Tuesday, September 24, 2013

SEWING SUMMIT 2013 = Pat Bravo-Learn to design fabric

Hi Everyone!

I just got back from a very fun Conference, called, Sewing Summit. This was the third year it has been in existence. And the first year that I've attended. Why haven't I heard of this before?! It is so much fun meeting other sewers/bloggers from all over the US and Canada! (probably other places, too) So many "like" minds in one place, makes for a great weekend!

I was able to buy a ticket from a person, who couldn't attend...Lucky ME! And I was going thinking I wouldn't know anyone! That quickly changed when I found out that a friend, who I've know about 20 years said that she was going! Her name is Christa Watson and she blogs at Christa Quilts. Her website. So, we roomed together!
Here are Christa and Me sitting in the Open Sewing room at the Summit. Each night there was time to sew something, Christa was working on a chevron quilt. I was watching! (hehe)
There were over 60 Bernina machines!
Prior to she Summit, there was a BUZZ of fun stuff going on...women organizing a scrap swap, gift exchanges, flickr fun, and of course.... a lot of talk about making new bags and clothing for the summit. So, I got onto the band wagon and decided to make a bag. I had all of the materials I needed. I bought the pattern from Heart to Hand, the "Earthly Elegance" Bag at the Long Beach Quilt Festival in 2012, and I've been wanting to make it, ever since...so, this was a good reason to get it done! Here it is!

These are all of the materials, before I started.....and.....
Here is the finished bag! I love it! All of the buttons were vintage! It can hold a lot, too. The bottom is about 6" x 14" SO,  it holds a lot!
This is one of the classes I attended (come back tomorrow for more!):

Pat Bravo
Now, I was so excited to attend this class, because I have been sitting On-the-fence for a LONG time about designing fabric! I have everything it would take to accomplish this and still I sat. Well, after Pat's class, I felt like I could "step off" of the fence!!!

Sampling of Pat's Fabric Designs
This is what I learned:
Create a Mood Board
  • Pat uses Photoshop Illustrator to create her designs. She doesn't hand paint anymore.
  • She said to think about what I like most and to design that. She loves flowers, so flowers are found in abundance in her fabric lines.
  • Clip what I love and Pin what I love on Pinterest. Create boards and collect what I love...eventually, I will find what I love! She pins fashion, feelings from models, color, etc. into collections and goes from there.
  • Choose the name of the "line," it triggers inspiration.
  • Choose a color story. (see photo above)
  • Start with a concept. (what kind of girl, clothes, would she wear?)
  • Sketch your designs.
  • A collection can be anywhere from 5-20 different prints.
  • Collections can have 1, 2 or 3 different color ways. (the same designs with different colors)
  • Use Large, Medium and Small designs in the collection for interest.
Create a LAYOUT:
  • GRID-straight repeat, always aligned and forms a square
  • BRICK by Row/Column-half drop
  • HEXAGONAL-clustered
  • ALL-OVER-tossed
  • FREE FLOWING-different groups of motifs in different layers
Pat shared the books that help her with color. Here is the collection she recommends.

Color Scheme Bible, Neutral Color Schemes, Complete Color Harmony, Color Your Home
This is what makes up a good fabric collection:
  • Needs to be Dynamic and interesting to the eye.
  • Needs to have some color contrast between prints.
  • Have "static" repeats as well as prints with movement.
  • needs to serve the purpose of a fabric collection for quilting, sewing apparel and home decor.
Here is a photo of how Pat showcases her prints, in a "mock up" photo.
Notice how she shows how the prints look on models, bedding, and bags?

Here are Pat's 5 rules:
1. You have to design following your heart!
2. You have to love the colors you work with!
3. You have to deliver each and every time!
4. It takes practice, so be patient!
5. Always know the audience you are designing for!

I hope you enjoyed my synopsis of Pat Bravo's Fabric Design Class, please stop by tomorrow for 
more ..."GETTING PUBLISHED" by Ellen March from the "Sew It All" PBS show.

If you are interested in learning more about fabric design, please click on the sidebar on 
How to License your Art!

Have you ever wanted to design your own fabric, make a comment, I'd love to hear if you found your way "off the fence!"
(Comment area is just below this blog)


  1. I've been wanting to design fabric, but just don't know how to get started, your blog really helped me. thank you so much!

  2. Thanks for the great notes! I'm sad I was in another class at the time.


Thank you for your comments! I really enjoy what you have to say!