Back to School

Camp Pikaland

Back to School | This past month I started taking a class from Camp Pikaland | The Sellable Sketch, taught by Michelle Fifis of Pattern Observer and have discovered a few things that should have been second nature to me but for some reason didn’t click until Michelle pointed them out.

I have had hopes of designing patterns for fabric without really knowing who I am designing them for. Basically shooting arrows without a target but hoping to score a bulls eye. Luckily I have hit the target once without aiming but can clearly see that if I really want to design patterns, I need to know which industry I want to design for and who my audience is inside of this specific industry.

Which Industry?

I have decided to target the quilting industry and have learned how little I know about quilting and the industry.

My first research with keywords in Google produced results that were a bit discouraging for me. It all seemed so prepackaged and cute. This experience was a disappointment for me because I couldn’t see myself enjoying designing for it. I could it just didn’t seem like it would be satisfying.

This experience was a disappointment for me because I couldn’t see myself enjoying designing for it. I could it just didn’t seem like it would be satisfying.

This experience was a surprise and left me feeling really lost. The discovery that I knew nothing about the quilting beyond my personal experience with quilts made by my relatives. I tried quilting once and honestly I am not interested in the process at all. It seemed like a lot of work for a blanket.

During my research, I did discover an amazing series of quilts from Gee’s Bend. The quilts are amazing and worth a look. This discovery was the highlight of my research for this lesson.

At the beginning of the chat session for lesson 2, I didn’t know what or who I was planning on targeting with my pattern designs. During the chat, Michelle recommended trueup.net. What a great blog. I went to the blog looking for current trends and found a side of fabric design that I was excited about. It was refreshing and I felt like I could fit into this world. This is a new world that I want to discover.

It was refreshing and I felt like I could fit into this world. This is a new world that I want to discover.

I am going to continue designing fabric for quilting and I am really looking forward to digging deeper and discovering the great designers and their work.

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9 Responses to Back to School

  1. Karen says:

    I remember the quilts of Gee’s Bend from the postage stamps that came out last year? As a fabric addict/hoarder that trueup site could be my cocaine fix or downfall…
    I foresee marvelous things for you in the material design venue. You are a talented natural. Can’t wait to see the magical things you’ll make.

  2. julie crews says:

    I have a clothing designer friend who lives in L.A. When we met in Salt Lake City, she longed for the fabric shops of Southern California that she knew so well. She has since been able to return and I wonder why the whole world won’t demand less mind-numbing design. Why do we need to fly to L.A. when there is a (fill in major fabric chain here) nearby. Why does the fabric at Wal**** have to be so , wow, fill the blank in with whatever negatively-charged adjective that comes to mind? It will be alright. We have people like you, who will doubtless change the world. And people like me who will continue to refuse shopping at W.

  3. Cassie says:

    I am always attracted to the well designed prints in the store. I can tell which ones had real thought put into them. I crave good color and patterns for grown-ups not just babies. I love your illustrations. You might like designer Alexander Henry’s work: http://www.ahfabrics.com/
    I hope you make some waves in that industry!!!

  4. David A. Molanphy says:

    “I tried quilting once and honestly I am not interested in the process at all. It seemed like a lot of work for a blanket.”

    I’ve often wondered myself why quilting is so popular but that just goes to show how ignorant I am on the subject. A great reminder to remember the audience you’re designing to. Thank you again.

    (More tuts please!)

  5. I have on my list of favorite artists this girl I found who has broken into the textile industry and offers insight into the process. She apparently even wrote a book about it. She designs for quilts, and her patterns are cute but unique, they show the work of a true artist and not just someone with a hobby. I highly reccomend looking at her website, she seems to be doing a very successful job in this market, and from what I’ve observed of your style of art, I think you would like her work. http://lizzyhouse.typepad.com/lizzyhouse/

  6. Her work may also seem “cute” to you, but I found it a refreshing change from what you normally find in stores.

  7. Lindsay says:

    gees bend quilts are so beautiful, especially when combined with the stories behind them. quilt market is coming up in a couple weeks in houston–always a great place to meet people and make connections in the fabric industry!