Thursday, March 21, 2013

Fabric Design Process

Last week I spoke at the Berry Basket Quilter's Guild in Medford, NJ. I met a lovely group of ladies and talked about my wool pins and my fabric design process. (Don't I have a weird look on my face in this picture??)




I also debuted my new book, Child's Play, and showed some samples from the book:



May is rapidly approaching- that means it's almost time for International Quilt Market in Portland, Oregon. I will have a new fabric line debuting at that show. I feel like I have been working on it forever.... This particular line has had many revisions. Sometimes a fabric line will come about quite easily, and other times it seems it takes a million tweaks to get it right.

I wanted to show you a little glimpse into how a fabric design might come about. This is a page from the Better Homes and Gardens June 2012 issue. I liked the pattern in the wall paper, with the alternating circular and diamond shaped motifs, and I thought an idea like this would work well with the line I was working on.

The description in the magazine says that the decorator was influenced by Indian prints. Indian prints are often done with a carved wooden block, which is stamped onto fabric or other surfaces. You can see that the circular motif in the wall paper has 8 "petals" and the center is a circle. Using that for inspiration, I drew a circular design that had 8 petals, but I had a different idea for the center:



 I also drew a square which I could rotate into a diamond shape:

The palette for this line has a lot of blues, so I painted my motifs in a pretty turquoise color. Also, I couldn't get a close look at the details in the wall paper so my design ended up being quite a bit different from the original. The original also had some extra "fan shapes" in the circular motif which I did not include. (Even if I did have a detailed look at the original, I wouldn't copy it- I look at something to inspire me and then do my own thing.)

Then it was time to start laying things out in a repeat in PhotoShop to see what would happen....



(I also had some versions with the circles rotated a bit, but apparently I didn't save those...)

I took the center of the circle:



and repeated it to make a border:



In the end, we ended up not using the circle & diamond repeat, but we did use the border and the individual circle and square motifs that I originally painted. When we get closer to Quilt Market, I will  show you some of the patterns that DID actually make it into the line!

So that is a little bit about the evolution of just one pattern in a fabric line.... And then you figure that there are anywhere from 5-8 patterns in a line... a lot of stuff that you like doesn't make the final cut because it just doesn't work with the rest of the line. It takes a lot of hours... (if I ever actually kept track of how many hours I spend putting a line together, I would probably shock myself!)


11 comments:

  1. Most people don't realize the work and time that goes into designing. I think I spend more time working out a design, then actually making it, lol.

    Debbie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know, Debbie, even after 7 or 8 lines, I still UNDERESTIMATE how long it will take me. I have too many ideas for designs and not enough time to implement them :)

      Delete
  2. Very cool! It is always fun to get a glimpse behind the scenes to learn more about how things are born. Those motifs and designs would definitely work in any quilt of mine :*)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Teresa! They are kind of "snowflake-y," don't you think? Maybe they will find their way into a winter themed fabric line or design project??

      Delete
  3. Thanks for sharing, hearing about the process brings more appreciation for the end result. I am going to spring market, I hope I see you and your new fabric.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Carrie- It would be great to meet you! I won't have a booth of my own this time, you can find me hanging out at the Henry Glass booth :)

      Delete
  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow, that was so fun, to see how you get inspired and then how you progress through the design process. Cool! I love those motifs....and the colors, too. Hope things go well and Market is fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is a pretty quick and dirty description of the process.... it takes a long time... and lot of that time is spent sitting in front of the computer screen wondering what to do next....

      Delete
  6. Thank you - the copy of the magazine arrived to my sister's and she described it to me and I am thrilled. Dad will bring it to me in a few weeks :) Many thanks once again!!! I can't wait to look through and make something!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are welcome Amy! Can't wait to see some of your projects :)

      Delete

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails