Where are they now?

Sandi Henderson is a busy lady. Not only does she have a new line of fabric out with Michael Miller (some of which is selling out fast), but she has a creative blog, http://portabellopixie.typepad.com/, a line of children's clothing patterns and is working on her second line of fabric.

I remember when Sandi first started selling her designs on eBay. I interviewed her in April of 2007. You can read the interview here...

Right now there are amazing listings on eBay and etsy, celebrating her new fabric line, Ginger Blossom. Let's learn more about Sandi and the process she took to design her fabric.

Oh I almost forgot to mention that Daria of Boutique Cafe did a podcast with Sandi. You can listen to it here...

JM: What made you decide to create your own fabric line, Ginger Blossom?

SANDI: I think anyone that truly loves fabric dreams of one day designing their own line. It is ultimate creative control for a sewer! The timing was right and I just decided to just go for it and create a portfolio to submit to manufacturers. I contacted the companies I was interested in working with and set up meetings with them. I chose Michael Miller because of their standard of excellence in the industry! All of their fabrics are consistently high quality. Also, they very rarely take on licensed designers (I am actually their only one at the moment) and they have given me so much extra attention and wisdom. It is a company I am proud to be associated with. They listen to what I am interested in doing and help make it happen! Lot's of exciting things on the horizon.

JM: What was your inspiration for this line?

SANDI:There wasn't a single source of inspiration for Ginger Blossom. My next line does have a very obvious inspiration, it is the name of the line! (I'm keeping quiet a tiny bit longer..) But with Ginger Blossom, it was really the first full line of artwork I had ever done and I was really trying to figure out what my style would be and how I would represent myself cohesively on fabric. I just started sketching without any real targeted goal. Fun florals emerged and I initially intended on calling the line "Blossom" but as the artwork progressed, it took on a sparkly, quirky feel. Just "Blossom" sounded a little too romantic and not eclectic enough. I added the word Ginger to represent that playfulness I feel Ginger Blossom has. My dad recently asked me what a ginger blossom looks like and to my surprise, there actually is a "ginger blossom." It's just a coincidence though-the line isn't inspired by one. I thought the wording was all my own. ;)

I am also very inspired by vintage textiles, the way the petals and leaves move just tickle my fancy! I also love the layout of pattern on vintage textiles and will use them as reference points on occasion. All of my artwork is original, but I'm sure you can definitely see my love of vintage things reflected in my designs.

JM: Can you tell us how you create a fabric line?

SANDI: The process is long, I started the artwork on Ginger Blossom in February of 2007 and it hit the stores in February of 2008. First comes the initial artwork which can take anywhere from 1 to 6 months, depending on the designer. I am more of a 4-6 month gal.

After I have finished the artwork, I print out the files on paper and send them into Michael Miller along with digital copies. The artwork then goes to a mill in Korea and is created into engraving plates and matches are made to the colors I have sent in. About 4-6 weeks later I receive what is known as "strike offs. " These are the first chunks of fabric which you use to check the engraving of the artwork and also colors.

The first time around I thought that turning in the artwork meant that the work was done, but the reality is far from that! Beautiful artwork can be ruined during the strike off period! Imagine picking a color of paint and it taking it home and painting your wall with it. Have you ever picked a color and had it end up a looking different than you thought it would? This is exactly what happens during strike offs, except you are picking maybe a hundred colors and if one of them is off, the whole thing starts to look a little wacky. It really is great fun though, and several designers think it is best part. It has changed the way I look at color and I find myself digesting every single thing I see, analyzing exactly how much yellow is in that green or how much red is in a pink. I have picked up the habit of giving colors glamorous names and nothing is ever brown with me, but cinnamon or Valrhona chocolate. (Just chocolate doesn't do it-have you ever noticed how many different shades chocolate comes in?)

After everything is right and pretty, the fabric is printed and shipped out to stores.

JM: What do you have in store for the near future?

SANDI: We are releasing my first line of sewing patterns which will take the name of my clothing business, Portabellopixie. The first patterns will be introduced at the International Quilt Market in May. The first set will be comprised mainly of children's patterns since that has been my passion for so long. A few craft patterns will accompany, my cupcake pincushion being one of them.

Do you have a question that you are dying to ask? Comment about something she said or designed? Post it here and she will answer it!

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| Monday, April 14, 2008 2:28 AM | flag
hello...hello...anybody out there...echo echo echo...

| Monday, April 7, 2008 8:43 PM | flag
Love your fabrics:) am I in the right place to ask questions? I see a few down below with no answers... Thanks!

| Sunday, April 6, 2008 5:16 AM | flag
Nikki What a great interview! Love hearing the whole process of designing fabrics!!!!! Can't wait to see what you've got coming next...

Jona | Saturday, April 5, 2008 3:56 PM | flag
Woohoo Sandi! What a fun and crazy ride! I can't wait to see those patterns!

Lisa | Saturday, April 5, 2008 10:48 AM | flag
When is your new line coming out?

| Saturday, April 5, 2008 7:08 AM | flag
As a custom boutique buyer, I am so thrilled to have the fabulous designers on ebay embrace your GORGEOUS fabric! What a cool acomplishment & I can't wait to see your future designs, just amazing Sandi!!! Jennifer sweet*sunshine*boutique

Tanya- xoxotova | Thursday, April 3, 2008 12:21 PM | flag
Love your deigns! THANKS so much for the DAILY inspiration!xoxo's

| Thursday, April 3, 2008 6:10 AM | flag
Gorgeous with our Boutique styles & lines! I LOVE this fabric with full dresses or even A-line styles! It's beautiful for just about ANYTHING! :) Thanks for your interview & time in sharing your talents with us all here! I'm SO VERY IMPRESSED with all of your accomplishments!~ Bonnie with BOOAK Boutique!

Lisa ~ Pitter Patter Boutique | Wednesday, April 2, 2008 6:38 PM | flag
I love your fabric line!! When is the next one coming??

Annie | Wednesday, April 2, 2008 4:29 PM | flag
Love your designs!! can't wait for the patterns!

Katarina | Wednesday, April 2, 2008 9:49 AM | flag
Sandi, thank you so much for this wonderful interview, and of course, for the amazingly beautiful fabric line!!!Can't wait to get the next one too;) xo Katarina

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