Randomly Vague Progress Update #2


There were three questions from the last RVPU (see title above, I am from Southern California and therefore must abbreviate everything). I plan on answering them here. I am so glad that someone actually cares about these pencil sketches! If you have any other questions about my process or almost anything else, leave me a comment and I will answer it on the next post.

Okay, down to business…

Marlene asked: Why do you sketch on graph paper?

Tula P. says: I sketch on graph paper because I am neurotic. Every scrap of paper in my studio is most likely on a grid. The paper I use for sketching fabric is a 10×10 line per inch transparent vellum. It’s like a heavy tracing paper with itty bitty grid lines. The grid helps me keep track of size and repeats. I draw to scale most of the time. It helps me keep things even and balanced and allows me to keep track of how much surface I have covered so I can engineer the repeat.

Myth asked: Can you post bigger shots of your sketches?

Tula P. says: I don’t post them larger because of loading time. The pics are meant to be more like a snapshot rather than something you can actually print or blow up. I will work on it though, I promise.

Pam asked: Will you be at Quilt Market in October?

Tula P. says: Yes! I will be in the Moda booth sellin’ all the new fabrics. I give a good pitch I think. The best part is showing my line and watching peoples faces. Most people don’t know what I look like so they speak frankly, sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s not. The first time I ever showed Flutterby the customer took one look at it and said, “Yuck! Pass!”. I wrote that one down in my sketch book under First Customer Interaction. I wish I had it (and the look on my face) on tape, it was priceless! Good thing my mom was there to tell me that I am awesome and other validating mom-like things.

30 Responses to “Randomly Vague Progress Update #2”

  1. My little girls are going to LOVE this next line! We have sea turtles all over our house. I am going to love it too.

    I combined three of your NEST fabrics with a Heather Bailey print to make a beautiful dress for one of my daughters. I think it turned out amazing.


    Lori W

  2. I would love to know more about how your designs get from graph paper sketch to fabric.

    That story about Flutterby — hilarious! Clearly this customer had no taste. If you’re anything like me, I bet you thought of a good comeback about three weeks later.

  3. I can’t wait to see more of it.

  4. So you are a sales rep and a designer? Too cool!! How funny to just quietly watch peopls reactions! I love stuff like that. I just came up with the best quilt ever for Nest that I will be hawking to the magazine editors soon!

  5. Love your snapshot and you amaze me, Tula. I’m also feeling kinda left out that Pam got a questioned answered, and I didn’t. Course I never asked one. So here goes. Since you’re from SoCal… who would you most like to see wearing something made from your fabric… Frosty, Heidi or Frank?

  6. Your sketches are gorgeous! Love seeing how you figure out the repeats.

  7. I draw patterns on graph paper also…so I understand your neurosis. Textiles is the perfect medium for an OCD math nerd like me.

  8. OMG love the Neptune theme. I know its bold of me to ask, but can I request some anchors in the line? My sister is getting married next winter to a sailor and they’re using anchors as their theme. I’d love to make her something with some gorgeous fabric with anchors. Just a thought.

  9. this is amazing! you are so talented and creative! i just love your sketches.

  10. You are so amazingly talented, I can’t even believe it! And that story- Yuck, Pass had me laughing all afternoon. First customer interaction?! Thank goodness for moms huh?

  11. Love the turtle!!!!
    I have collected turtles for years and this is just what I’ve been waiting for…..
    Is this the final sketch?

  12. This is to Rosemary, take another look at the turtle print. Can you find the “Anchor”? Love that you want to do something Special for your sister.

  13. I’m already excited for this line. I love turtles! I didn’t discover your fabric until Flutterby was out but I have scoured websites to collect yardage of all your designs and colorways (I rarely buy yardage, I’m a fat-quarter person). I have no idea what I’ll do with some of it but I find that I love pulling it out and just opening up the fabric and looking at it. I know just the right project will come up eventually. Thanks for sharing your drawings.

  14. I really love seeing what you are doing now…awesome sketches! You are indeed a talented sales rep! I enjoyed talking with you at market in May, will you hang with me at the moda booth for a sec this time too? I want to get to know you, (and everyone else) better! You are very approachable, and I like your style:) Your blog is one of the very few I actually enjoy reading…for more on that topic, you might check out my blog…I’m sorta on a “blog reformation” thing right now.


    Thanks for your help with the quilt too! I’m on my own this time. Could be interesting…


  15. Oh I’m in absolute love Tula!!!! Any hints on colors? I’m going to make my Mom look for you at market. She has very red hair. Are you going to Spring Market? I might be going to that one. *fingers crossed*
    By the way, have you ever heard of a fabric club called Jo’s Little Women? It’s a mini-quilt club Jo Morton does to support her fabrics. They’re pretty cute, and I’m a member. Since we don’t absolutely have to use Jo fabrics I’m not. (Much to the teacher’s chagrin. :D ) This time I’m using Flutterby. It’s absolutely adorable. D’uh. ;)

  16. OMG! I love it Tula! it’s beautiful! I bought you complete nest & flutterby line….i just love your designs!

  17. I love graph paper (when I draw by hand). In Illustrator, I MUST have the Smart Guides on. I don’t care about all the little blue guidelines popping up and all over my image- knowing it’s perfect is far more important that an unobstructed view! (my husband thinks I’m nuts and hates any sort of control- but then he’s got an easy going and natural pizzazz for unbalanced balance, curse him.)

  18. This is going to be beautiful! I just love your unique twist on everything. Thanks for the sneak peek!

  19. here’s a nice flutterby story. i am currently finishing a quilt i made for a coworker’s baby out of flutterby jelly roll. she wouldn’t tell me the sex of the baby so i thought flutterby would work as well for either sex. i can’t even begin to describe her happiness with it. and as i’ve been working on it pretty much nonstop for two months, i’ve come to really really really love it. i’ve even thought of making one for myself, but i think i’ll do “nest” instead.

  20. OMG this is gorgeous! Can’t wait to see it in the “flesh”!

  21. oh my gosh, sea turtles are my absolute favorite. Can’t wait to see the finished fabric.

  22. LOVE your new Neptune line; I can hardly wait for it to come out. I’ve bought your flutterby and full moon…love them so much I can’t quite find the courage to cut into them. I enjoy reading your fabric design experience; very interesting. question…how long from drawing to fabric availability?


  23. Love love love it. Would be beautiful quilted on a solid background, maybe one of your clear sea-blue-green colors. Or a coral red…

  24. We are fans of all of your fabric lines at our shop. When I saw your first collection I had to show everyone how amazingly creative you are at hiding nature within your floral paisley prints! Your fabric is very desirable and unique! Keep it coming!

  25. Oh, my gosh! I love this turtle fabric, I love all your lines but this one is near and dear to my heart. We stayed at the beach a couple of years ago and the night we got there, a sea turtle dug a nest just inches away. 2 months later, 147 babies hatched! I felt like she laid them there just for us and ever since then I’ve been a huge fan of sea turtles.

    I can’t wait to get my hands on this. Thanks for the preview. It looks like it’s going to be a hit, too!

  26. I stumbled upon your blog today through a link. I love the way you incorporate the sea horses, flowers, coral, and other designs into your drawings, and put it all together looking so pretty. You have talent and know how to use it well!

  27. i am so ontop of this fabric when it comes out…seriously this would be one i would buy the bolt! especially now since i am getting back into sewing and making dresses, bags and more.
    love love love

  28. oh my goodness, love the turtle and the sea horses. I have a purse made from your “flutterby” line. It’s one of my favorites.

  29. Could not subscribe for this Blog through the fast button in the Opera, the tape speaks is not found… I have subscribed for your tape on a badge, but the counter on former shows 0. Something does not work… I do not know… :(


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