Here are answers to a few questions you submitted. I won't cover all questions here, but hope to get to remainder soon. Some questions were covered in earlier discussions. Don't miss class!
Q: How do you decide on fabric? Do you use something you have on hand or go shopping? How do you choose the fabric company or manufacturer?
A: Great question! I often make a basic fabric decision when I begin the design. My software allows me to put the background color on the computer screen. Thread color choices really change with varying backgrounds, so it helps to know if you're designing for a light, dark, bright, or specific colored fabric.
Then I get more specific on fabric choice when I'm ready to stitch the model. Yes, I still stitch ALL of my own models. A great deal of change/creativity occurs when I move the design from the screen to needle and thread. Twould definitely be easier to use a model stitcher, but the designs wouldn't be the same. You can usually find me stitching (working!) in the evenings.
One perk of being is a designer is that manufacturers will send you supplies at no charge. When I began 20 years ago sample fabric would just arrive in the mail - unsolicited. Now I have to call and request what fabric I would like. Sometimes fabric companies send info about new fabrics being released, but rarely send the actual fabric until I request it. Fabric is expensive, as you all know. If there are fabrics that I'm not using, I usually donate them. I try to weed out fabrics that are discontinued so I won't accidentally use them for a model and cause confusion.
If I have a "fabric emergency" and NEED a fabric for immediate stitching, then I visit my LNS (Heart's Desire in Wichita, KS) and buy something she has on hand. Sometimes you just NEED fabric in a hurry!
Q: How about threads and embellishments? Do you keep a good stock on hand?
A: Pretty much same answer as above regarding fabric. Thread companies are good about sending new color releases. As I use my threads for models, I request replacement threads from the source (at no charge). I'm super careful with my threads (as my fabric) and try to be respectful of what I've been sent and not waste anything. I have accumulated a nice stash of embellishments over the years. The tricky part is finding what I'm looking for. I have embellishments sorted by buttons, charms, beads, etc.
When we moved to our new home last summer I had to completely reorganize my needlework stuff, and I'm still searching for a few things. When organizing my supply closet was just one part of organizing the whole house, it was overwhelming. Now, after almost a year, I need to clean out my office supply closet, reorganize, and hopefully find some lost treasures. Heck, I even found a few things tidying up for these photos (yes, this is "tidy"). Both pictures above are thread stashes.
Q. Where does your inspiration come from and how do you start - events, sayings, family....?
A. All of the above! First, I keep a schedule of releases for a year at a time. I've been doing this for many years and it helps me stay on track. I pencil in themes of things I want to do, and what month. Generally I release new things every 2 months. Then I pencil in things I do every year...like Tiny Tidings, annual Snippet Santa, Flora's Christmas collection, etc and make sure they're not forgotten.
As I'm planning a year's worth of cross stitch, I try to do designs from my variety of formats...charts, Snippets, Flip-it series, kits, Boxers, etc....something for every shop and every stitcher. Some shops love kits, and some can't sell them. Some shops go crazy with Flip-it series. You get the idea.
Inspiration comes from seasonal stuff, themes I want to explore, things/sayings you've requested, things happening in my life, a saying I happen to see here or there, trends in decor (like right now, beachy stuff is really trending)...everything.
Next class, I'll cover more about the business end of designing. You sent some really good questions about printing, distribution, legal stuff, copyright infringement...all the nitty gritty, day to day of the design biz. Very little time is actually spent in front of the computer doing new designs...who knew, right?!
Class dismissed...GO STITCH!!!