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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