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.
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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.

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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

Houndstooth Seamless Repeat in Photoshop — Another Digital Fabric Weave

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

Urban Sunset — Making a Seamless Repeat in Photoshop

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.

I used the photo of bricks to create a brush in Photoshop. Continue reading

Easy Seamless Repeats in Illustrator

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.

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Easy Digital Batiks

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

Fun Daisies Fabric Collection

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