She Sells Sea Shells

Because I am a lady of my word… Here are a few more answered questions plus some handy visual aides!


Step 1: Draw it out


Step 2: Outline and fill. I usually work in black and white at this stage but to make the post look pretty I colored it all up.


Step 3: Add darks to define depth


Step 4: Add lights


Step 5: Repeat and fill background.

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

Tula P: See Above. I draw and redraw and redraw… I work out the whole design on paper first. I think there is more fluidity in the hand than going straight to the computer. It is a useful tool but it is just that , a tool, much like a pencil or a fancy ruler. It will only do what you ask it to do so you better have a darn good idea of what that is.

Scott: So you are a sales rep and a designer?

Tula P: Actually I am NOT a sales rep. I work for moda as a designer as my day job and then I work on my fabric independently. When market time comes around they pull in non-sales-rep-types to handle the overflow, double booked appointments and new accounts. So I keep pretty busy but it is not my job. The sales reps are infinitely more talented at it than I am. I only do it twice a year so I start to get the hang of it about 2 hours before market closes.

Happy Zombie: Since you’re from SoCal… who would you most like to see wearing something made from your fabric… Frosty, Heidi or Frank?

Tula P: I would like to see all three of them in a Camel costume. Frosty can be the back side, Frank can be the head and Heidi can be the lump in the middle. If only the world bowed to my very simple desires… sigh.

Holly: How long from drawing to fabric availability?

Tula P: It’s about a year from when I start conceptualising the group to store delivery. These drawings that I have been showing you were started about 7 months ago, finished in July and the fabric samples have been in my possession since August. The advanced yardage should be arriving in the next week or two (for sample quilts and swatches for the sales reps) and will debut at Quilt Market in October. This collection should start arriving in stores sometime around March.

The timing is really hard to get used to especially when you have a real time blog. This blog is usually about 6 months behind what I am actually working on.

Rosemary: Can I request some anchors in the line?

Tula P: There is a whole print dedicated to anchors!

26 Responses to “She Sells Sea Shells”

  1. this is so cool! I love seeing the process, and I really like this print and the colors! Awesome! Thanks for sharing.

  2. I absolutely love you, Im glad to have more than just Amy Butler, who I love but then when I discoverd you and Joel Dewberry I was so excitted, your sutuff especially is amazing!!

  3. This line of fabric is going to be another must have!

  4. HOORAH for anchors! Sweet! Love everything you’ve shown from the line by the way. Thanks for responding!

  5. Hey Jen,
    I agree with the preceding comments. It looks like an awesome line coming up! Thanks for sharing this process, it is fun to be on the inside track! I can go to my LQS and say, oh by the way, be sure to pick up all of Neptune at Market! So the next one will be dogs and cats?? Then Monkeys for my house…it is full of them anyway, but who can’t use a few more!

  6. Thank you Tula for sharing the work process. I find it very interesting. I LOVE the Neptune line and will be anxiously awaiting its arrival in the quilt stores. And thanks for taking the time to answer our questions.


  7. I love seeing the process! My husband and I stayed up way too late last night talking about work flow and process in graphic design thanks to you! I seriously am loving seeing other artist’s processes.

  8. Very cool! I love hearing more and more about how things work!

  9. how interesting! you make it look so simple!

  10. Oh Tula I’m in love with it! Keep it up!

  11. Wonderful to see the process. Thank you so much for sharing!

  12. Tula, Looking at your blog, your work, your process just plain makes me happy. Thank you so very, very much for sharing with us.

  13. Thanks for sharing this! It’s so awesome!

  14. you are rad for sharing this. i am a fledgling pattern designer and do more handpainting incorporated into computer work, so it’s nice to see a different angle.

  15. wow, this looks great! I just love your style and to see your technique is really cool.

  16. So generous of you to share your design process. Thank you very much.

  17. I was wondering what program you use to do your designs…something like photoshop? Are you scanning in your designs to your computer or what? Give me more, give me more!

  18. Super great to see the process! Loved the Q & A as well:)
    The whole concept of sales rep (in fabric industry) is a dark forrest to me.
    Also, I totally hear you on the time frame subject. By the time I’m allowed to show some of the work I did, I forget I did it.

  19. Beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing these glimpses of your process!

  20. i absolutely love seeing your process! i’m a graphic design student interested in textiles, so it’s really cool to see different methods to designing a line. i’m really excited to see this line once it’s released!

  21. Love the peeks of your layers, and of course love your new design. And the Q&A too, wink, wink. I’m still hung up on tuna, and wish that was coming out in fabric. Mark Dunn… are you listening to me? Pleeeeeze?

  22. This collection is definitely shaping into something I’m going have to use later. I’m a Navy wife, and this is so up my alley.

  23. This is so interesting & just lovely!

  24. wow that looks great!!!
    thanks so much for posting :-)
    I’m designing prints myself, it’s so interesting to see how other designer work!!!

  25. Hi! I’ve only just discovered that you have a blog, and so have spent the last day reading all the archived posts! I LOVE the posts showing your design process, I find it fascinating! Can’t wait to see what you come up with next.

    At what point in the designing of one range do you start thinking about the next one? Are there always ideas floating around in your mind, or do you push all thoughts of other projects aside until you’ve completed the current designs?

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