Designing Fabrics- Harder Than It Looks

I’ve been promising you guys I’d write this post for a while now.  “When I get the collections to where I’m happy with them.”  …turns out that has been a far more arduous process than I expected.

Typically color is my thing.  I can look at your dress once and find you coordinating shoes without you taking the dress out of the bag again (though you probably will, because you won’t believe that the color I’m pointing at will be just right).  This is different.  For one thing, there’s the aspect of all of this being on a computer.  Every computer monitor displays things at least slightly differently, and then when you go to print things out, you’re liable to get yet another set of colors.  Freehand picking colors doesn’t tend to work out so hot as a result.

Another part of it is the quilting aspect.  I don’t really quilt, so learning about lights, mids, darks and how they all tend to be integrated is brand new to me.  Here I thought I was just going to be able to make a bunch of pretty fabrics that had complementary colors and call it good…

The Watch and See collection is to a place where I think I’m happy with calling it ready to go.

If you click through to my first post on these fabrics, you’ll see how many small alterations I’ve made.  The whole collection got broken into two, distinct colorways, most of the patterns got smaller to make them more suited to quilting, and some new prints got added.  …it only broke my heart slightly to admit that no matter what I did, that orange that looks so lovely with the purples, was never ever going to play nicely with the lime green.

So then we move on to my second collection.  Brace yourself, this version is ugly.

  I’m currently on the third color pallet for this line.  (The pic above is of the second)  The first was free-hand picking, and while I loved loved loved how some of the individual prints turned out, I just couldn’t get the colors to play nicely together like that.  The one above was my grabbing two pallets off of a color pallet generating site and deciding they could work together because they both contained the “neutral” teals (I should know better).  I kept building and building, adding more prints, hoping that I was just missing some piece to make things come together, but after banging my head against it long enough that I needed to take a break, I realized that it’s just muddy.  …there’s also way too much negative space in the daisy and snow cathedral prints.
  So now the line is coming together like this:

…I still have a lot of work to do.  I’m pleased with the cabbage rose prints, but the daisies aren’t quite right yet.  I’m also not sure the yellow cabbage rose print is exactly what I want.  I’d prefer a darker blue background I think, but the blue I really like for it drags it pretty quickly away from the “light” category into a mid and I’m left with no light cabbage rose…

So this is what I do in the moments between prying the children off the ceiling and trying to sneak a moment or two of sleep in.

I do have a handful of little sewing projects that I’m doing a seam or two on every once in a while, so I’ll get those up as soon as they’re completed.  Hope all of you are doing well!  I’d love to hear from you guys now that I’ve fallen off the edge of the world… leave me a comment!

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