One of my favorite things in life has to be fabric.  I have a huge collection of it, stashed away within the walls of my house.  I keep corresponding patterns, hoping that one day my sewing skills will get magically better and I can create gorgeous wearable art.

A while ago, the fabric store here closed.  It has since reopened in a new location, but for a few months we were sans a place to run in and get buttons, notions or for me to simply walk around and look at all the visual inspiration.  Grim times, I tell you.  Being in a fabric store immediately fills me with joy, and I nearly always wind up in florals, looking for interesting (read: brightly colored) designs.

Let me step back now, and tell you that a few years ago when I was living in Virginia a site called Spoonflower was in its infancy.  I got into the beta and did a quick sample of a cool design I made in apophysis, which is fun fractal software.  After uploading it to the Spoonflower, I got a sample that I was thinking I wanted to sew onto a black apron as a patch.  It was a funky, spark of orange and red flame on a black background, but it came out faded.  Included was a handwritten note apologizing and explaining that black backgrounds were the hardest to print and they were still perfecting it.  Though I was a little disappointed, I didn't think much of it.  I was moving and planning my wedding at the time, and that scrap of fabric got pushed into a box someplace.

Back to now:  I rediscover Spoonflower, and they are awesome.  Not only is there fabric on there, but they've expanded to include wallpaper, gift wrap and decals.  I drew a design on a piece of cardstock with watercolor medium, ink and pencil.  I uploaded it and play around with the options, deciding on a mirrored repeat.  After ordering a fat quarter, I wait for it to come in the mail.  When it does, I note what I like and what I don't and go back to it.  It's a fun process.

Rinse and repeat.  I haven't tried a black background again yet, but the grey background on one of my fabrics came out beautiful and nuanced, just like in my original design.  I think it's a fair bet to say they've fixed any problems.

So I'm still learning, but right now I'm loving Spoonflower.  I've gotten four of my designs so far, and it's been a blast working on them.  Some of them need to be reworked or tweaked a little before I think about selling them.  I'm pretty busy at the moment, so they aren't a priority, but I wanted to share them with you.

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