Turtles on the Beach — Another Fabric Design

Spoonflower’s contest this week is to design a one-yard zigzag cheater quilt.

I immediately thought of the turtle I’ve used in a few other designs.  This post shows a Hawaiian design I made using the turtle.  I figured it would be a fun motif to use in a zigzag design.

One of the things I love about creating designs to print on fabric is that I can make them much more complex than I could if I were to create a quilt using traditional methods of piecing and appliqueing fabric.

I started playing with the turtles in Adobe Illustrator and created some quick designs to see how the zigzags might work out.  Here’s an early attempt.

And here it is in a rough repeat.

Here’s another option.

And its rough repeat pattern.

I wanted to try and eliminate the zigzag stripes and use only the turtles to create the chevron pattern.  Here’s one version that I developed.

And its repeat pattern.  I liked this pattern a lot, especially the value contrasts.  But, all gray was a bit too depressing.

I made a few more changes to the design.  First, I rotated it 90 degrees so that it would print from selvedge to selvedge.  I then added doubled the width of the pattern so that I could get 6 different colors of turtles rather than 3.

Here’s my final design Turtles on the Beach.

And here it is as the one-yard repeat.

Although the contest called for a one-yard design, one of my goals was to make a design that would repeat so it could be printed at any size.  Also, by using Illustrator, I’m able to resize and recolor the design easily.

You can see all the designs (and vote for your favorites) at Spoonflower’s contest page.

I see that the path of progress has never taken a straight line, but has always been a zigzag course amid the conflicting forces of right and wrong, truth and error, justice and injustice, cruelty and mercy.
Kelly Miller, Sociologist


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