four fabrics!

Next, use four fabrics to make the blocks that repeat outward from the center diagonal line.

In this baby quilt you see four fabrics from Seashore Friends Fabric Collection (my own designs), printed by Spoonflower on the exquisite Organic Cotton Sateen. Learn more about Organic Cotton Sateen HERE. This fabric is a delight for quilters and PERFECT for baby!

Gentle waves come to shore in this one-block quilt. Use the reverse side of four fabrics to mimic the sun’s reflection on the crest of the waves. No matter what your fabric motif, the reverse will add an “I Spy” activity for baby.

Seashore Friend Baby Quilt

See the full Seashore Friends Fabric Collection HERE

Stitch up a quick little soft book for your special baby using the fat-quarter panel of Organic Cotton Sateen!

See more about The Adventures of Bubbles the Baby Whale HERE

Suppose you (or the baby’s parents) aren’t into nautical baby. What to do? Consider other motifs like tractors, frogs, flowers, hearts – anything really, as long as they have beautiful reverse sides that work for your quilt!

image of babyquilt and merchandise
Use the easy-link, blue SHOP buttons for patterns, fabric, and merchandise at Creative Bee Studios!

Follow on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook!

Enjoy your quilting journey!

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!

Watercolor on a Whim

About a month ago the idea of paint brush to fabric wasn’t even a thought in my head.

It all 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 paint brush to fabric 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

But what does one do “after hours” in Pawhuska? To summarize, when you’re with Paige, you create!

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 Paige and Karla
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!”).

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 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 paint brush to fabric

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

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

Sketches to Patterns

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!

AQ Magazine Review

AQ Magazine, also known as American Quilter, features a stunning black and white quilt with a splash of mint green on it’s cover. Get a review of this issue right here.

As you read on the cover of AQ Magazine, their motto is: Discover, Inspire, Create.

You’ll likely enjoy the first article in this issue is called, “Give Your Quilt a Bath”! It gives you step by step guidance on how to bathe a quilt that just can’t go into a washing machine. I found the specific instructions (with illustrations) from how to submerse to how to remove the quilt very helpful.

Inside AQ Magazine, you’ll also find seven “irresistible” quilt patterns, some “how-to” articles, and features by contributors. The seven quilt patterns include three “easy”, three “intermediate”, and one “challenging”.

American Quilter is a perk of membership with AQS (American Quilter Society), but is also available on the newsstand. This March 2021 newsstand issue is $6.99.

You’ll find a feature display of MJ Kinman’s “Bourbon Diamonds” which is as interesting as the quilts are beautiful. You might recall the exhibit featured at The National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky in 2020.

One regular contributor, Gail Garber, discusses the use of color versus contrast with many photo examples.

I hope you find this review of AQ Magazine helpful. Because I’ve found American Quilter to be a high-quality publication, I started with this issue. I can say from a personal standpoint, the company is delightful to work with. I’ll leave a few pics of Merle’s Bouquet here. It was a lot of fun to have her featured in this quality magazine!

Image of AQ Magazine Cover
Image of Quilt in AQ Magazine
Image of Quilt and Focus Fabric
Merle’s Bouquet Pattern and Focus Fabric Kit

Look for more reviews and new patterns coming soon!

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Mr. Snowman Punch-Needle

Meet Mr. Snowman!

Mr. Snowman is a fun, little punch-needle design. He’s hitting the slopes of trees and swirls in colors to match the quilt you see in the background.

Image of Mr. Snowman with quilt

This design is fast and easy. It’s slightly less than four inches square. The cute size fits perfectly on a mini art canvas. Add the little easel to display your mini stitched artwork.

Since punch-needle is a compact, hand-held craft, Mr. Snowman is easy to pack for travel. You can even work it while you ride. If you aren’t familiar with punch-needle, check out the many tutorials on Pinterest and Youtube. Click HERE for an introductory tutorial on Pinterest. There are also numerous books and patterns on the subject.

Image of Mr. Snowman

Generally, punch needle requires a good hoop that tightens well. You’ll want your surface tight like a drum at all times. That makes it easy for your needle to punch into the cloth.

Next, when you make a punch-needle stitch, the need head is punched downward through the back side (top) of your hooped cloth. When you pull your needle back up, it leaves a tiny loop on the front (underneath) side of your hoop. The size of the loop depends on the size of your needle punching length and thread.

You’ll work Mr. Snowman punch needle from the back side of your hoop. You can turn the hoop over periodically to see your progress.

You might want to practice getting your punches evenly spaced, but the learning curve for learning punch needle is quite easy to achieve.

See Love Notes Punch Needle

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