Now they're all here you can get a really good idea of the scale, and the way they play together.
(I've washed them all, but not ironed them, I was too eager to get them photographed and up on the blog! All the pics are taken in daylight, with no flash and unedited and the pics are pretty big so you can click on them to make them bigger and get a pretty good feel of the actual colours)
So, from left to right on the picture below;
you are here, steeping awakening (that's got metallic ink), thru the wire, the shambles, cottagely posy, clover field, pouring rainbows and sunday clippings
These are strike offs, not the finals from the factory - they're what you get before production starts, like a test print. So there were a few tweaks in a few places before everything has been finalised with the mill for printing, but it's all systems go now and my prints are well on the way - it's a crazy feeling. I can't quite describe it, and it doesn't feel like anything else. For me, in my job as a magazine editor, it's like I have the final piece of the puzzle. I know a lot about the industry, I have listened and learned as much as I can to help me do my job to the best of my ability and now I can say I know how it works from a fabric designer's point of view. How very important it is for the designers to get their fabrics out there, to be seen, for the magazines to help in whatever way they can to promote individual designers. Nothing sells fabric more than seeing it made into something and there's a lot of competition from all the designers to get their fabrics into magazines, to get the word out and to be seen. A lot of that work is done by the fabric companies themselves, but it doesn't hurt to try and push your own fabrics. That marketing side of things is something that you might not consider as part of a fabric designer's job - I've always known that it's helped if you push things along yourself but now I'm in those shoes for the first time it's quite daunting - and I'm fully appreciating how much more than 'just' designing is involved. It's a fantastic experience and I'm treasuring each moment of it as I learn something else about the industry.
I am over the moon happy with how the fabrics look and feel. They are even better than I imagined. It's quite tricky to make a design, print it as an illustrator image and then imagine it as a flowing item, with shadows, and movements. Especially because this isn't something I'd done before, so I was worried that the designs wouldn't work together (even though I printed them onto paper, cut them up, played around with them, changed the colours, changed the scale). It's quite nervewracking, and I had to do a deep breath before I opened the package with these inside, just in case they were really awful and not as I'd hoped!!!
The metallic print has come out so so SO good. It's really glittery, it reflects light so well. If you don't like metallic I'd still ask you to try it, because it's not in your face although it is just metallic ink on a cream background. It's not scratchy or stiff, it has washed up so well (this picture is after washing)
You are here, the map print, is going to be something I buy extra of to make sure I have a ton to hoard forever! It's going to be something I use to death. I'm a sucker for a texty print or a map, so I had to include one, didn't I?!
Thru the wire, you can see in the pictures, is a relatively small scale print. The yellow is a good rich cheddary (or maybe hotdog mustard) yellow. It's a tricky colour, yellow, and it involved a lot of discussion with Pat over how to get the correct shade and not lose that strong yellow tone. I was determined I didn't want anything too lemony or citrus, but then also I didn't want anything too mustard either. We have Pantone books at work (another benefit of working for a publishing company, it meant I didn't have to go buy a set myself!), and the cotton passport was like a bible. If you're planning on designing fabrics any time, I would recommend you buy yourself one. It's not cheap, but it's affordable at just under $500 if you want a universally accepted and recognised colour system. It makes the strike offs process way easier because you can communicate the Pantone colour numbers and it doesn't matter if you're in the North Pole or China, or anywhere in the world - Pantone numbers are Pantone numbers. The cotton system shows you how the Pantone colours look on cotton, rather than paper, because there's a huge difference (different papers also absorb ink in different ways...but that's a whole other story and I won't bore you with it right now).
The Shambles is small scale, it's a crazy bright pink, with that same yellow and cream. Love this print too, it's another one I'll be hoarding to death!
Cottagely Posy has come out way way way better than I imagined, although I loved this print, it was my second favourite floral after Sunday Clippings, I couldn't have hoped for it to be any better on fabric. It's going to be great in dresses (this is a knit too), I totally want to back a quilt or 2 in it, and bind stuff, and have it as pillowcases! The colours are amazing, they came out exactly how I hoped they would, but better, because (like I keep saying) fabric is so much better than seeing things on screen and referring to the Pantone colours to get an idea of how things will print.
Clover Field is medium scale, it's a half drop repeat and it's really designed for fussy cutting. I wanted to break up the more traditional feel of the rest of the collection with something that was a touch more modern and graphic, but still floral in it's overall feel. The background colour of this is a nice icy blue green. Even though it's more graphic than some of the other prints, it seems to calm stuff down a little and make things feel less floral floral floral (I don't think you can ever have too many florals, but I'm fully aware the rest of the fabric buying community might not agree with me on that one).
Pouring Rainbows is tricky to photograph to get the colours right - it's more low volume than I had imagined, which is actually a good thing. A happy accident, I suppose! Or maybe it's just because next to the more vibrant prints it's calmer and quieter. I think it'll get used so much with other collections and just make a perfect stash builder for when I want a low volume print that has a little something going on.
And then there's Sunday Clippings. I know this is my collection and I don't want to seem too braggy because that's horrible, but this print made me so happy now it's on fabric. Originally I was planning on making the print less like an obvious collage and colouring in all the background so there wasn't the white around the flowers, but I'm so glad I didn't (that was Pat - she suggested that leaving it as more of a collage would add extra interest, she is a wise lady!). The white lifts it and makes it look even more vibrant. It could have ended up being a little bit on the Granny side with all the navy and the flowers, but Pat's suggestion of leaving those white bits makes it. So thank you, Pat. You are a great mentor!
It's really something else to see your name on the selvedge. I'm pretty humbled by this, it's something I had never in my wildest dreams have imagined would happen. I feel a bit like I'm in a fairytale to be honest, and now I'm cutting into my fabrics to make quilts for my booth at Quilt Market it's slowly starting to hit me - this is real! (this picture is taken on my phone so it's a bit bleurgh compared to the ones I took with my camera)