Fabric8 Finalists + Advice For Creating Fabric Collections

MAY 10, 2012 updated Apr 26, 2021

Fabric8bWe're very excited to announce the top eight designers from a pool of 100 semifinalists in the Fabric8 competition from Spoonflower and Robert Kaufman Fabrics. Close to 7,000 people from all over the world voted for their favorite designs among the semifinalists.

The Fabric8 are:

  1. The scented garden by cjldesigns
  2. Dappled Migration by kayajoy
  3. red_poppies by valley_designs
  4. Afternoon Tea by heatherdutton
  5. Water flowers by snowflower
  6. Watercolor_blooms by sberrens
  7. Butterflygarden by mahoneybee
  8. Painted_Petals by anderson_lee

View the Fabric8 on Spoonflower

All of these designers are being asked to create a collection based on their winning entry. The collection will include seven additional fabrics, and in the final voting round the world will have a chance to cast one vote for their favorite collection of the eight starting on June 7, 2012.

As the Fabric8 get ready to undertake the challenge of creating their own collections for the first time, we asked the creative team from Robert Kaufman Fabrics to provide a little guidance and advice on what they look for in a collection. For all of the talented designers who competed and didn't make it to the final round, we thought it would be worthwhile to share these tips from the professionals:

Guidelines For Creating a Fabric Collection

Your collection should consist of eight different patterns in total, including the design you've already submitted. A loose formula — from which you are free to depart —  for an effective coordinated print fabric collection (especially for the quilting market) is to include the following:

  • A focal design (large scale, multicolor, complex, often includes a combination of motifs from the rest of the line)
  • A secondary design (medium scale, multicolor, often includes some of, but not all the same motifs as in the focal)
  • Small-scale multicolor coordinate (often isolates one motif found in the focal and makes it an all-over pattern of the single motif or single type of motif)
  • Tonal or two-tone or tone-on-tone coordinates (can be any scale – perhaps offer several)
  • A mix of geometric motifs and organic motifs (ie, florals and polka dots or stripes)

The prints should feel related to one another, which is most easily achieved by repeating motifs throughout the different designs, but can also be achieved through color alone, with otherwise completely unrelated patterns.

  • There should be a variety of scale amongst the patterns.
  • There should also be a variety of value amongst the patterns.
  • Offer a variety of ground coverage, which means that some patterns should lean towards the full coverage end of the spectrum, with motifs overlapping and covering as much of the surface as possible, and other patterns should be more openly spaced with more ground showing through between the motifs.

When we go into commercial production on a collection we usually run designs in several color-ways and often create several cohesive color stories, but your final collection for this contest should tell just one color story. It should be cohesive and coordinated, while still offering variety.

[To see all of the 100 semifinalists, see our previous blog post.]

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