7.11.2012

Cultivating ‘Cultivate’ with Clothworks

I have some incredibly exciting news to share with you. Clothworks has licensed me to create a line of fabric based on a Doodlespark drawing!  I don't know where to begin telling of the story of how this came to be ...  Suffice it to say that I have been working with the lovely ladies at Clothworks for many years to come up with the right collection at the right time. With production in process, I can finally say that this journey has come to fruition. Pop a bottle of champagne! Dance around the room with me! Hooray for ....

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CULTIVATE !! 

Of the many drawings my mother and I have created over the years, Cultivate has been close to my heart. As with all our drawings, we made notes on the back each time we exchanged. I wrote in August, “ … thinking of my beautiful mom just before her birthday, imagining her across the table from me; at home together as if neighbors, easily, with laughter and tea.” My mother noted in December that the drawing felt like “ ... pieces of a puzzle coming together. pieces of now becoming pieces of something later : the unknown, trusting it more as time goes by.”.

While one of the most popular of our designs, it is also one of the most complicated. My mother and I drew this completely unaware that we'd be sharing it publicly, nevertheless having to extract motifs and create color ways from the tangle of sketchy lines and overlapping tones. My Photoshop skills were tapped, drained, and re-tapped in preparing just the main pattern for reproduction. Every single instance of a given color had to be isolated and assigned a layer. It felt like a million hours passed as I teased out tones and defined edges, mapping over 2 dozen colors and then simplifying them into a refined palette, all while preserving the hand-drawn quality of the collaborative work. What a challenge you are, Lady Color! I am still getting know your shifty personality and fickle disposition.

When Clothworks asked me to transform this drawing into a fabric suite, I knew it would be a challenge, but it was an opportunity I simply couldn’t pass up. I can’t thank the team at Clothworks enough for their invaluable pointers along the way.  I generated so many variations on a theme for each pattern and every time I submitted a version, the constructive criticism I received was prompt and nurturing. I grew so much as a designer during this process. I admit, I was not used to working in color, not used to designing for committee approval ( here at loop, it's Me, Myself, and I and it's not a good day when we don't all agree ... ), and not used to designing for the quilting / home dec market. Clothworks' patience with and commitment to this collection helped me bring out the best the drawing had to offer and made me rise to the occasion as a professional.

So now, all of the patterns are off to the sales reps for pre-orders. Clothworks will be presenting Cultivate strike-offs at Quilt Market in Houston in the Fall, and the collection – 5 patterns in 3 colorways - will ship before the end of the year! The fabric will the available through local retailers, a list of which will be posted on the Clothworks site.

Is this really happening?! What do you think?! I simply cannot wait to get my hands on samples - and to get some sewing skills to match my imagination. I'll keep you posted!!

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2 comments:

Betz White said...

Big HUGE Congratulations, Elissa! This is beyond my expectations drop-dead gorgeous! Love love love it! I'm so happy for you!

turquoiseautumn said...

So beautiful, Elissa! Lovely to see this come to fruition! I'm so excited for you, proud of you, and love you dearly!!! Yayyyyy!!!