Tag Archive for fabric designer

$35 Custom Fabric Giveaway with My Fabric Designs!

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Earlier today I posted a tutorial for my Easy Tote using a half yard of my custom designed fabric from My Fabric Designs. While my other post focused more on the tote bag tutorial, I wanted to give more of my impressions of My Fabric Designs in this post.I chose to design my own fabrics.

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Before I got started designing, I ordered the Color Matrix, Color Guide, and Swatch Book so I could see and feel the different fabrics and see the how each color prints. Those tools were all well produced and helpful to have.

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I found the whole website easy to use and navigate. For my designs I began by creating a repeating pattern that I transferred to a wood block. I carved the pattern, printed it, then scanned that image into Adobe Illustrator. I used Illustrator to digitized the pattern and change the colors. Then I created a jpg file for each of the 2 fabric designs.

MFD-Woodblock

 

Once I had my two jpgs ready to go I uploaded them to the My Fabric Designs website. These two patterns use the same woodcut shows above but I chose different repeat options when I set up the pattern in the My Fabric Designs website so they look much different. You can also adjust the scale of your design within My Fabric Designs.The preview feature was great and it showed exactly what a swatch or several yards of fabric would look like. There are 26 fabric types to choose from cotton, jersey knit, crepe de chine, canvas, french terry and more!

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Once I had my designs ready to go, I hit order and waited for my fabric to arrive. The fabric itself feels beautiful and came out exactly as I had hoped. The color and scale were both just as I had previewed. In my final fabrics the colors look saturated and the image is crisp and clear. Because I started with a bit of a distressed design it was hard to tell if the fabric faded with washing at all, so I’ll have to test that again with a darker fabric in the future. Below you can see both of my fabrics after washing along with a small preview of what it looked like on screen before ordering.

Here’s the taupe fabric with the “mirror” repeat option:

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And the orange fabric with the “default” repeat option:

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Giveaway

Now you have the chance to win some fabric for yourself! Just comment below with your favorite fabric color and I’ll use random.org to pick a winner for a $35 credit to My Fabric Designs. Contest closes Saturday, April 16th at 11:59pm, EST.

Giveaway closed. Congrats to the winner, #90, Joy M!

I was provided with this fabric for free from My Fabric Designs, but as always, all opinions are honest and are my own.

 

Up & Coming Designer: Colette Moscrop

This post was written by Amy of www.13spools.com as part of our “Up & Coming Designer Program”, where we introduce you to some awesome, small-time fabric designers we’ve found! Read the program announcement here.

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Can you describe what your process looks like and what materials you use in your work?

My hand-printed textiles are designed and screen-printed in small runs in my home studio. My original hand drawn illustrations are translated from my sketch book to screen using a number of methods including traditional hand-cut stenciling. I print using water based inks in rich, bright colours that I mix myself to achieve perfect vibrant shades. It is this combination of colour blends and their juxtaposition in single or over-printed patterns, that creates the depth and space that is distinctive to my finished printed design. The base cloths I use are all natural fabrics – cotton, linen and linen/cotton blends, the textural characteristics of these enhance the quality of the finished piece. The environmental benefits of using 100% natural and sustainable fabrics is an essential consideration in my work.

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Where do you find inspiration for your work?

With a sketch book and camera close to hand, my inspiration can come from anywhere; crumbling architecture, the colours of nature, the ring left by a coffee cup…. I am drawn to pattern and colour and love to explore and interpret what I find. I don’t always know where the journey will take me, fluid, organic, geometric or abstract – I play around with pattern, scale and layout. I like uncomplicated, simple patterns that may start out as somewhat irregular in my initial rough sketches, but they will then surprise me when they come together perfectly in repeat and I arrive at a design that I love.

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I’ve been developing my own style over the last few years and I’m producing a selection of clean, modern designs that retain my original hand-drawn elements.

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How did you get into fabric design & printing?

My love affair with the creative process has been with me since I was a little girl. I spent many hours fascinated, watching my Mum make clothing for my brother and I. From an early age, I was at my happiest cutting, stitching and playing with fabric.

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I studied Fashion, Textiles and Jewellery at Art College; my first job was an exciting position making couture fashion accessories for a small designer company. My love of screen-printing came about after I attended a workshop by Lu Summers, arranged by the London Modern Quilt Guild. I was completely hooked by the process and started experimenting at home. I’ve received lots of advice and guidance from my brother, who is a long established screen printer (though not on textiles), which enabled me to improve my technique.

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My work is a reflection of my love of design, the screen printing process and my passion for creating handcrafted textiles. I can think of no better compliment than a panel of my fabric being chosen to be lovingly incorporated into another’s creation.

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If you loved these photos of Colette’s work, I encourage you to check her out – and buy her fabrics!! Here’s a fantastic list of places where you can find her:

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And don’t forget that you can look forward to, and follow, my (Amy’s) projects showcasing our up & coming designers’ fabrics in tutorials, pillows, quilts, and more at www.13spools.com!

Big Announcement! Up & Coming Designer Program

Today, we are proud to announce a partnership between Craft Buds and 13 Spools to bring you an awesome new program:

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Let’s face it, this industry is tough to get a foothold in, especially for aspiring fabric designers! But luckily, as sewers (and consumers of beautiful fabric), we have the power to lift up those artists who are truly amazing, even if they aren’t “big-time” yet.

For the next year, we’ll be following some awesome fabric designers. We’ll learn about their process, see samples of their fabrics, and what inspires them. Along the way, Amy of www.13spools.com will make some real life projects showcasing the fabric, so you can really get an idea of how they’ll look in your own work.

We encourage you to support these designers in the start of their journeys by using their fabrics, sharing about them with your friends, following them on Instagram, and by commenting on these posts with your feedback. And if you are a textile artist/designer with a unique body of work, but not yet signed with a fabric company, or know of someone who fits that description, please contact us!

Last but not least, we want to know – what part about the fabric design process are you curious about? Please leave a comment telling us what you’d love to hear about from the designers!

Fabric Design Q&A with Alison Glass + Giveaway!

Fabric designer Alison Glass Today we’re excited to welcome surface and space designer Alison Glass! Many of you know from her work with Andover Fabrics, and she is here today to chat about her journey in the industry and how she balances her creative work with family time. Read on, and be sure to enter the fabulous giveaway at the end of this post!

Alison, we’re so excited to have you as a guest at Craft Buds. Can you tell us a little bit about your career background how you got started as a licensed designer with Andover?

Thanks so much! I really appreciate it.

My background is actually in education. I was an art and classroom teacher before my daughter was born. I have always loved art, fabric, sewing, creating, and especially color. I started my home dec business when my second child was three. I was doing a lot of sewing and reupholstery for clients, using beautiful fabrics from the quilting industry, and at some point in that process realized that people make the designs that get printed on fabric. I became fascinated with the idea of creating those designs, especially the repeat and color part, and just started drawing. Chalk on the dining room walls was my favorite outlet!

It was a bit of a journey designing that first collection and figuring out how to present it to manufactures, and thinking back seems so wild to just show up at Quilt Market not knowing anyone, but that’s how it happened. It’s one of the best things I have ever done, just showing up. I met with a bunch of people and after much consideration ended up with Andover, which I am thrilled about. I adore working with them and appreciate their dedication.

Alison Glass quilt with fence

What is your design process like and where do you most often find inspiration?

As I reflect about what I’ve designed up to this point, I would say that I find a ton of inspiration in the details that surround me. There is so much beauty and interest in the world, making a conscious decision to see it creates a nearly endless stream of ideas and thoughts. I love the process of taking these glimpses of detail and translating them into my own ideas, colors, and patterns.

With each design I almost always start out with a sketch on paper, finalize the lines and repeat using tracing paper, then hand trace and color digitally. I like this process, and though it takes a bit longer, I feel that I have complete control over the art work and where each line is placed and how it moves. This is my favorite part of the work, the art.

There is a lot of new fabric on it’s way at this point: Sun Print, Clover Sunshine, Field Day, and some unnamed work that I hope will be super for garment sewing! I am really excited to get to see what people will make with these new designs.

Turtle Embroidery by Alison Glass

I know many fabric designers do other types of creative work as well. Do you have other crafts, hobbies or business ventures that help supplement your work?

Up until the last year I ran a small, local design business designing spaces and custom home dec pieces for clients. There was about a year or more overlap when I was doing both. Then last summer we moved to a new state, so I wrapped up that local business to concentrate on surface design and the quilting industry. I am definitely still in the process of figuring this out as a business, but I feel like things are moving forward pretty well. I am very lucky in that my true interests are very tied to this work, so what I am making for work and for fun are the same.

I have recently started selling super high-quality art prints, kits, and patterns through my online shop, which is something that has been in the works for a while. I plan to expand the shop, and am so happy to have it up and running. I am especially excited about the art prints, which I’ve wanted to do for a number of years, and a number of new patterns will release in July, including embroidery! As for freelance graphic design, although it’s not official, when people ask I am happy to help! I do love the artwork part the most!

Fabric designer Alison Glass

Is it hard to find a balance between your creative work and your personal or family time?

Well, the kids are just now out of school for the summer, so maybe check back with how I’m feeling about this next month! The noise-canceling headphones are helping at this particular moment! Seriously though, it’s a tricky thing, balancing work and home life.

I think good communication with the family is really important and necessary to make this sort of job work, and an honest assessment about the reality of one’s situation. If something isn’t working, you talk about it and make adjustments. Chris and I are both incredibly supportive of each other’s work and life goals, and we are also very lucky to have two fairly independent, responsible, and quiet/introverted kids. Anna is 11 and Jack is 9, so they are not so little anymore, which to me makes it easier. They have grown up watching both of us working very hard to create the life we want for us and for them. We have been very open and honest about that, and they seem to have a pretty deep understanding that to create the life you want takes a huge commitment paired with continual decisions to keep moving forward and live in the new/present with as much personal integrity as possible. “Live in the New” is a favorite phrase of mine. It’s about letting go of things that are holding you back and a deep focus on the current reality and what can be done with it.

These three that surround me are amazing individuals and truly make me want to work in a way that they will be proud of. This also means I can’t just ignore them and work all the time, which is my bent. I adore working, however even more than that my greatest desire is deep and good relationships with people, especially the ones I am with most of the time. For me, managing this is just taking things day by day and knowing that if something takes longer than I’d like, it’s probably for a good-and-larger-picture reason. I do get wound about stuff, and I’m working on getting better at letting things go.

Based on lessons you’ve learned in the industry, what is your best advice for an aspiring fabric designer?

Gosh, that’s hard, it depends so much on what someone is wondering. Generally, though I would have a two-part thought, which is a combination of diligently pursuing one’s interest in fabric design and also knowing that it’s not for the faint of heart. No one will ever know if it’s going to work or not if they don’t try, and though that sounds so obvious, it’s true. I spent longer than I should have wondering if a company would pick up my work. If anyone is serious about fabric design and wants to do it for the right kind of reasons, then it is worth trying.

That being said, it is a ton of work and time, and even more once fabric is in production. The commitment is huge, and knowing why you want to design fabric and where you want to go with it is key. If it is just kind of a fun goal for someone, that is one thing. If a person sees it as a career they are professionally pursuing, it is an entirely different commitment. I feel that overall fabric design needs to start with great artwork, repeat, and colors, and putting one’s best work forward it always key.

Text fabric by Alison Glass

Giveaway!

Alison is generously giving away a prize pack of goodies that are not yet available in stores! One lucky winner will receive:

– Fat quarter bundle of the new Feathers print from the Sun Print line
– Feathers Quilt Pattern
– Embroidery Pattern – Winner’s Choice
– Alison Glass Art Print – Winner’s Choice

Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

Alison glass fabric and prints

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thomas Knauer Q&A: Fabric Design and Modern Quilting

Today, we are excited to have Thomas Knauer, a great creative mind, fabric designer and writer! If you follow Thomas’s blog, you know that he openly shares insight into the industry, the sacrifices involved in running a creative business and the importance of creating art. Read on to hear more about how he balances his creative endeavors with family time, his upcoming book and more!

Thomas, thanks for visiting Craft Buds to share more about your work as a writer, fabrics designer and creator! Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how your work shifted to the textiles industry?

Until about five years ago I had spent my entire life in academia; I got graduate degrees from Ohio University and the Cranbrook Academy of Art, and taught art and design at Drake University and the State University of New York. In 2008, I developed a rare neuromuscular disorder and had to leave both academia and the traditional work world.

Once we got my illness managed, I decided to make a dress for my then almost 2-year-old daughter. At about that age everything for kids starts to have corporate tie-ins and I though I could certainly figure out a dress for her. So, I made one, and then another, and another and another and another. She loved them, and I loved that she loved them, so I was hooked.

From there I decided to give fabric design a try and just dove in. There was so much I didn’t have a clue about, especially the industry itself, but by then it was about 20 years since I started my career as an artist, and all of those years did a lot to really help me jump-start things here.

Market quilt by Thomas Knauer in “Thesaurus” fabric

What would people be most surprised to know about being a fabric designer?

There are probably so many things that would surprise people, to be honest. The most likely is how much fabric designers make: generally 1-2% of the retail cost of the finished fabric. Certainly fabric design opens up some doors—it certainly has for me—but it also involves a remarkable amount of work to do really well.

Like any business there are always trade-offs, and in the end I am glad to be doing it. Certainly, there are a lot of personal rewards; I truly love figuring out how to tell a story or approach a conceptual problem through fabric design. At the same time there are only so many hours in the day. If you want to make a living doing this, you are going to need to do a whole lot of different things, and expect to devote and insane amount of time to doing it. Heck, I wouldn’t be able to do this if my wife weren’t a professor.

Actually, my advice to anyone trying to break into this world would be to do it part time for years while still working a straight job, or have a partner who can supply that steady income; it is a long, long road.

Doppelgänger quilt by Thomas Knauer and quilted by Lisa Sipes

I’m excited to hear more about your book with F+W Media, due out next spring. Can you tell us a little more about the book conception and writing process and what that looked like for you?

In my head, this book is something of a sampler, not a set of blocks to make a sampler quilt, but a sampling of quilts that illustrate a methodology, a conceptual approach to modern quilting. The quilts don’t all look modern, so I’m not really talking about modern in strictly aesthetic terms; each of the quilts in this book is a response to a specifically modern (or even post-modern problem). Each quilt starts out with a problem, a concern, and issue and I figure out how to translate a response into a quilt. In all but one case, the quilts are practical, usable quilts; the book is about integrating our values, our concerns, and our worldviews into the things we make and our lives, wrapping ourselves up in objects that speak to others and ourselves. One of my QuiltCon quilts—In Defense of Handmade—was made for the book. I wish I could go into greater detail, but that’s going to have to wait until we get closer to the release date.

As far as writing this book, it was a total dream. I waited until I found a publisher who I though was a really good fit, and F+W has been fantastic; they have really supported the project all the way through and allowed me to make the decisions that I felt I needed to make. I was lucky enough to have Lisa Sipes quilt all of the quilts for the book, which has been incredible, and have had the support of some fabulous piecers to help me get all of the tops done in time (you’ll hear about them in the book).

The actual writing really was the best part for me; I am a writer by nature as anyone who visits my blog can attest to. I actually wrote almost the entirety of the book in two four-days bursts. For one of them I took off to Philadelphia to see my neurologist and then locked myself in a hotel until I had finished the first half of the book. I can’t actually remember where I went the second time, but I wrote the second half in much the same way. The really great thing about this book is that F+W gave me a word count that could never really ever fit in the book length we had planned on, and I have to believe they knew that. It meant that they just wanted me go ahead and write, which is what I love to do.

Of course there was a lot of editing and revising; there always is. That added about two more weeks to the writing. The thing about a quilt book is that the making takes up almost all of the time, at least for me; luckily that is kinda awesome too. But the writing, that is definitely a bit like heroin for me; I am addicted and already looking forward to starting the second, third, and fourth books.

Blast quilt by Rachael Gander in Thomas Knauer’s “Asbury” fabric

How do you find a balance between your creative work and your personal/family time? Do you have any tips for creative entrepreneurs in this arena?

Honestly, sometimes better than others. That is just the nature of things here in the fabric/quilt world. Things happen in spurts and you just have to put in the time when you have to put in the time. For a while at the start I think I did a pretty mediocre job of balancing things, but now I am starting to say no to more things. I’m in a process of cutting down to the core of things that truly matter to me in terms of what I do in this industry, especially now that we have a new baby, and K is getting to work on her second book.

As far as tips, oi… So much of that depends on your financial circumstances. If you can afford to take things slowly then do it, but not everyone has that luxury; when it is sink or swim, you gotta do what you gotta do. My biggest advice for being a creative entrepreneur is to have a safety net, to have it be part time until the very last minute, and to have several back-up plans. Passion is a prerequisite, but it just isn’t enough. I don’t mean to be all negative, but I think it is important to hear. If you really want to succeed, don’t jump in too early; that is the best way to keep enjoying what you do and to have the space you need to prepare for a successful entry into doing this full-time.

What’s next for you?

That is always a hard question because I rarely know for sure. We are going to be living in England next year (K has a fellowship at Cambridge) and I hope to spend much of my work time writing another book. And of course I hope there will be a lot more fabric. I have just started a partnership with Janome and am diving in headfirst into machine embroidery, which I have wanted to do for a while. More than just cure stuff, machine embroidery can do some things that would be otherwise impossible, and that is what I want to do, some utterly insane designs that no hand could really do, or at least not in less that a couple of years…

I’m thinking I am going to start moving back toward the gallery a bit more after a long hiatus. While I am still in love with practical and usable quilts (and won’t stop making those), I am finding that I have a backlog of textile and stitchery ideas that are truly best suited for the galleries I used to haunt.

Beyond that, who knows? I have a feeling this is going to be a year of change…

Thanks for the thoughtful interview, Thomas! You can stay in touch by following his blog.

What did you find most interesting from this post? If you have questions or comments for Thomas, feel free to leave them here!

Business Tips from Jennifer Paganelli, and her book Girl’s World

I had the privilege to interview fabric designer Jennifer Paganelli, the business woman behind Sis Boom. She’s a crafty mom who seems to do a little bit of everything!

Jennifer’s creative work includes sewing patterns and juicy, vintage-inspired fabrics (produced by FreeSpirit). We got to chat a little bit about her journey as a creative business woman, as well as her first book, Girl’s World, with 21 projects made for little girls!

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Jennifer, congrats on your first book, Girl’s World. Can you tell me a little bit about how this project came to fruition?

JP: Well I’ve always wanted to do a book for years and it just took time to find the right fit. I also am not a great sewer so I wasn’t certain I could do a how-to book, but then I found Dolin Oshea who is the technical writer and illustrator for Girl’s World and it was a marriage made in heaven!

How have you enjoyed the process of working on Girl’s World as compared to working on individual patterns or fabric lines?

Girl's World by Jennifer Paganelli Girl’s World is an incredible platform for me. Until now the vision I had set forth for Sis Boom had really never been seen. It’s colorful but decidedly vintage, and I wanted that to be the principle factor. The book coming to life reveals the sensibility that Sis Boom is all about. It’s about color, but also draws back to a simpler time.

What’s the general theme or idea behind Girl’s World?

The general theme is how to create a pretty room or dress for a certain occasion, all the while being inspired by that cozy nook in your home. I love that these dresses are all cotton and washable, not fussy or demanding.

Do you have a favorite project in this book?

I love the Josie dress. I love that it can be used as short or long and I love that it can be worn to the beach or fancied up for a wedding.

Sis Boom sneak
Aside from the cute Bosco Bowtie, can we look forward to any Sis Boom patterns for boys?

I love this question, and yes you will see more! Don’t forget the Sis Boom Louey Boxer as well as Carla Crim’s own collection of Scientific Seamstress items for boys.

You are an inspiration to moms who dream of having their own creative business, while balancing work with family life. Can you tell us how you’ve made it through the tough times?

You know I love highlighting other women and giving them a chance to shine because it can be so competitive out there and I think we are coming into a new time of more cooperation and sharing. Coveting keeps us lonely and isolated. Sharing is really the better route to a successful business. I have amazing and very talented women that work with me and pursue their own visions and dreams and they need to be supported in that.

Sis Boom sneak peek
What’s your best advice for an aspiring designer or handmade author?

Never give up! Don’t quit before the miracle and always count your blessings! There is room for everyone and you are right where you are supposed to be.

What’s next for you, Jennifer?

I am super excited about my next book Happy Home, to be published by Chronicle next year. I love my fabrics for fall, Crazy love and Super Fly! And I am so grateful to everyone for their love of Girl’s World, because it’s just the beginning.

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Thanks for the inspiration, Jennifer! You can check out the book here.

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