Monday, May 16, 2016

Getting to Summer Bliss, The Story Behind My New Fabric Collection

I love fabric. The colors. The designs. The texture of it. The smell of it under a hot iron. Sewing was one of the first creative pursuits I delved into when I started focusing on living a more creative life. At first I never dreamed of being able to design my own fabric, but eventually a tiny spark of a wish ignited into something bigger.

I printed my first Spoonflower swatches in October of 2014. I didn't design anything for those first attempts, but simply tiled some of my images. The resulting fabric was boring and I realized I'd need to do a bit (truthfully, a lot) more learning before I'd be able to design my own fabric.

And it did take a lot of learning. To understand how to create a seamless repeat. To be able to fluently use design software.*

The whole process has been slow for me. I didn't want to rush. I still have a lot to learn and I need to spend more time creating patterns before I'll have a larger body of work to share (you'll notice that although I've been designing patterns in Illustrator and created many for Spoonflower's Design a Day Challenge, my new collection doesn't include any of my patterns created with that program).

That being said, I am so excited to finally unveil Summer Bliss, a new collection created from my watercolor paintings:


The Summer Bliss collection is inspired by the joy of summertime and the magic of my garden:


The sun is warm on your face. Breathe and you're met with the scents of soil, herbs, roses. Bees buzz around the lavender. A hummingbird zooms past, vying with butterflies for sips from the nasturtiums. A soft breeze ruffles the maple leaves overhead and creates a kaleidoscope of orange-glinted ripples in the pond. Grass tickles your bare feet. You bite into a cherry tomato and savor its warm, delicious tang. Nothing is a sweet as a summer afternoon in the garden.

It's made up of eleven coordinating designs.

Summer Bliss, Fabric design, Spoonflower, garden fabric, veggie garden, herb garden, vegetable fabric, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

I think this collection is such a great reflection of my aesthetic. My paintings translated into fabric. And I think the designs truly capture the beauty and joy of summertime.

summer, flowers, tomatoes, joy, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Summertime is filled with gardening and flowers, tomatoes and herbs, soft breezes and butterflies. And so is my Summer Bliss fabric collection.

Summer Bliss, fabric design, butterfly fabric, watercolor designs, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

There are a few different groups within the collection that coordinate well together. The veggies and herbs. The butterflies. And then there are a few that stand alone.

Summer Bliss, fabric design, goldfish fabric, maple seeds, roses, watercolor designs, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

The collection captures the bliss that is summertime

gardening, tomatoes, summer, joy, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

and because of that, I think all of the designs play well together.

fabric design, watercolor fabric design, Summer Bliss, Garden themed fabric, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

The collection is now available in my Spoonflower shop. There are many substrate options from a variety of different cottons (including lawn and canvas), satin, knits, crepe de chine, pique, faux suede and even silk (see all the options here).

If you're curious about how Spoonflower works and want to learn a bit more about their history and the fabric they print, check out Abby Glassenberg's podcast on While She Naps where she talks with Stephen Fraser, the co-founder of Spoonflower.

I'm dreaming of creating a simple patchwork quilt with my swatches and some solids in coordinating colors. It's been so long since I've done any sewing. I'm itching to get back to it. Plus there's the goldfish pajamas that I've been talking about making... Guess I better get busy.

What about you? Do you have any sewing projects in the works? I love to hear about people's favorite sewing patterns.

And if you sew with any of my designs, I'd love to see what you create!



*I've taken various classes online as I've learned. If you're interested in creating your own fabric you might want to try some of them:


The classes were so helpful. Creativebug's series was full of inspiration, but helped me less with the technical aspects of using the computer programs. The Skillshare classes were invaluable in helping me to get comfortable using Photoshop and Illustrator. They're such HUGE programs with many ways of doing things. Every class I've taken and every tutorial I've found online has given me one more tool to use and sometimes a whole toolbox worth.

The Spoonflower Handbook and Spoonflower's video tutorials are also helpful if you want to upload and print your designs.

Happy designing!

10 comments:

  1. I'm meant to be on a blogging break but just had to pop in Anne! Congratulations on your gorgeous fabric line. As soon as I saw the patterns I envisioned silk scarves. They are unmistakably Anne Butera designs. I look forward to seeing your fabric design collections grow over the coming years. Oh...I forgot to say how much I enjoyed this post and the stunning photos too! :)

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    1. Thank you, Simone! I'm honored that you dropped in during your break to leave me a note. :)

      You're right about the silk scarves. Wishing I had the budget for silk so I could make some.

      Have a lovely rest of your week!

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  2. I am so excited about this Anne!! Amazing!! Thank you for sharing your talent with us.
    Carla

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    1. Oh, thank you, so much, Carla. I'm glad you like the fabric and I so appreciate your kindness and encouragement. :)

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  3. Such pretty summer inspired fabrics. Unfortunately, sewing is one of those skills that I never learned. I can barely keep a button on my son's school pants. (Thankfully, today is the last day he has to wear them. He graduates high school the end of the month and is off to college in August.)

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    1. Thank you, Tammy!

      Congratulations to your son. Such an exciting time for him. Is he going to be going far away to college? I bet you'll miss him!

      I guess all of us have crafts and skills we never have managed to learn. I still keep thinking some day I'll learn to knit and overcome my clumsiness with embroidery, but maybe I'm just fooling myself.

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  4. Hi Anne, Thanks again for including my class in your roundup. I'm so happy to hear my watercolor surface pattern design class helped you. Your patterns are beautiful! I'm in the midst of opening my own Spoonflower shop as well. I can't wait to receive my first samples!
    Best,
    Jenn

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    1. Hi, Jenn! Thanks for the inspiration and for your generosity in sharing what you've learned. Best of luck with the debut of your fabric!!

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! :)

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  5. I keep peeking at this collection on Spoonflower.
    At some point it will become irresistible.
    Then I will order some.
    xo

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    1. :)

      I need to order some myself. I just need to decide how much and which fabrics. I have SO many ideas and plans. Need to get my butt in gear.

      I'd be delighted if you ordered some and even more delighted to see what you end up creating. You've been sewing up some lovelies of late and I am always happy to see what you've been up to.

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