The process is basically the same no matter what fabric manufacturer or quilt shop website I use, but this week I thought I would take a chance to show you how easy it is to create a bundle using Stash Fabric's website since they are kindly sponsoring the Burst Your Stash giveaway for #colorplayfriday!
Warning: the process and train of thought is a bit messy sometimes! However, I’ve found that StashFabrics color tool and design wall help me wrangle in my creativity.
I’ve taken Lorinda’s photo from our Past Palettes Pinterest board to work with in this example.
Step One: Color Picking
Creating the color palette is the best place for me to start, but how can I only pick 5-8 from the start?! (The Scope tutorial shows the color picking tool I’ve added to my Chrome browser.)
As I’m picking colors my brain has already started calling dibs on the favorites, but I try to remain impartial until I start looking at fabric.
Step Two: Establishing a Theme
Usually I have a theme I want to work within. For instance, for this picture I instantly thought of “Penny Arcade” by Cotton + Steel (insert link) so I started there, thinking I would go with a county fair sort of feel.
However, after a lot of browsing I started to notice my theme was morphing more into a “Summer Nights” sort of feel. So basically, I try to pick any place to start, but I also try not to get stuck on it or let it stifle me if another direction presents itself.
(For the record: My brain turned “Penny Arcade” and “County Fair” into two separate themes. Also “Summer Nights” had a break off as well.)
Step Three: Using the Tools on Hand
After I find some random fabrics I feel can work as a basis for a bundle I start using the color tool to help me narrow down my companion choices.
The color tool allows me to decide how important the color is, and how close it is to the color selected. Also, when you click on a fabric you can scroll to the bottom to see more specific colors found in that particular fabric -which is also quite helpful for the “off colors” and finding coordinating prints.
As I’m finding fabrics I’m clicking to add them to my Design Wall.
I tend to sort my Design Wall the same way I sort my color palette in my Google Drive document. Also, though it is a bit redundant, I copy and past all the fabric photos into my drive document so that I can see them next to the color. It is also helpful because once I’ve settled on “the fabrics” they are already in the palette ready to be tossed into the template.
Step Four: Finding my Direction
Usually in every palette I end up with several directions I can take the fabric bundle. I try not to narrow myself to only one, but instead, try to build both/all as I’m going to see which one wins!
As you can see in the photo above as well as the one below… I have three trains of thought!
Black Pen: Penny Arcade that I started with.
Blue Pen: Summer Time, county fair theme.
Red Pen: Summer night I really started leaning towards half way through.
I have 3 possible directions here, as well as some other filler fabrics that I like in case another inspiration fabric presents itself. At this point, I start vetoing fabrics that don’t absolutely speak to me or work with the three ideas I have going.
Then I sort my stash accordingly and move on.
Step Five: Survival of the Fittest
I add fabrics that speak to me and work out the bundles. Basically whichever completes itself is the winner and the one I use for that Friday’s challenge.
You can see in this last picture that some of the fabrics I picked kind of played with different bundles. Also, at this point in the selections, even though I had more fabrics in the summer night bundle (black pen) I realized that I really loved green apple bundle more (blue pen).
Had I finished this creating the bundle (instead of breaking to write this blog) I really would have started focusing more on the green apple bundle because I’m "feeling" it more.
Of course, I would have saved the other fabrics off to the side, just in case, but this is how I try to narrow myself down and focus. If I didn’t then I would spend days searching for the “perfect” fabrics and never find anything because I just love them all so much!
There you go, that is my fabric selecting creative process in a nutshell.
How do pick your fabrics? What is your creative process? I would love to learn how other people do it!
Feel free to send me links to your design wall on Stash, if you have one going! I’ve heard rumors that they are going to have special promotions having to do with the new sharing feature of their design wall so you might as well take a look and start playing around! (Seriously, send me links so I can look at your pretties!!!)