Project Selvage – My Entry

Spoonflower and Michael Miller Fabrics got together to sponsor a fabric design contest, called Project Selvage.  The challenge was to design a fabric for baby boys.  The winner of the contest will earn a contract with Michael Miller to produce a collection.  The designs were due to Spoonflower by March 24.  I’m not sure, but it seems that there may have been over 1000 designs submitted (you can look through all these designs here.)  From these many designs Spoonflower and Michael Miller will select 75 semifinalists, which will be announced March 31, and then voting will start in order to narrow the field to 10 finalists.

I wanted to design something for this contest, but though I came up with dozens of possibilities, none seemed the least bit unique.  I was toying with the idea of blocks, and I remembered a couple quilts I made with an Escher-like pattern of blocks, which create an optical illusion.  Here’s one of the small quilts.

I thought this might be an idea I could work with, so I went to Adobe Illustrator and started drawing the shapes for the blocks.  I came up with this repeat pattern pretty quickly.

I liked the pattern, but thought it needed more, so I went into Photoshop and started adding letters on the blocks to make words, and then more words…I wanted to make sure I used all the letters in the alphabet.  I made a few other changes–changed the green block face to red and added a background.  Here’s the final entry, shown as a fat quarter.

This was a lot of fun to play with, but I’m not sure how this will do in the contest–this is definitely a large-scale design so it works for some things, but not for others, such as baby clothing.

I figured out how to make it more sell-able through Spoonflower if it doesn’t do well in the contest.  Since there are so many blocks in the pattern, it’s easy enough for me to personalize the fabric design by adding a name into the pattern.  The example below shows the pattern for “Michael” (white letters on red blocks).

Good luck to everyone who entered the contest–there are a lot of amazing “baby boy” designs.

My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, “You’re tearing up the grass”; “We’re not raising grass,” Dad would reply. “We’re raising boys”.
Harmon Killebrew

Diaper backward spells repaid. Think about it.
Marshall McLuhan

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