Creating the Fabric Designs for “Urban Sunset”

When I created this fabric design for a contest at Spoonflower, I knew I wanted to expand on the idea and design some fabric to make a quilt.  In an earlier post, I talked about my initial efforts.

I created the designs in Photoshop, using a custom brush that I’d made from a photograph of bricks.  I used a limited color palette, and used multiple layers in Photoshop to keep each of the colors in its own layer.  I did this so I’d be able to rearrange the order of the layers to get different effects with the colors.  I also used more than one layer for each of the colors, again to be able to control the depth of the colors.

Below is one of my finished designs–a bright sunset over urban skyscrapers.

This particular design has 33 different layers — 32 layers of different brick ‘stamps’ in 11 colors, plus a background layer of lime green to fill in the blank spots.  For example, here are the bottom 12 layers, shown individually.

And here are these 12 layers combined, including the lime green background layer.  The effect of the multiple layers on the depth of the colors shows clearly.


Here’s another completed design — a sunset reflected over water.

Another reflected sunset:

And yet one more design:

I combined these 4 designs so I could have them printed on one piece of fabric at  Here’s a photo of the printed fabric.  It’s printed on cotton sateen which has a nice shine, and it’s 36 inches wide by 56 inches long.


It’s our challenges and obstacles that give us layers of depth and make us interesting. Are they fun when they happen? No. But they are what make us unique. And that’s what I know for sure… I think.
— Ellen DeGeneres

I like it when the deeper you go with the character, the more you see the layers start to peel away.
— Edward Norton

1 thought on “Creating the Fabric Designs for “Urban Sunset”

  1. Pingback: “Urban Sunset” — Completed Quilt | Color On Cloth

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