Sunday, November 22, 2015

Eat Your Vegetables: A Pattern Project Nine-ish Months in the Making

Today I wanted to talk about the creation of this veggie pattern I made because, as a creative dabbler, this is how things usually work for me... slowly but surely over a long, long time. 

Sometimes I find this really discouraging--the fact that sometimes I just don't have the time and attention span to create whole collections or see things through in a reasonable amount of time (what's "reasonable" anyways?). But sticking to something... even if it takes nine months is still a completely worthwhile and rewarding process. So here we go:

Waaaay back in the early Spring, when we were block printing up a storm, my favorite collaborator, husband and lover of all things gardening and vegetable-ly carved these sweet block prints. I immediately felt like they would make an awesome garden-inspired pattern.

(If you know Kevin, you know that he is obsessed with his garden and is known to be found on any given day out in our back yard collecting a horde of tomatoes as well as eating greens plucked straight from various plants... carrots, peas, lettuce, beets, basically anything.)

Some unspecified amount of time later (May maybe?) I finally got around to printing and scanning them. Here's what the prints looked like when cleaned them up using my computer:

The radish was definitely my favorite. Again, possibly weeks/months later (and after hassling Kevin to carve me a carrot), I finally started playing around with them in Illustrator, added some appropriate colors, and here's the half-drop, repeat pattern I ended up with:

Now we're somewhere into the Fall... maybe late September... I used Spoonflower to print out two yards of it on their basic combed cotton with two particular projects in mind... a blanket and a pillow cover for a specific, farm-y room we're working on (I know, the suspense is killing you right???). 

Here's what the fabric looked like along with other fabrics I picked out for the room. 

And TADA! After months in the making, and a lot of sitting around and doing other things like going to work and taking well-earned naps, the pillow cover and blanket were finally done. (The blanket is back at the top of the post). For the pillow cover, I used the envelope-back method because I like to be able to wash things, but zippers are hard...

For both projects, I chose to use a gold minky fabric for the backs and let me tell you... I'll be happy if I never delve in to using minky EVER AGAIN.

A Brief Aside About Sewing w/ Minky:

One, use safety pins, many many straight pins and a walking foot. Two, use a long stitch length. And three, give yourself an extra hour or two to calm down after you stop tearing your hair out. THEN PUT IN MORE PINS!

End of Aside.

Anyways, as I continue (in obvious fits and starts) to do more better, I felt like this was an important process to share, because I have to remind myself... it's ok if it takes me nine months to go from concept to finishing a final project. I can't get discouraged because I'm a little ADD when it comes to stuff and the past nine months have been particularly crazy.

Sometimes out there in the cyber-insta-world it feels like other people are just cranking out amazing stuff left and right... and that is totally cool if they are. But I'm a person with a crazy, full-time job and a lot going on, and I feel like it's so important not to compare my output to full-time professional sewers/bloggers/artists.

So, I'm celebrating the completion of these small, very personal projects, taking a breather... and then jumping in to the next project!

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