Tag: Spoonflower

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!

Spoonflower How-To

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

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

See It’s a Whale Tale for more about designing this line of fabrics!

Whale Quilting Fabric on Spoonflower

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

Enjoy your quilting journey, Karla

Seashore Friends Baby Quilt

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

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

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

See more about The Adventures of Bubbles the Baby Whale

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

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

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.