I’ve been learning to use Adobe Illustrator to create repeating designs for fabric (here’s an example, and another one). There’s a new version of Illustrator (CS6) which has a new feature allowing you to easily create repeat patterns. I’ve been wanting to try it, and as luck would have it, Spoonflower.com announced a contest to create an Arrow-themed fabric design using the new version of Illustrator. Perfect excuse to try it out, and I learned some important things about how the pattern function works in Illustrator. (You can see my final design here and vote for your favorites in the contest here.) Continue reading
Category Archives: Fabric Design
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. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
Hand Drawn Repeats
We have friends visiting from out of town, and the two middle-school-aged kids like to do art projects. I thought it would be fun to show them how to do repeat patterns using their own drawings. They can use their repeat patterns as wallpaper for their computer or phone screens.
The steps are pretty simple, leaving lots of time and energy for creativity. Continue reading
Not Boxed In
The latest design contest at Spoonflower is all about geometrics, and creating the design using only two colors (RGB #a7bb7d and #724b64) plus white. I like geometrics, so I thought this would be a fun design to work on, though I never would have picked these two colors on my own.
To get started thinking beyond the basic circles and squares, I looked up Geometric Shapes in Wikipedia, and discovered a bunch of fun shapes, like the Bankoff Circle, the Arbelos and the Asteroid…if they covered these in my High School Geometry class, I must have been asleep that day. Continue reading
Variations on a Fabric
A while ago, Spoonflower had a contest to create a Hawaiian ‘cheater’ quilt design, and I wrote about my design here and about the wall quilt I made from the fabric here.
Here’s the original design, using the turtles and flowers of Kauai.
What’s for Dinner? How to Create a Half-drop Repeat in Illustrator
In this earlier post I showed how easy it is to create a seamless repeat in Illustrator. Using a design I created for another contest on Spoonflower, I’ll show how quickly a design can be converted to a half-drop repeat.
First, here’s a comparison of a straight repeat (on the left) and a half-drop repeat (on the right). The diagonal movement in the half-drop repeat is created by shifting each repeat unit (one star in the example) vertically by 50 percent compared to its neighbor.
Painted Daisies, Take 2
I played around some more with my Painted Daisies design, done for the Fabric8 Contest at Spoonflower. Here was the previous version.
While I like the colors, the design seems boring. I decided to try adding lots more layers of daisies to fill in all the spaces. I made this first attempt by duplicating the layer and moving it–just to see if the idea might work. Continue reading
Painted Daisies, Take 1
Another week, another fabric design challenge… Spoonflower and Robert Kaufman Fabrics are sponsoring the Fabric8 contest. The challenge is to create a modern fabric design that evokes the style of pen & ink drawings colored with watercolor paints. This isn’t my usual style, so I thought it would be a good challenge to tackle to stretch myself.
When I think of modern fabrics, I think of bright colors and bold styles–again, not exactly what I’d picture for pen and ink drawings colored with watercolors. So, anyway, here’s my interpretation of the theme. Continue reading
Urban Sunset Revisited
In a recent post I showed how I created “Urban Sunset”–a repeat design for a fabric design contest. I really liked the design and thought I’d try to create a non-repeating design that I could print on fabric and then turn into a whole cloth quilt. My plan is to create a design that’s about a yard wide so I can have it printed at Spoonflower on a full yard of fabric.
Here’s the ‘brick’ brush I created in Photoshop. It’s slightly different from my earlier post in that I cleaned up the edges a bit. I used only this brush in all the designs.