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!) 



paulette said...

WOW!! Who knew...? Incredible!! Thanks for sharing! Love the new line!!

Louise said...

The new line is absolutely yummy delicious and pretty too. Love it!

kshackabq said...

Brenda - It's been so interesting to learn about the fabric design process. Thank you for laying it all out for us to see. Congratulations, again, on your "Georgia Lou" line. Have a great time at market!

Chookyblue...... said...

I just found you from Market this a is gorgeous range and has special meaning to me with the name.......will have to find some.........