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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Kites — Another Notan Design

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

My Take on Notan

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.

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