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!



Carrie P. said...

I can't even imagine how much time goes into the designs for fabric.

Karen said...

I can see that all of your hard work (and some fun I'm sure!) paid off. What a beautiful fabric line.

"Fond Wishes" is simply gorgeous!

Sewn With Grace said...

I love reading how the process works. I'm so thankful that you get it all since it seems so complicated to non-tech savvy me. Such beautiful fabric, you are so talented!

Amy, a redeemed sheep said...

Thank you for showing us what you are doing. I find it facinating!

Louise said...

Lucky me all I have to do is venture into my favorite quilt shop and purchase! I love th first Durham Anew line. So lovely!

Samantha said...

I love seeing your design process, and I can't wait to see the finished product. The gray checkerboard in Photoshop makes me cross-eyed too! I wish they could come up with something else!