In a previous post I talked about simulating the look of a Tartan plaid using Photoshop Elements. The same technique can be used to create a digital version of other weave patterns. I won’t go through all the steps which were covered in the earlier post, but the basic steps are:
create one unit of the repeating pattern (I do this using the rectangle tool in Photoshop)
define it as a pattern in Photoshop (Edit ==> Define Pattern)
use the pattern to fill another object with the repeating pattern (Edit ==> Fill)
select and change the colors as desired
Houndstooth is a popular pattern lately, and easy enough to create digitally. Continue reading →
Recently Spoonflower and the Textile Center in Minneapolis, MN sponsored a design contest called Urban Sightings. The aim was to design a fabric using, as inspiration, photos taken of the neighborhood around the Textile Center .
There were six photos, and I used the five below as my inspiration.
In earlier posts I’ve talked about doing seamless repeats in Photoshop. Making an Illustrator design into a seamless repeat is also quite straightforward. And, since Illustrator designs are vectors, they can be infinitely scaled without losing any detail.
I’ll go through the steps using this really simple design. In the picture below, the artboard bounds are defined by the white square, and this will also be the bounds for the repeat design.
Traditional batik designs are created by placing hot wax patterns on fabric, and then dyeing the fabric. The wax resists the dye and keeps the fabric beneath the wax the original color. Dharma Trading has a colorful and fun explanation of creating batiks here.
The batik effect is easy to simulate in Photoshop, and the resulting image can be printed on fabric or used anywhere you need a seamless repeating pattern. Continue reading →
I entered another of Spoonflower’s weekly fabric contests. This one called for a one-yard image that included four distinct coordinating fabric designs, including at least one stripe pattern and one dot pattern. I’m not sure why I enter these contests…but it’s fun working on the designs and I’m learning a lot about Photoshop and Illustrator and repeat pattern design in the process.
I thought I’d try to use the ten colors in the Pantone Spring 2012 fashion color trends as my palette, since it’s trendy and these are not colors I’d normally pick (especially Sweet Lilac). A floral theme seemed to fit well with the spring colors, so I started gathering some of my photos of daisy-like flowers. Continue reading →
One of Spoonflower’s recent weekly fabric design contests was to design a fabric using a recipe as part of the design. I’m not much of a cook (my husband does most of the cooking, though I’ve mastered the NY Times No-Knead Bread), so I don’t have any go-to recipes.
As I thought about this contest, I remembered my grandmother’s hand-written cookbook from the 1930’s. Gockoo (as we called her) wrote her recipes in a journal and added ones she found in newspapers or magazines, or ones she got from friends. I found her recipe for apple crisp pudding and thought it would make a nice nostalgic print, especially since there were only a handful of ingredients in the recipe. Continue reading →
I previously wrote about a Hawaiian Cheater Quilt design that I did for a contest at Spoonflower. I ordered a yard of the fabric on which I included a large version of the design and three small versions (about 8 inches by 10 inches) in different colors. Here are the smaller versions.
Spoonflower, my favorite place for printing custom fabrics, has a fabric design contest each week. Sometimes I enter it since it’s a fun way to try out new designs and practice my design skills. This week’s contest is to create a small repeating design with the theme of Kites. I knew I’d love to experiment with some more Notan-style designs for this contest.
I started with four simple kite drawings that I did in Illustrator. I wanted the shapes to be fairly simple with each main kite shape touching two edges of its square.
Here’s the first repeat, in blue and black. It was obvious that the tails of the kites needed more work. Continue reading →
In this earlier post I showed how to create a tartan plaid pattern in Photoshop. That method simulates the weave characteristic of a real tartan plaid, with the distinct diagonal twill pattern, like the one shown here.
As an alternative, here’s a really quick way to create a seamless plaid in Photoshop Elements. Continue reading →
The October challenge for the Fast Friday Fabric Challenge group is Notan. Here’s the challenge description: Notan is a Japanese concept that utilizes black and white to demonstrate the contrast of positive and negative space. Often done as pen-and-ink drawings, Notan can easily be adapted to fabric with stunning results. This technique can help us evaluate our own skills with balancing the positive/negative space in our quilts.
Notan is traditionally done in ink on paper, but is now often done as a cut paper collage using the “expansion of the square” technique. This star cutout is a simple example — a star shape is cut from the black square and then flipped outward and placed on the negative white space, creating a positive/negative mirror image.