Frosty Flakes

When I was in 7th grade my science fair project was on snowflakes, and I learned how to capture snowflakes in a plastic solution on glass slides and then photograph them.  My inspiration was Wilson Bentley’s work.  So, when Spoonflower’s weekly contest was to create a snowflake design, I knew I’d have to design something.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any of my snowflake photos any more, so I looked around the web for inspiration.  You can see many more beautiful snow flakes like these at SnowCrystals.com.

frosty-snowflakes

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Snowflakes and Creating a Half-Brick Repeat in Illustrator or Photoshop

I’ve been working on a snowflake design for another Spoonflower contest.  When I thought I was all done with it, I realized that it would look better as a half-brick repeat rather than a straight repeat.  It took me a while to rework it into a half-brick repeat, so I thought I’d show the basic steps in this post, and then cover the details in another post.

A half-brick repeat is similar to a half-drop repeat which I covered in this post.  The picture below shows the difference between a straight repeat (on the left) where the stars are lined up on top of each other, and a half-brick (on the right) where each row of stars is offset from the rows above and below.

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Two In-Progress Quilts

I have two quilts that I’ve been working on for a while.  The tops for both are complete, and I’ve made good progress quilting one of them.  There are a lot of similarities between these quilts–both use fabric that I designed digitally in Photoshop and Illustrator and that I had printed at Spoonflower.com; both combine those fabrics with  my hand-dyed fabrics; and both use a circle motif.

Over the next posts, I’ll detail the process I went through in creating these quilts along with the techniques I used to put them together. Continue reading

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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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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Creating Moonstruck — Making the Design into Something I Could Sew

In my previous post I showed how I developed the design (below) for Moonstruck.

With the overall design done, I next had to figure out how I could make this into a quilt top.  My plan was to use the rust-dyed fabric in the smaller circles (the Moons).  For the larger arcs, I planned to use an alternating green and blue gradation of over-dyed rust fabric–from light in the upper left to dark in the lower right.  The Moons were the focus and the arcs the background. Continue reading

Creating Moonstruck — Initial Design

My quilt Moonstruck recently returned home after a long trip with the Rust-Tex Collection, including its debut at the Spring International Quilt Festival in Chicago (2010) and a visit to England for the Festival of Quilts (photo from the show below, Moonstruck is the blue and green one).

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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

Fabric Design — Gockoo’s Apple Crisp

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

Creating a Quilt, Part 3 — Constructing the Quilt

In two earlier posts I talked about my process for creating a quilt design starting from a photo.  In this post, I’ll go through the process of actually making the quilt based on the final design (shown here). 

With the strong circular element in the design, I knew it would be important for the grass shapes to line up exactly across the circle.  Normally I prefer to make my quilts by piecing rather than some form of applique.  I’ll often use Ruth McDowell’s piecing technique on a complex quilt.  However, for this design, I thought that piecing would take forever and I wanted to complete the quilt fairly quickly since it was part of a class (“Inspired to Design” with Elizabeth Barton at Quilt University). Continue reading