Wednesday, October 27, 2010

daybook ::32::

 . . . the "rug" I made for my booth!. . . (from my Georgia Lou line)

for today :: October 27, 2010

outside my window. . .   clear, sunny wonderfully crisp autumn morning.

I am thinking. . . about today's to-do list. . . it's not too bad - I'm pretty much ready for leaving for Quilt Market tomorrow.

from the kitchen. . . coffee. . . so far. I'm thinking a nice egg white omelette with some sharp cheddar (yum!)

I am wearing. . .  t-shirt & crop pants.

I am creating. . .  quilt tags for my booth. (. . . & will prep a new stitchery today - to take on the plane)

I am remembering. . .  Mom. . . she is flooding my thoughts. (I am going to Houston & doing my booth by myself - but really, Mom will be there with me. . .)

I am reading. . .  (re-reading really)  'A Lineage of Grace - by Beverly Lewis. . . (I'm waiting for my pre-ordered copy of 'Decision Points' - by George W. Bush to arrive - next week!)

I am hoping . . .  that I sleep well tonight. . . tomorrow (flight to Houston & starting booth set-up) will be a long day!

I am hearing. . .  (besides the buzzing/ringing in my ears (!) - does that happen to you?) - the wonderfully quiet of the morning. . .

around the house. . .  suitcases out - last orders ready to be shipped. . . a little bit of organized chaos.

I am going. . .  to go through the to-do list one by one. Hoping to be done by afternoon.

one of my favorite things. . .  knowing that once Market starts - I will get to "rest" compared to getting ready for it!.

a few plans for the rest of the week. . . the Fall International Quilt Market! 

from my picture journal . . .
 . . . actually these are a peek of a some of the new designs that I'll have at Market. . .

. . . two of the versions of  new quilts in 'Opie's Home'

. . . & here's a peek at the little woolie mats that I made called, 'Buttons, Needles, Needles, & Pins' -  (there are also embroidery versions. . .)

So, I'm off to Market. . . Hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

… designing fabric (part 3)

. . . Okay, so we left off at strike-offs, right?

. . . Ahhhh, strike offs. . . getting them is  so exciting. . . & I little nerve-wracking as well! Exciting because it's the first peek at how your designs will look on fabric.  Nerve-wracking because the way they look on the paintings & then on fabric always has some changes. . . And, it's the first time you get to see how the colors translate to the fabric 'inks' that are used.

My strike-offs are usually about ¼ yard to ½ yard - depending on the size of the print. And, honestly - for the most part - I have not had a lot of changes that I've had to deal with as the design director at Lecien - in Japan - is very thorough in the process. Usually if they are not positive that it is spot-on, I will get sent pieces so that I can give my input. For my Georgia Lou line - the main (but small) issue we had was that the red (which is a difficult color to work with - as there are so many different hues!) on some of the prints were too deep & a cooler hue than I wanted. If you look at the two reds in the photo above - the red in the plaid was perfect - but the background in the red print above it is the cooler version. Thankfully because I use their Cosmo cotton floss colors as the base for my colors - I could specify that I wanted it to be a warmer red. (By the way "my" red (well I call it that!) from the Cosmo embroidery floss line is #858.) I love that red. . .  I own tons of it in every form (skeins, 2 strand spools. . .) that it's available in. It's a wonderfully soft red that has enough punch to it - but also isn't overwhelming.

Anyway - it makes for a great way to specify color if anything needs adjusting. . . Here we made the 'warmer' choice for the shading for the roses.

. . . Then there are the difficult choices that must be made. . . deciding which fabrics won't make the final cut.

Agh. . .! This part is soooo hard. It's not that I don't like them - but it would mean that they collection is way too big & so I have to stand back & take a look at the collection as a whole. (Secretly I wish that I could keep them & make some little pretties with them anyway - but they too will be sent back to Japan.)


Here's a look at the wonderful 'aged' & 'washed' look that they achieved for some of the fabrics. (We didn't do the 'washed' look on all of the prints - as some of the finer details would have been lost.) I do love the look  though - it makes a newly made quilt look like it's vintage immediately (especially when the quilt gets washed! Swoon!)

After I make all my choices with the strike offs - I give them all a hug & off they go - back to Lecien in Japan.

. . . Then about a month later - I get this little wonderful bundle! It's the final 'strike-off' so to speak. It's about a half-meter or more of each of the fabrics from the sample print that they have the mill run before the main printing begins. This is the final look at the prints & the line as a whole. For me there was nothing to change - so I gave my hearty okay (more like a squeal really) & the yardage printing begins!

Me. . . I tend to simply stare at the sample fabrics for awhile. (I get to keep these!)  I unfold them, & re-arrange them & yep. . . I pet them, & then I re-arrange them some more. That's when the reality that I will have to cut into them hits. I live with that for a bit more. . . but sometimes it's kinda hard to actually start the cutting process. . .

. . . That usually changes pretty darn quick when these arrive. . . 

It's like Christmas morning & I'm a little girl all over again. . .

. . . & the wonderful folks at Lecien are fabric elves. . . ! Even though I know the process - it's feels 'magical'  somehow. . . 

. . . & I'm thinking I'll never tire of it! 
(. . .& yes, that's my treadmill that also lives in my studio. . . hard to ignore it that way!)

Before I close this post about fabric designing - I want to express my thanks & admiration for all the folks at Lecien - they are an amazing company to work with, & I am so impressed with their work ethic & with their kindness & caring that they take with my designs. Thank you for making this so much fun!

Next week, 'Georgia Lou' will officially be presented at the Fall International Quilt Market - so if you would like to see some in your local quilt shop - let your shop owner know! Also - if you don't want to wait,  Shabby Fabrics already has it available!

So that's it for fabric designing. . . I'm currently working on a new Durham line. (. . . excuse me while I pinch myself!) 


Saturday, October 16, 2010

… designing fabric (part 2)

Oops. . . Blogger required me to log-in again. . . (long time - no post!)  So sorry. . . Quilt Market prep has pretty much overtaken all my time. And then, for some reason, I seem to come up with a bunch of ideas for projects - in the weeks just before Market. So, I've had to decide what I really have time to make & what will have to wait until after Market. As of today, I'm in pretty good shape & I've come to terms with the fact that I can't do it all!

I'm really looking forward to Market this time. I will get to see folks that I haven't seen in months, meet the new Lecien designers, & also meet some Australian designers that are coming to visit Market for the first time. (I'm so looking forward to that!)

Also, my fabric line, Georgia Lou, will be presented at this Market. ... But for you shop owners - I do believe that if you have a Lecien rep - they are showing it now & if not - then Checker also is distributing Lecien now! (Also - I do know that Shabby Fabrics already has it available online!)

So. . . back to my fabric designing process. . .  (that is if you can remember back to the beginning post!)

After I have sent in all my ideas, swatches, sketches, . . . & colors it's the beginning of waiting. (You get really good at waiting. . .) While I'm waiting. . . the design department at Lecien is very busy prepping what I have sent - as well as evaluating how well it might do in the fabric markets around the world. (Lecien fabrics are sold  in the US, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, & Europe.) In fact, for my first line, ' Celebration',  even though I hadn't included the color  (for a background) in my presentation,  Lecien asked if I would mind if they added a red colorway - as they knew that red did well in certain markets. I said, "certainly!", & sure enough - now I can't imagine the line without the red colorway!

Then after about two months - I get this wonderful overseas delivery from my UPS man. . .

Inside are paintings. . . yep, paintings that amazing ladies create of each of my designs.

This is the first step - to see how the design translated & the first color evaluation process.

. . . then sometimes - they offer options for background details &/or  other wonderful little detail options. . . (notice the shiny overlay on the bottom painting?. . . the overlay has options for the tiny flowers. . . See how they are a but different from the top painting?)

These decisions can be so difficult - as I often love both options!. . .

For this little lattice print - we were making changes to the tiny flowers in the secondary lattice intersections. (If you clock on the photo you might be able to see the tiny dots in the background (that I wanted) & also how we took some of the tiniest flowers in the bouquets to use as some of the secondary flowers. . .

Also,  notice the color bar at the bottom?. . . Those are all the colors that they are using for the print. I can check them to the colors that I originally sent them & easily make any adjustments if needed. (These also reflect the colors that you will eventually see on the fabric selvedge!)

Then, after looking over the samples. . . over. . . & over. . . & over again, I take all my notes & go back to the computer & make a list of all the comments & changes & thoughts (as well as many thank yous!) about this first round.
(. . . note my trusty assistant (to the left), exhausted after I went over everything with him & giving me his input. . .)

Then I send the paintings (although it's so hard to part with them!!), along with my notes back to Lecien. . . where they will next put it all together, then engrave the printing plates. . . 

. . .  & next. . . Strike-offs!

Hope you have a great weekend!

Monday, October 4, 2010

daybook ::31::

for today :: October 4, 2010

outside my window. . .   cloudy (made for wonderful walking weather this morning). . . & we might get some rain.

I am thinking. . . that this is going to be a very busy month! Four birthdays, Quilt Market preparations, & a few other milestones.

from the kitchen. . . coffee. . . so far. Just got back from traveling. . . & so a trip to the market is definitely a must!

I am wearing. . .  my walking clothes. . .  (it takes me a bit to change. . . I'm starting a bit slow today. . .)

I am creating. . .  computer-y stuff today . . . patterns & an annual report for an organization I do some graphic design work for.

I am remembering. . .  how much I love autumn.

I am reading. . .  'A Daughter's Dream' - by Beverly Lewis. . . (A sequel to 'A Mother's Hope'

I am hoping . . .  that I will get all the things/designs that I have in my head - done before Market. (still hoping that!)

I am hearing. . .  wind in the trees. . . don't think I would ever tire of that sound. . .

around the house. . .  My suitcase ready to be put away (for a couple of weeks), a stack of dyed wool waiting to be cut & made into bundles for Sample Spree, & I'm thinking that I can officially put out the fall decorations.

I am going. . .  to run errands & then get myself back into the studio. . . much to do!!!

one of my favorite things. . .  walks on a carpet of fall leaves.

a few plans for the rest of the week. . . finish up pattern writing, get things ready for shipping to Market, stitching, stitching & more stitching!

from my picture journal . . .

Oh my last day on my visit to my brothers in Minnesota, we (my brother & his wife & two daughters, & me) started the day with warm yummies at Starbucks & then we went to a nature preserve near their home & walked a couple of the trails. It was the perfect way to end my autumn visit. . . (which will now become an annual event!). Thankfully, my sister-in-law, Jodi, had here phone with her & took this photo. It is now my screen saver, & a reminder of a wonderful visit. . . . Oh my, do I ever love autumn!


Friday, October 1, 2010

… a bit of wonder

Oh my!. . . time is flying by this year, isn't it !?!  Here I was going to follow up with how my fabric designing process goes. . . & 'life' takes over. . .! 

I am "on the road" (so-to-speak) & I have hardly been able to even get caught up with my emails. . . Last weekend I went to the TNNA (The National Needlework Association) Needlework Market in St. Charles, MO (just west of St. Louis). . . just to check it out -  (I loved it!) - for the future. . . (more on that a bit later. . .!) My good friend (& Lecien colleague) Nireko, joined me & we had lots of fun visiting the vendors in their hotel suites. TNNA has four Markets each year & two of them are in large convention centers & two of them are held in hotels that have all suites & the vendors set up their products right there in their suites!. . . I loved the home-y feel of this option. . . I learned so much with this visit & Nireko & I did our fair share of boosting the economy!)

Since the weekend, I've been here in Minneapolis, MN - visiting my brother & his family & taking in the amazing autumn colors. Everyone here keeps telling me that the colors aren't as bright this year. . . but I'm in autumn - heaven. . . I think it's incredibly beautiful!  My brother & his family live  by a wetland preserve & there are wonderful trails that surround it. . . perfect for walks. . .

I took these photos with my iPhone (also used it for the Google mapping app that comes with it. . . to be sure I could find my way home!), as I forgot to pack my camera. . . (fall colors & no camera. . . what was I thinking?!) Next time. . . I will not forget.  I've also decided that this will now be an annual trip. . . I love autumn too much to miss it year after year. In Arizona we have what are lovingly referred to as 'winter visitors' (or 'snowbirds') - of the folks who live in the northern states - who come & live in Arizona for the winter months. I've decided that I am going to be an 'autumn visitor' of a 'fallbird' & go north each fall - just to see the colors. (. . . & I'm making plans & reservations already for next year!)

I only have one more day & then it's back home - where the temps have been in the high 90's - low 100's! this week! Dad & Bailey have been "holding down the fort", & although I brought stitching (& a quilt to bind!) with me - there is still bunches of things still to do to get ready for Market at the end of October.  (. . .of which I can hardly believe that it's already October!. . . I'm still trying to get used to the fact that it is was September!)

I promise that when I get back home - I will pick up with the fabric designing posts . . . Until then - I'm headed out to the trails at least a few more times. . . I figure I can get in a couple of more walks before I have to head for the airport.

Happy October everyone!