Thursday, May 31, 2012

… a new layer to my fabric designing




This past year has brought some changes to the way I design fabric. . .

. . . & I am loving it!

When I first started designing fabrics, I would submit my artwork, or a sample of a vintage piece that I wanted to use as inspiration. . . pick the colors for the colorways & specify what would go where.
From there they were re-painted & prepared for the mills over in Japan.
. . . & although they always did a wonderful job, I never really knew what it might look like until I got the paper strike-offs. . . (I always crossed my fingers for a couple of months while that process happened!)

But now, starting with my upcoming line, 'Hill Farm', I have been doing all the prep work from start to finish. Using Photoshop & my Wacom tablet & drawing tool, I determine the repeat of the pattern/design & then separate each of the colors used onto a different 'layer' in my  Photoshop document. (Fabrics are printed using separate 'screens' for each color - so before a fabric can be printed, this step must be done.) It takes a lot more time on my part, but I am loving the process.

I am currently working on the next Durham Anew collection, & I thought I'd give you a peek of the main floral (in process). . . 
Here is what the Photoshop window looks like as I'm working on 'painting' each of the color layers. (The top window is where I do my 'painting/drawing'. The grey checkerboard background means the background is transparent. . . this way I can add in different backgrounds when the design is completed) . . .


Here is what is done (so-far) made into a jpeg - with a white background. As I work, I keep checking what the design looks like with a solid background. (Working on that checkerboard background can start to make my eyes cross!) The light blue line that is surrounding the design is a temporary line that I use to determine the repeat area.


So there you have what I will be doing for the next week!
This is the second print in the collection that I've worked on, & I've got six prints total to do.
I'm working on the most time consuming & difficult ones first. . . so hopefully it will get easier & faster as I complete each one.

Hope you have a wonderful week!

Bren


Saturday, May 26, 2012

daybook ::43::


for today :: May 26, 2012  
(Oh my!. . . I haven't done a 'daybook' entry for 6 months!)

outside my window. . .  birdies, birdies everywhere! (...including the little quail family that darts & doodles across the  yard), & the crepe myrtle bush (my favorite!) is in full bloom!

I am thinking . . .  about all my blessings.

from the kitchen. . .  coffee (of course!), . . . & oatmeal (with cinnamon - yum)

I am wearing. . . t-shirt & comfy shorts. . . the temperature tells us that summer has actually already arrived.

I am creating . . .  a new fabric design. . . (me & my Wacom tablet! - love it!)

I am remembering. . .  Mom. . . all the time.

I am reading. . .  'The Crossroad', by Beverly Lewis (only just before I go to bed. . . I don't let myself read during the day - otherwise I would ready the day away!)

I am hoping . . .  to get one of the new fabric designs completed today.

I am hearing. . .  all the birdies - outside in our very birdie-busy backyard (what happens when you have water features in a backyard here), & 'This Old House' on the TV (I still love watching that show. . . why is that?!)

around the house. . .  still pretty quiet (Dad is sleeping in, & Bailey went in to snuggle with him.)

I am going. . .  to 'd0' (sweep, dust, & 'swiffer' the floors later. . . (I'm counting it as some of my 'exercise' for the day)

one of my favorite things. . .  finding a new mug that I love. 

a few plans for the rest of the week. . . mostly this week is dedicated to working on the fabric line. . . with a little pattern writing thrown in. . . & a visit (or 2, or 3)  to 'Frost' in there somewhere!

from my picture journal . . .



Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Bren

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

… & more little things


There are a lot of 'little things' going on in the studio. . .
& I feel like I'm changing hats many times each day.

. . . there's been a bit of photography going on,

. . . a bit of quilting,



. . . a bit of writing (okay, a lot of writing!),

. . . a bit of work on a new fabric line

. . . a bit of stitching (& lots more about to start! Yea!)


We've been hitting triple-digit temps for the past several days . . .
(it has been 105°F for the last two days!)
 so, a lot of staying indoors & a lot of getting things done inside!


Oh!. . . (here I go putting on the website shop owner hat on!),
since our temps are definitely saying 'summer'. . .
 . . . the 'Spring Cleaning' sale  on the website will be ending this Friday.
(don't miss out! 25-75% off patterns & books)

Hope you have a wonderful day!


Bren

Friday, May 18, 2012

… little things. . .


photo shoot  -  

haircut  -  

errand to the post office  -  

house dusted  -  ✓

all binding on finished quilts  -  

patterns written for new designs  -   um. . . working on that.

What is it about pattern writing. . . 
sometimes I can get sooo many other things accomplished 
when there are pattern directions to be finished. . .

. . . at least my house is getting clean!

In the mean-time. . .
. .  . here's a little peek at one of the fun little things that I've been working on.


As you can see. . . I'm a trimmer.


I just love the 'before & after' look of a block when 
they are trimmed & 'squared-up'.


& when you're done, there's the little pile of trimmings that confirm
how much happier the little blocks must feel!
(. . . & me when I go to sew them  all together!)


. . . more often than not. . .
. . . it's the simple little things that can make me happy!

hope you have many little 'happy' things to fill your day!

Bren

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

… stitching windmills


First, I just want to thank all of you who left comments & sent tweets & emails about 'Hill Farm'.
You are all so dear to share your enthusiasm & support!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Here on the home front, I've been making myself very busy (happily so!) in the studio.

I've been sewing blocks, quilting little quilts, & binding & binding quilts
. . . lots of quilts!
Some of them you will see soon. . . & some of them will have to be saved for the end of summer - when we will be starting a fun new club! (info soon. . . I promise!)

I know that for some. . . binding is a chore. . . 
. . . but I love it.

For the last week, I've been slowly working my way around this quilt. . .
It's called 'windmills'. . . & it will be the second quilt design
in the 'farmhouse collection' pattern series. 
(. . . have I mentioned how much I'm loving these quilts?!!)


I fell in love with several of the fabrics in the Cabbages & Roses fabric line, 'Athill Range' that they did with Moda.
(*edited to add - the backing fabric is from an older Moda Home fabric line, called 'Fresh Breeze'. . . one of my all time favorite fabrics. . . !)

The fabrics in 'Athill Range' were just perfect (. . . & I have to admit that I loved the little cream print & the red so much. . . that I ordered a bolt of each!)

(. . . & Cabbages & Roses next line with Moda, 'Padstow Range' is equally as wonderful & will be coming in September. . .(!))


Although initially the plan was to go. . . with no sample fabrics available yet for my new line 'Hill Farm', & so then no sample quilts made with them, I decided to not go to Quilt Market this weekend. I've been keeping myself very busy in the studio. . . but not for the Market crush that usually happens the week before. . .
(. . . maybe that's why I've been enjoying my binding time!)

Actually, I've also been loving my binding,  & quilting, & stitching time - as it has been quality thinking time. . .
. . . & in the midst of life & all it's twists & turns (. . . those kinds of turns that you can't see around & you have proceed with a lot of trust. . .), I've been thinking & focusing a lot on all the blessings I have in my life. 
I am reminded of how blessed I am.
. . . & I am so thankful.

Tomorrow morning will be a photo shoot morning.
'windmills' & the one of the quilts from the 3rd 'farmhouse collection' quilts will be having their photos taken. I'm making sure they get a good nights sleep tonight & they are spread out on the guest bed so that they can be 'wrinkle free' in the morning.

So. . . more peeks (& new designs) to come!

Hope you have a wonderful day!

Bren

Thursday, May 10, 2012

… introducing Hill Farm



My I introduce my next fabric line. . . Hill Farm!

I can't wait to get my hands on these!. . . (from the bottom of my heart!) I have so many ideas & so many things I want to make these fabrics into. . .! But. . . that is still yet to come. It's looking like I won't be getting my sample fabrics until later this month, or the beginning of June. 

So, even though the fabrics will be a little late in arriving. . . Nireko (who I refer to as our Lecien 'angel'!) & I wanted to be sure you got a peek of them. So I took the little bits of strike offs (. . . & some were really little bits!)  that I had on hand & set up a little photo shoot - so that I could share some of the 'Hill Farm' love with you!
Hill Farm was borne out of my love for the fabrics that I remember from the vintage quilts in the linen closet that my Mom had received from my Grandmas. . . so it is a mix of florals, & feedsack, & vintage wallpaper type prints.

The colors (& the name) were inspired by my love of Beatrix Potter & the lovely color palette she would use in her illustrations. If you've visited my blog for any length of time, you've, no doubt, 'heard' me mention that one of my favorite movies is 'Miss Potter', & that I watch it. . . um. . . a lot. (Put it this way. . . I just re-ordered a second 'Miss Potter' dvd. . . as I'm wearing out my current dvd!) So, when it came to the colors - I drew colors from her wonderful watercolor illustrations. The name 'Hill Farm' is in homage to her farm, 'Hill Top' in the Lake District of England.

Here's my little peek for you. . .!

. . . the whites (with a touch of red). . .

. . . the pebble - stones . . .

. . . the pinks & reds . . .

. . . the yellows & greens . . .

. . . the blues . . .

. . . & just for fun. . . the gingham dots all together 
('cause I love 'em so!) . . .

. . . so there you go!

If you are going to International Quilt Market. . . Lecien probably won't have the fabric samples there yet. . . (as I still have to receive a couple of strike offs to give approval for. . .), but. . . you can still ask about them. . . (you never know!). Also, the fabrics are due to arrive late this summer/early autumn - so the Lecien reps will have the fabric samples as soon as they are available. (As well as Checker Distributors & E.E. Schenck. . . so be sure to ask them!). I will certainly let you know as soon as my sample yardage arrives!

Also, . . . look for some of my upcoming 'farmhouse collection' designs to be using 'Hill Farm'. . . (a match made in heaven!) These fabrics are perfect for creating a classic farmhouse style quilt. . .!

Thanks for hanging around for my introduction to 'Hill Farm'.
I hope you will love it as much as I do!

Bren

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

… a little puttering in the studio


Actually. . . I've been spending as much time as possible in the studio. . .
. . . 'cause I've missed it!

For the last two weeks, I've been subbing a whole bunch - as a teacher friend had to have some emergency back surgery, so I took over his classes for seven days. (. . . & loved it!)


. . . then there was the house getting painted & I was kept very busy by you filling orders from the spring cleaning sale on at the website 
(thank-you-very-much!).


So, the other evening, there was such a warm home-y glow in the studio. . . that I couldn't help but go in & 'hang out'. 




I noticed how low the fabric bundles were getting & so I decided to cut & cut,
 & cut some more. . . 


. . . late into the evening, I ended up with these. . .






"these" are close to the end of what I have of my latest Durham Anew Collection.

There are a couple of fat-eighth bundles of the entire line. . .

& then there are little fat quarter bundles - by color - so you can pick & choose your favorites.

(You can also see the fabric a little better (than low evening light) here.)

. . . & the bundles are on the website now - & you can find them here.

I've also been busy working on the next 'farmhouse collection' quilt (binding!!!),
. . . & getting a peek of the new fabric line ready for you! (tomorrow!) 

I know that I will be subbing at the end of the week. . . one more time before the school year end. . .  (our finals week is next week! - yikes!). . .  but until then, I'm planning to get back into the puttering mode. . .
. . . you know where!

Hope you have a wonderful day!

Bren

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